Thursday, 26 March 2015

HullCraft at The Space Digital Arts Day

Hannah Rice and Joel Mills (middle) showing participants the HullCraft world.
Photo courtesy of The Space. Taken at The Space’s Digital Arts Day 2015.
On the 19th March, I ventured to Birmingham with Joel Mills for Digital Arts day at the Custard Factory, hosted by The Space (BBC & Arts Council England). It was a fantastic day showcasing a range of work by artists experimenting with digital technologies and how these impact on audience engagement.

We were kindly invited by Helga Henry, Director of The Creative Shift to provide demonstrations of our HullCraft project in their Digi Den enabling people to participate at the event.

The HullCraft project is about engaging new audiences with archives through the fun "digital LEGO" game Minecraft. Participants at Digital Arts Day could come and build real historical architecture from the Hull History Centre's archives on our live server, beginning with the works of the architect Francis Johnson. Minecraft expert or beginner, there was a building to suit all levels.

Participants exploring HullCraft, photo by Hannah Rice.
With thanks to The Space, we had a host of laptops set up for people to be involved with the project. 

During the two Digi Den sessions Joel and I were available to supervise the building and chat to people about HullCraft, Minecraft and archives.

This was a great opportunity for us to gain some feedback on the HullCraft experience and see how we can improve the project for future games sessions.

We had a brilliant day speaking to a variety of people about the project, and we even shared the DigiDen with the BBC Blue Room who were demonstrating exciting technologies such as virtual reality headsets!

Have a look at The Space's website and Storify of Digital Arts Day to see more images, information about the speakers and people's thoughts from the day. #bdw2015

You can also read our blog piece "Introducing HullCraft" on The Space blog.

Hannah Rice
Transforming Archives Trainee

Here are a selection of photos from HullCraft in the DigiDen. (photos by Hannah Rice).

Lots of Francis Johnson architectural plans for participants to build.
Our recycled archive box Creeper made an appearance.

Monday, 9 March 2015

History Bakers: Baked Apple Pudding

For the first month of our newly re-launched Cookery Club, now aptly renamed History Bakers, I chose a recipe for Baked Apple Pudding from the University’s Hotham Collection. 

The recipe is contained within a bundle of other loose papers consisting of cookery, medicinal, veterinary and other household recipes collected by the Countess of Stradbroke and can be found at reference number U DDHO/19/5. The recipe dates from c. 1820.

As you can see from the original recipe (above), there is limited advice for the modern cook on the exact method of preparation. Consequently, I did some further research and found other contemporary recipes for Baked Apple Pudding online which helped when it came to the cooking!

For the apples, as no particular type was specified, I decided on Granny Smiths for their sharp taste and also because I discovered that cooking apples hadn’t been developed by 1820. The number of eggs in the original recipe also alarmed me a little but when looking at similar recipes it seemed that 6 eggs was the standard amount, so I decided to use just the 6 eggs and not add a further 3 whites. For the dish, having seen that the other recipes suggested serving in a ‘pastry dish’, I chose to bake some of the mixture in a pastry case and some in a normal glass dish. Having also needed to estimate the oven temperature I was pleasantly surprised when both turned out rather well!

All in all, I had a great time cooking the pudding even if there were a lot of fingers crossed hoping it would turn out ok! Please find my colleagues comments on the end result below with a more detailed recipe if you would like to have a go yourself.

Christine        “Lovely crisp pastry that goes well with the filling. The lemon and apples really do go well together! Scrummy!”

Laura             “Delicious! The texture of the apples with the zing of the lemon works well together, lovely pastry base. Yum!”

Judy               “Yum! The appley/lemony filling was really light and fluffy and creamy”

Pete               “Very good pudding”

Elspeth           “Delicious pastry. Loved the texture of the apple with the smoother filling –      scrummy!”

Martin             “Absolutely lovely. Nice contrast between the apple and the custard filling”

Elaine             “Really good, the lemon is very tasty – a strong flavour”

Paul                “Appley texture with a zingy tang! Nice!”

Caoimhe         “Delicious – very zesty”

12 middling sized apples
¼ lb butter
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
6 eggs
¼ lb sugar
(Pastry case)

1)   Peel and core the apples. Place them in a pan with a little water and stew until soft.

2)   Mix in the sugar, butter and lemon whilst the mixture is still hot and leave to cool.

