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Statue unveiled in honour of North Shields fishermen lost at sea

By Kris Jepson

Hundreds of people gathered at North Shield's Fish Quay to see a new memorial statue unveiled to honour all the fisherman who lost their lives at sea.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

The statue cost £75,000 and stands at 10ft 6 tall. Inspired by an image taken in 1959 by local photographer Harry Hann, the sculpture is called "Fiddler's Green", which in 19th Century maritime folklore was an afterlife for sailors where there was never ending merriment.

Statue for fishermen lost at sea Credit: ITV News

The idea to erect a memorial for the lost fishermen of North Shields came during a fish supper between a veteran skipper and his granddaughter.

I was on the Fish Quay with my granddaughter Courtney. We got fish and chips, sat on the Fish Quay. We made a table out of fish boxes and we got chatting. I was telling her about the dangers of the sea. Fishermen going to sea and not coming back and I said a lot of ports have a memorials for lost fishermen. She says 'right, when we're finished with our fish and chips, we can go an have a look at yours'. 'My what?' She says 'Your memorial!' 'Oh', I said, 'we got none'. She said 'Grandad, you'll have to do something about that'.

– Henry Howard, North Shields Fishermen's Heritage Project

One of the fishermen honoured is James Noble, whose trawler, the Ocean Way, sank in the North Sea in 2014.

Fisherman lost at sea Credit: Family photo

His fiancee Julie Myhill was emotional today, but very proud.

I'm so proud today of what everybody has done. I can't thank them enough for doing it and James, I know he'll be watching down. He'll be loving this.

– Julie Myhill, James Noble's fiancee