The ArgusCharity chart mission for Sussex fishwives (From The Argus)

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Charity chart mission for Sussex fishwives

The Argus: Sussex-based members of the Fishwives Choir Sussex-based members of the Fishwives Choir

Fishermen's wives from East Sussex are becoming familiar with scales – but not to the kind on their husbands catch.

Eight women have joined forces with fishermen’s spouses, sisters, mothers and daughters from across the country to raise money for charity.

The Fishwives Choir is recording a single in the spring to raise money for the Fishermen’s Mission.

Founded on a whim when widow Jane Dolby fancied a sing-song, the group has soared in popularity.

The mother-of-four was supported by the charity after her husband Colin got caught in a freak storm.

His body was missing for almost a year, leaving the family with financial woes.

She said: “The children and I could not have survived without the mission’s practical and financial help, love and ongoing support.”

Wanting to give something back, she formed the choir, and is hoping to produce a chart-topping single.

Hastings choir member Jackie Milton is from a family of fishermen.

She said: “I’m one of six kids and I didn’t really see much of my dad when I was growing up because he was always fishing or sleeping because he had been out at night.

Dangerous job

“I’ve never ever done any singing before, except in the church choir as a child. We love it, it’s really good.

“I hope, for Jane’s sake, that the record is a real success and raises lots of money for charity.

“Being a fisherman is one of the most dangerous jobs to do.

“There are quite a few fishermen who have been killed in Hastings.

“It’s a real comfort to know that if anything happens there is some help.”

Diedre “Didge” White’s husband is a retired fisherman in Hastings.

She said: “You come to accept that your husband is doing a dangerous job.

“But you just get used to it and get on with it.

“It is always a worry, especially if the weather isn’t good or it blows up while they are out there.”

The singers have travelled to Essex to practise twice and the choir is coming to East Sussex to rehearse on December 2.

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