Records of Hull Quaker Housing Association



Admin History:

The Hull Quaker Housing Association was established in 1965 as a result of May Hill's concern, supported by Hull Preparative Meeting, for the provision of accommodation for 'unsupported mothers' with one child up to three years old. At that time such women were often pressed to offer for adoption when they really wanted to keep their baby.

The Association was registered as a housing association on 30 June 1965 and a committee was formed, including as chairman, Stanley Sweet, and secretary, May Hill. The hostel was to be known as Hillcrest House. After a period of fundraising, a suitable house was found at 64 Westbourne Avenue, Hull. This was purchased in May 1966 and adapted to provide nine flatlets. The first resident moved into the property in September 1968. After an initial period with a resident warden, the house was run by a House Committee which included several residents. The scheme was successful for over 20 years through changing social and legal backgrounds.

A second house was purchased in mid 1974 at 77 De Grey Street, Hull. This followed the opening of Hull Women's Aid Centre earlier in the year and the Association's decision to make some provision for 'battered wives' and their children. The house was opened in June 1975. Both schemes, especially the second, were attended by difficulties with rent payments, abuse of premises, nuisance to neighbours and sometimes criminal actions. The 'battered wives' scheme ended in 1980 after an attempt to meet the residents' needs in both houses by employing a non-resident warden. 77 De Grey Street was sold and the proceeds used to refurbish Hillcrest House.

The original scheme continued, with increasing help in its later years from a local small but professionally managed Housing Association, to which the Association was introduced as a result of joining the National Federation of Housing Associations by its then regional organiser, Virginia Shaw.

Because of the decreasing age of the unsupported mothers and increasing age of committee members, it became ever more frequent that severe distress was caused to neighbours by a small minority of residents. The future of the Association was discussed at its AGM in 1991 and in March 1992, aspects of the management of Hillcrest House were formally delegated to the Housemartin (originally Hull and Humberside) Housing Association. Housemartin planned a major refurbishment of the house. It was however only two months later, at the 1992 AGM, that the decision was taken to transfer the whole project to Housemartin and to wind up the Association. This was finally concluded in November 1992.

The records include a full set of minutes of the Management Committee and AGMs covering 1965 to 1992, as well as reports of meetings of the Hillcrest House Committee for 1980 to 1992. There is also a set of annual audited accounts for 1966/67 to 1991/92. Registration with the Housing Corporation, annual returns submitted and correspondence about a monitoring visit in 1981 are available. Several files of correspondence with and about residents include information about the events leading to the winding up of the Association and the transfer of Hillcrest House to the Housemartin Housing Association. Property records include files documenting the purchase of 64 Westbourne Avenue and 77 De Grey Street. The two histories of the Association are by Stanley Sweet (covering up to c.1978) and Theo Tulley (covering up to 1992).