“Open Bridges – on the night all the different components came together like the meshing of gears, working as one” Mal Nicholson HMS Pickle
Our final Open Bridges workshop session was held aboard the Spider T, Mal Nicholson’s wonderful 62ft Humber sloop. Thanks to Mal for the hospitality aboard the Spider.
Open Bridges team members Iain Campbell – Beverley Barge Preservation Society, Pete Curry – Bridge Operations, Captain Malcolm Mathison – National Vice Chairman, The Merchant Navy Association, John Medland – Sailing Master Humber Keel Comrade, Captain Mal Nicholson – HMS Pickle, Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard – Open Bridges organisers spent the afternoon sharing stories about what happened on the night.
Iain Campbell on the Syntan spoke of so many positives as a great atmosphere and host of well-wishers followed the Syntan down the Hull with great conversations, ship to shore along the way. The VIPs on the Pickle had such an adventure, the emergency services were happy, no gridlock, no issues. Bridge Operations staff closed, lifted or swung every bridge across the river.
We talked of the river in its heyday, not so long ago, with the river full of barges and bridges lifting 15 times a shift, before the tidal barrier when the old town flooded. We spoke of the river as real hull culture and the importance of the docks and river and bridges and heritage continuing that legacy which people only realise how important it is when it’s gone.
We have a recording from the evening we’ve transcribed for the Open Bridges Exhibition on 9th December. The transcript is taken from a recording made on board HMS Pickle and includes communications on maritime frequency VHF22 between vessels and the Hull and Humber Harbourmasters, event radio communication of 20 Bridge Operators plus Engineers, Pete Curry – Event Control, and the conversations on board HMS Pickle, the voices of its Captain, Mal Nicholson, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the East Riding of Yorkshire, the deputy Humber Harbourmaster Andrew Swift, Captain Malcolm Mathison and Harry, Ken and crew.
The last piece of the jigsaw is the film that Humber Film have made of the event. The screening will take place at Kardomah 94 on December 9th, along with the film from Octovision Media and drone footage and Les Drake’s view from the Pickle. This will be followed by the opening of the exhibition in Scale Lane Bridge.
Capacity is limited at both venues so we’ll be sending invitations to the launch on the 9th to all those involved in, and who supported, Open Bridges. Details of the exhibition opening times will follow.
Thanks to our workshop photographer Piotr Korczynski who took photographs of the session. Click on an image to enlarge the photo and scroll through
The conversations continued aboard HMS Pickle who is preparing to sail to Portsmouth to berth next to HMS Victory for the prestigious Pickle Night. Visit the gallery below
Open Bridges is a whole tapestry of threads, a celebration of the lifeblood of the city, the River Hull and its 13 movable bridges – more than any other city. Beautiful historic vessels representing three centuries – 18th century HMS Pickle, 19th century Humber Keel Comrade and 20th century MV Syntan mustered on the River Hull, met on the Humber by powerful 21st century tugs from SMS Towage and Svitzer. Open Bridges is an exploration of the notion of freedom during the City of Culture’s Freedom Season. The culmination of Open Bridges – the live world premiere of John Stead’s new musical work, Moments in Time was magical. And the city momentarily split in two when all 13 bridges over the River Hull closed simultaneously for the first and only time in the city’s history – at 20:17 hours on the autumnal equinox 2017.
Open Bridges is an independent all Hull based project by Duffy-Howard Music taking place during the Hull City of Culture Freedom Season. We are delighted that every aspect of planning and delivery of Open Bridges is by people in Hull.
Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard