The Arctic Corsair was launched in February 1960. Picture Innes Photography
The Arctic Corsair was launched in February 1960. Picture: Innes Photography

Hull’s historic Arctic Corsair celebrates 60th birthday

Hull’s last surviving distant-water sidewinder trawler, the Arctic Corsair, celebrates her 60th birthday on Saturday.

The trawler was launched on 29 February 1960, ready to be fitted out to begin a long fishing career. Built in Beverley for the Boyd Line, the Arctic Corsair had a career that included a world-record catch and a collision on the Cod Wars.

The vessel symbolises the very peak of Hull’s fishing industry before it collapsed in the 1970s and 1980s.

The trawler was saved for the nation in 1993 by Hull City Council after a long and successful campaign by STAND, led by Adam Fowler. An extensive programme of repairs was carried out by a team of 20 trainees when the vessel was berthed at Albert Dock.

Now owned by Hull City Council and managed by Hull Culture and Leisure, in partnership with local fishing heritage group STAND, the Arctic Corsair is a key part of the nation’s maritime heritage. Volunteers, many with connections to the fishing community, deliver guided tours and maintain the trawler.

Councillor Steve Wilson, Lord Mayor of Hull, celebrates his 60th birthday the day before that of the Arctic Corsair.

Councillor Steve Wilson, Lord Mayor of Hull, celebrates his 60th birthday the day before the Arctic Corsair’s birthday.

And the future of the Arctic Corsair is bright. As part of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project and a team of dedicated volunteers, the trawler will continue to be a centrepiece for the city in its new home at the North End Shipyard.

Hull City Council deputy leader Daren Hale said: “The Arctic Corsair is a unique survivor of national importance.  The trawling industry has long since collapsed but the memories are still very much alive in communities across the city.

“It is the aspiration of this project to keep these memories alive forever on behalf of the whole country, ensuring the survival of the Arctic Corsair for another 100 years.

“As time passes the Arctic Corsair’s position as part of our country’s history will grow, as she becomes a national symbol of a once great industry and will be a permanent tribute to the city’s fishing industry and a nod to what has shaped the city it is today.

“Once restored and reopened to the public in her new home at the North End Shipyard and will continue to be the only distant-water sidewinder trawler consistently accessible to the public in this country.”

The Safe Place team at The Deep
Camille O'Sullivan