Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Spring Bank Pubs

All of the public houses on Spring Bank were initially situated on the south side of the road, until the opening of the Editorial Inn during the summer of 2000. As such this meant they were historically in an area known as North Myton – the north side of the road being in the parish of Sculcoates. In a survey of the whole of Myton made in June 1823 (ref. ICH 943, Hull Archives) the only properties on what we now know as Spring Bank, were seven properties within a terrace on the south side, when this part of Spring Bank was known as Spring Row. Listed in Spring Row at that time were: no.1 William Smith - baker, ‘house & bakehouse’; 2 John Barton, ‘house’; 3 William Atkinson - landing waiter, ‘house’; 4 John Ellerby - merchant’s clerk, ‘house’; 5 John Clark, ‘shop’; 6 William Westerdale, ‘house’; 7 Joshua Haythorn - victualler and gardener, ‘house and seven acres of land’.

This suggests that historically Spring Bank began at the entrance to Spring Street, and that the properties east of Spring Street were in Prospect Street. Later, following the construction of property between Spring Row and Prospect Street, the start point of Spring Bank became unclear, but has always been assumed to be the junction of Pearson Street and Prospect Street. Spring Row had been marked on maps and plans as early as Bower’s 1791 plan of Hull, and deeds for no.5 Spring Row are available from at least 1808 in the Hull City Archive – and so it is likely that the first properties are at least of that date.

The survey of 1823 listed properties in consecutive order along each street and road, and by comparison with a trade directory of 1823 the numbers and occupants can be cross-referenced and confirmed. From the survey it is obvious that the first ‘pub’ to open on Spring Bank was the Pine Apple at no.6 Spring Row. There are tenuous trade directory references to earlier victuallers in Spring Row, Spring Street etc. and these can confidently be assumed to refer to the tavern that became known as the Pine Apple. Thus both geographically and historically, this brief study of the Spring Bank pubs begins with that property.

Spring Bank Tavern (a.k.a. the Pine Apple)

In the survey of Myton made during June 1823 Joseph Haythorn was listed as the owner of a house and seven acres of land in Spring Row. From comparisons with the 1823 trade directory it is clear this later became known as no.6 or 7 Spring Bank. At that time the only properties on the south side of what we know as Spring Bank were the seven listed within Spring Row. The survey listed the properties in consecutive order, and from this it is clear the tavern was the westernmost property in the short terrace. A newspaper of the time, the Hull Advertiser dated 16 October 1829, featured an advertisement that read:

‘To be let, a well accustomed public house situate on the Spring Bank in the township of Myton and known by the sign of the Pineapple. The house possesses every convenience for carrying on the trade of publican to advantage and has attached to it a garden of seven acres one rood and six poles, well stocked with fruit trees in full bearing, the whole land being in a high state of cultivation’.

It is probable that the Pine Apple began its life as refreshment rooms for the gardens to which it was attached, possibly converted from or including the house of the gardener himself. At that time the cultivation of the then extremely exotic pineapple fruit was well studied, and popular with many horticulturalists, possibly even the owner of the new tavern. The seven acres of gardens were not recorded on Baines’ plan of 1823 but can be clearly seen on later plans of the 1830s and 1840s. By the 1850s the gardens had been drastically reduced in acreage and built upon. The fact that they were not shown on the plan of 1817 would suggest that the victualler Joseph Haythorn, also listed as a gardener, had laid them out himself possibly as pleasure gardens during the early 1820s. Initially listed as no.6 and set at the west end of the first terrace built on Spring Row, the Pine Apple was re-numbered no.12 as the gap between the terrace and Spring Street became fully built upon by c. 1840. As the start point of Spring Bank shifted (see earlier), and more property was built, it was to become no.29 Spring Bank, which it remains to this day. 

Following the sale of the Pine Apple and its gardens in 1829, the Pine Apple presumably lost its sign and became known simply – ‘by the sign of the board’ – a term indicating that the pub had yet to be named, or re-named. The new owner James Longhorn (formerly a grocer and tea dealer of Lowgate) renamed the Pine Apple as the Spring Bank Tavern circa 1834, a name that remarkably has remained unchanged for at least 176 years. So, it is possible that behind the stuccoed frontage of the present Spring Bank Tavern is an original late-Georgian or early Victorian public house. Goodwill & Lawson’s 1842 plan of Hull however, appears to show a gap between the Spring Row terrace and the still extant shop building (now incorporated into the modern Spring Bank Tavern) at the corner of Hall Street. It is possible that the Pine Apple was a different building to the present Spring Bank Tavern, but this is very unlikely and there is no corroborating evidence to support the conclusion. It is most likely that the Pine Apple was a more modest property – similar to those surviving at the west corner of Spring Street – and was either re-fronted or enlarged to become the larger Spring Bank Tavern we know today – possibly when it was taken over by brewers Gleadow Dibb & Co.

The Spring Bank Tavern was home to the Hull Harriers running club in the 1890s, as depicted in the contemporary illustration seen at the top of the page. Its situation has been its strongest ally, and at its peak it would have enjoyed frequent trade from the workers of the Blundell’s Corner industries. Their successors, the Hull Daily Mail workers, no doubt still make up part of the trade. To the rear of the pub were extensive coach houses, carriage rooms and stables, that also belonged to the pub; these were valued at £1,200 in a breakdown of the Hull Brewery Co assets in 1890, with the pub itself being valued at £4,000.

In the valuation the outbuildings were noted as ‘house, stables, and Fire Brigade Station’. Cab owners and commercial livery stables used some of the outbuildings during the 1870s and 1880s, and in August 1887 the southernmost buildings were converted or re-built as an auxiliary station for the Volunteer Fire Brigade. 

In the Hull Brewery official photograph seen right, note that there is no pub sign, and just a wonderful original Victorian gas lamp, probably converted to electricity by then. In the later photographs - note how the Hull Brewery Co saw fit to re-invent the 'inn-sign' with their arched plastic illuminated signs in the early 1970s. These were replaced by colourful versions when Mansfield's took over their pubs. 

The first headquarters of the Volunteer Fire Brigade was at the police station in Norfolk Street – hence the arched entrance (now closed off) at the side of The Lamp pub, which presently occupies that building. The corporation loaned the volunteers a manual fire engine, and a quantity of hose and other equipment, but the volunteer force was disbanded due to financial difficulties in 1891. The keystones of the arched entrance and windows facing Hall Street contain carved heads with helmets, which are allegedly likenesses of the former captains of the brigade; the 1890 Ordnance Survey plan shows the station in place behind the Spring Bank Tavern. The former fire station continued to be used by the pub as storage, and in 1990 many of the outbuildings were linked to the main building of the pub during redevelopments. At this point the original separate rooms in the licensed area, and the central passage entrance were lost forever. In 1992 the Mansfield Brewery allowed the tenant Mick Edwards to try and set up a fire brigade museum in the remaining outbuildings, but the project sadly failed due to lack of support. The former Fire Station was made a Listed Building in 1990, hopefully preventing further architectural losses on the site.

Other developments saw the Spring Bank Tavern extended west, to take in the former shop at the corner of Hall Street – latterly Cornell’s music shop. Sadly during these rebuilding projects most of the internal layout of the pub was drastically altered and is now almost unrecognisable as its former self. Despite this the pub is still popular as part of the Spring Bank pub crawl, and new generations of drinkers unaware of its long history, use it as a stop-off point on their way to the more trendy clubs and bars.

More recently the former stables and outbuildings were made accessible once more as the pub struggles to gain trade from its competitors. The outbuildings were recently used as seating, smoking and barbecue areas.  The Spring Bank Tavern nonetheless remains the oldest pub on Spring Bank. The photograph right shows the pub as I remember it, and was a frequently visited haunt after a visit to Cornell's music shop next door to buy sheet music and hope for some new interesting guitars and amplifiers to have been delivered - usually on wet Saturday afternoons in winter. The small 'pool room' of the pub had the best juke box in Hull and for 10p you could listen to anything from John Lee Hooker to Led Zeppelin.

