The city’s last surviving sidewinder fishing trawler has opened for the season.
Visitors can experience a guided tour of the Arctic Corsair before it says a temporary goodbye and is placed into storage later this year. The trawler will receive a major restoration to secure its long-term future as part of the £27.4 million Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City programme.
Paul Stockhill, Flood Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency has been working very closely with Hull City Council and other partners on £36.5m flood defence works on the River Hull, together with city ambitions to create a rejuvenated waterfront. Aligning of all this work is enabling many partners to work together, reducing flood risk whilst creating a great visitor destination with the Arctic Corsair as centre piece for this public space.”
Rob Kingdom, Project Director for Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City, said: “The dedicated team of volunteers behind the Arctic Corsair have been working hard to get the ship ready for this season’s opening. As part of their free tours, you will hear all about life at sea and the dangers deep sea trawlermen faced in the Icelandic fishing grounds. Make sure you visit the trawler as this is your last opportunity to take a free guided tour before she closes and is moved to secure storage in September.”
Built in 1960 at the Beverley Shipyard for the Boyd Line, the Arctic Corsair had a long and successful career before being involved in a collision with an Icelandic Gun boat in the 1970s, marking the decline of the local fishing industry. The deep-sea trawler was converted to a museum ship in 1999 and has since attracted more than 20,000 visitors.
The free guided tours, which last up to one-and-a-half hours and are the only way to see inside the Arctic Corsair, are operated by a team of volunteers, who have generously given their time to share the trawler’s compelling story.
Pete Greenwood, volunteer chief engineer, said: “It’s wonderful that the ship will be getting a major overhaul and conservation work. I’ve been one of the maintenance volunteers for 17 years now and for the last few years we’ve been working towards getting the ship dry docked.”
Before each tour starts, you can watch a 10-minute action film – Life at Sea – in the Arctic Corsair visitor centre, next to the Hull and East Riding Museum. You can also find out more about the Arctic Corsair at the museum, which is free to enter and you do not need to book. The free tours run every Wednesday and Saturday 10am – 3pm and Sunday 11am – 3pm until further notice.
The Arctic Corsair is behind the Streetlife Museum on the River Hull between Drypool Bridge and Myton Bridge. It can be accessed via the Museums Quarter, High Street. The visitor centre is beside the Hull and East Riding Museum in the Museums Quarter.
The full conservation of the Arctic Corsair is being funded by Hull City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It is part of the £27.4 million Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City programme in a bid to make Hull a world-class visitor destination. The programme will develop three important sites: the Maritime Museum; the Dock Office Chambers and the North End Shipyard; and the long-term conservation of two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship, securing their future for generations to come. The work involving the Arctic Corsair will include:
- Full restoration
- A permanent dry berth to ensure long-term preservation
- Ongoing marketing and promotion to raise awareness of her national significance
- New and improved interpretation facilitating increased tourism and educational visits
- A range of skills and training opportunities
- Increased opening hours
- Enhanced volunteering programmes leading to a projected 230 per cent increase in volunteering
For more information on the guided tours, visit www.hcandl.co.uk