Tuesday, 11 April 2017

2017 Quarterly Update from the History Centre

Over the past three months our City of Culture blog here at the History Centre has explored the theme ‘Made in Hull’, a theme chosen by the City of Culture team to launch the 2017 year of celebrations. With the advent of April, we have moved into the second quarter of 2017, which is dedicated to the theme ‘Roots and Routes’. As a result, our History Centre City of Culture blog now changes focus. From April to June we embark on a ‘Roots and Routes’ blog series.


This quarter’s theme is all about travelling, migration and settlement. Our blogs in this series will cover themes such parades around the city’s public spaces, as well as immigration and movement through the city resulting from the Second World War. We will be exploring 19th century cases of settlement heard by the Quarter Sessions magistrates in the city. And, because of Hull’s important maritime heritage, we won’t be focusing solely on land. The ways in which the citizens of Hull have traversed the waves will be explored as we look at 19th century whaling journeys, and the many ways in which we have attempted to bridge the River Humber over the last millennium.

Postcard showing New Riverside Quay and the River Humber, late 19th cent. [L RH]

To kick off this quarter we are playing host to an exhibition of paintings exploring the Old Town area of the city. This fabulous series of paintings, titled ‘A family’s Journey through Hull’s Old Town’, have been created by Cottingham based artist Shirley Goodsell. The exhibition is free to all and will run from 5th-27th April.

Postcard showing Whitefriargate, the entrance to Hull's Old Town, pre-1900 [L RH]

The quarter will conclude with another exhibition, this time a photographic display, compiled by Alec Gill and titled ‘Hessle Roaders’. This will again be free to all and will run from 1st-29th June.

Postcard showing Hessle Road, 1906 [L RH]

In other news, our History Makers programme for the quarter kicked off on 1st April with a great turnout to the ‘Science in the Archives’ session, which took a whistle-stop tour around the city’s scientific discoveries. The ‘Full Steam Ahead’ session, on 6th May, will look at Hull’s railway history as we build train stations and steam engines to transport us around the city. Whilst the final History Makers of the quarter, ‘Fish and Ships’, will be a celebration of our fishing past.

Just a few hints to keep you intrigued, for more information you will have to read our ‘Roots and Routes’ posts…

History Centre Team

Friday, 7 April 2017

From Dock Company to Humber Ports

Robert in our map room looking at a Humber Conservancy plan
This week marks the beginning of a project which will see the records of the Humber Ports of the British Transport Docks Board, later known as Associated British Ports, fully catalogued and made available to the public for the first time.

To enable us to catalogue the collection we have secured funding from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives which has allowed us to employ a Project Archivist for 15 months to work on the collection. 

On Monday we welcomed Robert to our team and he will be keeping you up to date on how the project is progressing.

The importance of these records
After the creation of the Hull Dock Board in 1774 Hull’s dock network expanded rapidly and these records allow us to build a comprehensive picture of the workings of the various organisations at work in the Humber region during this period and how they combined to make the area a maritime success. 


Important for the understanding of the history and development of Hull and the wider Humber region, this collection, which covers the period 1772-1982, includes records relating to:

  • The Hull Dock Company
  • The Humber Conservancy Commissioners and Board
  • The ports of Goole, Grimsby and Immingham
  • The Aire and Calder Navigation
  • The Dock and Harbour Authorities Association
  • Hull and Barnsley Railway
  • Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
  • North Eastern Railway/London & North Eastern Railway/Waterways and Ports

Carol Tanner

Access and Collections Manager