If you’ve been in Hull for a while then you’ve probably heard of, if not visited, Hessle Road. It’s located to the south-west of Hull, separated from the River Humber only by the constant buzz of traffic whizzing down the A63, in and out of the city. There’s not much left over the dual carriageway now; a modern retail park and a few derelict buildings butting up against what’s left of the docks.
A few years ago, until the early 70s, Hessle Road was the thriving heart of Hull’s vast fishing industry, offering workers easy access to the docks arrayed along the banks of the Humber, in particular St.Andrew’s Dock – known locally as Fish Dock. St. Andrew’s Dock closed in 1975.
Dr Alec Gill started documenting the people of Hessle Road (the titular Hessle Roaders) round about the same time, and continued to do so for around fifteen years. The camera he used – a German made twin lens Rolleicord – makes the images far sharper and clearer than most of the time.
The exhibition, currently in the Brynmor Jones Library Exhibition Space, is an insight into the day to day lives of Hull’s fishing community in its twilight years. It’s on until the 6th of January, and we really can’t recommend it enough.
You can find out more about Dr Gill and his project at the Hessle Roaders website.