Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Let's have a butchers ...


Here is Princes Avenue's sole remaining butcher's shop, T L Norman. Now it's been called T L Norman for longer than I've lived in Hull but Mr Norman retired a while ago and it's now run by some body else. Looking for something to say about this I found that there used to be six butchers on the avenue, I can only remember two others. They are now either a café or a bar along with just about every other shop that used to trade in this street.



This miserable year appears to have run out of days ... more of the same tomorrow then! Oh and remember; “Better the butcher than the meat.”. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Two statues

Continuing in the vein of stuff that somehow didn't get posted earlier here are two statues from Beverley Minster. On the left King Æthelstan who, I am informed, came along to Beverley Minster to see the tomb of Saint John of Beverley (shown on the right as a bishop) before going off to kill a few hundred Scots and Danes, which was the style at the time. Both statues are made of lead and painted to match the stone interior, they date from the 18th century. Beverley Minster owes a lot to these two, King Æth. for his "pious munificence" and St J. for his bones which brought in the tourists, erm sorry, pilgrims.


Monday, 29 December 2014

Here's one I did earlier


Somehow this one didn't get posted in August when I took it. It's underneath Chanterlands Avenue rail bridge. It was at about this time (and those of you with a weak stomach may wish to leave now) that the local rag ran a story of "inch long maggots" falling from this bridge onto the heads of unsuspecting pedestrians. It seems the rail company (or the Council, it was never clear who) had put up netting to keep pigeons from nesting but which instead trapped said birds (I saw at least two there may have been more) and led to a prolonged death by starvation and with the warm weather an inevitable host of maggots which left the rotting corpse when ready to pupate, falling like some biblical plague on the sinners below. The Council was informed and the Council sent an officer round to inspect and to write a report and then the Council undertook to study the report carefully and the Council said it would take swift and appropriate action should it be deemed necessary ...

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Some scrapings from the bottom of the barrel


I've not been out and about much lately what with colds, seasonal social interference aka Xmas, looking after a large black dog and so on. So I've been sifting through pictures taken earlier this year and came across this bunch all from Humber Dock Street or nearby and all pretty similar so I thought I'd bunch them all up in one big post. The first two are the Minerva which I have shown in daylight here and here.


Below is the award-winning restaurant 1884 which I posted just before it opened here.


Thieving Harry's I posted recently here.



Saturday, 27 December 2014

Sign of authority


Tucked away in a little brick hut and behind steel grills the harbour master's office near Drypool bridge is a reminder that, from the Humber to the northern boundary of the city of Hull, the navigation authority on the river Hull is Hull City Council. HCC's website informs us that "A harbour master is on duty from three hours before high water (HW) Hull (Albert Dock) until HW or later if required, except Sundays" and that the HM is responsible for the operation of the movable bridges that link both halves of this fair city. Actually I don't think the harbour master works from this building any more as his/her address is the Guildhall, Alfred Gelder Street, and given that hardly any navigating seems to go on nowadays the post must almost be a sinecure. 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Festive fun


And how did you spend your Christmas morning? Why trying to identify this fungus since you ask. And did you succeed in your mycological quest? Erm, no. The best I can come up with is that it's a bracket fungi (well, d'oh!) possibly an Alder Bracket though, as all the guides say, identification is tricky.  These guys are sprouting out of that dead chestnut tree I posted a while back on the 'decay' theme day .

Here they are with a bit of colour.


The weekend in black and white should be here if it hasn't been consumed by all the seasonal goings-on.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Umbúðamiðlun


Umbúðamiðlun translates as packing media which makes a kind of sense. Here the Icelanders and Norwegians seems to have the fish crate market stitched up between them on Bridlington's fish quay.

Monday, 22 December 2014

"Oh look! Here comes Dick with his pussy ..."

Pub sign on Commercial Road, Hull
I don't know if it's a particularly British thing but at this time of year most towns, villages and cities will have at least one pantomime show on offer. They may have differing titles such as Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Aladdin or Dick Whittington but essentially they are just the same old morality tale of good overcoming bad. The lead male is for some reason usually played by a woman and there's usually an old dame played by a man, all for comic effect (ha ha ha). Scripts are updated, no, updated is not the word since the jokes are as old as the world, to include scurrilous comments and innuendos about current events and personalities. Filthy puns are de rigueur , the filthier the better. There is always a sing-along with the lyrics somehow displayed on stage. If your panto doesn't include a prolonged session of "Oh no it isn't!" from the stage and an audience reply of "Oh yes it is!" then you should ask for a refund ... 
The only panto I've actually been to starred, if that is the word, the Shadows at Stockton ABC that was way, way back in around 1962. I think it may have been the mental scars from this experience that put me off all things 'festive' ever since. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

North Bridge


After two hundred and fifty years or so of going by ferry across the river the good citizens of Hull decided to move with the times and invest in the new-fangled technology, a bridge. As the bridge replaced the North Ferry it naturally became known as the North Bridge. Quite what the ferry men thought of this early example of displacement by new technology and subsequent loss of trade is not recorded. That was back in the boom times of 1541 and obviously the bridge has been rebuilt several times since then; the latest being in the late 1920's when this was put across a few yards further north than the previous bridge. The remains of that bridge are still just about visible next to this converted warehouse.


