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14th June 2023

A new photography exhibition with portraits and stories of people involved in the fishing industry during the 1970's is to go on display from Saturday 8 July, at Hull Independent Photography Gallery, Prospect Centre, Hull.

Much is known about the fishing industry in Hull, but a group of photographers wondered how it felt as that industry faced change and challenge in the 1970s? What better than to find people who experienced that and ask them?

This exhibition contains portraits and stories of around sixty words from some of those with tales to tell. From trawlermen to dockside workers, from the families and children to those who have recorded the period since, as well as one or two tales that you may have forgotten such as how a Hull trawler began the Falklands war in 1972.

George joined his first trawler as a galley boy in the 1950’s. He worked on and off trawlers and gained his Master’s ticket, leaving the industry in the mid-seventies. He then worked on lightships as well as the survey ship checking navigation channels to the docks. As the industry changed it was every man for himself to seek out opportunities.
Walla Longden started in the Deep Sea fishing industry in 1960 at the age of 15 and by the time he was 17 he’d become a full time crew member. He changed tack though in 1968 and studied Marine electronics at Hull College. So he re-joined the fishing industry with my Radio Officers ticket as a qualified radio operator until 1972. Lil Billocca campaigned for better communication at sea and that’s the job he got as a result. Unfortunately by 1973 the industry was in rapid decline and by 1978 had died a death.

Nigel Walker, from The People Project, said: “It has been humbling to talk to people about life fifty years ago and the stories you will read here will bring the challenges of that time to life.”

Councillor Rob Pritchard, Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, said: “This exhibition will reconnect people with Hull’s fishing industry, with fascinating stories and many portraits. It is just one of the 13 creative projects made possible via Hull Maritime’s community grant scheme.”

The show officially opens at Hull Independent Photography Gallery on Saturday 8 July 2023 and open Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. The gallery is in the Prospect Centre and immediately behind the Amy Johnson statue. It continues for the whole of July and into August.

The exhibition is the work of a small group of photographers called The People (Julie Shakesby, Carmina Ripolles, Rob Bentley, David Draso and Nigel Walker) who record specific events in Hull and East Yorkshire. Their last show, HUman Impact, looking at the effects of the pandemic in HU postcodes. The work has been supported financially by North Atlantic Trawlers and Hull Maritime, via its maritime community grant scheme.