Mission to host online auction fundraiser

Artists Jane Bradford and George Strachan with their fish sculptures
Artists Jane Bradford and George Strachan with their fish sculptures

The Fishermen’s Mission will launch its new fundraising online auction ‘Catch of the Day’ next week.

The auction will feature a range of ceramic fish sculptures that have been painted by local artists and celebrities.

The online auction will go live from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 May.

Members of the public are invited to make as many bids as they like, and all funds raised through the sale of the sculptures will go towards the Fishermen’s Mission and its work to help active and retired fishermen and their families.

Nearly 100 artists and celebrities have painted or adorned a sculpture including Fern Britton, Louis Walsh, Caroline Quentin and Jonathan Dimbleby among others.

Locally, the auction will include sculptures completed by Jane Bradford, George Strachan, Jimmy Buchan and Peterhead Academy’s YPI team.

A long-term supporter of the Mission, Jimmy Buchan was first in the queue offering to participate in the fundraiser.

He, along with his wife Irene, has created a decorated fish sculpture named ‘Amity’.

Peterhead Academy pupils Lewis Brown, Kieran Campbell, Ross Henry and Nathan Strachan chose the Fishermen’s Mission as their chosen charity for the YPI project.

Their sculpture, ‘The Last Trip’, was designed in memory of local fishermen lost at sea.

Online donations can be given to the group at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/the-last-trip.

Peterhead-born artist Jane Bradford said: “When I was asked to paint the fish I thought of the summers I spent working ‘in the fish’ while I was a student.

“One summer I worked 12-hour night-shifts processing mackerel at a machine - when I shut my eyes all I could see were those silvery blue mackerel. My fish ‘Metallic Mack’ is inspired by them.”

Meanwhile talking about his sculpture ‘The Herring is the King of the Seas’ George Strachan said: “When the ‘Mission Man’ approached me to paint I welcomed the opportunity to do something new.

“I have spent a lifetime in close proximity to the fishing being a visitor to the harbour in Peterhead practically everyday and painting fishing and coastal scenes at every opportunity - not surprising because my father was a herring fisherman all his life.

“The fish design gave me an opportunity to highlight the importance of the herring to medieval Northern Europe, a fact greatly unknown in modern times.”

See www.fishmishauction.org.uk to view the auction.