Hull treasure Jean can't bee-lieve her latest honour
As Hull legend Jean Bishop receives the freedom of city for her tireless work raising money for charity, we meet the famous Bee Lady.
Fundraising hero Jean Bishop has officially unveiled a bee-utiful new phone box painted in her honour.
Jean, 96, who is better known at Hull’s Bee Lady, created a bit of a buzz today while giving her seal of approval to the new black and yellow liveried phone box in Wheldale Avenue, east Hull, and declaring it open.
The classic K6 phone box was chosen as the fitting location for a Bee Lady kiosk as it is close to the new Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre (ICC) in nearby Rosmead Street. The new kiosk replaces the old Bee Lady phone box in Carr Lane, which needed refurbishing and has been returned to its original cream colour.
Officially cutting the ribbon on the new box Jean, said: “I think it’s lovely to have a phone box named after me. This is my little house.
“I’m hoping it will be very handy for anyone passing by – whether they are in distress or just want to make a call. Now I’m going home to celebrate with a cup of tea.”
Cathy Phillips, KCOM’s chief marketing officer, said: “We are absolutely delighted to once again be honouring one of Hull’s most beloved characters by creating a special bee phone box for Jean.
“When we were looking for the perfect place to put the kiosk we thought it would be fitting to have it as close as possible to the centre that also bears her name. Now hopefully everyone who sees it will be reminded of Jean’s amazing contribution to Hull and her dedication to making life better for others.”
To mark the unveiling, KCOM also donated £500 to Age UK Hull, which Jean has raised more than £120,000 for during the past 25 years. Her tireless work for the charity was recognised by the Queen in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List when Jean was awarded the British Empire Medal.
The innovative £9m Jean Bishop ICC, which opened in July, is the first of its kind in the UK and provides specialist out-of-hospital care to help frail and elderly patients to stay fit, healthy and promote independent living.
Erica Daley, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Director of Integrated Commissioning, added: “We were very proud that Jean Bishop opened the ICC in person in July, and we have had some fabulous feedback from patients who have been in for assessment from the health and care teams since then.
“It is a lovely idea to paint the phone box near the ICC and we hope people will enjoy seeing Jean’s two special ‘landmarks’ located together in this corner of Hull.”
Michael Langford, 79, retired, who lives next to where the new kiosk is located, said: “I think it’s brilliant and a great tribute to the lady herself for all the hard work she does. She’s a great role model. It’s a pity there aren’t more like her.”
This isn’t the first time Jean has found herself namechecked by KCOM. During the 2017 UK City of Culture celebrations she topped a public poll to have KCOM’s vans named after Hull’s favourite sons and daughters.
The Jean Bishop van can still be seen driving around the streets of Hull and East Yorkshire on its way to jobs.