Turning the Tide - A family trip to Hull & Docks

We are not one of those tight knit families, although we're getting better. Dad's side of the family have always been based in Hull and we grew up down in London, mum and dad's divorce when I was eleven didn't help either. An only child, mum is pretty much an orphan now and I'm not sure she has many living relatives left. She may have a distant cousin in America who she tracked down recently.

The last few years saw Facebook explode and this was a blessing in disguise for us, because where previously we didn't visit much or chat, all of a sudden we were talking on a daily basis and engaging with each other. I am also becoming increasingly fascinated by building my family tree on Ancestry.co.uk.

Since I went to New Zealand I've been saying to dad that I wanted to go "Up North" and visit everyone when I'm back. Now this trip came about for another reason too, which made it even more special. My stepmum recently gave up her job as a drama teacher to go back to university and study a masters degree in scriptwriting and I believe she developed a bit of an interest in writing about Hull Women in the 1960's finding the strength to stand up for their men and safety on the trawlers in what was one of the most dangerous jobs you can do, even now.

Poppa was a fisherman on the trawlers and dad became an electrician in the Merchant Navy starting his apprenticeship at the tender age of 15 at St Andrew's Dock in Hull where the famous Lord Line building stood. (Well, it still stands there but sadly not in the same state as it was in back then, but we'll come to that. I'm going to put in lots of links throughout this blog post.)

Dad found out that there was a storytelling event on at the Hull Truck Theatre called "Turning the Tide"  an evening of true stories, songs and old Jewish tales from a lady called Shonaleigh. She's a Drut'syla which means storyteller in the Jewish faith and told wonderful fables and stories all relating to water and the themes of the evening.

When we went into the theatre foyer there were a selection of model trawlers built by one local man and a whole scale model of the docks. Amazing.

My poppa used to go out on the Lord Nelson, and there was a scale model right there, which made dad's day. Below is the model of the docks in their former glory. Sadly as you'll see in the photos coming up, it's not such a loved place anymore. In fact it's been trashed. **Very Sad Face**

Here is a link to quite an informative website about trawlers. This takes you to the page about The Lord Nelson.


Now that's probably enough of me going on about all of that. You can click the words in bold during this post and they'll take you onto links which can tell you the information if you are interested. I know most people like to come here for the pictures, but some do appreciate my babbling. It was just fascinating to me because it all happened when dad was growing up, and I've always had a thing about water and the sea. Appropriate that I wore my navy striped t-shirt and Karen Walker anchor necklace then, which I hadn't even clocked until my step mum mentioned it.

You can buy this at Karen Walker here. 

This isn't a photo heavy post at all. The trip wasn't about that. I do know that a lot of my friends and outside readers are big fans of urban exploration and old architecture and buildings and the preservation of them. So this post contains some links to some good Urban Exploration Photography of some of the websites I went to.

However, I did get a few shots I'm proud of on the old iPhone. On Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Travelodge and headed to the docks with dad so he could show us up close and have a reminisce. It was one of those crisp winter mornings when the sun shines and there isn't a soul around apart from two guys stood fishing, just gorgeous.

As you walk down towards the Bullnose memorial of the men who died on the trawlers, you are met with some ugly graffiti. Now I'm a big supporter of street art, why could they not have come up with something creative? The place is derelict and full of abandoned but not totally unloved buildings. The locals love them but are just powerless to stop the vandalism and decay. Perhaps some art related to the trawlers and fishing industry? Any of my friends think they could cover this crap with a lovely memorial image?


 The Lord Line building still looks so proud as you approach it from a distance, but it doesn't take long to see all of the bricks and how it hasn't been properly sealed for years. It was only when I started to look up some Urban Exploration links online that I got to see it inside.

For those interested, here you go.

28dayslater post by a guy called Tassader

Derelictplaces post by a guy called Cactusmelba

For those who don't know much about Urbex an article about Cactus in the Hull Daily Mail

Hull Fisherman's History page on Facebook

 Dad and the kids above. 

Father and son stood here together many years later. It's a totally different world for my little brother now to back then. 
 The deteriorating lock. 

It would mean the world to me, and many, many other people if we could get the Lord Line building back to it's former glory in any way at all. It was extremely sad standing next to the memorial for all of the trawler men who died and looking at those incredible buildings which were once so important to Hull's industry just left to rot and be vandalised. All of the current petitions seem to be closed, I believe Hull Council aren't happy and are investing some of their own money into making the building safe and secure and better preserved for now. We shall see!

I'll leave you with my favourite photo from the end of the day, this one below with the Humber Bridge in the background.


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