St. Andrews Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial
With the many tragedies that have beset the fishing community over the years, there have always been calls for, and the need to deliver, a permanent Memorial to Hull’s Lost Trawlermen. One of STAND’s Constitutional Objectives commits the group to creating a fitting commemorative place worthy of those who lost their lives. It is hoped that this Memorial will become a place of remembrance to which relatives of those lost and the general public can visit and pay their respect to the thousands of men who were lost.
- PROJECT COSTS
In 2003 STAND embarked on a fundraising campaign to deliver such a Memorial.
In 2008 the Fund reached a significant milestone of one hundred thousand pounds (£100,000). This figure was achieved thanks to the unprecedented generosity of the general public and a campaign backed by the Hull Daily Mail.
On 6th March 2009 STAND became an Unincorporated Charitable Organisation registered with the Charity Commission # 1128457, thereby increasing their profile and Memorial fundraising capability. During this year a Project Manager was also taken on to manage and oversee the Memorial Project.
From August 2010 the stages of design and development experienced difficult times, with disappointing delays leading to increased financial costs.
In June 2015, with the project entering the construction stage, measures were taken to reduce costs, by cutting the paid personnel, in order for the Project to maintain financial sustainability. The initial estimated total budget figure for the completion of such a project was in the region of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds (£250,000).
Due to limits attached to STAND’s unincorporated charitable status, the group cannot carry out contractual agreements in their own right therefore the Memorial Project is partly administrated and financially aided by Kingston upon Hull City Council, with contracts, particularly the memorial site lease, being negotiated by them on behalf of STAND.
In April 2014 a Memorial Funding Agreement was set up between STAND and KHCC into which STAND paid, as required, instalments of funding which allowed the scheme to progress.
In June 2015 a major contribution by STAND of £110,000 was made into the Funding Agreement Account by the then Chairman, Charles Pinder, to be made available for the construction of the Memorial, and landscaping of the surrounding area and general development of the site. Fundraising for the St. Andrews Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial continues to the present day and generous donations have been received from various sources.
As part of their campaign STAND applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for part funding of the Project but were unfortunately refused assistance by the National Lottery. Part of the refusal was a result of the Lottery Board stating they did not fund Memorials, which was contradictory to the extremely large award made to the Bomber Command Memorial, an exceptional cause but nevertheless a Memorial.
- PROJECT SETBACKS
Throughout the life of the project many difficulties have been experienced.
The preferred Memorial site had always been located on the old Fish Dock (St. Andrew’s Dock), now a retail shopping park with its attractive frontage to the River Humber; this was the waterway through which so many trawlers transited when embarking from their home port on their trips to the Arctic Fishing Grounds.
Initially, the Inner Bullnose area at the East end of the dock with the lock leading to the river was earmarked as the preferred site. Regrettably, the major part of this area was never developed and fell into disrepair over a period of four decades. At this time the Annual Lost Trawlermen’s Day Service’s were being held on the opposite (outer) bullnose area but due to Health & Safety regulations and insurance difficulties, in 2010 STAND had to seek a safer alternative location. This outer bullnose was never considered as a permanent Memorial site due to its size.
STAND then sought permission from the then owners of the retail park, Capital & Regional, to use a river front area to the West of the original site, adjacent to the ‘Sailmakers’ pub and restaurant car park, but still within what was the old fish dock limits, (the Iceland market, dry side). This site was agreed and planning for the Memorial design began. The retail park changed ownership three times almost always at the later stages of the negotiations, which resulted in lengthy delays and renegotiation each time.
A Design Competition was launched by STAND to create a fitting Memorial to commemorate the massive loss of life within Hull’s Fishing Industry. It was a three part international design competition attracting 79 entries in total; the number of designs selected for consideration was reduced to three. Colour Urban Design Limited submitted an entry and they were awarded this important Project, being declared the eventual preferred choice in 2013 with a design that creates a special place to collectively honour and preserve the memory of the 6000 trawlermen’s lives lost over the last century; many without graves for their family to visit, respect and remember them by.
Colour Urban Design Limited is a specialist landscape architect group with national premises in Newcastle and London who have carried out many important successful projects throughout the U.K.
Their design creates a journey through the memorial grounds, and a progression of spaces which begins with enclosure and shelter in the arrival space, and ends with the exposure to the sea and the elements. A large ceremonial space is designed for the capacity of commemorative events such as the Annual Lost Trawlermen’s Day Service. At the end of the journey and central to the ceremonial space is a focal point sculpture.
The winning design included as the focal point sculpture an image of a large bag of fish depicting a cod end net, this piece was to be provided by a sub-contracted sculptor, Gordon Young who is noted for his well known pavement ‘fish trail’ around Hull City Centre. Unfortunately agreement with the sculptor stalled and Gordon Young withdrew from the project taking his design with him. This left the overall design without a focal point.
