top of page

Trawlerman memorial

Location: Hull

“I am going over. We are laying over. Help me. I am going over. Give my love and the crew’s love to the wives and families”. –  Phil Gay

The last radio message from the Skipper of the Ross Cleveland from 4 February 1968.
This is such a powerful and poignant message. The last words of the skipper encapsulates so much of the character of trawlermen……professional, strong and in the direst of circumstances the message of love on behalf of himself and the crew to those back at home.
It reinforces the key aspects of the life of the trawlermen and their families…… home and away, and the distance between the two.
We understand that this project is not about the bits and pieces of the fishing industry, nets, compasses, masts and the like, it’s about people and their emotions ……… those that went away and those that stayed at home.

The proposed site is long and narrow with views over the estuary to the south. We propose to enclose the site to screen views to the retail park and road, provide shelter from the prevailing wind and create a distinct and memorable place for contemplation, commemoration and gathering focused onto the water.

Our concept seeks to exploit the linear nature of the site by providing a poignant focal point to each end of the site representing home and away, separated by distance. The space between home and away is animated by 6000 discs set in the ground with a small LED light within it. The discs represent the 6000 lives lost at sea. They are arranged geographically to represent where the lives were lost. A meaningful ‘constellation’ of lights, reflecting the night sky………so often all that seamen have to refer to,the enclosure will be created by a number of corten steel panels ranging in height between 1.8m and 3m tall. The number of panels equates to the number of ships that were lost. Each panel will bear the name of the vessel and the crew members that died.

A detached black steel panel at the eastern end of the site is angled and has a slot cut in it to frame the view eastwards along the estuary and out to sea.

‘Home’ is formed by further corten steel sheets taking the form of the terraces of the Hessle Road area. This area is sheltered, protected with seating/viewing areas and opportunities for interpretive text, quotations and poetry.
The floor surface has a series of lines within it that connect the individual within the memorial space to the site of one of the trawlers lost at sea. The lines will tell the story of that particular vessel, its crew members and their families.

bottom of page