The old trawler Viola lies half-forgotten in South Georgia, but there is much more to her than meets the eye. Built over 100 years ago, she has steamed thousands of miles and survived as the oldest steam trawler in the world with her engines intact. You can help the Viola Trust take her on one more journey, back to her home port, where her remarkable story will be brought to life for a new generation.
Built in 1906 in Beverley, Viola was part of the Hellyer fleet of steam trawlers working the North Sea. In 1914, she was requisitioned for duty in the First World War and served with distinction, spending four years on the front line in the grim war against mines and submarines and involved in sinking two U-boats. She is one of only four remaining British vessels to have seen active service. Renamed Dias and sold for sealing and whaling duties which took her to South Georgia, she never returned to Hull. Now is your chance to help the Viola Trust to bring her home.
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has approved Viola’s return to take a starring role in Hull City Council’s new maritime heritage displays. The Trust, formed by business people, a Royal Navy Rear Admiral and a prominent Member of Parliament, is trying to raise £3 million to transport her and set up an innovative apprenticeship scheme, giving people the skills to restore Viola as an education centre and as a lasting memorial to those who lost their lives in the war at sea.
The Viola Trust works with the South Georgia Heritage Trust and with schools in the UK to share information on Viola’s history and her restoration. We will ensure that future generations continue to learn about this stalwart of the seas.
Please explore our website, and please do all you can to help us bring the Viola back to Hull.