Thursday, 27 April 2017

One of ten

I was on my way to the doctors surgery (nothing serious, just some paper work) yesterday when I spotted this new addition to the University. Naturally I didn't have a camera but Margot had fortunately brought along the old Fuji. Then I remembered reading about some ten statues being added to the campus all by Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thorarinsdottir she of the leaning figure Voyage down by the river (1 2 3 4 and 5). So I made a mental note to pop back and seek out the others at a later date. If you can't wait the local rag has kindly made a short film (with obligatory irritating music) about them here if nothing else it shows you the University campus in all its glory ...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Big Blue Beastie

It seems Dope Burger have got a bigger van and it's hungry. Colourful though it may be it's parked on a double yellow on Anlaby Road during the rush hour and that's just wrong on so many levels.

I took this as well from the same place so why not post it ...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

...In Rangoon the heat of noon
Is just what the natives shun ...

I write this as snow and hail are gently falling like a flensing knife on bare flesh to the merry accompaniment of thunder and lightning. It must therefore be April and springtime.
This crazy muttkin took a fancy to me and jumped in my bag some time so long ago in the warm hazy days of winter.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Comin soo

They are building lots of hotels (at least two) in the C of C to meet demand; seems you couldn't get a bed in the whole of Hull last weekend. I'm sure this one will be much better than I'm making it out to be ... or maybe not.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hurrah for Bluebells and Kopparberg!

To celebrate St George, the patron saint of England, Englishness and all that goes with it, what could be more fitting, I thought, than some nice Spanish bluebells and an empty bottle of Swedish cider (mixed fruit, of course!) ... there are always those who see this day as a chance to sit in the pub and drink ale, how very un-English!

Margot took the bluebell photo; she has a knack for finding litter lying around, well she found me....

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Questions, questions

By the harbour side and no doubt as part of some tourist trail or other these two figures appear demanding answers. I'll start with the guy in the Arab head dress, T E Lawrence (of Arabia). It seems that after ruining the Middle East in WW1 he served in the RAF near Bridlington supervising the armour plating of power boats for target practice. I guess he was tired of all the heat and the camels. The other guy, well, that is Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy. During what would nowadays be called 'hard Amexit' or some such aka the American War of Independence he took a small fleet across the pond and proceeded to cause a bit of mayhem in British waters. The Battle of Flamborough Head of 1779 rarely gets a mention these days especially now that the UK and US have a 'special relationship' and more especially since the British Royal Navy lost to a bunch of colonials so least said soonest mended.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A tale of two towers

I'm keeping out of the city of culture for a few days; they have taken to dancing in an old graveyard while stuffing their faces all the name of culture and it's not a pretty sight. So I return to Bridlington Priory and its two odd towers. It's looks on the face of it like it's the real deal; an old Gothic building with a perpendicular tower. Well partly. The church as it stands is the vestige of Bridlington monastery which would have looked a bit like this in the early 16th century. As you all know if you were still awake in history classes the monasteries in England were dissolved by HenryVIII. Now the Prior of this place decided to take part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, a rising in Yorkshire against Henry VIII which did not end well. The monastery quickly lost all its valuables and gradually fell into disrepair until only the nave remained standing and that in no good condition.  The pictures below show it in 1786 and 1842. Note there are no towers by the front entrance. So enter our old friend and saviour of fallen churches Sir Gilbert Scott and his passion for the Gothic revival and up rises one perpendicular Gothic tower in the 1870's and one stump of a tower as a permanent reminder not to trust planners ...

The rear view, those buttresses are all Victorian.

I came across this helpful little site on my travels

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Bridlington Bayle's back door

Being too lazy to step back a bit in order to get the whole gateway in view I thought I'd just take half a dozen pictures and stitch them together with the rather skewed result you see. The bayle, as I mentioned ages ago, is the former gatehouse to Bridlington Priory. This is the back door, as it were, and it should look a bit like this.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A slight difference of opinion

I couldn't go to the seaside and not take a picture of seagulls, well actually Margot took this but that's just nit picking.

