2nd June, 2020 Newland 8, Point of view 14.

The scan above is from the leaflet The Avenues/Pearson Park Conservation Area (s.p.b.) and shows a drawing of the original fountain at the ‘circle’ where Park Avenue and Salisbury Street cross.

David Neave describes The Avenues as ‘the most extensive area of middle class housing in Hull’ (‘Pevsner’, 2005, 554). The main financial promoter was David Garbutt, ship owner and builder who owned the land then known as the Westbourne Estate. Princes Avenue was surfaced in the 1870s with the four main Avenues laid-out in the 1880s. Initially, building developments across this large area were gradual although almost all properties seen today were there by the Great War. Bacon’s map of Hull, 1906, (s.p.b.) shows the Avenues with some completed buildings, including the Queen Anne style ones (see below), but with most of the residential development still having not taken place by 1906.

As most of the houses along the Avenues were large it has been increasingly difficult for single families to maintain these properties, and heat them, and being now over 100 years old maintenance costs loom-large. Therefore, many have been converted to ‘houses of multiple occupancy’ with the condition of the property very much hinging on the willingness of landlords to meet their obligations.

Most residential properties had medium to large gardens and the Avenues were/are tree-lined. This last fact represents an important point in that tree-lined roads and streets always look so much more inviting than those without, but if tree roots penetrate under house foundations it can have damaging results. Indeed house insurance companies can often view nearby trees with as much suspicion as houses standing on flood-plains.

In terms of focusing on individual properties within the Avenues both ‘Pevsner’ and the leaflet highlight the eight properties around the Park Av./Westbourne Av./Salisbury Street junctions, built in the late 1870s and designed by George Gilbert Scott junior. These large Queen Anne style residences had a chequered history in the late 20th century.

(to be continued).

Point of view 14 – A reason for being an agnostic rather than atheist;

(a) Although Prof. Brian Cox has been/is a brilliant figurehead for promoting the revolution in our knowledge of astronomy and matter in our generation the laws of physics do not explain everything. It seems that ‘black holes’ defy the laws of physics and how does an ‘infinitely expanding Universe’ become an ‘infinitely dense mass’ ahead of the ‘big bang’?

If physics could explain everything then Nature is the God.

(to be continued).

1st June, 2020 Newland 7, Point of view 13.

The image above is taken from a four-fold-A3 leaflet I have, published in 1983 and entitled ‘The Avenues/Pearson Park Conservation Area’. It shows the then ‘Victorian Conservatory’ (actually built in the 20th century) which, as part of the Pearson Park Restoration Scheme, has been demolished and replaced by a new one built to the same style and (I think) dimensions. Work is currently on-going on the conservatory which, although structurally completed, still needs work on its internal fixtures and fittings. It is intended that the plants inside will be ‘hothouse’ ones but not sub-tropical as was the case with its predecessor (I think this was still so in 1983).

The leaflet includes a potted-history of the ‘Avenues’ immediately west. The leaflet starts by stating that ‘Until 1860 the area that is now¬† the Avenues/Pearson Park Conservation Area was still in the midst of open country’. This is confirmed by Goodwill and Lawson’s Plan of Hull, published 1869, by which time Pearson Park had been created but beyond which was open country.

Incidentally, the leaflet goes on to state that of the 37 acres bought by Pearson on which to create the Park 10 were allocated to peripheral residential development, Goodwill and Lawson’s Plan shows 42 rectangular plots set-out on these 10 acres on which eight are shown as having buildings by 1869. Bacon’s Plan of Hull printed 1906 shows that by then most of the plots were the sites of large residential properties but also shows that west of the Park the grid-plan of four main avenues had been laid-out – Victoria, Park, Westbourne and Marlborough, bisected by Richmond and Salisbury Streets. Separating The Avenues from Pearson Park Newland Tofts Lane, so named on Goodwill and Lawson’s plan of 1869, had been re-named Princes Avenue. John Markham (Streets of Hull, a History of their names, 1998, 53) states that ‘Princes Avenue was the first boulevard to be laid out on the Westbourne Estate and was officially opened (as Prince’s Bank Avenue) on 29th March, 1875’. Which prince is being celebrated here he does not say.

