The Fishing and Trawler Visitor Centre in Hull

Hull Docks and Arctic Corsair

I had been to the Museum Quarter in the City of Hull before, to the Street Life Museum and the History Museum so on this occasion I bypassed these and went first to the small independent Fishing and Trawler Visitor Centre in an old ramshackle dockside warehouse.

It is a  wonderfully eclectic place, the sort of museum that rejects no contributory exhibits, finds a place for everything and piles them up in random order all over the place, a sort of alternative to the minimalist National Gallery of London or the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.

No entrance ticket to show you because admission is free.

It was an entertaining visit, run by volunteer ex-fishermen oozing with enthusiasm, one of those places where, if you show the slightest dull glimmer of interest, the volunteers will latch on and beat you into submission with stories of the fishing industry and life at sea.

Fishing Mural Hull

I told them that I was a visitor from Grimsby which claims to have once been the biggest fishing port in the Worldand this immediately presented a challenge to their bragging rights.  They were keen to point out that Grimsby may have been a big port but Hull had much bigger trawlers on account of the larger capacity of its docks.  Not being a genuine Grimbarian I was careful not to take sides in this potentially dangerous debate.

The Visitor Centre is close to the banks of the River Hull and close by is the trawler Arctic Corsair one of the last side-winder fishing boats to operate out of Hull before the Cod Wars with Iceland and the ignominious collapse of the UK fishing industry.

I liked this place, I liked the bric-a-brac exhibits, the scrapbook newspaper cuttings and the detailed models of the old Hull fishing docks (now sadly a shopping mall).

I finished my visit by strolling along the banks of the River Hull, a dirty muddy estuary the colour of milk chocolate with rotting dockside buildings and crumbling brick wharfs which was once a busy fishing port but which now is gradually breaking down into an open-air museum of decaying brickwork, twisted metal and sagging piers with a thousand untold stories still to tell.

Click on an image to scroll through the Gallery…

35 responses to “The Fishing and Trawler Visitor Centre in Hull

  1. You’re tempting me …. it’s a long way to Hull though Andrew! But I like this sort of museum too, eclectic is the right word for them. Full of enthusiasm because it’s a local “thing” that people have pride in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds a great place. I quite like those rambling locals who tell you stories of their past. I was walking along a path in Cornwall once and I could see an old bloke coming along with no chance of avoiding him.
    But when he collared me and started talking, he told me of working on sailing ships off Valparaiso and storms off Cape Horn. His life made my being a school teacher seem somewhat boring actually.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a large portrait of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Franks, whose family I am told ran a fishing fleet in Grimsby

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  4. Looks a fascinating Visitor Centre, Andrew…and the dockside crumbling buildings would be heaven for my lens!

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  5. I assume that the river was regularly dredged when it was a working port. The accumulated mud is a bit off-putting.
    But your photo at the top is very atmospheric.

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  6. Rundown but fascinating.. not sure i’ll ever get to Hull.. 😉

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  7. Oh to be in delightful Hull! 🙂 🙂

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  8. I visited Hull once when my late husband was working there. I visited Grimsby once when as a teenager my boyfriend’s father had a boat moored there. I thought we were going out on it, instead we sat on the boat all day listening to music, eating sandwiches and drinking cider.

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  9. Interesting set of pictures! I had no idea Hull was quite so muddy, though I have been once but only to a birthday party so I didn’t see much of the town.

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  10. My late husband was one of those characters who would talk a visitor’s ears off for anyone wandering into our small town Logging Museum. Hubby started logging in Oregon’s and California’s woods at the young and tender age of nine. He could go on and on about his memories from those early days. Sadly, it seems that a good lot of that sort of character seems to be dying off.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “if you show the slightest dull glimmer of interest, the volunteers will latch on and beat you into submission” Now THIS is one of the best kinds of museums! The way you describe it is perfect (e.g. don’t reject any contributions) and you can find them everywhere. Thanks for bringing us to this Visitor Centre with you. Glad to hear you made it safely through the potentially dangerous debate.

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