‘Open Bridges: A River Full Of Stories’ is supported by the National Lottery and will preserve and publicise the heritage of the River Hull, its bridges and the vessels which have used it over the years by gathering and sharing stories from people who currently or previously lived or worked on and around the river.
Open Bridges made history when for the first time all 13 of the bridges over the River Hull in the UK’s City of Culture 2017 raised, swung or closed simultaneously splitting the city of Hull in two at 20:17 hours on 22nd September 2017.
The project was a logistical and artistic first, conceived and managed by Hull musicians Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard, who said: “Open Bridges is a celebration of the River, the lifeblood of the city, and an exploration of the notion of freedom. It was the culmination of 18 months of meticulous planning and preparation.”
But Open Bridges is far from over. The Open Bridges exhibition inside Scale Lane Bridge had 2000 visitors in January this year and the film has been selected by film festivals worldwide. Now, ‘A River Full of Stories’ will collect memories from people who have tales to tell about how life on the River Hull has changed over the years, what it was like then and what it’s like now to live and work on the river.
Project organiser Rich Duffy-Howard said, “The idea for A River Full Of Stories came about when many of the visitors to the exhibition told us fascinating stories and memories of their lives working on and around the river. “
“The River Hull has a rich history of many uses from small pleasure craft to commercial vessels with hundreds of tonnes of cargo, primarily within living memory of people as well as anecdotes and folk tales of earlier times and changes over the years. We met people at the Open Bridges exhibition whose families worked on the river for generations, and told us about the times when hundreds of barges and other vessels filled the river.”
Lou Duffy-Howard continued;
“We wanted to capture these memories and stories and share them with future generations. We are delighted that with the help of National Lottery players we are able to preserve them by holding story gathering sessions and producing an exhibition, short films and a book which will be given to every library and museum in Hull and the East Riding.”