Yorkshire's last pleasure cruiser, new police launch and trawler to take part in flotilla for Humber Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Yorkshire's last pleasure cruiser, a new police launch and a trawler will take part in a 70-strong flotilla for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The Humber estuary will become centre-stage for what organisers say will be a "spectacular celebration and re-enactment" with craft ranging from a historic 115-year-old vessel to a state-of-the-art hydrogen-powered vessel.

One of the draws will be Yorkshire Belle, built in Beverley in 1947, which carries birdwatchers to Bempton Cliffs and is now the only vessel of her type and size operating off the East Coast.

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The flotilla which has been organised by Hessle Town Council will set sail on Thursday 2 June – the official date of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation.

The much loved Yorkshire Belle is taking part Picture: James Hardisty

Setting sail from Hull Marina on Thursday June 2, it will parade up to the Humber Bridge watched from the banks by thousands of spectators

The event will be even bigger than the flotilla in 2012 that sailed the day after the Thames pageant to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and attracted 10,000 people.

It also reenacts the occasion in 1897 when watermen gathered their boats on the Humber in celebration of Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign.

The announcement comes as the 70th anniversary approaches this Sunday of the Queen’s accession to the throne following the death of King George VI.

The Humber Rescue lifeboat will also take part Picture: Gerard Binks

One of the organisers, Coun Graham Fordham, said it should be a boost for local businesses hit hard by loss of income over the pandemic.

He said: “London staged a floating Diamond Jubilee pageant in 2012 and our view then was that if they could do it on the Thames we could do it on the Humber.

"Our Diamond Jubilee flotilla in 2012 was a great success so we decided to repeat it this year, only bigger and better!”

Other ships taking part include Phyllis, built in 1907, to trade on the Humber and along the east coast, and which took part in a search for the Loch Ness monster in 1982 - without success.

Left to right Councillor Graham Fordham, Captain Phil Cowling, Phil Withers at Hull Marina where the flotilla will launch

Phyllis is now used in a ceremonial role by the Lord Mayor of Hull, who is also Admiral of the Humber, at events on the river.

The inshore lifeboat operated by Humber Rescue will take part as will the new police launch which is only coming into service this year, one of five vessels put forward by Humberside Police. North Atlantic Fishing Company is also putting up its Wiron 1 trawler to take part in the steam past.

Phil Withers, a former councillor who organised the 2012 event, said: “The flotilla is not just about celebrating the Monarch but also our rich maritime heritage and history as well as the Humber’s place as the UK’s energy estuary with many of the participants involved in the renewable energy sector."

A full programme of activities will take place across the UK and the Commonwealth during a four-day Bank Holiday weekend of festivities beginning on the Thursday.

The 2012 Humber flotilla

Town criers, pipers, buglers and bands will all play a part during a day of celebrations with the highlight coming at 10pm with the lighting of more than 1,500 beacons throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, including one on Hessle Foreshore.

Hessle Town Council is accepting applications now from vessel owners who wish to join the flotilla and is also urging businesses to play a part and add to the support

already committed by organisations including ABP Humber, Aquavista Marinas, Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, Lagoon Hull, Marketing Humber and Team Humber Marine Alliance.