Sunday, 30 June 2013


This is the chimney of the Guildhall's boiler house used to keep the Council Chambers warm. Nowadays the need for economies has led to efforts to capture and recycle the vast quantities of  hot air produced by Councillors but as with every project from this place it cost a lot of money in planning and consultations before the appropriate palms could be crossed with silver. Needless to say we are still waiting to see any results, delays have been blamed on the there being the wrong sort of cold in the building.

Enough of this nonsense. The Weekend in Black and White is on the other end of this link.

Saturday, 29 June 2013


Here's a bit of a local success story, very local indeed; this is very much a North of England concern. Boyes started up in Scarborough in the 1880's and have slowly and successfully spread across the north-east of England selling what they call good value products at reasonable prices. There's a total of forty six Boyes stores across the northern counties and there's three in Hull. This one is on Holderness Road and stands on the site of a cinema destroyed toward the end of the war causing the last civilian casualties in the war. A plaque on the corner commemorates the event. During the war news reports were not allowed to name individual towns so  Hull became "a North-East Coast Town"; this didn't save it or the residents from a hellish experience.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Not so pretty

When East Park was rejigged a few years ago a new animal enclosure was built with this particularly ugly fence surrounding it. It's not improved by the electric topping that accompanies it.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

East Park Lake

It's been a while since I've been to East Park and in the meanwhile there have been developments, some welcome and one completely incomprehensible. Let's start with this welcome addition; a  path over the water allowing you this rather pleasant view along the length of the lake. All very nice and would be improved only by removing the accumulated rubbish that has gathered by the shore but that's a quibble.

Now for something that makes no sense to me at all: a new low level fence erected around the lake shore at the most popular spot in the park. Is it to keep people out of the lake?  I've never heard of anyone falling in here, the odd rogue dog has jumped in so I've been told but so what. Or is it, as I suspect and knowing the mindset of Hull City Council, to stop birds from coming out of the lake to be fed by passers-by, heaven forfend that people should feed the ducks as they have done for over a hundred years: this has to be stopped. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Manhattan Salad

I noticed this enticing sign on Trinity House Lane yesterday. A quick search in Google tells me the salad bar opened in May 2010 sadly the same search also showed the company appears to have been dissolved in 2012. Maybe Hull isn't big on salad (there's no maybe about it). Now you can't fail with a patty in a breadcake!

If only they had listened to Bart Simpson....

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


OK this is one those believe it or not posts. If you don't believe it then it'll probably disappear in a cloud of pixie dust before your very eyes.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Lion and Key

The Lion and Key first opened in in 1817 at the corner of Scale Lane and High Street. Until a few years ago however it was trading under the name of Durty Nelly's (sic). Not surprisingly that enterprise failed (what were they thinking of?) and the pub was bought up and given its original name back and is doing well unlike a lot of pubs not just in Hull but all across the country where twelve pubs are closing every week! The opening of the new swing bridge will no doubt pull in some passing trade.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Saturday Afternoon

So this is what Hull gets up to on a Saturday afternoon in June! Let's start with the copper man who sits on an invisible seat, close by there's the preacher man converting no-one in particular but the whole world in general and roundly ignored by all and sundry.

In Queen's Gardens it was Armed Forces Day with a rock band, loud and not too bad, in the new bandstand and lots of stalls for various army things, not my cup of tea but you can't please everyone. In the morning there had been a march by troops through the town past the mayor in all her glory. Needless to say I missed that.

It was ten minutes 'till the next Punch & Judy show so I moved on and took pictures of the new bridge which I posted yesterday.

On Whitefriargate a man was sculpting a dog out of sand, according to the local newspaper there's a craze for this kind of thing. Whoever would have guessed?

And last but by no means least Hull's Olympic gold medal winning boxer Luke Campbell was giving sparring lessons to anyone brave enough to take him on in Queen Victoria Square ... 

After all that it was time to go home and put my feet up. There were other things going on as well but if I told them all here there'd be nothing left for tomorrow. Hull dull? Nah! Well not today at least.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The waiting is over

Regulars to this blog will appreciate the long, long wait (is it really over three years?) that we have endured for this event, the opening of the new swing bridge on Scale Lane. [1 2 3 4 5 6 ] So now we can hop, skip and jump across the river from the Old Town to, well, basically not very much. It's handy for the hotel that sits at the east end and I suppose you could get to the Deep and Victoria Dock and so on but there's really nothing close to the east side to merit any attention unless tarmac turns you on. If I told you the price of this you'd only whistle through your teeth ....