The parliament that England is the mother to has just voted for an election by 522 to 13. Now don't get me wrong I'm all in favour of elections, have one every year (a la Chartism) if you will. Vote early, vote often is my motto. No, what boils my renal filtrate is the continual news media banging on, speculating, asking the same old same old rubbish of the same old so-called experts and commentators over and over and over and over for six whole goddam weeks. (I know other places have it much, much worse but that's their problem) It should be the law that the news people announce the election and then STFU about it.

You might think that there is some subtle visual pun about the gullibility of the electorate in this picture, you might very well think that but I couldn't possibly comment.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Costa del Brid

You can achieve wonders by upping the saturation and artfully cropping out unwanted chip shop chimneys to give an almost Mediterranean look to a Bridlington snicket. 

There's going to be an election in June which apart from boring folk to death will return the present lot to government, destroy what's left of the Labour Party (not much), annoy the Scots and the Irish (no bad thing in itself) and solve no problem whatsoever. But then that's politics for you.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Renewables: the new blot on the landscape

Bridlington's south beach has a wonderful view of a wind farm which I suppose is a step up from the view from the beach near where I grew up, Hartlepool's very own nuclear power station (there were also steel works and petrochemical plants as well but they just seemed to blend in so well). That's progress for you.

Margot took this picture.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

A host of godawful Lego bricks

I know, I know I promised never, ever to photograph them but there was no way I could stop Margot clicking away at these truly awful plastic daffs littering the street. And though Wordsworth saw ten thousand at a glance there are, thankfully, just a few hundred of these vile horrors clumped like dried green and yellow snot outside the closed down BHS store appealing to little brats to play chasing games around them. Just dreadful!

Saturday, 15 April 2017


 A crow has taken to sitting on our neighbour's chimney as the evening sky grows dark.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Easter Traditions

The end of the forty days of Lent is in sight and to celebrate some trees on Newland Avenue have been adorned with white knitted rabbits (probably best not to ask what gibbeted rabbits have to do with anything...). Also there are small posters relating how Easter is celebrated in various parts of the world. So in Texas they set the place alight by building Easter fires. Hungarian boys splash girls with perfume so we are told. My favourite, though, was the Lithuanians who whip their relatives with palms to bring wealth. Strangely I could find nothing about the ancient Hull tradition of restoring potatoes to patties (which had been spudless for forty whole days! imagine that...) Ah those Easter patties so warm and filling! Oh and bringing out the chip spice from its sacred Lenten hiding place. Odd there's no mention of this.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Say Bienvenue to The Hull Venue

I took this picture a few weeks ago and would have posted it but for a lack of anything to say. This is the Hull Venue rising out of the rubble of last year's demolition. My problem was an earworm infection so all I could think of was "I'm a venue, how do you do?"... you see my formative years were ruined by Flanders and Swann, (worse, much worse than sex and drugs and rock and roll though obviously not as much fun).

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A piddling little stream

If you like mud then Hull could be just the place for you. When the tide is out there's acres of  thick oozing alluvium silting up the old harbour. I believe there are plans to clear out the gloop and improve the flow but then there's always plans for something or other in this place. It's at these times like this that you can see just what a small insignificant little stream the river Hull really is. 


Tuesday, 11 April 2017


I mentioned last year plans to build a new hotel on the site of a former dance hall/disco/nightclub/knocking shop on Ferensway. Well it's up and growing. This picture was taken at the end of March but it's going up so fast that it's probably open and taking its first visitors by now ... I'm told it will look like this when it really is finished. The local paper calls it "swanky"; I think that's sounds pretty close to what I would call it.

Monday, 10 April 2017

OK, Let's Play

Here's the newly paved over junction of Jameson Street and King Edward Street taken a few weeks ago when the the orange lurgy was still hanging about. I believe this dull, windswept stretch of reclaimed land goes by the equally dull, tediously sycophantic and boring old name of King Edward Square. Now really was there no body else they could honour? Somebody who actually did something more useful than screwing several dozen mistresses and siring a bunch of inbred twerps. Even Wilberforce Square would have been better, though not much. Anyhow as is the way of things in this place no empty space can be left unfilled and so the local rag has a tale of daffodils, fluttering and dancing in the breeze no doubt, filling this godforsaken wasteland with springtime icky yellowyness only (now you knew there had be an 'only' coming along)  these are made of Lego. Fake flowers ffs! But then that's culture for you, all phoney baloney from the get-go. And no I won't be taking pictures, not now ... not ever.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Orange, White and Green

