Pleas to save ‘rare survivor’ of once thriving industry

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One of the last of Hull’s old smokehouses faces being bulldozed.

Gilchrists Smoke House, at 7 Subway Street, was once part of a thriving trade of smoking fish in the city. With its steeply sloping roof, it’s a reminder of a once common feature of the city’s skyline.

Although fish continues to be smoked by several local firms, none of the old smokehouses, like Gilchrists, which date back to 1890, are working now.

Planners say the grade two listed building is in a “potentially dangerous” condition and “has partially collapsed” and back applicants, A E Purdy Ltd’s case for demolishing the grade two listed building.

The owner bought the smokehouse in 2005, two years after it was badly damaged in a fire. They want to build a modern fish processing building in its place.

However the Council for British Archaeology and the Association for Industrial Archaeology object to the loss of a “rare survivor”.

Bill Glenton, who has been in the fish trade in the city for more than four decades, said there was nothing left to save: “There isn’t an original one left in Hull. The main one went three years ago when Tony Wood retired at Alfred Street. You used to be able to take your fish in, get it smoked and pick it up in the morning. It’s a shame, but we are managing and we have got used to dealing with Grimsby now.”

A decision is due to be made by Hull Council’s planning committee next Wednesday. Because of the CBA’s objection the decision will have to be ratified by the Secretary of State.