Here's a detail from the ornate exterior of the Punch Hotel on Queen Victoria Square. As the lord of misrule this figure has no doubt been observing the ongoing utter chaos of the renovation of the town centre with some glee. That's the way to do it!
It's that time of year gain when prospective debt slaves otherwise known as students turn up for the start of yet another academic year. And for their entertainment there are a few places of nocturnal delight (so they say) and they advertise their wares just outside the University entrance. Now the observant among you may have noticed the small sign informing that parking is limited to two hours and no return within three. Well the top two pictures I took yesterday and it seems these vans just stay there all day for the first week of term. Now that's just asking for trouble which duly arrived today in the form of a parking enforcement officer who probably couldn't believe his luck. Neither could I as happened to be passing on the bus this afternoon.
"All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy
juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of
Enoch Powell on Joseph Chamberlain
Well here's a blast from the past: Enoch Powell opening the then Western General Hospital on this day fifty three years ago. What can I say that hasn't been said about this divisive maverick politician regarded as both a prophet (by those of an anti-EU persuasion) and a racist bigot (by those on the left)? I suppose if, like him, you had set your heart on becoming Viceroy of India no less and the Government of the day then grants India independence then you've got little left to hope for in life other than to become a somewhat eccentric outsider. He was living proof that great intellectual ability, he had a double first in classics and was a professor of ancient Greek at the ripe old age of 25, is no guarantee of being a sensible human being. The quote at the top of this post applied to him with spades.
If you are still here and wondering where on earth the Western General Hospital is then wonder no more; they changed its name to the grander sounding Hull Royal Infirmary sometime short time after this stone was laid. That, I guess, is the nature of human affairs.
Having a grill protecting your window is, as you can see, no real protection at all. This one on Vicar Lane clearly should have had the regulation half inch chip board and mandatory coat of black paint.
The Weekend in Black and White is still here, why not give it a visit.
This strange looking place is the boiler house of Hull Royal Infirmary which, as you might expect, needs lots of hot water for heating and cleaning. Nowadays it's powered by gas but when first built, in the early 60's, it ran on coal stored in that massive hopper on the right.
Nature abhorring a vacuum as it does means that the space left by the sad demise of poor Charley earlier this year has been quickly taken over by this smug little thing. We're not going to give him a name and we're not going to get attached; he's somebody else's problem.
I'm glad that's the neighbour's fence and not mine.
The only good use I can think for ice is to chill a strong gin and tonic but it seems there are folk who like to arm their feet with skates and sally forth on ice rinks. This is the place just for those poor souls. I believe there is also a passing interest in playing hockey on a frozen surface and that perversion is also catered for here. Hull Arena was built in the mid-1980's and had an indoor bowling rink at that time but I can find no mention of that now. The place also hosts concerts (apparently there's seating for 3,750) and boxing matches for the sort of people who like to see people hitting each other as well. Such a useful place really; containing all those wonderful odd-ball pursuits in one box as it were and in an out-of-the-way place where little harm can be done to others.
Those thoughtful people who gave us the generous expansive footpath that I posted the other day just can't seem to control their urge to keep us yellow stick figures within our limits. These, though rather cute and silly, are not the daftest markings I've spotted in this town; that honour goes to this piece of barminess.
Ah the pleasures and agonies of rearranging the electoral boundaries! This week has seen proposals to cut fifty seats from the House of Commons, that's MPs voting for fifty redundancies ... well I'll wait while you get over your sniggering fit.
As far as I'm concerned if it goes ahead Cottingham and a few other outlying villages move from the safe, nay possibly the safest, Tory seat in the country to a proposed marginal seat of West Hull and Haltemprice (where or what is a Haltemprice? I've no idea!) West Hull at present is a totally safe Labour fiefdom (you see the method behind this, create a marginal, lose a safe Labour seat but keep the remains of a safe Tory seat, most excellent!). It also means that Hull may become a smaller red dot in a sea of blue which may be no bad thing. There are the delicious howlings of the self-serving gerrymandered and hopefully soon to be out-of-a-job politicos. I'm not that bothered really they can try living on the pittance of unemployment benefit they voted for, except they'll all have cushy little consultancy positions waiting for them. Does my contempt for politics and all politicians look big in this?
A small concern is it could be the first move to take over the outlying villages and plonk them in with Hull City Council (just for neatness dontcha know) something that 96% voted against only two years ago.
You might think that being in the unfortunate position of having to board up a window to protect it from hoopleheads and gopniki that you had done enough to safeguard your property. You might think that but you would be making the rookie mistake of forgetting the petty pen pushers who work for the Council's Environmental Crime Unit (a group of mendacious ninnies who pick on the poorest and ignore the rich, t'was ever thus). They will sooner or later come upon your works and inform you that this is far from adequate; you must "Paint it black" or face an enforcement order so to do! Yes a good lick of black gloss it seems is the sine qua non of window protection.
This upcoming Sunday is also this year's Hull Marathon and streets are to be closed so joggers can recreate the ancient Athenian postal service. Let's hope they've measured the course properly this time unlike a few years back.
Came across this little ship in the Marina today. This is the schooner Pickle and it claims to be a replica or reconstruction of HMS Pickle which brought the first news of the Battle of Trafalgar back to Falmouth in 1805. In fact this ship was built in 1995 in Russia along with several other similar craft to commemorate the creation of Peter the Great's navy some 300 years ago. Back then it was known as the Alevtina Tuy. Then in 2004 or thereabouts it was further altered to take on a role as HM Schooner Pickle to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar. It was left going to rot in Gibraltar until it was recently bought and rescued by a local businessman. Anyhow for the moment it is now sitting in Hull Marina and you can have a guided trip round it for a fiver should you wish.
Here's a link to a video which is part of a BBC program Boats that Built Britain showing just what a craft like this could do.
It's Happy Laughing Friday, as my old dad used to say, the start of the weekend. There's some kind of festival thing going on in town so I might pop out and see what's what tomorrow if it doesn't rain ...
So another month is upon us and as ever the first day is theme day at City Daily Photo and today's theme is "libraries". As I've been quiet for a while I thought I'd give you not one but two libraries. Above is Hull Central Library on Prospect Street/Albion Street. The original bit on the right was built ~1900 and there's been further additions along the way including the startlingly original shoebox on the side added in 1959. I used to live not too far from this place and used it quite a lot until the librarian decided it would be "helpful" to separate paperbacks from hardbacks and to develop a "classics" section (the definition of a classic was quite arbitrary and seemed to be a whim of the shelf stacker). The result was that you could end up trying to find a book in any of three places (Did Melvil Dewey die in vain?). The place seemed to encourage (or at least not stop) children running around playing; all very strange and not at all pleasant. So I'm afraid I gave up and haven't set foot in the place for years (If my sister, a former head librarian, reads this no doubt she'll have a fit). But it seems I'm not alone in turning away from libraries the number of active borrowers is down by 5 million (!) from ten years ago. Now I know public spending cuts have closed branches and reduced book stocks but this decline seems to pre-date the austerity. We are told by the great and the good that libraries are essential but it seems Joe Public has better fish to fry or Pokémon to catch. If they carry on much longer not providing the sort of service people want then the future is indeed bleak for these noble institutions.
Below is the big boy in town; the Brynmor Jones at the University. I've shown it before but not lit up like this and also I've only just noticed the enormous comma thing in front. How did I miss that? Anyhow this place has coffee bars, an art gallery, WiFi up the ying yang and is open 24 hours a day. Maybe the public libraries could learn a lesson.