Friday, 30 November 2012

From Park Street bridge

The park that Park Street once led to is long gone or possibly never existed; it's just a dreary cut-through from Anlaby Road to Spring Bank but it does have a bridge that rises up and over the rail tracks giving this view of Paragon station. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

@StStephen's is now following you

Photo taken by Margot K Juby
Here's St Stephens mall from the car park entrance. Those hanging daleks are, I suppose, meant to be Xmas decorations. I learned today from Twitter that this mall along with many others tracks the signal from mobile phones in order to find out which shops are being visited. I'm told there is a sign to this effect near the entrance though I admit I've never seen it. Perhaps the couple on the left have noticed it and are taking the only appropriate action; turning the damn things off.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Customer car park

Here's the car park underneath Tesco's supermarket in St Stephens. I took this while waiting for a taxi to take me and my shopping home. It's meant for customers of Tesco and it's free but don't stay more than two hours or they'll do you for £70! Last Xmas, the spirit of goodwill and peace to mankind was distinctly missing from this place with fisticuffs over parking places [ 1 ]. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

They're really spoiling us ...

Record crowds are flocking to the Ferens art gallery this year. First Warhol now Leonardo da Vinci, from the ridiculous to the sublime you might say. Before getting too carried away what we have here are 10 small (as in sometimes very small) drawings, extremely well executed as you might expect but somewhat dull and unexciting. The exhibition blurb tells us that the items "reflect the artist's use of different media and his extraordinary range of interests from painting and sculpture to engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics, and anatomy". Two that stood out for me were a Heath-Robinson contraption for attaching  lances to a horse and a profile of an old man which I'm told is one of his last drawings. The drawings are part of the Royal Collection (thank you, your maj, Gor bless 'er!) and Hull rarely gets to see these things so go by all means. Oh and it's free!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Half a story

By the mouth of the river Hull these spiked fans are meant to keep the foolhardy from clambering about and falling in and meeting a watery end. A few weeks ago I was talking to someone on the bus into town and he mentioned that as a young boy in the 70's he'd found a dead body in the river, just stuck in the mud. Of course he reported it and received a reward of, I think he said, 50p for doing so. He told me there's apparently some mediaeval law that sets this reward and it was set when 50p was 10 shillings and a shilling was a lot of money. That's the story I was told it might be a load of  hooey for all I know.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bit of birdwatching

This time of year East Park lake becomes the home for about twenty or so goosanders and every year I go along to take some pictures. And every year they stay just too far away for anything you might like to call a decent shot. (Yeah, I know, invest in a bigger lens ...) So I turn to the never knowingly shy black-headed gulls for my picture of the day. Below the best I could manage of those darn ducks.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Art Deceaux

JC Deceaux claim to be one of the world's leading outdoor advertising companies and with 1,013,500 advertising panels in more than 55 countries I couldn't possibly dispute that. In Hull the company has the exclusive contract to supply bus stops and also some "eye catching columns in the heart of the city's pedestrianised retail centre" (not my words!). Tesco, obviously think it's worth while to flaunt its wares for our delectation but then again that might have something to do with their profits falling for the first time in 18 years.

Friday, 23 November 2012

The old horse wash

This ramp down to the Humber was used to wash horses. Now you can see how rich and brown the Humber is so I wonder just how clean the horses were after their ablutions but maybe the idea was just to cool them off after their hard labour. I found an old image of the 'oss wash (as the natives call it) in action here. Seems to have been a fair number of gawpers in those days before daytime TV.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Red Fred

The lock-keeper's cottage at Hull Marina has been taken over by a design and marketing consultancy, well, ok, a PR firm called Fred, it's as good a name as any I suppose.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ghost hotel

On the corner of Queen and Wellington Street, the building known as Wellington House has been boarded up and depictions of life from a bygone age have been posted on those boards I suppose to stop graffiti artists. This expansive lithograph is deceptive in that it does not show the buildings opposite the hotel. Glover's hotel was on the same street as the Oberon I showed a few days ago; it's now long gone and only a seedy pub is on that site.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

“Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful.”

