Weymouth chips shops do their bit for fishing tragedy families

12:02pm Tuesday 12th June 2012

By Catherine Bolado

TWO Weymouth fish and chip shops have been showing their support the crew of the Purbeck Isle.

Donations have been coming from far and wide in support of the Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund, which was set up in the wake of the loss of the Weymouth fishing boat nearly three weeks ago.

The boat left Weymouth harbour to go fishing but did not return.

The body of skipper David McFarlane, 35, was found the following day, as was the wreck of the fishing vessel but crewmen Robert Prowse, 20, and Jack Craig, 22, are still missing.

The funeral of Mr McFar-lane was held last week and hundreds of people packed into Holy Trinity Church in Weymouth and lined the harbourside to pay respects.

The memorial fund was set up in the wake of the tragedy and is spearheaded by the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association.

There are more than 160 places across the county where people can donate and The Weymouth Fish and Chip Shop, Buxton Road, Weymouth is one.

Owners Janet and Drew Holmes said they wanted to get involved to help the families.

Mrs Holmes said donations had been good, even though the collection had only been going a few days.

She said: “I think it’s something that’s hit the community.”

She added that customers had been coming in talking about the tragedy and had been upset by it. She said: “People realise that the harbour is more or less the heart of Weymouth and people want to pay their respects and it’s a nice way to do it.”

Alf's Fish and Chip Shop held a fundraising day and pop princess ‘Lady GaGa’ turned up to show her support for the fund.

The ‘Born This Way’ impersonator Leanne ‘Lady GaGa’ Warne donated her time for free to the good cause with a 30-minute mini-concert.

The first 50 portions of fish and chips were donated free by suppliers so all the money could go to the charity.

John Pearce from Alf’s said they had raised a lot and were hoping to raise more before handing a cheque over next Wednesday.

He said: “It was a good day. We had a good response from everyone. Lady GaGa was fantastic.”

Mr Pearce gave a cheque for £1,800 to Andy Alcock from Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association last week.

They have now raised £2,000 and are going to continue until they have raised £2,500.


People should make cheque donations payable to the Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund.

Cash donations or cheques can be dropped in to the Dorset Echo offices on the Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth, Antelope Walk in Dorchester or East Street in Bridport.

Or they can be posted to Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund Appeal, Dorset Echo, Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XD.

Anyone wishing to pay by credit card can do so by going to dorsetecho.co.uk/donate.

And donations can also be made at more than 160 locations including The Sailors Return, The King’s Arms and Weyfish on Weymouth harbourside.

If anyone would like a collection tin for their business call the Echo newsdesk on 830999.

To discuss ideas with the charity, email them at purbeckislememorial fund@gmail.com or go to the Sailors Return on Weymouth quayside.


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