Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

In Print — Books

Amy Johnson A Life In Pictures

Published in 2016

The definitive pictorial portrait of Hull's pioneering aviatrix, this is a lavishly produced large format hardback, full of rarely if ever seen images of Our Amy at school, at home, on holiday and on her many record-breaking flights around the world.

Produced in conjunction with the Amy Johnson Festival, with text by Rick Welton and additional work by Paul Gibson. Design, layout and typesetting by PG.

Available from Waterstones and Amazon

Firefighting in Hull

Published in 2016

Written by David Jessop - son and grandson of two of Hull's firefighters, this is a heavily illustrated pictorial history of the firemen of Hull from the origins of the Police Fire Brigade through to the formation of the Humberside Fire Brigade.

Design, layout and typesetting by PG.

Only available from myself or direct from the author, and a very limited publication run.

Hull Then & Now 5

Published in 2015

Volume five in the Hull Then & Now series, and proving as popular as the rest - thank you.

Three chapters this time; chapter one returning to a subject that proved extremely popular in a previous volume - shopping, with photographs of avery type of shop, large and small - High Street and back - street.

Chapter two follows neatly on from the chapter in volume four that illustrated horse-drawn transport in Hull, and shows the natural development to motorised transport, with early vehicles of all description. Delivery vans, council vehicles, early motor cycles and cars and many others.

Chapter three is a small tribute to my sadly departed friend and mentor Graham Wilkinson - the pub historian of Hull - bar none. A closer look at some of Hull's pubs - some lost - and some clinging on in today's tough climate.

The same high quality format as previously supplied, 176 pages and over 200 old photographs with many modern colour photographs to accompany them. And I'm pleased to say I've been able to keep the price at the same level, with no increase on volume four, and the actual cost of the Hull Then & Now series having gone up just £2 since volume one in 2008.

Available from Waterstones in Hull, the Hull History Centre, the Hull Museum shops, the Carnegie Heritage Centre, the Hessle Book Shop, Barkers in Cottingham and online via eBay and Amazon.

Or - you can visit my online shop, for a copy with free post and packaging.


Published in 2015

This is Mike Watts third book of poetry. I am pleased to have been involved by designing and publishing this book for Mike, who is one of Hull's leading conmtemporary poets. Fellow poet Helen Mort commented: 'Times are hard and Mike Watts' poetry is a mirror for them.'

His work is gritty and realistic, and rewarding, for anyone who, lives in the real world.

Look out for him performing and see him if you can.

Fred Elwell RA - A Life In Art

Published in 2014

This labour of love is the work of Malcolm Shields and Wendy Loncaster, art historians and respected authorities on the life and work of Fred Elwell the Beverley born artist.

I was commissioned by them to produce a high-quality, case-bound book, which reflected not only the quailty of Fred's art but one that also did justice to the years of work carried out by Malcolm and Wendy.

Stretching to 216 pages with over 140 examples of Fred's work, the book is a large publication (270mm x 255mm) and is available from all good outlets including the museums and art galleries.

See also for further details and images.

Georgian Society 75th Anniversary publication

Published in 2014

This full colour book was a commission to design, typeset and have printed, a book suitable to commemorate 75 years of the Georgian Society for East Yorkshire.

Featuring articles by two respected historians and an history of the society it is 76 pages and availble from all good book outlets. 

Hull Then & Now 4

Published in 2013

The fourth in the series and the fastest selling - so make sure to get your copy soon.

In this fourth volume of Hull Then & Now you will find well over 200 images of old Hull that have rarely – if ever – been published previously, with many modern colour photographs to accompany them. 

The four chapters inside feature some of the streets and roads in Hull, various modes of horse drawn transport that could be seen on our then quiet roads, people at work, and a final chapter containing images from the Hull History Centre’s collection illustrating some of Hull’s old court housing.

Available from all the usual outlets, and via my online shop if you would like a signed copy direct from the author.


