Book Review - Hull Pubs & Breweries (Images of England) by Paul L Gibson

Hull PubsHull Pubs & Breweries (Images of England) by Paul L Gibson.

Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-3284-2

Paul has produced near on 20 publications in recent years, most of which have been studies of individual pubs in Hull, although 'A Toast to the Town' covered the many pubs of nearby Beverley. This is the first to feature pubs from all over the city of Hull, some long gone and some still serving. Published by Tempus it is one in a series styled 'Images of England' which are essentially photo albums with captions and notes. Several others have been produced that feature pubs & breweries in other towns and cities, Nottingham and Harwich come to mind and I'm sure more exist and no doubt more are due out soon.

The book looks at many aspects of the pubs in Hull, from their changing faces and their different designs to the unusual but no less important subject of the Off Licence. An excellent chapter on the lost pubs provides us with some superb photos, both exterior and interior. Of particular note are the three of the mock tudor bar of the Argyle Hotel, the likes of which we won't see again. Other gems include the Art Deco lounge of the Three Tuns taken in 1936 and the more austere bar of the Highland Laddie built on the outskirts of the city in 1961.

One chapter concentrates on the two main breweries that have kept the thirst of Hull inhabitants at bay for the last couple of centuries. As we would expect there are numerous snap shots of the workers posing and a fine collection of dray horses about their usual business.

Add to these one or two adverts for the wares of both breweries and we have a fine collection of images of an industry that once dominated the city's beer drinking.

The final chapter is entitled 'A Pub Miscellany' which is a good a name as any for a section that includes billheads and adverts of local inns, a tavern token and a free beer ticket to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. Another item of interest is a photographic advert for the South Myton Arms in 1907, which must be one of the earliest examples of trick photography. The regulars of the pub must have been quite intrigued by the image of landlord, Billy Stonehouse serving a beer to another Billy Stonehouse opposite!

The book finishes off with an architectural pub crawl of the city and Paul recommends many establishments where you can still see reminders of past breweries in ceramic tiles (a good accompaniment to the crawl would be Bryan Lacey's Defunct Brewery Livery project, which can be seen on the Brewery History Society website).

Overall the book provides a fascinating insight into the pub related past of Hull. An enjoyable read which would make an excellent addition anyone’s bookshelf.

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