A considerable number of months elapsed during which a number of focal point ideas were rejected until an agreed design by Colour Urban and the Project manager was put forward to Kingston upon Hull City Council Planning group featuring an exhibit named the ‘Silent Bell’. When exposed to the general public the ‘Silent Bell’ failed to gain support as it was unrelated to the concept envisaged by those families who lost loved ones and did not evoke emotion. In addition, it was not favoured by all the STAND Committee. However, it was passed by KHCC planning as it did not contravene any planning regulations.
The opposition to the ‘Silent Bell’ resulted in the incumbent STAND Committee standing down at the 2015 Annual General Meeting with a new group of Trustees being elected.
- PROJECT MOVES FORWARD
In June 2015 and with a major change within the Committee, a proposal agreeing a second Memorial design competition was launched in search of a new focal point sculpture. This competition which featured entries by 5 artists had their work displayed in the Hull Maritime Museum and, during a three week period the general public registered their preference, resulting in local sculptor, Peter Naylor’s design of trawlermen’s figures being declared the overwhelming winner by public vote. The winning design polled more than two thirds of the votes cast.
The new design, rightly chosen by the people of Hull, designed by a local man and constructed by the local firm of W. Campbell and Son Ltd, was financed courtesy of the funds generously donated by the people of Hull.
A planning application with the new focal point design was submitted to KHCC planning on 13th May 2016. A non material amendment planning application in respect of this new design was agreed by Hull City Planning on 13th June 2016 allowing the project to move forward. ** To view the most recent development of the St. Andrews Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial Project open ‘Breaking News’ on the drop down arrow for this page where information updates and photographs are displayed.
A special ceremony took place on 12th February 2017, in conjunction with the Annual Lost Trawlermen’s Day Service, at which a blessing of the Memorial Figures took place by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu.
ENVIRONMENT AGENCY FLOOD DEFENCE WORK
Due to necessary flood defence work by the Environment Agency along the St. Andrew’s Retail Park which includes the Memorial site, completion of the whole site has resulted in the full design being delayed.
A two phase ‘interim’ and ‘integrated’ plan is now in place.
The ‘interim’ phase allowed STAND to carry out limited landscaping of the area and temporarily install the pivotal piece (Memorial figures).
Throughout the period the Environment Agency have had to carry out their flood defence work in Winter 2019/Spring 2020, the pivotal pieces have been removed and placed in temporary storage at W. Campbell & Son Ltd .
In early July 2020 the EA completed their flood defence wall and the site is ready to receive the integration of the Memorial into their work. The completion date for the Trawlermen’s Memorial has yet to be stated but it is hoped to be completed by the end of the Autumn 2021.
Draft design of the east end of the Trawlermen’s Memorial Garden site. Designed by Colour Urban Design Ltd.
The design shows, in part, the proposed flood defence wall by the Environment Agency.
Description and concept written by Peter Naylor : Sculptor of the Memorial Figures
The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways,
a headstone for the lost trawlermen
The St. Andrews Memorial Project.
The Memorial will be designed in the form of the deck of a trawler, culminating in the elevated ship’s bow which will house the focal point figures of Hull’s Lost Trawlermen. It will be located at St.Andrew’s Retail Park (the old fish dock)an historically relevant location as it was once the home of the largest deep sea world renown fishing fleet; the site will front the River Humber, the estuary through which the fishing fleet travelled to the Arctic fishing grounds.
Visitors will learn of Hull’s fishing heritage through the Memorial’s physical design features which are outlined below:
One of STAND’s Objectives is ” to foster the education of the public in general, but school children in particular, in the role that Hull’s Fishing Industry and Community plays in the maritime life and history of the City of Kingston upon Hull“.
The Memorial design will feature some aspects of local fishing history which we hope will give visitors an understanding of the importance and poignant context behind the need for a tribute to Hull’s Lost Trawlermen. Progress through the Memorial site design will tell a story behind Hull’s fishing heritage allowing all those who visit an insight into the fishing industry and its inextricable links with the community. It is important that personal memories pertinent to the local community are not forgotten.
Information gathered from the educational aspects of the design will enhance the knowledge of the younger generation who are being encouraged to explore Hull’s seafaring heritage in the School Curriculum. Field trips to the site and STAND’s website information will complement their studies.
The Memorial focal point figures give the people of Hull something physical to enable them to remember personal loss; also to respect and commemorate anniversaries of their lost loved ones who have no land based resting place. It will provide people with an area of personal sanctuary, remembrance and nostalgia. The landscaped Memorial site overall will contain other more informative and related features which reflect the importance of the Fishing Industry and Community; a way of life that provided commerce, employment and development over a period of one hundred and fifty years.
The St. Andrews Memorial area is designed to accommodate visitors with all types of physical disablement, providing ramped access/exit for wheelchairs and other types of walking aids. The raised ceremonial bow space will have protective guardrails around its perimeter.
The Memorial will form an important link with other maritime features in the city; to all who visit the city a complete story of life and loss can be told, thereby highlighting the crucial role Hull’s fishing industry i.e. fishermen, shore based workers and the community played in the development of a major world renown fishing port, namely the City of Kingston upon Hull.