This film is part of Free

To Hull and Back

So much to see of Hull, with its great port, fishing history, historic showdown with Charles I, and two highly impressive public loos.

Documentary 1983 26 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


With his usual droll presentation, Michael Clegg gives a historical tour of Hull, focusing on its seafaring history and relationship to the monarchy. As Clegg embarks on a lazy boat ride along the River Hull, we get to see the remnants of Hull’s grand history as well as how busy it still is in 1983. As well as visiting various museums, Clegg gets the lowdown on Hull’s famous pilot boats, and to explore the Plotting Parlour in Hull’s oldest pub.

Much in Hull remains as it was in this film, including the Victorian North Bridge House, the 18th century Pease Warehouses, among the earliest surviving in Britain, and the Whalebone pub. So too the public loos in Nelson Street, while the historic toilets beneath the statue of King William were closed for many years, re-opening for City of Culture in 2017 (the goldfish story is half true: they died from lack of air). It is unclear what happened to the mural of Hull’s fishing history, or those on YOPs who painted it. By 1981 the Youth Opportunity Programme (followed in 1983 by YTS) was taking a million 16 and 17-year-olds off the unemployment figures, with less than a third finding jobs. Many saw it as cheap labour.