Kirkella H7 in Hull before she sets sail for her Naming Ceremony in London

A royal trip to London!

Wednesday 24th April 2019 was a momentous day for UK Fisheries Ltd, Kingston upon Hull and STAND.

STAND’s thirty years of service to Hull’s fishing heritage and community spirit of the City was rewarded when the Trustees of the Charity were invited to attend the Naming Ceremony of the new factory trawler ‘Kirkella’. This was carried out by HRH The Princess Royal on the River Thames close to Greenwich Pier.

The event was a special occasion enjoyed by more than 350 invited guests. The ‘Kirkella’ was moored to a pontoon off Greenwich Pier and guests were transferred by a fleet of River Ferries to witness the Princess Royal perform the naming ceremony. For many people the trips on the river to and from the Kirkella were a treat in themselves! On arrival, the red carpet was out and the City of Hull Brass Band played.

Kirkella moored at Greenwich with the pontoon for the ceremony
View from the stern of the Kirkella of the Thames River Ferry and London skyline
View from the bow of the Kirkella of the Greenwich Maritime Museum
and the Cutty Sark

We were all warmly welcomed back to a champagne and lunch reception inside the Cutty Sark Museum and 2000 portions of fish and chips were served to all guests and spectators from fish and chip stands outside.

A view on the deck of the Cutty Sark

We were invited to look around the Cutty Sark and to tour the ‘Kirkella’ too.

On board the Kirkella

The whole event was not just a naming ceremony but it also marked a revival of fish landings at the Port of Hull and showed the business foresight and financial commitment of UK Fisheries Ltd, the owners of the ‘Kirkella’.

Our STAND representatives would like to thank those at UK Fisheries Ltd for their invitation; for their special hospitality throughout the day and for a wonderful and memorable day in London.

For more information about the ‘Kirkella’ double click the link below (courtesy of UK Fisheries Ltd).

Read about the ‘Kirkella’ arrival in London and the visit by HRH The Princess Royal. (Courtesy of the Hull Daily Mail).

The ‘Kirkella’ visits Hull

Prior to the Naming Ceremony of the new Hull trawler, ‘Kirkella’ in Greenwich, the STAND Committee were given the special opportunity to tour the vessel berthed in Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull before she sailed to London.

The ship looked magnificent from the quayside and, as our tour progressed guided by Michael Thompson of UK Fisheries Ltd, nothing we saw changed our impression. The wheelhouse afforded a 360 degree view and was equipped with all the electronic navigational equipment you would expect to see on a super liner, as well as the latest in fish finding technology. All this modern technology was a world away from the trawlers of years ago; the kind experienced by three of the Committee.

The accommodation was finished to an extremely high standard with cabins having TV and telephones as standard. The ship was also fitted out with a gym, sauna and cinema for the comfort of the crew. Handling of the fishing gear during hauling and shooting is still a job for the deck crew but made easier by having winches controlled from the bridge.

Fish handling is a thing of the past on this trawler with the factory area equipped with an array of machinery that would not look out of place in the most up to date shore factory. Fish are cleaned, sorted, filleted, frozen and packed ready for the supermarkets by computerised machinery. After processing, the boxes of prepared fish are loaded onto pallets and stowed in the fish room by forklift trucks; each pallet weighs just over one ton and the ship has a capacity of around seven hundred and fifty tons. Waste products are also treated on board and landed as fishmeal fertiliser as well as fish oil from the livers.

A floating factory! The vessel is a credit to the owners, UK Fisheries Ltd and to the crew who serve her.

Our thanks go to Michael Thompson of UK Fisheries Ltd for the invitation and the opportunity to experience such an incredible vessel.