The Weekend in Black & White is here.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Listed buildings and respectability


A long while ago I was upbraided for referring to Midland Street as being "seedy". Did I not know that respectable people lived there and that there were two listed buildings in the neighbourhood and no fewer than five churches? Well actually I did not know that (about the buildings and churches, that is, I am well aware that the area's reputation is wholly undeserved and only saints and God fearing folk live in these parts) nor, to be honest, did I care much. 
Anyhow to make some sort of belated amends here are the two listed buildings, the front one with the odd tower is Owbridge Court, built 1895 as a cough mixture factory making Owbridge's Lung Tonic (I kid you not), the building's other name is the Laboratory!. The tonic was a mixture of chloroform, honey and alcohol and, as it said on the bottle, it never fails; just don't give it to babes under six months of age! In the distance is Turner Court originally built as model dwellings for working people in the 1860's and now flats owned by the William Sutton Trust and home to some, no doubt, very respectable people.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Klokketårn


This is the Danish Sailors' Church of  St Nikolaj on the corner of Osborne Street and Ferensway. This 1950's building replaced a Victorian building on the other side of the street destroyed in the bombing of Hull during the last war. There are bells in this tower but I've never heard them ring. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Rank House


I posted about this house on Holderness Road some three years ago,(here). It was once the home of J Arthur Rank, he of the films that began with a man and a gong. I mentioned then that it was in a bit of a state. Well now it's being repaired and restored for social housing. In the story I read it was expected that the first tenants would be in by the end of this year, it looks like they'll have get a move on to achieve that. Still, let's keep our quibbling to a minimum.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Green Bricks in the dark


Bleurgh! I'm feeling a bit like death warmed up at the moment so I'll just post this gloomy little scene and retire for a while with a warm drink and a bottle of aspirin, morituri te salutant....

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Sucks


Oh, give me a noose I can hang from the tree
I need no excuse to end my misery
this holiday season is all the more reason to die.

Oh, pull up a stool lend an ear to a fool
who once found some solace in the season of yule
this holiday season is all the more reason to cry.

I put on my mittens, one green and one red
and I walk alone where they bury the dead
the snow falls as I grieve its a gothic death rock
christmas eve.

The bottle is empty,
the sleigh has a flat,
the stripper in my bed is ugly and fat,
her tassles are tangled and what's worse - my jingle won't jangle.

This time of the year makes me sick to my guts
all this good cheer is a pain in the nuts
when it's your career to be down in the dumps
tidings of comfort and joy really suck.

I feel like St. Nicholas is pulling my leg
this thing we call Christmas is a sorry black plague
this holiday season is....
... all the more reason to die

Peter Murphy & Tom Waits (allegedly)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Click and Collect


This appeared just down the road a few weeks ago. It's a safe for parcels to be dropped off and then you come along and collect at your convenience. With all this internet shopping and so forth I suppose it saves having to organise redelivery if you are out when the postman calls. I have to say I've not seen anyone actually use it as yet.

Friday, 12 December 2014

East Park


As I often do at this time of year I visited East Park to see if the goosanders had arrived but I didn't see any. However I have heard that there several at another park over in west Hull maybe they just fancied a change of scenery. There were still plenty of seagulls on the lookout for a free lunch.


The weekend in black and white has snooken up on us again and it's here.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Playground in December


When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

At risk of sounding like a old codger what, I ask, is wrong with the youth of today? The first sign of a hint of chill in the air and no-one goes out to play.(Indeed does anyone go out to play in the park any more without some parent traipsing along to spoil the fun?) And what's with all that soft knee-friendly dirt surrounding those health-and-safety-approved slides and swings? Where is the broken glass, the concrete, the dog muck, the rusty squeaky Witch's hat and the vicious turntable ride that went faster and faster 'til you were flung off, dizzy and disoriented to graze your knees and the palms of your hands yet again? Ah just one more spin before it's time to go home...

