Cullercoats Fishwife

by Steve Thompson N.C.N.
Connie Rowley is 99 years old and lives in Monks Haven overlooking Cullercoats Bay. Connie sang a song for me called Cullercoats Fishwife
Monks Haven was once the Summer home of Sir James Knott and he had an impressive copper mould of a very famous Cullercoats Fishwife installed in the entrance hall.

Amazingly, Connie tells me that the lady depicted is Dolly Donkin who was Connies Grandmother on her husbands side. Dolly received a medal for fundraising for the lifeboat which was presented by Edward Prince Of Wales.

Connie’s son, Andrew told me that his Great Grandmother, Dolly Donkin collected over two and a half thousand pounds for the lifeboat and this was in the 1930’s when a house in Cullercoats cost only 400 pounds! He recalls seeing famous faces visit his great grandmother to make a contribution including Lord Armstrong and the Duke of Northumberland. Meanwhile, Connie had another song, this time about Cullercoats Bay. Finally, I may have found the answer to Connie’s vitality. Here she tells of her swimming from pier to pier in the bay.