HULL STREET SCENES (c.1957) film no: 2121
This is one of several films made by John Turner, a young filmmaker who captured life in Hull after the Second World War during a time of great social change. The film includes footage of the terraced housing of Hull which was badly damaged by the wartime bombing, and many times children can be seen playing on these derelict sites. The film also includes scenes of a church procession, a hunting party in Driffield, teenagers in Pearson Park, and people shopping in Hull city centre.
The film opens with a man walking down a terraced street in Hull, and more of the townspeople can be seen in terraced streets including children playing. There is a street sign for Emerald Terrace. Much of the area has extensive bomb damage. A woman picks up wood or coal from the bombed out areas, and she is watched by two elderly men. More children are out playing in the streets and in the bomb sites. One man, with just one leg, walks on crutches down a street. There is a playground, with a roundabout and swings, near where the children play. The film follows an old man walking along before shots of Paradise Place which has scaffolding in front of the swings. On a main street, a postman walks along, and down a back street, children are out playing with a pram and a sidecar.
People are served fish and chips at Coronation Fisheries. Outside boys play football on a large derelict area with other children, including a little boy, sitting with folded arms.
A hunting party gathers in the centre of Driffield, and there is a large crowd of onlookers gathered outside the Bell Hotel. A man leans out of a window above a shop, ‘Southalls’, taking a photograph. Eventually the riders round up the hounds and make their way off. Two well-dressed women onlookers wave to the camera. This is followed a by a woman sitting at home, leafing through a magazine with a box of chocolates. A man sits nearby, cracking and eating nuts. Outside the woman hangs up some peanuts in a tree for the birds.
The next scenes are in Hull where children play cricket on a derelict area of land, and a group of children watch from a nearby street. I another street, on a windy day, a Salvation Army Band gathers for a church parade which is watched by people from the sides. The procession, perhaps for Whitsun, is lead by members of the church who carry a banner. They are followed by a long line of girls who are dressed all in white and women wearing white head dresses, carrying a banner reading ‘Queen of Peace.’ The procession continues with other members from the church, and this footage is interspersed with shots of the crowd and the Salvation Army Band. One man watches with his daughter sitting on his shoulders. Next in the procession are scouts, sea cadets and troops. They are watched by the Mayor who makes a bow to the passing procession.
The crowds then disperse along the street in front of Hepworths department store and Paragon Stores. A man pushes a car, and people queue for buses on the busy streets. Some elderly people are seated on benches. A group of teenagers walk past eating ice cream in wafers, and several young couples meet up in front of some shops. There are groups of shoppers and people queuing for the cinema showing the film Don't Go Near the Water.
On the terraced streets of Hull, boys and girls play in the road, a girl is on a push scooter, and some race bikes. In an empty back yard stands a tricycle. There is footage of a pawn shop sign and some roofs before returning to some younger children playing in a derelict area. A new large building is being built, and back in the city centre, children sit on a bench, and crowds pass around a fountain. There is a quick flash of teenagers at a rifle range, before a crowded city centre street. Women try on hats inside a large store, and teenagers looking through the record department, possibly in Hepworths Store. After some accidental footage which seems to be pointing at the floor, the film returns to a shop with a sign for Music & Records.
In a park, boys and girls play in a sand pit, on a roundabout, and on a see-saw. Two boys let a dog go for a run, three children sit in a pram, and there is a group of teenagers. An elderly lady sites on a broken bench, and a group of youths stand in front of the Prince Consort’s Statute in Pearson Park. One of them carves his initials into a wooden bench, and children play on swings. There is brief footage of a football match of Hull City at Boothferry Park, and the park where there is a climbing frame.
At the Hull docks, five tugs are lined up in a row at the mouth of the River Hull. After their arrival, the barriers to the river close behind the boats. The tugs, among them the Merman of Hull, make their way up the river. Larger ships are docked up in one of the bigger docks. In the background Amos & Smith can be seen. In among all the ships a flag flies, possibly Liberia. Some workmen take the docking ropes off a ship and then take up the gangway. Other flags and ships are shown, including the Brunswick Wharf being towed out. Other tugs in operation include the ‘Handyman’. One of the ships being towed out is the ‘Kedma’, flies an Israeli flag. Another is the ‘City of York’, which is pulled away from the dock by a group of men.
Hull city centre is bustling with shoppers. Some window-shop at a clothing store. Inside a crowded food market, there is a variety of food and household goods on sale, and again the sign for ‘Music and records’ is seen in the market. Some of the shoppers drink tea. At the record store, LPs and singles are on display, the former for 6’6 (6 shillings and sixpence = approx. 32 pence). There are crowds of shoppers, and many women carry hat boxes. From inside a TV shop, a shoe shop can be seen opposite. Back inside the market, shoppers, including an off duty army serviceman, look through the goods. A boy in a duffle coat opens up a pen knife. People buying goods can be seen from both sides of the counter, including a haberdashery, and more singles are shown on display.
In a poverty-stricken area of Hull, children play with a model of a castle on the doorstep of a ruined building. Washing hangs in the backyards, and the film shows the bomb damage and poor conditions of the terraced housing. A woman and her son return home carrying milk from the shop, and girls play skipping in the streets. Two children sit against a wall. Some people pass by a newspaper stall, including another boy with a duffle coat, and there is a man with a hot chestnut stall. There is a brief view of people on a ride at a fair.
On one of the derelict sites there is a family by a caravan with a dustbin and a mangle outside. A boy and a girl play on a home-made see-saw which has been made using a ladder and a chair. A boy cleans a lorry, and a car is parked outside another caravan where two boys clean their boots. Down a street of terraced housing, a man has a cart, and girls play hula-hoop. At the fair, teenagers and children go on some rides. Back on the streets, small children are out playing, and washing which hangs between the houses can be seen.
This film is an extract. To access the complete film please contact the Yorkshire Film Archive