The Three Ships

A new exhibition called “The Three Ships” has been launched in the Hull Maritime Museum.

The exhibition, which began on 2nd March, is of textiles and mixed media and is based on three ships: Resolution, Morning and Viola.

The Viola is a Steam Trawler that was built in 1906. It is the oldest in the world. During World War 1, Viola had a huge involvement in the sinking of the UB-30 and UB-115, both German submarines. In 1919, Viola was taken out of service by the Admiralty and sold to Norway and was later renamed Kapuden. Later on, it was used for whaling and its name was then changed to Dias. After taking part in the Falklands war, Dias was left in Grytviken where it remains to this day.

SY Morning, previously known as Morgenen, was built in Norway in 1871 by Svend Foyn. It was bought as a relief ship for the British National Antarctic Expedition for £3880. The ship’s captain was William Colbeck. In September 1901, it sailed from Norway to London, was refitted and its name changed to Morning. It made two voyages: the first was from Lyttelton, Norway to Antartica, where the crew discovered two islands that were later claimed for the British Empire. The islands are now known as Scott Island and Haggitt’s Pillar. On this same voyage, Morning set out to find Discovery – a wooden three-masted ship built in Britain. Although they found Discovery, it was stuck in ice and they were unable to get it out. The second voyage was back to Antartica to free Discovery, which they did.

Marquis of Granby was built in Whitby in 1770. In 1771, The Royal Navy bought it for £4,151. Its name was changed to the Resolution. In 1772, James Cook, captain of the Resolution set sail on his second voyage from England to Antartica to look for the Great Southern Continent. In 1773, the ship became the first ever to cross the Antarctic circle, which it did two more times on the same voyage. On his third voyage, Cook set out to return Omai, a Ra’iatean man, back to his home. On the 14th February, 1779, Cook was killed in Hawaii.


The Three Ships in the Maritime Museum

Alison Larkin is one of the eleven Artists of the three ships in the Maritime Museum. She created replicas of a waistcoat stitched together by Elizabeth Cook, wife of James Cook during his third voyage, as well as a map sampler Elizabeth stitched in Memory of James.


When asked about the design process and the research taken into creating the three ships, she said: “Because they are replicas, there was very little ‘design’ involved in the work, as i was copying Elizabeth’s work. Having said that, the waistcoat did involve some guesswork on my part, as the original was unfinished.

“I had to research the size and overall pattern, as well as a design for the buttons. In 2014, I was able to visit Sydney, Australia, to examine the original waistcoat in the State Library of New South Wales, as well as the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, which has another waistcoat belonging to James Cook. I was able to use this to get the size correct.”

Alison then added: “The waistcoat itself took me 300 hours work, spread over about 6 months. The map Sampler took me 112 hours to stitch, again spread over several months.”

The exhibition will run until the 28th April.





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