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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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Was campaigning difficult? Mary Denness 4

Was campaigning difficult?
No, it wasn’t difficult because we were very fired up, so to speak. It all started long before the three trawlers went down because of the conditions that prevailed in the trawling industry. We were still an industry with casual employment in the middle of the 20th Century. No other industry had casual employment, except perhaps the odd taxi driver or something like that. But this was really appalling. There was no benefits for the trawlermen when they came home. Nothing. So that anger really caught up over a period of years and when the three trawlers went down that was the last straw. We were not going to put up with any more of those sort of conditions. And that’s when the campaign started. But it had started really, inside everybody emotionally, a lot of years before.
· How did the campaign end?
Well, the campaign ended really when the trawling industry ended. And it had fizzled out gradually before then because there was nothing else to fight for. The trawling industry was not investing in new trawlers. It was a dying industry, we all knew that. So when the trawlers were disappearing everything else couldn’t carry on either. And so it fizzled out.
  • What campaigning strategies did you use?

In one television interview I gave, they said “how do you feel about it now?” I said I feel rather bad about myself and they said “why?” and I said “cos I wish I started longer and shouted louder and carried on afterwards”.