Hubert (Hugh) Hall


Hugh Hall was born in the ironmongers shop founded by his father Hugh Hall. He died seven weeks after his 100th birthday on 20 March 1964 and attributed his great age to working and walking. Hugh had taken over the business when his father died in 1904. For 30 years Hugh sang in St James Church choir and on his death he left £20 for the benefit of the choirboys. He was elected to Wetherby Parish Council in 1930 and served until 1955 when his son Arthur joined the Council. He left in his published will £14.989. When his son Arthur was clearing out the shop he discovered a complete tinsmiths workshop in the cellar. This was carefully removed and now is on display in York castle Museum. Hugh had employed Ben Stead of Sandringham Road as a tinsmith for over 50 years. Hugh Halls shop was originally a pub called the Yorkshire Hussars and legend says that Hugh used the beer pumps to draw paraffin up from the cellar for customers. Later it became Mallorie’s Café and now (2017) is The Shoe Tree. Hugh had a reputation for being eccentric and stories abound about his behaviour like these;-

A customer went into the shop and asked for a dustbin like the one on display outside. Hugh replied That’s the only one I have so I can’t sell you one”

Another customer went into the shop and asked for six screws. Hugh looked in a drawer and said “I only have half a dozen left so I can’t sell you any”

A lady went into Hugh Hall’s and asked for an ‘inner’ for her Aladdin thermos flask. Hugh produced a drawer full of them. The lady was impressed and said to Hugh, “I have searched all over York and Leeds and could not find one.” Hugh put the inners away and told her, “If you can’t come here first you are not getting one.”

Hugh Hall always went for a walk every day round Wetherby Racecourse. He always went with Mr. Fothergill who ran the boot and shoe shop opposite. They always ended up arguing and always walked home separately not speaking to one another. Next day they went for another walk – always with the same result!

It was claimed that Hugh Hall was the most famous person in the world because every single night the BBC radio closed down with these words – “Goodnight to Hugh Hall”

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