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The forgotten story of how ballistic missiles were installed a short distance from Hull – and could have been launched within minutes during the Cuban Missile Crisis

East by Northeast is a blog about the history, myths and legends of Hull, the Humber and beyond

Our aim is to highlight and celebrate some of the more off-beat, quirkier and lesser-known tales from this corner of the world, from the sadly forgotten ferry disaster that claimed 14 lives, to an obscure legend about a cannibal who lived on a Humber island

Death on the river

On a dark December morning, children as young as 12 were among mill workers who drowned when a ferry called the Brewhouse Wrack capsized while carrying them across the River Hull

"I’ beginnin’ God meead heaven an’ ath oot o’ nowt .... An’ God sed, Let ther’ be leet: an’ ther’ was leet"

It is one of the most tragic tales of courage and endurance in the history of Hull. When the SS Sappho became trapped in ice, hundreds of miles from home, 23 men set out across the frozen surface of the White Sea. Only a handful would live to tell the tale.