Friday, 31 August 2012

Zion, sorry not interested

Here's yet another church or chapel or whatever they call them, in Cottingham. It's a URC building and it's also on the same street as the CofE and Methodist churches so whatever flavour of English protestantism is your fancy you should find satisfaction here. I suspect however that like over 95% of the population (including myself) you aren't interested in anything they have to offer.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Upside down or sideways?

Took this in January and somehow never got round to putting it on here. I turned it this way 'cos I thought it looked more interesting, if you don't like it perhaps sideways might suit you. I often think that Hull might be greatly improved if was turned upside down and given a good shake.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Don't sit there like a dummy

Earlier this year Peacocks, a clothing retailer, went into administration. This branch on Whitefriargate was emptied out apart from some mannequins which were left artfully posed no doubt by disgruntled staff.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Summer's gone

Next week it's back-to-school for these likely lads. No more doing what you like and spending all day by the fish pond; no it's book learning and hard graft from now on ....

Monday, 27 August 2012

West Bulls' Bus Stop

While waiting for the bus you can take a seat, turn your back on the world and watch the hedge grow!
West Bulls is the name of the pub you can just about see in the background. It in turn takes its name from a farm whose land was built on when the road on the right in the distance was created.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Coifi - a potted history

Coifi was a pagan priest at a temple in Goodmanham near York in the early 7th century. So what is he doing on the walls of Beverley's ever-so-Christian Minster? The story, as far as I can glean from the web, is that Edwin of Northumbria was thinking about converting to Christianity so he asked old Coifi for some advice. I paraphrase his response as paganism hasn't done us any good so why not give Christianity a go? I get the feeling he was having a mid-life crisis. Then, and here it gets a bit strange, Coifi  took off on a war stallion carrying a war-axe or a spear and a sword depending on who you believe (being a pagan priest he wasn't allowed to do any of these things), rode to the temple and threw the weapons inside. Apparently this was a big pagan no-no. Seeing that nothing untoward happened he then burned the temple down for good measure. Edwin converted to Christianity but it didn't do him much good because he was defeated by old fashioned pagans at the battle of Hatfield Chase a few years later. Anyway here is Coifi immortalised for losing his faith and a spot of arson.

You can read an extended and possibly more cogent version of this here.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Polar Bear

One of the most popular exhibits in the Maritime Museum is the Polar Bear. This specimen is an adult male and is nine foot long, good job he's stuffed really. These are pretty old pictures and he wasn't looking in too good a condition, fortunately they had a collection and took him away for some TLC and conservation work.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Stone Head

Here's a stoney head outside a hotel near the Marina. I can't find anything about what it's meant to represent or who made it. With its rugged features and flowing locks it's clearly been modeled on my good self ....

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Another snicket and a snippet of history

This one leads from Newgate Street, Cottingham and is shown on old maps as Church Road or Church Walk. The wall on the left is the boundary wall of Kingtree House built in 1750 by a Hull merchant; a description of this place is at the end of the post, it seems to have been quite something. The house was demolished in the 1960 and a shopping arcade and houses were put up instead. The old maps show the path leading up to the church but now it stops as you can see below at the top of Kingtree Avenue.

The following is a description of  Kingtree House by Arthur Young (1771), "Letter IV", A six months tour through the north of England, containing, an account of the present state of agriculture, manufactures and population, in several counties of this kingdom (2 ed.), W. Strahan, W. Nicholl, Mr. Matson's Shrubbery at Cottingham, pp.152-5, 
"At this place Mr. Watson has a pleasure-ground, which is very well worth seeing; it consists of shrubberies with winding walks, and the imitation of a meandring river through the whole. The grass plot in front of the house surrounded with ever-greens and shrubs, with a Gothic bench on one side, is very pretty, and the clumps to the water's edge well disposed : From thence, passing by a bridge, you follow the water through a pasture ground, with walks and benches around it; the banks closely shaven, the bends of them natural, and quite in the stile of a real river. About the middle of the field it divides and forms a small island, which contains two or three clumps of shrubs, and is a very great ornament to the place; the walk after-wards leads to the other winding ones around the field, which is certainly laid out in general in a good taste. There are, however, one or two circumstances, that cannot fail of striking every spectator, which, if they were a little altered, would be a great improvement. Directly across the whole runs a common foot-way, which, though walled in, cuts the grounds too much; a broad arch or two thrown over it, well covered with earth and planted with shrubs, would take off the ill effect of crossing this path. In the water is the imitation of a rock, every kind of which is totally unconsonant with the pleasing and agreeable emotions of the gently-winding stream, and smoothly-shaven banks; besides, any rock worth seeing would swallow up this water. In the next place here are some urns, an ornament, when properly disposed, of great efficacy; but close, shaded and sequestered spots, whereon the eye falls by accident, as it were, are the places for urns, and not open lawns, full in view, and to be walked around. It is surprizing, that the ideas of imitating nature, in rejecting a strait line for the water, and giving its banks the wave of a real stream, should not be extended to hiding the conclusion, by winding it among the wood where it could not be followed; and it would have been a great improvement, to have given the stream in one place a much greater wave, so as to have enlarged it to four times its present width; this would have added much to the variety of the scene. Lastly, I might remark, that the circular bason near the end of the river has a very bad effect; any water so very artificial, should not be seen with the same eye that views the imitation of a real stream."

