Hull’s past and present combine perfectly in this stunning shot of a lone angler fishing from an old wooden pier into the Humber estuary with the backdrop of one of the country’s most spectacular aquarium, The Deep.
Hull’s once great fishing industry was central to its success but its collapse led to desolate shipyards and abandoned warehouses at the turn of the Millenium.
It seemed there was little future for the docks – but The Deep played a leading role in transforming the area’s fortunes.
Since opening in 2002, it has attracted more than eight million visitors – acting as a platform for globally significant research and conservation programmes while also paying homage to Hull’s maritime industry.
The Deep was funded by £19m in Lottery cash, as well as receiving further money from government regeneration funds for deprived areas and the now-defunct Yorkshire Forward agency, to get it off the ground.
The council gave land – in the form of a disused buoy depot that had once been a shipyard – to the charity and the University of Hull also became involved.
Neil Porteus, who played a central role at the council in getting The Deep off the ground and is now its deputy chief executive, recently told The Yorkshire Post about the thinking behind the aquarium. “Hull has always made a living from the sea, whether that be whaling, fishing; there are strong connections. The Deep was about building new relationships with the ocean – we wanted to be more than just an aquarium, we wanted to tell the story of how the seas have formed.”
Following the success of The Deep, Hull is now further embracing its rich seafaring history and is in the process of creating a multi-million pound visitor experience across the city centre that is expected to be completed by 2024 – linking up Hull Maritime Museum, Dock Office Chambers and the North End Shipyard after regeneration work and showcasing two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship.
Technical information: Nikon D5 camera with Nikon 24-70mm lens, exposure of 1/250th sec @ f/8, ISO 80. Picture by James Hardisty.