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Splash Boat


In 1923 the council decided to build a splash boat and spent £1400 on materials and £474 2s 5d on building the tower so that folk can enjoy, yes that is word used, enjoy the experience of dropping 22 feet into the lake's welcoming waters aboard a small boat. Seems a simple enough pleasure. It is, of course, only a Summer thing, even the hardy folk of the City of Culture draw the line at splashing into ice.
When I first came to Hull it had been out of order for years but a heritage lottery funded renovation means that it works again or rather did work again until just the other day when vandals did thousands of pounds of damage. Even being a listed building doesn't protect from the anti-social brigade.
I was sure I had posted a picture of this before and indeed I have it's here.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Silver and Green Ginger


At the corner of Silver Street and Land of Green Ginger site this imposing pile of Portland stone built in 1873. No prizes for guessing it was once a bank, the Natwest bank in fact. Since the banking crisis means banks no longer have any need for savers to put real money in, they simply get their 'cash' from the Bank of England at zero charge, they have no need of expensive branches like this so it's been sold off. I've read that an application for permission for change of use to a "restaurant" and "drinking establishment" (I like that phrase even if it's yet another trendy wine bar!) has been made. I heard today that the much vaunted trickle down effect hasn't worked, but with all the coffee bars and boozers round here I think the trickle might become a flood ...

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Christmas Twee


Red and green? Check. Tree? Check. Gold decorations and seasonal lights? Check. Advent candles? Check. Little gifts under the tree? Check. Hint of religious overtones (but don't over do it)? Check
OK that's Christmas sorted....

As I battled my way through the massed hordes of Baron Samedi's zomby army in town the other day it was nice to find this calm retreat where the true meaning of the end-of-year festival was being celebrated. You see it's all about tree worship ....


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Irenic


Here's today's offering of  lights on the Humber's placid waters. Tomorrow I might find something colourful, who knows?
The weekend in black and white is happening here.
Weekend reflections are going on over here.

 Blogger tells me this is the 1500th posting I've made, I should get a life.

Friday, 5 December 2014

C is for Cloud


... and also for cold which is what the weather bods have told us it will be for the next few days. When I say 'cold' I mean, of course, British 'cold' not your sub-zero nonsense that others have to endure. C could also be for conspiracy but this is just an innocent little passing cloud and means you no harm, honest.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Fancy Font


As vaguely promised a few weeks ago here is the font of Beverley Minster with its elaborate cover dangling above it. The font itself is of marble from County Durham and dates from about 1070 so they say. The baroque carved lid is from 1726  by the Thornton family. Why did they need such an artefact? Why to stop people stealing the holy water, of course, you never know what sacrilegious nonsense they might put it to. It's a huge hideous object but as it was a gift I suppose the church could hardly turn it down.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Plain Ceiling


When I was posting about Beverley Minster a few months back I somehow forgot to show you the ceiling which, compared to Holy Trinity's in Hull, is a rather plain affair. I think on the whole I prefer this simpler decoration.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Computers? They'll never catch on ...


First proper computer I bought cost best part of £900 had a pathetic amount memory and disk space and was incredibly slow but this was before broadband, wi-fi and pre-Google and Facebook. It had Windows95 on it and was fond of giving a blue screen of death if the weather so much as changed slightly. By modern standards it was an abacus. It came from a company called Tiny who had store here on Ferensway. Days after the machine arrived Tiny went bankrupt as did so many successors and this store has been empty for years now. So although 21 million homes in the UK have a computer and access to the internet where ever they are getting their kit from it isn't from here.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Punnets, two for a pound!


"I love work,it fascinates me,I can sit and watch it for hours"
Jerome K. Jerome

For this month's City Daily Photo theme day of 'people in their workplace' I give you this slightly cheeky example of wardrobe malfunction known as Builder's Bum or Plumbers Butt or worse depending on low you wish to go ... best not eh!
They say the early bird catches the worm but if you want real cheap strawberries turn up late just as he's closing shop and desperate to get rid of 'em ....

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Jacob Bronoswki


Who he; do I hear you say? Or maybe: oh him, I remember him and his unbelievable, interminable, meliorist, nay almost utopian TV series and book entitled, with absolutely no sense of irony, The Ascent of Man. Yeah him. Seems this man who knew everything once had a job teaching maths at the University of Hull and I suppose he had to lodge somewhere so this place on Hallgate in Cottingham was his home. During his time here he was, as a Polish-Jewish immigrant, of course given the usual warm welcome this country remains famous for and duly put under surveillance by the security services. That sort of thing wouldn't happen these days now would it?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Riverhead Apartments, Driffield


Nothing much changes or so it seems at this place. It was just like this when I first came here nearly half a century ago. Maybe the warehouse apartment developments are newish but it looks much the same.