The willow trees on Paragon Street are getting new surrounding walls and some fresh soil by the look of things. I hope the new walls are as comfortable to sit on as the old ones.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Trees at night

The new trees and seats on Jameson Street have ground level lighting so you don't bump into them in the dark... did you know that some trees at night let themselves droop by up to four inches? And furthermore there are people being paid a good salary to find out more about this valuable titbit of information.

The ever fascinating and never drooping Weekend in Black and White is here.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Building Tomorrow's Bridlington

You might think that having suffered two years of orange barriers in Hull you would be safe to take a day out and not come across any of these damn things. But no, it seems Bridlington is being regenerated as well which seems to mean knocking down a street of Victorian houses and digging up Bridge Street above. Maybe they'll get some culture too, we've got lots to spare.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A Seaside Terrace

Hard now to imagine the thousands who came to Bridlington for their annual holiday but the evidence of their visitations lies in these typical seaside lodging houses and hotels. This one has six storeys and all were no doubt priced accordingly. I'll take a wild guess that it was built in 1878. In those days holidays were unpaid and in the north of England whole towns would take a week off at one time, the Wakes Week,  and all would descend by train on the seaside; there was nowhere else to go. Nowadays everyone goes off on their own little adventure to the Med or Bali or California or where ever a plane can fetch up and these old places have become rented apartments not necessarily to the highest calibre of clientèle. Some seaside towns, not Bridlington especially,  have attracted the unemployed, and possibly unemployable, the homeless, folks with mental health problems, former prisoners and so on. I say 'attracted' some might say these people have been deliberately dumped on these places, cheap and out of the way. Naturally this is  bringing attendant social, drug and criminal problems. So though the sky is still blue and sea and the sand are just the same we've come a long way from the days of the bucket and spade holiday makers with their kiss-me-quick hats and sticks of rock.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

It's like déjà vu, all over again

In those optimistic years of 2007/08 a Ferris wheel stood large and proud on Bridlington's north shore fun fair. It styled itself as the Bridlington Eye after the much (~3x) bigger London Eye. Well we all know what happened in 2008 but that had little to do with the demise of the Brid Eye that was due to poor weather and lack of visitors. So down it came but not before someone stole the engine or so I'm told. All that is so much history because now the same people are putting up yet another Ferris wheel slightly larger than the first and it's hoped to be running by Easter. Unlike the first one this one will have open gondolas so I expect they are really, really hoping for warm weather; those North Sea breezes can be very unforgiving even in Summer.
Anyhow as the Bridlington Eye v1.0 was up and down and gone before I started this blog I never posted about it. So here's an ancient pic taken in 2007 when I was still a young man with no grey hairs and had money in the bank ...

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Big Blue Octopus

We set off to Bridlington under cold grey skies with showers of rain but arrived to clear blue skies and sunshine and quite warm really for April. I was looking around for something new to show and this kind of grabbed my attention. The legs wave about in a manner that would be menacing if it wasn't twenty foot off the ground.  It's part of pirate themed amusement arcade; well they call it amusement.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Culture Vulture

OK it's just a pigeon and you've got to use your imagination but that shouldn't be too difficult if you can cope with Hull: City of Culture.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

C'est un cygne

Pour faire la paix avec nos amis européens, la ville de la culture a décidé de ne parler que le français. Je sais que c'est très étrange mais, malheureusement, c'est officiel. On pense qu'il aidera le Brexit ...

Alors, le thème du 1er avril est «humide». Allez voir ce que d'autres poissons ont fait de cela ...

Salut! À demain mis amigos ...oops!  

Friday, 31 March 2017

Finishing Touches

The public works were due to be finished today but to no-one's great surprise some bits and bobs are running a tad late. So we'll have to wait till mid-April for the fancy fountains in Queen Vicky Square; such a shame as I was really, really, really looking forward to them .......