Some victuallers from trade directories etc: 1817 James Mackay Spring Street; 1822 John Dunn Spring Row; 1822 J. Haythorne Spring Row; 1823 Joseph Haythorn (gardener) Pine Apple 6 Spring Bank; 1826 Joseph Haythorne Pine Apple Spring Row; 1831 John Featherstone Pine Apple Spring Street; 1834 James Longhorn Board Spring Bank; 1835 James Longhorn Spring Bank Tavern Spring Street;1837/8 Robert Virtue (gardener) Spring Bank Tavern Spring Bank; 1839-42 William Nowley Spring Bank Tavern Spring Bank; 1846-64 George Steeple Spring Bank Tavern 12 Spring Bank; 1865-67 Anne Steeple Spring Bank Tavern Spring Bank; 1868-76 George Thomas Wright Spring Bank Tavern Spring Bank; 1885-95 Mary Ruth Wright Spring Bank Tavern 12 Spring Bank; 1899-1921 Jeanette Ross Spring Bank Hotel 29 Spring Bank; 1930 Donald Smith Spring Bank Hotel 29 Spring Bank; 1939 John Moss Spring Bank Hotel 29 Spring Bank.

Plans etc. consulted Spring Bank Tavern:

OBLM/4163 – Alterations and re-building of stables 7.9.1874

1894M/963 – Toilets added for Hull Brewery Co., April 1896

1929M/6867 – New scullery, pantry, ladies conveniences, completed 1937

Polar Bear Tavern

No property is shown along Spring Bank, beyond the west end of Spring Row, on a plan of Hull made in 1835. By the time of Stephenson’s 1842 plan of Hull, a single property appears to be shown on the site of the original Polar Bear pub. Hull’s Zoological Gardens opened on the north side of Spring Bank in October 1840, and several public houses opened in the neighbourhood to serve the visitors, as well as the new residents of the area. The new pubs often took inspiration for their names from the exotic creatures that were held in cages and pens across the road.

Goodwill & Lawson’s plan of Hull, made in 1842, showed two blocks of property to the west of an alignment that later became Park Street. Further west was a single property, which must have been the original Polar Bear. Wilkinson’s plan of 1848 showed a line of houses had been built since the 1842 plan, adjoining the Polar Bear to the east – marked as Carlton Terrace. It is safe to say that the original Polar Bear was built c.1840. 

The first victualler at the Polar Bear was William Dennison, who had been at the Malt Shovel in North Church Side in 1840, and was at the Polar Bear from 1841-42. The next licensee of the Polar Bear, from circa 1850 until at least 1867, was Joseph Seaman, who was also a taxidermist. Many of the animals in the Zoological Gardens, opposite the Polar Bear, had been brought to Hull by sea and the crew may not have known their requirements for surviving the long voyages. The mortality rate of the various species would most likely have been very high, and as Mr Seaman also worked as superintendent of the Zoological gardens, he would have had ample supplies for his taxidermy.

Mr Seamen would appear to have been multi-talented and was variously listed as victualler of the Polar Bear Tavern, superintendent of the Zoological Gardens, chief scenic artist and ‘pyrotechnist’ at the gardens, and model maker – as well as a taxidermist. The Hull Advertiser newspaper ran an advertisement in March 1848 that read:

‘To Be Let, with immediate possession, all that public house, with outbuildings, and well-frequented Shooting Gallery attached, situated opposite the Zoological Gardens, Spring Bank. Incoming for fixtures, Furniture &c, about £200. Apply to Messrs Acrid & Son, spirit merchants, Robinson Row; or to Thomas Greasley, Auctioneer, Hull’.

The Shooting Gallery mentioned in the advertisement can be seen clearly as a long outbuilding at the rear of the tavern, on Wilkinson’s plan of 1848, and in more detail on the large scale Ordnance Survey plans of 1852-53 shown right – annoyingly, the pub is right on the edge of the map). A ‘museum’ run by Mr Seaman was recorded in an advertisement in the Hull Advertiser in June 1854, and it may have been housed in one of the other outbuildings or possibly the same building following the closure of the shooting gallery, although no date exists for the gallery’s closure.

The Hull advertiser ran another sale notice in March 1861 that noted:

‘To be sold by auction by Mr T Greasley, at Mr George Steeple’s the Spring Bank Tavern, Spring-bank Hull … All that freehold plot of Ground, containing 708 square yards, or thereabouts, with the DWELLING HOUSE, SHOP, Stable, extensive Outbuildings &c., erected thereon, lately used as an Inn, but now unoccupied, pleasantly situated opposite the Zoological Gardens. The above may, by a small outlay, be converted into an excellent residence and shop, adapted for the carrying on of almost any respectable business’.

This suggests that the old Polar Bear was converted to a shop following closure, however plans dated July 1861 by architect William Marshall, appear to show that a terrace of three houses was built on the site of the old Polar Bear Inn – so it seems it was bought and demolished (or was it? – I’m not entirely convinced yet). The three houses built on the site, now adjoining the rest of the terrace, can still be seen set back slightly from the building line at nos.117, 119 and 121 Spring Bank – adjoining the west side of the present Hole in the Wall pub, which is no.115. The original small front gardens of the three new houses were built upon circa 1890-1900, with single-storey shop-front extensions typical of the time, as were the adjoining houses (similar ones survive at the beginning of the Beverley Road – west side).

In May 1860 plans were drawn by architect William Botterill, on behalf of Mrs M Gleadow, for a purpose-built house and shop at the eastern corner of Derringham Street and Spring Bank - much further west than the original building. Builder Mr Simminson of Little Queen Street Hull carried out the work described in the plans. This was to be the new Polar Bear Tavern, although in a trade directory of 1863-64 it was listed as ‘The Museum’. The plans show it as a basic beer-house and suggest it had only one room for customers marked simply as ‘shop’, with the main entrance being direct from Spring Bank. 

In 1861 a purpose-built museum was built adjoining the new Polar Bear for Mr Seaman; also designed by William Botterill, it was made mostly of weather-boarding supported by wooden posts, with an asphalt felt roof. The wall on the Spring Bank elevation was of brick and 15 feet high. There was a connecting door to Mrs Gleadow’s property, and this is probably the one shown on the plan to the rear of the sitting room.

The museum was destroyed by fire on 9 August 1865. Mrs Gleadow – for whom the new property was built in 1860, was widow of the late Robert Ward Gleadow who had died in 1857, and together they had run the Gleadow, Dibb & Co brewery, which was to become the Hull Brewery Company Limited in 1887. In a breakdown of the company’s assets in 1890 the Polar Bear was valued at £3,000. 

Further alterations were made to the Polar Bear in 1876, 1879 and 1895, when the shop became a ‘dram shop’, the sitting room became a ‘Smoke Room’, new toilets were added, and a carriage house and stables were built in Derringham Street; at this time the pub was also listed as no.1 Derringham Street, but also had a main entrance on Spring Bank.

In 1911 the dram shop became a bar, and the former kitchen a second smoke room. In 1922 plans were drawn by architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell for the reconstruction of the Polar Bear on behalf of the Hull Brewery Co Ltd. On completion of the work, three existing licences were given up to provide a full licence for the new pub. The licenses came from the closure of two beer-houses – the Full Moon Spencer Street and the Pavilion in Paragon Street – and the full licence of the Crooked Billet in Wincolmlee. The plans extended the Polar Bear to take in the site of the former museum. 

Typical for the time, it was fitted out with an ‘orchestra’ area, presumably for small recitals and accompaniment to singers. The grand dome and top-light, which still survive, were added at this time, as well as the superb stone exterior complete with Hull Brewery’s famous anchor sign. 

At this point the only entrance and exit to the pub was via Derringham Street, the present Spring Bank entrance doors being very modern additions. Less sympathetic alterations occurred in the 1980s sadly, when Mansfield Breweries took over, and the mahogany café bar, and many other details were lost. The pub was refurbished again in 1993, when the new doors were added to give an entrance from Spring Bank once more. Today the pub remains as popular as ever, with a very broad clientele and regular live music; this is still the best pub on Spring Bank in my opinion, and well worth a visit.

Some victuallers from trade directories etc: 1842-46 Polar Bear Carlton Terrace Spring Bank; 1851-67 J. Seaman Polar Bear Carlton Terrace (‘The Museum’ in 1863-4); 1872-76 Charles Story Polar Bear Spring Bank; 1881 Frederick Kemp Polar Bear Derringham Street; 1885-88 Samuel Essex Neal Polar Bear 229 Spring Bank; 1892-1901 William Westwood Polar Bear 1 Derringham Street and 229 Spring Bank; 1907-21 Thomas Wray Polar Bear Inn 229 Spring Bank; 1930 John William Anderson Polar Bear Inn 229 Spring Bank; 1939-54 Albert Broady Polar Bear Inn 229 Spring Bank.

Plans consulted for the Polar Bear:

OB/1019 - 1 house to be built for Mr Gleadow 25.5.1860

OBL/152 – museum for J Seaman by Wm Botterill, completed 24.1.1861.

OBLM/4845(add) – Toilets and additions for tenant Mr Chas. Story, 11.7.1876.

1916/32 – Plan 1; Reconstruction of Polar Bear for Hull Brewery Co. Completed 15.8.1922. By Freeman Son & Gaskell. Plan 2; New frontage with Derringham St. elevation. 

The Eagle Hotel

The Eagle is not shown on the plan of Hull of 1842, as unfortunately the plan had an engraving covering that area of Spring Bank. However, it must have been built by that time as it is listed in a trade directory of 1842. It must therefore have been built circa 1840. Thomas Piper had been victualler at the Spread Eagle in the Market Place, and latterly the Grapes Inn in Chariot Street until 1840, but the 1841 burgess rolls for North Myton (compiled by 22 October 1840) listed Thomas Piper at a public house in Spring Bank. Thomas Piper was therefore the first victualler of the Eagle, which opened in 1840. Across the road to the north-west of the Eagle, were the Zoological Gardens, and in the corner of the gardens nearest the Eagle Public House was the ‘Eagle House’. From an early date, a carving of an Eagle hung over the door of the pub, which is clearly shown in photographs as recent as the 1980s, but has now gone.

In 1844 the Eastern Counties Herald newspaper recorded a letter of complaint from ‘Mr Piper, publican of The Eagle, who lived on West Parade’. Mr Piper complained about his rates saying that: ‘there were no streetlights near him, and the nearest the scavengers came was no nearer than 800 yards from his house’. Interestingly Goodwill & Lawson’s plan of Hull in 1869 showed the alignment of West Parade as ‘Piper’s Lane’. However, the address of the Eagle was given as ‘Zoological Terrace’ in trade directories of 1846, 1851 and 1858, and was clearly marked on the 1853 Ordnance Survey plan as part of the terrace that ran west along Spring Bank from the corner of West Parade. The 1881 Census however, records the pub as no.75 Spring Bank, with nos.1 to 7 Zoological Terrace adjoining next door.

As the property around the Eagle became built upon, and Spring Bank became one long row of properties the layout of the Eagle changed several times. Originally the pub was much narrower than the present building, as the Eagle has since expanded to take in the former shop to its west during the 1990s renovations (see the 1940s photograph right), and has also sadly lost its ‘out-door dept’, or off-licence – although the display window does thankfully remain. Valued at £5,500 in 1890, as part of a survey of the Hull Brewery’s property, it was greatly enlarged in 1899 to the designs of Freeman Son & Gaskell. At that time the familiar high roof was constructed to create more living accommodation. 

From winter 1994 the pub was known as the Tap & Spile, and is now known simply as The Tap, but has lost most of its character, and internal details. Having given in to the lowest modern common denominators of huge single-room floor space, loud music and televisions, some recent developers have clearly had no respect for architectural heritage. On a positive note it continues to hold regular live music nights, and in the winter of 2011 several more original Hull Brewery name plates have been uncovered around the frontage, which probably date from the 1940s. The Eagle looks as attractive as ever once again. Real have been kept recently, and hopefully the new owners/tenants will keep in mind the pubs heritage in these difficult times. They are to be congratulated on their work so far. Pop in and support them.

Some victuallers from trade directories etc: 1840-46 Thomas Piper public house Spring Bank (Zoological Terrace and Eagle from 1842);1851 W. A. Thompson Eagle Hotel Zoological Terrace; 1858 R. Walker Eagle Hotel ‘corner of Zoological Terrace & West Parade, Spring Bank’; 1863-67 R. Walker Eagle 1 West Parade, Spring Bank; 1872-85 William Robinson Eagle Hotel Spring Bank; 1888-1907 James M Turnbull Eagle Hotel 169 Spring Bank; 1916-1930 Archibald McAusland Eagle Hotel 169 Spring Bank; 1939 Charles Percy Biglin Eagle Hotel 169 Spring Bank.

Plans etc. consulted for the Eagle:

1894M/2197 – Major alterations and roof raised for Hull Brewery Co. by Freeman son & Gaskell, completed 14.6.1899.

DBHT/5/810 – Survey and valuation, 1910.

The Botanic Hotel

Property was shown on the site of the Botanic Hotel on the first Ordnance Survey plan of Hull in 1852-53, and to the south, Derringham Street was already being laid out in plots ready for building. Whether the property shown was the same property as the present building is hard to say, but it is very likely that it was. The property outline appears slightly different to the plan we know today, but the property has since been extended. This is shown by later plans, and the additional extant property at no.2 Derringham Street, which is still owned by the brewery company and used as a store for the pub.

A sale notice in the Hull advertiser of 28 April 1871 noted:

‘to be sold by auction at the Polar Bear Inn, Spring-bank Hull. All that freehold messuage or dwelling house being no.2 situate in Derringham Street, and the Beer-house and Confectioner’s Shop at the corner of the same street, and fronting the Spring Bank, with the Outoffices and Garden thereto, as the same are now in the occupation of Mrs H Sanderson, at the annual rent of £24. The House and Shop contain eight rooms, and are well situate for business purposes, being close to the Railway Station’.

The term beer-house could have denoted an off-licence facility within the confectioners’ shop, but it does sound like this was a pub, as Mrs Sanderson, and later J Sanderson, had been listed as a beer retailers at ‘no.1 Derringham Street’ since 1864. In a trade directory of 1872 John Exley was recorded as a confectioner at the corner of Derringham Street and Spring Bank, just east of the line of property known as Derringham Terrace, which adjoins the pub; Derringham Terrace was shown as fully built on Peck’s plan of Hull in 1872. Miss Sarah Sissons was listed at the corner ‘shop’ – also as a confectioner – from 1874. By 1876 Miss Sissons had a beer-house and was listed as a beer retailer in the directory of that year; this was probably the first record of a pub on the site of the Botanic Hotel, however by 1879 it was again listed simply as a confectioners’.

George E. Cuthbert was as an inn-keeper here from 1881, when he was recorded in the census of that year, and the pub was noted as the Botanic Hotel for the first time. At the time of his tenancy, the Hull Botanical Gardens that had been in Linneaus Street, moved to a site off Spring Bank West ­– just south-west of the beer-house, and visible from the rear of the pub. To coincide with this, the nearby railway station known as Cemetery Station, or Cemetery Gates colloquially, was renamed Botanic Gardens Station; no doubt the new landlord named his pub the Botanic Hotel at that time. The original frontage of the Botanic can just be glimpsed to the far right of this section of a c.1910 postcard view - opposite the Polar Bear, behind the hand-cart.

In a survey of the property made for owner’s Wheatley & Sons in 1911 the Botanic was noted to have a full seven-day beer and wine licence. In his comments after the survey the auditor noted that the tenant had several complaints; he felt that one of his main worries at the time was his loss of ‘Smoke Room trade’ to the newly built Marlborough Club in nearby Newstead Street. 

The loss of trade can only have been temporary, as in December 1921 plans were drawn up for major alterations and rebuilding for Wheatley’s, designed by their own architects and estate agents Blanchard, Wheatley & Holdsworth of Savile Street. It was at the time of these works that the distinctive, and typically 1920s, imitation black and white timber frontage was added. Surprisingly the front survives almost intact – as does the house in Derringham Street, which still belongs to the Botanic, and gives a clue to the original appearance of the pub. A glimpse of the original frontage – pre black and white – can be seen in early 1900s postcard views such as the one shown right; the Botanic, being a Bass house, was the only pub on Spring Bank not owned by the Hull Brewery. It retains some internal details and its small size gives a good sense of what pubs used to feel like, before the fashion to knock all the rooms into one. Pleasing survivors of the redevelopments, of what is a fairly unaltered pub, are the gothic script letters outside denoting the pub name, Smoke Room and Bar.

