Hul MP to help choose trawlermen memorial design
FORMER Home Secretary Alan Johnson will help choose the winning design for the long-awaited memorial to the city's 6,000 lost trawlermen.
The Hull West and Hessle MP has a long association with the fishing industry and has spent years fighting to ensure Hull's trawlermen receive compensation after losing their jobs during the cod wards in the 1970s.
Stand, the St Andrew's Dock Heritage Park Action Group, has announced that Mr Johnson has agreed to join the panel set to choose the winner of the design for the £140,000 memorial.
Mr Johnson has a strong connection with Stand, for which he held a special fundraising event at the House of Commons in September.
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Mr Johnson said: "I'm very pleased to be invited to sit on the judging panel for the Stand memorial.
"For many of my constituents whose loved ones were among the thousands of men lost at sea during the long period when Hull was the biggest distant water fishing port in the world, it is crucial we have a memorial worthy of the brave men it will commemorate."
People, companies and organisations helped Stand reach its total, with £60,000 being raised as part of the Mail's Triple Trawler Tragedy campaign in 2008.
Mr Johnson joins Stand chairman Charles Pinder and treasurer Ron Wilkinson as one of the five members of the panel who will judge the competition.
The design brief for the site, on the water's edge at St Andrews Quay, sets out Stand's vision for the memorial as "a special place to mark and preserve the memory of the thousands of Hull trawlermen who lost their lives and to mark their contribution to the life of the city and the nation".
Stand, with the support of Hull City Council, is promoting the competition to ensure a scheme of the highest quality can be achieved.
This will lead to the selection of three competitors who will each produce a design proposal.
The public will be invited to comment on each of the proposals when they are displayed in Hull's Maritime Museum in the summer and prior to the panel selecting the winning design.
Mr Pinder said: "We are delighted Alan Johnson will add his voice to the final decision and we look forward to a strong display of interest in the competition."
Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Steve Brady believes having Mr Johnson on board will be a big asset.
He said: "I am pleased that now we have secured an appropriate site for the memorial, the next stage is under way. Having Alan Johnson on board to help identify the best design is also good news.
"Stand has worked hard to fundraise for this project and it will be a significant historical and educational site for the city."
The three designs chosen as finalists will be displayed in Hull's Maritime Museum prior to the selection of the winner, which is expected to be announced in the summer.
Details of the competition will shortly be placed on Stand's website and it is being publicised in national trade publications
Visit www.hullfishingheri tage.org.uk for updates.