2 March 2021
Back in October we asked our Maritime Media volunteers to take or select their own images of local maritime landmarks that captured their imagination. Volunteers researched the stories associated with the landmarks and gave some personal reflections.
'Here' by Julie Corbett
This photograph was taken in February 2019 from the top deck of a bus. Not a remarkable image quality wise but for me it was a reminder of Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Here’ and that I am old enough to have seen barge-crowded water and the pastoral of ships up streets. Now here we see ‘turbines up streets’ speaking more to the future direction of the city’s fortunes.
I was travelling to Withernsea. A journey I have taken by train, car, coach, foot and bike. My grandfather was a trawlerman and I did indeed live on Hessle Road. Romanticising the deep sea fishing industry often seems to be in conflict with the documentation of its lived experience. It also sometimes overwhelms the role of the city in the global logistics of maritime history.
This view taken from Marfleet Lane is mundane but put into a context and you can build personal and universal stories and connections.
Zebedee Scaping by Don Knibb
Looking at this memorial to the gloriously named Zebedee Scaping in Hull's Western cemetery, you quickly do the maths and are immediately struck by what an extraordinary individual he must have been.
Zebedee was 75 when he died, but had been Headmaster of Hull Trinity House Navigation Schools for 55 years. So he became Head of this naval school at the age of around 20, a quite remarkable achievement. I wonder what some of the older and more established teachers would have made of this young upstart taking charge of their school.
The drill yard outside the original Trinity House School is now a car park, but from time to time doubles as an outdoor performance area and is known as Zebedee's Yard in honour of the great man. Attached to the railings there you can still find a photograph of him with a class of boys and a telescope. He looks to be a typically stern and bewhiskered Victorian gentlemen, but you can tell from the engraving that he was hugely respected in the seafaring profession. The Old Boys' Association thought enough of him to restore his memorial 100 years after he died. He had a son, also called Zebedee, and so must have been rather proud of his unusual name!
Fisherman mural by Alison Keld
I chose to photograph the fisherman mural painted on the side of the Halfway House Inn on Hessle Road. This is one of the works of public art created during Hull’s 2017 City of Culture’s Roots and Routes celebration, to be a lasting tribute to the Hessle Road community, its history and heritage.
This strong image reflects Hull’s fishing industry and stands as a lasting memorial to those lost at sea.
I feel an affinity with this mural because of my connection to the families of seafarers. The Sailors Children’s Society (known locally as Newland Orphan Homes) was for 20 years my place of work. I held the position of Children’s Support Officer until I retired in 2014.
Globe Engineering by Brenda Marshall
This photo shows the outside of the Globe Engineering group with its name on it. Without companies like Globe Engineering trawlers and ships wouldn’t have been able to sail out of Hull.
My dad was an apprentice marine engineer in Hull which he started during the war before going on to join the navy for his national service. He came out and worked for Brigham and Gowan on the fish dock where he earned the name Fishdock Bob (never did get the true story on this one).
His early training stood him in good stead for his later move to BP Chemicals still using the skills he learnt on the docks and in the navy. Engineering meant a lot to him and is something that comes down through his family line as his Grandfather was also a marine engineer in Hull.
Sea Trek Sculpture by Jason Kin Lok
This Neil Hadlock sculpture was donated to Kingston upon Hull in 2001 by the Sea Trek Foundation. It depicts a transmigrant family arriving for onward travel by train to Liverpool and finally by ship to America. Between 1836 and 1914, over 30 million European immigrants travelled to America in search of a better living standard. Up to 20 percent of them travelled through the UK and during these years Hull had about 1.88 million transmigrants passed through the city.
I chose this sculpture because I think it shows a different side of Hull to people. When Hull is mentioned, it is often thought as the city that was bombed the most during the Second World War. However, this sculpture shows that Hull is more than that as a city, it shows that the history of Hull is not always about the World Wars and the navy.
This sculpture shows the struggle and the desire for the people who were looking for a better life. Which I find very uplifting, I think it shows that we all need to work hard in order to achieve our goals.
Russian Outrage Tomb by Olwen Evans-Knibb
This is part of the memorial to one of the sailors who died in the “Russian Outrage” in 1904. The memorial is in the Western side of the Western Cemetery in Hull.
It forms a group with two others, one for another sailor from the same trawler who died in the incident and one for a third sailor from a different trawler who died the following year due to “Shock caused by the Russian Baltic Fleet in the North Sea”. Was this an early case of what we would now call PTSD?
Seeing the gravestones brought home to me the reality of the incident. I had read about it in the museum, and seen the exhibits there but the stones were a grim reminder of the fact that the museum isn't just a collection of interesting artefacts, it is a story of how real people's lives are affected by the times in which they live. Yes, it's a maritime museum, but it's not just about the sea, it's about the people who live near it and who work on it.
Truelove by Ray Stephens
I chose this, because it is one of the first maritime stories I came across, by chance, when I first moved to Hull. It's a sad and tragic story that came about because one man was concerned about the plight of the Inuit on Baffin Island.
Truelove was originally an American ship that was captured by the British during the War of Independence. It was eventually purchased by a merchant in Hull and, among other things, was used as a whaling ship operating out of Hull in the nineteenth century. On one of these whaling expeditions the captain, John Parker, decided to bring back with him a young Inuit couple. His intention was to raise awareness to the dangers caused to the Inuit people by the whalers from Europe.
The couple appeared in exhibitions in the north of England and wore their traditional costumes. Entrance money raised was used to buy supplies for when they returned to their homeland. However, tragedy struck when the young Inuit woman contracted, and died of, measles on the return journey.
Before they left Hull plaster casts were taken of their heads and these are now in the collection of the Maritime Museum. In 2002 Stefan Gec immortalised their story by using the casts to sculpt the heads of the young Inuits. They are mounted in a spot on the River Hull, close to the Humber. A reminder of Hull's long history of connections with other peoples and countries.
**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.**