All aboard! 300 Hull schoolchildren set sail on the Humber thanks to ABP and Hull Children’s University

April 20, 2015

Natasha Banke and children from St Richard’s RC Primary School prepare to set sail aboard the Regal Lady

Schoolchildren from across the city have been given the opportunity to learn about global trade and the importance of the Humber Estuary, as well as Hull’s proud maritime history whilst out on the ocean wave, thanks to Associated British Ports (ABP) and Hull Children’s University.

Following the success of 2014’s inaugural Humber river cruises, around 300 children embarked on four cruises, which featured sea shanty competitions and fact-filled commentaries written by the children themselves.

The cruises have been designed to show the children just how vital the Humber Estuary is as a trading gateway, as well as help them learn more about their city and the organisations whose business depend on the river.

Deputy Director of Hull Children’s University, Natasha Banke explained: “We have been offering port experience days for a number of years and these have always been popular, however there was a desire from both ourselves and our member schools to get out on the river and learn about the city’s trade links and its history in a completely new way and the idea of the Humber river cruises was born.

“Following the success of last year’s cruises, when over 300 children took to the river over the course of a week, we had to offer the experience again to schools that missed out last time.

“Fortunately we have a very accommodating partner in ABP, who have gone above and beyond to make sure the cruises go ahead and this year’s trips have been as good, if not better, than last year. The children have had a fantastic time and learnt so much about their home city.”

Children from St Richard’s RC Primary School, St James’ Primary School, Stoneferry Primary School and Mountbatten Primary School took to the water aboard Regal Lady, a double-ended steamer based in Scarborough that was built in 1930 and assisted with the Dunkirk evacuations.

Spencer Beadle (10), from St James’ Primary School said: “We’ve been on a boat down the Humber and learnt lots of different facts.

“We learned about the ships that are coming into Hull with all their goods, and the fact that The Deep has 3500 fish.

“We got to go under the Humber Bridge, which was really good. It has been really fun.”

The vessel sailed from King George Dock at ABP’s Port of Hull and took in Fort Paull, before turning around and journeying upriver under the Humber Bridge and making her way back to the dock.

Captain Andrew Firman is ABP’s Harbour Master Humber, he accompanied the vessel and ensured an ABP pilot was present on each cruise, helping the Regal Lady’s skipper Tom Machin navigate the Estuary.

Capt. Firman said: “The 2014 cruises were such a huge success that organising a series of trips for 2015 was never in question.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to get involved with something like this; something that makes such a huge difference to the children and to their education but that is hugely enjoyable at the same time. Many of the children hadn’t experienced anything like this before and it was fantastic to be able to not only facilitate that, but to share it with them.”