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Future Humber

30 Years of Bondholders: A look back at 1994

19 June 2024

2024 is the year we celebrate 30 years of Bondholders. Did you know that the Humber Bondholders scheme, launched in 1994, was the very first of its kind in the UK? The region is known for innovation and trailblazing and the Bondholders scheme is a perfect example of people coming together to make something remarkable happen. 

1994 flashback 30 Years of Bondholders 1

In the 30 years since Bondholders was launched, the region has seen a lot of changes. With a rich industrial heritage, the city of Hull and the surrounding regions of East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire have seen their fair share of decline and rebirth. There have been political changes both locally and nationally, fluctuations in the economy which have left their mark, and a whole raft of culture permeating our diverse and distinctive communities.  

Hull has seen major developments and projects such as The Deep and City of Culture status elevate the city’s image further afield, and new industries such as renewable energy and digital have emerged which have added to economic prosperity and job stability. The traditional industries which the Humber has been known for, such as agriculture and food processing, have continued to thrive, and innovation has remained a key theme across the whole region.  

1994 can seem like such a long time ago, especially when you compare where we were then to where we are now. But how much do you remember from that year? 

Here’s our rundown of what was happening in the UK and in the Humber 30 years ago. 


Nationally, the Conservative party were in power, and John Major was Prime Minister. He had succeeded the outgoing Margaret Thatcher 4 years previously and would get another 3 years in office before the Labour party’s landslide election victory in 1997. 

John Smith was the official leader of the opposition and he was proving to be fairly popular but he would die suddenly in the May leaving a battle over leadership and the subsequent, highly probable PM-ship. MP for Hull East John Prescott was in the leadership race but lost out to Tony Blair. Instead, John would become Deputy Leader and then Deputy Prime Minister in Tony Blair’s new government.  

Locally, we were all still in Humberside – the county would not officially be abolished for another two years. 

Further afield, the President of the US was Bill Clinton, who would serve until 2001, Boris Yeltsin was the leader in Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union two years earlier, and Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president. 


1994 was Winter Olympics year and they were held in Lillehammer in Norway with Team GB winning only 2 bronze medals. The Commonwealth Games were held in Victoria, Canada and we did better with the four home nations each making it into the top 10 on the medals table.  

Pete Sampras and Conchita Martinez were the singles champions at Wimbledon, F1 driver Damon Hill was the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Cambridge won the boat race, Brazil won the World Cup (again) and Manchester United topped the English Premier League while the world of F1 mourned the loss of Ayrton Senna. 

Locally, Hull City and their top scorer Dean Windass were in Division Two, Grimsby Town were faring better playing in the new Division One, and Scunthorpe United, in their relatively new Glanford Park home, were a solid feature of Division Three. Better days were ahead.  

There was not much more joy to be found in Rugby League with Hull FC finishing outside the top 8 in the First Division and Hull KR finding themselves relegated to the Second Division for the 1994-95 season. Again, better days would be on the horizon.  

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In November, the first ever National Lottery draw takes place, and (almost) every single one of us was immediately disappointed.  

It was the year we discovered who Fred and Rose West were and it turns out they were not nice people. 

The Channel Tunnel, connecting the UK to France, officially opened after six years of construction.  

Locally, there was excitement as Concorde arrives at Humberside Airport, and concern as the recently opened B&Q on Stoneferry Road in Hull goes up in flames.  

See more at  



The 90s saw great strides in technology though for the majority, 1994 wasn’t really awash with smartphones and the internet. Nokia was the big name in mobile telephony – the 2010 and 2110 models came out this year.  

Tim Berners-Lee officially invented the World Wide Web and almost instantaneously, Jeff Bezos launches Amazon. Yahoo! was the leading name in search engines, and most of us were still very confused by the whole thing.  

Dial up internet was pretty much the only way we could access the new-fangled World Wide Web. The BBC’s website launched in 1994, as did The Economist’s. Sadly, Hamsterdance was still not available and would not be for another whole four years. What a treat we were missing.  

This clip from the BBC is a great overview of where we were in 1994 and an almost prothetic look at the internet’s potential 

Visit at 

In the world of gaming, we were playing on Nintendo GameBoys and Sega Mega Drives with games like Earthworm Jim and Mortal Kombat II being big sellers. Finish him!  

Films and TV 

Four Weddings and a Funeral was the big British film of the year. Other box office favourites included Pulp Fiction, Speed, and Forrest Gump.  

On TV, Beth and Margaret were causing a stir on Brookside, Chris Evans is upsetting people on Don’t Forget your Toothbrush, we watch the last ever That’s Life! and the first ever The X-Files, and no, no, no, no, no, no, yes, The Vicar of Dibley starts on the BBC.  

What were you watching in 1994?  

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Love is All Around by Wet, Wet, Wet would feel like the only song to be released in 1994, however we were also treated to sounds from the likes of Chaka Demus and Pliers, Whigfield, and the Rednex. 

BritPop emerged in the UK with Parklife by Blur being heard just about everywhere. Richie Edwards was still with Manic Street Preachers, Bernard Butler was on his way out of Suede, and Oasis burst onto the scene with their debut album Definitely, Maybe.  

D:Ream predicted that things can only get better, and East 17 were at number 1 for Christmas.  

Internationally, the theme had been grunge for a year or so but 1994 was the year that the music world lost Kurt Cobain. 

For fans of the Now! series of compilation albums, we were at numbers 27 to 29. Do you have these in your collection? 

Eurovision was held in Dublin, Ireland for the second year in a row and won by Ireland, granting them the honour of hosting it for a third time. The UK entry was We Will Be Free sung by Frances Ruffelle. We came 10th apparently, and no, I don’t remember this one either.  

Score for the Humber as The Beautiful South’s Carry on up the Charts went to number 1 in the UK album charts.  

Oh, and the Radio 1 Roadshow came to Cleethorpes!  

Want to know what else was popular in 1994? Have a listen to our carefully curated Spotify playlist. *We can’t take responsibility for any ear worms that may be caused, nor are we accepting any complaints about the quality of music in 1994. It’s not our fault. We blame Whigfield entirely.  

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