Some victuallers from trade directories etc: John Sanderson beer retailer 1864-72; 1874-76 Miss Sissons beer retailer Spring Bank; 1881-82 George E. Cuthbert beer retailer Botanic Hotel Spring Bank; 1885 William Harvey Botanic Hotel 2 Derringham Street; 1888 Walter Wheatley Botanic Hotel 231 Spring Bank; 1892 Henry Wilson Botanic Hotel 2 Derringham Street & 231 Spring Bank; 1895 Henry Forster Botanic Hotel 2 Derringham Street & 231 Spring Bank; 1899-1901 Herbert A. Wagg beer dealer (on) 231 Spring Bank; 1907 John Jewitt Moore Beer retailer 231 Spring Bank; 1916 Walter Wilson Beer retailer 231 Spring Bank; 1921 Walter Nicholson Beer retailer 231 Spring Bank; 1930 Francis Frederick Ford Beer retailer 231 Spring Bank; 1937-39 Thomas Edward Jermy Botanic p.h. 231 Spring Bank.

Plans etc. consulted for the Botanic:

DBHT/6/8/180 (1911) – Valuation and plan

DBHT/5/812 (1911) – A valuation for Wheatley & Sons.

1916M/1596 – Alterations for Wheatley’s completed 20.12.1921.

1916M/1722 – Oriel window etc. for Wheatley’s completed 20.12.1921 (including new b/w front) by Blanchard Wheatley & Holdsworth, architects and estate agents, Savile Street.


The newer additions to the Spring Bank drinking scene are mentioned here for record only, as only two of them count as ‘pubs’ for the purposes of my short pubs history.

The Editorial, no.49 Spring Bank (near the corner of Vane Street) opened in 2000, in what was once a private house, and struggled along as a small likeable pub for many years. Notable for the raised outside drinking area built over the former front garden, more recently (late 2009?) it changed into a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night only venue, with very loud music, known as The Square ­– a ‘licensed coffee bar’. This too has since closed unfortunately. Although the latter was clearly serving alcoholic drinks, it wasn’t really a pub in the true sense.

Hole in the Wall, no.115 Spring Bank, sits very near to the site of the original Polar Bear (literally next door), but is very much a sports bar, with the obligatory huge telly ­– redeemed by the fact that it often has several real-ales available. It was first reviewed in the CAMRA Pub Mirror publication (issue no.47) in autumn 2001: ‘The Hole In The Wall is the latest addition to Spring Bank in Hull. The pub is independently owned and run by Shaun Millar who was previously at the Duke of Wellington in Peel Street. The pub has a quiet front room, a rear pool / big screen TV room and has 6 guest ales on offer. This beer-oriented pub serves baguette sandwiches should you feel a little peckish’.

Harvey’s – a short lived bar in a building best known as the Celebration Centre, was more of a venue for 21st birthday parties and school re-unions. Ironically, it was located in one of the oldest buildings in the area – part of the original ‘Spring Row’ properties, which also houses the Spring Bank Tavern.

Round the Corner ­– one of the café-bar style drinking places, appeared in a recent (2009?) conversion of the public bar of the former Marlborough Hotel on the north side of the road – at the corner of Lois Street. Here too you will find some good live music nights.

© Paul Gibson 2010

(originally compiled in 2004 - revised August 2010)

Brief Bibliography, sources and acknowledgments

Barley Mash & Yeast, A History of the Hull Brewery Company 1782-1985. Robert Barnard, Hutton Press and Hull College. Hull, 1990

City of Kingston upon Hull Fire Brigade History and Development. Malcolm Page Ltd, undated publication. Circa 1959

Landlord. Graham Wilkinson, unpublished manuscript. Hull, 2000

The History of Spring Bank. Chris Ketchell, Hull College Local History Unit. Hull, 1996

The History of the Tap & Spile Spring Bank Hull. Chris Ketchell & Paul Gibson for the then tenant. Hull, 1997

The Polar Bear, the Museum, the Pyrotechnist and the Pub, A Brief History of the Polar Bear Public House. Chris Ketchell, Hull College Local History Unit. Hull, 1993

Alan Canvess ­ – thanks for details and reviews on the newer Spring Bank pubs 

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