Dozens of Hull’s most famous buildings are opening their doors from today as Heritage Open Days 2019 begins.
The annual event, organised by Hull Civic Society, features walks, talks and open days at buildings of historical, architectural and cultural significance in the city.
Nationally, Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together more than 2,000 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers.
Here are 9 activities you should not miss.
1. Securing a future for a bombed cinema
Wednesday 18 September 2pm
Summit Education (former Stepney Railway Station) in Beverley Road
The National Picture Theatre in Beverley Road is the last ordinary civilian building in England that has survived since the Second World War in its bombed state.
This talk by trustee Hilary Byers will look at the fateful night of 18 March 1941 and some of the reasons the building has survived, hidden for many years.
2. The history of flooding and water management in Hull
Monday 16 September 1.30pm
Ferens Art Gallery
Learn about some of the more contemporary attempts to drain flood waters in the region and examine what has been done in recent times – including the devastating floods of 2007 – to deal with the problem of high tides and flooding.
The talk by Peter Asquith Cowan also examines the works of the monks of Meaux Abbey and the accelerated erosion of our unique coastline.
3. Hull’s economic development and regeneration
Thursday 19 September 3pm
Hull History Centre
During a turbulent year city centres up and down the country, Hull city centre is changing as a place to live, work and visit. Alex Codd, Hull City Council’s city economic development and regeneration manager, will look at the future retail role in the city and discuss the progress of the city’s 12 key sites.
Alex will also present the winner of a professional competition to design a plan for the redevelopment of the Wellington Street and Ice Arena site.
6. Explore Stepney Railway Station
Wednesday 18 September 11am-4pm
Stepney Railway Station
This fantastic Grade II-listed building dates back 170 years. Its doors are being opening to the public as Beverley Road Townscape Heritage Scheme celebrates Beverley Road and the stories of those who have come to make it their home.
The talk will see the living history of the neighbourhood shared through memories and experiences.
7. Picture Theatre to Pearson Park walk
Sunday 22 September noon
Corner of Beverley Road and Fountain Road
When Zachariah Pearson gave land for Pearson Park to the town in 1860, it was a deliberate attempt to kick-start a middle class suburb – an example of Victorian ‘philanthropy and five per cent’.
This walk with guide Hilary Byers will look at the public buildings and private houses near the park, meet the remains of the National Picture Theatre and learn about aspects of Victorian and Edwardian life including work houses, railways, education, recreation and worship represented in less than a mile.
8. Tour the Guildhall
Wednesday at 9.30am, 11.30am and 2pm, Friday at 9.30am, 11.30am and 2pm and Saturday 9.30am and 11.30am
The Guildhall, Alfred Gelder Street
Tour corridors lined with acres of oak and walnut panelling with marble floors and see the building’s impressive collection of fine art, sculptures, furniture and silver.
The tour also gives a glimpse of the city’s former courts and cells, buried deep in a building designed by architect Sir Edward Cooper and built between 1904 and 1916 on the site of the smaller Victorian Town Hall. The tours are conducted by former Lord Mayor Mary Glew.
9. Explore the Old School
Thursday 19 September 10.30am-3pm
Old School, Northumberland Avenue
On a fascinating tour whether you attended the Old School or not, the Humber Archaeology Partnership will take visitors around one of the 37 boarding schools built in Hull between 1874 and 1897, designed by a prominent local architect in John Bilson who also had a passion for archaeology.
Despite superficial alterations including internal partitions and suspended ceilings, the building’s original layout remains clear. Visitors are encouraged to bring photos of the school or area and share their stories.
Find more information about Heritage Open Days in Hull here.