Monday, 25 September 2017

What a performance!

As well as the morris dancers there were a few others putting on a show on Saturday afternoon. The Elvis look-alikey was, well I won't say good because he wasn't terribly, more persistent. He did put it out on a grand scale singing along to backing tracks complete with all the Elvis pelvic manoeuvres for well over an hour and a half to my knowledge. It was hard not to laugh ...

And not to be out done just along the street was this colourful display of South American (Peruvian?) native costume. Playing the pan pipes, of course, and again to backing tracks. I'll let you have a guess at what the tune was ... yes, yes, it was El Condor Pasa! ( well it just had to be! ).

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Just the other day I was saying ...

... what Trinity Square needed to make it complete after the installation of its very expensive reflective puddles was a dozen or so steel cylinders, make them about twelve foot tall, perforated and accessible so you can look up at the sky; oh and lit up at night. You see someone was listening ...

This well ventilated installation (described as "thought provoking" but what the provoked thoughts might be I leave to your imagination) is the latest in the seemingly never ending Year of Cultural Largesse. It does have one good thing going for it: It'll be gone by next year.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Hull Day of Dance

I was late getting away and not helped by the buses and the unusually heavy Saturday traffic so I only caught about half an hour or so of the Hull Day of Dance. Hundreds of folk performers "on a scale like never before" was on offer. Still the little I saw was bright, colourful and entertaining. Town was full of morris dancers wandering about in wonderful costumes and as they wear bells the noise was somewhat odd as well.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Cormorant Boat

It shows how much notice I take of my surroundings when I discover that this sculpture, Cormorant Boat by Kate Siddle, recently unveiled on Nelson Street had actually stood for nigh on thirty years  by the Marina. Couldn't have made much of an impression because I don't remember it at all ... anyhow at some point in 2008 it was removed and disappeared for a few years. Where was it? Well you can find out where Hull keeps its works of art in this link.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meet the neighbours

I don't know about you but I often watch adverts and wonder what mind altering substance was involved in their creation. So it is with this beguiling invitation for a student accommodation business near the University. What were they taking? And can I have some?

Margot took this delightful photo.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Trinity Market

The indoor market has had a large loss of customers and was a pretty depressing empty place. So it is having a rebrand with new designed stalls and new signage but in the end its just a market and if folk don't come then it'll be a closed market.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Pro

I suppose I could have used this for this month's theme of photographing the photographer. This guy had a serious amount of kit and clearly had a date somewhere as he marched along Jameson Street a few weeks ago.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Some Hull stuff

The Prospect Centre is having some work done on the lift and to protect Joe Public boards have been erected and to hide or brighten up these boards these decorative Hull based adornments have been added. So clockwise from the top right: Amy Johnson seeming to leap from England to Australia; a footballing tiger representing the local football club, Hull City aka the Tigers (though this year I'm told they are playing like pussy cats), a fisherman with what appear to be laughing cod (clearly a Mickey take of the Hessle Road mural), and finally a not very convincing and somewhat puzzled Philip Larking (as the Daily Mail recently called him) with a toothy toad. There's another panel that I couldn't photograph (on account of there being a stall in the way) with rugby players on it but I reckon you can have too much of a good thing.

There are more Monday murals here.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Masters Bar

At the junction of Jameson Street and South Street stands this little gem of Edwardian baroque revival. It was built in 1903 and is, of course, protected by a Grade 2 listing.

I'll mention  here (without comment) an odd little poster that you may have noticed in the top photo. It's for that Larkin exhibition at the University which I posted about a few weeks ago.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Cone Zone

Goddard Avenue gets the thorough ligature treatment while major surgery is performed on Newland Avenue, and pedestrians are protected by hundreds of yards of barriers.

But where are the workers, the heavy rollers, the fiery tar dragon laying thick, lovely smelly tarmac? Well it seems they finished the first part early and scarpered before I could get there. But this is a five week show, they'll be back next week for part two.

Friday, 15 September 2017

On second thoughts

For the sake of civic virtue
They've got fountains there that squirt you...

