31 October 2023 - 4 November 2023, 10am to 3pm daily
£4 / free for members
From Tuesday 31 October to Saturday 4 November 2023 (open 10am to 3pm), visitors to the top floor of the Old Low Light Heritage Centre on North Shields Fish Quay will be able to view a selection of maritime paintings by Mick Smith and models of different types of fishing boats by Brian Chambers, as well as information about the work of the Fishermen’s Mission.
Some of the maritime art, by retired local fisherman Mick Smith, will be images used for Christmas cards produced and sold nationally by the Fishermen’s Mission to raise funds for fishermen and their families in times of need. Visitors will also be able to buy the 2023 Fishermen’s Mission Christmas cards, which show a winter scene of North Shields Fish Quay painted by Mick.
For more than 20 years Mick has provided a different painting each year for use on Christmas cards by the Fishermen’s Mission. Earlier this year his long-standing support for the Mission was recognised when the organisation’s Chief Executive, Marc Evans, came to North Shields to present Mick with a Friendship Award.
More recently he has been doing the same to raise funds to restore a coble, the Boy James, which stands on Clifford’s Fort, outside the Old Low Light Heritage Centre and some of these 2023 Christmas cards will also be available to buy.
The retired fishermen will also have their 2024 calendar, with photographs of local coastal scenes, available for sale. Money raised from the sale of the calendar will go to the Association of Retired Fishermen.
Mick Smith, who fished off the North Sea coast for 40 years, including some of that time in the Boy James, said: “As someone who was a fisherman for so many years, I have always been pleased to support the Fishermen’s Mission. For the past 20 years, I have provided them with a new image for their Christmas cards which raise funds for a great cause.
“I’m now doing the same to help with the restoration of the Boy James coble, which is an important project helping to explain the role of traditional fishing boats locally.”
Brian Chambers began making model boats more than 50 years ago, alongside his father, Maurice, who was a fitter and turner in the shipyards.
As a young lad Brian spent eight years working on deep sea trawlers and when he left the sea, he became a joiner, setting up his own business. His interest in making model boats has continued throughout his adult life.
Old Low Light centre director, Guy Moody said: “Mick and Brian and their retired fishermen friends are valued members of the heritage centre and are very keen to preserve local fishing heritage. Often their work also involves fund raising to support members of the local fishing community.
“We hope that visitors to the display will enjoy Mick’s paintings of coastal and fishing scenes and Brian’s expertly made models of fishing boats.”
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