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Thursday 2 March 2017
Hull Bee Lady Jean Bishop, Amy Johnson and William Wilberforce could all soon be hitting the streets of Hull – in the shape of vans bearing their names.
The famous Hull figures are just three of more than 300 different entries in a competition to name KCOM vans after the city’s most famous sons and daughters.
The communication provider is set to name all 95 vans in its fleet after illustrious figures from Hull’s past and present as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.
The company launched the competition last month by naming its first van after former Deputy PM Lord Prescott and suggestions for the remaining 94 vehicles have been flooding in.
Among the most popular names suggested so far are Bee Lady Jean Bishop, footballing hero Dean Windass, slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce, boxer Luke Campbell and Victorian philanthropist Thomas Ferens.
Cathy Phillips, KCOM chief marketing officer, said: “We’ve been delighted with the response to our appeal for famous figures to name our vans after.
“The sheer range and number of suggestions shows just what a rich heritage Hull has, with everyone from heroes of the past such as William Wilberforce and Amy Johnson to present day legends such as Jean Bishop all represented.
“The idea behind the scheme was to celebrate all that’s made Hull such as great place to be and we’re going to have a few difficult decisions to make whittling the names down to just 95.”
Other popular choices already suggested include headscarf revolutionary Lillian Bilocca, rugby legends Clive Sullivan and Johnny Whiteley, film mogul Joseph Rank, Adelphi club owner Paul Jackson, Radio Humberside heavyweight David Burns and Beautiful South singer Paul Heaton.
The 2017 City of Culture celebrations are also well represented in the nominations with 2017 boss Martin Green, playwright Richard Bean who penned The Hypocrite and filmmaker Sean McAllister, who curated the opening Made In Hull spectacular, all nominated.
Other, more left-field, suggestions have included YouTube roadrager Ronnie “Do you know who I am” Pickering, sailors’ mural Dead Bod and ever-popular spoof name Vanny McVanface.
Vanny McVanface follows in the wake of Boaty McBoatface, which was the subject of a public campaign in 2016 to become name of the UK’s new polar research ship. The ship was eventually christened in honour of Sir David Attenborough, with Boaty becoming the name of one of the vessel’s remotely controlled submersibles.
The only condition for being nominated as a KCOM van is that the nominee must have made a significant contribution to life in Hull.
Cathy Phillips said: “As well as the famous names we expected to see, we have also had some more what we’d term ‘unusual’ suggestions such as Vanny McVanface, which may or may not make the final cut. It’s a bit of fun and we’re not ruling it out.
“Our vans are a familiar sight out and about on the streets of Hull and our hope is that by the end of 2017 people will be able to ‘collect’ all 95 in the same way they spot Eddie Stobart trucks.”
People now have just one week left to register their favourite name to be emblazoned across the side of a van with voting closing on at 5pm on Thursday 9 March.
Once voting has closed a panel of community members will then select the final 95 names to be printed on the vans.
Anyone can suggest a name for a KCOM van.
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