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Thousands visit the People's Gallery
18th September 2013

Thousands enjoy People's Gallery for Heritage Open Days

Decades of Hull's social history have been brought to life at a former clothes store. Thousands of people have visited The People's Gallery, in the old Peacocks store in Whitefriargate, Hull.

The exhibition of 600 photographs continues until Sunday afternoon. The images are drawn from the Hull Daily Mail’s archive and re-printed on to exhibition boards by InterTech.

The Mail’s local government reporter Angus Young is behind the idea. He said: “The aerial photographs are particularly popular, with people spotting where they used to live. Lots of memories have been shared today – there were people standing next to each other talking and laughing about the photographs.”

Hull Trinity House loaned the building to the Mail for the four-day exhibition. It is part of Heritage Open Days weekend, which sees 35 buildings open to the public.

Exhibition visitor Susie Kirkwood, 64, from east Hull, said: “I’ve always been in history groups and my grandfather had a scrap metal business on the docks, so I came to see if there were any photographs on that. I only wish the exhibition was permanent, it brings people into this area of town.”

George Norris, 49, of the Avenues, spotted his uncle Dave Norris in one of the pictures. The photograph, from May 1985, shows men washing their horses off Hull Pier.

Mr Norris said: “My family were all horse breeders and dealers. They used to take them down on a Sunday to be washed and all get in the water. I think there should be more exhibitions like this – it would be good for people with Alzheimer’s as pictures and music both help bring back memories for them.”

Angie Gagg spotted her grandmother, Margaret-Ellen Leighton, in a picture of Monument Bridge. It showed Mrs Leighton about to cross the road.

Angie said: “The picture was taken in 1957, so I joked she has been waiting to cross the road for 50 years. The picture shows her with a big hat pin and my brother used to think it went straight through her head.

“I’d seen the picture in Flashback before, so it’s brilliant it is in the exhibition too. I heard she was in this show, so I had to come and see it.”

Michelle and Kevin Jackson, from Sutton, chatted to the Mail while spotting landmarks on an aerial photograph.

Mr Jackson, 51, said: “There was a picture of a bloke on a Lambretta and I bought it off him after the picture. We were also looking at the aerial photograph, which was taken before Clive Sullivan Way opened.”

Mrs Jackson, 50, added: “The exhibition has been brilliant. It must have taken some time setting up, but it looks great."

Martin Clappison, 35, visited the show with his son Charlie, 10. The Anlaby resident said: “I enjoyed looking at the old pictures of Trinity House and the city centre from around the time when I was growing up. I’ve loved looking at all the old pictures and seeing how Hull has changed over the years.”

The boards will be available to loan after this weekend. Mr Young said: “I’d like to hear from anyone interested in using the boards – perhaps for a history group, a festival or an event. They’re all moveable and we’d like to see them get used.”