Location, Location, Location

Where do you put a memorial to the people of Kingston upon Hull? Well, for us there was only Steven's War - front coverever going to be one primary location; on the exact site where once stood the tower of the Prudential Buildings. Why? Well, over the years whenever a World War Two story of Hull appeared in the press, the main illustrative image is that of the Prudential Tower standing alone on the corner of King Edward and Paragon Streets. It was also the site of many great rumours over what actually went on and who was buried there. (For a few answers why not try a copy of Steven's War, by Val Wood?)

So, the location was decided on and agreed at a council meeting, but we always knew we mat have to move as (secret) city centre development proposals were hovering in the wings. As it turned out we did end up having to move after our first pre-planning meeting as the Redevelopment Team had allocated our site for a play fountain! We found ourselves moving further down Paragon Street, between the two large flower beds but the Planners did not like this. At our next pre-planning meeting they wanted us closer to the Prudential Tower site. Unfortunately, the City Centre Development Team had missed vital information off their drawings and panic set in as they realised that the planners wanted us on the exact spot where The City plans should have shown a turning circle!

So, once they had all gone back to the drawing board and sent us a copy of the new plan, we discovered that the latest site for the memorial would be even further down Paragon Street, adjacent to the Yorkshire Building Society and Toni & Guy's Hair Dressing Salon. So that is where they have decided to put us, without any discussion or consultation.

Many other sites have been considered including;

    • Beverley Gate: Refused by the developers as it was deemed that the memorial would block the free-flow of pedestrian traffic.
    • In Front of Holy Trinity Church: Refused by us as it could be seen to be casting ecclesiastical bias on the memorial.
    • Queens Gardens: Refused by us as the work would not be allowed to commence until 2018.
    • Corner of Jameson & King Edward Streets: This one just faded away as the fountain was removed and Costa Coffee took over the site for tables and chairs.
    • Next to The Cenotaph: Not liked by our own team as it could 'militarise' the memorial (Rule 1).

So that is where we stand, halfway down Paragon Street in an area that was totally wiped out during the raids of the 7th/8th and 8th/9th of May 1941 and just a short stroll from the cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

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