Viola Trustees

VIOLA, the last surviving pre-World War I Hull steam trawler, has edged a bit closer to home this week, with the launch of her official charity appeal and website. With local Hull West MP Alan Johnson as patron, the campaign seeks to raise the estimated £3 million needed to bring VIOLA home from South Georgia, restore her, and put her on display in the home port she last saw in 1914 before departing to war, and a subsequent career in sealing and whaling in the far south Atlantic. Our bestselling book by maritime historians Robb Robinson and Ian Hart relates her extraordinary career, which left her at the remote sub-Antarctic island, to eventually became the target of the Argentine scrap dealers whose attentions sparked the Falklands War in 1982. How fitting that she might even make it home in this year of Hull, City of Culture, and take her rightful place in the city’s docks, as a permanent symbol of the historic local fishing industry, and the unsung part played in wartime by many hundreds of trawlers and their crews, in mine clearance and pursuit of U-boats. Can it really come to pass? It will if enough of you, as we are doing, can make a one-off or regular contribution via the VIOLA website. Pictured are the VIOLA appeal trustees including, 2nd from left, Robb Robinson and far right, Alan Johnson MP.