Tributes to Anlaby trawler skipper Robert Ellis after death at 78
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former trawler skipper and author who passed away at the weekend.
Robert Ellis, 78, died surrounded by his family at his Anlaby home after a battle with cancer.
He was in the merchant navy for ten years after retiring from the trawling industry.
He was also involved in fishing heritage group Stand for ten years, eventually becoming vice-chairman.
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His wife, Pat Ellis, a former Hull city councillor, said: "His father was a trawler skipper in the 1920s and he first went to sea aged 15 as a deck hand.
"He made his way through the ranks and became skipper when he was 28."
Mr Ellis sailed from 1950 to 1975 fishing seas in Russia, Newfoundland, Iceland and Greenland among others.
He would spend three weeks on the sidewinder and two days at home with his family.
Other times, when the water was frozen, he would spend six weeks at sea before being at home for a week.
Mrs Ellis said: "When he came ashore, it would be very much family time, we were a strong family unit.
"He loved his holidays and travelled all over the world.
"I would often ask him if he had his life over again would he change anything?
"He told me he would not have anything different because of the camaraderie of the men on the trawlers."
During his time on the trawlers, the couple lived in Anlaby with their three daughters, Linda, Beverley and Julie, but Beverley died at the age of seven.
Mr Ellis was passionate about passing on the heritage of the fishing industry to the next generation and became involved in Stand, offering tours around the Arctic Corsair in Hull.
Mrs Ellis said: "He was in his element. If he could talk about the sea and do tours all day, he would.
"That is what his two books are about.
"We told him that he should record his life for his four grandsons to read.
"We said if anything happened to him, it would all be lost.
"He wrote them so well, they were too good just for the grandchildren to read."
His first book, Arctic Apprentice, was published two years ago.
It charts stories from his early days at sea.
His second book is due out soon and is called Arctic Adventurer.
Mrs Ellis said: "It is sad he has not seen it to fruition."
Mr Ellis's funeral will take place tomorrow at 12.30pm at St Peter's Church in Anlaby.