Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dram Shop

On the corner of George Street and Savile Street the Dram Shop has somehow survived the attentions of  the Luftwaffe and later city planners.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


With the recent discovery that horses can be made to look like cows I suspect that there is nothing quite so big as the smug smile on vegetarians' faces. As far as I know this is the only greengrocer's shop in the centre of Hull and apart from one or two stalls in the covered market supermarkets have taken over completely.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Hull Tidal Barrier

I'm posting this on Tuesday because Monday didn't happen. Tuesday isn't looking to be much of a day either ...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

East wind

Weather vane on Ferensway

“The East Wind, an interloper in the dominions of Westerly Weather, is an impassive-faced tyrant with a sharp poniard held behind his back for a treacherous stab.”  Joseph Conrad

High pressure over Scandinavia is drawing around an easterly wind that, we are are informed, comes all the way from Siberia. I know a wind chill of -2C is but a balmy day for some hardy folk but for a soft Englishman like myself it cuts through to the bone.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Old and new

So here we range from a 14th century church (the same church that appears in the header of this blog) through an early 1900's market tower with cupola to a 1970's car park and even newer offices. It might not but much of a view but when or if that 18 storey hotel goes up it will be lost and buildings that are,even if not attractive, at least on a human scale will be dwarfed.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

1 Timothy 5:18

Yesterday's figures  from our mendacious government claim a reduction in dole claimants. It is a fact not widely known that unemployed people who are placed on work related activities (workfare) are classed as being no longer unemployed. This sleight of hand, or lie if you will, instantly reduces the figures. The figures also hide the massive under-employment in this country with millions in part-time work. There is, of course, massive resentment at the use of unpaid labour in commercial firms but perhaps the biggest ire is aimed at charities taking on so-called volunteers who are nothing of the sort and cannot leave for fear of losing benefits for up to three years. Thankfully many firms and charities have withdrawn from the scheme. There are many small protests up and down the country about this but I suspect that when the diabolical changes to housing benefit and council tax benefit come into effect in April we shall see massive protests.

Today's image is part of a dozen or so on a wall facing the river showing trades and skills from the past. It shows a navvy who would never have dreamt of working for no pay.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Toys "Я" Them

I don't know what children make of this big impersonal toy supermarket. Clearly it's not aimed at them but at their parent's wallets. Still the sign's colourful. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

High hopes on High Street

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a plot of land standing idle must be in want of a hotel. So this site between High Street and the river has been earmarked for an "iconic" 22 storey hotel and conference centre [ 1 ].  Well in the intervening six months 22 has become 18 and no doubt by the time it ever gets built it'll be 5 or 6. Here's an impression of the latest scheme, it's a wonderful box shape don't you think, so original and so in keeping with the area. Readers with long memories may recall a proposal I mentioned to build a hotel complex a little further up the river at Clarence Mill two years ago almost to the day [ 2 ]; well nothing has come of that little plan either.

Monday, 18 February 2013


This handsome fellow guards the entrance to a cattery that claims to have 'luxury holiday chalets for cats'. I've seen the website and I wouldn't let my cats go there; they'd never want to come back. It's on Long Lane between Cottingham and Beverley.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Neptune sunk

In March last year I posted about the installation of this tidal power generator [ 1 ]. Sadly earlier this month the company running it announced that it had gone into liquidation [ 2 ]. It seems the use of a vertical turbine was technically flawed and unsuitable for commercial use. It's one of those instances were the small scale models gave misleadingly optimistic results that the full scale could not deliver. This is a considerable setback to the development of tidal power on the Humber. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

With the gods on their side

At the end of January I showed a silhouette of this figure in Queen Victoria Square [ 1 ]. Well here's a proper look at this piece of Edwardian nonsense. Their sense of imperial might had clouded their judgement and they have slipped back into Roman times, City Hall in the background with its columns and cupola is a fine piece of a classical wannabe. This is clearly one of Neptune's little helpers giving a guiding hand to British shipping. If this reflected the mindset of the powers that be in 1903 what are we to make of the leafy ball that is planned for close by?

There's more monchrome madness at the Weekend in Black and White here.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Two men in a boat

What to do in Hull to while away an hour in a February snow shower... why not try a visit to the Hull & East Riding Museum? During those sixty short minutes you can go back 235 million years, come face to face with a woolly mammoth, walk by iron age swords, Roman mosaics, Saxon invaders and on to the siege of Hull in the civil war. If you like your history in bite sized morsels and over quickly this is the place for you.

These two well endowed figures were found in Roos Carr in East Yorkshire in the 1830's. Victorians being what they were thought the genitals, which are detachable, were short arms; when they eventually worked out what was what they kept them hidden. The figures are 2,600 years old and made of yew. As far I know no-one knows much what purpose they served or why they were left. There's more about this here

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A little bit of snow

Silver Street, Hull
Foolishly I invited the wrath of the gods when I mentioned that Spring might be on its way a couple of days ago. Well that'll larn me! A strong icy cold, nithering easterly wind with snow made it distinctly unpleasant in town yesterday. Truth be told there wasn't much snow and it's forecast to warm up again during the week but I'm saying nothing more about Spring or anything along those lines.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


One picture, two stories. First the on-going non-operation of the new footbridge, as you can see nothing has happened since I last reported in November [ 1 ]. The bridge is ready to rock as they say; both sides of the river have been landscaped and prepared but it just sits there like some beached whale. No-one has any idea when it will open or if they do they aren't saying. I suspect that like most things money or the lack thereof  lies at the bottom of this saga. Money lies at the bottom of the second story too. There have been calls to dredge the river to improve flood defenses. You can see how silted up it's becoming; where that mud is ships once berthed. A figure of £14.6 million was picked out of a hat (where else do they get these figures from?). Fortunately wiser counsels have said it would make little or no difference to water levels in Hull so that  scheme looks like a non-starter. Hull is very good at non-starting.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

More Gloom

A nice bit of gloom over Albert Dock. Those with good vision will be able to pick out the Humber Bridge stretching away in the distance. The small bridge in the centre carries the public footpath up and along the top of the buildings on the left as I mentioned in a previous post here.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


This old weapon stands by the entrance to the marina. Like the rest of Hull's 'big guns' it has no real fire power.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Winter trees

Here's East Park's fine tree lined avenue in January.

See the Weekend in Black & White here.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Yawling, Quid and Blenny

Yawling, quid and blenny are not a firm of solicitors but part of yet another in the seemingly unending series of fishy plaques that lie hidden on Hull's pavements [ 1 ]. This one close by the entrance to the Marina has not one but three fishes on it. Blenny I'd heard off but yawling and quid were new to me. A bit of judicious searching tells me that yawling is a young herring whilst quid is a relative of the salmon. I've also found that there are about forty such plaques awaiting discovery, oh joy ...

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Lighting-up Time

Half an hour after sunset the street lights come on and if you're lucky the pavements have a patent leather shine. This is the building on the corner of Pier Street and Nelson Street that I showed a detail of back in December [ 1 ].

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


I mentioned a few day ago the difficulties of getting into the old harbour of Hull [ 1 ]. This barge skilfully managed the trick. It was coming upstream from the right of the picture but the current of the Humber meant that it had to go past the entrance to the river Hull on the right and the do a u-ey and let the current push it into the river. Turning a 55m tanker through 180 degrees in the Humber's current is no mean feat. This tanker is the Rix Eagle and plies from Immingham on the south bank carrying oil.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

City Hall

Here's the City Hall on a bright sunny day. The City Hall is not to be confused with the Guildhall which is the seat of local political shenanigans. No, the City Hall hosts concerts and other cultural events which may explain why there are so many police vans surrounding it.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Wellington Street Rail Track

Wellington Street runs from Queen Street parallel to the Humber all the way down to the Albert Dock. It would at one time have had many warehouses and been busy with the trade from the Humber Dock A dockside railway ran along this street and around the docks. Now the line and the street are blocked at this point and you have to cross via the marina's lock gates. On the left in the distance is Number Two Humber Quays.

Below is a dated view eastwards from the same spot showing the rail tracks. The building on the left has since been demolished and was mentioned in a previous post.

Below more tracks this time from the western side of Wellington Street. The brick wall is clearly a recent thing.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Pilot Office

Though the port of  Hull made its fortune by trading with the  ports of Northern Europe actually getting in and out of the river Hull in a boat was and remains a perilous operation. The currents of the Humber constantly change with the shifting sandbanks. A 1693 British Sea Atlas giving directions for sailing into the Humber starts with the following warning: "To sail into the River Humber you must have a care of  the Dreadful-Sand which is but 6 and 7 feet at low water". So from the earliest days there was a form of pilotage run by the Hull Trinity House and which was given royal backing when Henry VIII witnessed a Scottish vessel trying and failing to enter the port. After that all ‘strangers’ (foreign vessels including Scottish ships) visiting the port (Old Harbour) had to be brought in by a brother of the Hull Trinity House. Over the years the system was further regulated to keep out rogue elements who might be tempted to plunder wrecked ships. In 1821 this imposing Pilot Office was built at the corner of Nelson Street and Queen Street. It remained the central office for the Humber pilots until 1998. The building was then sold off for redevelopment as flats. The system of Humber pilots being self-employed which had existed for centuries was broken by the Associated British Ports in 2002 after a bitter dispute. Pilots are now directly employed by the ABP.

There is a very full history of the Humber pilots here.

More monochrome blogs at The Weekend in Black & White.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The rain it raineth everyday ...

...Upon the just and unjust fella,
But more upon the just because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella.

Today's theme for the monthly City Daily Photo grouping is 'Umbrellas'. To see what others have made of this theme from gamps to parasols to wherever their imagination has wandered click here.

OK I admit I don't have a picture of any umbrellas whatsoever. Even this picture was taken by Margot Juby.