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Winding House and Slipway

When ships needed repairing they were often hauled up a slipway to get them onto dry land. This building housed the engine and winch mechanism to pull boats out of the Humber. The Slipway now is part duckpond and part reed bed. I showed you the engine in a previous post here. There are plans to do up this building and reinstall the engine. For those interested in Victorian Docks and stuff like that there's a trail signposted running around the old Victoria Dock that starts at this very spot.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Deep End

I've shown Hull's oversized fish tank many times before so what's my excuse this time? Well it seems it has won an award for the elevator! Seems the elevator in the Deep is one of the top ten in the world according USA Today. That's something I guess, not quite sure what but it's certainly something.
Part of the rationale for building the Deep was that it would act as encouragement for other concerns to redevelop the waterfront area. Well the Deep opened ten years ago and there's nothing going on apart from a bridge that leads to nowhere ( and still isn't open ) and an abandoned housing scheme called the Boom which we must now, I suppose, call the Bust.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Keep Out

When you're trying out new technology the last  thing you want is a visit from inquisitive ne'er-do-wells. So stout defences are in order. Here's the approach to the tidal power station I showed some time back. Works for me.

More monochrome madness at The Weekend in Black & White.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Lecture Theatre

It's thirty or more years since I sat in one of these things, frantically taking notes while some lecturer prattled on about biochemical pathways or some such. It seemed interesting at the time but now I can't see what the attraction was. This nicely geometrical building squats at the back of Hull University.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Progress report

An update on the progress of the new houses being built on the Cleminson Hall site in Cottingham. Two show houses have been completed and there's a road of sorts. The hall itself is gradually falling into even more disrepair and you don't want to know what's happened to the tennis court.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

All that glisters is not gold

The gold phone box? Not been touched by some latter day Midas, no, it's something to do with a recent sporting event [ 1 ], some chap gets a gold medal so we get a gold phone box. Anyway it'll soon be forgotten in the ongoing economic gloom. Still may as well photograph it before some 'accident'  befalls it.

Today the unemployment figures for Yorkshire showed a rise of 25,000 making 266,000 people out of work, a 10.3% rise in the last three months. The Council have threatened to shed some 200 further jobs. Here on the Market Place the Jobcentre was as busy as usual. I just love the irony of this image.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A strange old place

So this is Mark Kirby's Free School, hmm. First I've heard of it and indeed that's a brand spanking new sign. So a trip to the land of Google and Wikipedia informs me that Mr Kirby left an endowment in 1712 to support the village school near the churchyard and the school was to be renamed as you see. All well and good you might say except that to the right of the door is the sign you see below saying Richard Burton (who, if he'd read them, clearly did not heed the words of Matthew 6:3) gifted the land and the parishioners paid to build the house in 1729.  The wording "to the use of the poor of Cottingham for ever" implies a workhouse was built here a far cry from a school. So, anyway, you're thinking this is a house built in 1729, well not quite. Further delving into the arcane depths of Cottingham's history reveals that this building was modified when the church hall next to it was built in the 1850s. I'm finding what no doubt many have before that the past is a strange old place.

After all that you'll be wanting to see the building. Here it is with the church hall in the foreground. The building is now a coffee shop run by the church.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A full churchyard

This is the churchyard of St Mary's in Cottingham. As you can see it's pretty full not just with graves but trees.  You might think that because the church is old these trees are of a similar age but you'd be wrong. They've all sprouted up in the last century or so. You can see how it looked in 1885 if you click here. When that was taken the churchyard was still in use and so there's no trees. It closed for burials in 1889 and seems to have been subject to reafforestation. It's a little haven for wildlife with squirrels and birds even some exotics.

If  you have an interest in graves and graveyards pop over to Taphophile Tragics.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Flower Show

Here's the Railway pub again this time shaming the world with its fine window boxes and hanging baskets. Window boxes seem to have gone out of fashion in these parts with only public houses putting on any sort of a display. 
It's good to see the Railway doing well as this time last year it closed due to the landlords going bust.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Digging up my street

They're digging up my street. It's like a slow creeping road eating creature.  A trench is dug and whatever it is they're laying (electricity cables, I think) is placed in, covered with rubble then tarmac and the whole exercise lifts up and consumes another stretch of road. So far they done about 300 yards in 6 or 7 weeks.  Now it gets tricky, the first bit ran alongside a field with no houses, when they reach the houses and  side roads and have to let traffic in and out it will slow things down. I reckon it'll take 'til Christmas to finish  the job.

