Wednesday, 12 August 2015

'Celebration of Architecture' at the Hull History Centre!

Official launch of the exhibition with Jeff James (left), Alex Caruso and Malcolm McKie (centre), 
Yesterday saw the launch of the History Centre’s latest exhibition in an extravaganza of a day! Inspired by the cataloguing of the Records of Francis Johnson & Partners, Architects our summer exhibition celebrates all things architectural and buildings related. From the life and work of Francis Johnson and his practice, to the best of local architects’ work, to buildings research at the History Centre and Lego models of some of our regions finest houses, you can see it all.

We had a fantastic and informative talk by Dr David Neave on The Life and Work of Francis Johnson, Architect, the most recent of our Lunchtime Club lectures.

Dr David Neave talking about Francis Johnson
Following the talk, Jeff James (Chief Executive of the National Archives) said a few words about the cataloguing project that had inspired the event. The exhibition was then jointly launched by Alex Caruso as head of Humberside Society of Architects and Malcolm McKie representing Francis Johnson & Partners.

RIBA Yorkshire kindly provided us with catering for the event so we gladly refuelled and had a look at the exhibition panels. Later, a group of us were led on a walking tour around Georgian period Old Town by local tour guide Paul Schofield. The tour was based on a trail prepared as part of the cataloguing project which highlights some of Francis Johnson’s best known Hull commissions.

Free walking trail leaflet available at the History 

The exhibition is free and runs until 11th September and copies of the trail (also free) are available to pick up at the History Centre. Don’t miss out, it’s well worth a visit and you can see an architectural model of the History Centre in miniature! Hopefully there will be something to interest everyone so please do come along and take part – we would love to see you. 

Claire Weatherall
Project Archivist
Hannah and Claire through our great balloon arch

History Bakers: Seed Cake

Seed cake has been around since medieval times and historically could refer to a cake that was given to agricultural workers to reward them for the hard labour of seed-sowing. 
A staple tea-time favourite over the years, this cake appears often in English Literature, ‘Jane Eyre’ ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘The Hobbit’ spring to mind. I love the idea of hobbits having two beautiful round seed cakes in their pantry! 

There are variations of the recipe for this cake and this particular one is taken from ‘The Hull Lady’ December 1901 (Ref L.052.081), a monthly magazine that gives a brilliant snapshot of life in Hull during the 1900’s. One of the features is a cookery class that had a great response by readers asking for special recipes and advice on cooking techniques. 
It was presented each month by Richard Bond, instructor at Hull Nautical School of Cookery. Basic recipes were given, even one for egg sandwiches, and more challenging meals such as a special bill of fare to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII in the June edition 1902. 

I chose seed cake for its simplicity, the method is easy and the measurements as it’s a traditional pound cake. Although it is definitely sweet, the caraway seeds give it a hint of herbal savouriness. 

1lb flour (plain) 
half oz. caraway seeds 
half lb butter 
half lb sugar (caster) 
quarter pint milk 
3 large eggs 
1 tablespoonful baking powder 

1. Line a deep cake tin with well greased paper, I used a 26 x14cm loaf tin. 
Set the oven to a moderate heat (160 fan-assisted) 

2. Put the flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub it until the flour has a sandy appearance, then mix in the seeds. 

3. Break the eggs into another bowl and beat them up for five minutes, add the sugar and beat up for another seven minutes, then stir in the milk. Crikey I thought but then saw it as a good work-out for my arms! It definitely makes you appreciate modern appliances of today! 

4. Pour this into the flour, etc., add the baking powder and mix well with a wooden spoon. 

5. Turn the mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven. Bake one hour. I then checked the cake with a fine skewer but it did not come out clean. So baked for a further ten minutes and then it was fine. It probably depends on the oven as mine is a fan-assisted. I placed the cake on a rack to cool but couldn’t resist having a piece with my afternoon cuppa whilst it was still warm! 

My opinion - very buttery with a subtle hint of aniseed flavour. I would recommend to give it a try to see what you think. 

Staff comments: 
Carol:               "Lovely! I’m sure I can taste lavender. Very light." 
Elaine:             "Very moist, a good ‘afternoon tea’ cake. Moreish!" 
Claire:              "Good tea break cake, light & buttery, the seeds give a nice hint of flavour."
Verity:              "Lovely and light. Very flavoursome!" 
Hannah:           "Very tasty cake, light and not too sweet." 
Laura:              "Great with a cup of tea. Subtle taste from the seeds." 
Paul:                "Interesting flavours, great with afternoon tea." 

Michele Beadle 
Reader Assistant

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Berry Connection

Avid followers of Bake Off might be interested to learn that Mary Berry, doyenne of the baking world, has more than a passing connection to Hull.

Her grandfather was Canon E. Arthur Berry, vicar of Drypool from 1914 until 1947 and was responsible for the building of both the Church Hall and the first Church of St. Columba which was consecrated in January 1929.

Canon Berry is mentioned in the archives in a number of capacities.

Building plans submitted by Rev. Canon E.A. Berry of the Drypool Vicarage, show drawings for the Mission Hut on Southcoates Lane. The plan is dated 14th October 1927 [C TAB 1916/BLM/3851]

On the 9th April 1933 Canon Berry was one of the speakers at a mass meeting called by the Hull Jewish community to be held at the the Balmoral Room, Metropole Hall, West Street, Hull in protest against the persecution of Jews in Germany. [C DJC/1/6/1/1]

A member of the Hull & East Riding Ministry of Information during The Second World War, Canon Berry, along with Councillor Mrs Hangar and Mr James M Peddie (later Baron Peddie, of the City and County of Kingston upon Hull) were tasked with preparing reports on the effects of air raids on Hull and its citizens. [C DIIP/1/4/1-1/4/7]

His service of farewell after 33 years as Vicar of Drypool was held at Holderness Road (Brunswick) Wesleyan Methodist Church on June 29th 1947. [C DCE/220] St. Columba’s had been destroyed in an air raid in July 1943 and until 1960 services were held in the old hall until the new church was consecrated in September 1960.

Carol Tanner

Access and Collections Manager