The Spurn Lightship played a key role in Hull’s maritime industries by guiding vessels as they navigated the Humber estuary.
The Humber is regarded as one of the world’s most treacherous waterways, and even today river pilots are required to guide ships in and out. Built in 1927 by Goole Shipbuilding, Light Vessel No.12 Spurn was based at the Spurn station outside the Humber. The ship was moved inside the river to the Middle station during WW2, with its crew being armed and given gunnery training alongside instruction in air-raid precautions and first aid.
The Spurn returned to its original position after the war and served there until replacement by a new vessel in 1959. At this point, the Spurn was renamed Bull, repainted red, and moved to the Bull station inside the river until being decommissioned in November 1975. The vessel was purchased by Hull City Council in 1983 and restored as the Spurn prior to being opened as a floating museum in Hull Marina.
The Spurn Lightship will be re-berthed as part of a significant new footbridge structure over the A63 Castle Street created by Highways England and funded separately to this project. This will greatly increase visitor access to the marina area and the vessel itself.
A part of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project, the Spurn Lightship will be fully restored with new interpretation and displays to tell her full story. For the first time ever, the public will get the unique opportunity to climb the lantern tower. With increased access, it will remain in Hull Marina and continue to act as a signpost for the city centre, the marina and Hull’s other fantastic museums. The Spurn’s presence on the key route in and out of Hull is a constant reminder that our maritime heritage is never far away.
Did you know?
- The Spurn Lightship’s official name is ‘Light Vessel No.12, Spurn’
- The Spurn Lightship was built in Goole in 1927
- The Spurn Lightship was the first lightship to be stationed at the post of Spurn
- In 1939 her position was moved within the Humber as part of the Naval river defence boom
- After World War II she was moved back to her original position until being decommissioned in 1975
- Having been acquired by Hull City Council in 1983, she has been a key landmark within Hull Marina ever since
- The Spurn Lightship (LV No. 122) is part of the National Historic Fleet, recognised for its significance by National Historic Ships
- The Spurn Lightship never had an engine
- The vessel was towed into place and anchored. Crews and supplies were ferried on and off
- Today, the Spurn Light Float and modern navigation take on the role the Spurn Lightship once did