Widows and bairns forever look out to sea
The final bronze statue marking the 1881 Eyemouth fishing disaster was placed on the town's bantry this week ready for its unveiling on October 14.
The five-metre long Widows and Bairns sculpture features all 78 widows and 182 fatherless children left in Eyemouth after 189 Berwickshire fishermen lost their lives at sea on Black Friday, October 14, 1881, when a hurricane struck the fleet just outside the town’s harbour.
All but 70 of the men came from Eyemouth.
Sculptor Jill Watson, who originally comes from Cove, was commissioned to produce four statues for Eyemouth, Burnmouth, Cove and St Abbs, each one depicting the exact number of widows and fatherless children affected by the disaster.
The tempest left 93 widows and 267 children without their fathers and of the 45 boats that went to sea, only 19 returned.
Three of the four completed works were unveiled in 2007, all in prominent positions as the characters look out to sea for their husbands and fathers.
However, the sheer scale and cost (around £100,000) of the Eyemouth sculpture delayed its completion until now.
Jill supervised its installation at Eyemouth bantry on Monday.
The statue will be officially unveiled by descendants of the families affected by the disaster on Friday, October 14, at 2pm, 135 years to the day, that the sea took their menfolk.
Jill Watson and Ryan Kane unpack the bronze 1881 memorial statue, delivered to Eyemouth before its unveiling on the anniversay of the Black Friday fishing disaster.