And still we wait for the bridge to open.... Promised in September to open in October and here we are mid-November. What do we do now? Wait ....

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hull's one and only anchor

On High Street just past the Myton Bridge and adjacent to the Icefish I showed yesterday is this impressive black anchor. There's no sign as to where it came from and I can find nothing via our mutual friend Google. It seems sturdy enough but as the old saying goes it is best to trust to two anchors.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Life in a cold climate

This pavement plaque is part of the Seven Seas Fish Pavement that I have mentioned before [ 1 ]. This one is an Icefish something which I'd never heard of. Turns out these creatures have somehow managed to mangle up the gene for haemoglobin production which under normal circumstances would come under the heading of 'not recommended'. However they live as proof that variety is indeed the spice of life. Living in very cold Antarctic waters, where the oxygen levels are higher than in warm water, they hang on in there. They're also translucent as the best picture on Wikipedia clearly shows here. There's an informative article here.
Talking about the struggle for survival, the Seven Seas fish oil factory in Hull has been scheduled for closure. The firm blames the country's economy, personally I blame the fact they didn't employ me when I applied for a job there 25 years ago. Anyhow that's another 250 people who may lose their job as we confidently stride out of recession, or not.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

From Victoria Pier

This is the view towards the river Hull from what is now called the Victoria Pier but which used to be called the Corporation Pier and from which ferries ran across the Humber to New Holland.  I thought the gull deserved a close-up for not flying away while this idiot was lining it up for the shot.
City Daily Photo's In Focus features an interview with me covering cynicism, romanticism, Philip Larkin and other bits and bobs about photography and Hull. Though I say it myself it's far from boring. Read it here.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Voter apathy

Yesterday (Thursday) we had elections for police and crime commissioners. These individuals are to replace the established and functioning local police authorities. Despite it being the first election of its type enthusiasm for this vote is lower than low, estimates of a 10-15% turnout have been made. Due to very poor publicity no-one seems to know who is standing or what qualities are needed for the job. As one of the candidates was John Prescott a former Labour MP,  cabinet minister indeed deputy prime minister no less I went along just to vote against him. The choice of a church for a polling station was apt since God only knows what's going to happen with this vote.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The only sign

Oh this is a pub sign for sure but the pub is gone. The Oberon on Queen Street is no more and now a set of luxury apartments and a property developer (what else?) has taken over. Only this sign and, strangely, the pub name remain of this once fine hostelry

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Taxi rank

These are licensed cabs at Paragon Station or, should I say, Hull Interchange. You can hail one in the street for a ride that's if you can find one because they tend to queue up at this rank or the one across the road. Because they charge not only for distance travelled but also time taken these are much, much more expensive than hire cars which you can ring up for or go to a firm's offices which are dotted about town. If there's three or more of you I'd recommend getting a hire car it'll be cheaper than the bus.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


"If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office."  George Lucas 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bridge for the living

Last year was the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Humber Bridge. Since then, as I may have mentioned, the tolls have have been reduced by half with increased traffic of 7% so that's good news all round. I was prompted to post this picture by one those plaques to do with the Larkin Trail that pepper the city in various places. This one by the old ferry landing pier.

This mentions a cantata called 'Bridge for the Living' written to celebrate the completion of the bridge so a little trip to You Tube found the following. Some of the pictures are pretty and you can always turn the sound off.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Nautical Mile Promenade

A stroll along the prom has long been one of the attractions of the seaside and at Bridlington you can stroll for a whole nautical mile. Several small promenades were rejigged and joined together in what is described as "an imaginative stretch of waterfront, which never fails to hold the visitor's interest, and which is by turn exciting, instructive, humorous and good fun, at any time of the year".

Here's one they built earlier.

