Fishing News features the story of the Viola by renowned author

Viola Trawler Post

8th January 2021

A writer, journalist and academic who has become a renowned author specialising in maritime themes has taken the story of the Viola to a wide and highly relevant audience with a feature article in the Fishing News, a leading authority in the industry.

Brian Lavery, who was born in Glasgow and has lived in Hull for nearly 40 years, seized upon the story after being commissioned by the Fishing News as a correspondent. Brian's credentials include a lifelong career in regional and national journalism, a passion for the fishing industry, families and heritage and a literary portfolio which includes The Headscarf Revolutionaries, published in May 2015 by Barbican Press, and The Luckiest Thirteen, also published by Barbican in late 2017.

The double-page spread in Fishing News features striking photography including the Viola in her current resting place at Grytviken, archive photography from the book Viola  The Life and Times of a Hull Steam Trawler, experts from Solis Marine conducting a survey of the vessel and 103-year-old Eric Tharratt, whose father George William Tharratt skippered the Viola.

Brian captures the drama and romance of the Viola story from when she was built in Beverley in 1906 to her role in the Boxing fleets and then her defence of the nation after being requisitioned during the First World War. He tells how she was sold to Norwegian owners for whaling duties off the coast of Africa and then to an Argentine company which used her for taking elephant seals.

The part played by Viola at the beginning of the Falklands War is also recalled, and Brian goes on to tell how the Viola Trust was formed and is now working to bring the ship back to Hull to take her place as part of the Hull: Yorkshire's Maritime City project.

Brian is now on the lookout for further inspirational stories about the Viola and Hull's wider fishing heritage. To find out more about his work please visit 

To read his article in the Fishing News please visit

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