The Sailors Society formed 1821 after meeting of local residents concerned about the moral behaviour of unemployed seaman. Widows of men lost a sea could struggle to earn money and support their children, workhouses or charity were often the only options left open to them. At first the society sought only to clothe and educate the children but by the 1860’s they had ambitions to open an orphanage, with the Newland Cottage Homes site being purchased in 1893. Over the years a bandstand, dining hall, cricket ground and swimming baths were gradually added.
All of this cost money and so every Whitsuntide weekend for many years the Society would hold a carnival on it’s grounds near the bottom of the avenue to raise funds, an event remembered fondly by many local residents as a highlight of the year.
Quotes from our interviews with residents:
“They used to come from North Hull estate, Cottingham and everything. It was always absolutely crowded when there was
something on at the orphanage” - Carol
“It was second only to Hull Fair in times of excitement for a small child” - Kris
“It was a big event. There was always a big queue down Cott Road. They’d do races and fancy dress, there’d be a band. You’d get ice
cream and sweets and different games to play. It was the highlight of the year, everybody went.” - Barbara
“Whit Monday carnival, we did go there every year, nicely dressed because whenever you went anywhere you were nicely dressed.
Things like roll a penny, hook a duck, little things like you had at the fair. They were mostly children’s things…It was big. I lived on
Beverley High Road in the 70’s and we had streets just jammed with cars going there” - Margaret