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Hull Street Scenes

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Hull Street Scenes

A truly amazing slice of working class city life in post-war Britain as a young filmmaker becomes a part of the street life of Hull, revealing its everydayness in grainy detail.

Amateur film 1957 28 mins

Overview

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Children play among the ruins of Hull caused by the heavy bombing it received, just over a decade on from the end of the war. The streets of the 1950s are the territory of girls, boys and the emergent sub-group of the teenager. Pearson Park in Hull is the locus for the entire community as younger children are joined by mothers with prams and elderly men observing all from the park benches. Meanwhile local youth display their new post-war sense of freedom.

This is one of a number of films made by John Turner, who, on his arrival in Hull in 1957 to study Physics at the University, wandered around Hull with his 8mm cine camera. He filmed everyday life in the streets, parks and docks, the shoppers in the city centre and locals at Hull Fair. At this time Hull was proving to be a prime place for exemplifying the everyday life of the nation, with the University at its centre. Richard Hoggart was a lecturer there and published his influential book on culture and class, The Uses of Literacy, in this same year, 1957. The year before Philip Larkin moved into his second floor flat overlooking Pearson Park, heavily featured in this film – although he doesn’t seem to make an appearance.