Having enjoyed walking Hull’s “Seven Seas Fish Trail”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/173916-review-seven-seas-fish-trail in the summer, we hoped the “Hull Blitz Trail”:https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/the-hull-blitz-trail/ Hull Blitz Trail would be equally entertaining.
We’d also seen a BBC programme about the blitz which featured essays written by teenagers during the bombing telling how they and their families had been affected. Particularly moving was when one beautifully handwritten essay, was presented to the author who’d written it as a schoolboy.
The leaflet had a map outlining 12 stops, each with a black and white photograph of how the area looked before the bombing, text of what was there now and snippets of interesting information. For example, although the term ‘blitz’ is now used to refer to the effect of living during World War Two’s aerial bombardment, technically it was only the period of bombing which occurred from the late 1940 to mid-1941.
Starting at Queen Victoria Square, we headed to Hull’s Paragon Station, which had been a major target and had also seen used for the evacuation of 50,000+ children from the city and surrounds.
Next up was Hammonds Department Store, now the House of Frazer. However, some stops bore no visible sign of a previous existence and the Albion Street Museum is now a car park. However, when the car park was being built in the 1980s, they discovered artefacts from the museum and a lucky chap called Cyril Nichols finally recovered a motor cycle he’d left in the museum’s basement 40 years earlier.
Our journey also took us past the original site of the City’s hospital but that was destroyed, although it still retains NHS links.
The route took us around some areas of the town we’d already visited, but also ones which were new. One of these was The “Hull History Centre”:http://www.hullhistorycentre.org.uk/home.aspx which had featured on the BBC programme. The building is modern with a rotating display in the foyer and we saw a sculpture of one of the city’s white iconic telephone boxes (Hull has its own telephone system) and a display of doodles from the various archives chosen by staff.
We finished our walk back at the Queen Victoria Square with the reminder that 1,000 lives had been lost and 95% of homes had been damaged or destroyed (the devastation was second only to that experienced by London).
The walk is 2.5 miles and takes around 2 hours – a map is available “online.”:http://providerfiles.thedms.co.uk/eandamedia/YS/2056290_1000_1.pdf.