Painting of doomed trawler is unearthed

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A LOCAL antiques dealer has uncovered a rare painting of a doomed 1960s trawler.

Robert Cook came across the painting, which is believed to have been completed shortly after the 1962 fishing disaster, along with bric-a-brac at a Buchan charity shop.

The painting portrays the Peterhead trawler ‘Ocean Maid’ which mysteriously disappeared in Shetland waters in February 1962, taking the lives of all six crewmen.

The trawler, which carried the registration number PD391, is depicted in what looks like Highland scenery, suggesting that it was painted in memory of those who perished.

Mr Cook said: “Local fishermen have said that it doesn’t look like North-East scenery but more like the Highlands. The painting is also composed in what’s called ‘naive’ style which suggests an amateur, perhaps a family member or friend, painted it.”

The only clue to the artist is the initials ‘SA’ at the bottom right of the A3 size artwork.

Robert, who has been running online antiques dealership Sky Parlor for the past five years, hopes to find out who painted the poignant piece.

“I’m interested in contacting the person who painted it, or possibly one of their descendants,” says New Deer-based Robert, “It’s a great piece of local historic interest.”

The Ocean Maid set sail from Peterhead on January 30, 1962 and was expected to dock at Lerwick around tea time.

However, the ill-fated vessel did not arrive and extensive searches of the area with the help of a helicopter from Ballykelly found no trace of the stricken trawler.’

On board were

Skipper Alex Strachan (33), John Collin (48), Tom Anderson (34), Louis Duncan (29), Stanley Duncan (28) and Ian Cordiner (24). One lucky Crewman, 24-year-old James Bruce, was not on board thanks to an ankle injury. Pieces of the trawler were finally discovered 26 years later in 1988.

Anyone with information on the painting should contact Arran at The Buchanie on (01779) 871325. Those interested in Robert’s eclectic collection of antiques including militaria, fishing, farming and watches should contact him on (01771) 644834.