16 February, 2019
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Join us:

A story that every maritime community can relate to!

Sat 16th Feb 2pm

£10 per person.

Richard Wemyss – historian, artist and musician narrates the story of the loss of a steam line fishing vessel accompanied by his musical compositions played by a three piece traditional band.


The Bernicia SN 199, built in Leith in 1894 was owned by Richard Irvin’s of North Shields, and had always operated with a Cellardyke fishing crew and Shields black squad. She has fished successfully for six years landing her catches in Shields, Anstruther and Aberdeen. On the 12th Feb 1900 she left Anstruther with a double shot of bait and was never heard of again.


Richard moved into the house of one of those lost, Daniel Henderson four years ago. Daniel had been a very successful skipper in his own rights and the Bernicia was skippered by his son in law Thomas Watson but Daniel had no real reason to be on the boat. Inspired by his research Richard composed this suite of music to help tell the story of Daniel Henderson and the crew and the wider tragedy that emerged from the storms of February 1900.


Richard said “The show has already appeared in Cellardyke at the church where many of the crew were members as well as other festivals and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.I am delighted to be able to bring the show to Shields, the Bernicia’s home town. It is very poignant to be performing and telling the story on the week the boat was lost. I remember a granddaughters of one the crew and her stories of how devastating the loss was to the family and community.”


Comments from audiences at previous performances

Deeply moving and effective story telling”

“what an imaginative concept! The mixture of music with local and working history was inspired”

“Really powerful and wistful music, very evocative and a real reminder indeed of the real price of fish

“A very moving work that has an important role in preserving the heritage of all our coastal fishing communities. It was simply superb”