Pittenweem Fishermen’s Memorial Association (PFMA) has raised £18,000 in its first year and has two high-profile patrons who have pledged their support – former MP for NE Fife Ming Campbell, now Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, and broadcaster Edith Bowman.

The association aims to erect a permanent memorial in Pittenweem for those who have lost their lives in pursuit of the fishing.

The charity said it has received ‘outstanding support’ from the local community, industry bodies and corporate partners since its inception in 2016.

Retired skipper Ronnie Hughes, chairman of the PFMA, said: “The support we have had from the community, industry and corporate partners has been incredible, and we’re overwhelmed that both Lord Campbell and Edith have agreed to become patrons. Their backing will be invaluable in raising awareness of our cause, and will help us spread the word of what we are trying to achieve and why.”

Edith, originally from Anstruther, Fife, said the PFMA was ‘very close to my heart’, and it was an honour to become a patron. Her great-grandfather was a Pittenweem fisherman, and her father was the auctioneer at the port’s fish market. “I look forward to lending my time to all the wonderful plans to support the PFMA,” she said.

Lord Campbell said he fully supported the aim of the PFMA. “Many communities have similar memorials, and it is right and proper that Pittenweem should have the same,” he said. “This is one of the last working fishing villages in Scotland, and it is steeped in history, with one of the earliest references to fishing and the village being from the 16th century.”

Set up in 2016, the charity’s sole purpose is to raise the funds to erect and maintain a memorial. It is working on plans to increase its fundraising activity in 2018, and edge ever closer to its target of £75,000.

Ronnie said: “There’s still a long way to go yet to reach our target, but we’re off to a great start, with incredible support and interest from everyone we speak to. There’s lots planned for 2018, and we look forward to sharing our story and plans with as many people as possible as we continue to raise the funds needed. The memorial will be a tribute to those who have lost their lives, and the families who had to carry on after such tragic circumstances.”

For more information on the project, or to donate, please visit pittenweem-fishermens-memorial.net/how-to-donate

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