15 closed Hull shops we all want to see come back to our city

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For many, thinking of Hull “back in the day” suddenly springs memories of going out on a Saturday afternoon with mum and dad to look around the shops.

Entering Hull city centre on the bus on the way to the station always felt special. You knew the day would end in some pick n’ mix from Woolies, or a beautifully crafted, flaky sausage roll from Skeltons.

Of course, it wasn’t all about the food, there was some shopping to be done too of course.

A 14-year-old girl’s life was not complete without a trip to Chelsea Girl to spend the pocket money, and for anyone going through what their mum called the “goth phase”, a trip to Blue Banana was definitely on the cards.

We asked our readers which shops they would go back to in Hull and got over 1,000 responses, proving that many still yearn for the shopping experiences of yesteryear.

Here are the names that kept popping up.

Skeltons

Before the hazy heights of the Greggs vegan sausage roll and steak bakes there was a bigger pastry king in town and its name was Skeltons.

An announcement was made in 2007 that Skeltons Bakery was going into administration, and a thousand hearts across Hull broke.

Many named Skeltons as their favourite bakery and reminisced of the delightful tastes and smells of the food served there.

One wrote: “Skeltons. Their blackcurrent tarts and maids of honours were to die for.”

Skeltons Bakery, Prospect Street, Hull
Skeltons Bakery, Prospect Street, Hull

Woolworths

Of course, no “missed shops list” would be complete without the mention of Woolworths.

Arguably, the most famous lost high street brand, “Woolies” had more than 800 stores – including a city centre shop in Prospect Street and the “Big W” superstore at the Mount Pleasant retail park.

 

Woolies was the best place to get your pick n’ mix and many were sad to see it go when the chain went bust in 2008.

Woolworths
Woolworths

Sydney Scarborough

Many can remember this Paragon Street store – also affectionately known as Syd’s – as the place they bought their first album.

For nearly a century, it was Hull’s leading music store. It originally sold gramophones and other musical equipment and it eventually became famous for its three floors of vinyl records. That, and it was located under the City Hall.

 

In July 2017, an exhibition celebrating the store was put on by former staff members.

Lucy Bilton said: “I could spend hours in there.”

Sydney Scarborough Shop on Paragon Street
Sydney Scarborough Shop on Paragon Street

Disney shop

For kids and parents alike, a trip to the Disney store was the pinnacle of a shopping trip, and the Disney store was like having your own playground in amongst the grown up places in Princes Quay.

It has now been replaced by upmarket toy-store Hamley’s, but Disney still invokes a sense of nostalgia for many who relished visiting it.

With walls awash with Disney memorabilia and sculpted characters looming down from the ceiling, the shop felt like Christmas.

It closed in March 2013 after the expiration of the lease and negotiations with the landlord.

The Disney Shop
The Disney Shop

Chelsea Girl

Going into town, picking out your gladrags from Chelsea Girl for a night out with your mates was what dreams were made of in your teens.

Before the Primarks and New Looks of today, Chelsea Girl dominated the high street. It became a high-street staple in 1955, but when another brand, River Island came aroun in 1988, a few years later Chelsea Girl was merged with it.

 

Blue Banana

This “alternative” shop was a favourite for all those wanting everything neon, with some spikes on it.

One person said they missed and that they could “live and die in that shop.”

Not only could you get your favourite clothes and accessories to scare your mum in, but you could also get your body pierced too.

Blockbusters

If you were having a night in with a takeaway, you HAD to go to Blockbusters in the Saturday afternoon to pick a film.

This rental shop had everything you needed for a perfect night in. Films, food and drink, and a postal system so you could even return the film when the shop was closed.

Blockbuster
Blockbuster

With the birth of Netflix and on-demand services meaning we don’t even have to leave our living rooms to what what’s hot on the box, Blkockbuster died a heartbreaking death in 2013 when it went into administration – but remains in our memories as happy times gone by.

Fletchers

The thought of a flaky Fletchers’ sausage roll is enough to make your mouth water.

