As part of a major maritime development by Kingston upon Hull City Council, the Arctic Corsair, Hull’s premier maritime attraction and last remaining sidewinder trawler, has been taken out of service to undergo essential maintenance and update important features of interest within the vessel.
On Sunday 4th August 2019 the Corsair was towed from her home of twenty years on the River Hull to a temporary berth in Alexandra Dock (You will find photos of the move under ‘Arctic Corsair’ on the arrow). Whilst work is being carried out on her future permanent dry berth in the refurbished North End ship yard, the Arctic Corsair will undergo limited remedial work before more extensive work prior to her move into her new home. This work could take between eighteen months and two years.
The “Old Lady” has, over the last two decades attracted thousands of visitors nationally and from continents as far away as Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Visitors have marvelled at the experience of a tour of the Corsair and the excellent knowledge imparted by the volunteer guides
The shore based visitor centre/museum which, over the years has proved a very popular introduction to touring the trawler, has also had to close to allow the area to be used to store artefacts removed from Corsair for the period of the refurbishment and relocation.
The Corsair could not be accessed by the disabled so this centre was invaluable in allowing those not able to board the vessel the opportunity to experience the heritage of the Fishing Industry and the associate Fishing Community.
The Arctic Corsair has been managed by volunteers, many of whom are members of STAND, in partnership with the owners, Kingston upon Hull City Council. The volunteers provided both all year round voluntary maintenance workforce to the Corsair and a seasonal (April to Nov) tour guide service of experienced personnel who ensured that the public have an interesting and safe visit to the vessel.
Since 1999 the Corsair has been an important educational tool visited by local schools, groups, and the general public which, due to the Hull Yorkshire Maritime City Project is now on hold until the new North End shipyard and visitor centre is complete. The provision of this invaluable lesson in social history highlights an industry that was once Hull’s largest employer and highlights the role the local community played in such a successful trade.
Once relocated, the Arctic Corsair will resume her role as Hull’s premier maritime attraction with a new Visitor Centre. It is hoped that the vessel will be open to the public again in early 2022.