In 2017, Kingston upon Hull, generally referred to as Hull, was the UK City of Culture. The awarding judges described their selection of Hull for this honour because the city had “the most compelling case based on its theme as ‘a city coming out of the shadows'”. But the purpose of this page is to look backward at footage of the city’s past.
Each October sees the arrival of Hull Fair to Kingston upon Hull. It’s one of Europe’s largest travelling funfairs. At 4 pm on the Friday afternoon closest to 11 October, the fair opens. Visitors are entertained every afternoon and evening for a week, except for Sunday’s day of rest. At 12am of the Saturday eight days later, the fair closes and starts packing up. We’re very lucky to have had this tradition recorded as early as 1902, barely a handful of years after the invention of the film camera.
The World War 2 air raids, known as The Blitz, wasn’t just an ordeal for London. Hull was one of the many northern communities to suffer bomb damage.
Sea trading at Hull started in the 13th century, and the Port of Hull is still busy with imports and passenger transport today. But the heyday of the 1950s captured in the videos below are long gone, especially following the closure of the Town Docks, Victoria Dock, and St Andrew’s Dock in the 1970s.
The 1970s also saw the demise of many cinemas across the UK, including in Hull. They had once been so popular even small towns and villages would boast at least one. But the invention of television, and more importantly the ability of normal working households to buy one, gradually ate away at cinema audiences. The cost of maintaining large, beautiful, heavily decorated premises – built to live up to the name ‘Palace’ – was beyond the ever-dwindling cinema income.
Hull In Edwardian Times
▶ 1902 Time Machine – Hull Circus/Fair in England (Speed Corrected w/ Sound)
Published on 12 May 2015 by guy jones.
This is from the Hull Fair in Britain in 1902. A great view into another time and space, nothing short of the experience of time travel.
Hull During WW2
Duncan Grosser – Published on 14 Nov 2008
An extract from Duncan Grosser’s film “The Commando Years”, showing air raid damage in Hull, Yorkshire.
Hull In The 1950s
HuntleyFilmArchives- Published on 18 Aug 2016.
Hull docks, busy with ships being loaded and unloaded. Barges amongst the larger ships. Stacks of timber being unloaded. Close up of the hull of a Russian vessel. Timber loaded into railway carts for moving off the docks. Barge named Thames, being loaded with rolls of paper for newsprint. Three men watch the rolls being lowered and help them into the barge. A man signals down with his arm. The winch operator looks down into the hull. Men man-handle the cargo with ropes. A man signals stop with his hand. Men place wooden covers over the barge’s cargo. A canvas cover is pulled over the barge and roped down. View of ships and barges in Hull docks, the sun is setting and it is quiet.
HuntleyFilmArchives – Published on 24 Oct 2013
The port and city of Hull, East Yorkshire. Shots of boats and cargo being unloaded.
Published on 2 Jul 2013. The fishing fleet of Kingston-upon-Hull.
Fish landed from the trawlers at Hull, all night, the fish comes ashore, haddock and cod.
7.30 the auction of the fish on the dockside in the huge covered warehouses. The auction, the buyers’ names dropped into the buckets. Lots of men inspect the lots, the auctioneers in full flood. Salesmen phone the inland markets. Man in white coat discusses the prices over the telephone, lots of heads talking into various telephones. Some in flat caps, some in suits. Wheeling buckets. Boats head out of the harbour. Quayside is washed down. Filleting for the local shops. Women filleting fish in a huge warehouse. Herring girls, haddock girls. The filleters at work. Boxed cod fillets. Trains loaded, BR loco no 69094 pulls out of the docks steam goods loco.
Hull In The 1960s
Archive film 96918 – HuntleyFilmArchives – Published on 12 Oct 2016.
Aerial shot of port of Kingston upon Hull. Hull Docks, aerial showing a little of the town, 1960s.
HuntleyFilmArchives – Published on 18 May 2017.
King George Dock Hull, Yorkshire – the largest dock handling large ships.
Timber from Canada is unloaded. View of the crane operator. Hollis Bros truck pulls away with its load. Stacks of timber. Grain ship in dock. View of grain elevator for unloading cargo. Men in the vast hold of grain ship seem so tiny. Grain travelling along a chute to the silo for delivery beyond the dock. Overhead view of a wool warehouse. Wide road in front of dock loading bays. Car park.
Published 3 Aug 2013 by davshelgo.
“1966 family cine film of our fruit shop and stalls on Hessle Road, Hull. The shop was near St. Georges Road, and the stall and ice cream trailer was near Boyes. A view from the upstairs flat of “The Road”. Warning: a bit shaky.”davshelgo on YouTube
Hull In The 1970s
MrNeelix2009 – Published on 2 Apr 2010.
“Leaving school at 15, I started my working life as a trainee projectionist at this Hull cinema in September 1967. By the early 1970s I was 2nd projectionist there. Here is a montage of 8mm home-movies I took over a period of time. The wages were low, the hours were long, and I loved every minute of it. Oh, the stories I could tell . . .”MrNeelix2009 on YouTube
The Kinemacolour Palace, as it was known then, opened on Christmas Eve, 1910. It became known as the Regent Cinema in 1919. The cinema was run by successive generations of the Freeman family until it’s closure in 1978. The building was eventually sold to local boxing legend Wally Mays who turned it into a Roller Disco in 1980. Several years later the entire building was demolished except for the frontage, which still remains, and was rebuilt as a pub-restaurant.
Adnylak – Published on 4 Feb 2019 .
Stanley Richardson filmed these scenes on his cine camera travelling from Hull to the Netherlands during the 1970s. Stanley Richardson (1912-1988) – Adnylak’s Great Uncle.
Kingston upon Hull In The 1980s
PAUL WHITTLETON – 2 Feb 2014.
“This video was never completed when we made it in 1985. It was made by the Somerset street video workshop. This is a very rough edit that we did. We never got a chance to put a soundtrack on it so the sound is raw with our voices on it. There is some music near the end but i have no idea where that came from but it does seem to work quite well. This is the only copy we have and is several generations down so the quality is not great. But if you have an interest in Hessle Road then you should find it interesting.”PAUL WHITTLETON on YouTube
Hull In The 1990s
Robert Ambrose – Published on 4 Jan 2016.
A film of Robert Ambrose’s then-regular drive from Northgate in Hessle to Hull Paragon Station. Recorded on a Hi-8 camera in 1996.
Old Photos Of Hull People
nickladey – Published on 7 Mar 2012.
Thanks to people from the Facebook group ‘Hull The Good Old Days’ contributing their old family photographs, nickladey has compiled a short film of photographs set to music.
Old Photos Of Hull Places
Paul Mason – Published on 11 Apr 2016.
Photographs from a wide range of past times and places around Hull. Set to music.
Nickladey – Published on 12 Feb 2009. Old Hull photographs with music.
Other Hull Local History Videos
Published on 22 Sep 2014.
michelle coldham – Published on 10 Oct 2012.
Promotional video for the facebook group ‘Hull & Yorkshire Memories’. A short film of Yorkshire scenery set to music.
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Thanks to Angela Baker on Unsplash for the photo at the top of this page.