(to be continued)

Point of view 13 – On the day that some primary school children return to school after the ‘lockdown’ it seems, from media reports anyway, that parents have mostly done a sterling job in ‘home-schooling’, aided by the B.B.C. with its ‘Bitesize’ stuff and more. Like the Scottish First Minister I think young people have ‘risen to the occasion’ very well and have sensed an atmosphere of national crisis as well as adults, especially as secondary school students by September will have had nearly six months off school and have had to do no external exams and therefore no revision!


27th May, 2020 Newland 6, Point of view 12.

Some further extracts from the Oak Road information board – ‘In the 1800s the Hull Cowkeepers and Farmers Association was formed with an office situated on Clough Road. The Association was disbanded in the 1970s. An annual dinner dance was held every winter at Beverley Road Baths when the pools were boarded over. There was always plenty of food, but they always ran out of milk!’ Incidentally underneath is printed ‘Copyright Keith Wade 20/01/2012’, the late Keith Wade was Chairman of the Georgian Society of East Yorkshire, a very nice person. The board-floor dances at Beverley Road Baths were, in their day, a significant event in Hull’s social calendar. The Beverley Road Townscape Heritage Scheme members were trying to get photos/memorabilia of those occasions.

The information board also mentions that along the west side of Green Lane ran Skidby Drain, dug 1785, and a bit further west the Beverley – Barmston Drain, 1799-1801, the former now filled-in. Hull Corporation always demanded that drainage channels have an outflow into the River Hull so that on an ebb tide there was as much water as possible scouring the River bed, this an aid to shipping. The ribbon development of industry north along the River’s banks (see blogs on Sculcoates) relied on deep-water access.

The area of Newland north of Clough Road and east of Beverley High Road was once known as Hull Bank, this being bordered to the north by Dunswell sub-parish.

The information board has another section on the ‘Potteries’, the ‘natural resource’ of the area being clay. In the early 1800s the Patent Brick and Tile Works was established, followed by the Kingston Sanitary Pipe Works. Later that century the Kingston Stone Bottle Works was established as was the Newland Pottery making chimney pots and flower pots. In the 20th century a builder’s supply company used the site where the Mecca bingo building now stands.

Finally the board tells us about Archaeology, in particular a ‘dig’ conducted in 1997. Hull Bank Farm previously stood where the derelict Kingston Rowing Club buildings still are. The excavation revealed evidence of a Romano-British farm/hamlet on the site as well as some medieval pottery shards and ‘evidence of agriculture of that same period’.

Despite stating ‘finally’ in a recent blog I still need to say something about the ‘Avenues’ and University College in the context of the Newland area.

(to be continued)

Point of view 12 – The relaxation of ‘lockdown’ is a potentially dangerous time, as my poor old mother use to say, long ago now, ‘give people an inch and they take a mile’. We have to see if the government manages the phased relaxation well and also the ‘test and trace’ strategy. The U.S.A. has taken a huge ‘hit’, all affected countries, not only U.S.A., should take action to not let China ‘off the hook’.

26th May, 2020 Newland 5.

The best way to appreciate the old Green Lane (Oak Road), apart from the short section on Air St., is to walk along the western edge of Oak Rd. Playing Fields from the small car-park on Beverley High Rd. to the information board (s.p.b.) at the end of Beresford Avenue, and then on south beside the allotments to Clough Rd. The photo above (which should be portrait) shows a small section, this taken before the spring surge in growth over the past month. With a bit of imagination it is like a journey into the past.

The information board (s.p.b.) deals with various things relevant to the history of the area. An extract from an early trade directory shows that ‘cowkeepers’ were common to the area providing a daily milk supply to Hull (s.p.b.s on Sculcoates).

The notes accompanying the picture of Henry VIII refer to his travelling to Hull from Beverley during his Northern Progress of 1541 when at least some of his entourage would have travelled along Green Lane.

There is a reference too to the English Civil Wars of the 1640s (s.p.b.s).

There is a reference to the Second World War when ‘trenches were dug on the playing fields to prevent the landing of enemy small aircraft/gliders’. The Kingston Rowing Club building (beside the River Hull and now derelict) was bomb damaged with the nearby Croda site being a prime target’, ‘during the War the chemical works produced glycerine which was an important ingredient of high explosives’. Although the chemical works was occasionally hit production was able to continue.

(to be continued).


25th May, 2020 Newland 4, Point of View 11.

