Triple trawler tribute artwork makes first appearance in Hull as part of “Relics and Rails” industrial heritage exhibition

A collection of paintings, photographs and other work featuring railways, maritime heritage and rock bands from Hull and East Yorkshire will be presented to the public this week as the first exhibition at a new venue.

Among the highlights is a piece which commemorates the triple trawler tragedy of 1968, in which 58 fishermen died when the St Romanus, the Kingston Peridot and the Ross Cleveland were lost in the space of less than a month.

Syd Young, the Hull-based artist who has put together the exhibition, created the display to mark the 50th anniversary of the tragedy in 2018.

Artist Syd Young with some of his rail images featuring Paragon Station and now part of the “Relics and Rails” at Nordic House.

He said:

“The photograph is from the projections onto the side of the Ferens Art Gallery during the first week of the City of Culture year in 2017 – you can see the crowds of people who flocked to Queen Victoria Square.

“I’ve superimposed the flags from the funnels which form part of the memorial to the tragedy in Hessle Road. I’ve also included the final words of Phil Gay, who was the skipper of the Ross Cleveland.”

The piece attracted a lot of interest when “Relics and Rails” was displayed at Goole Museum from January until March this year. It will go on show in Hull for the first time on Saturday, when the exhibition opens at Nordic House in Hull’s Danish Church.

“Relics and Rails” also includes some of Syd’s images showing the changes in Hull’s docklands, as well as photographs and paintings of locomotives, stations and other infrastructure from across the East Riding.

Another dimension is Syd’s set of music industry heritage, with photographs and other items from various concerts which he has attended since 1980.

Syd said:

“The exhibition attracted a lot of interest during its run in Goole and I am absolutely made up about bringing it to Hull. I’ve made some changes to the exhibits because this year is the 175th anniversary of the opening of Paragon Station, which is only yards away from Nordic House. 

“It is my first major retrospective and I’ve focused on a mixture of old and newer images, together with a selection of associated artefacts, which depict how things once were and illustrate their subsequent decline. 

“It’s not easy installing an exhibition in a building that hasn’t hosted one before but the space is great, it’s an absolutely prime location and its heritage is a good fit with some of the themes of the exhibition.”

Charlotte Theill, Manager at Nordic House, said:

“We visited the exhibition in Goole and recognised straight away that it is enormously relevant to Hull. 

“It is a fascinating exhibition and we hope it will attract a lot of people from the region who see the significance of the various themes, and indeed many who have personal connections with the stories behind the images.

“We also hope the exhibition inspires other creatives to display and perform their work at Nordic House as we continue to develop the space as a centre for events showcasing the arts and culture as well as community and business events.”

“Relics and Rails” will open at Nordic House in the Danish Church at the corner of Ferensway and Osborne Street in Hull on Saturday 13 May. It will be open from 10am until 2pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until Saturday 15 July. Admission is free.

Main image caption: Artist Syd Young with his piece commemorating the triple trawler disaster of 1958.