Now that the summer is all but over and  the leaves are starting to think about submitting to gravity and there's a little bit of a chill in the air, the screaming kids have gone back to school and are no longer treating Queen Victoria Square as a public showering place and playground maybe now, on reconsideration, this fountain thing is not so bad after all.

(Margot played no small role in this picture in so far as she clicked the shutter, I took it upon myself to play with it thereafter.)
The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 14 September 2017


You know how I like the Council and greatly admire the wisdom of  its ways. Well this week I learnt that in order to minimise disruption caused by long overdue roadworks the Council have wisely chosen not to do this work at weekends and at night but rather on Monday through Friday from half sevenish in the morning until six thirty in the evening. This has, quite fortuitously, caused some truly beautiful tailbacks and gridlocks; reports of three minute journeys taking an hour and all those marvellous delays and hold ups that make life in this beautiful city so bearable and make me love Hull City Council more and more each day. And as there are to be five more weeks of this I feel like giving them a big kiss! Mwah! Mwah!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Omne solum forti patria ...

Omne solum forti patria est ut piscibus aequor, 
ut volucri vacuo quicquid in orbe patet

Hull being the cultured place that it is it should come as no surprise to find Ovid quoted on the corner of Hessle Road and the Boulevard. 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

"A handsome and spacious new establishment"

Mr Craft and his company it appeared had designs to have stores on the main roads into Hull. Starting in the mid 1880s with Beverley Road by 1912 they had one on Witham and one on Anlaby Road and by 1914 would have had one on Hessle Road had not an Archduke and his wife taken a wrong turn in Sarajevo. So anyhow Crafts' Ltd proudly opened their Hessle Road store in May 1919. The local paper, the Hull Daily Mail, was there and gave it a big write up. We are given a description of this "innovation for Hessle Road" that reads like an architectural review: "As one approaches the new premises, the impression is of an effectively designed building, of lofty proportions, with distinct architectural features. The design suggests a modern business establishment on the lines of the great London stores. The fabric is a Royal Doulton terracotta facade with alternate squares and graceful circular columns. On the ground floor are two large semi-island windows and two large side windows. The building is surmounted with an imposing dome." I'm guessing this was cut and pasted or whatever was the style in those days from a Crafts' Ltd press release. The ground floor we are told sold "goods in the carpet line, dress and cotton fabrics, gentlemen's outfitting goods, boots, etc.. The first floor we are informed ""will be of great interest to the ladies, for here are to be found the most modern underclothing, baby linen, smart blouses and the latest fashionable hats, effectively displayed at prices which appear to be most reasonable." It ends optimistically: "It is safe to say that Messrs Craft's new stores... will be quickly appreciated."...
Maybe the stores were appreciated I don't know. I can say that today there are no Crafts' stores in Hull. I can find no reference to what happened to these dreams stores, maybe the downturn in the 20s and 30s was too much, or maybe they spent too much on terracotta columns and imposing domes (which, by the way, seems to have disappeared). The handsome and spacious establishment now sells camping equipment and outdoor clothing: The store website informs us: "You’ll find everything from jackets, fleeces, t-shirts, trousers and shorts, hoodies, base layers (???) and workwear ." Maybe they should get the HDM to do them a write up.

Monday, 11 September 2017

"Amazing murals adding colour to Beverley Road ..."

So ran the headline in the local supplier of hyperbole aka the Hull Daily Mail a few months back and as it's Monday I can't be bothered to argue. This one depicts the courageous struggle of a yellow coffee cup with sword and shield against an army of red ones ... like I say it's Monday just go with the flow. There's another equally "amazing" mural up the road.... maybe some other time.

There are more Monday murals here.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

New uses and abuses

On Spring Bank, the former waiting room for hell has been transformed into an ice cream parlour. I appreciate the grey and red decor and am glad that a good use has been found for this building. 

I do however have a slight concern about what this sign could possibly mean ... surely not.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

On the turn

So to the Westwood where there was still plenty of greenery about but quite few trees giving up on the year and getting ready for an exceptionally early Autumn.

