Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ernest W. Steele & Co Ltd

Another unsafe empty property in the slough of despond that is the rancid centre of Hull. This one on Osborne Street, a broad thoroughfare running as fast as it can away from Princes Quay and yet another victim of the blight caused by the failure of redevelopment. Clearly there has been a name board removed to reveal Ernest W. Steele. At least I hope there has been since E W. Steele, according to records, went into liquidation in 1968 and surely this building hasn't been standing empty since then, though anything is possible in this squalid little town.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Hull Boys' Club

Across the road from the Hull Braves' building on Roper Street is the Hull Boys' Club. As the sign says it was founded in 1903 as one of the pioneer boys' clubs in the country to "Train the boys and youths of Hull & district to become good and useful citizens. Organise instructional, recreational and athletic classes. Promote and foster the spirit of amateur sportsmanship and to encourage and develop a high physical and moral standard". To achieve this they offer a variety of sports and physical training and weight training. I'm not going to pretend that sports and training is my thing (nor that I'm a good and useful citizen) so I'll just wish them good luck They are going to need it if the developers ever come back with plans for 'improvement'. They have a neat little website here.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Waterhouse Lane

Waterhouse Lane now runs from Castle Street and joins on to Osborne Street but formerly it ran on to the waterworks situated roughly where the City Hall now stands. As it ran alongside Princes Dock with that mix of sailors and alcohol it rightly had a reputation that lasted well after the dock had closed (just search 'Hull red light district' and you'll see what I mean). Now it's a sorry sight with planning blight hanging over it and only ugly depressing buildings serving little purpose remaining and that's the bit they're going to keep.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Old warehouse

Staying in the same area as yesterday's post there's this old warehouse with a sign saying it's unsafe and do not enter. At first sight I couldn't see anything untoward until I noticed this impressive crack on the end wall (You'll have to click on the picture to see it enlarged). Don't think they'll have to knock very hard for this to fall down.
More from this zone of doom tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Hull Braves' Guild

I can't see anyone nowadays setting up a charity to help disabled people giving it the title of Hull Guild of Brave Poor Things but back in 1898 you could get away with that kind of patronising attitude. The guild was abbreviated to Hull Braves and acquired this rare cast iron framed Victorian warehouse on Roper Street in 1925; it was a refuge for children affected by polio. Thanks to Jonas Salk and his vaccine polio is all but eliminated from the world and I suppose inevitably the Hull Braves disbanded in 2010. But not before selling this building in 2004 for over £100,000. If J P Morgan et al. hadn't stolen all the world's money this place would have been demolished to make way for the Quay West redevelopment. I suppose every cloud has a silver lining. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

Over the past few days I've posted from various points on Castle Street today I've reached the end with the junction of Waterhouse Lane and this scaffold clad remains known as Castle Buildings or Castle Street Chambers depending on where you look. It's a Grade 2 listed former office block probably connected with the foundry that used to operate from Princes Dock in the mid 19th century. Anyhow it's under protection and was, I think, being restored and so was wrapped up under plastic sheeting as you see in the top photo taken about three years ago. That is until a mighty storm ripped up the sheeting and completely destroyed it leaving it to thole the winter's sleety dribble, an' cranreuch cauld as it were. 
And, looking forward at the prospect dreary, if I've read the plans for Castle Street's 'improvement' correctly then this place and the Earl de Grey which is close by are both due for demolition. Some might say not before time.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Myton Gate

In 1322 the city of Hull was granted the right to collect murage, a tax to build and repair the city walls. Within thirty or so years the city was surrounded by walls on all sides except on the river Hull. There were five main entrances through which traffic could pass, North Gate, Beverley Gate, Myton Gate, Hessle Gate and Watergate. (I know the plaque says four but just because a gate leads to the city dump doesn't mean you can ignore it). You can get an idea of how the walls looked from the title picture at the top of this blog. The walls and gates were maintained up until the establishment of the Hull Dock Company in 1774, the next few years saw the demolition of all these medieval defences. I couldn't find any accurate contemporary images of Myton Gate, the image below comes from a series drawn in 1951 by somebody called T Armstrong and is on display in the robing room of the Guildhall. I cannot vouch for its accuracy.
This plaque is on a converted warehouse at the Castle Street end of Princes Dock. I've posted bits of this building before here and here.

