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Wednesday 3 February 2021

Maritime Media Volunteer, Alison Keld spotted some striking riverside sculptures along the River Hull broadwalk and wanted to find out more about them.

Here's what Alison discovered.

On a gloriously sunny morning I cycled along the River Hull boardwalk and my attention was caught by an unusual figure, that to my shame, I’d not seen before.

My curiosity was sparked and I had to find out who she was. A few hours of research later I had the answer.

Figure of the goddess of Venus

This figure of the goddess of Venus is part of the 30-metre-long flood barrier installed in 2009 and includes a series of striking steel sculptures by artist Brian Fell.

Each one is inspired by objects in the city’s Museum collection. Venus is taken from a Roman floor mosaic now in the Hull and East Riding Museum

The fish is taken from The Silver Cod Trophy

The fish is taken from The Silver Cod Trophy, a replica of which is in the Maritime Museum collection. The trophy was awarded annually to the skipper and crew of the Hull trawler with the largest total catch of the year.

The figure of the working man with a wheelbarrow came from a tile in the Museum Service collection.

Each sculpture is inspired by objects in the museum collections

Other sculptures include a replica of an old sign for a shop selling nautical instruments, a four-wheeled cycle, a collection of old bottles, a decorative hairpin, a collection of hats and a ship in full sail.

They were meant to be a feature of a revitalised waterfront development called the Boom. The 2008 financial crash put paid to the £65 project.

Over a decade later new plans are afoot to regenerate the area and this decorative flood barrier behind Wilberforce House is well placed to become part of it.

Access is via the riverfront boardwalk overlooking the River Hull between Drypool Bridge and the rear of Wilberforce House.

***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.***