Humberside

'Shoal of fish' to remember lost Hull trawlermen

Trawlerman memorial
Image caption Each fish is marked with the number and name of a trawler that was lost

A woman whose uncle died at sea has helped to create an unusual and "moving" memorial out of knitted fish to 6,000 lost trawlermen from Hull.

Each fish placed on a braided net represents one of 900 ships from the East Yorkshire port sunk between 1835 and 1980.

Tracey Stephens, who works for Hull Fishermen's Mission, said: "The work brings the city's fishing past alive.

"It was very moving clipping the individual fish on to the net."

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The mission wanted to celebrate Hull City of Culture 2017 and despite being turned down for a grant the work of making the net and fishes went ahead.

The memorial was designed to help young people understand the maritime history of the city.

"One of our volunteers had a flash of inspiration and we mixed it with other ideas we had to produce the end result", Ms Stephens said.

Image copyright Hull History Centre
Image caption The Fish Dock, where the port's large fishing fleet was based, is shown here in a postcard produced in 1913
Image caption The fish and net were all made by people taking part in 10 community workshops across the city.
Image caption Each fish uses the ship's name, number and date of sinking between 1835 and 1980

Ms Stephens' uncle was on one of three Hull trawlers that sank in quick succession in 1968 with the loss of 58 lives. Only one man survived.

"Although I was a small girl at the time I remember the effect the loss of the men and ships had on the whole community", she said.

During the making of the display Ms Stephens picked a dark blue fish at random to attach to the net and saw it was the one representing St Romanus - the trawler from which her uncle was lost.

"That was really moving when I realised, I had tears in my eyes."

The display is on show at Hull's Streetlife Museum until 29 June, and then at Hull Minster for two months.

The Fishermen's Mission provides practical and welfare support to former and current fishermen.

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