From Hull Museums Collection

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Fish Street: now and then

Fish Street runs south from Holy Trinity church to Castle Street. Local artist Frederick Schultz Smith in 1889 must have been standing in more or less the same spot as me when he drew the picture below. I focused on the large Victorian former warehouse at the end as the street itself is just two monotonous rows of rabbit hutch social housing put up in the 1990s (modern houses are nearly half the size of houses built in the early 20th century). Back in 1889 this was a street of varied houses, hotels and even a church and many different trades operated from the street though even then the expansion of the city westward meant this area had started to decline. Nothing stands still and if the plans for Castle Street go ahead Fish Street will be blocked off at the southern end making it a cul-de-sac.

From Hull Museum Collections

Friday, 23 August 2013

One bridge or three?

Well it had to happen I suppose. After years of delays and moans and groans from all who have any contact at all  with Castle Street the Government have finally said that money (esti­mated cost of the project is £129 mil­lion to £192 mil­lion!) will definitely be spent on improving this road. The plans, as I understand it, are to lower the level of the road and build pedestrian bridges across. But work won't start 'til at least 2015 and as the saying goes there's many a slip twixt cup and lip. Speaking of slips, the question has arisen as to whether to have one big extra wide 'land bridge' or three smaller ones. The Council are pushing for the former (they are calling it 'iconic', which is always a worry) and a 'developer's tax' (aka community infrastructure levy) might be imposed by Hull Council to pay for some of this. That sounds to me like well if not exactly killing the goose that lays the golden eggs then at least taking a bucket of the auriferous corn.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

5 Scale Lane

This small and rather unimpressive building is Hull's oldest domestic building according to the blue plaque and this website. Despite, or perhaps due to, having an awful punning name this business seems to have failed as did the "Hurry Curry" enterprise that preceded it.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Ultimate Shopping Experience

Try as I might I cannot understand what an "ultimate shopping experience" might be. Is it, I ask myself, when you go to the shop and it actually has in stock all the items you require and all prices have been reduced by 50%? No? Well then enlighten me ....

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Many years ago I had a short stay in Paris. I thought I'd go to the Louvre. But it was Tuesday and it was shut. Today I finally found this small art gallery on Osborne Street. But it was Tuesday and it was shut. Hmmmm

There's a website for this place here.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Time's up

Some may not appreciate an undertaker's clock ticking away the minutes of their life. Doesn't bother me that much.

Taken by Margot K Juby

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Not having anything new to offer I've raided my archives for this view of the head of Beverley Beck with the minster peeking out at the back. It was taken in early January 2009 so it's almost antique.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Friday, 16 August 2013

Business School

This is one of three similar buildings surrounding a sunken lawn and rose garden that make up Hull University Business School. Originally these buildings were a teacher training college producing much needed educators to enlighten the youth of this country and lead them out of the pernicious evils of illiteracy and ignorance. Now it produces those jacks-of-all-trades-and-masters-of-none known as managers (see below). Still there's no shortage of applicants willing to cough £9,000 a year to "develop the capacity to recognise the connections that make a difference and think creatively to lead change in a responsible way, whatever their role on the global business stage". Well they talk a good talk I'll give them that.
As I was taking this shot a horny-handed son of toil who happened to be passing commented  "That'll make a pretty picture". I couldn't agree more.

manager n 1: An egotistic lemming, often with delusions of competency, able to leap small bandwagons with a single phrase. 2. One who occupies one’s time with meetings, seminars, and training, thereby keeping oneself out of the way of people who are actively trying to accomplish something. the revised devil's dictionary

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Segal's Law

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure" 
Both clocks were wrong it was twenty past three when I took this.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Seems the smaller the gap the more interesting the goings-on on the other side ... I seem to have run out of interesting pictures and so am reduced to working with animals ....

