Boats and bananas are among the inspirations for a New Year event at 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar which will take diners into 2018 with a commemoration of Hull’s military and maritime past.
The restaurant will adopt the advice of the City of Culture team to bring down the curtain on Hull’s year in the spotlight and to launch the legacy with exciting new ideas.
It will present a special menu which marks the anniversary of the end of the Great War and which also remembers the devastation of the Blitz in Hull. A strong focus on seafood will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the launch of a service which saw fish landed at Humber Dock – now Hull Marina – and delivered by rail to Manchester and Leeds.
Deborah Spicer, Director of the restaurant, said:
We started City of Culture year with a memorable party, we continued with various themed events – including bringing in a brass quintet – and we’ll end it by remembering the bravery of the people of Hull who fought in two World Wars and the innovation of those who endured hardship at home.
“City of Culture has brought a big boost to many businesses in Hull. We’re on the quieter side of the Marina but a lot of people have found their way over here, and many of them are new to the city. Our card payment system indicated that during the summer we were attracting around a hundred new diners every week.”
Deborah and her team have trawled through the archive and identified some fascinating facts about the Marina, and in particular the quayside next to the restaurant, where the makings of the modern fish trade were established.
The opening of Hull’s first railway station in Manor House Street, next to the current ice arena, in 1840 prompted James Laws to set up inland fish stalls, starting with Manchester in 1842. Fish was landed at the south-west corner of Humber Dock, right outside the current 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar, and loaded straight onto the trains along with catches brought to Hull by cart from Bridlington, Filey and Flamborough.
The launch of the service 175 years ago attracted trawlers from the south coast and triggered demand for fish nationwide as an article of cheap mass consumption. That in turn led to the creation years later of the boxing fleets of trawlers which spent weeks working in the North Sea. The last of those steam trawlers, the Viola, sailed from Humber Dock to fight with distinction in the First World War. She subsequently worked in whaling and sealing and is now the subject of a campaign to bring her back to Hull from the beach in South Georgia where she has sat since the 1960s.
Our menu will celebrate these milestones of Hull’s fishing industry, and dessert will recall the Fyffes banana shed. Visitors to the restaurant have told us that the shed sat across the lock from here and was bombed during the Second World War, but few people are aware that Edward Wathen Fyffe was actually a young tea trader who first saw bananas on a visit to the Canary Islands – in 1884!