The former British Extracting Co factory is one of many former oil seed crushing buildings in Hull.

Seeds of Change heritage project launched

A project to celebrate the rich past of the oil seed crushing industry in Wincolmlee has been launched today.

The Seeds of Change project will investigate and celebrate Hull’s history in the sector and the role it has played in the city over the last 500 years.

It will focus on the lower River Hull valley and Wincolmlee area where the majority of Hull’s oil seed crushing mills were once located.

Led by Humber Field Archaeology, part of Hull City Council, Seeds of Change aims to involve those who are former or current employees in the oil seed crushing and related industries, who live or used to live in Wincolmlee and those with an interest in investigating this fascinating facet of Hull’s history.

Seeds of Change will include a heritage trail, oral history interviews and accompanying film footage, a soundtrack, a 3D virtual reality seed crushing mill, a self-contained computer game and a digital magazine.

The project is being supported by a £25,000 grant from Historic England as part of the recent round of Everyday Heritage grants and is expected to be completed later this year.

Cllr Rob Pritchard, the council’s portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “Seeds of Change is a fantastic project that celebrates a key part of Hull’s long-term history.

“The oil seed crushing industry is entrenched in the history and traditions of many Hull families, particularly those from the Wincolmlee area, so it will be brilliant to be able to give them, as well as visitor to Hull, a greater picture of what the industry was like.

“The council would like to thank Historic England for its support in Seeds of Change and I look forward to seeing it once completed.”

Marcus Jecock, senior archaeological investigator at Historic England, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting Seeds of Change through our Everyday Heritage grants programme.

“The seed crushing industry had a huge impact on Hull’s social and economic development, as well as on the landscape, yet its history has been largely overlooked.

“This project promises to shed light on what life was like working and living in the shadow of these giant structures.”

You can find out more about Seeds of Change on Humber Field Archaeology’s social media, as well as on its website here.

From left to right: Councillor Mark Ieronimo, Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Roads, and Highways, and Kerry Ryan, Head of Transport and Traffic Management at Hull City Council, outside the entrance to Pryme Street car park.
Cllr Mark Ieronimo meets bus passengers