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Commercial Hotel, Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire


Picture source: MJ Allen

The Commercial Hotel was situated on Castle Street. This pub was established in the 1820s as The Junction Dock Tavern with a change of name to The Commercial Hotel in 1862. Demolished in 1981.
Source: Paul Gibson
When I was about 8 or 9 years old I lived here. My father was the landlord. I remember it as a large rambling place. It had many rooms. A lot of them were empty, that is they were used for storage. There was lots of old furniture, including a four poster bed. I used to help my Mam and Dad decorate the rooms that we used. As many as 20 layers of wallpaper had to be stripped off. Not as bad as you might think. It tended to come off in great sheets. Lots of old paintings one I remember was a great battle scene. A cold water tank in one bed room was sited on a very wide window sill. It was a wooden box that was made waterproof with a lead lining.
The bar front was very ornate. It had figures and figure heads carved on it . The costumers used to stub out their cigarettes up the nostrils and in the mouths of the heads. On the bar top as well as all the beer pumps there was a brass model of a light house. It had a gas flame for lighting cigarettes and pipes.Upstairs was a tap room where all the large pot jars of sprits were kept with pipes leading downstairs to taps behind the bar. Also behind the bar was a large wooden chest that sawdust for the floor was stored.
In one room on the first floor was a full size Bagatelle table . It fad a round end an cups set into the bed. The balls wre kept in a large safe in one corner of the room. In another corner were stacked all the black out screens for use during the war .They were made of that tar paper. One little machine that was in amongst all the junk was a sovereign changing machine. The machine weighed the sovereign and if the weight was correct it dispensed a small bag of silver change.
I was often given American comics by the seamen.
I Had a wonderful Alsatian called Rex that went every where with me. Looking back it afforded me the protection that allowed me to wander about the area of the old docks and come to no harm. “Old Darnley” a tramp that lived in the dock side sheds and “Eva Smith” a meths drinker never used to cause me any concern. My uncle was a dock pilot. He had a row boat or a “coggy” and he used to take the ropes from the “coasters” and row out to the buoys in the middle of the docks so the could moor up until it was their turn to unload at the dock side.
The cellar was a exciting place with its trap door behind the bar. It did however some times flood when the water was too high in the dock. The fire brigade used to come and pump it out. I used to watch the dray men deliver the barrels of beer. Lowering them down on ropes. I remember Johnny Whitley the rugby player making deliveries.
The building next door was a bakery where the the boys from Trinity House learnt to make bread. It was run by a man called Jim. Next to that was a cafe run by a lady called Anne.
Harry (Nov 2011)
My father took on the Commercial Hotel in Castle Street from 1949-1955.
I remember Anne or Annie as we called her she would give us her sweet coupons. There was no bakery next door although the tramp Old Darnley was often across the road with a loaf of bread under his arm, he wore a mackintosh coat. Lots of old furniture but no paintings.
The large pots of spirits were delegated to an old cupboard on the top floor. Interesting to hear of a full size bagatelle we thought it had been a billiard room. This large room became a bedroom/playroom for my brother and I. Yes the cellar did flood c.1951. I do not remember the lighthouse on the bar. Boatman Jack would come in for pint while waiting for the boats to tie up. He rode a motor bike.
I had seven happy and safe years living there, shopping in the wonderful market and exploring the old town. The banana warehouse burnt down, date not known. We also would go the Ernie Pies for cockles and mussels.
Margaret Allen (Feb 2012)

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Name Dates Comments
Margaret Allen   Does anyone have a contact for the above Harry.