Open Bridges Adventures

Open Bridges Hull: “A truly memorable evening when we all worked together to overcome the odds and produce something spectacular. Thanks to all that made this possible and to our VIP guests.”  HMS Pickle Captain Mal Nicholson

Open Bridges Thirteenth Flare – photograph by Graeme Oxby

There were so many adventures during Open Bridges, and everyone who was part of it had a different story to tell. While the Motor Barge Syntan sailed down the River Hull HMS Pickle and Humber Keel Comrade – with Humber Rescue on the river – prepared to meet where the river flows into the Humber estuary. Then, at 20:17 hours on the autumn equinox 2017 all 13 of Hull’s river bridges closed to traffic, separating the city into two for the first time in its history. HMS Pickle fired 13 rockets into the night sky to mark the moment. The vessels sailed out into the estuary to be met by the waiting, powerful Svitzer Maersk and SMS Towage tugs with searchlights and water canons. As the vessels disappeared into darkness and the music began…

The following gallery is a selection of photographs by our Open Bridges event photographer Graeme Oxby. Click on an image and scroll through.


Open Bridges is a whole tapestry of threads. It’s 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 – for the first time ever.

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.

Open Bridges photograph by Graeme Oxby
Open Bridges Rich & Lou  photograph by Graeme Oxby

Open Bridges is a whole tapestry of threads. It’s a celebration of Hull’s lifeblood, the River Hull, 13 movable bridges, the vessels that use the river and the heritage & culture that have grown up in both East and West Hull.


Project concept Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard