Exploring Bransholme

Bransholme is an area or housing estate situated on the north-eastern side of Kingston upon Hull, England. The name Bransholme comes from an old Scandinavian word meaning Brand's water meadow. This blog hopes to bring together research about the area, its history and its residents. This research will inform the arts strand of the NHS' health centre planned for Bransholme.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Flash Back Articles about Bransholme

Click on the artciles to see them larger and zoom in to read text.

Close Up North

I watched a documentary called 'Close Up North' made in 1997 about Bransholme. It was made 12 years on from a BBC documentary which followed the life a Bransholme resident named Paul Wilson.

Revisiting him showed that he was one of the success stories of Bransholme, going from being unemployed to training as a landscaper and having his own house and family. Him and other residents talked about how Bransholme has improved. No ugly maisonettes and the Garths have been redesigned.

Police described how they were using an unconventional approach to crime by targeting persistant offenders.

Also the Police made an a partnership with 'Bransholme Urban Motoring Association' (BUMPS) providing BUMPS with parts from abandoned and unclaimed stolen vechiles. As well as encouraging young people on the estate to attend.

Gina born in Brixton, had moved to Bransholme and started 'Bransholme Motivation' in an empty shop unit. Gina talked about how Bransholme has a lack of self confidence and the idea of the Bransholme Motivation project was to address this and raise esteem amongst residents by sharing skills, running workshops in music and IT as well as providing holistic treatments to relieve stress.

'Residents are beginning to believe the estates own bad press.'
''A problem estate' for the council but residents prefer to call it 'an estate with problems.''
'There is a community spirit' ' Big-hearted Bransholme' 'Improvements on a grassroots level'

The video also interviewed Harry the Milk Man a caring community figure in the area.

Visit to Winifred Holtby

The beginnings of the new school building which is being built next to the current site.

Met with Linda Taylor who is Head of Arts at Winifred Holtby School. The school used to be called Bransholme High but is now named after the novelist and journalist. The school has won technology status.

Linda talked about some interesting projects she has run in the school - students enjoy experimenting with the kiln and with sculpture, mosaic, photography.

Linda also talked about the school's partnership with the Albert Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Hull is twinned with Freetown and was the first city to twin with a third world city. One of the main streets in the city centre has been named after it (Freetown Way).

It seemed like a really positive that students at the school would have the opportunity to learn about somewhere abroad.

"Over recent months, we have worked with Dorchester Primary School and Sutton Park Primary School to form a cluster partnership with three schools in Freetown, Sierra Leone (Albert Academy Senior School, Cathedral Primary and Conforti Primary). This has included us exchanging students’ work, videos and developing communication between the schools. In 2008, we were successful with our bid for funding from the British Council. This meant that we could extend our partnership work and plan for the first of two reciprocal visits. The first of these took place in August 2008 and staff from the three Hull schools; alongside the Head Teacher from St. Richards Primary) travelled to Freetown."

Quoted from the Winifred Holtby Website.

Linda was running an art exchange project getting students to map out their journey to School and visually represent things that they see on the way. With plans to get students in Sierra Leone to do the same.

It seems that education in Hull (Linda and WH included) does alot to share knowledge and information between schools and colleges. We talked about how it would be good to perhaps do an art project where students worked / collaborated with older generations or University students.

Meeting Bert Dockerty at the Bespoke Centre

Met with Bert who started the 'Patient Engagement Group' (PEG) with the NHS and is also now the Chairman for the PEG in Bransholme. He's one of 6 Ambassadors for the NHS in the area. He helps to provide provision and care for the elderly in the own homes. He's also on the 'Overview and Regeneration and Scrutiny Committee'. So he's obviously someone who is very engaged and passionate about Bransholme!

Bert reminded me about The Garths being named after 2nd World War Air Fields (alot of them emergency airfields) something that Paul Holloway had talked about.

"The Garth's are like the jewels of Bransholme"

"We demanded to keep the fields and greenery"

Bert talked about how their is a large variety of Orchids in the Noddle Hill Nature Reserves nearby and though that it would be good to havethe arts in the health centre link in with the greenery in the area.

Bert mentioned how proud the area was to have the Queen visit the Garths 8 years ago. "She came and had tea in the sheltered bungalows."

Bert also gave me details of the Bransholme archives in St James' Church in Sutton Village. The archive is run by volunteers who are experts on the area as alot of them live in the area, it is open on Fridays so it will be great to try and make a visit.

There's loads of information on their website:


Bert used to be a member of the Lambworth Hall club which I read an article about in Hull Daily Mail. It is no longer a club unfortunately, it has been converted into flats. This is where the police stables used to be.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Visit to Kingswood College of Arts

Met with Loz Wilson (Assistant Headteacher and Head of Creative Arts) from Kingswood College. The school is involved in a number of interesting projects and Loz seemed very proactive in creating opportunities for students to collaborate with other students and institutions outside of the school.

For example Kingswood worked with Hull Truck to put together a number of plays one of which was premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.


Students have also worked with sculptor Saffron Waghorn on stone carving. Some of the results can be seen as permanent stone sculptors placed outside the entrance to the school.

The school has a learning centre and partners with Hull University and Hull college to deliver a number of course for adults as well as "fun activities ranging from Jewellery Making to Dress Making, Gymnastics, Streetdance, Dance Classes and Musical Theatre."

The school also hosts an annual event called K-fest on site with bands such as The Good Shoes and Sunshine Underground.


In the gallery area the current exhibition is a series of photographs taken by young people across Bransholme. The project was lead by Wayne Woolen from Bransholme Community Arts Enterprise.

Loz is also one of three founders of art collective 10 x 4. There are currently 32 members. The group hosts exhibitions on a bi-annual basis in the schools gallery and in Pave a bar on Princes avenue.

Green Bransholme

Chris Smith talked a little bit about how green Bransholme is, and only a short walk around proves his point! There was lots of greenery on the walk up to North Bransholme.

The red bridge - what does it go over?

One of the first things we noticed upon our arrival to Hull was the white telephone boxes - very distictive.

Visit to Bransholme Community Arts Enterprise

Made an interesting visit to Bransholme Community Arts who are based at Dorchester Primary School and met with Chris Smith who works their part time and drives alot of their projects forward.

One of the two spaces where BCAE are based.

Unusual shaped bricks outside entrance to BCAE.

There was a craft / greeting card making session happening whilst I was there.
This is a diaroma card made by Anne. They planned to sell the cards at the next school far to raise money for charity.

We said it would be good to make one using pictures of Bransholme. Some the attendees expressed and interest in photography / SLR cameras.

They run numerous sessions at the school including computer and web classes on a Tuesday and youth clubs in centre across Bransholme. Also the residents association are in the process of putting together a newletter over the next couple of weeks and Chris suggested putting something in about the project.

Honey of a Hobby

Hull Times, August 1972

Article interviewing the Beverley Bee Keepers Association.

"Bee keeping is fascinating, it gives you an awe of life. In general when you realise the enormous variations and how each has developed its own organisation."

"Here's an idea: Bransholme Tenants will 'dig' "

Hull Times headline
4th August 1972

"Many of Bransholme's residents who moved to their new homes from Hull's older, closely knit communities have certainly missed one facility which formed a traditional part of life - the allotment.

For those people living in maisonettes and high rise flats gardening became a mere memory when they moved in. On Bransholme many houses also have smallish gardens giving little scope for cultivation.

Action However has now been taken. Last week at Dulverton School - which is fast turning into Bransholmes focal point - a meeting of tenants was held and the outcome was that the Bransholme Satellite Allotment Association was formed."

Lost in Bransholme

There's nothing more frustrating than getting lost so the Hull Times have heard of many people losing the way on the massive Bransholme estate and Sutton Park we hope this map will ease your problems of finding a friend or relatives' house among the 185 streets.

Out on a Limb

Article about scheme to pair students with elderly people living in Bransholme.

"Our next move was to accommodate those who requested a group activity. The most popular suggestions were needlework, soft toy making and nail and thread pictures."

They're out to Foster the right spirit at Bransholme
Hull Times 30th June 1972 p.5
"The Satellite town. That is what Bransholme has been dubbed by an organisation which is working feverishly to establish a community spirit among uprooted and sometimes lonely residents of Hull's major overspill area..

The Bransholme tenants and Families Association has certainly got things orgainised...
For those of people with the "Branshome Blues" the association is a 'must'."

Bransholme Arts Centre

Front page of Hull Times 25th May 1973

'What facilities should a new arts centre have?
"It should have a snooker room" "If It had a billiards room my husband would be there every night."
"Table Tennis." replied Maureen.
Bransholme is more of a city now not an estate and up here people only have their gardens to do - there are are only three pubs...."!

Youth Club?

Hull Times September 24, 1982

"A gala at the weekend to raise funds for the North Bransholme youth group was well attended. The event at Dales school included a display from the Hull Transport Karate Team, the Humberside Leggionnaires, a jazz band, a seven as side rugby match and a seven a side football match.

Other groups included the RSPCA, the PDSA, the Bransholme Roman Catholic Church and a Vietnamese refugees group and all had stalls at the Gala to raise their own funds."

Lambwath Club

"A dream comes true for hull man who is back in the city after a stint of sheep and dairy farming in Australia. He is Ian Harns owner of Lambworth Hall Country Club on the edge of Bransholme....

...The Lambwath childrens choir meets Wednesday night for 5 - 15 year olds, have sung in schools and old folks homes as well as in the club itself....

...There are the usual club activities darts and dominoes and lounge bar and like many other clubs in the city they have a pigeon club which meets on a Friday."

Thumbs up for Shops

Original advert selling land where the Bransholme centre is situated.

Sense of occasion - list of Bransholme new shops' make front page news.

Hull Times, Friday 23rd November 1973

'"It's terrific, sheer luxury after having no shops for two years its super."'

'Mr D Adams lives in the nearby RAF houses, "It's great, it's so handy, its saves the expense of going into the city, I come here nearly everyday and never go into the city now."'

The Gates!

Hull Advertiser

"The Lord Mayor Commented: "I have many fond memories of the Sutton RAF base as a child during the war so I am delighted that the servicemen and women who served there will be remembered."

Fresh Air!

Hull Times, 6th July 1973
"I would never leave Bransholme, I like it too much up here because there is plenty of fresh air."

By Jove I wouldn't swop!

The Hull Times
February 8 1978

"My god don't bring me out here I'll die here."
"It's like heaven living up here, as soom as I came I seemed to settle."
Two views on Bransholme, for some hell on earth for others comparitive paradise to the areas and houses from which they have come.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Bransholme Library used to be a boiler room!

Blue plaque commemorating RAF Station in Bransholme's Library. The RAF station was opened in September 1942 on the location which is now the North Point Shopping Centre. During World War II the station's balloon barrage defended the Hull and Humber Area.

I looked at the 17 Balloon Centre publication by Leo Bacon, which is a detailed archive of the history of the RAF station this is also accessible online.


Bransholme Library had a really informal, friendly atmosphere and the staff seemed to encourage chatter which I thought unusual for a library!

There is a reading group which I was encouraged to attend if I wanted to discuss the project (next session being the 22nd April, which unfortunately I don't think I will be able to make) They also run creative writing classes amongst other activities for young mums, toddlers and teens.