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.
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…