East Yorkshire Gems: Hepworth’s Arcade

One of East Yorkshire’s quirkiest shopping streets is also one of the oldest…..

Hepworths Arcade 01Though much of the middle of Hull was sadly destroyed during bombing raids during World War II, some gems clearly show what a handsome and imaginatively-designed city it once was. One such place is Hepworth’s Arcade, which runs between Lowgate and Silver Street and has an entrance into the Indoor Market.

It’s a glass covered passageway featuring an array of quirky shops, galleries and cafes which surprises and delights everyone who finds it. Built in 1888 by Joseph Hepworth, it was originally to be called Victoria Arcade after the then monarch but, as is often the case with philanthropic Hull landmarks, it was eventually named after it’s sponsor.

Of particular interest (aside from the beautiful ceiling and upper level) is that the arcade once housed one of Marks & Spencer’s first ever penny bazaars and that the joke shop (Dinsdale’s, which has stood in the arcade for over 8 decades) was the inspiration for the joke shop which appeared several times in the League of Gentlemen TV series. LOG writer and performer Reece Shearsmith used to visit the shop regularly while growing up in Hull. Other famous visitors include Tommy Cooper and Norman Collier

Dave Lee


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