3)   Once cold, stir in the eggs.

4)   When combined thoroughly, the mixture can be placed in a pastry case or glass dish, depending on preference.

5)   Place in a preheated oven at 175C for 40 mins or until the filling is solid and does not wobble!

6)    Enjoy warm or cold

If you would like to leave any comments, please find our comment section below or comment on our Facebook post.

Verity Minniti
Archive Assistant

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Visits Around Hull Part 2: The Charterhouse

Continuing my visits to FJ’s Hull projects, this month I can tell you about a recent visit to the Charterhouse on Charterhouse Lane where I was given a very informative tour by the current master, Stephen Deas. 

Stephen first showed me the oldest part of the building which used to house male and female quarters on two separate floors, each with its own small chapel. He also showed me the tree under which it is claimed Andrew Marvell the poet sat and played as a child whilst his father, Andrew Marvell Senior, was master of Charterhouse.

From here, we went to the later building which houses the Georgian chapel installed by Master Bourne in 1777. This was the part that particularly interested me. In the late 1970s FJ was commissioned by the Trustees of the Hull Charterhouse to undertake renovation works on the Georgian chapel. Over the years since it was first constructed, much of the Georgian character had been eroded as elements of Victorian design crept in with successive masters. 

Renovation works sort to restore the chapel to its Georgian proportions by re-arranging the pews, removing surplus furniture and furnishings, altering the heating system and redecorating to an authentic paint and plasterwork scheme designed entirely by FJ. He designed a series of three hanging lights to counteract a void down the centre of the chapel. 

Their realization was entrusted to sculptor Dick Reid, often used by FJ who highly regarded the quality of his craftsmanship. In fact, the repainting and redecorating work was undertaken by Lightowler’s Decorators and Quibell & Son (Hull) Ltd, both firms that FJ liked to use where he could. This just serves to demonstrate the great importance FJ placed on quality and accuracy in all aspects of the projects he was commissioned on.

Work was completed in 1981 and a plaque commemorating this occasion can be found on the wall outside of the chapel doors. The plaque itself was designed by FJ, as was another which can be found inside the chapel along with the existing memorial and dedication plaques, which were re-arranged to be more aesthetically pleasing during the renovations. 

Upon first seeing the chapel I almost believed I had been transported back to the late 18th century. The characteristic FJ simplicity could be seen to great effect. I was particularly taken with the soft biscuit paint scheme along with the blue and gold accent details on the ceiling’s shallow relief plasterwork. Another thing that struck me was the design of the windows at either end of the chapel. These were remarkably similar to those installed at Burton Agnes Hall during the restoration of the Long Gallery. 

So where will I be visiting next…

Claire Weatherall, Project Archivist

Monday, 2 March 2015

Frogs and Toads

We hope everyone enjoyed our rugby revels last month – don’t forget to check out Facebook for photographs from the event. Also on Facebook, you will find the winners of our ‘design a rugby kit’ competition. We will be contacting them personally to sort out the prizes! 

Look out for the History Makers team at some of Hull FC’s upcoming home matches. We’ll be in the KC stadium lounge before the match against Leeds Rhinos on the 5th March.

But to this month’s family fun…
…and this Saturday (7th March) we will be exploring Hull’s poets and poetry. Hull has a strong literary heritage and we should be very proud of this. 
Toad in the Hull can be found outside the History Centre

Two well known poets, Philip Larkin and Stevie Smith, lived and worked in the city. Some of their most famous works were inspired by the local wildlife. For example, an unfortunate encounter Larkin had with a friendly hedgehog in his garden led him to write ‘The Mower’. 

Maybe you saw the colourful toads that used to decorate the city – perhaps you’ve seen the one we still have here outside of the History Centre. 

But do you know the story behind them?
Why not join us to discover this story, and to see how a frog came to star in one of Smith’s best known poems.

Be inspired by their poetry and get creative with your Lego builds. Or if you have a favourite poem, why not bring it along and use it to create something truly awesome!

When we were designing this event we got a bit carried away with Larkin’s poem ‘The Trees’…

See what you can come up with.

For the crafty ones amongst you, we will be drawing, sticking and colouring to create toad-shaped pictures inspired by the stories behind Hull’s poets. 

You can join us from 9.30am but the session ends at 12.30pm so don’t miss out. We would love to see you all there!

‘History Makers’ Team