The Last Trip aims to commemorate the estimated 6,000 men who sailed from Hull's St Andrew's Dock but never returned home. The cylindrical feature includes 90 replica ship bows and the names of the job titles onboard different types of trawlers over the years. It was officially unveiled yesterday in a ceremony performed by a number of relatives from fishing families in the city. The memorial will initially be based at the premises of commercial design company InterTech in Priory Park, west Hull. However, it will eventually be located on part of the former fish dock next year subject to securing planning permission.
InterTech chief executive Andrew Fenton, who designed The Last Trip, said: "As the son of a trawlerman, it's a very proud day for me. I hope the memorial is a fitting tribute to all the brave men who went to sea as well as their families. "It has taken just eight weeks to turn the design into reality and I am very grateful for all the support and help we have received from everyone who has got behind the project."
Ray Coles, of the Hull Bullnose Heritage Group, which has helped raised funds for the memorial, said: "The memorial is for everyone in Hull's fishing community to remember our lost fathers, brothers and sons. "It has been made possible through great support from a local landowner, a local designer, local companies and local workers. I believe it's something Hull should be proud of." Mr Coles said fundraising efforts would continue to help support long-term regeneration plans for the dock. "This is just the first step in what we hope will be something really special."
The memorial was made by Hull-based steel fabrication firm Campbell and Sons, of National Avenue, west Hull. Managing director Brian Campbell said: "It was a real pleasure to be involved with something like this. We have burned the midnight oil to get the memorial ready but I think it looks the part."
Among the crowd of around 300 who witnessed the unveiling ceremony was former trawler skipper Mason Redfearn. He said: "It's been a long time coming but this memorial really does make that wait worthwhile. I have personally lost a lot of colleagues over the years and I am sure they would have been proud to see this now. It's a fitting tribute to the industry and the bravery of those lads."
Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson applauded Mr Fenton's efforts. "Without Andrew this would not have happened," he said. "His drive and enthusiasm is infectious and is worth bottling."