Colin Gardener

Colin discusses what it was like to move to Hull as a teenager. The differences between Hull and Ipswich and how he made friends. He describes the changes he has seen in Hull over the years. Colin has worked for local bus companies such as East Yorkshire Motor Services and tells stories of his experiences as a driver.

Media No: 1047
Interviewee Forename: Colin
Interviewee Surname: Gardener
Year of Birth 1946
Interviewer: Dan Dearing
Location: Men in Sheds Office, Greenwood Avenue, Hull
Date of Interview: 31/03/2016
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:41:08

Time Code Notes

[00:00:00] Ipswich born, moved to Hull in 1961-62 aged 15. Was in army from 15 years old, visited parents who lived here on leave about 5 times a year. Was sent to Saudi Arabia for two years until years old and then came back to Hull to live.

[00:01:36] First impressions and differences between Ipswich and Hull. Wider roads in Hull, more space, lots of picture places (cinemas). Lists all the different cinemas he can remember on Holderness Road and Beverley Road.

[00:05:22] Hardship of making friends, made them through his sister first. His accent made him stand out. ‘Gang’ culture – getting into a fight near bus shelter at top of York Road with ‘yobbos’ who told him to get out of town. Mentions bowling alley on Beverley Road which was a bad place to go. Notorious Spring Street family would hang around there.

[00:08:41] Locals were curious about Ipswich – thought anywhere ‘past Goole was London’. His accent was good for ‘picking up lasses’.

[00:10:24] Became a postman for a year. Explanation of working day and description of uniform. Struggles of not knowing areas and street names. Moved to East Yorkshire buses first as conductor and then as driver for the rest of working life.

[00:12:36] Positives of Hull – plenty of work although low pay. Talks about cleanliness of city and city centre gardens and flower beds.

[00:13:35] Left army with a wife and wrote to 2 councils for a council house. Hull council offered a new maisonette on Bransholme. Discussion of how Hull people seem to come back and the East/West divide. Met wife potato picking at Sunk Island were people would be bussed in for work.

[00:16:49] Meeting girls at Locarno dancehall. Anecdote about being invited to play with resident band ‘Gene Mayo and the March Hares’ on stage. Talks about coffee bars – particularly one under ABC cinema. Would occasionally sneak into pubs but could easily get caught.

[00:21:15] Work at East Yorkshire Motors. Driving ‘old backender’ buses. Becoming a coach driver a Good News Travel across Israel and Europe. Moved to Corporation Transport until retirement at 65.

[00:23:14] Comparison of Hull to other places, good cleanliness, bad planning, problems with shopping – Princes Quay and St.Stephens. Feels things are not in place for upcoming City of Culture.

[00:26:16] Changes in the city over the years both good and bad. Decimation of fishing industry, memories of driving fishermen to other ports. Knocking down of slum areas for new houses – though points out some of these are now being demolished e.g. Ings Road Estate. Demolition of Holden Centre and Princess Royal for private houses. Siemens factory – believes this only for cheap labour. Concerns about poor wages.

[00:30:48] Good points about city – thinks people in general are friendly. KC stadium and memories of old Boothferry Park.

[00:33:40] Description of Hedon in 60’s. Lots of bikes for people going to work at Saltend, Seven Seas, Priestman’s etc.

[00:34:38] Anecdotes from time as a bus driver. One particularly amusing story from a late night trip on Greatfield estate.

[00:38:54] Comparisons of bus driving then and now. Could argue with passengers more then – e.g. mouthy drunks – but would get reported now. Thinks being a bus driver is a thankless job.

These time code notes are provided as a rough guide to the above recording. Untold Hull would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their time and hard work in producing this information.