Last of the British Trawlers honored with a new stamp issue

May 26th, 2015 is glad to inform that South Georgia Post has released a set of stamps to commemorate the exploits of the steam trawler Viola – last of the British Trawlers. The issue consisting of four items has been already designed and is to be put into circulation in June.

A Beverley-built ship which worked as a trawler, a whaler and a warship has won official recognition from the Government of its current resting place even though it could be heading back to Hull.

The exploits of the steam trawler Viola – which fought in the Great War and also had a role in the start of the Falklands War – have been commemorated in a set of stamps to be released next month in South Georgia, where the vessel has rested for 50 years.

Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to bring the ship back to the Humber, from where she sailed off to war in 1914 with a crew of fishermen, a voyage in which the vessel was involved in sinking two U-boats.

Dr Robb Robinson of the University of Hull’s Maritime Historical Studies Centre, said initial discussions have taken place with businesses about the logistics of securing the Viola and transporting her to Hull, and with Hull City Council about presenting the vessel on permanent display.

A book, "VIOLA – The Life and Times of a Hull Steam Trawler", co-written by Robb with Ian Hart, was part of the inspiration behind the decision of the Governor of the Falklands, Colin Roberts, to commission the stamps which will be released on June 21.

The book was presented to the Governor by surveyors who visited South George last November to examine the Viola, now named the Dias, and assess whether it was feasible to bring her to Hull.

Robb said: "The Governor was so taken by the story of the Viola that he commissioned a new set of stamps. As a result, I was approached by the company Creative Direction Worldwide which subsequently produced the stamps. The book publishers, Lodestar Books, supplied the images.

"I also advised on the artwork and we came up with four stamps and a first day cover which represent different stages in the vessel's history as depicted in the book".
The 70 pence stamps show the Viola steam trawler working as part of Hull's Hellyer boxing fleet far out in the North Sea in around 1907 and then on patrol off the Farne Islands on the Northumberland coast in 1917. The 80 pence stamp has the vessel rigged as a Norwegian whaling vessel working off the coast of Africa in about 1925 and the £1.25 version shows the vessel working a sealing ship at South Georgia in about 1961.

The £2.50 first day cover is a graphic illustration of the vessel when it was involved with a number of other ships and the airship R29 in the sinking of the UB-115 off the Northumberland coast in September 1918.