Oak Road and it's associated playing fields have a long and varied history. Presented here are some interesting snippets.
Green Lane is the original name for what is now known as Oak Road. At the north end it connects with Beverley Road at what was called Cross Bridges near where the Cross Keys public house now stands. Travelling south the Clew Lane (now Clough Road), it crossed over to join the village of Sculcoates, the existing part of that can be seen running between the side of the graveyard and the paint works. The village was connected via Wincolmlee to Hull's Northgate, the castellated entrance to High Street.
Along the western side of the lane ran the Skidby drain which is now filled in and which was built under the Act of 1785. The nearby Beverley-Barmston drain was started in 1799.
The natural resource of the area is clay, which was exploited by the potteries which developed in the area. The first one in Green Lane in the early to mid 1800's was The Patent Brick & Tile Works. A further brick works at the same time, later became The Kingston Sanitary Pipe Works.
In the late 1800's there were two more companies, The Kingston Stone Bottle Works, sanitary tube and terracotta manufacturers owned by Robert J Young and nearby, Newland Pottery, producing chimney and flower pots and owned by Robert Young Senior.
In the 20th century these two businesses combined to become a builders supply company situated on the eastern corner of Oak Road/Clough Road.
The York Archaeological Trust carried out an evaluation of part of the Parkland in 1997 and said it was likely that the Hull Bank Farm (now the old Kingston Rowing Club) could have been the site of a Romano-British settlement between 100-300AD. A Roman coin and Romano-British pottery of around 250AD were found on this site.
As well as medieval pottery being found, there was also evidence of agriculture of that same period.
The low lying land near the River Hull provided the right conditions to make rich meadowland which were ideal conditions for grazing cattle. Most of the people in the area made their living from farming and cow keeping.
In the 1800s The Hull Cowkeepers & Farmers Association was formed with the office situated on Clough Road. The Association was disbanded in the late 1970's. An annual dinner-dance was held every winter at the Beverley Road Baths (the pools being boarded over). There was always plenty of food, but they always ran out of milk!
In the 1700's the land was owned by Richard Burton until his death in 1765 when it was inherited by Brigadier Ralph Burton (a distinguished military leader). In 1820 the family sold the land to Benjamin Blaydes Haworth, he lived at Hull Bank House (now Haworth Hall) which was formerly Burton Hall. In the 1851 census he was simply referred to as Ben Haworth, squire, aged 52.
In 1868, his great nephew also called Benjamin Blaydes Haworth took the additional name of Booth. The Haworth-Booth family held the lands until the early 1900's, when it was split up and sold, the majority of it by Francis Adrian Haworth Booth who died in 1952.
Originally this area was part of the Manor of Cottingham. Hull Banks was part of this Manor, it's boundaries were Clough Road, Beverley Road, The River Hull and to the north, Dunswell. The area was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
In 1474 the area came into the ownership of Richard III, after which the Tudor Kings and Queens gained possession. In 1882 the Hull boundary extensions incorporated this area within the City.
Henry the 8th
In 1541 Henry went to York to meet the Council of the North and the King of Scotand, who did not keep the appointment. Henry and Queen Catherine Howard before their return to London spent sometime at Leconfield Castle, north of Beverley.
He then travelled to Hull with his retinue and 1000 soldiers with the latest artillery (an example of one of the cannons is on show in the Hull Museum). The Royal Progress, on travelling towards Hull and Beverley Road, passed the top end of Green Lane and probably some of the retinue who needed to arrive before the King would have taken a short cut along Green Lane into Hull via The Northgate into High Street.
The Civil War
On St. George's Day, 1642, another royal visit was made to the area by Charles the 1st when he was refused entry to the walled town of Hull. He and his army retreated on a wide front via Sculcoates village, Green Lane and Beverley Road towars Beverley. The army would have pillaged the local farms for food and livestock. Whilst the siege was on, the famous Cavalier, Prince Rupert stayed at Hull Bank Hose (now Haworth Hall).
The Royalists returned the following year, 1643 and built forts for their military in the Clough Road and Newland area to lay siege to Hull.
The Chemical Industry
In the late 1800's, 3 miles north of the city centre and far enough away from the main population was Hull Bank Mills. The company had its own wharfage and manufactured fish manure, glue and oil based products for the paint industry. By 1918 it became The Universal Oil Company producing soap, glycerine, colours, candles, fatty acids and various other oil products.
After undergoing many changes, in 1967 the company became Croda Universal. In 1992 a Hollywood film was made about a special oil developed by their chemist Don Suddaby. The film was called 'Lorenzo's Oil'.
The 2nd World War
At the outbreak of the 2nd World War, trenches were dug across the nearby Parkland to stop and German gliders or small planes landing on it, should an invasion take place. The Kingston Rowing Club was slightly damaged by bombs that were intended for a more important target, The Croda Site. During the war the chemical works produced glycerine which was an important ingredient of high explosives.
The German bombers did manage to hit the plant on a number of occassions, however the damage was insufficient to ever stop production.