Get the Hull Story!

Get the Hull Story!

Welcome to Hull, the home of the UK City of Culture 2017, the University of Hull, much more than you ever realised!

From our love of music and festivals like Freedom, Humber Street Sesh and AssembleFest; our surprising history; or the culinary delight that is Chip Spice – you can find out more about why every weekend in Hull is a highlight here.

Chip spice is a Hull tradition – we love it scattered liberally on our chips.

But what makes it so darned tasty? 

According to Professor Mark Lorch at the University of Hull, it’s the perfect combination of all those things our taste buds love… “It is the combination of ingredients stimulating different taste buds and working with the chips which gives that all round taste sensation,” he explained.  

  • There’s salt, which of course stimulates the SALT taste buds but also counteracts any bitterness. 

  • There’s paprika, which appeals to our SWEET taste buds 

  • And there’s MSG, which stimulates our UMAMI taste buds – basically that yummy savoury taste. 

  • Plus the garlic and onion powder are aromatics which bring in other senses like smell and give a rounded flavour. 

So simple, but so good. Make sure you give it a try when you’re in Hull – ask at any chippie. 

Humber Street Sesh 2016 (c) Tom Arran

Top 10 facts about Hull

Fact 1- Screenwipe: Your phone is your life. We know it. You know it. But it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for this guy Professor George Gray, who was a Chemistry professor at the Uni of Hull. He was the science whizz who made it possible to create liquid crystal displays i.e. LCD screens. They’re now in your phone, your telly, your computer. Cheers Prof. 

Fact 2- Teeny Window: Head to the world’s smallest window at the George pub, in the mystically-titled Land of Green Ginger. Look hard now, it is there we promise. 

Fact 3- Proud to be different: Our phone boxes are white, we like to be different! Kingston Communications is the only municipal phone company in the country and shows off their status with white phone boxes. When Hull boxer Luke Campbell won gold at London 2012, it was one of our iconic phone boxes we painted gold rather than a post box.  

Fact 4- Kick-off: The BBC’s very own Mark Chapman kick started his career in Hull. It was at the University of Hull that Chappers pursued his childhood dream of being on Radio 1, juggling his degree with student radio broadcasts and playing for the uni football team. 

Fact 5- Everyone's a poet: Hull has been described as the most poetic city in England with a number of major poets hailing from or having lived in the city – in addition to Philip Larkin these include Andrew Marvell, Stevie Smith, former University of Hull lecturer (later poet laureate) Andrew Motion and University of Hull alumni Roger McGough and Douglas Dunn. 

Larkin continues to be one of the 20th-century’s most loved poets. 

You know that poem with the f-bomb in it that you read on the sly in school textbooks? It’s actually called This Be The Verse and it was written by Philip Larkin when he was librarian at the University of Hull. The library where he worked and masterminded the expansion of is still the heart of the campus – check out the amazing view from the top floor.  

Fact 6- The birthplace of Freedom: William Wilberforce was a Hull-born MP who successfully campaigned for slavery to abolished. That meant battling rival politicians and standing up to big businesses whose wealth relied upon slavery. He didn’t give up when things got tough and we celebrate his courage every year with the Freedom Festival. In 2017, during the City of Culture celebrations, there will be a whole season of events in his honour, backed by the University of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute which exists to help tackle modern day slavery.  

Fact 7- Down by the river: Have you seen our waterfront? Seriously, the Deep, the Pier, our Marina and the surrounding streets are beautiful, and now thanks to ace bars, cafes, galleries and shops, there’s a fab laid back arty vibe.  

Fact 8- Take it to the bridge: The Humber Bridge. What can we say? It’s super long and pretty and you probably passed under it on your way into Hull. For us, it symbolises coming home. 

Fact 9- Sweeeeeet: This is the city that gave you boiled sweets (ask your gran!). And clever scientists at the University of Hull say chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, has health benefits for people with certain illnesses.  Fact.  

Fact 10- Famous faces: Loads of other amazing people have links to Hull.   

From comedians like Lucy Beaumont and Reece Shearsmith who are from the city, to celebs who have been given honorary degrees by the University of Hull like actress Sheridan Smith and even top football referee Pierluigi Collina. 

Humber Street Sesh 2016 (c) Tom Arran


Freedom Festival 2016 (c) Thomas Arran

Say Whaaaaat?!

Your guide to Hull lingo

No you’re not in a foreign country, but things are a bit different here in Hull. Phone boxes are cream, there’s random statues of toads everywhere, we have food you won’t find anywhere else, and our dialect is pretty distinctive too.

But fear not, to help you get the most out of your time in Hull, here’s a round up of some of the essential lingo, courtesy of your friends at the University of Hull.

"Murbarl fern"- noun: handheld device with which to call your ‘mam’ and take ‘ferterrs’ (photos) of all the amazing acts at Radio 1’s Big Weekend

"Errr Nerrr"- phrase: expression of concern (oh no)

"Arfa larga"- object: a smaller glass of beer

"Mafting" "Nithered"- adjective: too hot/freezing cold

"Bonny Lass" "Fit Blerk"- phrase: attractive female/good looking man

"Skeg"- noun: look i.e.‘Take a skeg at that fit blerk over there’

"Gizza Croggy"- phrase: could you give me a lift on the handlebars of your bicycle. An acceptable form of transportin these parts

"Err-Yarr"- phrase: here you go sir/madam

"Shurrup"- phrase: be quiet. As in ‘Shurrup, I’m trying to call me mam’

"Cheers Dravve"- phrase: thank you bus driver. Make sure you say it to the driver dropping you off at Big Weekend

"Patty Butty"- noun: a delicacy made from mashed potato and deep fried. Served in a breadcake (otherwise known as a breadroll). Chip spice optional

Want more? Make this the start of your Hull story…  

Assemble Fest, June 3 

Drama and performances on an intimate scale around Newland Avenue


Humber Street Sesh, August 5  

Grassroots music over 14 stages around the city’s old Fruit market area


Freedom Festival, September 1-3  

Music. Culture. Performance. Art – everything and more you can think of, for all the family, celebrating Hull’s place in the abolition of slavery 


Or take a look at the City of Culture website and see what takes your fancy. Take a look. You know you want to…