Monday, 23 July 2018

This Month in Hull: July

As people seemed to enjoy the format of June’s ‘This Month in Hull’ post, we have decided to go the same route for July. So, again, what follows is a random (though hopefully interesting) collection of historical facts about our city. This time our facts are inspired by Susanna O'Neill's 'The Hull Book of Days' (2014) [L.9.7], which is available to read and borrow from our Local Studies Library.

In 1836, on the 27th, Joseph Henry Fenner was christened at Brixton, Surrey. He would later become the founder of the Fenner Group in Hull.

Employment agreement and retirement bonus letter belonging to a long-term employee of Fenners [C DIFK]

In 1850, on the 3rd, Victoria Dock was formally opened by Mr T. Firbank, Chairman of Hull Dock Company, and was signalled to the town by the firing of a salute from a battery in the Citadel.

Postcard showing Victoria Dock, Late 18th cent. [L RH/2/68]

In 1908, on the 1st, Hull's Garden Village was officially opened. The building of Garden Village was a philanthropic venture devised by Sir James Reckitt for the benefit of his workers and retired workers. It was financed by Reckitt and another local philanthropist, Sir Thomas Ferens.

Postcard showing Garden Village, 1910 [L RH/2/344]

In 1915, on the 5th, a wooden dummy gun was installed on the roof of the premises that would later become Rose Downs and Thompson. It was intended to act as a deterrent to German zeppelins, and was manned from 8pm to 5am each night.

Copy tender for a wooden gun, c.1915 [C DBR/2509/118] 

In 1937, on the 25th, a trolleybus service opened to traffic two days after a ceremonial inauguration. The service replaced the existing tramway network, and used overhead electric wires but did not require tracks to run.

Trolleybus in operation in Victoria Square, 1939 [Lp.388.322.15]

In 1981, on the 17th, the Humber Bridge was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II, and was then the longest single span suspension bridge in the world.

Visit of civic dignitaries from Sierra Leone during construction of the Humber Bridge, 1979 [C TDP/2/7/9]

If you want to find out more about any of these facts, drop in to the History Centre and see what else we have.

Claire Weatherall, Assistant Archivist (Hull University Archives)

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