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Lillian Bilocca


Lillian (Big Lill) Bilocca was born in Wassand Street, in the heart of Hull's Hessle Road fishing community. Her father, husband and son were all earned their living at sea.

Following the triple trawler tragedy of February 1968 when the trawlers St. Romanus, Kingston Peridot, and Ross Cleveland were lost along with 53 men, Big Lil became a local folk hero and known the country over.

Her battle to improve safety on trawlers resulted in her meeting with Prime Minister Harold Wilson at No. 10 Downing Street. At the time, it was not illegal to sail without a radio. At the time of its loss, the St Romanus had no radio equipment on board.

Her campaigning, with the massive support of the families of Hessle road (and other fishing communities such as Fleetwood, Grimsby, Aberdeen etc) brought about changes that must have saved the lives of untold numbers of British fishermen.

A commemorative plaque has been added to the wall of St Barnabus Court and the rear of the fishermen's memorial in Hull's Boulevard, on the southern side of Hessle Road.

The Winter of '68 - BBC News Report

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