An artist has created a calendar to raise funds to help bring the world’s oldest remaining steam trawler Viola home to Hull, reports Brian W Lavery.

The Viola Trust commissioned Holderness-based Larry Malkin to create the 2022 calendar. Called ‘Hull Task Force’, it commemorates another episode in the port’s heritage.

Mr Malkin painted the nine city ships that sailed for the Falklands almost 40 years ago.

The story of the Viola and the campaign to bring her home from South Georgia was reported in Fishing News, 17 December, 2020.

She was built in Beverley, East Yorkshire in 1906 and left the Humber in 1916 as a minesweeper.

She became a whaler and a seal hunting vessel, and ended up with British firm Albion Star in the 1960s.

When the whaling station at Grytviken in South Georgia closed, she was mothballed, and lay rusting. In 1982, she was involved in an act that sparked the Falklands conflict.

Viola Trust project manager Norman Court said: “We wanted something special to follow our 2020 calendar, and came up with marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War with a selection of paintings recognising the efforts of the city of Hull.

“What many people forget is that the Viola was there already.

“She was on a beach in Grytviken in 1982 when she was targeted by Argentine scrap metal merchants.”

Local businesses stocking the calendar include Dunston Ship Repairs, which is restoring the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship, Humberside Engineering Training Association, Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, petroleum firm JR Rix & Sons Ltd and RSM UK.

The city’s charts and navigational supplies firm B Cooke & Son Ltd, established in 1863, has come onboard too.

Managing director Priyanka Perera said: “Because of our expertise and long involvement in the city’s maritime history, it makes sense for us to support this project. I’m sure we will have supplied many of the ships featured in the calendar.”

Hotham Spirits, which owns Bar 55 and runs a gin school at its distillery, will also stock the calendar.

Founder Emma Kinton said: “We’re also looking forward to working on a new seafaring drinks product. We made two editions of Viola Gin – one of which was sent to the governor of the Falklands.”

B Cooke & Son will also stock the calendar, as will JE Books in Hull’s Hepworth’s Arcade and the Hull People’s Memorial in Whitefriargate.

It costs £10, with all profits going to the Viola Trust. To order direct, email: info@violatrawler.net. To find out more about the campaign, click here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.

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