Friday, 21 June 2013

Signs Display

This company makes those little 'For Sale' signs for estate agents and so much more that you really have to go their website to find out the enormous range of services on offer. I never imagined there were so many uses for a sign. This colourful display is on Argyle Street.

The City Daily Photo Festival of the Solstice is here.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Flames of Hull

"Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning!"

Much to everyone's surprise and as if to prove that satire hasn't died Hull was short listed yesterday for the UK 2017 City of Culture award. The idea of giving the odious Hull City Council and any private enterprise partners £11 million to play with for one year strikes me as ridiculous but then these are silly times and frankly anything is possible. To get this glittering prize Hull is offering to stage around 1500 events, dozens of festivals and no fewer than 12 artist residencies and watch out for collaborations with Reykjavik and Rotterdam. Hull remains in competition with the fair cities of Dundee, Leicester and Swansea all cultural icons in their own right as you are all too well aware. The final judgement is at the end of this year, the excitement is palpable and mounting by the hour. 

Personally state sponsored 'culture' is quite repulsive and redolent of the panem et circenses of bygone eras. So just burn me up now please.

City Daily Photo is having a mid-month theme on the Solstice which for some reason involves the classical elements of earth, water, air, fire, and spirit. Well I've fire here and if the culture of a place could be called its spirit that makes two. Given the amount of hot air issuing over Hull's bid it's going to take a lot of cold water to bring them down to earth. Anyhow, enough, see how others have struggled with this theme here.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

It's that man again

Old Pip Larkin still running for his train .... He once wrote in an introduction to a book "When your train comes to rest in Paragon Station against a row of docile buffers, you alight with an end-of- the-line sense of freedom ..."  well, maybe so, I can't help feeling the old librarian was taking the proverbial mickey...docile buffers, indeed!.

A local councillor recently criticised Hull's newish fangled rail/bus station as being difficult to navigate if you are a first time visitor. A facetious response would be that the first time visitor is well advised to turn round and go back but I rise above that. Most people seem to want to know how to get to the Deep and, of course, there no signs or if there are I haven't seen them. This aspiring city of culture is incapable of joined up thinking. Seems the ticket office is difficult to find and it's an overall confusing experience.  Oh and the toilets are a pit of hell as well ... go back, I tells yer, go back, go back..

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Lair

Installed in what was once a waiting room for emigrants who wanted to make a dream come true in another land is the Tigers Lair, a place for supporter's of the local football club who, I suppose, also want to make their dreams come true. Well, they're playing with the big boys next season we'll see what comes of dreaming.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Buffet car

So what do you do with two old rail carriages and an archway on Beverley Road? Obviously you turn them into a cafe bar, what else?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Where have all the flowers gone ...

What, you might ask, has the brutal murder of a young man in Woolwich, south London a couple of weeks ago got to do with Hull? Well I don't know, I'm sure, but quite a few have taken that horrific event to heart and left bunches of flowers at the war memorial on Ferensway. Presumably it makes them feel better and if doing this  means they are not joining the odious English Defence League marching on our streets and hurling vile racial abuse at Asian shopkeeprs then I suppose it does no harm. But then again that's a big if ....

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Scenic Route

The usual route to east Hull is a pretty straight forward trip along Clough Road and Mount Pleasant. The last time, however, the taxi driver had other ideas and off we went down the byways of the back of beyond. I managed a few shots as we went along. They're in black and white 'cos the windows had a gaudy blue tint.

The Weekend in Black & White is here.

Friday, 14 June 2013

It's a Hull thing

Patty: a concoction of mashed potato and sage covered in batter and deep fried; sometimes served with chips which are potatoes also deep fried and scraps which are bits of deep fried batter. Often served in a Patty Butty which means the patty comes in a breadcake with butter (the health conscious leave out the butter).

Breadcake: a small round piece of bread  sometimes known as a bap or barm cake or stottie or bun or  fadge or whatever other dialect term meets your fancy.

Obesity Table: one of the few leagues that Hull tops [ 1 ].

