Monday, 31 December 2012

Licensed for the sale of spirits

The Manchester Arms on Scale Lane in the old town was recently in the news (local news for local people) as being haunted. The landlady claims a spirit by the name of Beryl (you couldn't make this stuff up) is causing mischief by flickering lights, turning off machines causing floods and "playing with her hair". She, the landlady that is, even claims to have captured the ghost on CCTV. Well, whatever the truth of all this, it certainly got some publicity for the place.

This being the last post of the year I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I'd like also to think that next year will be better than the this but then I never learn from experience.  Cheers and all the best as they say round here.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Oompah! Oompah! Stick it up your jumper!

When you look back it was obvious that what Hull lacked was a really good bandstand. No self-respecting city can hold its head up without a place for the delightful oompah of collective brass instruments gently wafting in the afternoon air while gentlemen in boaters escort ladies in their long Summer dresses across the green lawns of Queens Gardens .... Well now that shortfall has been met with this glorious edifice. Installed exactly a year ago by apprentices from Hull Training and Point Engineering and opened by the Mayor in his fancy regalia (any excuse to dress up) it is supposed to "enhance the musical life of the city". The first band to play was the Humberside Police Concert Band celebrating their 150th anniversary. The cost of £70-80,000 was met by a levy developers in the city pay towards community projects. Now far be it from me to rain on anyone's parade, least of all Humberside Police Band, but I seem to recall that when nearby streets were pedestrianised in the mid 80's a similar bandstand was erected then and lay idle for 10-15 years before being pulled down. 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Deep diving bell

Not really in the mood for posting today. Anyway here's what I assume is a diving bell parked up behind the Deep. This was taken early this year when they were installing the Tidal Power gizmo that you can see in the background. Right that's your lot, until tomorrow ...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Frosty afternoon

This was taken a couple of weeks back when we had some cold weather. Those young trees are part of the new cemetery's natural burial plot; a new twist to the saying dust to dust ashes to Ash.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

On its head

This hairdressers on Chanterlands Avenue has a tradition of displaying a black upside down tree in its window at this time of year.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Flash Car

I rarely use flash but when I came across this police car with its special reflective surfaces I just couldn't resist.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Cottingham Lights

Regular readers of this blog might expect me to be the sort of guy to say "Bah, humbug!" to all this festive nonsense. Not so. To all you Christians out there celebrating the birth of your saviour I say "Merry Christmas". To the rest of you I say "Bah, humbug!"

Monday, 24 December 2012

Red Lion

Although Red Lion is the commonest name for a pub in England this particular specimen, one of a pair, adorns a gate post on the Boulevard close to the mermaid fountain.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Rise and slow decline of Albion Street

Albion Street was built as Hull expanded in the early 19th century and could be said to have been the intellectual hub of the city at that time. It had at one end Hull General Infirmary, a Church Institute built "to promote the study of literature and science subordination to religion", the Royal Institution Hull's first museum finally finishing with the Assembly Rooms on Kingston Square. Hull Central Library was built at the western end in 1900. Since then the ravages of time, war and city planners have taken their toll. The Hospital was demolished in the 1970s and replaced by the Prospect Centre shopping mall, The Church Institute is now a hotel, the Royal Institute was destroyed by bombs in 1943 and is now a car park and health centre, and the Assembly Rooms are now the New Theatre
When I first came to Hull 30 or so years ago these houses in a once fine early Victorian terrace were pretty run down and neglected but over the years they've been done up and converted to apartments or flats as we call them over here. So much so that supply now appears to be exceeding demand.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

What? Who? When?

Try as I might I can find no information on this piece of pavement art. I can however tell you it's on High Street near the Olde Black Boy. The four whales are a reference to Hull's whaling past after that I'm at a loss. Clearly the the three crowns and a bird have some meaning but what I don't know. Personally I think it's a fairly ghastly item that has quite rightly been ignored by history.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The things people get up to ...

I know you all think of Hull as a place of wonder and amazement and I do nothing to dispel you from that notion but today unfortunately I have to show you a less salubrious side of this magnificent city. Here on George Street is a lap dancing club that goes by the name of Fantasy. Now purely for research purposes, you  understand, I have looked this place up on the internet and it appears to operate on the principle of a fool and his money soon being parted.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rose Villa

Rose Villa stands at the entrance to Pearson Park on Beverley Road. It's now a care home for the elderly but must have been some rich man's fantasy back in the early 1900's when Beverley Road looked like the picture below taken from almost the exact spot as the above.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Finishing touch

Up above the shoppers on Whitefriargate this neat little boat and dolphins nicely finishes off the Marks and Spencer's building. M&S are the last remaining major chain on Whitefriargate which is rapidly declining into a mix of pawnbrokers, betting shops and charity shops. It used to be the main shopping area in the city and with competition from the glass and steel monsters down the road it looks doomed.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Past and present

Or more properly present and past. Above we have the entrance to Princes Quay shopping mall viewed across the Hull hole. Below how it used to be many years back, well before I came to Hull and before pedestrianisation. Yep, that's a ship parked up against a shop.

I don't know who took this photograph, I 'borrowed' it from a Facebook group and where it came from before then is anyone's guess. Isn't sharing awesome?

