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The City that started the end of slavery.

by Bob Parker 8 months ago in activism

Kingston Upon Hull, In Yorkshire England, Home of William Wilberforce

The city where I live has many claims to fame. Once home to the largest fishing fleet in Europe, Once the home of England's biggest whaling Fleet. The City that refused the entrance of King Charles I, widely regarded as the first act of the English Civil war. But its Proudest claim is to be the Home of William Wilberforce. The man credited with bring an end to the slave trade in Britain, and then on to the rest of the world, eventually.

This City is very often derided. It has the distinction of once being nominated as the Worst City in England. However, most residents believe that to have been beneficial! because only those that want to make up their own mind tend to make the effort to visit. And pre-Covid, the city was beginning to change, and evolve into a place to be. A venue for music, and art, and cafe life.

The City of Hull was once a Thriving Port, a fact known to the German high command in the second world war, and to the British Government. Sad statistics point to the fact that the city was only second to London for the number of Air raids, Second to Coventry for the Amount of Infrastructure damage ( estimated at 95%), And the place of the Last Air raid on civilian targets by the Luftwaffe, When a lone plane attacked near the Docks, and killed civilians, including Children. The citizens of Hull were further insulted by the BBC, who never referred to the town by name, calling it A Town on the east coast. The argument being that they did not want to give the Germans information, as if that was any logical excuse.

Since the end of the war, investment passed away from Hull, isolated as it is away from the main routes. The Icelandic cod wars saw the end of the fishing fleets, Factories scaled down.

But Hull quietly gave the world so much. The First commercial Boiled sweets were produced by Needlers of Hull. Rank Of rank hovis fame and Rank films started in Hull. The invention of the Automatic welders mask, The first time industrial diamonds were welded was in Hull university. Detol, all done in Hull.

This city can be contrary. After all it is KINGSTOWN upon Hull, so called because the king claimed it, and allowed for a fair and a market to be held there. He also had an Armoury on the Banks of the River Hull. The place he was trying to get to when he was turned away. It is not surprising he was a little Miffed at that.

Then came the bid to be the UK city of Culture, when Hull won the honor the country was a little derisive. But the city rose to the occasion. Well, it tried, tried despite the council deciding to rip up the city centre and repave it, driving many businesses out of the centre. But down in the old town, in the old fruit warehouses, in the neglected part that seemed run down. There the entrepreneurs, the artists, the Food and entertainment providers came together to create a street of inspiration. Gin makers, Comedy clubs, Seafood restaurants, Art galleries, Craft makers. side by side and using their inspiration to make a place of joy, right next to the Hull Marina that people called a white elephant, that now is FULL.

Every year there is a festival of sea shanties, to remember the trade that built Hull. And also, every year there is a week of celebration of Wilberforce, where ALL colours and races are represented in harmony.

Because as Wilberforce started, and Hull tries to keep to the premise, Everyone should be given the same respect, the same opportunities and have the same chance of life. We MUST say and believe that Black lives matter, because too many do not think they do, and until the cause is no longer needed we must remind ourselves. Wilberforce did not end slavery by making it illegal, he could not get that law passed in Parliament. He did it by hitting the purse strings of those profiting by the foul trade.

And so it is with BLM. We will not get there by forcing people to change their attitudes to those of another race, we will get there by educating people so that they do not even NOTICE that there is a difference. It is a long road, a very long journey. But it was started In Hull.

I for one a PROUD that we are still heading on the path our great man started.


Bob Parker

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