Now Tigers! The Eary History of Hull City

Published in 2012

This is the latest publication from, and it was a pleasure to design and publish on behalf of Tigers fan Nick Turner. Available through all the usual outlets at £17.99.

The formation of Hull City Association Football Club in June 1904 is recounted in this book by founding director Ernest Morison. His polished first-hand account sheds light on the characters and events of those years, as do profiles of other important figures in the club’s history such as club captain E.G.D. Wright and club secretary Jack Haller. In their own words or those of sympathetic local journalists, these and many other club personalities are portrayed, including the teenage prodigy Tom ‘Boy’ Browell, versatile director Jack Bielby and doughty Scottish mid-fielder Davy Gordon.

As well as its focus on early directors and players, the club’s cramped Anlaby Road home is also featured in drawings and photographs. The people who thronged its stands and terraces – and their lively songs and wit – are revealed in a series of postcards and contemporary articles. 

The matches the Tigers played – the stirring FA cup games against First Division opposition, the foreign tours and the promotion battles – are all vividly recounted, with as much attention to the occasion as to the game itself.

This detailed and comprehensive examination of the club’s earliest years is illustrated with dozens of rare and previously unseen images, which are included here to provide an unrivalled visual record of the club’s formative years.

Hull Then & Now 3

Published in 2012

Book number ten - time flies. Volume three of the Hull Then & Now series was published in May 2012 and features another selection of over 200 images of Edwardian Hull, the vast majority of which have never been seen in print before.

It’s been four years since the first volume of Hull Then & Now, and I’m proud to present volume three. Once again for this third volume I have mostly avoided the city centre, and have chosen to illustrate three areas of our city and of our lives, which have changed over the last century.

Chapter One shows various side streets around the city, including some that have now completely gone. Chapter Two deals with shops, primarily the smaller shops that are now increasingly rare, such as the local corner shop.

The final chapter reflects the lives of people like us, you and I as we were 100 years ago, at home, at play, at work, and much much more.

Sold out, but does appear on eBay every now and then.

Images of Victorian Hull

Published in 2011

This is the third volume of drawings by Hull's prolific artist Frederick Schultz Smith. The previous books were a huge success in 1989 and 1990, and Hull Museums held a long-overdue exhibition of his work in the Maritime Museum, from 9 May until 11 September 2011.

In support of the exhibition, and the improved storage of Smith's drawings, I produced this full-colour book containing around 140 of his drawings. Showing Hull in the 1880s and 1890s, Smith captured scenes before street photography became popular, recording many buildings before demolition. He also recorded the expanding City as it spread through Sculcoates, along the Beverley Road, into West Hull, and East across the river. Along with a selection from the City Centre, these form the five chapters of the book; each chapter has a contemporary map showing the locations of the images.

Due to the greatly improved family history resources, and extensive research, I have been also able to produce a more accurate record of Smith's family history. His life is discussed in detail from birth in May 1859, to his death in 1925. Images of his birth-place, and his home in Hull are also included. 

Apart from one or two images, the book features drawings by Smith that have never appeared in print before, and at a better quality than was previously available. The book is 225 x 245 mm, and has 112 pages and is available through Waterstone's in Hull, the Museums' shops, Ferens Art Gallery, Garlands of Bridlington, the Carnegie Heritage Centre, Queen Street School Museum in Barton upon Humber, and the Hessle Bookshop. It is also be available on eBay, Amazon, or direct from me via the online shop, where I will be pleased to personalise signed copies.

The West Park

Published in 2011

This short history of Hull's second public park, discusses the West Park from its inception in the 1860s, through to the present day 'regeneration' of the entrance.

Illustrated throughout, with 30 photographs and maps, it is an A5 booklet of 24 pages. Printed in black and white, with a full colour cover it contains many views of the park never before seen in print.

Associated buildings, such as the Carnegie Library, KC Stadium, and the City Police Fire Box No.6 are all described, as well as features in the park that you will never have known about until now. Also discussed are the park's many sporting facilities, and its past relationship with Cricket and Hull City to name but a few.

Available direct from the Carnegie Heritage Centre, at the West Park Gates in Hull - see

Hull Then & Now 2

Published in 2010

The second volume of then and now images Hull Then & Now 2, had over 300 images and much more text than volume one. The images were taken mostly from my collection again, and I was once again commissioned to write and design the book by Carnegie Heritage Centre Ltd. 

I tried to respond to the many requests to feature other areas of Hull - following volume one - and so the book follows a vaguely circular route around the city, beginning at the most requested area The Avenues. The other chapters of the book are Prince's Avenue (including the Dukeries and Pearson Park) St John's Wood & Newland Avenue, Newland & The Cottingham Road, The Road to Stoneferry (including Cleveland Street, Wilmington and the Groves), Market Gate, Low Gate & High Gate (three old town streets in detail), and Myton (with images from North and South Myton). The introduction features an appreciation of a very important person in the history of Hull's architecture - Hull's first City Architect Joseph Henry Hirst - the architect of the Carnegie Library building.

This volume has now also sold out.

Nya Jee Salone : My Mother Sierra Leone

Published in 2010

Another publication that I designed and published on behalf of Lee Karen Stow, this illustrates the work of one of the Wilberforce Women - Francess Ngaboh-Smart. Francess is a young lady from Freetown who is making a career for herself as a photographer in circumstances so difficult that it's impossible not to admire her.  

Update - late 2014 - Despite eBola and civil war, Frances is now working for the UN - a real success story - whereas some of her fellow photographers are struggling to survive in this tragic time for Sierra Leone.

Go to for details

Heritage Panels 2

Installed 2010

A second selection of panels for Hull Forward, that were erected to inform the public at large regarding the history of the vacant land in Blackfriargate that is awaiting redevelopment. This photograph shows one of the panels on the south side of the plot.

Heritage Panels

Installed in 2009

In 2009 I was asked to supply artwork and historical text for a number of heritage panels that were to adorn areas of the old town in Hull that were due for redevelopment. Working in association with Hull Forward, several panels were produced in Humber Street and Wellington Street/Queen Street. The image here shows the Wellington Street corner panel being fitted, and all of the panels feature historical information about the area.

The Carnegie Heritage Centre : a Brief History

Published in 2009

This is a short history of the old Carnegie Free Library on the Anlaby Road, near West Park Gates. I compiled it for the charity of which I was a founding member: The Carnegie Heritage Action Team, which was formed to save the building from dereliction in 2006.

Please visit the website for more details, and even get involved if you are interested in local or family history. See

Revised and updated in 2017 - contact Carnegie for an updated copy.

The Carnegie Heritage Centre - a Brief History leaflet cover

Hull Then & Now

Published in 2008

Once again I was hired to research, write and design this project to a print-ready stage. This time by the Carnegie Heritage Action Team, a local charity of which I was a founding member, and still work with and support on a voluntary basis. It was another luxuriously presented book – similar to The Anlaby Road, and with it's presentation

I think the benchmark has been set for the quality of local history books in this region. Produced mainly due to local sponsorship it has sold 2,000 copies in two years, raising much-needed funds for the charity, which maintains The Carnegie Heritage Centre - see

This book sold out several years ago, but copies appear occasionally on eBay.

Hull Then and Now book cover

Wilberforce Women

Published in 2007

I was hired by the Wilberforce Women group to layout and design this fascinating and moving book. It contains many marvellous photographs produced by women in Hull, and women in Hull’s twin city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. It was a pleasure to meet the women and some of the ladies from Freetown, and was a very rewarding project. The credit for the project lies with Lee Karen Stow, a local photographer and reporter, and the sales raise funds to continue the photographic exchange between the women of the two cities – SO PLEASE BUY ONE

Contact for details


Wilberforce Women book cover

The Anlaby Road

Published in 2007

I was hired to produce this by a local group 'The Friends of Lonsdale', to raise money for their cause. It was financed with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, hence its ridiculously cheap cover price. Covering the complete history of the road from Hull to Anlaby, and all of the streets that run off it, I think it stands as a good piece of research. It won an award from the Hull Civic Society for being "an exceptional local history".

This was the first book that I ended up not just writing and researching, but tried my hand at designing it and laying it out to a print-ready stage too - a steep learning curve. It was well worth the extra effort and time, as the finished article sold 2,000 copies in just over six months.

20cm x 25cm, 178 pages, and weighs almost a kilo as its a case-bound book on quality materials.

A companion website, containing the full book as well as many additional photo albums for the streets, can be found here:

The Anlaby Road book cover

Then & Now Beverley

Published in 2006 (re-printed 2011)

This was the third book that I wrote for the Tempus group, and sold very well; it features old pictures of Beverley from my collection, matched with modern images that I took of the same scenes in 2006 (starting a bit of a trend).

Then and Now Beverley book cover

Hull Pubs & Breweries

First published in 2004 (reprinted in 2006 and 2011)

The second book that I wrote for Tempus Publishing, and the most successful, selling out the first run inside a year. Still one of the most regularly stolen books from the libraries in Hull apparently, and was also the best-selling book in Hull in Christmas 2004. I think its probably the most comprehensive and well illustrated book on the subject, and had good reviews from even the hardest of the local history critics. Still available in the reprinted form and contains one of the best selection of old Hull pub pictures produced so far (mostly from my collection).

Hull Pubs and Breweries book cover

Kingston Upon Hull : The Second Selection

First published in 2002 (reprinted in 2005)

The first book I wrote for Tempus Publishing, which sold very well and was soon reprinted. A good selection of old photographs of Hull from my collection. 128 pages, with around 180 images. Chapters include: - Old Town, New Town, Parades, Lopst Churches & Chapels, Sculcoates, Spring Bank, The Avenues, West Hull, Entertainments, East Hull, Working and Playing.

The 'first selection' was produced by the late Ben & Mavis Chapman, hence the title of mine being 'the second selection', and theirs was good too. Mine is still available in its much smaller reprinted form although Ben & Mave’s is harder to find – try the car-boot sales and eBay

Kingston upon Hull - The Second Selection book cover

A Toast To The Town : A History Of Beverley's Public Houses

Published in 2001

The second and final book I produced with Kingston Press, which sold very well despite the ambiguous title (nothing to do with me). Using pictures mostly from my collection, it records the history of every known pub and brewery in Beverley.

I have made an edited version available in the Pubs and Breweries pages on this website, and a few copies remain available from the usual local outlets. More recently some 'new old stock' was made available somehow, and is available from Carnegie Heritage Centre and some book outlets, but eBay is a good source for all my older books.

A Toast to the Town book cover

Lost Pubs Of Hull

Published in 1999

I had the great pleasure of working with my late friend Graham Wilkinson on this one. Sadly Graham died in 2007, but I think this and two of his other books – FORGOTTEN HULL and FORGOTTEN HULL TWO, stand as worthy tributes to his knowledge of Hull's social history, an expert on Hull's public houses, and unrivalled knowledge of the Hessle Road and Myton area. It was a pleasure to know and work with Graham, and it is a shame that its never gone to reprint. This was the best selling book in Hull over Christmas 1999, and is very hard to get hold of now.

If you are interested in lost pubs, check out my Pubs & Breweries pages, which feature many of Hull's lost pubs and a section that lists all of the pubs and breweries in Beverley.

Lost Pubs of Hull book cover

Aspects Of Hull

Published in 1999

This was the first proper book that I was involved with, and was made up of a selection of articles by local people with an interest in aspects of Hull's history.

I ended up writing two chapters, and its quite a good read. Chapters on: - The Kings Town, Brown's Guide Revisited, Immigration Into the Hull Jewish Community, Hull Prison 1829-1869, Parrish & Berry, Bring on the Clowns, Hull & Barnsley Railway, Preston Road Estate, Hull City 1929-30, The Park Street College, Paragon Street, and Old Town Pubs.

192 pages, 16cm x 24 cm

Aspects of Hull book cover

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