9 Visions of a 60’s Childhood – in Hull

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (6)

In our ongoing series of look back pieces on childhood in Hull we go back from the 80s to the swinging sixties. What a decade! It was a time of change for Hull, reflecting the transformation in the country as a whole. Although personal memories of war had faded a little, the city was back on its feet and by December 1959 had regained its city centre and expanded its suburbs and was ready to face the new era. As the country moved on, so did Hull. Department stores flourished and even though our traditional industries began their slow decline, new firms came to the city bringing jobs and discovering just what a great place this city is.

Now if you were born in the late 40s or 50s, the Hull of the 1960’s will be interwoven in your memory, so here just for you (and anyone else who’s interested) is our pick of childhood visions from that golden era.

1. Hull fair looked like this:

Old even in 1960, Hull Fair goes back over 700 years. In the 60’s, the rides had begun to move with times a little and Waltzers were introduced.



2. The Deltics come to town

By the 1960s BR was investing on new diesel loco’s. Many children in Hull would go down to Paragon Station to get the name plates and number boards of these giants of the new age still mingling with the old steamers.



3. Telephone House goes up

As new constructions grew up everywhere, children would watch as the city’s skyline hung higher and higher. Exciting times for some, definitely one close to our hearts as KC well and truly put itself at the heart of the city with this huge investment.


4. The Beatles and other massive acts came to Hull

In the 60’s Hull was quite the venue. It attracted The Beatles (twice), Jimi Hendrix and Roy Orbison among others. Did you go?

We recently interviewed Lynda Hill about her book on when she met The Fab Four at Hull’s ABC.



5. Getting the New Holland Ferry

The Humber Bridge was but an idea in the head of ambitious engineers , so if you wanted to go to Lincolnshire in the 60’s, you took the New Holland Ferry across the Humber.


6. Getting a treat from??

They literally sold ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’. We are reliably informed this was a favourite Saturday afternoon treat for many kids in the 60’s but can you name the shop, and did you go?



7. Wanting to be 18 and go to Locarno’s

So you might not have been quite old enough in the 60s, but this place was rocking for many years beyond (until it became LA’s). It was usual for people to go to The King Edward first for one or two. Locarno’s was the last of the great dance halls of Hull and it sums up the era for many. Stories circulated of a Locarno’s community in those days, and that if you saw someone there you would stop the next day and talk to them in the street. Ah they were the days.



8. Going to West Park Open Theatre

This was the place to be in the 60s. It was council owned so the Corporation Entertainments Department would organise shows including local talent competitions.

Kids from all over Hull and East Yorkshire would take part and crowds would often swell to over 3,000. The venue still stands today, though has long since been boarded up. With a lack of venues in the city these days, maybe the City of Culture will see its long over-due restorations.



9. A day in the life of Hull

And finally, there are many visions of childhood in this extraordinary cine footage, recently discovered of Hull in the 1960s by the late Stanley Wilson.


Your memories? 

Was the 60’s in Hull your decade? Tell us your favourite memories by commenting below:


Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (6)
  • wilson

    Fields Cafe ,the aroma of coffee wafted down Savile St. I went with my Grandma,it was very much an afternoon tea social event with ladies wearing hats and quality coats.They had a large pot elephant in the window.

    • Christine Blurton

      i can remember a man use to stand in the window grinding the coffee in a great big coffee grinder, you could smell the coffee well before you hit the shop

  • Oh how I remember the old Humber ferry, the smell of burning coal and oil mixed with car exhaust fumes.
    You could walk aroung the deck or go down below for a pint, but if you remember those steps they were very steep, going down was ok but after a few pints getting back up was another matter.
    A real treat was for us to spend the day at Cleethorpes.
    We would take a trip across the river Humber and that lasted for about three quarters of an hour, setting off from Hull to berthing at New Holland.
    From there you took the train (Steam of course) to Cleethorpes and after spending most of the day you caught the train back and then the ferry back to hull at about six pm.
    For many of us that was quite an expensive day out and not an indulgence that could be repeated too often.
    But is was brilliant, and in those days the Corporation Pier at the Hull berth of the ferry was always quite beautiful, since the council always planted it and many settled for just sitting on the pier listening to piped music.
    Those early simple pleasures.

  • Pauline Burton

    I came to live in Hull in 1962,made my first visit to Hull Fair, went to college in 1963,got married in 1966,had my first child in 1966 and my second child in 1968.The 60s were a busy time for me!

  • The first picture in the swinging 60s showing the ABC cinema, we used to go there when I was about twelve years old, I used to go with 2 or 3 my mates.
    For a very small entry price you became a member of the ABC Minors club.
    Compared to today for about a tanner (6p old money) you got several serials like – Crash Coregan, Flash Gordon, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers and many many more.
    There was usually a cartoon or a Laurel and Hardy as well as a main feature.
    To say that the kids loved it would truly be an understatement, and every one got on in a very friendly way, such a pity that our kids are not allowed to go to the cinema as we used to do and at a price that was relatively easy to afford.

  • Andrew Holder

    Yes, Fields Café. My Auntie used to work there and I can remember being hit by the smell of coffee.

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