Into the Hull Daily Mail

On Saturday October 16 2004 Elena appeared in the Hull Daily Mail on page 2 in the context of The North Sea Incident, sometimes known as The Russian Outrage. Below we tell of how this came about and the aftermath.

Nations unite to remember trawler tragedy

HULL: A relative of a Hull trawler skipper shot at by the Russian Navy today said he was pleased the 100th anniversary of the Dagger Bank incident was being recognised. Trevor Stow, 69, was speaking as he met Elena Worsfold, 37, a member at the Russian community in East Yorkshire. They shook hands and hugged at the memorial to the Dagger Bank Incident, on the corner of Hessle Road and Boulevard.
Above: Mr Stow's grandfather James Gillard

Mrs Worsfold gave a Russian box to Mr Stow and they swapped stories aver a coffee. The farmer senior lecturer from Voronezh heard about the incident a year ago. She said: "I was sorry to hear of it. I'm very ashamed that it happened." Mr Stow, of Barton on Humber, said: "I'm pleased this commemoration is happening, it will make relationships between the two countries better."
His grandfather, James Gillard, was skipper of the Snipe, a fishing trawler that came under fire from the Russian Navy when it was mistaken for a Japanese torpedo boat on October 23, 1904.
Elena Worstold and Trevor Stow at the fishermen's memorial.
The skipper kept fishing while the Russians shot at him, as he thought they were practising with blanks. Asked at a tribunal if he 'had no fear', he said: "I had after. I saw the shells were coming near to us."  

This edition also featured an article Tragic night to be remembered on pages 12-13.
Jonathan Howell/ Hull Daily Mail (Saturday October 16, 2004), Nations Unite to Remember Trawler Tragedy, Hull: Hull Daily Mail, 2, complete report for comment below.


How the Report was Constructed

Elena was contacted by Lena of Lena's Deli and Elena received telephone calls on 14 October from BBC Look North reporter and Jonathan Howell of the Hull Daily Mail. In a return telephone call he said we would meet someone from Barton, we then thought a woman. He and a photographer would be there. On 15th the photographer worked in the rain and left, taking many photos. Elena had dressed in a stereotypical red dress and slighly sexy red top (the incident was in Tsarist times - but media news is a construction of images). The cropped black and white photo that appeared removed these effects.

The headline, Nations unite to remember trawler tragedy, is a proposterous exaggeration, and factually Elena lives in North Lincolnshire not East Yorkshire. The Russian, Ukrainian, and other former Soviet republics community stretches across both banks of the Humber. Lena's Deli is like a hub, although some incomers do not contact the community and prefer anonymity from those of the previous life; Lena is providing food at the do featuring the Russian Naval Attache on October 22 2004.

On top of this is the over the top apology extracted from conversation with the shorthand writing reporter. A friend said he thought the apology for the war was Tony Blair's job (not that he has done so over Iraq). When Elena visited the Town Docks Museum display, and discovered that only two people were killed and one boat sunk, she regarded it as not that huge an incident at all (given the run of world tragedies). Adrian with her saw that it was an opportunity to generate populist imperialism, such as the poem written that England shall be England and rule the waves. We all know that ten years later came the First World War, and thirteen years later the Russian Revolution in part against the amateurism and incompetence of the repressive Tsarist regime which had led to the incident.

On Wednesday 20th October a Look North report went out headed by Vicky Johnson in which she used the hook of the ice hockey team to illustrate "1000 Russians in Hull" (which should be an estimated 1000 from the former Soviet Union in the former Humberside region). A play was made for a community centre and Orthodox Church. Well, Elena has not asked for an Orthodox church, which she requires as a hierarchy not unlike the Communist Part hierarchy, and something to join to get on career-wise in Russia.


Adrian Worsfold

Pluralist - Liberal and Thoughtful