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Maritime volunteer awarded University of Hull Philip Nicolas Prize in Maritime History



Hull Maritime volunteer, Sam Wright has been awarded the University of Hull Philip Nicolas Prize in Maritime History for best student public engagement performance in maritime history, during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Sam is currently undertaking a PhD in maritime history at University of Hull, focusing on the historic connections between Lloyd’s Register and the port of Hull, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. He has completed a First-Class Honours degree in Maritime History, and a Master of Research in History Degree, both from the University of Hull.

The Philip Nicholas Prize, which is funded by the Philip Nicholas Memorial Trust, has been awarded since 1998 for outstanding achievement in maritime history. Previously, this has usually been used to reward academic excellence.

The award recognises the extensive volunteering work he has undertaken with Hull Maritime, the council-led project transforming key maritime treasures in the city. Sam started volunteering with Hull Maritime in 2019, during the development stage of the project, transcribing oral history interviews and writing blogs.

Since 2021, he has been part of the dedicated team developing and delivering the city centre guided tours, gaining the Institute of Tourist Guiding Level 2 qualification. The project has also benefitted from his close links with our partners at the University of Hull.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “I would like to congratulate Sam on being awarded this prestigious accolade from University of Hull. It recognises his commitment to volunteering and the time he has spent supporting the project, throughout the development and delivery stages.

“So many people, residents and visitors alike, benefit from Sam’s wealth of knowledge of the city’s maritime heritage and he’s a great ambassador for Hull.”

Sam Wright said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award, especially for my public engagement work, something that has become a real passion of mine over the past few years.

“Helping connect people with the history that surrounds them is a true privilege, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the Hull Maritime project for all the opportunities I have had working with them. I would also like to thank the Maritime History Trust and all my colleagues and friends at Blaydes Maritime Centre. Without their constant support I would not have been able to pursue engagement work and would not have received this award.”

Dr Martin Wilcox, Lecturer in History at University of Hull, said: “With our increasing emphasis on outreach and public engagement, it is fitting that this year it has been awarded to a postgraduate student who has made an outstanding contribution in this area over the last few years.”

Maritime guided tours take place every Thursday and Saturday, 10.30am and 1pm. They are free and meet at Museum Quarter. For more info and to book visit

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