Start of Ropery Hall autumn programme

Hull trawler skipper Jim Williams life at sea at the height of the city’s fishing industry is to be retold in early September when the play Swinging the Lamp kicks off the start of Barton upon Humber’s Ropery Hall autumn programme.
The play, a tribute in words and song, has been written by Beverley actor Gordon Meredith who met Jim around 25 years ago when they both workd on an exhbition aboard the deep sea trawler that is now a museum, the Artic Corsair.
“Jim was at sea when the triple trawler tragedy happened 50 years ago so it is appropriate that the anniversary is marked in this short tour around the east coast,” said Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk.
The performance retells Jim’s experiences and dramas of a life at sea as well as the time he spent promoting the rich fishing heritage of the Humber Estuary so that the present generation will never forget the bravery and sacrifices made by the city’s fishermen.
“Gordon initially played the role of Jim in a production at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012, and then decided to write Swinging the Lamp basing it on Jim’s autobiography of the same name to ensure his stories wouldn’t go untold, as well as marking the 50th anniversary of the triple trawler tragedy,” Liz continued.
This production, performed with local actor Richard Avery and musician Pete Fletcher, was first played at Beverley’s East Riding Theatre in February this year.
Gordon added: “Jim was a fascinating character and had so many fabulous stories to tell about his life at sea. With the decline of the fishing industry it’s important that people now know about Hull and Grimsby’s fishing heritage and Jim’s stories not only keeps his memory alive but gives people an insight into what it was really like fishing in the bitterly cold Arctic waters”.
“Swinging the Lamp is part story-telling, part theatre and part folk music, and I hope it will help evoke life in the fishing communities of Hull and Grimsby and remember the life of Jim,” he went on.
The play is being performed at the Maltkiln Road venue on Wednesday, September 5, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 in advance or £12 on the door and can be purchased through www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at the Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380.

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