Tribute to women’s hard work set in stone

The Creel Loaders scupture stands at the approach to Dunbar Harbour.
The Creel Loaders scupture stands at the approach to Dunbar Harbour.

The Creel Loaders sculpture at Victoria Street, Dunbar is now complete after the waymarker stones were placed into the surrounding landscaping.

When Dunbar Shore & Harbour Neighbourhood Group sought the views of the public for a traditional stone sculpture on the site that evoked the contribution of the fishing community to the life, traditions and economy of Dunbar, the part played by the fishwives who supported their menfolk proved most popular.

The fishwives and fisherwomen baited the lines, raised families and hawked the catch in Dunbar and its hinterland – over the Lammermuir Hills as far as Lauderdale, their route known as ‘The Herring Road’.

Gardner Molloy’s sculpture, ‘The Creel Loaders’, shows the fishermen raising a laden creel on a fisherwoman’s back, whose fortitude seems remarkable in our more comfortable times.

A spokesperson for the group, who saw the project to fruition, said: “The essential roles of the fishwives and fisherwomen have perhaps not had the recognition they deserve.

“The project generated a lot of enthusiastic support within Dunbar and we would like to thank Viridor Credits Environmental Company, who donated funding via the Landfill Communities Fund, Dunbar Community Windfarm Trust and East Lothian Council Common Good Fund.

The project site is on the route of the John Muir Way, increasing the town’s appeal to visitors from East Lothian and beyond, which should benefit businesses in the town.”