The Story On Screen

TV Documentary Preview

On Friday 16th August at 7pm, the ‘Trawling Through Time’ project made its cinematic debut with a special preview screening of its tv documentary at Parkway Cinema, Beverley. Produced, and directed by Lia Nici of Waterside Films, the programme was shown to a sell-out audience of 255 people, including a number of our volunteers, staff, and ex-shipyard workers.

A packed-out cinema gets ready for the preview screening

It was very gratifying to see so many members of the public engaging with the story of the company and joining us for this preview before the documentary airs on That’s TV Humber later in the year.

A pre-screening VIP drinks reception was held for volunteers, staff & their guests. (Pictured left to right, Cataloguing Volunteers Peter Holmes, Barry Gibson, and Margaret, Barry’s wife)

“We can now say that we outsold ‘The Rock’ on a Friday night!  Who said Archives aren’t cool?!”

Before the event opened to the public, a V.I.P. drinks reception was held in the function room for volunteers, staff, and their guests, who all appeared to enjoy the wine and nibbles on offer.  As if that wasn’t enough, we ‘pushed the boat out’ even further by giving every single audience member free popcorn and a soft drink!  This, coupled with the fact that we were able to hold the event in a mainstream cinema alongside blockbuster movies like ‘Spiderman: Far From Home’ , lent a fun aspect to the evening as well, and it was a delight to see ‘Trawling Through Time’ displayed as ‘sold out’ next to ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Fast & Furious’, which both still had tickets ‘available’.  We can now say that we outsold ‘The Rock’ on a Friday night!  Who said Archives aren’t cool?!

“Who said Archives aren’t cool?!”  ‘Trawling Through Time’ is a Friday night cinema sell-out.

There was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation in the auditorium, generated by having a full house and the perfect setting for our screening.  As well as being an opportunity to give members of the public the privilege of seeing our documentary programme before anyone else, for a small £2 admission fee, it was also a way of saying thank you to the amazing group of volunteers that have worked on this project since it began in April 2018, and to the team of staff whose drive and enthusiasm for the task has been vital in delivering our goals.  With the evening being made possible through the grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks was also given to The National Lottery players themselves, many of whom would no doubt have been in the audience.

Project co-ordinator, Sam Bartle, introduces the event and thanks contributors


The stage was then set for the big screen preview, and as the opening sequence and music began to play, you could sense the anticipation.

It was just over 24 hours since Dr Robb Robinson, Honorary Research Fellow at University of Hull (Blaydes House), had returned from a stint as resident historian on a cruise along the coast of Canada and Alaska, and yet he still managed to attend our event to deliver an introductory presentation on the maritime heritage of Hull, Grimbsy, and East Yorkshire, placing the story of Cook, Welton & Gemmell into context for the audience. Despite the fact that he had made an exhausting trip across the world to be with us, he showed exactly the same energy and passion for the subject that he has given throughout all of his lectures on the ‘Trawling Through Time’ project outreach programme.  He captivated the audience with tales of the global impact made by those involved in maritime industry, such as an engineer who founded Chicago, and another who built one of the first rail tunnels in New York City, and also the education that Robb gave us about the Triple Expansion Steam Engine will probably now be used by audience members to impress friends during their next visit to a maritime museum.

Dr Robb Robinson enthrals a sell-out audience of 255 people


The stage was then set for the big screen preview, and as the opening sequence and music began to play, you could sense the anticipation.  The eloquent narration of Hugh Riches lent an air of authority to the film, and the audience were transfixed as the story of Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Shipbuilders was intertwined with the tale of our endeavours at East Riding Archives, to preserve the technical drawings for future generations, whilst bringing the company’s story to the mainstream public.

A cinematic debut: The preview screening begins..

With interviews from project volunteers, ex-shipyard workers, the daughters of Charles Derrick Massey (company director who saved the archive from destruction), and members of the project delivery team; the programme managed to present a vivid illustration of Beverley’s shipbuilding heritage and the work being done to keep the story alive.  The decision of producer and director, Lia Nici, to use the specialist filming skills of David Hutchinson for our trip on the Yorkshire Belle in June, meant that the documentary was able to deliver a poignant yet optimistic final segment, and pay a fitting tribute to the engineering of Cook, Welton & Gemmell, and the work of the ‘Trawling Through Time’ project in securing a legacy for the company’s heritage.

Producer & Director, Lia Nici with her husband, son, and Dr Robb Robinson (centre)

This was one of the first productions to be made by Lia Nici’s new ‘Waterside Films’ studio and is one that she and her team can be proud of, and it’s also hoped that this film will be a useful springboard for the studio going forward.

End of show:  The audience makes its exit

The preview screening could not have taken place without the excellent support of manager Cliff Bailie and his team at Parkway Cinema Beverley, and we can now look forward to announcing the broadcast date for the programme on That’s TV Humber later this year, followed by DVDs and its upload to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council YouTube channel, so watch this space!

Meanwhile, you can see photographs from our special preview screening in this slideshow and on our gallery page.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sam Bartle

Digital Archivist and Project Coordinator


With thanks to everyone involved in the ‘Trawling Through Time’ project:

Tv documentary production team

Lia Nici                       Producer & Director

Hugh Riches                Narrator

David Hutchinon        Specialist filming/colour-grading

Samantha Bayram        Camera operation, Grovehill shipyard interviews

East Riding Archives project delivery team

Sam Bartle                   Digital Archivist / Project Co-ordinator

Kat Saunt                     Conservator / Digitisation

Dr Alex Ombler         Archives Assistant / Oral Histories

Hannah Rice               Archives Assistant / Workshops

Dr Robb Robinson     Honorary Research Fellow, University of Hull / Lectures, Maritime History advisor



Clive Dennison

Christine Pinder

Elaine Woods

Pam Taylor

Colin Walden

Neil Parker

Peter Holmes

Stephen Keane

Tony Jennison

Theresa Longbone

John McGuinness

Elaine McGuinness

Barry Gibson

John Wilkinson

Ian Stanley

Phil Pick

Malcolm Cooper


Vicky Calvert

Naomi Peach

Gary Saunt

Judy James

Chris Wood

Victoria Broughton

Kris Dunham

Claire Day

Lesley Coupland

Sam Kneeshaw


Gwyn Adams & Prue Blake (daughters of Derrick Massey)

Kathryn Knight

Martyn Mawson

Bob Watson

Jackie Jenkins

Ex-Cook, Welton & Gemmell shipyard workers

Keith Pearson

Ken Barley

Jim Tanton

John Cooper

George Hook

Tom Ostler

Gordon Fielding

Alan Rawson

Vida Lenton

Our Partners

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre

(David Ornsby & Louise Bowen)

SS.Great Britain, Bristol

(Nick Booth & his team)

East Riding Museums Service partners

Sarah Hammond         Education Officer

Lucy Cooke                Under 5s Learning Co-ordinator

Emily Brown               Support assistant

Richard Young (also ‘Sydpix’ – photography) Museum Attendant     

Fiona Jenkinson          Guildhall Museum Curator

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