Text and photographs by David Marshall
Cichlids photographed by Jackie Goulder
Beverley Road is like the artery of the East Yorkshire City
of Kingston-upon-Hull with its many branch roads leading to
the main leisure, shopping and business areas. For Sue and I
it is the means of finding Sculcoates Lane and this, in turn,
takes us to the door of Frisby Aquatics - where a wealth of
unusual and rare fish species are always to be found.
For a while now Arthur (Frisby) had promised, when time allowed,
to show us the aquatic delights that await in the Conservatory
at Pearson Park and on a recent visit promise became reality.
Pearson Park is a large open area of parkland situated very
close to the City Centre. The centrepiece of the Park features
two large ponds surrounded by gardens, woodland and games areas.
Grey Squirrels abound.
The Conservatory is tucked-away in a corner at the bottom end
of the Park and its design and whitewashed exterior reminded
me of one of the Churches that you see in movies filmed on the
Canada-U.S.A. border. It certainly transmits the same sense
of peace and tranquillity with vines hanging from the ceiling,
various ferns growing from the floor and the sound of running
water all adding to the atmosphere.
The first animal exhibits come in the form of two very spacious
aviaries that are home to cockatiels, budgerigars and various
The first aquatic exhibit features a small pond that is home
to a number of small sized goldfish and a Plecostomus. Larger
representatives now feature in a bigger sized pond. Both of
these ponds are well filtered and the heat from the Conservatory
means that the Plec.'s are able to live in comfort without the
need of heater-thermostats.
Now we are at what is best described as a three-sided wall
and into this are built 12 aquariums and 4 vivariums.
The largest aquarium is deeper and wider than it first appears
and is home to a variety of very large fish that include Tilapia
mariae, Red-breasted Pacu, Iridescent Shark Catfish, Lemon-finned
Barbs and Leptobarbus hoevenii.
Leptobarbus hoevenii in reflection.
The aquariums which follow are mainly 'themed'. My favourites
featured a small shoal of Schubert's Golden Barbs (Puntius sachsi)
and a group of Ameca splendens of mixed age and size.
The highlight of the aquarium displays is undoubtedly the Rift
Valley Cichlid community and the fish here include various colour
variants of the Zebra Cichlid and several beautiful Labidochromis
carruleus. Such is the breeding success within this aquarium
that a number of cichlid youngsters are now housed in separate
Of interest was an aquarium containing a mixture of both normally
coloured and white coloured Convict Cichlids. Typical of their
kind all were digging in the gravel and trying to form small
Over the years Arthur has formed a good friendship with the
Pearson Park Keepers so we were very fortunate to be allowed
to have a look at the Education Area, usually closed to the
General Public, and here are a wide variety of amphibians and
reptiles that have either been donated to the Park of brought
along by animal welfare groups. Lovingly cared for these various
creatures are used to educate children in order for them to
gain an appreciation of the varied animals with which we share
The Conservatory at Pearson Park is well worth a visit. Thank
you Arthur for continued friendship.
Opening hours - 10.00a.m. to 4.00p.m. daily.
Admission is free.
To find by car - Follow the Beverley Road (A1033) into the
outskirts of Hull. Follow signs for City Centre. Once clear
of the turnings for North Sea Ferries and the University complex
you will see Sainsbury's on your left-hand side. Go straight
over two sets of traffic lights and, a short distance on, the
entrance to Pearson Park is in a side road on your right-hand
side. Follow the bend on your left and go round to the very
end of the Park. Here you will find the Conservatory on your