The Concept of The Hull People's Memorial

The idea of a Hull People's Memorial initially came about during Fred Hallwalks around the docklands and old town when Fred Hall described how The City had changed at the hands of The Nazis, to his pre-school toddler grandson, Alan Brigham:

"While the rest of the world was all Hippies, Love and Flower Power, from the age of 4 years old and upwards I learned, and forgot most of, the stories of air raids, change and wasted lives. The words that did stick foremost in my mind was that Kingston upon Hull (he always insisted on our Great City's full and proper title) should have a civilian memorial as they had all suffered so much during the war. The desire for a proper City Centre memorial was a message I heard over and over again until I left The City, aged 16, seeking travel and adventure in the Royal Air Force."

On returning to The City following conversations with friends at the Carnegie Heritage Centre, Alan Brigham and Charles Dinsdale decided to 'test the water' and discover if the people of Hull were still in favour of building a people's memorial, or had the passage of time mellowed the desire for such a public statement to be made.

Alan was leading the East Yorkshire Family History Society (EYFHS) in hosting the region's biggest ever Family & Local History Fair in The City's Costello Stadium. He was able to reserve a large area of the stadium for Hull's first major World War exhibition for many years and the opportunity was taken to survey everyone visiting this event whether The City still wanted, still needed, a People's Memorial after so many years. YES was the answer - a great big unanimous YES.

The following year the same exercise was repeated but the outcome of the survey was identical. A number of other events, such as Veterans Day, were attended and the answer was always the same. In 2011, a major two-day event was planned at the Carnegie Heritage Centre to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kingston upon Hull's worst weekend of the war, the 7th/8th and 8th/9th of May 1941. Alan was even able to pull in a few favours from the RAF BBMF, who laid on a flypast of the whole city, and the crowds at The Carnegie were queuing to get in on both days of the event. This time however, there were two objectors to the scheme; the Lord Mayor and one other visitor who thought that it would be better to spend the money on saving abandoned cats!

During this early evaluation stage only three more objectors were recorded;

  • "I think the money would be better spent building a new hospital." (In a letter to the Hull Daily Mail web site.)

  • "It's too long ago, we should simply forget it ever happened." (20 years old visitor to one of our many outdoor events.)

  • "It could bring back a lot of very sad memories to the people who were there." (93 years old female visitor at the Veterans Weekend in East Park.)

Quite clearly then, Stage One had proven to us all that the concept of building a people's memorial should be taken further.

Stage 2: The Vote : Index Page