Young girls faced life of hell
Vice-ridden and dangerous late 19th Century Hull was for some a place to be avoided at all costs.
The problems of crime were uppermost in the minds of the city's leading residents and also gained the attention of local editors of the day.
Here we take a look at what Richard Cooke, editor of the Hull Critic, found when he took a walk on Hull's wild side in 1885. It gives a fascinating insight into life at the time...
WHEN the Pall Mall Gazette took up the question of (depraved and vicious immoraility) in London people in this town read the ghastly details and and said there could be no truth in them while at the same time under their very noses were being enacted equaklly horrible atrocities.
In Trundle Street some time ago four little girls under fifteen years of age were were supplied to a black man to satisfy his devlish lust and dozens of children were decoyed into the place by the friends who grew fat over their suffering and shame.
That place was pounced on by the police, but all the good that was done was to send the horrible traffic to other parts of the town.
The police are well acquainted with a man- no, not a man we mean a despicable wretch - who has and is making a fortune out of young girls. Only a few weeks ago he went over to Manchester and engaged a respectable young girl as waitress at his temperance hotel in Hull. Temperance hotel forsooth! Why it is one of the worst midnight drinking dens in the country.
Every night of the week it is the scene of drunken orgies. But speaking of the poor unsuspecting girl.The scoundrel took her to his hell-hole and with the canting smile he ever has at his command he said she would be tired with herjourney and had better retire to rest. No sooner had she entered her room than a well paying customer was sent to her with the usual result.
Next morning she informed her procurer who simply laughed and told her she would have to lead the life of a prostitute or he would bundle her into the street. Without a friend, without money, ruined and in a strange place is it to be wondered that she had to accept the former alternative?
But this is not the only case by hundreds. The monster has no less than five houses in one street in which drunkenness and prostitution reign supreme and for which he procures young girls. Yet with the power the police have at present, he cannot be touched but walks through the streets clothed in fine raiment and with head erect and with all the assurances of an honest man.
This is one of the reptiles that crawl about the streets of Hull. Our little daughters are in the deadliest peril so long as such miscreants are allowed to pollute the atmosphere by their filthy breath..."
Written by The Editor - 31/10/2002 18:23:56
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