A venue change did not stop Hessle Road folk coming out in force to mark the 33rd annual Lost Trawlermen’s Day service in Hull, reports Brian W Lavery.
The service is usually held near the memorial sculpture on the site of the city’s former St Andrew’s Dock, which is now a retail park. This year the memorial was put in storage as renovation work got underway. It will be moved to a permanent home later this year.
All the pews were full at St John the Baptist, Newington – known locally as ‘The Fishermen’s Church’ – as the service got underway at 12pm on Sunday, 30 January.
A short address about the making of the memorial sculpture was given by artist Peter Naylor, who created the 8ft-high metal figures of trawlermen, inspired by photos of men lost at sea.
The former Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu blessed the sculpture when it was first unveiled during the Lost Trawlermen’s Day service of 2017.
The City of Hull Brass Band and the Chiltern Primary School choir provided music at the service, organised by the St Andrew’s Dock Heritage Park Action Group.
However, one familiar face was missing – the trawlermen’s padre Rev Tony Cotson, who usually conducts the service, was too ill to attend.
Rev Cotson told Fishing News: “I have tested positive for Covid. I’m disappointed to miss the service as I retire this coming June – it would have been my last one as vicar of St John’s.
“I know that everything will run smoothly with my colleague the Rev John Walker standing in for me. So much planning has gone into the service.”
Hull’s Lord Mayor Councillor Lynn Petrini was guest of honour with her consort and husband Graham Petrini. They were joined by West Hull and Hessle MP Emma Hardy and city council leader Councillor Daren Hale.
Wreaths, usually cast into the Humber in previous years, were blessed, followed by a two-minute silence, signalled by the ship’s whistle of a contingent from the Hull Sea Cadets.