By the end of the 19th Century Hull had become the largest seed crushing area in the country. The business was undertaken by brokers travelling about office to office that was inefficient and time consuming. It was decided that an exchange was needed for the improvement of business. A commission was given to B.S. Jacobs of Bowl Alley Lane, Hull. The building was Renaissance Revival style with Tudor style mullioned windows and a mahogany paneled entrance hall and trading floor. At the gable top is the Hull City emblem of three crowns and above the lower left window is a date of 1899. However the building was not open for trading until 1901. The 1899 could well be from when the Pacific Club was formed. I think the traders had to belong the club to make use of the trading floor.
Facade on High Street of the Pacific Exchange and Club.
The front section and entrance hall were completed first and it wasn't until 1909 that the building was extended through to the River Hull at the back. In the end the building contained trading hall, corn trade riverside board room, four floors of kitchens, offices, toilets and stores.
The Exchange was called the Pacific it seems purely because London had the Baltic and Liverpool had the Atlantic Exchanges! Millers, seed crushers, merchants and brokers packed the trading floor, up to a hundred at a time. Traders on the floor wore their hats and none traders had to remove them. When telephones were introduced offers would come from London to 15 trunk phone boxes on one wall along with two others for local calls.
The trading floor when the building was owned by the Police and Crime Commissioners in Hull.
In WWII the Ministry of Food took over the trading and movement of food and also for nine years after as rationing persisted. Afterwards it was used by the merchants and traders as a luncheon club. By the late 1970's it was sold and became a variety of clubs. It also became a sports/squash club with the court on the trading floor. In 1993 it was Grade II listed. It then became the Humberside Police Authority Headquarters which then changed to the Police and Crime Commissioners. Recently it has been up for sale. The Hull City Council have recently bought the building for £368000 and to fit it out as offices. The building is usually open to the public when Hull has the Heritage Open Days which are usually in September.
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