Renovation work on one of Hull’s tallest and most recognisable buildings has revealed a piece of history which has been hidden for the last 50 years.
Contractors working on the exterior of the Hull Royal Infirmary tower block have discovered an old filling knife lodged in the concrete of the original building.
The knife was found by contractors from Hull-based Houlton during work to remove the old mosaic tiling from the tower block in preparation for the installation of new windows and application of a stylish new steel grey façade.
The work is part of an £8 million investment which Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is making to improve the structural safety of the building, along with its overall appearance and energy efficiency.
Keiron Barwick, Concrete Repairer for Lingard, subcontracted to Houlton, discovered the filling knife. He says:
“The knife was found around 40 feet up, lodged in the concrete; it must have fallen in the formwork when the original concrete was poured in 50 years ago and become cast within it.
“The work we’ve been doing to prepare the building for its new façade, coupled with some weather damage, have together revealed the knife on the corner of the north face of the tower block. For a moment I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but it is a really important find as it helps to tell the story of the work which was done here some 50 years ago.”
Jon Linklater, Project Manager for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, says:
“The HRI tower block celebrates its 50th birthday this month, so the fact that we’ve found the knife now, even though we’ve been working on the building since March, is quite timely.
“The knife has a letter inscribed on it which looks like an M or a W, and even though so many people worked on the original construction it would be great if we could find out who this belonged to, or if we could find someone who knew its owner. It represents an important piece of our hospital’s history and it would be great to find out more from the original tradesmen who worked on the tower block all those years ago.”
The knife will shortly be added to the Trust’s existing collection of artefacts from the opening of the HRI tower block in 1963 which includes a Visitors Book signed by Her Majesty The Queen.
CAN YOU HELP
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust would be keen to hear from anyone who worked on the construction of the original tower block ahead of a special celebration planned for later this month marking 50 years since the HRI tower block opened. If you, or anyone you know, was involved and would like to share their story, please call (01482) 674486 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Communications Office on (01482) 674486.