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28 October 2014

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You are in: Humber > History > Local History > Historic highway

Green plaque

Historic highway

A Hull street was home to a number of notable people.

Westbourne Avenue, in the west of the city has a number of green plaques, commemorating famous residents. The latest two plaques to be unveiled are on the  homes of novelist Dorothy L Sayers and the fourth-officer on the Titanic; Joseph Boxhall.

The actor Ian Carmichael unveiled a plaque on Sayers former residence. Carmichael, who lived on the same street as a boy, portrayed the crime writer’s most famous creation, Lord Peter Wimsey on television and radio.

Sayers lodged at number 80 from 1916-1917 while a teacher in Modern Languages at Hull High School for Girls.

Ian Carmichael

Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey

The ceremony was attended by members of the Dorothy L Sayers Society.
The Chairman of the organisation, Christopher Dean, says that Sayers appeal as an author stretches beyond the crime genre “She was a great storyteller, that comes out in all her work. She writes a very good story, not just a detective puzzle as it were, she has developed it far beyond there.  There is a tremendous amount of characterisation and of course she shows a tremendous amount of social history in the novels”

Further down the road the Lord Mayor of Hull, Councillor Trevor Larsen, unveiled a plaque at Joseph Boxhall’s home.

Mr Boxhall survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, when he was put in charge of one of the lifeboats. 

When the liner hit the iceberg Boxhall was responsible for taking the ship’s final position and summoning help by firing off distress flares.

He still worked at sea until his retirement in 1940. Following his death in 1967, his ashes were scattered on the Atlantic Ocean over the site of the Titanic’s sinking.

Lord Mayor of Hull

The Lord Mayor of Hull unveils the plaque

The current owner, Diane Dubois, says that watching the Oscar winning film Titanic in the house is a strange experience. “You’re watching Leonardo DiCaprio  on your telly and you see the guy in the background firing off the distress flares and taking the co-ordinates and you’re thinking that guy used to live in this house, and it does give you an eerie feeling.”

The two green plaques join others dedicated to the Thomas brothers; who produced the Carry On and Doctor film comedies, and the one on Ian Carmichael’s boyhood home.

Mr Carmichael has fond memories of living on the street. “It was a lovely area and it still is. The trees are glorious. I think it’s the best of the Avenues, the others don’t have the grass or the trees.”

last updated: 23/04/2008 at 09:03
created: 07/08/2006

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