Of course I had to say Hi to that old chestnut that I always photograph whenever I come up here. There's still a bit of a problem with parked cars but not as bad as it was.

There were dozens of these Red Admirals, it's been a really good year for them from what I've seen. Also dozens of dragon flies which wouldn't sit still so could not be photographed.

And finally the mortal remains of that old lime tree which was hanging on to life by a thread last time I was here. I like the way it's been chopped up and left to rot away, no tidying up in these parts.

Friday, 8 September 2017

North Bar, Beverley

I posted about this remnant of Beverley's town walls so many years ago there's no harm in going back again. Back then I told the history of the North Bar but what I didn't mention and what few these days might credit is that the local bus company had special buses made with a sloped roof designed to pass under the Bar. Nowadays a single decker passes through with no bother but forty five or more years ago it was a much tighter squeeze. And yes I do remember seeing these buses when I was so much younger than today.

Photo 'borrowed' from here.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Trafalgar Street

There's nothing much about Trafalgar Street which runs for no particular reason off Beverley Road. There's a flint faced church long empty and for sale, fenced off and growing buddleia, but with some nice gargoyles. And there's a fading memorial to a senseless murder of a father of two on New Year's Day three years ago. And that's about it really.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Window Pain

I guess an eatery by the name of Roosters Plaice (sic) might not be to everyone's taste and so it came to pass that the business closed several years ago. Since when it's been empty and, as is the style in these parts, it has attracted the attention of those who think creation comes through destruction. I heard of plans for a gym for this building on Princes Avenue but that was some time ago and it's still empty.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Long Wait

It's been a while since I posted about Castle Street and its problems. I know you'll be wanting to see how much amazing progress has been made in alleviating this black spot. Well I can tell you that, after the fourth delay, absolutely and definitely work will not start until 2020 at the very earliest and will almost certainly possibly be finished by 2025 that is assuming that the Highways Agency is still going then (they could all be drawing their pensions before this gets built) and as this is their most difficult project to date they might just swoon and faint with all the complications. Apparently the HA needs to "resolve technical and practical challenges" I hope that is official  speak for pulling its finger out but I doubt it. To put this delay into some kind of perspective, this country will negotiate its exit from the EU within a year and a bit  by 2019! A person might reasonably assume then that the delay is due not to technical issues but to a lack of political will. If this was in London then firstly the problem would never have arisen and secondly if it did it would have been resolved years ago. So, anyhow, I won't need to post about this for another three years, unless something happens again to delay things, which seems highly unlikely don't you think?

The glorious £250 million plan, in case you're interested, is, put simply, to drop the road at this junction by twenty odd feet so traffic can cross over it without traffic lights. Seems easy enough to this pilgrim but then I know nothing of the "technical and practical challenges". The video below allows you to fly along some future Castle Street, the way things stand this may the closest this plan gets to taking off.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Virtual Saint Wilberforce

In Paragon Station, tucked away behind the Larkin Statue there's a machine which displays a video of this green coated 3D monstrosity claiming to be one living breathing up-to-date William Wilberforce ("I'm Hull through and through!"; "So, with others, I set about creating a movement, the first human rights movement in the world." gives you a flavour). It's supposed to be a tour-de-force of modern graphic wizardry, actually it's quite poor quality and the damn thing doesn't even come close to looking like Wilberforce and has more the look of Mr Potato Head. But that is only the beginning. All day long this ghastly display gives a repetitive narrative of self-encomiums. It's good job he's facing forward as the sunlight shining from his backside would be blinding. It is a truly awful thing to behold. It's also an absolute bugger to photograph as well which is why if you care to peer at this guy's armpit you will see my own balding potato head, basking in reflective glory.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Get out and give it a push

Oh the modern car is a wondrous thing with its  fuel economy engines, air bags, sat navs, and all the latest technology gizmos. But when it breaks down it's just two tons of scrap blocking the road.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Kickabout on Jameson Street

Ah the wonderful game inspires all sorts to demonstrate their ball skills (or lack of them) in the oddest places. Somehow I don't think this guy is going to picked up for millions of pounds by some premier league team.

