Gill Long

Gill describes growing up on Hessle Road. She married her first husband at 17 and became pregnant straight away. She was expecting her second child when she lost her husband on Christmas Day 1966 on the St.Finbarr, one of the trawlers lost in the Triple Trawler Tragedy. Gill describes life as part of the fishing community, collecting wages from the docks and managing her home and family alone while her husband was at sea. Gill was involved with the Hessle Road ‘Headscarf Revolutionaries’ attending meetings to campaign for better safety on board the trawlers. She remarried and her second husband was also a fisherman. As the fishing industry declined he took work with the Merchant Navy and was based in the Gulf during the first Gulf War.

Media No: 1104
Interviewee Forename: Gill
Interviewee Surname: Long
Year of Birth 1948
Interviewer: Jessica Leathley
Location: Interviewee’s Home
Date of Interview: 27/03/2017
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 01:10:38


Time Code Notes

[00:00:00] Early life and family members/history. Overview of life – mention of first husband being lost a sea and getting remarried. He died years later of a heart attack whilst at sea.

[00:06:05] Father wasn’t allowed to go to sea. Was a Bricklayer – doing war damage work. Relationship with her three brothers. Brothers were also stopped from going to sea. Warned not to marry fishermen.

[00:09:20] Life down Hessle Road. Community and people helping each other. Visits from family. Brief emotional part about losing people at sea and having to be ‘mother and father’

[00:12:55] First marriage. Husband lost at sea after 20 months. Lied that she was pregnant so she could leave home and get married. Was hard to deal with him leaving to go away at first. How long he would get at home, and descriptions of working schedules.

[00:20:40] How pay would work. Would go down dock to collect husbands ‘wages’, this would come out of his pay at the end. Could even be in debt in the end. Most trips would be good on good ships.

[00:25:20] Rented house down Flinton Street. Made do without mostly, to eat out was a massive treat. Shopping down Hessle Road. Went daily or every other day. Was also a social event.

[00:29:30] Details of loss of first husband on St.Finbar. Detailed description of where she was and Christmas day leading up to the news. Found out he was missing next day when people came to the house. Fishermen mission would always come to the house to deliver the news. Learned to accept over time.

[00:38:00] Didn’t speak to second husband about her feelings. Loss of son though Leukaemia. Parents helped her through these tragedies. Talk about families in the modern world, with input from interviewer.

[00:42:50] Involvement with campaigns for better safety for men at sea. Talks about documentary film that was made about them and how emotional it was watching it. Different characters who were involved in the movement. Caused some friction with the husbands, didn’t like women getting involved.

[00:52:10] Second husbands job in the Gulf, doesn’t know as much about this. Learnt a lot about fishing through being involved socially with crews and helping husband with his skippers tickets. How the men would work up the ranks, different qualifications and tickets. John (second husband) was involved in minesweeping during first Gulf war.

[01:02:30] Wonders what has happened to all the women in the ‘headscarfs brigade’. Thoughts on all the people who were employed in the industry and how the city was affected by it. Thinks city was ‘prosperous’ in the late 60’s and then declined in the 70’s. Description of bridge over old Queens Dock and some memories before it was filled in.

These time code notes are provided as a rough guide to the above recording. Untold Hull would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their time and hard work in producing this information.