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Volunteer, Alison Keld tells us more about her visit to Alexandra Dock to see the Arctic Corsair leave Alexandra Dock and head to local ship repairs company, Dunston's for restoration

The trawler at Alexandra Dock

It was great seeing the Arctic Corsair again.

2 years 2 months and 2 days since the emotional move from her berth behind the Street Life Museum the Artic Corsair was on the move again.

How lucky was I to be invited to join other volunteers and former trawlermen to witness the sight, the sounds and the smell of the move on Wednesday 6th October.

Volunteer guides at Alexandra Dock on the day of the move

This grand old lady, sole survivor of Hull’s distant water sidewinder fishing fleet was to be moved from what had been a temporary berth at Siemens Gamesa on Alexandra Dock.

We were driven past Siemens hugely impressive turbine blades, before getting our first glimpse of the Corsair. The peeling paint and signs of rust were to be expected. It is after all 61 years since she was built in Beverley by Cook Welton and Gemmell.

Positioned behind the safety barriers we watched the activity on board as guys in high vis prepared the vessel ready for the move. A camera was attached to the bow to record the journey and reporters and film crews made recordings for the evening news.

First glimpse

The smell of diesel engines indicated the arrival of two tug boats from SMS Towage. They positioned themselves alongside the Corsair and secured their thick heavy tow ropes in place.

We all watched and listened as this much-loved ship creaked and strained as she was skilfully and ever so gently coaxed away from the dock side and out into the Humber.

The trawler is coaxed out from her berth
The trawler leaves Alexandra Dock

Our Acklams Coach Driver (who also encountered some tricky manoeuvres with great skill) drove us to Humber Quays to view the Corsair entering Albert Dock, where many onlookers with their cameras lined the waterfront to get a good view of this historic event.

The weather was perfect for the occasion, a clear blue sky then a beautiful sunset as we watched the ship being towed into Albert Dock, then on to Dunston Ship Repairs at William Wright Dock, where she will undergo a full inspection to assess her condition.

The Arctic Corsair heads to Dunston's shipyard

Restoration work will be done to showcase the Arctic Corsair as a working vessel so visitors can appreciate its history and the stories of those who worked on her. She will be placed in a dry-berth at North End Shipyard to ensure her long-term preservation.

The Corsair’s volunteer guides share a passion for this historic vessel and have so many memories and stories to tell. They are looking forward to getting back on board when the vessel is once again open to visitors, all being well in Autumn 2023.