Hull’s place at the start of the Civil War

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From: CP Dawson, West Ella Road, West Ella, Hull.

IN your otherwise excellent magazine, I was exceedingly disappointed to find that in the article by Stephen McClarence (Yorkshire Post, January 4) on the National Civil War Centre proposed for Newark.

In his nine “main locations” involving places in Yorkshire much involved in the Civil War, there was no mention of Hull, which many regard as the birthplace of the war itself!

In the case of Hull, it is undoubtedly true that the refusal of its citizens on Saturday April 23, 1642, to allow the King (who appeared in person at the Beverley Gate) access to this invaluable fortress with its huge munitions and a place commanding the approaches to the Ouse and Trent along the Humber estuary (and hence to the whole of middle England) proved to be the pivotal act in 
the commencement of the English Civil War and not, as 
has been suggested, the mere raising of the King’s standard 
at Nottingham the following August as is historically suggested!

As indicated in A History of Hull (Hull University Press 1989) written by those admirable historians, Edward Gillett and Kenneth A MacMahon, it was at the Beverley Gate in April 1642 that the Parliamentary opposition to the Crown was “stripped of sophistries and reduced to the sword’s point”.

Thereafter, Hull found itself under almost continuous siege, the siege not being raised until July 27, 1642, some three months later, despite almost constant skirmishes and attempts to infiltrate the city by devious means including attempts by Dutch ships sympathetic to the Royalist cause to sail up the Humber in a failed effort to gain entrance by the “back door”.

The following year the Royalists’ subsequent pillaging of Beverley (previously thought loyal to the King) was a cruel warning of what might happen to Hull and the city was besieged for a second time on September 2, 1643, when after a huge seven hour battle over 1,500 Parliamentarians overcame Royalist positions outside the city including the capture of their two greatest guns Gog and Magog turning them on the Royalists themselves – much to their discomfort.

Hull continued throughout the war and beyond, to be garrisoned by Parliament, a fact much resonated in June 1648 when the Committees of both Houses reminded Fairfax: “how much the Kingdom is concerned in the security of Hull as you well know”. I can only hope that considerable note is therefore taken of the essential part played by Hull in, perhaps, its rightful claim to have been the “clarion call” of the Civil War itself and the part it played throughout the whole history of that war.

This should in no way be forgotten in the establishment of this fine new museum.

Paying price of development

From: Ian Bond, Co-Chair, Adel Neighbourhood Forum, Park View, Adel, Leeds.

BARRATT’S announcement of launching 11 new sites over the next 12 months (Yorkshire Post, January 8) with the promise of new jobs in construction is surely welcome news.

Sam Wood, Barratt’s West Yorkshire sales director, emphasises that this is exactly what the Prime Minister is calling for in boosting economic growth.

But communities such as Adel are acutely aware that there will be a price to this development.

Building is already scheduled for 300 homes on at least two sites in the area.

This will result in increased traffic on to the already heavily congested A660 and on to narrow roads in the local area.

Local primary schools have reached capacity and there is no clear plan for accommodating the increased number of children moving into the area.

Existing families will have to consider primary schools further afield and there will be a knock-on effect for secondary school provision.

And this is before we acknowledge that plans are being considered to build on the historic site opposite the grade 1 listed Adel St John the Baptist Parish Church, which will change the nature of the area for ever.

The developers say their job is to build houses and it is for the council to address issues such as school and road capacity.

But if the impact is to see Adel as an area ripe to be cherry-picked, where are the affordable homes that are needed so badly?

The starting price for properties will be nearly three times the average price quoted in your article.

Adel residents stated in a recent survey that what they valued most was its green open space.

We accept that some construction should take place to meet the needs of the population, but brown field sites need to be exhausted before the character and heritage of the area are destroyed.

All in this together?

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

DAVID Cameron, it seems, spends £90 each time he has his hair cut (Yorkshire Post, January 10).

One wonders whether the barber who presumably waits on him, rather than is usual the other way round, charges by the individual hair or possibly the overall length.

Either way the charge seems a little over the top and one wonders whether Mr Cameron leaves perhaps a tenner tip or reckons on £90 being enough.

The pensioner struggling to make ends meet might care to mull over this.

Assuming Mr Cameron has his hair cut once a month the annual cost will near enough equate with being one fifth of the annual basic state pension.

Yes, as we are so often told, we are all in this together, though some much deeper than others!

Learning cost 
of education

From: John Ellwood, North Duffield, Selby.

I SEE Mr J Brian Harrison Jennings (Yorkshire Post, January 10) is complaining about private education. It always used to surprise me that several families in this village were willing to pay for their own children’s education and mine also at the LEA comprehensive through their rates and taxes without complaining.