The story of Hull’s East Park begins in 1882 when the Parks Committee minutes record that a sub-committee was to search-out a ‘suitable site … in the East and West Districts for the use of the people as and for a Public Park’. In the following months discussions with various landowners took place with the outcome that in February 1883 it had been decided that East Park was to be created from 38 acres of land from Corporation Farm and an equal acreage of land then owned by the Ann Watson Trust (a charity). In the minutes it was described thus ‘A more picturesque locality of that extent it would be impossible to find on the eastern side of the Borough, or one more adapted to restore the jaded energies of the artisan or man of business when the labours of the day are ended’. Initially the intention, as at Pearson and West Parks, was to reserve 26 acres for building sites which should ‘command a good price for residences of a high class’. Like in West Park, such properties were never built, partly because speculative properties were soon to be built along East Park Avenue which backed on to the eastern boundary of the Park.
The minutes give no clues as to the progress of the ground-work for East Park, in October 1884 it was recorded that such work would soon start on West Park with an unskilled workforce ‘so as to provide employment to a large number of workmen and abate the distress existing in the Borough’. It my be assumed that a similar thing was happening in East Park for three years later it was recorded that some water-fowl were moved from West to East Park, while in the following year (1888) there are various references to ‘the three parks’. In January of 1889 we find the first reference to a ‘refreshment pavilion in the East Park’.
(to be continued).