Who remembers Freddy the dolphin?
Who remembers Freddy the dolphin? He visited Amble harbour on a daily basis for around five years in the late 1980s and became a bit of a celebrity. Perhaps it was the delight he brought to an otherwise depressed and grimy former coal port, or perhaps it was the sheer uniqueness of such a beautiful and friendly wild creature happy to greet swimmers and sightseers.
Whatever it was, Freddy/Freddie the dolphin put Amble on the map, with celebrities, mystics, journalists and people from all over the world travelling and staying in Amble just so they could see and swim with him. You could buy ‘I love Freddy’ t-shirts and mugs in local shops. So we could argue he was the first catalyst for big tourism in Amble. He definitely brought friendly to ‘the Friendliest Port’.
Quite why this solitary Bottlenose dolphin chose to remain for so long in Amble’s filthy harbour waters (it was documented he had skin conditions probably due to cold water and sewage) is a mystery, but it did seem he loved the attention.
There was an alleged incident with an animal campaigner, subsequently thrown out of court, but the biggest drama befell poor Freddy when a police boat drove over him. The propellor caused serious deep wounds over his torso, which took months to heal. Freddy left Amble about six months later, never to be seen again.
But some people still remember him. They remember the delight he brought with him (and the salmon he ate). Some even want to create a permanent memorial for him, preferably along the harbour. What do you think? A land owner would have to agree to a site. People would need to fundraise.
Should we have a statue for Freddy? We’ve set up a poll so you can let us know.