The smells that remind us of our childhood in Hull and make us nostalgic

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We know we can never forget the smell of our grandparents’ Christmas cookies, a special aftershave or the perfume of a great aunt.

The reason we remember these things so clearly is fully explained by science. Researchers have found that smell is humans’ strongest sense because smell and memory are so closely linked in our brain anatomy. It has been proven that the older we get, the stronger our memories associated with smells become.

With that in mind, we asked you what smells brought back memories about our Facebook page, and many of them will be recognizable to anyone who grew up in and around Hull.

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Many of them are things that still exist today, but just aren’t quite the same. One person said: “Good crayons. We had them in Golden Virginia boxes at school. It was the 70s”. Meanwhile, another said: “Fish dock on a Friday afternoon.”

Some are very sentimental memories, like a woman who said she loved the smell of a perfume called “Gingham” many years ago when she worked at Hammonds. Another said her mother had worked in the fish factories on Hessle Road and now she misses that smell.

Read more nostalgia stories on our dedicated page here.

Take a look at the list and see which ones inspire you a bit of nostalgia.

“White Pepper on a Dinner Roast (My Grandparents)”

“The smell of molten tar takes me back to my childhood”

“Pipe smoke always reminded me of my great-grandfather, I never smell it these days”



Man smoking inside the Paragon pub.

“Bread, my father was a baker and supplied the inhabitants during the bread strike”

“Smell of pipe tobacco my dad used to smoke”

“Satsumas = Christmas. Hull Fair food smells good = happy times when I was little. Seaside food = holidays in Bridlington when I was little”

“The smell of the dentist… with the gloves”

“Jacksons Bakery in Hull”

“Raspberry syrup on your ice cream from Mr Whippy vans”



Two young boys stop playing football in the street to buy a raspberry ice cream.
Two young boys stop playing football in the street to buy a raspberry ice cream.

“Charlie Perfume and Insette Hairspray”

“Farm Barns my mother worked on a farm in the 1960s and we went with her”

“Old leather car seats”

“The Stoneferry Cocoa Mills and Sculcoates Tannery”

“British Cocoa Mills on their way to work at Reckitts in the 80s”

“My dad used to work at Cocoa Mills here, he smelled that when he came home”

“Ostlers Bakery, Wheeler Street”

“Highway to the Boulevard”

“Rain on Cement on a Hot Day”

“The Smell of Steam Trains at Paragon Station”

What did we miss in the list? Let us know in the comments which smells bring back memories for you.

What do you miss the most in the past 30 years? The fashions, the music or maybe the way of life. Take a look at our nostalgia survey.

The Hull Daily Mail’s brilliant new Memory Lane special commemorates Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with many fantastic memorabilia from her travels in our area and more. To avoid disappointment, place your order now at our Online Store p.

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