Monday, 31 October 2011

The Rex

There was a time when every neighbourhood in Hull would have its Rex; the launderette of the unwashed masses. This one is on Anlaby Road. Now washing machines are cheaper launderettes are slowly going out out of fashion. I spent many an hour watching my washing go round and round, then carried it all home in a big plastic bag that invariably ripped a bit ... no, I don't miss it all.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bus nut heaven

It wasn't until I had seen them several times standing outside the back entrance to the new bus station that I realised there were people who liked to 'spot' buses. There they would be with their little notebooks and cameras noting and photographing every bus as it passed. A harmless pastime I suppose; certainly no worse than taking a picture of your city and posting it on a blog every day.

Friday, 28 October 2011

St Stephens Shopping Centre

Here's the backdoor to St Stephens. After four years all the shops are now let out and the place is attracting 10 million visitors a year ( if you believe Wikipedia). If you go to the very first posting in this fine blog you will see the other side of this shopping mall.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Maritime Museum

Ok, I've shown this building before but I think this is a particularly fine shot. Go ahead click to enlarge.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mr Hull

The latest statue to appear in Hull is this larger-than-life-size imitation of  Chairman Mao, oops, sorry, no; that's Sir Leo Schultz. The statue stands in a niche on the Guildhall where Sir Leo was a councillor for 50 years or so and leader of the council from 1945 to 1979. Not surprisingly he was known as Mr Hull. Many people in Hull owe their lives to his urging the building of public air-raid shelters before the last war. A school was named after him but that has recently closed. I have taken the liberty of shifting the hue slightly to reflect Sir Leo's political views.
There's more about the making of this statue and the life of this man here.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Here's one of Hull's notables being honoured by a blue plaque. J Arthur Rank was a flour miller's son whose move into film making and distribution came about through because the Methodist church complained of the negative influence that British and American films shown in Britain were having on family life. He was inspired to set up the British National Films Company. Later he set up a distribution company to promote his films in cinemas and also developed Pinewood studios where the Bond movies are made. Rank's films always started with the distinctive gong being struck. Rank was a very wealthy man and gave much to Methodist causes and is rightly remembered by this plaque; it is a shame, then, that the house to which it is attached has not been quite so well looked after.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Fall into monochrome

For some reason the usual Autumnal change in leaf colour has been very disappointing. Leaves are going from green to a dirty grey/brown and then dropping off. Maybe we'll have some colour later on.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Row, Row, Row Your Boat ....

A sunny Autumn day brought some rowers onto East Park lake. The chilly wind (that the camera does not show) didn't seem to affect these hardy souls tough. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A poor life this if, full of care,

...We have no time to stand and stare?

These beauties were by the Driffield canal the other day; not once did they let me out of their sight. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Closed for demolition

This row of shuttered shops on Ferensway is not a victim of the banksters greed, at least not directly. In a way they are a surprising success story that has had come to close. These buildings were put up as temporary shops just after the war to replace bomb damaged property. They had a life expectancy of ten years but have been here over sixty years. They were due to be demolished a few years ago but there's no money so here they stay. On a personal note I bought my first 'serious' camera , a Practika, I believe, from Hilton's (the third shop down) nearly thirty years ago.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Rust Park

There's a wise saying that if a thing ain't broken you don't fix it; it goes without saying that Hull Council lacks even this basic savvy. Behold the solution to a problem that did not exist. The new entrance to West Park, dandy ain't it! Yes that's real rust, genuine 100% iron oxide. Now Hull folk may not know much about art but they know what they like and they really hate this. "Looks like parts from an old trawler", “dirty”, “dull” and “The change looks tacky, like it was designed by schoolchildren.” are some of the comments made to the local paper. Not content with this, roads, lined, of course, with rusting curved lamp posts, were built through this quaint old Victorian park splitting it in two.
Now I'm not one to criticise just for the sake of it but this 'statement' is meant to impress visitors to Hull especially those going to the football stadium through the park. This heap of rusting junk says, accurately, that Hull is falling apart.
Oh, I forgot, the bill for all this ... a mere £7 million.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ex libris

What do you do with a library that the Council have decided is "surplus to requirements"? This is or was the Carnegie Library on Anlaby Road. It opened in 1905 with funds from the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and was closed in 2001 when the books were moved to a nearby 'learning centre' (?). It then stood more or less empty until 2007 when the Carnegie Heritage Action Team took it over. It now houses the East Yorkshire Family History Society and a book binding service.

Friday, 14 October 2011


The trackside near my local station was cleared earlier this year making space for the ivy to take over. It's now flowering with masses of these clumps of florets. This is good news for pollen seeking insects and for the birds who eat the berries in Winter.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hull Fair

It's the week of Hull Fair again. Never seems to change, stalls selling boiled sugary treats, rides to spin you round and up and down and bright lights; oh and loud, very loud music. Thousands come every year so it must be doing something right.
 Galloping Horses, a vintage roundabout built by Frederick Savage of King's Lynn.
 A modern roundabout on hyperdrive!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Back to Front

 Here are both sides of Kingston House on Bond Street, a testament to the concrete pourer's art.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Victims of the recessions

Even when times were good Hull has always had its pockets of economic failure. Somehow the benefits of growth never seemed to trickle down this far, mysteriously drying up on the way. Bond Street is one particular island of gloom. I showed you one side of the street a while back. The building across the street is a victim of the recession. Not the present one nor yet the last one; no, this building has been empty for  years. It once was a department store built just after WW2 to replace a bombed out store.  In the 30 years or so that I've lived in Hull I've only known this building open for a few months as an amusement arcade. In 2008 plans were drawn up to convert to flats but we all know happened in 2008 ...
Next door is the old Co-operative store, this has been shut for almost as long as the other building. The front half of this building is the BHS store I showed you sometime back and that seems to be doing fine. I really can't see much of a future for these buildings, not as stores anyway, given that there is a brand new glass and steel shopping centre just around the corner and if they failed in the good times how are they going to make in the bad?  

Monday, 10 October 2011


Call me an old cynic if you like but when a construction firm donates a 'sculpture' to the council I smell that old rotten haddock odour gently wafting through the corridors of power. To avoid litigaton I will draw no conclusions from the coincidence of the erection of this thing and the construction in 1984 of the new Freetown Way alongside. I know not who made this but it does make an excellent ramp for skateboarders. It has the name 'Orb'; I suppose 'Backhander' was too hard to spell.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Gloomy Outlook

When the sky has that eerie glow in it you just know it doesn't mean you well. 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Music while you walk

On the first cool day of Autumn my spirits were lifted by this quartet playing Latin American music to the passing crowds as they made their way home. While many were impresed and left a little something for the band I don't think this lady was in the mood.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Parliament Street

This is Parliament Street an elegant collection of fine Georgian houses. The construction of this street required an act of Parliament (hence the name) and was the start of the end of the old mediaeval layout of Hull as it cut through old buildings and alleyways to the town walls which were in the process of being demolished to make way for a new dock. Nowadays the street houses law firms and recruitment agencies.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Linking the Gods to Humanity

Sitting high above the entrance to the central library is this little statue. I think it's meant to be the goddess Iris, a messenger of the gods. Homer ( the Greek one not the fat yellow American one) says "And now Iris, fleet as the wind, was sent by Jove to tell the bad news among the Trojans"; bit of a come down, then, to be stuck in Hull

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What's that?

You can find out here.

There'll no doubt be more mysterious objects over at City Daily Photos monthly theme. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants