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Forum Home > Latest Honorary Member/Member News > NEWEST HONORARY MEMBER - Shona McMillan

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Please welcome our Newest Honorary member of RT Burns - SHONA MCMILLIAN



Photo-journalist, musician artist, broadcaster, Director of People and Songs of the Sea


Music album People and Songs of the Sea

2009 Award Winner of Liveireland's Compendium Album of the Year (31.12.09)



Myphotograph album here reflects those who have inspired me in my Peopleand Songs of the Sea project. A multi-media project I named after theEast Lothian Life Magazine article I wrote 'People of the Sea.' Anarticle dedicated to my mum (Jean Ritchie Thorburn) and markingEyemouth's 125 memorial day on the 14 Oct 2006. A day rememberingScotland's worst fishing disaster when in 1881, 189 men lost theirlives at sea in a terrible storm which brought tragedy to so manycommunities along the UK's east coast.


My pictures hereportray fisher folk from Edinburgh to Eyemouth (and beyond) who Iphotographed and brought together by my 2008+9 exhibitions. And,through the 2009 recording and launch of the compilation CD People& Songs of the Sea (which I produced in association with GreentraxRecordings, and available from http://www.greentrax.com).


Descendedfrom the Thorburn fishing family of Fisherrow, (my great-grandfathersurviving the Eyemouth disaster and becoming Fisherrow Harbour Master,his wife a fishwife and his sons growing up to work as fishermen andthen Fisherrow Harbour Masters) I wanted to use my family's personalinsight in to this culture to achieve a legacy project for today andtomorrow's children. So those interested in UK fisher folk could gainan insight into what was becoming/has become, a lost way of life. [Formore details and photos see my Fisher Folk UK site onhttp://www.myspace.com/fisherfolkuk andhttp://www.myspace.com/shona_m_mcmillan ]


Between 2006-9(self-financed) I have taken 4,000+ photos of fisher folk at work andin community events. I have also gathered 500+ old images and manystories from fisher people. With my own photos and old imagescollected, I presented 250 photos with subtitles and associatedarticles in a FREE educational exhibition travelling the Firth of Forthto 14 venues, May-Dec. From my initial exhibitions, in 2008 and 2009,approximately 10,000+ people have now seen my exhibitions. In addition,in March 2009, I brought together a group of 100 fisher folk to record'Will Your Anchor Hold.' Then, on what would have been my mum'sbirthday in May, I held the launch of People and Songs of the Sea, theCD and touring exhibition.


The Herring Industry once broughttogether many thousands of people from Ireland, Scotland and England -cultural exchanges on such a mass scale that they are surelyunimaginable today... So 'WHY' did I do all this work, and want peopleto learn about fishing's past?


Until this project, I had NEVERdone an exhibition, nor written an article and I did not call or thinkof myself as a photographer. Until Sept 2007, I only owned a smallcompact camera and never would even have dreamed this project couldgrow as it has. Yet, this is a subject and a community I have come toknow and care about strongly. Across 2006-7, it became a growingconcern that I couldn't see anyone else 'documenting these folk' andtheir passing way of life. So, I did what I could to try and tell thatstory.


I am not a professional historian, just an ordinaryperson trying to capture the lives and stories of a community'. But,those fisher folk I have met and photographed, so many have becomegreat friends and so, personally, I have found this a most rewardingthree years. So, whether its through my photos, articles, exhibitionsor CD - I hope you enjoy People and Songs of the Sea. And, if I canleave a lasting thought with you (the reader) it would simply be tolook at the roots of your own history! EVERY family has a story to telland the process of finding out that story can be a most rewarding,life-changing experience!Location: Fisherrow, Cockenzie, Port Seton and Eyemouth 

Edinburgh, United Kingdom






Please support this amazing Petition:


I shall forever support The Legend That is Robert Burns and The Hero That is Sir William Wallace - SCOTLAND THE BRAVE!!  FREEDOM!!!

January 6, 2010 at 8:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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