The Headscarf Revolutionaries

The Headscarf Revolutionaries

By Brian W. Lavery

The Headscarf Revolutionaries

Category: Maritime, Nonfiction

Formats available: Paperback, Ebook

Pages: 262

Publication date: 11/06/15

ISBN-13: 9781909954144

ISBN-10: 1909954144

Lillian Bilocca and the Hull Triple Trawler Disaster

In the harsh seas of 1968, three trawlers from Hull sank in just three weeks. 58 men died. That broke the heart of many in the city. One fishwife put down her filleting knife, picked up some sheets of paper, and stormed into action. Lilian Bilocca started with a petition, took her battle to the docks at dawn, and then led a raid on Parliament. Lilian and her team of women changed the Shipping Laws. In just a few days of action, the lives of thousands of seamen were made much safer. She became a TV star and an international celebrity. It is hard to live down fame like that in the back streets of Hull. It was harder still for the one man who battled the storms as the trawlers sank to be the lone survivor. The Headscarf Revolutionaries thrills with the dangers of the high seas; inspires with the passion of women who changed their world; and reveals the vivid life inside one of the most vital communities of recent history.

With a foreword by John Prescott


Now that a film and TV production company has bought the rights to the book by Dr Brian Lavery, the determination of those ordinary women from Hull is set to make it to the big screen. The story of the Hessle Roaders who took their fight all the way to the corridors of power in Parliament deserves to be known throughout the UK. For too long, the achievement of the women, like the city in which they lived, has been overlooked. Dr Lavery should be congratulated for telling their story in such a gripping way and his achievement in securing the interests of the production company is to be celebrated.

- Hull Daily Mail

In 1968 three trawlers from Hull, the Kingston Peridot, St Romanus and Ross Cleveland, sank within days of each other in storms off Iceland, killing 58 men. When news of the second sinking reached Hull, Lillian Bilocca, whose husband and son worked on trawlers, began a campaign that became international news and completely overhauled safety standards on British trawlers. A compelling and detailed account by local author and historian Brian Lavery of ordinary women changing history. This is a powerful book that gives full voice to the grief and determination of the women who fought trawler owners and forced them to put men s lives before profit.

- Socialist Review - Sarah Ensor

Brian W. Lavery

Brian W Lavery spent 25 years in various senior roles in journalism before undertaking a first-class joint honours degree (English and Creative Writing) and a doctorate in creative writing at Hull. His prose includes the books The Luckiest Thirteen (2017) and The Headscarf Revolutionaries (2015), the latter of which gave rise to the song cycle 12 Silk Handkerchiefs written by radical musician Reg Meuross with which Brian toured the UK, backed by Arts Council (England).  The Headscarf Revolutionaries was also featured in the BBC4 documentary, Hull’s Headscarf Heroes (2018) and has been highlighted in two Radio 4 documentaries and two programmes …

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Writing True Stories of Seafolk and the Sea – A conversation with Brian W. Lavery

You live on Hessle Road in Hull, albeit on the posh end. How does it help you as a writer, living in the community you are writing about? Being able to ‘walk’ the setting for my books is invaluable. Even though much has changed in some parts, there are still …

Readers (inc. Helen Mort) on The Headscarf Revolutionaries

One thing has always been true of publishing: readers are its lifeblood. That fact now becomes clearer than ever. Book sections slim down, top-name authors share the few reviews between them, and the true marketing becomes readers word of mouth. It takes effort to read a book and share your response …