Celebrating Hull’s Proud Fishing Heritage

The fishing industry is a large part of Hull’s identity and history, so it seems only right that the Hull 2017 programme pays tribute. There’s set to be a host of events for you to get involved with in June and July, that will leave you positively proud of the city’s fishing roots.

Kicking things off is an exhibition that brings together local artists and community heritage groups, presenting engaging and informative artwork and activities for everyone. This project, part of Hull 2017’s Creative Communities Programme, offers new ways to explore Hull’s identity. The programme aims to celebrate, nurture and support local talent and develop opportunities for emerging artists. The events celebrating fishing heritage will take place in the beautifully restored ‘Fishermen’s Church’, St. John the Baptist off Hessle Road.

Alongside the exhibition is the much-anticipated Fishing Heritage Talks: An Evening with Alec and Peter, an evening of inspiring stories that will leave you laughing, crying and in awe of Hull’s fishermen.

Dr Alec Gill MBE will share stories collected from the Hessle Road fishing community and the courageous acts of Hull’s Arctic Trawlermen. Having documented life on Hessle Road for decades through photography and written books on the city’s fishing heritage he’s a passionate expert in his field.

Alec said: “Fishing at sea is the most dangerous job in the world. The Arctic Trawlermen were the last of the great hunters. I’ve always been inspired by the fishing families of Hessle Road and their relationship with the sea.”

Pete, a.k.a. well-known local artist Peter Naylor, intends to offer us an insight into his work. This includes the popular and long-awaited Memorial to Lost Trawlermen and the sculptures memorialising the RAF 158 Squadron at Lissett. Pete will reveal how he designed and made these moving tributes, and what inspired him.

Adam Cotson, exhibition organiser, said: “As part of our 17-day festival of celebration in honour of Hull’s fishing heritage, we are proud to present an evening of talks with Alec Gill and Peter Naylor. It has been a pleasure organising the Fishing Heritage Art Exhibition and it has been a privilege to have met skippers, trawlermen and local artists. 

 “There are so many heroic and tragic stories connected to the fishing industry and it is inspiring to hear them. These stories are central to Hull’s identity and we hope to pass on some of these stories through the exhibits and talks planned.”

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, added: “Hull’s history is rooted in the fishing industry and it is important that we recognise that in the Hull 2017 programme.

“Alec has an incredible amount of knowledge about Hull’s fishing industry and Peter’s Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial at St Andrew’s Quay is a poignant tribute to those who lost their lives at sea.

 “This is yet another example of the fantastic projects that are being put together as part of Hull 2017’s Creative Communities Programme.”

The 17 days will be rounded off on Sunday 9 July when you can attend the Sea Sunday Service, 10am-noon. This will include the special unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the joint losses of Hull and Iceland fishermen.

Fishing Heritage events take place from 23 June – 9 July. Tickets for Fishing Heritage Talks: An Evening with Alec and Peter are available now.