Pride of Britain awards for the Headscarf Campaigners
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In the beginning of 1968 during the worst winter in living memory and in the space of two weeks, three trawlers from Hull were lost at sea. The St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland. From all three ships lost, there was only one survivor. This event has become infamous in Hull as 'The Triple Trawler Tragedy'. Just after the second trawler was lost, four local women decided to take action against the poor health and safety regulations and working conditions of the men at the time. Most notably, a change in the law to make it essential that every ship has a radio operator, an independent signalling system and regular communication with the mainland. All this had not been essential in the fishing industry up until then. Those four women were Lilian (big Lil) Bilocca, Yvonne Marie Blenkinsop, Mary Denness and Christine Jensen. They started with a petition which grew to over ten thousand signatures in just a matter of days and two meetings at the Victoria Hall on Hull's Hessle Road which was packed with hundreds of fishermens wives and families and members of the press. The day after the loss of the third trawler, with the help of John Prescott and the massive media coverage this disaster was getting, they took their campaign to Westminster and met the minister for agriculture and fisheries and over night those four local lasses who have become legends in Hull turned an industry on its head and made changes which have saved countless lives and still do to this day. They became known as the Headscarf Revolutionaries. Their story has been told on the stage, in books (most notably 'The Headscarf Revolutionaries' by Dr Brian Lavery) and will soon be made into a two part BBC drama so the whole world will soon know the story of these remarkable ladies. I nominated them for the Pride of Britain award last year and will do again this year. Sadly Lil and Christine are no longer with us but I know that Yvonne and Mary will be as honoured as I am when they stand on the stage once more, not to campaign but to take the applause and recieve the recognition they so rightly deserve at the 2018 Pride of Britain awards and it's only right that it should happen on the 50th anniversary of the Triple Trawler Tragedy and when their home town Hull is City of Culture. Please take a look and like my Facebook page 'Headscarf Pride'
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