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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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How did the campaign start? Mary Denness 5

How did the campaign start? 

The initial reaction to get the women together was spontaneous, born out of fear. Because we now had a third trawler that had been lost, in less than three weeks. The anger had started with the Romaness. Because the Romaness had been missing ten days before the trawler owners even let it out that there was a ship missing. Well that fired us up. Then we lost the Peridot, all hands. Then we lost the Cleveland. All hands except for one who was found later. Well it was fear and anger all culminating in what was an explosion to get things done in the trawling industry. The men couldn’t do it. The men were at sea. Unlike the coal miners. They couldn’t lead the shift and have hundreds of them massed together in a hall to have something done about the miners. They were drifting backwards and forwards. Going out to sea, coming back again. There were never enough of them together at any time in one place to effectively bring about any sort of campaigning by themselves. They needed the shore based people to do it for them. Well, who were the shore based people? The wives, the mothers, the daughters, the sisters. It was the women who could do it on their behalf. But it was very much for the fishermen. It was not a feminist campaign at all. We did it on behalf of our seafaring menfolk.