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"We came across trimmings and off-cuts of leather…"

47 Peel Street – a brief history

When we bought 47 Peel Street it was in a very dilapidated state. It had last been used by Lyon Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Services who took it over in the mid 1980s as a workshop and store. For a while during this time, there was also a small wholesale butchery business sharing the ground floor. Prior to that, from around 1956, M. Albeck Limited had manufactured leather goods and fur coats here, employing over 50 people. They also owned the adjacent houses at 43 and 45 Peel Street and had a retail shop called Leather Fayre at number 45. When we dug up the concrete yard to make a garden, we came across trimmings and off-cuts of leather. Under floor boards on the first floor we found bobbins, pins and needles and razor blades.


The first recorded business here was in 1925 when Kelly’s Directory lists Mrs Alice Harmer as the occupant, running a sweets and ice cream manufactory. It remained an ice cream factory when Riley’s Dairies took it over and later Northern Dairies bought out Riley’s making ice cream here until 1955. We discovered many paper ice cream tubs under the floor upstairs.


We do not have exact dates for the building. However the north block is 19th Century and may have been a stable or workshops built to service the Hull Zoological Gardens. We found seven large pieces of carved limestone masonry when clearing and levelling for the garden. These pieces are quite monumental and one possibility is that they were part of the folly that was built in the Zoological Gardens from materials salvaged from York Minster! You can find out more about Hull Zoological Gardens at

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