Pittenweem Fishermen’s Memorial Association is dedicated to the recovery, presentation and celebration of the history of the language and culture of East Neuk. The 2021 publication Tales from the East Neuk containing truelife local stories, historical information and many previously unseen images of people, boats and places has sold some 700 copies to date.
Building on this success the Association has produced a companion volume, shown above, in the same format as the previous one which received great praise for its content, giving insight into the lives of previous generations in all the East Neuk villages.

The new book will be available in local outlets listed below, and is again priced at £12 per copy with a mail order cost of £2.75 if desired, through our shop at

Where to buy in Pittenweem:
Pittenweem FMA shop
Pittenweem Hub- Post Office
Pop In shop
Pittenweem Library
John’s Ice Cream shop
Clock Tower Cafe
Larachmhor pub

Scottish Fisheries Museum

The Corner Shop

Crail Pharmacy
Crail Museum


Following on from the success of the first book of Tales from the East Neuk (over 600 copies sold), we have put together another batch of stories, anecdotes and historic facts in a second volume. The format will be the same with many images which the public have not seen before.

We hope to have this ready for publication soon (within three months) and it will be on sale in various outlets again locally, and online at We will give an update nearer the time of publication.

Tales from the East Neuk

We have gathered much local information from various sources and have put this together in a new book with the above title. It is a volume of the history and heritage of the local area with many photos which have not been seen in public before, (so thanks to those who contributed the images).

The tales are real stories of local folk from the East Neuk, detailing their childhood and adult experiences over their lifetimes, as well as some humorous anecdotes. One excerpt of the story ‘Skipper dupes a German U-boat’ is as follows “The submarine went alongside another fishing boat the Andrewina, skipper Alex Watson. The crew were having tea in the cabin before starting to haul their nets when they felt something strike the side of their boat. The skipper’s son went to go up the ladder and found two Germans looking down at him with revolvers in their hands. The crew were ordered on deck and the Germans helped them launch their small boat before placing a fuse bomb fore and aft.”

Available now in A5 size with 270 pages and over 180 photos the book will be available in local outlets in Pittenweem and Anstruther priced at £12. There is more information on our Facebook page, and it can also be purchased on the site if posting is required (£2.75 p&p).

Think ahead, this will make a great Christmas present.

Our work goes on

To qualify for charity status the PFMA had to have a recognised Constitution which satisfied OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator. One of the necessary requirements is a section detailing our purposes.

One of our purposes is to increase awareness of our fishing heritage, and protect this for future generations, by interacting with local schools and groups and gathering information on the history and heritage of the town. We also needed to have a maintenance and insurance plan.

To finance the above we will continue to have coffee mornings and various exhibitions to raise funds.

To comply with the above, giving consideration to all the images and information we have gathered over the last few years, we will be setting up a Database of information concerning the fishing industry, people, boats, buildings etc. We are in the process of indexing the material we have, and it is hoped we will have this up and running later this year. This is to help people access their family heritage in a simple way, by clicking on a boat’s number, or a person’s name, and the information we have will be displayed.

As we are all amateurs with computer work, this may take some time but we think it will be a valuable resource for future generations.

The Memorial has been well received and we have had many comments and congratulations on the work done. Thank you to all who helped, donated, and gave time free of charge. It would not have been possible without so many generous supporters.


Finally after four and a half years of fundraising, the dream has become a reality.
The sculpture of an anxious woman and child, staring out to sea hopefully, has been erected on the Mid Shore, Pittenweem. The unveiling of the bronze memorial, beautifully crafted by Alan Herriot DA MRBS, of Edinburgh, and cast by Powderhall Bronze Ltd, took place on Saturday, September 28th at 12 noon.
On a lovely sunny day, with a rising tide and a gentle breeze, people began to gather about 11 am. Seating was provided at the front for the elderly, and the others stood behind in a half circle, making a small arena, around the bright blue cloth printed with the PFMA logo, waiting with expectation for the unveiling. It was estimated between 300/400 people were in attendance, the largest proportion of whom were locals.

The introduction was performed By Ronnie Hughes, chairman of the PFMA. He thanked everyone for attending by addressing them as “Friends and Supporters”, and for those who had made donations and assisted in other ways, specifically those who had given their time and services free of charge. Support had come from Shetland to Portsmouth, from individuals, businesses, and trust funds, too many to mention, but he said it signified that the general public believed in the project, and the continued backing from the local community over that time was important.
A recent survey conducted by members of the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, collected data from newspaper accounts etc from the area of Crail to Lower Largo, a distance of about 28 miles by sea, and the numbers they found were staggering. Over 400 lives lost, many of them only a mile from the shore. From a few small fishing villages, this was a terrible loss of menfolk to the community.

The women and children he said, still had to carry on with their lives after these tragic events, with little money, no pensions, and had to rely greatly on the support of the wider family and friends. There has been no public recognition of any of those tragedies…….until today.
Many of those lost were never recovered and have no resting place, so the primary objective of the PFMA was simple, to commission and erect a memorial as a tribute to the fishing industry, which would be placed on the foreshore in Pittenweem, where families and friends could come and remember, and reflect on the background behind it.

The man tasked with this project was Edinburgh sculptor Alan Herriot DA MRBS, and there was no doubt that with his research and meticulous attention to detail, he had surpassed their expectations with an outstanding piece of work.
He concluded his address with these words; ( There are no names on this memorial, just a bronze plaque with words of dedication for the men and women of “the fishing” ).

