Larry’s Viola fleet – the 12 ships selected for the calendar

Viola Trawler Post

21st October 2019

Larry’s Viola fleet – the 12 ships selected for the calendar

Larry Malkin was inspired to create the “Homeward Bound” calendar after being commissioned to paint a picture of the Norland for the cover of a book.

He had already decided to paint the Viola and offer the work to the Viola Trust for auction, and he was planning another work showing the visit to Hull by the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1977.

He said: “I realised that by having three separate paintings we had the start of a calendar, so I contacted the Trust and offered to put one together.”

The Viola features on the cover of the calendar and for the month of April. Other featured vessels are the Kirkella, Humber Barges, Norland, HMS Bounty, Lincoln Castle, HMS Britannia with HMS Yarmouth, Manxman, Sea Challenger, Arctic Corsair, Rialto and Diana.

Below are details of each of the ships. Anyone interested in placing an order for the calendar should contact the Trust by email at

Individuals can also buy calendars from 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar, Wellington Street West, Hull, or Hotham’s Distillery in Hepworth’s Arcade, Hull. The ViolaTrust is in the process of contacting retailers to stock the calendar. The retail price is £9.95, with postage and packaging payable on email orders.

Front cover

The Viola, sponsored by Hotham’s Distillery and Viola gin.

January: MT Kirkella

Kirkella is a distant water stern trawler/ factory freezer ship owned by UK Fisheries Ltd and supplying 8 per cent of the cod and haddock to British fish and chip shops. Built by the Krist shipyard in Poland and fitted out by Mykebust Verft As of Norway. Registered in Hull in June 2018 and named in Greenwich by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, on the 20th of April 2019, the seventh vessel named after Kirk Ella.

Sponsored by UK Fisheries Ltd.

February: Humber Barges

Barges were flat-bottomed, round sterned vessels, fitted with leeboards to allow them to sail close to the wind. The featured boats represent the four main types:

On the left is “Comrade” is a Sheffield type barge which could carry up to 100 tons of cargo, including coal, flour and grain.

Second on the left is the Billy Boy ketch rigged “Audrey”. Built by Watson’s of Gainsborough in 1915 as a manned lightship for the Middle Whitton Sands. Billy Boys traded out of Goole, Knottingley and Hull carrying cargoes of cement, bricks, fertiliser and oil cake.

Third from the left is the Humber Sloop rigged “Amy Howson”. Built by J. Scarr and Sons in Beverley in 1914 she was rigged as a keel and originally named SOPHIA. Amy Howson is also Sheffield and along with Comrade is owned by the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society.

On the right is the Thames Barge, “Mirosa”, built in 1892 in Maldon to carry hay, straw and timber up to London. Thames Barges were sea-going and often visited the Humber ports with a variety of cargoes.

Supported by RSM UK Tax and Accounting Limited.

March: MV. Norland

The Norland was a roll on/roll off ferry. She was built in 1974 by AG Weser in Bremerhaven, for North Sea Ferries operating a daily service from Hull to Zeebrugge and back. In 1982 she was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence to transfer troops and equipment as part of the task force to the Falkland Islands. In San Carlos Bay Norland narrowly avoided being hit by Argentinian bombs. Sold to the Italian firm SNAV as the “Sicilia”, she was scrapped in India in 2010.

Sponsored by Try Lunn and Co. Commissioned by Reg Kemp and Michael Woods.

April: ST Viola/Dias

The Viola/Dias is the world’s oldest surviving steam-powered trawler with engines intact. She was built as the Viola for the Hellyer Boxing fleet by Cook, Welton and Gemmell in Beverley (H868). During the First World War, she was drafted into the Royal Navy to accompany convoys up and down the East Coast, helping to sink two German U boats. After the war ended, she was sold as a trawler to Norwegian owners and renamed “Kapduen” and later “Dias”. In 1927 she was sold again to the Argentinian company Pesca, becoming a seal catcher in Grytviken, South Georgia. Viola/Dias undertook several expeditions, which prolonged her existence until the whaling station closed in 1964. She remains on the beach in Grytviken. The Viola Trust Charity are dedicated to raising funds to bring this little ship with a big heart back to Hull.