Many said Fletchers is the place that has gone that they miss the most.

Situated on Jameson Street in Hull’s city centre, this bakery was one of the best.

 

Garry Blache posted on Facebook: “I used to love their sausage rolls. Nothing has come close.”

Fletchers was a well-loved city centre establishment in years gone by
Fletchers was a well-loved city centre establishment in years gone by

Jacksons

This Hull-based food group, founded in 1851, was once one of Yorkshire’s biggest supermarket chains under its Grandways brand. Its successful convenience stores were brought out by Sainsbury’s in 2008.

The bakery is still on Spring Bank, but unfortunately the shop is not and is sorely missed by those who shopped there – so much people even still call Sainsbury’s Jacksons.

Jacksons
Jacksons

C&A

The colourful budget brans came before the likes of Home Bargains and B&M and is still much-loved by the people of Hull.

It is still one of the most missed high street stores since its closure in 2000.

Liz Armstrong said: “C&A, god I’m feeling nostalgic.”

C&A
C&A

Yankee Burger

Not a shop, but Hull’s first takeaway burger bar is still much missed was mentioned by many of our readers.

 

It opened in the city centre in the 1970s and was relocated to Hessle Road ten years later.

The brightly coloured US-themed diner was filled with families every day of the week and many still remember it as a brilliant treat.

Yankee Burger in Hessle Road
Yankee Burger in Hessle Road

Frank Dee Supermarket

Forget Morrisons, Tesco and ASDA, Frankie Dee’s was the best place to pick up a bargain.

Formed in the 1950s and based in Hull, it was an early adopter of the new style of self-service grocery store. It soon grew to over 100 stores before changing to Gateway in 1983. The flagship store was opened by founder Frank Dee at 773, Hessle Road.

Frank Dee retired in 1987, and The Dee Corporation changed its name to The Gateway Corporation in 1988, which subsequently owned another well-missed store, Kwik Save.

Shops from times gone by in Hull/ Willerby
Shops from times gone by in Hull/ Willerby

Hammonds

Of course, after the year House of Fraser has had, Hammonds is one of the most mentioned when people ask, ‘What store from Hull do you miss the most?’

The giant department store holds a dear place in Hull’s heart and according to most historical references, began in 1821 when Henry William Hammond opened a drapery shop near the old North Bridge.

More certain is a move in the 1860s to a more central location in Osborne Street, close to Anlaby Road and the original front entrance to Paragon Station in Hull’s city centre.

 

Mr Hammond’s nieces and nephew ran the business after his death selling a world of goods to the people of Hull until 1916 when they opened a new flagship store overlooking Paragon Square, which is where it stayed until its closure.

The business was eventually sold to House of Fraser in 1972 for £8m. It has since traded as Binns and House of Fraser, but trips to Hammonds remain firmly in the minds of everyone who visited it.

Hammonds in 1974

Virgin Megastore

Situated on the new Princes Quay, the Virgin Megastore was the HMV of its day. Filled to the brim with everything you could ever want if gaming and films were your thing.

Virgin Megastore
Virgin Megastore

Princes Quay top deck

Speaking of Princes Quay, many mentioned their favourite part of shopping was a visit to the Top Deck of the shopping centre.

The Top Deck was legendary and the best place to bag a bargain. The £65m Princes Quay shopping complex opened to the public on March 15, 1991. 70,000 people went through the shopping mall on the very first day and so many more have passed through it since.

 

Groovy Boutique and Divine were favourites. Lynette Cone said: “The dress shop that used to be on the Top Deck, I spent fortunes in there.”

The top deck of Princes Quay in 1995
The top deck of Princes Quay in 1995

Follow all the latest news by Sophie Corcoran

Sophie Corcoran is a reporter for Hull Live and the Hull Daily Mail. Her interests include positive news, news about homelessness, court news and breaking news.

You can follow all the latest stories on her Facebook page here , her Twitter page here or on the Hull Live website here.

You can also call her on 01482 315174 or email sophie.corcoran@reachplc.com

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