Casting a wide net: the story of a shipbuilding giant goes online
Wed, 20 May 2020

After its preview to a full house at Beverley's Parkway Cinema last summer, broadcast on That's TV Humber in November 2019 and release on DVD shortly after, the Trawling Through Time: The Story of Cook Welton & Gemmell documentary now makes its online debut via YouTube.

The programme - produced as part of East Riding Archives' National Lottery Heritage Fund project of the same name - is designed to bring the story of Beverley's impressive shipbuilding heritage to mainstream audiences.

The inland market town of Beverley was once a hub of maritime heavy industry, manufacturing fishing trawlers, tugs, minesweepers and more, all from the Grovehill Shipyard where the company of Cook, Welton & Gemmell had made its home since 1901.

After constructing historic vessels such as the Arctic Corsair, Yorkshire Belle, Lord Heneage and Viola, the company would send them nine miles downriver to C.D. Holmes' shipyard in Hull, where they would be fitted out.

This partnership between the two companies continued until Cook, Welton & Gemmell's eventual liquidation in 1963. At one time, its production was so prolific it had been largest trawler manufacturer in the world - chiefly service the fishing ports of Hull and Grimsby, but also notably Aberdeen and Fleetwood.

With little trace left now of this shipbuilding behemoth at the Grovehill site, East Riding Archives was able to keep the company's story alive with its Trawling Through Time project, based on the cataloguing and digitalisation work of the company's shipbuilding plans by an outstanding team of volunteers.

With expert commentary by Dr Robb Robison, the documentary - produced by Lia Nici -charts the progress of the project whilst giving a fascinating account of the company's story and its monumental contribution to the region's fishing heritage.

The project completed in 2019, but we still want to maintain its legacy. A number of people at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown may remember this company and children being home-schooled could benefit from learning about it. It can also benefit others wanting to find out more about their region's heritage.

As well as being in the above link, Trawling Through Time: The Story of Cook, Welton & Gemmell is available on the East Riding Libraries, Museums & Archives YouTube channel.  You can find out more about the project here.

You can also reach it via the adults section of the Active East Riding website at www.activeeastriding.co.uk

The East Riding Archives are currently closed to the public, but you can still view online resources via the Archives Online page at www.eastridingarchives.co.uk/archives-online and their new blog at www.eastridingarchives.blog


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