The Victoria History of the County of York consists of five sets of volumes. The
'general' volumes for the whole county form one of them. There are four sets of
'topographical' volumes, one for each riding and one for the City of York, which falls
into no riding. The histories of the cities, towns, and villages of Yorkshire are placed
within the ridings of which they have historically formed a part.
The four 'general' volumes of the Yorkshire History and the three North Riding
'topographical' volumes were published between 1907 and 1925. It was not, however,
until 1951–3 that practical steps towards continuing the Yorkshire History were taken.
Funds were then raised by the East Riding County Council and the Corporations of the
Cities of Kingston upon Hull and York to enable a special staff to be appointed to write
and organize the history of the areas with which those Authorities are concerned, and
in 1953 a local committee was set up to superintend the expenditure of those funds.
The committee, which comprises representatives of the three participating Authorities,
has met ever since under the distinguished chairmanship of Alderman Sir John
Dunnington-Jefferson, Bt. Thus was formed another of those partnerships between a
group of local patrons and the University of London, of which the prototype is the Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee described in the editorial note to the Victoria
History of Wiltshire, Volume VII. The essence of such a partnership is that the local
patrons have undertaken to provide funds to meet the local expenses of compiling and
editing the History of the region with which they are concerned, and the University has
agreed to publish what is prepared, provided that it approves the result. The first
volume to appear in consequence of the partnership was Yorkshire, The City of York
(1961); this volume is the second. The generous grants made by the three named
Authorities are most gratefully acknowledged by the University of London. It must also
be recorded with true appreciation that several bodies have made valuable contributions
to the funds of the local committee while the present volume was in preparation. They
are Blackburn Aircraft Ltd., the British Transport Docks Board, R. P. Carmichael &
Co. Ltd., Distillers Co. Ltd., G. & T. Earle Ltd., East Yorkshire Motor Services Ltd.,
Ellerman's Wilson Line Ltd., J. H. Fenner & Co. Ltd., Hammond's Ltd., Horsley Smith
& Co. Ltd., Hoveringham Gravels Ltd., Hull Brewery Co. Ltd., Moors' & Robson's
Breweries Ltd., Northern Dairies Ltd., Priestman Brothers Ltd., Reckitt & Sons Ltd.,
Rediffusion (Yorkshire) Ltd., Rose, Downs & Thompson Ltd., Rowntree & Co. Ltd.,
the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, T. J. Smith & Nephew, Spooners (Hull) Ltd.,
Thornton-Varley Ltd., the Trinity House, Hull, the University of Hull, the University
of York, the York Civic Trust, and the Yorkshire Insurance Co. Ltd.
In 1954 the local committee appointed Mr. P. M. Tillott to be local editor. He
resigned in 1963 and was succeeded in 1964 by Dr. K. J. Allison, formerly assistant
editor. Several assistant editors have been employed by the committee since its inception.
Those who have been directly concerned with this volume have been Dr. Allison
himself (1957–9), Mrs. Mary E. Dymond (née Sands) (1960–4), and Mr. C. A. McLaren
(1965–7). Mr. J. D. Purdy was appointed to succeed Mr. McLaren in 1968.
For their help in the compilation of this volume thanks are due to a great many
people, not all of whom can be mentioned personally here. Particular reference must
be made to the facilities provided by the former City Librarian of Kingston upon Hull,
Mr. R. F. Drewery, and by the staff of the Local History Library; by the City Museums
Director, Mr. J. Bartlett; and by the Corporation's former Record Clerk, Mr. R. F.
Parrott, whose constant co-operation has been especially appreciated. Grateful acknowledgement is also made of the permission to inspect records in their care granted by parochial incumbents and, among others, by the Minster Librarian and Diocesan Archivist
at York, the East Riding County Archivist, the British Transport Docks Board (Hull),
British Transport Historical Records (Hull), and the Librarian of the University of
Hull. Much help has also been given by the chief officers and staffs of several corporation departments not already mentioned. The following persons have kindly read and
commented upon various sections of the volume: Dr. Joyce M. Bellamy, Mr. B. W.
Blanchard, Mr. G. de Boer, Miss Olive P. Coleman, Mr. R. S. Hodgson, Miss A. B.
Hogg, Mr. J. F. Hooton, Mr. M. E. Ingram, Dr. G. Jackson, Mr. K. A. MacMahon,
Prof. E. Miller, Col. R. W. S. Norfolk, and Mr. R. F. Parrott.
The structure and aims of the Victoria History are outlined in an article published
in the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, Vol. XL (No. 101, May 1967).