The weekend seems to have crept up on us again. See it in black and white here. Or see its reflection here.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Expect Delays


I may have mention once or twice the problem that is Castle Street and that money had been agreed for a grand plan to alleviate some of the mess that is caused by funnelling a motorway into a inner-city dual carriageway. By now the detailed plans should be available, well it is well known that "should" butters no parsnips. These plans will not now be available until next Springtime (when birds do sing hey ding a ding, ding). I'm all for measuring twice and cutting once but to keep on putting things back will mean the actual work will neatly coincide with that other Hull problem the 2017 City of Culture. (One of themes I have heard is to be "Roots and Routes" so maybe it's all part of fiendish plan.) Drivers and that includes visitors to the cultural delights will be advised to take alternative routes, that is shorthand for find your own way through the infernal gridlock, matey, you're on your own! You have been warned.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Did Britannia waive the rules?


This building on the corner of Whitefriargate and Land of Green Ginger was built in 1886 to house the Colonial and United States Mortgage Company. The architects were one Mr Clamp and our old friend Alfred Gelder. I know nothing of the Colonial and US Mortgage Company, Google refuses to enlighten me. I can tell you that many years after it was built it housed another mortgage company, the Britannia Building Society, later to become the Britannia Bank. Why isn't it still a branch of Britannia? Well you know it's just the old, old story ....

The Britannia Building Society, was caught up in the dying embers of the 2008 crash. It was  formed in the mid 19th century and was the second largest building society until it merged with the Cooperative Bank in 2009. Now I'm not going to say there was a criminal enterprise involved because no-one has been charged with anything but  the Britannia  had a boat load of bad debts (sub-prime garbage) on its books. The merged concerned had to be 'distanced' from the mutual Co-op and in effect bought out. Expect a huge legal brouhaha over all this. Meanwhile if you know anyone who wants a Victorian French renaissance style office and erstwhile bank, here's one going spare.

Here's how it looked when new and yes it was enlarged at a later date. And quite how, despite being a listed building, that ornate frontage was replaced with  plate glass dreck is probably a story too murky for sensitive souls.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

McCoys


...and what to do with an old office building? Why not turn it into yet another outlet for that cultural delight that is coffee? Whether or not this is the real McCoy I couldn't say. OK that's enough coffee shops for now, I don't even drink the stuff ... give me a nice cup of tea anyday.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Thieving Harry's


What to do with an old fruit and veg merchant's warehouse? Simple, turn it into the "forefront of Hull’s developing coffee scene". Why Thieving Harry's I don't know, it's as good a name as any. And while you or I might just turn on the tap and brew up these guys are taking things just that little bit further, well read their 'coffee' page to see what I mean. Reverse osmosis!? The place seems to be thriving with excellent reviews and there is always the views over the marina to keep you occupied.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Fiat Lux


"Hey", said the guy who was fishing off the Corporation Pier, "they actually work! I thought they were just for show!" I looked a bit non-plussed, what could he mean?. "The fancy lights", he explained, "they work, not just decoration!" And I bet you thought it was just me that was cynical in these parts ...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Aschenbach to the future


A Victorian guide to Britain's railway, Bradshaw's Guide, talks of Hull being like Venice and people taking special trains from the Leeds and so on to view the sights of this spectacular city. Back then the city, or most of it at least, was surrounded on all sides by water, the Humber and a ring of docks. No-one would thnk that now, but when the sun goes down over the Marina and if you squint your eyes maybe that's a canal going off into the distance...

And speaking of Venice, Margot, entering into the city of culture spirit that runs excitedly throughout the town, thought that for 2017 the streets could be turned into canals, to which I added, it could celebrate the ten year anniversary of the 2007 floods ... but think gondolas on Ferensway, oh, oh, oh and a masquerade and some wild licentiousness to a soundtrack of Vivaldiish muzac... No? Oh well.... We could add cholera and phthisic young men as a sideshow if that is your thing. Aw come on  now ...

I was going going to make some comment on the anniversary of the city of culture award but things are becoming too absurd even for me. Let's just say that those supposedly in charge ("They will be our Barnum and Bailey, helping us to deliver some fantastic art and helping draw together everyone who wants to be part of 2017." ) are developing a "beautiful narrative" and leave the rest  your imagination. 

Weekend Reflections are over there.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Fairfax Avenue


Fairfax Avenue is a residential road that runs from a roundabout on Cottingham Road to a junction with Bricknell Avenue. I guess most of it dates from the 1930's when land round here must have been cheap judging by the space given over to the wide grass verges which are protected from parking by regular wooden posts. It is, you might say, a typical surburban street lined with typical semi-detached houses and you might expect it to be a bit uninteresting, bordering on the boring. Well maybe; except in Winter time when the silver birches are as you see or in Spring when the blossom is simply stunning and sometimes in Autumn when the leaves turn and do that colour trick that trees do so well. So that only leaves Summer; now it can be "rather dull, unfunny and suburban" in Summer I will admit. 


The weekend in Black and White is here.