I posted about this bridge before (here) with an image that positively glowed with almost bucolic splendour. But this is a major river crossing with thousands of vehicles passing through this bottleneck each day so you know it's not really all sunshine and roses. In fact it's a little piece of hell if you happen to be on foot; noisy, polluted and impossible to cross over should you wish get to the other side of the road.
As I'm sitting here it's been raining more or less continuously for a day with another day's worth waiting to come in off the North Sea. Still if it didn't rain ever this place would soon disappear. The land around Driffield is pretty leaky with lots of springs where the rain that's percolated through the chalky Yorkshire Wolds spurts out. The Keld (from the Scandinavian/Viking for spring) is one such water hole that used to be part of a water powered mill. The whole area is now protected as part of the Millennium Greens project and is well worth searching out (it's not well sign posted).
A few years ago Charley abandoned his nice home and caring 'owners' two streets down to come and live in our garden and how could we refuse him? He's an expert ratter and catcher of mice but is prone to act the idiot at times hence his usual name of Shanny (which means "daft as a brush" in Norfolk but check out the Urban dictionary definition here!).
Brunswick Avenue runs off Beverley Road and was built around 1880-1890 as Hull sprawled outwards. It was once a tree lined avenue with elm trees every ten or twelve feet. When I used to live round here about the mid 1980's there were just a dozen or so left, what demolition and rebuilding hadn't destroyed Dutch Elm disease was killing off one by one until now there are just four left outside the PDSA building on the left.
I never really liked living in this place. The area around here is almost entirely council housing with attendant social (should that be anti-social?) problems and though an old neighbour who I met told me it was quiet and peaceful she added "You must never leave your windows open for fear of burglars sneaking in". The yellow skip disappearing into the distance is carrying off tons of fly-tipped rubbish dumped into a garden on the right that I have just had the pleasure of removing. Why, I ask myself, lift sofas and armchairs over a five foot fence when you could just leave them at the back with no trouble?
After a bit of searching around I found a drawing of Brunswick Avenue by Frederick Smith dated 1888, thanks to Hull City Museums.
OK try not laugh. This is the only jacaranda tree I've seen in this country and it's a very straggly pale specimen. Since the jacaranda is really at home in tropical and sub-tropical regions of central America and the Caribbean I don't think it's a wonder it grows at all in the temperate, at times nithering, north of England. (but see here for what these beauties can do when they really get going) It's also been protected during the renovation of the Cleminson Hall site.
As the snows and frosts of Winter fade to a distant memory it becomes time to dust down the old willow bat, rub in the linseed oil, whiten the pads, don the white flannels and peaked cap and stride out to face the bowling. Hah! as if! Even so many do play up and play the game, there are many local cricket leagues which are fiercely competitive especially in Yorkshire which likes to think itself home to the best (it's God's own county don't you know?). Here's Driffield's neat little ground where the groundsman had just finished preparing for a match, it's great ritual of cutting and rolling the pitch till it's just right, painting the creases and so on. I hope they managed to finish before the evening thunder storm rolled in and rain stopped play.
Many years ago on the radio the Goon Show had a catch phrase or running joke, I suppose you might call it, where someone (little Jim?) would say (in a strange voice) "he's fallenin dawater". This would for some reason have the audience in paroxysms of laughter. Ah those were the days, long ago, when there was probably some water to fall into at this point on the river, nowadays you'll most likely get a concussion from the mud and that's no joke.
Umbers by the Humber, ah well. This is yet another part of the seemingly endless fish trail that winds round the town and pops up when you least expect it. This is part of a small shoal carved into the planks of Victoria Pier. You may know umbers as grayling, but "grayling by the Humber" doesn't quite do it, does it?
I've posted before about the old fruit market area around Humber Street. Nearby there's a place called Hull Art Lab which was once a potato merchant's building. Usually it's locked up but the other day the doors were open ( I suspect malfeasance). So I peeped through the gap to see what's what. Basically it's empty, as in deserted , with just these scribblings decorating the place. The writing on the floor "I was even more shocked to see the state of Hull, fires were burning everywhere" is, believe it or not, a quote from some testimony given to the BBC's WW2 People's War archive!
I've just found out it's been closed since November 2006 and presumably standing empty for eight years. Anyhow the place is now open to the elements and naughty folks so I don't know what will become of it.
Postscript: I am reliably informed that this building, or rather the space it occupies, will be part of the centre for innovative digital companies (C4DI) that I mentioned last October (here).