Monday, 17 December 2012

From Scott Street Bridge

In April I posted about Scott street bridge and its plight here. It appears there is little or no hope of restoration, it's too far gone and besides there's no money. Anyhow here is the view upstream, regular readers will recognise Reckitt's chimney lurking in the background.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

View across the river

I had to poke my camera through a security fence on Tower Street to take this view of the Arctic Corsair moored up by the Transport Museum. One of the effects of the current financial depression is that the redevelopment of the east bank of the Hull has been put on hold (possibly indefinitely) so it remains fenced off and inaccessible.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Developer gets the hump

Some more images of the redevelopment of the Humber dock area, both taken some time ago (3 years! the old tempus has certainly fugited). The brown building on the right used to be a pub or club called, I think, Pepi's, anyhow it's since been demolished with a view to putting up some new 'attraction' or other. Well that was until the developer fell out with the Council calling one particular councillor the "rudest man" he'd ever met. Having seen the plans for this area I think rudeness was probably justified.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Billy Blue

Here's a nice speed boat because I've got nothing better to show as I've not been able to get out and about for a while for reasons which I won't bore you with. Good job I've got loads of unposted pictures. You might say this particular Billy is a bit blue.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

First frosts

The first hard frosts of this Winter have turned this flooded field on Snuff Mill Lane to ice. Contrast this then to the raging fire I posted of the same field in April here. Rain and lots of it have returned this field to its natural state, it really should be like this in Winter. The cold snap is set to end on Friday with lots more lovely rain coming in. Here's a couple of extra shots I took.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Another Bloody Church ...

So the lights turn green and we advance a few yards and wouldn't you know there's another church, Hull's Community Church. This one is brand new and is somewhat different from other places of worship. This one has funding from the Adventure Capital Fund for all kinds of community works and so on. In their words  "it’s a faith-based organisation working to improve lives in a deprived part of Hull". Hull Council and other groups rent space in the building providing a range of services from IT training to support for refugees, sports groups, and health charities. Now I'd prefer a secular approach to this sort of thing but in reality there was nothing like this going on before so I suppose it's welcome in a way.

Monday, 10 December 2012

While waiting for the lights to change ...

... I took these from a taxi on my way to east Hull a fortnight or so ago. This is Trinity Methodist church on the corner of Newland Avenue and Cottingham Road. It's main feature is the octagonal dome which is almost always topped by a sitting sea gull. The building was designed by our old friend Alfred Gelder in 1927ish.  I've seen this building described as looking like a cinema but personally I don't see the similarity. The bus stop on the right is the one overlooked by a skeleton (see here).

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Closed for the season

Fish and chips followed by ice cream or vice versa, part of the Hull diet which goes a long way to make Hull one of the chubbiest towns in Britain with nearly a fifth of children classified as obese. This closed cafe is near the Victoria Pier.

See more of the Weekend in Black and white here.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Deep scrap

This view of the Deep from Humber Street is not perhaps the one most visitors see. It's from Humber Street, I actually poked my camera through some gates to take this across the old dry dock that I showed you here. The new Hull local plan produced by the Council (at great cost, I've no doubt) has this area designated for "potential change" now what, I ask you,  does that mean exactly? Anything you want I guess.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Here under Myton bridge a traffic cone is slowly sinking into the ooze. This seems to be a favourite place for cones to go to die, I spotted three or four others in varying stages of disappearance. It brought to mind the strange but true phenomenon of the 'Cones Hotline' which was introduced in the 1990's by the hapless John Major for reporting errant traffic cones (in those days politicians worried about traffic cones instead of robbing the poor to pay the rich). Perhaps unsurprisingly the scheme was abandoned after it was found that many calls were frivolous, spoilsports!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Buy me/Rent me

It's not often you see figures like this that reveal just how much return landlords are wanting from their property. A quick check on the estate agent's website shows that returns of between 7-10% per annum are being asked. Still, as they say, there's asking and then there's getting and perhaps one reason why so many commercial properties are standing empty is the high return demanded. Of course if rents were calculated on the actual value of the property instead of an inflated figure based on the purchase price at the height of the 'boom' then a great reduction would be seen. But we know empires would have to fall before that happens.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Remains to be seen

There are still some brave people in Hull, people with real vision. They can see that what is needed on this site between the war memorial and the busy dual carriageway that is Ferensway is an outdoor eating experience. Yes, the place will be a "landscaped outdoor seating area for new cafĂ© bars and restaurants that it is hoped will emerge from the refurbishment of old shop units". First up a new brasserie ...Well good luck to all concerned. On a cold damp day at the end of November I had difficulty seeing the attraction but then I've always a problem with the vision thing.

Monday, 3 December 2012

So much junk

Waiting around near the war memorial on Ferensway I had time to take this detail shot and to notice that the recent stormy weather had played havoc with the Remembrance Day wreaths piling them up like so much junk. My grandfather joined up at the start of WW1 and fought through some of the worst action, his brother was killed in action. When it was over he seldom spoke about it, had no animosity towards the 'enemy' and certainly had no time for poppies, parades and memorials. He was too busy trying to raise a family through the depression years on 12 bob a week in this land fit for heroes.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Black on white

Pier Street and Nelson Street were built as part of a land reclamation scheme shortly after the southern part of the city wall was pulled down around 1813. Excavated clay from the construction of the Humber Dock was used to build up the shoreline. Nelson Street faces south towards the  Humber and the Victoria Pier.

See more of the Weekend in Black and White here.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Igglemire as once was

Here's my street as it was this morning. It's a fairly quiet tree lined road with most of the houses built around 1930 and connects Hull to Cottingham. The land on the left is shown on old maps as Igglemire, there was even an Igglemire House roughly where my house stands, such a shame that the name has gone although there's an Inglemire Lane close by. 

The theme for today is 'My Street' (which idiot thought that one up?). You can see what others have made of this over at the City Daily Photo portal here.