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Another Giant Sculpture Bought - This Time for Filey

filey staue

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 9:51pm 11th January 2012.

A philanthropic pensioner is the toast of Filey after pledging to buy a popular steel sculpture for the town – her second major investment in public art in a matter of weeks.


Maureen Robinson found herself in the spotlight just before Christmas after buying the piece of artwork titled ‘Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers’ which has quickly become an iconic landmark in the North Bay of Scarborough.


Maureen has now purchased the 12ft-high steel sculpture of a fisherman, titled ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’, also by Ray Lonsdale, which has been standing watch on Filey’s Coble Landing.  The sculpture makes a powerful statement about the decline of the fishing industry which is summarised by a poem at the sculpture’s base:

‘A high tide in short wellies’

That’s it for me, I’ll see you later.

Gonna wrap this catch in protective paper,

Gonna face the sea with a thousand mile stare

And wish that I was floating there

In its summertime.

Down on the pier I saw a man with a board

It read ‘the end is near, accept your lord.

Then underneath this some fisherman wrote.

‘I can see the end from the back of my boat

‘This is wintertime.


This is a picture of the statue taken when it was on display in Whitby..


filey staue

Maureen, who lives with husband Michael in Scarborough, said: “Having acquired Ray Lonsdale’s remarkable sculpture of ‘Freddie Gilroy’ as a tourist attraction forScarborough, it seemed fitting to have the ‘fisherman’ for the fishing resort of Filey. I’ve had a lifelong passion for natural history, especially marine biology.  Countless hours have been spent atScarborough, Filey Brigg and other rocky shores at low tide (in short wellies!) seeking fauna and algae. What finer sculpture for Filey, than ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’.


“Michael and I love life’s simple pleasures. Having written more than 2,000 features related to wildlife for the Scarborough Evening News, I’ve also devised 970 walks within a 25 mile radius ofScarborough. Michael and our dog have accompanied me on every occasion.


“Filey has featured in many of our pursuits, including circular walks in the gorgeous gardens at Filey Dams and County Park, bird watching, and visiting the town’s most interesting and comprehensive museum.


“When you’ve achieved three score years and ten, I feel its time to give something back to the local community. We have no family, therefore a sculpture project for future generations and visitors from far and wide to enjoy, seemed a dream come true.


“I wish to donate the sculpture to the people of Filey, and to dedicate it to my dear husband Michael, to celebrate his 76th birthday (9 February 2012).”


Filey borough councillor Mike Cockerill, who was instrumental in getting the High Tide sculpture on display in the town after it spent several weeks in Whitby, says Mrs Robinson is owed a debt of gratitude by Filey. 


Cllr Cockerill is spearheading a fundraising campaign to provide an information board and special seafront mount for the spectacular artwork.  He added: “This is an incredible piece of generosity and I can’t thank Mrs Robinson enough. The High Tide sculpture has proven to be extremely popular and I’m delighted it will now become a permanent landmark in the town.”


Public donations can be submitted to the Evron Centre cash office quoting ‘High Tide sculpture fund donation’.


Ray Lonsdale’s work has been on sale through ArtsBank, based in Saltburn, which aims to present artists’ work to the widest possible audience. Ray has also expressed his gratitude to Mrs Robinson.


“I am of course delighted that Mrs Robinson has shown such support for my work,” he said. “It is also so flattering that the people of Filey andScarboroughhave been so keen to have these sculptures on a permanent basis. I cannot think of more fitting sites for either of these pieces.”


Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers – the first of Mr’s Robinson’s purchases, shows a retired miner, complete with cloth cap and overcoat, casually gazing out to the rough North Sea waters.


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