Mike Hookem MEP Brands Hull City Council ‘Stupid’ and ‘Disrespectful’ Over Triple Trawler Tragedy Memorial

Hull Euro MP questions removal of memorial anchor from city’s fish docks to an inland site “surrounded by tower blocks with dirty name signs and peeling paint.”


Local MEP and brother of one of the fishermen lost aboard the Ross Cleveland, Mike Hookem; has questioned the thought process behind Hull City Council's decision to re-site a memorial anchor to a carpark "miles from the City's fishing heritage," as a part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the "Triple Trawler Disaster."

The trawler anchor, which until recently marked the entrance to St Andrew's Fish Docks - the tradition "home" of fishing in Hull - was yesterday unveiled by council officials outside three blocks of flats, eight miles from its former home. 

Mike Hookem MEP with the re-sited anchor
Mike Hookem MEP with the re-sited anchor


While the anchor itself has undergone refurbishment, the three Bilton Grange tower blocks named to represent the three lost trawlers, displayed "dirty, paint-peeling name signs that displayed no care and attention whatsoever."

Speaking of the new memorial, an emotional Mr Hookem said, "how does moving the anchor from the very place the lost trawlers departed - to a carpark, miles inland, honour the fifty-eight fishermen lost in the Triple Trawler Disaster?"

"It doesn't, and it shows total disrespect to the lost men and their families who still commemorate the anniversary each year!"

Mr Hookem continued, "the new memorial on Bilton Grange Estate, is difficult to get to without a car and has no connection with Hull's fishing heritage what-so-ever. Why would the families of those lost - many of whom still live in the West Hull area - want to trek across the city centre to a drab car-park, surrounded by tower blocks with dirty and peeling paint name signs; to pay their respect to their loved ones? 

Paintwork on the Bilton Grange flats


"The decision to remove this anchor from the City's home of fishing is stupid and disrespectful while displaying a complete lack of joined up thinking on behalf of the council when it comes to honouring the 6,000 Hull fishermen lost at sea."

The 11 am timing of yesterday's events has also been called into question, with relatives of the lost men being made to choose between attending the Council's unveiling at Bilton Grange, and the annual memorial service held on Boulevard by the Hull Bullnose Heritage Group (HBHG).

Relatives of fishermen lost on the Ross Cleveland lay a wreath at Boulevard


Speaking of the clash, Mr Hookem said, "this is crass insensitivity by Hull City Council in making relatives, friends and former colleagues of the lost men choose which event to attend. The HBHG event is at the same time and place every year, not just the 50th anniversary. Therefore, it would have been nice if the Council could have found some way to coordinate with HBHG on the events to allow the relatives to attended at both Boulevard and Bilton Grange. 

"This would have made the event a much richer experience for all concerned and also helped to highlight some of the amazing work the HBHG do in the Hessle Road communities.

Looking to the future, Mr Hookem said, "I hope to get some joined-up thinking on putting in place a permanent, substantial, and lasting memorial to the 6,000 fishermen from Hull who lost their lives feeding the nation.  

"A memorial of this type would not only act as a focal point of remembrance for the families - something I know my mother always wanted - but will also help to teach future generations in Hull what sacrifices were made to build our great city."


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Article first uploaded 06 February - 2018
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