Finally in this Newland section a word about roads. In an immediate area without any canals it was the River Hull and local ‘king’s highways’ (a term much used in 18th century but not today) along which people, commerce and agricultural goods moved.

In 1744 the road from Hull to Beverley was ‘turnpiked’, this turnpike skirting Sculcoates parish and passing through Newland. One of the ‘bars’, at which point travellers, wagons or herds of farm animals had to pay a toll the income from which was used to improve the road’s surface, was sited in Newland at a point approximately where the Cottingham Road, Clough Road, Beverley Road four-cross-ways is now. A ‘bar’ would have been a movable barrier across the road with alongside a board displaying charges and usually a toll-keeper’s cottage nearby. The income went to the turnpike company (or ‘trust’) and the toll keepers were employed by the company. The Hull to Beverley Turnpike Trust was wound-up in 1871.

Beverley Road led south to Beverley Gate over the centuries that Hull’s 14th century town walls existed. However, a much less prominent (today) ‘highway’ ran roughly parallel to the east and terminated almost certainly at the North Gate through the town walls, until this section of the town walls was demolished with the excavating of the ‘New Dock’ in the 1770s. This was Green Lane, with some sections surviving as Oak Road. The photo. above shows the well researched double-sided information board at the entrance to Oak Road Playing Fields, at the east end of Beresford Avenue, north Hull.

Green Lane branched off the Hull to Beverley road at a point opposite the eastern end of Endike Lane and followed in a south-south-easterly direction forming (later) the eastern side of the second detached cemetery on Sculcoates Lane, along a short stretch of Air Street/Sculcoates Lane, today, between two right-angle bends, on past the Charterhouse site to North Gate.

(to be continued)

Point of view 10 – Having heard the defence of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor it seems to be a fine-line between whether he did right or wrong. What is as concerning is that the controversy brings into the focus, again, the very issue of ‘political advisers’. Are these people paid by the political party or from the public purse? We might all at times have benefitted from good advise, myself especially, but these would have been acts of friendship and/or kindness – unpaid.

Does a prime minister, alongside cabinet colleagues, not know, collectively, what to decide on the basis of political/rule of law principles? Some decisions may prove a mistake, but some advise from an advisor might prove a mistake.

Normally such people seem to be influential (and wealthy) but ‘in the shadows’ with no defined position in constitutional government. ‘Movers and shakers’ behind the picture we are shown.

21st Mat, 2020 Newland 3.

The photo above shows part of St. John’s, Newland churchyard (s.p.b.).

Newland figured in the English Civil Wars of the 1640s, in particular during the second siege of Hull by Royalist forces in 1643 (incidentally the name Newland already existed in the 17th century). These Cavaliers cut off the fresh water supply from Anlaby and Cottingham to the town of Hull, then under the control of Parliamentary forces. However, a later counter-attack by Roundheads resulted in the flood-banks of the River Hull and the Humber Estuary being breached and so deliberately flooding the land around the town, thus frustrating any attempt by Royalist forces to attack the town walls and gates. On 11th October Parliament soldiers moved out of Beverley Gate and managed to beat-back Royalist soldiers. Until the Restoration (1660), and sometimes later, 12th October was considered a public holiday in Hull.

Goodwill and Lawson’s ‘Plan of Hull’ printed in 1869 (for evidence from this plan in relation to Sculcoates s.p.b.s) goes up to land just above Pearson Park, land it names as St. John’s Wood. As this map was produced 30+ years after the building of St. John’s church (s.p.b.) I assume this is the source of the name. An old public house building on Queen St. is called the St. John’s. The ‘Wood’ extended north to Cottingham Road.

Bacon’s Plan of Hull, 1906, (s.p.b.s in relation to Sculcoates) shows that by the first decade of the 20th century St. John’s Wood was being transformed by a programme of bye-law house building along a grid-plan of streets. Between Beverley Road and Newland Avenue, previously Newland Tofts Lane, terraces of three or four bedroomed houses had been constructed along De Grey, Lambert and Grafton Streets and Alexandra Road, while on the west side of Newland Avenue streets were being laid-out in preparation for more modest terraces. South of the ‘high-level’ Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway line the ‘Avenues’ had been laid-out on a basic grid-plan with some buildings already built (1906), including the Girls Industrial School, but not most of those seen today.

Thus the rural hamlet had been completely overtaken by residential development.

(to be continued).