Pub Of The Week – Ye Olde Black Boy, Hull

For my latest Yorkshire Post Pub of the Week review I visited Ye Olde Black Boy in Hull’s old town.

Ye Olde Black Boy

This review originally appeared in the Yorkshire Post in October 2011

Pub of the week – Ye Olde Black Boy, Hull

Despite Hull city centre being a disastrous victim of bombing in World War 2, with many of the city’s finest buildings being utterly destroyed, High Street survived virtually untouched. Despite many of the old boozers in the area gradually disappearing, it’s the one street in the city where you can still get the feeling of what a night out in the 18th Century must have been like.

Ye Olde Black Boy started serving beer in the 1700’s and now stands proudly as the Hull’s only CAMRA ‘Heritage Inn’. It has stayed virtually unchanged for the past 80 years with some features surviving from the days when William Wilberforce claimed this as his local (his house-cum-museum is a few doors away and the former Hull MP and slave trade abolitionist was known to enjoy a scoop or two in his younger days).

The name of the pub, surprisingly, is unconnected with slavery, though. It dates from the time when the premises was used by a tobacco merchant, the ‘black boy’ being the pipe smoking American Indian which was adopted as a symbol by that trade. The building subsequently became a wine merchants and it’s that décor that remained when it ultimately became a pub.

The sense of history drips off the wood-lined walls in the cosy front smoke room and the larger back bar is decorated with fascinating images from Hull in bygone days. There are also two equally handsome upstairs rooms which are pressed into service on busy nights or hired out for functions.

Ye Olde Black Boy is now owned by one of those anonymously-named pub chains but the management and regulars do all they can to keep a spirit of independence alive – there are 5 regularly rotated guest ales, fabulous music nights and non-stop banter but sadly no food offering beyond the usual bar snacks.

The pub is in the heart of Hull’s Museum Quarter, which is appropriate as a pint in here automatically becomes a history lesson.

Welcome 4

Drinks selection 3

Atmosphere 4

Food 0

Prices 3

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Categories: Pub Review, Writing, Yorkshire Post

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