Hull historian Dr Alec Gill has dedicated 50 years to championing the Hessle Road area and its people
More than 200 images capturing the essence of Hull’s “Hessle Roaders” are destined to appear in a new book.
The photographs, many previously unseen, are the work of renowned Hull historian Dr Alec Gill, who has dedicated the past 50 years to researching and championing the Hessle Road area and its people through his academic work and beyond.
Alec, 75, has opened up his unique personal archive of more than 6,000 black-and-white photographs, taken on his trusty Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera, to Iranzu Baker, a Hull-born, now London-based freelance writer and archivist.
Together they have launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the cost of publishing about 200 works from his collection in a book. A total of £17,500 will be needed to ensure the photographic book gets off the ground; in the space of four days, more than £5,000 has already been pledged by supporters.
The campaign describes Alec Gill’s Hessle Road archive as "a book celebrating the photographic study of one road in Hull and its community at the heart of the UK's historic fishing culture".
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Alec said: “Over the last 50 years I’ve been an ambassador for Hessle Roaders.
“Iranzu came to Hull during the City of Culture year when I had my exhibition, The Hessle Roaders: Hull’s Fishing Community, at Hull History Centre, and we got chatting.
“She’s like my curator and editor on the project.”
Alec said: “It was a gut feeling whenever I clicked my lens, I was capturing life as it was happening.
“I think I have this affinity with people and because I am small, they don’t see me as a threat.
“I always wanted them to ignore me and let me get on with it.
“A bloke from Hull was saying about my photographs that, although there is the poverty there, you can see the happiness in the eyes of the children I photographed.”
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thursday, October 7.
Here are 26 evocative images showing Hessle Road from the 1950s to the 1980s, many of which have been taken by Alec Gill himself or have been donated to him over his years of recording the area’s history.