A Hull-based housing association is part-funding the installation of a blue heritage plaque on a property closely linked to its own roots.
Philanthropist Christopher Pickering, one of the original founders of Pickering and Ferens Homes, once lived in a property in Coltman Street that is now being featured on BBC Two show Restoration.
The home is being restored to its original glory by owners Simon Kelsey and Catherine Robinson, who were keen to draw attention to the property’s heritage by securing a blue plaque and approached Pickering and Ferens Homes to support it. Hull City Council’s Community Initiative Budget is also contributing.
Christopher Pickering was born in 1842, the son of a tailor. In 1914, he built almshouses, a church, park and children’s home in the west of Kingston upon Hull. The almshouses now form part of Pickering and Ferens Homes, a charity which manages over 1,250 properties across the region. Christopher Pickering died in 1920, aged 78.
His Coltman Street house was converted into flats in the early 1980s. From 1921, the house became the City of Hull Clinic. It remained a clinic after the foundation of the National Health Service, providing a base for a doctor’s surgery and a dentist. Mr Kelsey and Miss Robinson are aiming to turn the property back into a family home. They bought it last year after Hull City Council put it up for sale. The house includes a large basement, which was originally a kitchen where servants would work, and an extensive rear garden. The couple secured a Heritage Lottery grant to help them with some of the cost of the restoration project.
Claire Warren, chief executive of Pickering and Ferens Homes, said: “We were really pleased to get involved with securing the blue plaque for Christopher Pickering’s former home. Clearly this property is very closely linked with our history and the housing association wouldn’t exist as it is today if it wasn’t for the generosity of Christopher Pickering all those years ago, so it’s really nice for us to forge a link of this nature in the city.”