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A little trompe-l'oeil

You'll remember that scaffolding I told you about on Beverley Road, the stuff that was thrown up back in 2011 to stop a building falling down after its owner took out all the internal walls and how the council was paying £150 a week just to check it's still safe ... No, of course you don't, never mind, you have a life, I appreciate that. Well somebody, probably the selfsame council but I can be bothered to find out for sure,  has decided to cover all that up with this impressive illusion. It sure works for me, I can't see any more problems, can you?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

What lurks behind the Brexit mask?

So the day after the so called Scotland Parliament demands (I like that: a jumped county council making demands of the UK government) it has a second independence referendum (no chance Jimmy! You blew that the first time round ) and the same day as effective direct rule begins in Northern Ireland the Prime Minister writes a Dear John letter to Mr Tusk saying so long and thanks for all the fishing quotas... So yes at long last the very welcome two year divorce proceedings with the EU begin with all the necessary pleasantries and crocodile tears ... Expect the unexpected is my best guess for the near future.

The mask I found in a joke shop some four or more years ago I thought it might come in useful for scaring little children; if you don't like it I have another ...

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Take up our quarrel with the foe

O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
                                              John Keats

As cultured folk you'll be aware how for millennia the poppy has signified sleep and forgetfulness in European culture. From the poppy we get opium, morphine and all those other lovely "ines" that make us fall through a hole in the carpet when life becomes too much... 

Whoah! whoah! stop all this liberal thinking right now! For the Royal (& sycophantic) British Legion, for hosts of hoopleheads and fellow travellers, for the whole UK indeed (or so it seems) and even for level headed Canada or at least those parts that love to dwell on the horrors of the last century the poppy has become The Symbol Of Remembrance. Well ha! So much for culture. This craze started in the 1920's as a merchandising scam to sell cloth poppies to help 'rebuild war torn France' (a likely story) or perhaps it was inspired by that really bad and militaristic poem  "Flanders Field" (which at least had the idea of poppies meaning sleep). Whatever, it's too late and the genie is out of the proverbial glass container and you can't tell anyone that this is cultural illiteracy else they look at you as if you have two heads (which I suppose is two more than they have). 
So it comes about that, two years after the celebration (no better word) of the start of WW1, Hull gets a teeny portion of the crazy poppy themed thing that took over the Tower of London.  It's an unimpressive, tawdry splash of  red down the side of the Maritime Museum. Puts me in mind of a slit throat or perhaps a some overly enthusiastic menstrual flux. Certainly does not inspire any thoughts of 'remembrance' despite it being blessed by vicars and cooed over by the hoi polloi ("Oh isn't it beautiful!" 'it', by the way, is supposed to represent the deaths of thousands of men from high explosives, bullets, poison gas and general military incompetence so ... well I just give up!) and idiots in WW1 uniforms standing in front of it like dorks!
Still it attracts folks to town to take piccies (guilty as charged) and of course selfies. Oh the name of this thing? ... Weeping Window

Monday, 27 March 2017

Weeping Window

Here on Beverley Road the latest installation exposes the  close dependency between the various layers in the culture business each clinging on to the coat tails of the next one up and how rubbish flows from the top to the bottom to be transformed into a neat little heap of acceptable art. The piece has had a highly favourable reception in the press and TV. The locals simply can't get enough of this and queue up to take their selfies in front of the gushing red flow of culture. It's only here until May before it goes off to tour the country so get your skates on.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ask a volunteer

If all this culture has your head in a spin and your can't tell  your Amy Johnson from a wind turbine or your Humber Dock from the Marina then look out for a kindly smiling face in a light blue jacket and they will put you right or so I'm told. The Year of Culture, despite its millions of pounds of sponsorship, is depending on the unpaid work and goodwill of hundreds of these hardy souls. I think they get to keep the jackets. No, I'm not a volunteer (go on pretend to be surprised!); light blue is so not my colour!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Standing up for stuff

A small demo outside the railway station on Friday afternoon. They brought more placards than supporters which might be a bit embarrassing but they seemed more intent on a good chin wag than in letting the world know their concerns. The world, for its part, just passed them by.