The Evolution of a Memorial

It will no doubt surprise many readers to discover just how amazingly helpful were the officers and planners of the City Council. The experience we enjoyed was totally helpful with just the right amount of criticism and the right time. They are, after all, the experts and we approached them to learn from that expertise, to discover what we could and could not do, to discover the hidden pitfalls which they have seen many times before. They even pointed out the glaringly obvious - which we missed in our amateur approach to building an object in the centre of The City.

It is thanks to their advice that we can now describe the memorial as it will appear once it is finished. The Hull People's Memorial will;

  • ... be constructed from marine-grade stainless steel following the very latest advice from the city planners who have seen the condition of ordinary grade steel around the City Centre, unearthed during the 2016 redevelopments.

  • ... stand 3 metres high with a circumference of approximately 4 metres. The surface will bear either a small stippled finish or an etched random pattern depending on the votes cast for each at in the Hull People's Memorial Centre, Whitefriargate.

  • ... be punctured by a pattern of seemingly randomly placed ash leaf shapes with each of these shape being covered by a slightly proud and overlapping stainless steel ash leaf shape.

  • ... see each of the ash leaves (those placed at reading-height) bearing the name of an individual, a family or a group of people who died together as a result of the World War One and World War Two attacks on our city.

  • ... include a number of information plaques revealing a small snippet about our city and its residents during the horror that is war.

  • ... be cut into a series of slices with small viewing ports to allow the interior of the globe to be inspected. We are not revealing what might be found in the centre, but whatever is there will change from time to time.

  • ... include internal illumination which will seep out from behind the ash leaves making them stand out from the background in low light.

  • ... include an electronic 'walled garden' allowing access to a Memorial Web Site from hand held computers, telephones and other mobile devices.

So there we have it. What started as a net-like web of interlinked leaves has now become a much more solid, safe and secure structure capable of lasting for the next 100 years and beyond.

The Symbology of The Hull People's Memorial

The Globe has evolved from original design concept but we have maintained the reasoning of the original designers, Catrin James and Charlotte Raywood, for it is they who first came us with the idea of the ash leaf theme.

  • The ash tree is the world tree of life, its leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree's trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. It was also thought that from every ash leaf which fell from the tree, new life could be born.

    "What about Rule 2?", I can hear your shout, but hang on. Note the first line of this paragraph which stresses 'World' tree of life and of course, we are talking mythology here, not religion.

The Ash leaf then was chosen as a symbol of comfort, of renewal, just what was needed, symbolically, by the people of the most devastated place in the whole UK during World War Two and the recipients of the second heaviest total weight of bombs during both world wars.

The Hull People's Memorial is being raised to pay tribute to those who lived through the wars, who survived the horror to rebuild our great city; a task which still continues today. The ash leaves pay tribute to the fallen, their names, as far as we can ascertain, being listed on the ash leaves which have figuratively fallen from the tree to ground.

  • The purpose of The Globe is to represent the community of Kingston upon Hull, a community like no other on Earth. Our City and its people have grown in a kind of blissful isolation from the rest of the UK with the nearest cities being Lincoln, Leeds and York. The road and railways links all stop at Hull, or so it has been said for so many years. The people were often said to have more in common with the people of Flanders, The Baltic and Holland than the rest of the UK. Having been bombarded in the Civil War, in World War One and World War Two we certainly learned to look after ourselves. Mostly, because we had to! The Globe then, might be seen as the perfect shape for our city, our people and our community.

The 'splits' in The Globe represent the cracks in the community which have been caused by the loss of so many of our citizens and the attempt of our enemies to blow our magnificent city apart. Hull being 'ull, we help our own, deal with the fear and pain by pulling together, usually in a way which was never seen anywhere else in the United Kingdom. We did what we do best, we got on with helping each other. There was certainly no help coming our way from the affluent south. We were well and truly on our own. What better a symbol for such a fine city as Kingston upon Hull. We're the best!

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