A new exhibition explores the history of the River Hull valley and how it became one of England’s best-drained marshland areas. The Becks, Banks, Drains and Brains Exhibition has been created by the community-led River Hull Valley Drainage Heritage Group.
The exhibition can be viewed in the ground-floor library corridor at the Treasure House, Beverley, during July and August and will the tour village halls and other venues in the River Hull valley in coming months.
The heritage group is also writing a new book telling the story of this fascinating aspect of East Yorkshire’s local history, due for publication in September.
Professor Reid, who has also led one of two local case Studies featured in the exhibition, thinks it will prove popular.
He said: “At the Norman Conquest, the Hull valley was one of England’s most extensive areas of marshland, second only to the Fens.
“We hope that the stories of how these formerly inaccessible and insalubrious lands were dramatically altered through drainage to produce high-quality agricultural land and vibrant communities will appeal to both local residents and visitors.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Rural Policy and Partnerships section have helped to facilitate the group’s work and funding for the project has been provided by the Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways (CWWW) LEADER programme, part of the Rural Development Programme for England with funding from the EU and Defra, and the Lisset Community Wind Farm Fund.
Dee Mitchell, CWWW LEADER Coordinator, said: “The Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways Programme is largely concerned with conserving and upgrading rural heritage and culture and works closely with community groups as well as larger organisations. This project ticks all the boxes for real community involvement in an important part of the history and heritage of the area.”
It is also hoped that the heritage group’s work to uncover and highlight historical drainage features and assets will feed into the development of sustainable water management strategies in the Hull valley, through a link to work of the River Hull Advisory Group.