Accompanying you on your stroll is a running dialogue of phrases from poems, odd thoughts and details of events that happened nearby, shipwrecks and rescues and so on. At a nautical mile in length it's claimed to be the longest piece of writing in the world.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Friday, 9 November 2012

Life's a beach

In the times of yore, when I was a lad, we went to beach and played about, got wet, didn't drown and went home happy. But lurking behind all the jollity was an hidden need for a sign. How could we go on without the Great Sign? Well here's a classic; a triptych full of dos and donts and totally meaningless icons that need a description to make sense. The right hand sign has description of Bridlington beach which is, ahem, just behind it! I don't know now how we ever managed without them.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Burton Agnes in passing

On the train coming back from Bridlington and going as fast as the push-me-pull-you diesel can go I had very little time to catch this glimpse of Burton Agnes Hall. The estate has been in the hands of the same family since some Norman stole it way back whenever. That's the Tudor gatehouse peeking out of the trees the hall itself is hidden from view. It's a tourist attraction and you can have a family fun day out if that's your poison. Wikipedia has more here

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Watching over us

Taken by Margot K Juby
The buses in Hull are often late due to the heavy traffic and terrible roads so there's often time to look around and notice out of the corner of your eye someone who has obviously been waiting far too long.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ye Olde Black Boy

Ye Olde Black Boy on the High Street claims to be Hull's oldest pub being built in 1729 though the site is much older dating back to the 14th century. Several theories about the meaning of the name have been put forward: a chimney sweep, a black page boy, even a reference to King Charles II who reputedly was swarthy in appearance! There was a  fashion in the 18th century for black servants, they were slaves in all but name however remember no-one could be a slave in England dontcha know, see here. There is some irony in the fact that this was probably William Wilberforce's local  as his house is at the other end of the street. That's if he ever drank, he strikes me as having been a lot of a prig with his Society for the Suppression of Vice and other 'good works', his son was known as 'Soapy Sam' infamous for his opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and his grandsons were leading lights in the Church of England Temperance Society! They would have abolished not just slavery but all the agreeable vices that make life just about bearable. But I digress. I don't know why the chap in the sign is carrying a cricket bat and an axe perhaps he's looking for a temperance man ...

Unsurprisingly the pub's history is available online here.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Waiting for the bus at Cottingham Green a few days ago it grew dark and began to spit on with rain which gradually got heavier and heavier till, well we've all been there; down it all came seemingly in one big dollop. Still I was under some cover and stayed dry and the bus was due in three minutes. Time for some photos.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

It's due to pigeons that alight ...

This monument to Queen Victoria and the British Empire is acquiring some well deserved natural whitewash.

See more of the Weekend in Black and White here.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Remember, remember the fifth of November or failing that the nearest Saturday night before. The traditions associated with Guy Fawkes Night seem to be disappearing fast. No longer do you see youngsters wheeling a Guy around asking "Penny for the guy"; the month leading up to it is now as quiet as any other when once it was thirty nights of bangers and rockets. It's part a fashion thing; who wants to buy six penny bangers when you can have a 4000 shot Hell Messenger or a Zombie Slayer? And then there's the heavy handed killjoys of the previous administration who banned the sale of fireworks until just before the event and prohibited letting off fireworks in the street .... anyway don't forget to raise a toast to Guy Fawkes the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Sine Qua Non

So here we are up close and personal with the indispensable tidal surge barrier. Since it was built in 1980 it has saved the city from flooding thirty times, roughly once a year. It was refurbished at a cost of  £10 million a couple of years back, but that's money well spent considering that a year ago it stopped a 16ft high tide from engulfing the city centre. So a big hat tip the engineers who designed and built this 98ft, 212tonne beauty.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Water's Edge

Bridlington's south shore at low tide is a good place to spot some wading birds.

This month's theme is 'the water's edge'. Find what others have made of this at the new CDPB monthly theme page here.