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17th April 2019

The vessels will leave Beverley at 15.30 to start the voyage to Hull Marina. Both vessels will be based at Hull Marina from Easter until the end of summer offering trips up the River Humber. During the winter months both vessels are moored at Beverley Beck. The voyage between Beverley Beck and Hull Marina is expected to take about 4 hours.

Both vessels are owned and operated by The Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society, a charity dedicated to preserving the history of the area’s maritime past. They will sail in convoy down the River Hull from the picturesque Beverley beck through open fields then on to the industrial heartland of Hull finally reaching the Humber estuary and Hull Marina. Today, very few craft sail this stretch of the river.

Dave Parker, Chair, Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society, said: “Historically these two vessels are unique and represent an extremely important period of the region’s maritime past.

“They were typical of the kind of barges that operated out of the Humber ports carrying cargos along the inland waterways to towns and cities.’ ‘This is living history and we will be making the trip that has been made by thousands before us since the medieval times.”

Humber Keel
The Humber Keel in Hull Marina

Beverley Beck has aided the development of Beverley’s history since the medieval times with coal ferried by Humber Keels such as the Comrade certainly being prominent at one point.

After leaving Beverley Beck the barges with the backdrop of Beverley Minister enter the small lock that joins the Beck with the River Hull. A 100-years ago this area would have been crammed with similar commercial vessels, a reminder that Beverley was once a port as such. Today, the commercial warehouses have gone, replaced by a new residential community, joggers, anglers and dog walkers enjoying the towpath. The area is much quieter and the tranquil is only broken with gentle roar of leisure craft today.

After leaving Beverley the journey is met with a rural scene, a meandering River with soft banks and open country fields beyond. Another twist and turn of the river and the familiar sight of Ennerdale Bridges appear on the horizon. The river twists and turns again through Bankside passing two railway bridges.

It is not long after that we reach Stoneferry and a cathedral of modern industrial architecture appears – the giant Energy Works power plant next to Chapman Street Bridge. From here onwards was the start of Hull’s industrial revolution and arguably shaped our modern city.

Well before the docks emerged the River Hull was the port. So we pass by the permanently raised Listed Scott Street Bridge and the site of the Banksy and we begin to enter the city centre. You have never seen Hull like this before.

North Bridge soon appears and as we pass under we seen the transformation of the former Yorkshire dry docks on Little High Street. In the future one of these will home the Arctic Corsair – Hull’s last sidewinder trawler and form part of the Yorkshire maritime city project.

It is not long before Drypool Bridge salutes the barges and we enter the Old Harbour. Ahead is the modern Myton Bridge and beyond is the Humber. Here we are at the confluence of both rivers and start of the city contrasted with The Deep fittingly telling the story of the oceans.

The historic vessels are owned and operated by The Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society - a registered charity that has lovingly restored and operates both vessels. This type of vessel was once a familiar sight around the docks of Hull and River Humber carrying general cargos along inland waterways to South and West Yorkshire. Both have been restored to near original condition and operate river trips out of Hull Marina in the spring and summer months. During the winter both vessels are stored at Beverley Beck.

Rob Kingdom, Project Director for Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City, said: “It is great to see other charities and groups playing their part in raising the awareness of Hull’s rich maritime history and how it has shaped the city to what it is today. I am sure both residents and visitors alike will enjoy seeing the historic vessels in the prominent Hull marina so they can be fully appreciated over the summer period.”

Dave continues, “The Comrade and Amy Howson are working museums still regularly sailing along the waters that they once carried cargo for the best part of 100 years. They witnessed and took part in the evolution of the city.”