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Viola Trust partners with businesses for new gin launch event

Trustees behind a campaign to bring the world’s oldest remaining steam trawler back to its home in Hull are urging people to back the venture by snapping up some superb Viola merchandise in time for Christmas.

Last week the Viola Trust launched its “Homeward Bound” calendar featuring 12 ships with a historic Hull connection. Sales have been brisk through the Viola website and at outlets including 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar at Hull Marina – where the launch took place – and Hotham’s Distillery in Hepworth’s Arcade.

Corporate orders have also been flooding in and the trustees report that more than 300 of the print run of 500 were sold within a week of the launch.

They plan to hold some back for sale at their next big event, the launch of a new Viola gin, hand-crafted by Hotham’s, at a special fund-raising event at 1884 Wine & Tapas on Wednesday 13 November.

The event, which will begin at 6pm, is open to all and will give guests the opportunity to meet Larry Malkin, the Welwick-based artist whose paintings feature in the calendar. The team from Hotham’s Distillery will talk about how the gin was made and maritime historian Dr Robb Robinson will speak about the history of the Viola and the other vessels in the calendar, which include Norland, Arctic Corsair and HMS Bounty.

Organisers also hope to be joined by representatives of Hull City Council for an update on plans for Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City following the announcement that lottery funding has now been secured.

Norman Court, Project Manager of the Viola Trust, said: “This will be the latest in our series of fantastic events aimed at helping us raise funds and awareness as we work to bring the Viola back. 

“1884 Wine & Tapas Bar is the perfect, intimate venue for bringing people together to share the remarkable stories of the Viola, to find out how Larry was inspired to create the calendar and to try the new Viola gin.”

Bookings from businesses and the general public are coming in now. The price of just £40 includes a tapas meal, a glass of Viola gin and a donation to the Viola Trust. There will also be a chance to win a bottle of Viola gin and a voucher for 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar.

Anyone interested in placing an order for the calendar or booking for the gin night should contact the Trust by email at

To find out more about the Viola campaign please visit

To find out more about Larry Malkin please visit

To order Viola gin please visit

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