The machinery is tightly secured overnight and at weekends. Wouldn't do to have it 'wander off'.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Up My Street

Hull Road, Cottingham, where I live, is the kind of road where the lower the house number the higher house price. Here's No 4. It belongs to the university and is the residence of the Chancellor or Vice-chancellor I'm not sure which. Swanky, huh?

Unfortunately I live at the other end of the road.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Under Threat

An article I read said that independent newsagents were closing down at 10 a week due to 'competition' from supermarkets and coffee shops such as Starbucks (No, I didn't know they sold newspapers, either). This little shop in Cottingham seems to be hanging on but I wonder how long it will last if the plans for a big supermarket to be built just down that road on the left go through.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Green Wickets & Piped TV

Cottingham at the beginning of the 19th century was "a favourite place of residence for the more opulent portion of the merchants of Hull, ... [with] ..many handsome country houses, gardens and pleasure-grounds". One of those country houses was this one, Green Wickets on Thwaite Street. It was built about 1780 for one Michael Metcalfe. Originally called the Sycamores it has been added to and fiddled with over the years and is now a Grade2 listed building. 
I've passed this building many times little knowing the role it played in the spread of television in the area. Rediffusion  was an early system of transmitting sound and later TV by cable from a central aerial. It was very popular in Hull and the central mast was in the grounds of this house. I seem to remember the system was known as piped TV. Anyhow, Rediffusion is long gone, replaced by satellite and digital advances but the house is still there and looks good for a few more years yet and is still, no doubt, owned by a merchant from Hull.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Reflections on wind power

If you follow the path round the park it goes behind a thicket of trees and bushes emerging at a large pond. It's a fishing pond and there were anglers trying their luck from the bank. Where there's water there's reflections and with a 400ft windmill lurking in the background who could resist?

Pushing on further down a path through the trees brings you out on the banks of the river Hull. Here you can see how the generator stands well apart from the factory it serves, I guess in case it falls over.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Wind Power

The park I mentioned yesterday has a rather large neighbour,  the Croda wind powered generator. I've shown you this before ages ago but that was a distant shot. Up close it's really over powering. At over 400 feet in height it's almost as tall as the Reckitt chimney and is visible across the city. I was surprised by how quiet it was but then it wasn't a very windy day and it was only turning slowly. There's a certain elegance about it as well but would I want to live near it? Not really.

Some more (colour) shots of this tomorrow.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Nature's Playground

In a bid to interest the youth of Hull in nature the Council built a small nature playground in a local park. It has logs that you can play on or crawl through and fake toadstools that you can do, well, whatever you do on a toadstool and this charming piece of welding. I guess it represents some kind of creepy crawly and is meant to appeal to the younger mindset. Well I have to say when went past the other day the nature playground was empty and the unnatural playground with skateboarding facilities and swings and good old fashioned tyres on ropes was full of happy screaming brats with not a care for nature or her ways. Epic fail, I believe is the current term for this ...

Sunday, 5 August 2012


You know how jealousy goes; well the police get a nice new station so the firemen want one too. Here's the Clough Road fire station which funnily enough is directly opposite the spanking new police HQ. It's been found to be no longer fit for purpose (quelle surprise!) and so a new one will be built on this site for a shade under £4 million, chickenfeed compared to the £60 million being sploshed out across the road. Again this spending comes against a background of budget cuts to the service and loss of 70 or so staff with the same number threatened. We are promised that no lives will lost and that response times will be the same. We shall see.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

At The Carwash

I guess you have be of an age to recall a song of that name. Well this place is a miles away from that; you're unlikely ever to meet a  movie star or may be even an Indian Chief. This wash is on the edge of the badlands between Clough Road and Bankside and with millions of cars on the road is doing a fair trade. 

"Well those cars never seem to stop comin'.
  Keep those rags and machines hummin'"

Friday, 3 August 2012


This is the gasholder I showed before ( here ) only now it's empty. I've just realised that  it is a totally different design to the gasholder I showed yesterday and that's after thirty years of going to and fro past these things. Something new everyday ...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Form ever follows function

This view on Clough Road put me in mind of this little quote.

It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

So many numbers

Here's a welding shop on Clough Road and a fine collection of plates presumably from vehicles that didn't make it out of surgery.

This month's City Daily Photo theme is numbers. You can see what numbers others have added  at the Facebook page or here.