We produced this design in 1996 showing how St Andrew’s dock could look if it was restored to its original water-filled condition
The redevelopment of the old St Andrew’s Dock is a very major concept to plan - and to get right. It is clear from the outset that simply installing yet another retail park would be a completely wasted opportunity here. Of course, retail stores can and do create jobs and can yield good returns in business rates - but at what cost in this case?
Creating a themed Heritage Dock would secure and compliment the surrounding businesses, allowing more customers to shop and take in the surroundings. It would give the opportunity to take full advantage of attracting European visitors arriving on Hull’s two major North Sea ferry routes.
ST ANDREW'S DOCK HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
St Andrew's Dock Hull
The fishing industry in Hull has played a major part in the economy and defence of this country since the mid 19th Century and through two World Wars. Even during the Falklands Conflict in 1982, Hull’s last remaining trawlers were used for mine sweeping duties.
St Andrew’s Dock first opened in 1883. Originally intended to be a coal dock, it was almost immediately turned over to the exclusive use of the fishing industry.
By 1895 the fishing industry had become so busy that an extension to the dock was built, opening in 1897. By 1889, Hull trawlers were already fishing off the coast of Iceland in very large numbers.
Three trawlers undergoing repairs on the slipway at the Western end of St. Andrew’s Dock
The whole dock area was unique because all the main activities concerned with the upkeep and maintenance of a large fishing fleet took place on and around the St Andrew’s Dock estate.
The dock had its own ice plant, a maintenance slipway, several banks, shops and cafes. It even had a post office, a doctor’s surgery and a police station, complete with prison cells.
An economic survey in 1954 stated that for every fisherman working at sea there were up to three people working ashore in jobs associated with the fishing industry. This was almost 50,000 shore workers; about 20% of Hull’s entire population at that time.
Unloading the Catch from Trawlers; the Backbone of Hull’s Industrial Life
Life and work on St Andrew’s Dock was very hard, with long hours at low rates of pay in poor working conditions.
A different kettle of fish!
Old wooden fish tubs – kettles by the dock workers
Later, newer metal versions of the kettles in aluminium
The brisk business of buying and selling a trawler’s catch. As soon as a ship had offloaded it’s catch, the crew would be getting ready to set sail again for another trip.
A trawler’s crew usually had less than 60 hours in port before heading back out to sea. Forced together at sea for long periods - often facing hostile and sometimes life threatening conditions - strong friendships developed among the crewmembers. When working as a team in the confined space of a 'sidewinder' trawler for 3 weeks at a time there was no room for disagreements or arguments of any kind.
Many young lads - some as young as 15 years of age - went to sea. They grew up very quickly when faced with the dangers of deep-sea fishing. As many use to say, "Went away as a boy and returned as a man!"
Many Hull fishermen and their families lived in the Hessle Road area of Hull. The social clubs and bars were always busy there. Even when the crew’s time was very short between trips, there was not a moment lost in having a good time and spending all their money.
With the shore leave up and with one day and one night spent at home it’s back off to sea again. Goodbyes were usually said at home; it was considered very bad luck for family - and in particular, women - to be seen anywhere near the fish dock.
When crews left the dock for sea aboard their vessels, it was normally just shipmates and work colleagues that saw them off; not family.
Many people came to see the fishing vessels leave St Andrew’s Dock bound for another fishing voyage. In this picture the spectators are all men; women were traditionally not allowed on the dockside.
Trawlers which were built at the small shipyards in nearby Beverley were sailed down the River Hull to the Humber and Princess Docks in Hull. Here they were fitted out with their engines, winches and ancilliary equipment. The completed vessels were then handed over to the trawler owner before going on to St Andrew's Dock. This was often a perfect opportunity for a family photograph.
Family photographs like this were never taken on the St Andrew’s Fish Dock because the presence of a woman on the fish dock was considered to be very bad luck.
Once at sea and on route to the fishing grounds, crew spent their time relaxing, repairing nets and completing maintenance jobs before the serious fishing began.
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Total Votes : 2764
Having a berth set aside for visiting vessels of interest is a good one but I\'m not convinced that \'Moby Dick\' fits in anywhere but a theme park. We\'ll see.
With more than a nod to my first paragraph perhaps the all important railway connection should be incorporated into the design. Rather than just have a brief glimpse of a fish train on a video lay a stretch of track and put an old locomotive and a rake of fish vans on them. The vans could be used to house displays of various aspects of the dock.
How close to becoming a reality is this?
The fact that we have someone here who lives and works locally and who is prepared to put time, money and effort into an idea that is focused on their own city should be applauded. As Mr. Fenton has said, he has been spurred into action by the inaction of others.
What would people prefer, to allow the remaining talent in Hull to be directed away from the city so that Liverpools and the Birminghams of this world are the beneficiaries (again), or would they not rather someone from Hull brought the ideas to the table so that their talents remain in Hull giving the city exactly the platform that is needed to develop and potentially puts the city in a position where it can realistically compete and be compared with these other great UK Cities?