On the grey coast-hugging drive between the tiny town of Coulter in Scotland and the smallish town of Berwick-on-Tweed on the borders (don't ask), we came across a sign towards Cove. It ushered us down a winding lane ending at a tiny fenced carpark on a cliff edge with nothing but a broken boat, a huddle of stone houses, and this lovely little sculpture.
Cove is (perhaps unfortunately) best known for the East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881, in which a severe windstorm struck the south-eastern coast of Scotland and killed 189 fishermen - 11 of whom came from Cove. Last year Sculptor Jill Watson unveiled four bronze memorials in the four towns that lost men in the disaster, with each sculpture painstakingly depicting each family member left behind. The biggest of these is five metres long and looks out over the bay of the town of Eyemouth, from which 119 of the drowned fishermen came and left behind 78 widows and 182 children. (Many citizens of Eyemouth call the day Black Friday. Truly grim.)
Cove's memorial might be considerably less populated, but the scene that it evokes is still a truly horrible one: women and children helplessly watching their fathers and husbands drown before their eyes, even being able to hear their shouts. An interesting choice of event to memorialise in bronze 135 years later. Nonetheless, the sculpture is beautiful and expressive and looks out over what is a picturesque piece of coastline even in grisly weather. A strange and eery spot to stumble upon.
(And the view up the coast to Torness Nuclear Power Station is pretty chilling too.)