Hull Photos: 16/3/17-22/3/17

Weekly digest of images posted to Hull Photos and my comments from Facebook

16 March 2017

Parts of the Old Town first got electrical lights in 1880, but the private company failed to supply power consistently and the lights went off in 1884. In 1890 the corporation got the power to make power itself and built this Corporation Electric Lighting Station in 1892 in Dagger Lane. But, according to the Victoria County History, the service grew from the original 33 customers to 960 by 1898 and a new and larger generating station was opened in Sculcoates Lane.

The door states that it is a Boiler Store for B Danby & Co Ltd, a plumbing, heating and electrical merchants in the North of England, was founded in 1891 by West Riding businessman Benjamin Danby and still in business, but the building appeared to be empty and derelict, and I think was demolished a few years later.

28r51: Corporation Electric Lighting Station 1892, Dagger Lane, 1981 – Old Town

17 March 2017

The former warehouses beside Railway Dock were listed Grade II in 1970. The listed eastern wing was demolished in 1972 and later the remaining parts converted into offices, commercial premises and flats. Unfortunately the 1845/6 No 7 warehouse, architect J B Hartley, lower than these with five storeys but with nineteen bays, on the north side of Humber dock was demolished in 1971, a tragic loss to the cityscape, now scarred by a near-motorway.

Railway Dock warehouses were next to Hull’s first railway station, Manor House Street or Kingston Street station (on the opposite side of Kingston St, opened as the terminus of the Hull and Selby Railway in 1840, and remaining in use as a goods station after passenger traffic moved to Hull Paragon in 1848.) The station was demolished in 1959 but Wikipedia states some sidings there were in use until 1984 and the lines are shown on the map I was using when taking these pictures.

In the foreground is one of several wagon turntables on the dockside. These were just large enough to take both sets of wheels on a wagon coming from the warehouse which would then be turned through 90 degrees onto a railway line running along the dockside. The wagons would be hauled and turned either by horses or gangs of men, or in some places were moved by chains running around a capstan attached to an shunting engine.

28r64: Former Railway Dock warehouse, Railway St, 1981 – Old Town

18 March 2017

J.B. Mirrlees became a partner in a Glasgow engineering firm making cane sugar processing machinery in 1848. Mirrlees, Watson & Yaryan Company Limited were excited by the engine patented by Dr Rudolf Diesel and visited him in Germany in 1897, taking out an exclusive licence for manufacture and sale of diesel engines in Great Britain. Their first engine, only the third diesel engine in the world and now in the Science Museum was completed in 1897. Unable to sustain the heavy development costs of these engines, they sold the exclusive licence in exchange for a non-exclusive licence in 1899.

Mirrlees moved to Hazel Grove, Stockport to expand their manufacturing capacity and produced many innovative and successful engines, whose uses included powering WWI tanks as well as trains and ships and electricity generation. In 1969 they merged with Blackstone & Company, who had begun in the 1880s making agricultural implements in Lincolnshire. Both companies were a part of the Hawker Siddeley group. They became part of GEC-Alsthom in 1988 and disappeared in the early 2000s.

The office here was disused after the fishing industry moved from here to Albert Dock and St Andrew’s Dock was closed in 1975.

28v21: Mirrlees Blackstone Marine Diesel Engine posters, St Andrew’s Dock, 1981 – Docks

19 March 2017

The notice by the London and North Eastern Railway forbidding any unauthorized explosive materials being brought on to the docks was considerably the worse for wear. It had been there for some time, as it had been signed on behalf of the London and North Eastern Railway Company, which ceased to operate on nationalisation on 1 January 1948.

Explosive materials were of course vital in many ways for mariners, and included rockets and distress flares. The 1875 Act was not intended to prevent explosive materials being brought into the docks but to regulate their use and ensure safe handling.

28v24: Explosives Act 1875 Hull Docks Bye Law notice, St Andrew’s Dock, 1981 – Docks

20 March 2017

The World Championship Three Piece Suite, with a settee that ‘easily converts into a snooker table and is complete with all equipment‘ dominated the window display in a shop on the Hessle Road, and it wasn’t cheap at £799.95 – when the average UK wage was around £6000, and in Hull rather lower than that. At left a notice tells us that under the NARF credit plan it could be ours for only £79.95 deposit and 24 Monthly Payment of £38.40, an APR of 27.9%. Which takes up the total price to just over a thousand pounds, at a time when you could buy a freehold terraced house in the area for well under £10,000.

Living as most did in the area in small terraced houses, few would have had space for a snooker table, though the practicalities of using even this rather small table in a typical living room would have been tricky – it would need to be pulled into the centre of the room to allow players to move around all sides and pull back their cue to make a shot – and it would probably be tricky to keep the playing surface level in many houses even if the settee’s mechanism was sufficiently firm to support a player leaning on the outer edge, which seemed unlikely.

There was a good reason why there were Snooker Halls and tables in clubs. Few houses in Hull -or elsewhere – had the space for a proper full-size snooker table, though a friend’s house we often stayed at in later years in Newland Park did have a billiard room complete with full size table and bar. But there would have been few if any billiard rooms around the Hessle Rd.

I’m sure they sold a few of these on the Hessle Rd, though by 1981 the money from the fishing had mostly gone, but I’d be fairly sure too that those who bought them would have found them disappointing. I spent some time wondering whether the spelling of ‘LEASURE AND PLEASURE’ was deliberate and am still not sure. A notice by the dummy at right holding a cue informs us that his clothing is from the Leeds tailoring firm of Burras Peake who had a shop nearby at 266 Hessle Rd.

28v26: World Championship Three Piece Suite, Hessle Rd, 1981 – Hessle Rd

21 March 2017

This building at 82-4 Goulton St still stands and is now the Hull Training Business Academy, with the mosaic and a bas-relief above the door of the adjacent brick building. At the top of the mosaic is the message ‘serving the fishermen‘, an occupation then very much in decline thanks to the Cod Wars, though the lobby you can dimly see a statue of one, the subject of another of my pictures. The fishing boat is very much something from a different age to Hull’s trawler fleet.

Although the former Queen Mary Hostel of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen was only registered by them in 1957 (according to the Victoria County History) the brick building seems clearly from the 1920s or 30s and both its appearance and name suggests that it was built during the reign of George V who died in 1936 (although Queen Mary lived on until 1953.) The extension on which this mural is situated could be from the late 1950s or 60s.

Although I didn’t quite get the image upright and fully squared up when taking it, scanning and subsequent cropping has added a little more slant to this image, which I really should correct when I have time. Working as I did with a shift lens did usually enable me to correct verticals and horizontals in camera at a time when the kind of correction in software we now take for granted meant finicky darkroom work.

28v33: National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, Goulton St, 1981 – Hessle Rd

22 March 2017

I was photographing the cityscape and buildings and generally considered people likely to be a distraction from my subject, but as I wandered around the streets with a camera around my neck, people, especially children, would sometimes ask me to take their pictures, and I did as it seemed only polite, although with my camera set for photographing streets and buildings the results were sometimes blurred as people moved around rather faster than the buildings did.

This group of children were playing in a terrace off one of the streets soon to be demolished, and were sitting on the front step of a house which I think may already have become unoccupied. This, the second of two frames, is the sharper, except for the young girl who ran across as I made the exposure and a more interesting group.

At the time there was little of the exaggerated fear of strangers that some years later would have made stopping to take a picture like this without parental permission problematic. I and they knew that the were unlikely ever to see the picture I took; but perhaps now it is on-line they will see it – and I have posted it to one of the Hull Facebook groups for them.

28v36: Children on door step, West Dock Ave area, 1981 – Hessle Rd

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