After more than twenty years, Hull’s memorial to lost trawlermen has finally been opened on St Andrew’s Quay. I was honoured to be asked to speak at the opening ceremony on Sunday, September 24th. Here I am the day before at the entrance to the memorial garden which leads up to Peter Naylor’s fabulous depiction of a trawler crew waving good bye. St Andrew’s Dock was where trawlers departed from and returned to when Hull was the biggest distant water port in the world. It is said that you could walk across the dock just by stepping from one trawler to another. Hull trawlers only fished in Artic waters – working in the most treacherous conditions known to man. In 150 years of distant water fishing , 900 ships were lost from Hull. The industry collapsedwhen Iceland extended the fishing limits round it’s coast from 6 to 200 miles following the so-called Cod Wars of the 1970s.
STAND was set up thirty years ago to preserve the fishing heritage of Hull and the memorial is very much Stand’s great achievement, overcoming set back after set back before their dream was realised.