Friday, 1 September 2017


The first day of September brings a new theme from City Daily Photo: Photographing the photographer. So knowing this I held these two back from that glorious Saturday in July when the streets of Hull were filled with wondrous traditional music and dancing. The lady with the camera is a member of the local morris team, Rackaback Morris who not only organised the other teams but put on a good show themselves. I see from their site there is to be a Hull Day of Dance on Saturday September 23rd. Should be yet another fun day.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Wanna buy another bank or two?

As the money flowed in during the boom times of  the turn of last century so the banks thought it wise to make a presence on Hessle Road. So substantial buildings adorned, as was the style in those days, with the symbols of strength and security were built to supply the needs of the local trawler owners, skippers and three day millionaires (though perhaps not so much the latter). Lions with shields were the choice here on the Yorkshire Bank ...

...and a shield with lions at Barclays.
No matter, now the money is now no longer flowing the banks are both empty and for sale along with the strength and security.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Gold Medal Post Box, Hessle Road

Can it really be five years since I posted about the golden phone box outside the unemployment office? It had been painted gold after some local lad won a gold medal in the boxing at the London Olympics. I knew they'd also painted a pillar box gold somewhere on Hessle Road but had not come across it until now. OK I admit I wasn't really looking very hard, boxing, Olympics not really being my thing ... Well anyway here it is looking in need of new coat of the gold stuff. There's a wee plaque on the side that tells you all about it. It says ... well you can read it yourself.

The pillar box itself has the monogram of King Edward VII so dates between 1901 and 1910, the boom years of Hessle Road.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Dairycoates, Hessle Road

This pub was built in the mid 1870's to cater for the thirsts of railway workers at the engine sheds of the Hull and Selby Railway. The railway arrived in the 1830s and transformed what was an agricultural hamlet with a population of just three in 1823 into one of the largest  engine shops in the north east. To this then add the arrival of St Andrew's Dock for the fishing fleet in 1883 and you can see how Dairycoates, a veritable boom town, might be spreading eastwards to meet the westward surge of Hull just two miles down the road. By the turn of the 20th century the union was complete with all signs of agriculture long gone and Dairycoates just another busy and overcrowded area of the city as Hull continued to surge out westward towards Hessle and Anlaby. 
Today no one with an ounce of sense uses steam engines so the engine sheds are long gone. The former rail track is now the busy A63 dual carriage way of ill repute. Iceland's decision to extend its fishing limits and other factors including the EU saw off the fishing fleet. St Andrew's Dock is now a silted up mess with dereliction and vandalism a real problem The area is given over to supermarkets like ASDA and Lidl and to small industrial firms. I doubt if even three people now live in the area of the original hamlet. All that seems to remain is this colourful pub, a nearby Dairycoates Avenue and a flyover known as the Dairycoates Flyover.

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Half Way, Hessle Road

That's half way between Hessle and Hull. As a crow flies it's about four and a half miles from the centre of old town Hull to Hessle's bustling heart so maybe it's five or so miles on the ground.  A fair walk but hardly exhausting. Nevertheless you'd need some refreshment if going to either destination, and if overcome by dread or fatigue you could rest up at the Half Way Hotel.  This place, by the look of it built in the first half of the 19th century when Hessle Road was a turnpike and ran through open fields, is no longer a hotel but still refreshes so I'm told. The large mural I showed the other day is on the far side.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Annoying lamp post thingies, Hessle Road

What can I say about these odd decorative features attached to street lights? I don't know who made them, when they went up or anything at all about them other than their obvious local theme. They quite interesting but also a bit annoying as you have to be at a certain angle before they catch the light and reveal the picture within. There's a fair few of them; I limited myself to four.

PS: I've just found out that the local rugby league team won their cup final at Wembley for the second year in a row. So there'll be much rejoicing on Hessle Road and thereabouts.