Plaque on former pumping station, at corner of Machell Street and Catherine Street, HU2 8AL.

Under an 1872 Act of Parliament, the first public hydraulic power network was created in Hull; this was also Hull’s first public utility, supplying water to the Old Town and some of Hull’s docks, for Hull Corporation. The Hull Hydraulic Power Company began operating in 1876, from a purpose built power station in Machell Street. Half a million gallons of water a day were taken from the adjacent River Hull, utilising six inch diameter pipes running 2 ½ miles under the city; this was a major civil engineering achievement at the time. The water tank on the roof of the pumping station allowed mud and silt in the river water to settle, before the water was distributed. The power station operated continuously until 1947, when the company was wound up, following damage to its infrastructure inflicted during the Second World War.

Needler’s Limited