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.