Eyemouth community unite to remember Disaster victims

Eyemouth disaster memorial. Gathered at the monument
Eyemouth disaster memorial. Gathered at the monument

SUNDAY, October 14, the anniversary of the Eyemouth fishing disaster of 1882, was marked in poignant fashion by the local community with a concert in the parish church and a procession to the war memorial.

The concert featured singing contributions from the Fishermen’s Choir, the Lifeboat Crew, The Podlies, the Mission Crew and the Eyemouth Youth Drama Group; readings by Peter Aitchison, from his book ‘Black Friday’, Fay Waddell and Rev. Bruce Neil, as well as drama contributions by Eyemouth Community Drama Group.

Superintendent George Shaw of the Royal National Mission for Deep Sea Fishermen spoke very eloquently about the strength of the community then and how even today, the community comes together to support those in need.

During a short break, a variety of old photos of Eyemouth collated by Neil McMurdo, from the Eyemouth Past Facebook page, was on view and proved very popular.

At the end of the concert, stones, carrying the names of the fishermen who lost their lives, were again piped from the church and members of the audience were invited to take a stone from the basket to carry respectfully along to the Disaster memorial.

Led by the Eyemouth Pipe Band the group proceeded along Albert Road and back along the High Street to the Old Cemetary, with the stones being returned to the baskets, in front of the memorial.

Wendy Lough, read out a very emotional poem, she had written about the significance of the stones before a prayer was read and a flare set up out over the bay by a member of Eyemouth lifeboat crew.

As the flare slowly drifted down, all eyes were looking out to the bay, with the waves crashing on the Hurkur rocks, a reminder of the power of the sea and how it had taken the lives of 129 fishermen from the town.

Many of the people in attendance were the descendants of those who perished.

The proceeds from the event, which amounted £1,092, will go towards providing Christmas Lights for the town.