The Fishwives Choir

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Fisherman Colin Dolby died in a freak storm at sea & his body was missing for almost a year. His widow Jane has set up The Fishwives Choir to raise money for other families facing hardship or bereavement.

Music Essex, United Kingdom
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During peacetime, fishing is the most dangerous job in the UK. Every year, many fishermen are killed, maimed and injured. Just watch the video above to see for yourself the dangers these brave men face every day.

My name is Jane Dolby. Until 4 years ago, my life was completely normal. I was a very ordinary, married mum of 4.

Then, on the morning of November 10, my husband kissed me and the children goodbye and left for a day’s work trawling. We never saw him again.

Colin was killed when a freak storm hit the Southend on Sea coast where he was out fishing. His trawler sank and we did not recover his body for almost a year. We had four children. The youngest, our son, was just 3 years old.

We were devastated, not just emotionally but financially too, because without a body there is no official evidence that a person is really dead. This meant I could not prove to the banks, loan companies or anyone else that my husband had actually died.

I had never heard of The Fishermen’s Mission Charity when a representative arrived on our doorstep within a few hours of losing Colin. Without the charity’s care, love and emotional and financial support, I am not sure the children and I could have survived.

Wanting to give something back the charity that had done so much for us, I formed The Fishwives Choir with the idea that we’d record a song, sell a few copies in the local pub and give the proceeds to charity. The plan was to involve a few women related to the local fishermen I knew.

NEVER in a million years did I expect ladies from fishing regions all over England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to want to participate. Nor did I ever anticipate the level of newspaper, radio or TV interest in the project.

So, 8 months after the idea was conceived we now have the studio booked to record our single, the profits of which will go the Fishermen’s Mission to enable the charity to continue the vital work they do in the UK fishing communities with families facing despair, as we did.

In April, we will meet for the first time to record our single. Ladies related to fishermen, including mums, sisters, aunts, cousins, daughters and even grans, are travelling 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.

Because the choir has grown in a way that I just could not have anticipated, I have no capacity to cover the costs for recording.

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.

Really, we need a lot more than £2000, but we thought if we asked for too much and didn’t hit our targe  we’d lose everything, so it is better to ask for less and hope that with your support it may go over our target.

Our choir may have been born of tragedy but we sing with such high hopes.

Thank you for reading this and for your support.