The Headscarf Heroes

The Hull triple trawler tragedy

During the early months of 1968 three trawler boats sunk out from the fishing port of Hull, which claimed the lives of 58 crew members, with only one survivor. A series of events which shocked the nation and put the local women into action to campaign for better working conditions at sea

Newspaper article from the Hull Trawler Tragedy, The Hull Daily Mail
Photo by Alec Gill

The Families of fishermen were no stranger to tragedies at sea, with 6,000 who had already lost their lives

Hull had a unique fishing culture in what had become the greatest deep sea fishery in the world – however dangerous working practises in the race to fish had evolved over the century

The triple trawler tragedy flung the fishing industry into the public eye, leading to an investigation into the conditions of which fishermen were working



The Headscarf Heroes were local women of Hull – the wives, sisters and daughters of Fishermen

Led by Lillian Bilocca, thousands of people signed the petition for better working conditions at sea.

The group name was coined by the national newspapers as such due to the popular head wear of working class women at the time

"Big Lil" at the head of a demonstration after the disaster, Hull Daily Mail

Find out more about this important history and the women who campaigned to make the fishing industry a safer place where Fishermen could continue to work

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