Nordic House and Viola Trust to combine maritime history and high technology at Heritage Open Days
An organisation which has been serving the spiritual needs of seafarers and the wider community in Hull for more than 150 years will showcase some of the city’s maritime history as it opens for Heritage Open Days.
The Danish Church will welcome visitors to the latest in its Nordic House programme of events to view artefacts accumulated during its years serving resident Scandinavians and visiting seafarers.
The Heritage Open Days weekend, which takes place on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 September, will also feature a presentation by the Viola Trust which will unveil a “work in progress” high-tech recreation of the Hull trawler built in 1906 which still lies on a beach at Grytviken, South Georgia.
The first Danish Church in Hull was consecrated in 1871 in Osborne Street but closed after taking a direct hit from German bombs on the eve of its 70th anniversary in 1941.
The current building was constructed as a replacement in the same street and will be 70 years old next year. It is still used for religious services and attracts hundreds of visitors every year for the hugely popular Scandinavian Christmas Market, which this year will take place on Saturday 25 November.
With the advent of Nordic House, the building has also become a destination for community, cultural and corporate events and this year is its second as a venue for Heritage Open Days.
It will be open from midday until 4pm on the Friday and Saturday when artefacts on display will include a candelabra and part of the stained glass window from the original Danish Church.
The centrepiece of the current church is the organ, built nearly 50 years ago by the Copenhagen firm of Frobenius. Visitors will also be able to admire model ships including the Dronning Ingrid, which was moved to the Danish Church in Hull after the closure in the 1970s of its counterpart in Newcastle, and a replica of the steam frigate HDMS Jylland, launched in 1860 and one of the world’s largest wooden warships.
On the Saturday representatives from the Viola Trust will be present throughout the afternoon and will update visitors on the campaign to bring the Viola back to Hull. They will also show unseen photography and video which is being used to create a “Virtual Viola” display.
Charlotte Theill, Manager of Danish Church and Nordic House, said:
“Heritage Open Days is a great opportunity for people to call in and find out more about the history of the Scandinavian community in Hull and we are delighted to be taking part once again.
“We are also thrilled to be joined by the Viola Trust. I’m fascinated by the story of the Viola and its exploits fishing as part of the Hull boxing fleet then fighting in the First World War before ending up stuck on a beach in the South Atlantic.
“I’m looking forward very much to finding out more – particularly about when the Viola was under Norwegian ownership – and to hearing about the plans for a virtual reality project.”
To find out more about the Danish Church and Nordic House visit https://danchurchhull.co.uk/
To find out more about the Viola visit http://www.violatrawler.net/
Main picture details
Picture of the Viola trawler on the beach at Grytviken where she has sat since the 1960s.