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Scrapped Yard

Now even the old scrap yard has gone. I think there are plans for a shopping centre on this site at the western end of Holderness Road.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Yellow Skip

Ever had one of those strange unsettling dreams where you're walking through a familiar place but everything seems slightly strange and altered? Welcome to Holderness Road where the shops are still there but most of them are closed and in some cases totally gutted. It getting beyond depressing it's becoming spooky.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Green House

Here's a place that seen many uses over the years. The bit on the right is the remains of a Presbyterian church schoolroom. The church, I've read, was an imposing yellow brick building with its own tram stop at the rear! It was knocked down in the 1970's and the nondescript shed built in its place. The first I saw of this place it had been painted all over in a rather dull green and was functioning as a pub called The Green Man. Then it was a ten pin bowling alley for a while before just recently becoming a dance academy. This verdant building is more or less directly opposite yesterday's blue house. It's not always so colourful on Holderness Road.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Blue House

I took this because blue houses are such a rare sight in Hull, almost a threatened species. Although now it's offices originally this must have been a very large residential property and old maps show a small garden where that man is standing. If blue is your thing then this is at the corner of Wilton Street and Holderness Road.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Look your last

Here in all its monochrome glory stands the St Marks Street gas holder. Erected in the mid 1890's by the magnificently named Sutton, Southcoates and Drypool Gas Company this, we are told, no longer serves any useful purpose and so on Monday the wreckers will arrive with long shears to pull it down. It clearly serves no purpose to those who view is limited to the balance sheet and the bottom line. It was built in the days before welding and every inch (and I do mean every inch) is riveted together and that must have taken a hell of a lot of work.

Now I've mentioned before that there are naughty boys and girls who will explore places that ordinary people usually leave well alone. So here is a link to this place at night when nobody else is around (here)

My thanks to @Hoga4 for bringing this imminent demise to my attention.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Piece of Advice

I got a bit of a shock when I saw this place closed. Surely, I thought, they can't have abolished Citizens Advice along with the rest of public services but a small notice by the door informs me that the Citizens Advice Bureau has moved from Charlotte Street Mews to the Wilson Building on Alfred Gelder Street. So at least for the time being we still have this small mercy.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Monday, 5 August 2013

Shop window

This newsagent and deli on Grimston Street was as I recall a bread shop many years back. It had what can only be described as a minimalist approach to window dressing. If you were lucky there might be a lone can of Fanta or some such sitting alluringly in all that window space, the rest was bare. How they got any passing trade to enter was beyond me. Anyhow we now have lace curtains and it's selling all the essentials from ciggies to sarnies.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Water rip-off

Once upon a  time, long, long ago, water was supplied by philanthropic means through public fountains and cattle troughs like this one on High Street [ 1 ]. Nowadays, thanks to the bounty that is 'free market capitalism' we pay on average £368 per year for water and nearly a third of that goes as profit to the private equity firm that has swallowed up the water business in Yorkshire.

Saturday, 3 August 2013


Here's the new Trinity House School building on George Street. It may look new but it's basically a facelift of the old University of Lincoln building that I showed a while back, here. Amazing what cladding can do! The squat rectangular building on the right is new and seems to be striving to take dull to a new level.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Teeth replaced while you wait

This old style gold sign has been promoting this business for at least thirty years and probably much longer than that. It's on Jarratt Street should your gnashers ever need a repair.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Street Lights

This triplet of spherical lamps illuminate King Edward Street. The background is the BHS mural that I showed a long time ago here.

City Daily Photo's theme this month is street lights, catch the latest postings here.