Son's tribute to Hull's last 'headscarf revolutionary' Yvonne Blenkinsop after her death

The son of a campaigner who fought for the rights of Hull's fishermen has described her achievements as "unbelievable" following her death at the age of 83.

Yvonne Blenkinsop was one of four women dubbed the "headscarf revolutionaries" because of their distinctive headwear and their efforts to improve conditions for men who worked at sea.

They fought for safety improvements on board fishing vessels, especially in the wake of three accidents involving boats in 1968 – the so-called triple trawler tragedy – which claimed the lives of 58 men.

Yvonne was the longest surviving of the quartet and her son, Brian Blenkinsop, said her legacy will live on.

Yvonne Blenkinsop and the other headscarf revolutionaries took on the establishment. Credit: Pathe

He said: "It's amazing what my mum stood for and what she has achieved. I can still remember the meetings and my mum standing her ground, fighting for the fishermen's rights.

"For them to achieve what they did, in the space of time that they did, was unbelievable."

Yvonne Blenkinsop, along with Lillian Bilocca, Mary Denness and Christine Smallbone, believed companies were cutting corners to save cash and demanded a series of safety improvements.

The campaign took wives, daughters, sisters and mothers from Hessle Road to the House of Commons.

The campaigning won huge public backing in Hull. Credit: Pathe

'Brutal misogyny'

Author and historian Brian Lavery said they defied the odds to secure improvements.

He said: "These women were up against it. They took on the trawler bosses, they took on the establishment and they won.

"They were subject to casual and brutal misogyny – the equivalent nowadays of trolling on Twitter."

Yvonne suffered a number of health issues in recent years and died on Sunday. She leaves her children – Yvette, Brian, Collette and Jonmarie – along with 10 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy is calling for a suitable way to remember her and the other women, renewing calls for a permanent memorial in the city.