LOOKING BACK ON THE LOSS OF 'THE GAUL'
Back in the 70’s a young Joe Longthorne was deeply honoured to be invited to perform at this event by Hull’s very own legendary Johnny Pattison .
A fundraising evening organised for the relatives of ‘The Gaul’, a Hull trawler which sunk in Feb 1974 with the loss of 36 of Hull’s fishermen.
The vintage poster, now part of Joe’s archive, was recently unearthed by a family member, we are told that the faint lines of biro under Joe’s name are from the pen of Joe’s very proud father Fred Longthorne.
This was one of Joe’s early professional engagements for a very special cause, always close to Joe's and all the Longthorne family’s hearts, being about fellow members of their community who lost their lives at sea ,working away in challenging circumstances and risking their lives simply to earn a living for their families back home on dry land.
‘The Gaul’ and it’s sinking at sea in February 1974 with the loss of 36 of Hull’s finest fishermen was described at the time by the president of the British Trawler Federation as "the worst ever single-trawler tragedy”.
Built in 1972 it was a modern vessel of it’s days and being a deep sea factory ship she carried two crews, fishermen catching the fish and the filleters processing and freezing on board.
On the night of 8/9 February 1974 The Gaul was lost in horrendous weather in the Barents Sea north of Norway. No SOS was ever received and it was not until 1997 that the ship was located.
The relatives of the 36 brave crew had to wait for 23 years without any news of their loved ones even the location of their final resting place.
Following the discovery of a wreck in the last known location in 1997 it was confirmed that this was indeed The Gaul and the last resting place of the 36 crewmen, may they rest in peace.
May we all take a moment to think about them and their families and remember a line in the famous hymn ‘ For those in Peril on the Sea',
VIVA BLACKPOOL SEASON 2017 - UPDATE
The start of Joe's 2017 Summer Season at Viva Blackpool is to be slightly delayed. This is to give Joe time to rest and recuperate while receiving medical treatment for Lymphoma.
Viva Blackpool's Box Office T: 01253 297297 are contacting all ticket holders for the dates affected with full details of their alternative Sunday night show in the meantime.
HEALTH UPDATE ON JOE
We are now able to issue an update on Joe and his health. Many of you will be aware that he started feeling unwell in early May. Since then he has undergone an extensive series of tests under the supervision of his medical team.
His doctors now have those results. Joe received a bone marrow transplant in 2005 but sadly the diagnosis is that Lymphoma has returned. This is something which has naturally been a great shock for Joe and Jamie as indeed it will to all of you on reading this update.
Joe started treatment last week and is totally optimistic of winning this latest battle he is facing and has asked for his deepest thanks and love to be passed on to you all for your messages of love and support and for just being there for him.
As always, we will keep everyone regularly updated on Joe just as soon as we have news.
JOE DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL-LATEST NEWS UPDATE
We are very pleased to advise everyone that Joe has been discharged from Blackpool Victoria Hospital and is now back home resting and recuperating from his recent severe chest infection.
He would like to thank everyone for all the kind messages, cards, thoughts and prayers from which he has sought great comfort and support over the last 11 days. He sends his love and best wishes and looks forward to seeing you all soon. We will issue a full update on Joe’s health condition later this week.
JOE IN HOSPITAL-NEWS UPDATE
We are sorry to have to announce that Joe has been admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital over the weekend due to having caught a severe chest infection. The latest news is that he is responding well to treatment for the infection.