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As 2023 draws to a close, here’s a look back. 2023 has been an action-packed year for Hull Maritime, engaging with people from all corners of the city and beyond.

Thousands of people have connected with Hull Maritime in various ways, through different events and activities. Some of these include:

  • Events across the city including The Big Malarkey, Festival of Archaeology, National Play Days and Victorian Christmas with craft activities and hands-on object handling.
  • 10 community cafes took place at Extra Care facilities for people to reminisce and share their maritime memories.
  • More than 200 people took part in one of the 23 Taster Workshops delivered by WeMadeThis and two Hull based artists – Jemma Brown and Rachel Elm. These sessions focussed on maritime themes, taking place in community venues across the city.
  • Maritime guided tours saw a 50 per cent increase in people participating in a walk, discovering more about the city’s maritime history. Accredited White Badge Tour Guides welcomed more than 660 people.
  • More than 2,793 hours given to Hull Maritime so far in 2023 by dedicated volunteers. Volunteers gave their time to advise on the Arctic Corsair restoration, swab and maintain the Spurn Lightship’s deck following the restoration and handling objects at Ferens Art Gallery.
  • Community Grants – thirteen community projects delivered and 1,224 participated in the scheme.
  • 46 participants have completed the Maritime Futures training programme as part of the four training courses delivered. 85 per cent of participants secured employment in the maritime sector because of gaining the accredited qualification.
  • Three maritime themed displays have popped up in and around Hull and East Riding.
  • Young Maritime creatives – eight secondary schools received funding to deliver programme with pupils to create a response to Hull’s maritime history and will go on display at Ferens Art Gallery in autumn 2024. So far, more than 1,000 pupils have been engaged.
  • Hands on with Hull Maritime at Ferens Art Gallery saw 32 volunteers undertake training so they can deliver sessions for visitors to learn more about Hull’s maritime history. These sessions will continue into 2024.
  • Five school holiday pilot maritime activities have taken place at Streetlife Museum, Hull and East Riding Museum and Ferens Art Gallery. More than 250 people have taken part.
  • Volunteers have engaged with 3,726 passers-by over 104 shifts at the site of the Spurn Lightship temporary berth. There is now a team of 70 volunteers who are looking forward to getting aboard the ship when it opens next year. Volunteers have also carried out maintenance on the lightship since it returned to the marina.
  • Hull Maritime welcomed 37 new volunteers to the project through recruiting with our partners at HEY! Volunteering.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “It is great to see so much going on as part of Hull Maritime. The activities and events taking place raise awareness of our maritime past and future, and how our great city has been shaped by the sea.

“2024 is set to be another exciting year and I’m looking forward to seeing the opening of the Spurn Lightship on Hull Marina and all the activities taking place for everyone to join in, discover our maritime history and have fun.”

And 2024 looks like there are many things to look forward to, here is a glimpse of what is to come:

  • A final round of community grants will open in early 2024 and will include projects from the East Riding as well as Hull.
  • Hull Maritime will join forces with Hull Truck Theatre to deliver a community theatre project from 29 June – 6 July. The plot follows the story of the UK's first ever successful equal gender pay claim made at one of Hull's fish processing factories in the 1980s.
  • An exhibition will take place in Ferens Art Gallery in October 2024 because of the creative outputs from the eight secondary schools.
  • Story time activities will take place in libraries.
  • Attend major events in the city.

Not only has Hull Maritime engaged with people across the city, there has also been great progress made to the buildings, ships and new sites.

  • The exterior of the Maritime Museum shines once again, extensive work has been undertaken to the roof, stonework and three domes. Work to create new spaces and reveal original architecture is progressing well. Building work should be completed in the spring and then the installation of the new exhibitions will start.
  • Dock Office Chambers is now complete and will become a storage facility for the reserve collection.
  • The restoration of the Spurn Lightship is now complete and work to create a new berth is ongoing. It is expected that the lightship will reopen to visitors in spring 2024.
  • Work to create a new home for the Arctic Corsair at the historic North End Shipyard is progressing well. A new visitor centre is being created.
  • The conservation of whale skeletons is progressing well and will be remounted in the Maritime Museum in 2024.
  • The restoration of Queens Gardens started on site. The boundary walls have been demolished, new access ramps and steps have been installed and planting of new trees has begun.
  • The restoration of the Arctic Corsair by Dunston’s Ship Repairs is nearing completion. The trawler will move along the Humber estuary and river Hull in 2024 and be berthed at her new home. Work will then the finishing touches to the new attraction will take place.
The team behind the guided tours
85 per cent of participants secured employment in the maritime sector
Volunteers share their knowledge during the Arctic Corsair restoration
Pupils from Sirius Academy West respond to Hull's maritime past