Christopher Hull Obituary, Death – Chris Hull, my good friend who died recently at the age of 58, was a humanities educator for many years, including a term as the head of modern humanities at Hampstead Fine Arts College in north London. Later in life, he became a teacher, but his true interest was people and philosophy, especially in terms of figuring out how to make east London a better place for all of its groups. He was a math teacher. Chris spent his entire childhood in Oxford, where he was born and reared.
He was a standout in the physics department in high school, but he finally chose to study philosophy and theology at Bristol University. He received a first-class honors degree in philosophy from King’s College London in 1979. He moved to London in 1973, first residing on a boat in the west end and subsequently shifting to Bow in the east. When I first met him in 1995, he was a resident of a ninety-apartment housing cooperative in Bow. I was offering it advice on how to obtain ownership of the building and make the necessary upgrades.
Chris’s energy, as well as his ability with people, data, and language, contributed significantly to the accomplishment of this tough treatment. We learned that we shared similar political and cultural interests after becoming friends, particularly in areas such as literature and classical music. Chris was also an exceptional chef. Following that, he became chair of Leaside Regeneration, an organization created in 1998 in the Lea Valley and adjoining regions of east London.
The Morpeth school in Tower Hamlets, which he managed as chair of the governing council, obtained a “outstanding” grade in the most recent set of Ofsted inspections. In 2004, a housing association run by Bangladeshis in Stepney, Bangladesh, had an urgent need for a temporary director. An appointment that was supposed to last a few months instead lasted four years and eventually involved a much larger housing association group. We talked almost every day during this time period. Chris and I met for a pint in the London Bridge neighborhood in the latter half of July.
He approached me with some ideas for a book about the impact of 40 years of redevelopment in east London as viewed through the eyes of local inhabitants. The magazine would center on the viewpoints of local residents. He had recently acquired a lightweight folding bicycle as well as a digital camera, both of which he was quite thrilled about. He, on the other hand, appeared to be having difficulty breathing. His two younger sisters, Carolyn and Nicola, will continue on his heritage.