I thought there would have been more of this football related nonsense about town given that the local club have reached the FA cup final for the first time. There are surprisingly few displays of flags and so on. Anyhow there were two or three touts trying their luck in town yesterday with very few takers. They've got scarves, tee shirts and flags, however, the truly dedicated aficionado can buy a toilet seat decorated in team colors with the face of the manager on the lid, I kid you not. I hear you ask who are the opposition in this contest? Some small time club by the name of Arsenal. Kickoff's 5pm tomorrow, it'll be a walkover ...
The Elephant and Castle on Holderness Road seems to have been for sale for years now. Anyhow it's boarded up, buddleia has taken over the window box and the paint is peeling off. Mind you it's not alone, there's many an empty boarded up shop on this stretch. I note the price has been reduced, even so, I doubt it'll be selling pints any time soon. The vogue nowadays seems to be to convert these sort of buildings into flats.
Here's the brand new park clock in East Park. The money needed to erect it, some £20,000, was raised by one of the parks longest serving rangers, Stuart McDonald. It took him four years to raise the money by organizing games for the children who visited the
park, Crazy golf, Tombolas, collections and Xmas events. Others have noticed there is no plaque to tell of his hard work and have suggested it be known as Stuart's Clock, a suggestion I'm all too happy to go along with. Well done to him and all who helped.
I mentioned in passing many months ago that Westwood Road, Beverley had the most expensive houses in this area. Personally I can't see the attraction of these Victorian terraced mansions nor even the grand villas opposite (that's not to say I wouldn't take one if offered). I suppose once you've made your pile you must find a suitable place to flaunt it.
Along the riverside it's an all too common sight to see these little floral tributes to those who died at sea and also, as has just been pointed out to me, those whose ashes are scattered on the Humber.
A rather tattered old rag hanging over the bankrupt Blockbuster video store on Newland Avenue. The news today that GDP will finally creep back 2008 levels has hardly been met with dancing in the street but maybe if the local football team win the FA cup in week's time there may be some small celebration.
Long, long ago this was known as the Humber Dock Tavern though I suspect that even then it was called the Green Bricks. Until a few yew years ago it was quite a small place then it grew and grew so that it now stretches half way down the street. I've shown this place before but I reckon it's worth another look.
This is the archway entrance to the old Trinity House school that has now moved to bigger premises across town.
Now then, this being the well ordered place that it is a row has broken out between Trinity House who own the building and the Council. TH want to knock down the red brick building you see in the background and turn the cleared area into a car park! (Yes the cars would have to pass through this archway) Not to be outdone the Council have decided to make the street outside this place a pedestrian area, effectively putting the kibosh on TH's madcap little scheme and upsetting several other businesses in the process. The Council claims it wants to attract more people to use the Princes Dock side cafes but as the pedestrianisation is only in effect between 11am and 4pm it's not going to affect the evening/night trade and seems to be a quite perverse action. But, hey, it's not the first stupid thing the Council has done and I doubt it will be last.
Close by the Minerva pub near Victoria Pier sits this cute little slate sculpture entitled 'Tide turning'. I must have passed it dozens of times and not really noticed it, so I guess you can call it unobtrusive. No doubt someone, some where knows who made it but I haven't been able to find out.
Should I be tempted to cover my balding pate do you think I should take to wearing a fluorescent toupée? It might brighten up my life, make me stand out out in a crowd ... I muse on this because not one but two shops selling gaudy wigs have sprung up in town. This, on Paragon Street, had the larger and more colourful selection. Now the green or the pink? Choices, choices ...
As mentioned back in February Hull has a land train now up and running. For £4 (I'm assuming we're all adults here) you can ride the beast from Queen Victoria square through the old town all the way across the wide and beautiful river to the Deep and back again in a little over an hour. Or you could just walk it for nowt, as we say in these parts .... when I took this picture there did seem to be more staff than passengers but maybe trade will pick up.
I suppose I should tell you that this thing has a website, here, last time I looked though it was"under construction". Unless it actually runs me over or falls into the river I shan't be mentioning this again.
Long, long ago Margot's parents came to Hull for her graduation ceremony in the City Hall. They stopped off for a meal in a Chinese restaurant, after their meal they asked the way to the City Hall and were told to go along the road until they came to the "round square". From that day forth Queen Victoria square has been known in these circles as the round square. Back then it had traffic circulating the regal urinals and did not look like a paved desert. We are told this space will feature prominently in the 2017 C of C thing; well that'll be fun then won't it....
May day is traditionally a day of protest by workers against whatever it is workers don't like, usually low wages, the system, the bosses and the bourgeoisie and so on. Today's City Daily Photo first-day-of-the-month theme dictated to us without democratic choice is 'squares'. So in the spirit of the day and not to be cowed by the growing tyranny of theme days I give you this ornate entrance on Bowlalley Lane which is marred only by those two quite unnecessary quadrilaterals.
If you must seek squares you should look elsewhere.