16th April 2019
Hello, my name is Abi and I am a newly appointed Project Support Intern on the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project (HYMC).
This project will see the revitalisation of Hull’s exceptional maritime story for locals and tourists alike, through the redevelopment of Hull’s Maritime Museum, the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn lightship. My job is to support the project’s learning and volunteering activity plans. So far, this has seen me working all over Hull’s maritime heritage sites, from spending time on the Arctic Corsair with its knowledgeable team of volunteers to facilitating family workshops at the Maritime Museum.
In my volunteering role, I have been working with volunteers on the cataloguing and moving of objects from the Arctic Corsair in preparation for the trawler’s upcoming re-berth; the collection contains objects from salt and pepper shakers to sou’westers, many of which are original to the ship and were used by its crew. Even with the majority of its objects removed, the Corsair is nonetheless characterful; walking through its narrow corridors and peering into its cramped accommodation cabins, once industrious room engine and fish packing room has given me a glimpse into the working lives of the trawler men who worked aboard the boat. Besides this, I have thoroughly enjoyed tea break chatter with the Arctic Corsair’s volunteer team—many of whom sailed on the boat in its heyday—who have lots of maritime stories to share!
Over at Heritage Learning, in my learning role, I have had the opportunity to research objects from the handling collection which will be used in the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City Museum in a Box. This is an educational resource which includes a selection of museum objects that schools can use to create their own displays in the classroom! Our boxes include objects from a whalebone corset to a braiding needle—used to make and mend fishermen’s nets—all of which tell Hull’s unique maritime story. The boxes also include fragments of World War Two Shrapnel; handling its heavy weight and texture has helped me to better understand the devastation the Hull Blitz brought to our city, its civilians and its maritime industry.
While gaining lots of professional skills, knowledge and experience through my work on the project, I am also growing my personal understanding of my familial maritime heritage. As the descendent of a long line of Trinity House School-trained mariners, my work on the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project is breathing new life into the maritime stories that I have grown up with. With these in mind, I’m delighted to be involved in the delivery of this project’s audience and engagement activities, which will see our volunteers, schools and the community sharing and learning from Hull’s maritime stories, too.