Fishing Faces

Fishing Faces


Fishing Faces: Revealing the people supporting the Solway’s fishing industry


A network of unacknowledged people all play an important role in our commercial and recreational fishing industry, from the harbour masters and shrimp fishermen to the seafood sellers preparing prized Solway shellfish for our plate at home and in local restaurants.

The Allerdale Coast

The men and women whose lives have a connection with fishing and the seafood industry along the coast of Allerdale were visited by Penny Watson (a photographer), and Paul Mitchell (a videographer from Fluid Productions), along with staff from Solway Firth Partnership. Their work to source quality seafood or provide essential support to our fishing industry is celebrated by revealing their faces and providing a peek behind the scenes in Visit Allerdale’s website.

The South West Scotland Coast

Solway Firth Partnership teamed up with photographer Kim Ayres to travel along Scotland’s southern coast taking photographs and finding out the stories of those working tirelessly to bring seafood to your tables. You can see the results by downloading a copy of Fishing Faces – just click on the image below

As part of the Fishing Faces Project writing groups were invited to submit some words about the characters featured in the Fishing Faces booklet.  We would like to thank all the writers for the inspirational submissions below.  It’s not too late!  If you would like to see your words inspired by Fishing Faces featured then please send to


Favourite Recipe. Chef  by Elaine Palmer

Solway seafood for you to savour,
Salmon, coriander and lime,
And when the knife and fork release the flavour
Complement your dish with a glass of wine.

Prepare Your Palate. Variety. Chef.

SHUCK black-shelled oysters from Lochryan.
BAKE silver Bass from Solway’s shore
SMELL the aroma of scallops in wine,
TASTE lobsters, flounders, mussels and more.
Try mackerel pate, dressed crab, or prawns,
Whitebait, shrimps and langoustines.

Chef by Elaine Palmer

Sizzling gleaming scallops
Flambe`ed while you wait,
Succulent, sweet and wholesome,
Your appetite to whet.

The Chef by Pat Pickering

Out of bed at the crack of dawn
Down to the quayside for the best of the catch
Inspiration comes in waves
As I look at bright eyes and pearlescent skin,
Decorative shells in soft hues of pink and cream,
Deep blue and green.

Back in the kitchen, surfaces spotless and shining
My favourite music playing in the background
I take my favoured sharp Sheffield knife
And begin preparing “today’s specials” with a delicate touch.
The succulent flesh, nature’s harvest for centuries,
Smells of the salty sea.

The first order arrives for the fish of the day.
I have looked forward to cooking this all morning.
The aromas are exceptional – butter frothing in the hot pan,
Dill and tarragon and lemons from Valencia, my secret ingredients.
I add a last luxury touch of light gold Galloway cream
And a garnish of bright green samphire from local shores.

Sending the food to the customer makes me smile.
I feel proud and satisfied in the knowledge
that it is fresh, wholesome and delicious,
That my art and skills
Honed over years of practice
Are as good as any creative artist.

The Fisherman’s Mission by Pat Pickering

When I was a young girl my Dad would take me to the Fishermen’s Mission in North Shields on the banks of the River Tyne, for “the best fish and chips” in Northumberland – a well deserved accolade from a major national newspaper!

My Dad liked to go there as it was his way of supporting the Mission. As we set at our formica-topped table and tucked in, he would tell me tales of when he was a young man and went fishing with the local fleet of deep-sea fishermen, eventually joining the Merchant Navy and ending up in a World War. His own father had walked the same path, but didn’t survive his World War, and never met his baby son.

My Dad would explain to me the work of the Fishermen’s Mission. How they helped seamen from all over the world, and provided physical and mental care for them, particularly when they were alone and far from their home port. He liked how the Mission didn’t discriminate about where you were from, or what you believed in (he was an atheist in later life). The people who were involved in The Mission had kind faces and kind hearts, and were in fishing ports all around the coast of Britain even, it turns out, small places like Kirkcudbright.

I would look towards the open door of the fishermen’s accommodation, and now and then would see strong-looking men with sea-air-tanned faces amble in or out, and imagined their lives, full of dangerous hard work and low pay, and was glad we could help them in a small way.

Now, as an adult, even seeing the words “Fishermen’s Mission” brings back happy memories and a warm glow.

The Cost of a Fish Supper by Kriss Nichol

they are always with her
come to her in quiet times
reach out to her with salt-glazed fingers
and cries that echo in the deep
recesses of her soul   like wraiths

like wraiths in a haar
they surround her
attach themselves like barnacles
weigh her down   down   down
till steam from a coffee cup rouses her from reverie
chases them away   for the moment

the moment the alarm sounds
she is back with them   hoping
they will guide her to the living
help her break the greedy grip of the sea
bring everyone home again   whole
defy Death   this time


Solway Firth Partnership were awarded European Maritime & fisheries Fund and Scottish Government funding by the Dumfries & Galloway Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) for the design and publication of a booklet and set of cards that aim to raise awareness of the commercial fishing industry in Dumfries and Galloway, through sharing personal stories and high quality photography portraits.