Guests at one of the region’s leading shipping industry dinners have boosted the Viola campaign by almost £2,000.
The money was raised from donations and a raffle at the Grimsby and Immingham Shipping Association Dinner and has now been forwarded to the Chair of the Viola Trust, Paul Escreet, who spoke at the event.
Among the raffle prizes were two books, The Headscarf Revolutionaries and The Luckiest Thirteen, both signed and donated by Hull-based author Brian W Lavery. The guest speaker was former England football captain Terry Butcher, and his presence attracted an attendance of more than 230.
Paul, whose company SMS Towage organised the dinner, told of its importance in bringing together ship owners, service providers, stakeholders and clients that utilise the Humber, it’s jetties, ports and infrastructure.
He said: “As a port complex the Humber handled more than 63 million tons of cargo in 2016, increasing to 74 million tons in 2017. In fact the Humber handles a greater volume of cargo than any other port complex in the UK and as such is a key contributor to the UK economy.”
He highlighted the forthcoming commemoration of the centenary of the end of the Great War, and the need to remember the fallen of the Grimsby Chums and the Hull Palls Battalions who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Paul also underlined the importance of the war at sea, including the part played by the Viola and her crew.
He said: “Many men from the Humber community fought on the maritime front line as crew members of the many trawlers that were requisitioned and used for mine sweeping, patrol duties and utilised as Q ships.
The Viola was requisitioned together with a local crew at the outbreak of the war. She spent four years on the maritime front line keeping open the shipping lanes that allowed the country to wage war. She sailed more miles than any Royal Navy vessel during the period and participated in the sinking of more enemy vessels than HMS Dreadnought.”