This toad, known for some reason as the "Hull Poem Toad" was part of the Larkin Toads thing from a couple of years back. It's not on food shop, oh no, it's on a shop selling doors on Anlaby Road.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Stanley Street: a place of miracles

In this innocuous looking building a privately owned French company (Atos) is carrying out one the most repulsive programs of this government, one that is leading to misery and even death for thousands of the most vulnerable. This is the Department for Work and Pensions medical centre on Stanley Street where the sick and disabled must come to jump or crawl through hoops to show they are unfit enough to receive a pittance of benefit. The inspiration behind places like this is the novel Catch 22; so merely turning up for an interview shows you are well enough to work and not turning up means benefits are stopped. Needless to say the system does not work and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people waiting to appeal decisions based on the the rigid computerised questionnaire used by Atos. These appeals can take over a year to reach a tribunal and when they do up to 70% are successful, clear evidence that Atos are not doing proper assessments (they get paid whatever, needless to say). The human cost is measured in the suicides of mental health patients forced to apply for work, filling in the forms is too daunting for some, cancer patients denied benefits on their death beds and others simply dropping dead days after they've been told they are fit for work. The gallows humour has it that this place works miracles: so many infirm and disabled suddenly able to live an active economic life after a short visit.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Eagle, Coltman Street and a Cautionary Tale

There has been a pub called the Eagle on or around this site since 1840 [ 1 ]. Now, along with many other pubs, it's closed and up for sale and looking a bit forlorn. It stands on the corner of Anlaby Road and Coltman Street. Now Coltman Street and thereabouts have long had a well deserved reputation for criminality and even murder. A particularly brutal one in the early nineties when a man was shot dead on his doorstep is still controversial. A favourite of mine, if that is the word to use about these things, happened in the early 80's. A man strangled his wife and left her body in the bedroom over Winter, with the windows wide open of course, so the smell would dissipate. The victim in this case was described as being odd because she was quiet ("she wouldn't gossip") and read books, and thus was clearly asking for trouble! The killer was convicted of manslaughter the following Summer, spent a few months in prison and was out before the year was over, no doubt to have a drink in this very pub. That's 1980's by the way not 1880's.
I hear there are attempts to do up the street and bring it back to its former glory. I'm not so sure that's such a good idea. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Building

Higher than the handsomest hotel
The lucent comb shows up for miles, but see,
All round it close-ribbed streets rise and fall
Like a great sigh out of the last century.

After 46 years Hull Royal Infirmary is beginning to show its age. Chunks of cladding have been coming adrift for a few years and so finally money has been found to repair and rebuild, there's even enough for a new Accident & Emergency Department, so as you can imagine the site is bit chaotic with more builders than doctors. I fear it is going to take more than a few million and a crowd of builders to save our NHS from the predations of this Government but this is not the place for that discussion.

The quote is from that beacon of joy Philip Larkin, (who else?), it ends:

That is what it means,
This clean-sliced cliff; a struggle to transcend
The thought of dying, for unless its powers
Outbuild cathedrals nothing contravenes
The coming dark, though crowds each evening try

With wasteful, weak, propitiatory flowers.

Until tomorrow then, if I'm still here ...

Monday, 10 June 2013

N ♥ L 09

A declaration of love made four years ago, I wonder if the passion is still as strong now and would they carve their names again on an old churchyard tree?

For those who like numbers and so on, Blogger informs me that this is the 1,000th post. I suppose a modest celebration is in order,

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Going to waste

This is the back of Humber Street taken from what would at one time have been Scott's Square. The cleared land was once made up to be a car park but now it's sealed off as even that can't turn a buck and besides those falling bricks might damage the chrome work. 

The Weekend in Black & White is here.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Was it Bill or was it Ben?

Readers who do not understand the title of today's post might like to Google 'Flower Pot Men' though on the whole I wouldn't recommend it (see below). This potty character adorns a café on Chanterlands Avenue.

OK for those of you who like to suffer or simply regress back to a long lost childhood here's a whole episode of the Flower Pot Men. I used to watch this during my formative years; it may explain a lot! Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin ....

Friday, 7 June 2013

Blue skies smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see ...

Even a failed and lapsed scientist like me knows the importance of taking a representative sample but yesterday afternoon no matter where you pointed your camera there was only this horrible blue sky, a big old sun and no clouds.  This is only noteworthy because it rarely happens. Hopefully it won't last.

There's more blue sky thinking at Skywatch Friday here.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

A green path

This is one of the paths through Spring Bank cemetery, the eastern end that's no longer used. The trees are doing their yearly trick of looking new. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Windows and mud

Here's the view across the entrance to Humber Dock or the Marina as it's now called. This the old Steam Packet Wharf that I mentioned in a previous post. As you can see it's just a little bit silted up.