Sponsored by Roach Bothers Smoke House.

May: HMS Bounty

Built as the merchantman “Bethia” at Blaydes Shipyard in Hull in 1784. Bought for the Royal Navy in 1787, armed and transformed into a vessel for carrying bread fruit from Tahiti to the Caribbean Islands. Captained by William Bligh, the ship reached Tahiti after a long and difficult voyage, during which an albatross was killed for food. The crew mutinied after loading the bread fruit and cast the captain adrift in an open boat. Bligh survived and later surveyed the lower Humber estuary and assisted Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen.

Sponsored by Andrew Jackson Solicitors.

June: PS Lincoln Castle

The Lincoln Castle was the last and finest steam coal-powered paddle ferry in regular use in the United Kingdom. She was built by A & J Inglis in Glasgow for the London North Eastern Railway Company and ran across between New Holland and Hull starting in 1941 until withdrawn by Sealink in 1978. She operated as a restaurant at Hessle Foreshore and later in Grimsby but gradually deteriorated over the years and despite several attempts to buy and preserve her she was broken up in 2010- 2011.

Sponsored by Patrington Haven Leisure Park.

 July: The Royal Yacht HMS Britannia and HMS Yarmouth

HMS Yarmouth accompanied the Royal Yacht to Hull in 1977 when the Queen visited as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations. The Royal Yacht has paid several visits to Hull during Her Majesty’s reign. The pair of boats are seen emerging from a rain cloud as seen by the artist.

Sponsored by Crossroads Nurseries, Hollym near Withernsea.

 August: SMS Towage Manxman

The “Manxman” was launched in 2019 and was built by Damen in the Netherlands. Sistership to the equally powerful “Marksman”, The Manxman represents the all-important vessels that have assisted ocean going ships and barges in the Humber throughout the ages. She is seen here against a backdrop of the mist-hidden wind turbine towers on the new Siemens Gamesa renewable energy site in Hull.

Sponsored by SMS Towage.

September: A2Seas Sea Challenger

Siemens Gamesa opened a large wind turbine blade producing site on Alexander Dock, Hull in 2016. Since that time installation craft like the A2Sea’s “Sea Challenger” have been regular visitors, picking up blades and towers and installing them in offshore wind farms throughout the North Sea. Sea Challenger was built in 2014 by the COSCO Shipbuilding company in China.

Sponsored by Arco.

October:  MT Arctic Corsair

Built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell in Beverley for Boyd Line, Hull. Registration number H320. The Arctic Corsair was Hull’s last surviving deep-water sidewinder vessel. In 1973 held the record for catch of cod and haddock from the White Sea. In 1976 the arctic Corsair rammed the Icelandic patrol vessel “Odin” which had tried three times to cut the trawler’s nets. She is currently undergoing repair in readiness to take her place as a major attraction in the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.

Sponsored by 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar.

November: Ellerman’s Wilson Line SS Rialto

Built by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd on the Tyne in 1948. As a refrigerated cargo ship, Rialto was used on the Hull - North Atlantic route to Montreal and New York. Founded in 1822 the Wilson Line engaged mainly in the Baltic and Scandinavian trade with Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and then across the Atlantic to America and Canada The Wilson Line was heavily involved in ferrying emigrants from Europe to the USA. Rialto represents the huge worldwide trade that Hull was involved in down the centuries and the many merchant navy seamen who sailed from the port.

Sponsored by the Hull Independent Merchant Navy association. Mr Charles Marr and an anonymous donor.

December: Whale Ship Diana

The Diana was the last whaling vessel to sail out of Hull. Built in Bremen in 1840 as a fully rigged ship, she was equipped with a 40 bhp steam engine by Earles shipyard in 1858.  The Diana is most famous for being trapped in the ice in 1866, losing thirteen of her crew before being released.

Sponsored by the Corporation of Hull Trinity House.

Picture by Robert Bentley shows the artist Larry Malkin with some of the original paintings.

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