Sculptor reveals memorial vision

A SCULPTOR from Grimsby has revealed her vision of what Hull's memorial to lost fishermen could look like.

Donna Peterson and her assistant Barry Brown have designed a lifesize bronze statue of a fisherman, who stands on deck unloading a catch flanked by squabbling seagulls.

Ms Peterson said: "Instead of being a symbol of something, I thought doing a figure of a man, a real person with nest and seagulls, would make it more realistic. Even children would recognise it and say "My granddad used to do that."

Ms Peterson's figure would be dressed casually in a collarless shirt, jeans and turned-down thigh boots, and would be "somewhat piratical", she said.

She also suggested enclosing the sculpture in the middle of a moat surrounded by circular seating.

It is only the second detailed design for the project, following a proposal two years ago by ex-trawlerman Arthur Cowan.

Mr Cowan, who died last year at the age of 80, had built a wooden model of a braiding needle mounted on the deck of a ship.

Hull fishing heritage group Stand has campaigned to build a memorial garden and monument on the bullnose at St Andrew's Dock, once home to the largest deep water fishing fleet in the world.

But it is now considering a temporary site after the company which owns the land at the dock went into liquidation.

Members of Stand are considering a number of locations and will be inviting people to give their views on these at a Hessle Road reunion tonight, being held at Walton Club, in Walton Street.

Stand treasurer Ron Wilkinson said: "Our priority at the moment is to identify a temporary site, questions about the design will come afterwards.

"We are asking the public where they want it to be and what it will look like."

Temporary sites being considered include St Andrew's Quay, Hessle Road, Humber Quays, and Queens Gardens or St Stephens shopping centre in the city centre.

Stand's committee is expected to make its final decision by June.

The permanent memorial would be located at the bullnose on the dock, the site of the annual Lost Trawlermen's Day service, which this year was led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Paloma Group Ltd, which had previously agreed to incorporate the memorial as part of the wider redevelopment of the dock, announced last month it was going into voluntary liquidation.

The Yorkshire Post has backed Stand's appeal to raise 100,000 to fund the memorial project, which is intended to honour all those who worked in Hull's fishing industry.

Although the group is still accepting donations, it passed the target last year and has a further 15,000 pledged from the council, and two private donations of 10,000 each.

Although a small memorial plaque is already on the bullnose, Hull's fishing community has never felt it has had an appropriate tribute to its sacrifice and contribution to the development of the city.

Between 5,000 and 8,000 men are thought to have lost their lives while sailing out of Hull to help put food on the nation's tables since the mid-19th century.

For suggestions on the design or temporary location of the memorial, email Stand at info@hullfishingheritage.org.uk.