8th March, 2019. History of Hull’s Public Parks .
Going back, for a moment, to a point made in the last blog re the ‘mound’ at East Park, a minute of March 1905 stated that soil for the mound was being carted from the’Town Hall Extension’. This refers, I think, to the westward extension of the City Hall to create what was originally the Victoria Galleries, Hull’s art gallery before the Ferens Gallery was opened in the 1920s (see Pevsner N. and Neave D. Buildings of England, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, (2005, 518).
The picture above is a grainy image from One Hundred and Twenty One … 1910 (s.p.b.s) of the ‘Kyber Pass’, a mix of man-made stone structures exampling another element of early public parks – historical reconstructions/artefacts. Travis Elborough (s.p..b.s) starts off his chapter 5 by this statement ‘There are few sights in England that can equal the absurd charm of the imitation Kyber Pass in Hull’s East Park’ (p.149), and, with this being written in 2016, he was able to record its, and the Park’s, recent refurbishment. He also records (p.150) that East Park was opened on Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, 21st June 1887, this opening being preceded by a parade that the Hull Daily Mail considered to be a disgrace to the Town and the Queen (p. 150). This official opening is strangely lacking any record in the minutes of the relevant Municipal committee!
Later, in 1893, the minutes record that part of a Roman villa pavement ‘discovered near Lincoln’ which a councillor had ‘succeeded in obtaining’ was to be fixed in East Park (where, and how, it was to be displayed and its outcome I have yet to discover).
In 1907 Sir Albert Rollit, the owner of Humber Ironworks offered the Corporation a surviving stone watch-tower from the site of the old Citadel for relocation to East Park. This was done and it survives in the refurbished ‘Kyber Pass’.