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Monday 1 February 2021

Julie Corbett, Maritime Media Volunteer reflects on the Triple Trawler Tragedy.

It is the third week of January 2021 and I am walking towards the outskirts of east Hull. Today I want to take some photographs for a piece to share on the Maritime City project blog.

I have been thinking about taking these photographs since first applying to be a volunteer with the project. These three blocks are named St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland.

I discovered this by accident a few years ago when I had arrived too early for a meeting at the nearby school and went for a wander, reminisce, and see if the area had changed much. I had not expected to see any memorial to these trawlers in the area.

Three Tower Blocks Bilton Grange Estate (Kingston upon Hull)

In 1968, I was seven and I lived on Bilton Grange Estate. It was in the winter of that year between January 11 and February 4 when what is now referred to as the ‘Triple Trawler Tragedy’ happened.

The first trawler lost with all its crew was the St. Romanus. The second lost with all hands was the Kingston Peridot and then a third trawler the Ross Cleveland sank, eighteen men were lost only one man survived.

I remember my teacher at the time talking to us about this at the time and us singing in the school assembly the hymn ‘For those in peril on the sea’.

I remember especially clearly that I was the only pupil who put their hand up when asked if anyone knew anything about fishing. My grandad was an engineer on a trawler.

My grandparents lived in Humber Buildings, Madeley Street off Hessle Road. We visited often. I had been to the big laundry with washing piled on top of a pram, watched wrestling at the swimming baths, gone onto the dock with my Nana to pick up wages.

I had been on a trawler and drank tea with condensed milk from a huge enamel mug. My grandad was not on one of those trawlers.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the sinking of the Ross Cleveland this anchor was placed in front of the tower blocks dedicated to memory of the crews of the three trawlers.

Trawler's Bower Anchor
The anchor
The plaque in memory of the crews lost

An annual service to all honour all lost trawlermen is organised by St. Andrews Dock Fishing Heritage Group (STAND).

You will find further information about Hull’s fishing history on the STAND website:

***We endeavour to make sure all the research and facts we present by staff and volunteers is accurate and checked with rigor. However, we are only human so please let us know if you spot any errors and always cross-reference your research.***