Yesterday the weather in Hull was warm and dry, and as such it made an ideal night for the first ever Hull based “Jack the Ripper” tour. For many years most people will know I have been busy researching away trying to find out information on the 11 previously named suspects with links to Hull. Alongside this I have been gathering material from the local, national, and international press on “Jack the Ripper” scares and scandals, as well as letters to, from, and mentioning Hull.
In the past I have presented the bare basics of my research, on scares, scandals, and letters, in Ripperologist Magazine, and my research has also appeared in Casebook Examiner, with reports of my work appearing in The Hull Daily Mail, The Hull Advertiser, on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Humberside and on both the Rippercast and Ripper Radio.
Last night it was time to pull it all together and present it as a walking tour for AMAZING HULL TOURS.
Now Hull has very few walking tours, and those that do exist have never offered a tour on “Jack the Ripper” so I knew it would be difficult getting people round to the idea of a Hull based tour; we are, after all, 200 plus miles from London and the scene of the murders.
So last night late I took a tour around Hull City Centre. It was a “Jack the Ripper” tour with a difference, because whilst the events in the East End of London were referenced, the tour had a unique slant on it, and took in locations associated with Hull.
The tour took in locations associated with the likes of Robert D’Onston Stephenson, Frederick Bailey Deeming, and 9 other suspects. It passed the scene where, in October 1888, a threatening letter said to be from “Jack the Ripper, was sent, and it passed the location of an 1888 “Ripper Scare.”
The tour ended back in the present, with the conclusion of the tour ending where the recent Prime Suspect: Jack the Ripper was shot.
All in all it was a fascinating night and everyone was full of praise for Hull’s first, and only, “Jack the Ripper” tour.
TOURS WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 17TH 2013
Wednesday: THE HAUNTED INNS AND HOSTELRIES OF HULL: Starting at Royal Station Hotel and working East via Hull’s pubs that have ghostly tales to tell. £4.00 per person - Start time 20:00
Friday: “JACK THE RIPPER” THE HULL CONNECTION: Starting at Royal Station Hotel and working East through Hull City Centre, this tour will take you to locations associated with 11 suspects with links to Hull, where a number of Ripper Scares occurred, and see the spot where a letter, said to have been written by “Jack the Ripper” was sent on October 5th 1888! £5.00 per person - Start time 20:00
Saturday: THE GHOST’S AND LEGENDS OF HULL CITY CENTRE: Starting at Royal Station Hotel and working its way around Hull City Centre, this tour takes in a number of new locations that one would not necessarily associate with ghostly activity. Hear the histories, see the locations, feel the terror! £4.00 per person – Start time 22:00
Sunday: THE GHOSTLY MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF OLD HULL: Forget all the old stories of 19th century vicars, skulls, and the claim that this building is the most haunted in Hull, this tour uses primary historical sources to finally put to rest some of Hull’s ghost stories. Based on Mike Covell’s research that featured in The Hull Daily Mail, The Hull Advertiser, and which has appeared in lecture form at the Hull History Centre, the Hull Heritage Centre, Hull’s Central Library, and at The Ghost Club. Starting at Holy Trinity Church, £3.50 per person – Start time 20:00
This week I had a free block of time so I headed on out to the Hull History Centre to conduct some research. It seems like ages since I last visited, and had in that time gathered together a list of items I wanted to view. These were mainly newspaper reports in the Hull Press covering various “Jack the Ripper” suspects such as Frederick Bailey Deeming, James Maybrick, Charles Le Grand, James Thomas Sadler, and a number of local “Ripper Scares.” As my many “Jack the Ripper” writing projects draw to a close I was chasing up a few loose ends to provide alternative views on some of the topics covered in some of the Hull based newspapers on the London based crimes.
After a couple of hours I came away with some new newspaper reports on the Hull Ripper Scare of 1900, when 5 women were stabbed. I also came away with reports on a Doncaster Ripper Scare, and articles, featuring contemporary sketches, on Frederick Bailey Deeming, James Thomas Sadler, James Maybrick, and Charles Le Grand.
The Hull History Centre gets “Touch Screen Technology.”
I have, for many years now, used the various Newspaper Readers and Printers at the Hull History Centre, so I was surprised and excited to learn that the old machines are to be replaced with state of the art machines. As part of the £7.7m History Centre Project, these new machines will be easier to load, easier to use, have touch screen technology, have clearer imaging, and as such the copies will be clearer. A central printing hub will also form part of the set up, and the Hull History Centre will be the first facility to utilise these models.
As a result of instillation and set up, the Hull History Centre will be closed over Thursday July 4th and Friday July 5th. This is a small price to pay for such an amazing step forward in Hull’s arsenal of local history research and I for one look forward to the new machines.
At the minute I am busy working on new projects for the end of the year and 2014. These will be revealed in time but include new lectures, events, tours, and media collaborations.
During the month of February 1988 a series of newspaper articles were posted in the Hull press. They hinted that information had been discovered that would link a Hull born man to the “Jack the Ripper” murders in London’s East End. The stories opened a floodgate of similar reports, all asking whether this particular man could have been the notorious murderer. They hinted that a new book would cast light on the claims. More stories followed, but by July 1988 the Hull press were in a frenzy and reports were published hinting at a possible tourism boom based on the claims in the book. By August 1988 more reports followed, claiming that as the 100 year anniversary of the murders came closer, a possible influx of tourists could descend in the city. Sadly, it never happened.
Looking back it is easy to see what the stories were all about. The late Melvin Harris, and supporter of the candidacy against Robert D’Onston Stephenson, who was born in Sculcoates, Hull, had been in touch with the local newspapers and local studies library asking questions about Stephenson and his life in Hull.
All, however, was quiet, and the tourism boom did not arrive in Hull. The links between Hull and the “Jack the Ripper” case were lost, and possible tours of the venues associated with Robert D’Onston Stephenson never occurred.
Now, in the year of the 125th Anniversary of the “Jack the Ripper” murders, a Hull based tour operator, known as AMAZING HULL TOURS, is set to launch “JACK THE RIPPER – THE HULL CONNECTION TOUR.”
This time around, however, Robert D’Onston Stephenson will play only a small part of the tour, with 11 suspects linked to Kingston upon Hull, a number of letter, said to be written by “Jack the Ripper” sent to, sent from, and mentioning Hull, and a selection of “Ripper Scares” in the city, the tour will take on much much more than previously expected.
The first tour will commence on SUNDAY JUNE 2ND 2013 AT 19:00. ANYONE INTERESTED CAN TEXT AMAZING HULL TOURS ON 07582085321 to book tickets with tickets for the tour priced at £5.00.