Christine talks comprehensively about her early life in West Hull, school, going to university and then her married life and career working for libraries and local authorities. She also talks about the changes she has seen in Hull from the 1950s to the present day and her opinion on the city’s future.
|Year of Birth||1950|
|Location:||Hull Central Library|
|Date of Interview:||08/03/16|
Time Code Notes
[00:00:02] Born in Albert Avenue. Discusses living a 1933 terraced house on Kempton Road, near Boothferry Park. Mentions a living room, kitchen, bathroom and small hallway stairs leading to 3 bedrooms. Long, thin back garden to Hull/Barnsley railway. Dark, old furniture with no fridge. Veranda with bath tub for wash day on Monday. A posser was used to wash clothes, then they were put through the wringer.
[00:03:24] Describes kitchen and pantry with stone floor, which was cold and kept milk, vegetables etc. No fridge until early 1960s. Plain meals (rationing finished in 1954). Mum went ‘on road’ shopping every day. Roast on Sunday and minced meat on Monday. All meat and 2 veg. Hot meals at lunch time were called ‘dinner’ and then cold meals for ‘tea’. No fancy food until went to university in 1968.
[00:08:30] Grandfather bobbed on fish dock. Parents- mum born in 1910 in West Hull and worked as a PA to a fish merchant. Father was born in Brazil Street, East Hull, went to Craven Street School and then worked at the fish dock. Parents had an 8 years courtship. Mum stopped work when father came back from the war.
[00:11:40] Still-born sister was born in 1946. Parents never talked about her and her burial place was unknown. Christine found her in a public grave.
[00:13:29] Discusses her earliest memory of Coronation Day in 1953. Talks about a street party in Kempton Road and Airmyn Avenue. Bad weather occurred, so they went to Kennings Garage huts. Walked to Wheeler Street School on her own. English was her favourite subject- composition and comprehension. Mentions that her school was an old, Victorian school. She was a bell monitor aged 10.
[00:16:00] Discusses toys: garage, fort and doll’s house. Mischief- 10 foot behind houses for access at back. Railway embankment, dens in there. Played out all day. Saw steam trains and crawled on ledge of a bridge, which was 40 feet high.
[00:21:59] Changes- television arrived 1954/1955; a 12” screen. The set was a black and white Ultra, which stood a foot deep. Once channel started showing programmes at 4pm. Transistor radios came in the early 60s, which ran off batteries and was portable. Discusses a Flatley dryer- an electric cabinet for drying clothes over the element. They owned a Hoovermatic twin tub washer in 60s, a fridge in the early 60s and a freezer in the mid 60s.
[00:26:45] Card games, Ludo etc. were played throughout the 1950s during the evenings. No central heating, so everyone sat in the living room around coal fire and one TV. No car; everyone used bikes, buses and trains. Sundays involved bike rides to Welton or Brantingham with Dad. Saturdays (until 1960s) involved going into town with Mum on the trolley buses. Travelled to Hornsea by train for their holiday. From 1950s onwards, travelled by steam train to Whitby.
[00:31:15] Secondary school, passed 11+ exam so went to Kingston High School, which was co-ed but had a girls’ end and a boys’ end. Male and female teachers separated classroom. There were outside toilets. School was very competitive and difficult. 4 school houses: Tranby, Myton, Wyke and Meaux. Deputy Head Girl. Took A Levels, then went to Sussex University in 1968. Talks about how she was the first in her family to go to university, and claims that grammar schools gave working class kids the chance to go to university.
[00:33:54] Teenage years dominated by pop music, vinyl records, Elvis, Cliff and the Beatles. Discusses dancing at Hull Locarno (Mecca) and Gondola Club, drinking lemonade/coke during the break. Was a meeting place for boys and girls. Dancing in City Hall on Saturday nights. Swinging 60s changed life, but real swinging scene didn’t happen.
[00:43:20] Going to university- maximum grant and no loans. Was at Sussex University for 3 years, then studied Post Graduate in Librarianship at Leeds Polytechnic. Boyfriend was a chemical engineer, so she came back to Hull to live and work. Discusses changes in Hull – bomb sites had gone, more new buildings. Her friends from the South couldn’t believe how great Hull was.
[00:45:19] Talks about Boothferry Park in 1950s. Parking for match in Airmyn Avenue, of Kempton Road. In their garden, they parked bikes for 1d (a penny). Boothferry Halt was railway station for the match. New floodlights in early 60s and huge pylons, which lit up all the houses.
[00:51:25] Met husband at Kingston School. Engaged in 1972. First job was as a librarian at Sydney Smith School, a comprehensive school. It was a shock – discusses discipline problems, noise and deprivation. Worked there 1972-1974, and then worked at the Guildhall at council members’ information service. Then Supervisor of Modern Records. Son born in 1979. Took 8 year career break. Back to Humberside College of Education. In 1992, set up library for Humberside College of Health at De La Pole Hospital site. Then moved on to being a Librarian at university, and then became a Study Skills Tutor.
[00:58:34] Married in 1973 and bought new house on Springhead Estate, a 3 bed semi for £5250. House was built by Stan Spruit, £50 deposit. Talks about through lounge/diner and kitchen. Bigger than childhood home – was new and modern with fitted kitchen and small garden. Mortgaged to the hilt. Discusses central heating, badminton, holidays, DIY and allotment.
[01:05:26] Played games and sports with her son. More TV and more pressure to keep up with neighbours and friends. No car until late 1970s. Son didn’t play out like she used to. Holidays – went in this country to hotel with facilities for children. Went to America to visit relatives in 1980s. Winter weekends.
[01:09:30] Changes in Hull – loss of fishing decimated the community. Unemployment. Talks about the concept that Hull is still the road to nowhere. Discusses that it’s changing with Siemens and City of Culture. More housing and there are still independent characters. Discusses her role in society: volunteers at Carnegie Heritage Centre and local history class, Alpha One choir, Membership Secretary of Old Kingstonians Society and pioneer volunteer for City of Culture. Has caravan in North Yorkshire. Less London centric. Suggests that growth of wind turbine industry is prosperous for Hull. More effective council, should take in West Hull villages, keep its history. Be part of Northern Powerhouse.
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.