Officials from Reykjavik will visit Hull as part of a return visit of a Cod Wars exchange, and to donate an Icelandic warp cutter, described as a “secret weapon to Hull Museums, never seen before outside of Iceland”.
The warp cutter was developed by the Icelandic Coastguard to cut the nets away from trawlers. The simple yet effective design remained a mystery to the British government until after the conflict had finished. The Warp Cutter was one of the factors that led to the end of British trawlers fishing in their traditional waters and hastened the end of Hull’s fishing industry. The Icelandic coast guard veterans have now offered it to Hull as a symbol of respect.
The delegation includes the President of Reykjavik City Council, the chair of Reykjavik City Council Cultural Committee, staff from Reykjavík City Museum and members of the Icelandic Coastguard Senior Council. They will have a private viewing of the ‘A Common Foe’ exhibition, featuring film and photographs by Simon Sharp, which looks at the links between the two fishing communities – Hull and Reykjavik.
The visit will also include an official handover of an original warp cutter, kindly donated by the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Club of Retired Coast Guard Personnel, which was used during the confrontation between Iceland and Britain in the 1970s, which became known as the Cod Wars.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, Hull City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Limited are honored by the gesture: “The visit will offer an insight into Hull’s strong fishing industry and links to Iceland and their gift of the warp cutter will illustrate the rich and varied history between the two communities”.
Líf Magneudottir, President of Reykjavik City Council and Deputy Mayor claims Reykjavík and Hull are “sister cities”: We can trace this relationship back many centuries and the common ground has been the ocean that separates the two. In recent years and decades, however, these cities have changed and developed. Both are great cultural cities, and it is our hope and certainty that the common bond that unites us will continue to be strong. We also greatly appreciate the warmth that has characterised all our relations.”
The original warp cutter will now join the permanent collection and it will be the first time to go on display outside of Iceland.