Why I love Hessle - Adam Jennison, myHessle.com
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 January 2014
© Matthew Noble Yorkshire Images / Alamy
Adam Jennison the man behind myHessle.com explains why the East Yorkshire town means so much to him
Hands up who’s been to Hessle? OK, I see that’s a difficult one. Let’s try another. Hands up who’s been to Hull via the A63 or the Humber Bridge? If so, then you’ve been to Hessle. Well, passed by it at least. You see Hessle is the true home of the Humber Bridge, which was built to join Hessle on the north bank of the Humber with the Barton-Upon-Humber on the south bank. Well, that’s my take on the situation and I’m sticking to it.
Hessle is a great place to live. It has a village feel and its people are friendly. So much so that I would go as far to say that I love Hessle, I love its people, I love its location and I love its attitude. It’s the same attitude that has helped Hull pull off the much vaunted City of Culture 2017 title; it’s the deep down understanding of knowing your place in the world and being happy with what you have rather than wanting more.
Hessle inspired me enough to build myHessle.com, a hyper-local website focusing on the HU13 postal area. I started work on the website after being injured and having too much time on my hands. I’d looked around the web to see what was happening in Hessle and realised that there were many events but no one central place to find them. I started to collate them and myHessle.com was born.
Most weekends throughout the year there’s a sponsored walk across the Humber Bridge, which on occasions have included such fun accessories as space hoppers, dogs or blindfolds. Lately, Hessle Town Council connected the Humber Bridge and nearby Humber Bridge Country Park with the centre of Hessle by a land train.
One of Hessle’s best selling points is that you can get everything you want within walking distance. It’s great to be able to leave the car behind and enjoy the tree-lined streets, marvelling at the late 1800s–early 1900s architecture. Some of the larger houses are really quite amazing, being former country estates for wealthy merchants from nearby Hull. Algernon Barkworth, for instance, who was one of the very few survivors of the ill-fated Titanic’s maiden voyage, lived at Tranby House, which was later turned into Hessle High School. This magnificent building sits atop Hessle Hill surrounded by trees; you can only imagine the views that it commanded across the Humber to the south back in its formative years.
The range of shops in Hessle is surprising to most and as such is a magnet beyond those who live in the town. On a number of regular occasions Hessle traders pull out all the stops for their customers, like the Christmas lights switch-on and Hessle Feast.
The latter is a tradition going back to the early 1800s and is an excuse to eat and drink too much while enjoying the summer sunshine and music from local artists. It’s a day-long event in July that’s highly anticipated, if you get the chance to experience the Feast then do so, you’ll be enjoying Hessle at its best.
One event that you cannot miss if you have children or you’re a child at heart is Hessle Soap Box Derby in June. It’s a whole day dedicated to having fun with go-carts travelling as fast as they can down a hill.
Location wise, Hessle can be found five miles west of Hull on the last slope of the Yorkshire Wolds as they ease into the Humber before rising again to form the Lincolnshire Wolds. It’s easy to find; you can follow the Trans-Pennine Path which passes through Hessle, or the National Cycle routes 1 and 65. Hessle sits on the edge of Hull, and in reality is part of its suburbs. The delineation of the two is a street sign, but ask the people of Hessle if they are from Hull or Hessle and you will hear a resounding ‘Hessle’.
Hessle’s history and culture is second to none, with great restaurants, café bars and pubs. Hessle Town Hall plays host to many world renowned artists with the likes of Wishbone Ash and Steve Howe providing entertainment. Local groups also meet there and you’re just as likely to come across jive dancers or a blood donation session.
When you start looking closely at Hessle you come to realise that it’s alive, and also enjoying living that life. I’m sorry that I’ve rambled a little in the last few hundred words but how else can I get everything out? I haven’t really told you all about the £100m investment in Hessle at the Bridgehead Green Business Park that promises to create up to 3,000 jobs. And I haven’t had time to touch on Hessle’s huge sporting footprint with the likes of Hessle Rugby Union Club, the football clubs of Hessle Sporting, Hessle Rangers, Hessle United and even a cycle speedway club.
Hessle is a truly great place to live. It doesn’t do very well at self-promotion and its people prefer it that way. It has a charm and nature about it that is welcoming beyond measure. But don’t take my word for it – pop in the next time you’re around and tell me what you think.