Crowd gathers for memorial hand-over

Precious memorials which pay tribute to men lost at sea on Fleetwood trawlers have been officially handed over to help guarantee their long-term upkeep.

Thursday, 29th June 2017, 4:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Members of the Goth Funnel Preservation Group were at the official hand-over of fishing memorials to the care of Fleetwood Town Council. From left: Angela Manson, Dick Gillingham, Bill Edwards and David Pearce.

Families and members of the public gathered at the Lost Trawlermen Memorial, at the junction of Dock Street and Station Road, to see Fleetwood Town Council perform a formal hand-over ceremony.

It means the council will now undertake the future care of the memorial along with the Fishing Community Memorial on the Promenade near the Lower Lighthouse.

Councillors agreed to take on the two iconic memorials after a request by the Goth Funnel Preservation Group. David Pearce, secretary of the Goth Funnel Group, thanked the councillors for their agreement and the Fleetwood people and the Fishermens Reunion Committee who have raised money for maintenance.

He recalled the days when the area around the memorial looked very different – a hive of industry outside the entrance to the dock estate and the heart of the third biggest fishing port in the UK.

But there was a terrible price to pay – the lives of men.

David said: “ They have left us a legacy to remember them by. Their courage, fortitude under hardship, comradeship and generosity were legendary and are things we can take forward in our own lives.”

The Goth Funnel Group was set up after the funnel of the trawler Goth was recovered by an Icelandic fishing vessel nearly 50 years after the ship was lost in a storm in 1948. All 21 crewmen lost their lives. The memorial was created in 2007.

The Fishing Community Memorial was set up by David Pearce, fellow local historian Dick Gillingham and the late Councillor Ben Jackson in 1987 and has been maintained by volunteers.

David said: “We are all getting a bit older now so we asked the Town Council to take on the future care of these sites.”

Coun Terry Rogers, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said; “Fleetwood has a proud heritage and we should honour that and do our best to tell the story of that history to future generations.”

Bill Edwards, chairman of the Goth Group, handed over the site keys to Coun Rogers, while Mrs Angela Manson, the group’s treasurer, placed a wreath of flowers.