Ronnie then asked retired Pittenweem skipper, Ian Bowman, whose son had been lost in 2006, to address the crowd. Ian made a short but moving speech, with comments on women he had known all his life, who had suffered the loss of a family member, as he had done, and on the hardship of coping and keeping the household and family together in these tragic circumstances. Ian then stepped down from the podium, and with the assistance of Rory and Daisy, the Head boy and Head girl of Waid Academy, slowly pulled the blue cloth forward towards the sea, to unveil the beautiful piece of bronze sculpture.

A short but very meaningful dedication, was given by Rev. Dr. W. McNaughton: “We dedicate this memorial to the men and women who make their living from the sea – and to those who have lost their lives in so doing. May we and those who have cause to pass this way in the days to come, look upon this woman and child, and reflect on the cost of fish down the years, on those who have experienced the shocking breakability of life in pursuing their calling: a mother’s son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a sweetheart. May we all appreciate anew Walter Scott’s assertion “it’s no fish we’re buying – it’s men’s lives.”

A tune composed by Richard Wemyss, Fishermen’s Lament to those Lost to the Sea, was then played by local Piper Sara Isaac, who comes from a long line of Cellardyke fishermen. As the pipes played, unknown to the crowd, from one of the fishermen’s traditional houses at the back, a young woman and child dressed in the period costume of the sculpture, began to walk silently and slowly through the crowd towards the railing at the waterside, pausing briefly to gaze past the breakwater out to sea, and then carry on through the other side of the crowd. Many a tear was wiped away at this point. Vicky and Grace performed their part to perfection.

Scupltor Alan Herriot was then introduced, and a presentation was made to Alan on behalf of the PFMA for his beautiful interpretation of the worrying family, waiting hopefully.

Ronnie then thanked all who attended on such a beautiful day, for an emotive and moving occasion, and announced there would be a meet and greet in the Church Hall, where catering was provided by David and Stewart Barnett.


The Christmas Fair held in Pittenweem kirk hall on Saturday 24th November was well attended with 13 Craft stalls selling a variety of gifts. We built a grotto in the hope that Santa might pay us a visit, and he duly appeared with his Elf “Amanda” for a short time. The bairns were very excited and they all received a small gift from Santa’s sack.

Teas and baking were available for the adults, and the Christmas music and smell of the warm mince pies made for a cosy atmosphere.

Thanks to everybody who visited us and the Crafters for taking part, plus all who helped in any way possible. Our total raised on the day was over £400 which was greatly appreciated.

We have now reached our target of £75,000, and the contracts have been signed with the scupltor and the foundry. It is envisaged that an unveiling will be in October of 2019.

We have had tremendous support from the local community, and farther afield, and we appreciate every donation, which will now ensure that a tribute to the hardships and lives lost in the fishing industry from the East Neuk will now be recognised.



We thank the St Andrews Photographers who displayed some of their prints, postcards and calendars for sale, in the Church Hall, while we provided the baking, teas and coffees, raising £150 for our project. Thank you to all who visited and those who took part in the raffle. The winners have been notified.
Our Fishy Quiz was very popular but there were no all correct submissions. Of the 4 with 1 answer wrong, M Richardson of Pittenweem was the name drawn, and she will be enjoying her fish suppers from Wilma and Alex  soon.

The answers from 1 to 25 were: COD, SCALLOP, COCKLES, BASS, HERRING, KIPPER, PRAWN, PEPPERED MACKEREL, LEMON SOLE, DAB, HADDOCK, CLAM, MUSSEL, EEL, GOLDFISH, HAKE, SALMON, TUNA, FLOUNDER, CRAB, LIMPET, SWORDFISH, WITCH, SKATE, RED SNAPPER. Thanks to everybody who took part in our wee bit of fun. We might do one next year.

Our next event is a Christmas Craft Fayre in Pittenweem Church Hall on Saturday 24th November. Teas and baking will be available, and we believe Santa will be making an appearance if he can spare the time off from toy making.


Our exhibition in Pittenweem Church during early August, of old images of the local area, coupled with the first public viewing of the maquette of our sculpture was a great success. Over the 10 days the total raised was an incredible £4,361. We would like to thank everybody who helped at the Church and the PoP In, and each and every person who donated, purchased or took part in raffles etc. The comments we received were overwhelmingly positive from locals and visitors alike.

Our three wonderful Dundee Kiltwalkers completed the 25+ miles from St Andrews to Monifieth and raised over £3,000. Enormous thanks to Rhona, Marion and Laura for their efforts on a pretty miserable day. Can’t believe they looked so fresh at the finish line. Great work girls.

We have a coffee morning with baking, scheduled for Wednesday 12th September from 10am to 1130am and all are welcome.

There will also be an exhibition by St Andrews Photographers in the Church Hall from 5th to 7th October, where a charge of £2 will give coffee and baking as usual.



A maquette of our proposed sculpture will be shown in Pittenweem Church, along with a photographic exhibition of Pittenweem Past, with 80+ new images, along with a floral display, from Saturday 4th August daily until the following Saturday. Times are 10 am to 5 pm excluding Sunday 5th which will be from 1.30pm till 5pm. There will be various items of merchandise for sale, polo shirts, mugs, caps, tablet etc. Entry is £2.
We will also have a space in the Pop In, opposite the primary school, where we will once again be selling our raffle tickets for the MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANT, in Anstruther, ” THE CELLAR”, patron BILLY BOYTER.

Our weekend at the Bowhouse Food Market raised over £750, and we thank everybody who helped and contributed.



We are holding a Table Top Sale in the Church Hall in James St, Pittenweem between 10.30am >  4.00pm.

On sale will be:
Handmade crafts, > Bric-a-Brac, > Tombola, > and Teas Coffees and Home Baking. We would love to see you there.