12 Silk Handkerchiefs, Reg Meuross’ 13th album inspired by Brian W. Lavery’s book The Headscarf Revolutionaries, opens a window on Hull’s Hessle Road fishing community in the aftermath of the Triple Trawler Disaster of 1968. After three sell-out performances in Hull that recreated and expanded upon the original song cycle, the singer-songwriter is now taking the show on a national tour this Autumn supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Joined on stage by stalwarts of the Hull folk scene, musicians Mick McGarry and Sam Martyn, Reg’s powerful songs are interwoven with narration from author Brian W. Lavery and an audio/visual show that includes rarely seen archive footage, photos and audio from the time of the disaster. Three Hull trawlers, the St Romanus, the Kingston Peridot and the Ross Cleveland perished and 58 men died in what became known as the Dark Winter.
Fighting fishwife Lillian Billoca’s subsequent successful campaign for improved trawler safety; sole survivor Harry Eddom who returned to sea just 11 weeks after the sinking; and the superstitions, lives and deaths of all those affected: all of these stories are contained within a fascinating and moving work of social and political history described as Meuross’s “most important work to date” by Pennyblack Music.
Reg Meuross himself says: “12 Silk Handkerchiefs is a classic tale of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and the mighty strength of the human spirit. For years the Hull trawlermen and their families fought for survival in the harshest of working conditions: frozen seas with very little safety or protection. It took Lillian and her fellow revolutionaries to fight the companies who were exploiting this community’s poverty and need for work. They took on the Government itself until desperately needed changes in the safety laws were made.
“If ever there was a story of survival vs. greed, honour vs. entitlement, courage and bravery vs. careless exploitation this is it. I believe such a story in living memory needs to be told now, and remembered for the future.”
Those fans of Reg’s music so accustomed to seeing his intimate solo performances at folk clubs and festivals across the land will be stunned by the power of this show, and those new to him will find it impossible not to be moved by this emotional and humbling tribute to the many, many lives lost to what was once the most dangerous industry in the world.
Artist’s website: www.regmeuross.com
Read Mike Davies’ review of 12 Silk Handkerchiefs here
FRIDAY 13 – GRIMSBY FISHERMAN’S CHAPEL Grimsby DN32 7EG
DOORS 6.45PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £10 BOX OFFICE 01472 355025
SATURDAY 14 – WEST KIRBY ARTS, WIRRAL CH48 4EL
DOORS 7.00PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £12 online from westkirbyartscentre.org.uk
MONDAY 16 – GREENWICH THEATRE, LONDON SE10 8ES
DOORS 7.00PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £16, concessions £13.50 (inc booking fee)
www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk or BOX OFFICE 020 8858 7755
WEDNESDAY 18 – ALDEBURGH THE JUBILEE HALL, IP15 5BN
DOORS 7.00PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £12 online – www.aldeburghjubileehall.co.uk BOX OFFICE 01728 454884 or in person from Aldeburgh Cinema
THURSDAY 19 – LOWESTOFT THE SEAGULL, NR3 0JH PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £7-£10 from theseagull.co.uk BOX OFFICE 01502 589726
SATURDAY 21 – BARTON-UPON-HUMBER, ROPERY HALL, THE ROPEWALK, DN18 5JT
DOORS 6.30PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £13 online from roperyhall.co.uk
BOX OFFICE 01652 660380
SUNDAY 22 – NEWCASTLE, THE CLUNY 2, NE1 2PQ
DOORS 7.00PM PERFORMANCE 7.30PM TICKETS £10 adv from www.thecluny.com
BOX OFFICE 0191 2304474
*NB solo fundraiser for Humber Rescue