Friday, 25 April 2014

The Fishwives Choir - Charity Single for Fishermen's Mission

 The Fishwives Choir

The Fishwives Choir is a choir set up by Jane Dolby, a fisherman's widow and mum of 4, to raise money for The Fishermen's Mission by recording a single due to be released in May.
 ( think Military Wives Choir but for UK commercial fishing community ! )

Hasting Rehearsals and Recordings

The Choir met for the first time in April to record the songs. Ladies related to fishermen, including mums, sisters, aunts, cousins, daughters and even grans, travelled to East Sussex from all over the UK for 4 days of rehearsals and recording. Many of these ladies have lost men to the sea.

"We are fundraising to raise money to pay for a studio, production, distribution costs, CD duplication costs, a musical director's fees, and travel and accommodation contributions for those more vulnerable members unable to fund themselves and travelling from afar. There are also the daily day to day admin/phone costs incurred."
 "We're hoping for a life beyond the recording of the single, and hope to continue rehearsals and be able to perform at some of the many gigs and performance opportunities we have been offered."

The Fishwives Choir Hasting fundraiser in April.

Join The Fish Wives Choir

Are you a partner, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother of a fisherman?
Would you like to be part of an exciting music project to raise money for the Fisherman’s Mission?

The choir is the brainchild of Jane Dolby, from Southend who decided to embark upon a project to raise funds for the charity which provided so much help to her following the loss of her husband, The Fishermen’s Mission.

The plan is to release a single in aid of the Fishermen's Mission which supports the families of those lost at sea.

The choir is recording its first single in April under the watchful gaze of Brit award-winning producer, Jon Cohen,  who has worked with major artists including Adele, Mary J Blige, George Michael, and Lady Gaga. The single, which is being released digitally via iTunes, includes the hymn For Those in Peril on the Sea a rendition of When the Boat Comes In, the theme from the popular television series.


It is four years since Jane lost her trawler man husband Colin, when he died at sea after his fishing vessel was caught in a freak storm just off the Essex coast.

Jane was inspired by the success and popularity of other choirs such as Glee, The Port Isaac Fisherman’s Friends, The Rock Choir and the Military Wives.

I have four children and our youngest child was just three years old.

My husband’s body was lost at sea for several months and during this time, our family was supported spiritually, emotionally, financially and practically by The Fishermen's Mission a charity which cares for fishermen and their families in times of hardship. Without a body you can’t get a death certificate so we could not prove he was dead. It was a terrible time of emotional pain and financial devastation.

It is almost impossible to get decent life insurance for fishermen because the work is so dangerous so when bread winning fishermen die, the families are not only crippled by the emotional loss but the financial one too. Without the Fishermen's Mission, I don’t think we would have survived. They are a simply wonderful charity.

See what they do at http://www.fishermensmission.org.uk/

Four years ago, Jane Dolby lost her trawler man husband Colin, when he died at sea after his fishing vessel was caught in a freak storm just off the Essex coast. Inspired by the success and popularity of other choirs such as Glee, The Port Isaac Fisherman’s Friends,  The Rock Choir and of course the Military Wives, Jane has embarked upon a project to fund raise for the charity which provided so much help to her following the loss of her husband. Her plan is to record a single and have all the profits go to The Fishermen’s Mission charity. Jane explained, “I’ve been helped so much by The Fishermen’s Mission and I had an idea for putting together a choir called THE FISHWIVES to sing to raise money for the charity. On the morning of April 17th, I posted a little note on Facebook inviting any women connected to commercial fishermen if they were interested in joining.  I hoped a couple of the local girls may reply.
“But when I logged into my Facebook account that night, the note had been shared across the social networks and I’d had over 100 responses not only from woman all over the UK asking to join but from TV, newspaper and radio journalists too. It was an incredible and totally unexpected response. We’ve even had a film maker and two documentary makers make inquiries. One said, ‘It feels like it could be a feelgood story like Calendar Girls meets The Full Monty. We’ve even appeared in July’s Waitrose magazine!”

Since April, Jane and the other choir members have appeared on BBC radio all over the UK and Northern Ireland, ITV news, Scottish television and most recently they embarked on a filming project with the BBC to bring their story to the public attention and highlight the situation of what happens when there is a death without a body.

“With choir members, many of whom have never sung before, dotted all over the UK, rehearsals have been quite a challenge,” admits Jane. “Some have Internet, some don’t, some need texting, others need info sent via snail mail – it’s quite time consuming even doing the admin let alone keeping on top of all the other elements that accompany running a choir of this size and organising recordings. 

“We’ve solved the problem of singing tuition with the help of a fantastic couple of girls called Tommy Ludgate and Sarah Grace who run organisation called vocal coaching and music organisation called Globe Jam. The girls have freely donated their time and talent to create these vocal tutorials to solve the problem of how to teach the girls to sing when they are so widely geographically spaced.”

Tommy said: 'We're honoured to be a part of the Fishwives Choir project and determined to help get their charity single made. As big fans of Gareth Malone and his Military Wives Choir, we'd like the Fishwives to follow in their footsteps.'

“I’ve had quite a lot of help musically,” Jane says gratefully, “ a wonderful man called John Puddick arranged the music and Ian Pearce and Anne Whitehead created the backing tracks and guide vocals and a superb, local young artist, Toni Roberts has given her time to design a beautiful logo and set of postcards for us.

“There are now over 70 choir members from the Highlands of Scotland to the island of Jersey and I’m juggling co-ordinating the choir, with working and being an only parent so the help I’ve received from everyone has been a Godsend and has been crucial to progressing this project.”

"Now we have the backing track and guide vocals the next step is arranging regional rehearsals before we meet to finally record.

"I'm now  fundraising to raise money for fares and accommodation for those ladies having to travel a great distance to do the recordings and Rick Stein gave a surprise donation to the causeted the girls.

“The BBC is coming to film our first rehearsal in October,” said Jane, “so we’re all working hard to prepare for that and the plan is, to release the single, in the Spring of 2013.”

Law On Presumption of Death

It is hoped that this will also raise awareness of the need to adopt a new law in which there can be a reduce period before presumption of death if a person is lost at sea. Currently 7 years must pass before a missing person will be considered dead.
This simple change in the law could ensure that wives and families survive should the family bread winner never return. It will allow people to claim on insurance policies, pay debts, execute wills and claim pensions.

Social Media

The Fishwives Choir on Google+



http://www.youtube.com/user/FishwivesChoir tutorial videos

The Fishwives Choir is based in UK - Leigh on Sea, Essex, Hastings, East Sussex,  etc.

Other Fisherman's Wives Choirs

Fisherrow Fishwives Choir

Newhaven Fishwives Choir

1 comment:

Val 46 said...

Would any shoe boxes for some of the families of deceased fishermen be welcome at Christmas do you think, for those who have very little? If so perhaps you would let me know and some ideas what I could put in them and where they could be taken. I am in Essex, so preferably in this area. Thank you. Valerie Sims.

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