Fishermen were almost moved to tears when a group of local ladies held a fundraiser to help them through recent tough times. The fishermen at Appledore Fish Dock were surprised and touched when the small ladies group at Fremington Methodist Church presented them with a cheque for £120. Its the first time in 30 or 40 years that anybody has given us anything and it brought a tear to my eyes, said Tony Rutherford of North Devon Fishermens Association (NDFA). Last autumn there were fears the industry was facing ruin when a ban on landing rays and skate led to the closure of the fish dock and mooring up of local boats. The ladies of the 10-strong Network group at the church said they were moved by the local headlines and put the proceeds of two coffee mornings together for fishermen of Appledore. They fell on hard times, with the weather and all the Government and EU restrictions, said Brenda Prentice from the group, many of whom are in their 70s and 80s. We try to keep our community work as local as possible, so we just wanted to give the money to the fishermen to sue as they deemed best. In gratitude, the fishermen presented the ladies with a box of prime local fish: We were just totally overwhelmed by what these ladies have done for the fishing industry in North Devon, said Tony. Every fisherman was when I told them about it. He said they hoped to put the money towards a fund to help bring more young people into the industry. The NDFA will do everything we can to put them through their courses so they are able to go to sea. We like to think the future is to steer youngsters towards vessels and get new blood into the game.