From Whitehall to Whitefriargate - Pride engine leads Hull parade
24 July 2017
Two weeks after taking part in the Pride in London parade, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service's new wrapped engine led thousands around the streets of Hull to celebrate the first ever UK Pride event.
As part of the UK City of Culture's LGBT 50 celebrations, the Pride in Hull parade began on Wilberforce Drive in front of Hull College at noon on Saturday 22 July and looped around the city centre before returning to the main event back in Queens Gardens.
Volunteer staff from across the Service flanked the striking Pride in Hull fire engine as it circled the city, slowing at the Cenotaph where a wreath was laid alongside those from other groups and emergency services. The parade was a sea of colour, with rainbow flags and painted faces celebrating the event being named as the first ever UK Pride.
The Service was approached by Leicestershire FRS and Oxfordshire FRS who wanted to send small groups to join the celebrations. They travelled up and joined the 'fire family' of Humberside volunteer staff including Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell (right with cap).
'Fire doesn't discriminate - neither do we' was the message carried on the side of the engine which seemed to capture the mood of both the London and Hull events.
This year's Hull Pride recognised the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and featured 80s and 90s pop legends Marc Almond, Sonia, Cleopatra and B*Witched who entertained the 9,000 strong crowd all afternoon and evening in a packed Queens Gardens.
Area Manager Niall McKiniry (pictured right with volunteer staff) was delighted with how the event went:
'There has been much to organise over the past six months since we first came up with the idea of a wrapped fire engine to celebrate this prestigious event. The time and energy which Andy Train and his team have put in to Pride in Hull has been extraordinary and we as a Service were proud to be a part of it. Thanks to Sarah Wilkinson for co-ordinating our contribution - it was great to see so many staff able to join in the special day.'
The date for next year's Pride in Hull has already been announced - Saturday 21 July, 2018 - get it in the diary now!