Saturday, 30 November 2013

Princes Dock after dark

With these early sunsets I suppose I'd better practice taking shots at night but I won't be carrying a tripod round with me, too much faffing about. Here's a few from around Princes Dock, I don't think they're too shaky, a little grainy maybe but I'm sure there's a cure for that. Change the ISO I'm thinking. Maybe if I read the manual I'd know all the tricks of the camera ...

Friday, 29 November 2013

Never Yawn

It's been a while (in May actually, who knows where that old time goes?) since I've been round the Humber Street area so coming across this artwork/graffiti on Martin's Alley was a pleasant surprise. It's just about all that remains now of this year's Hull Sesh a Summer festival that attracts thousands to this part of town. If the picture looks a bit dull that's because taking photos at four pm on a late November day is probably not a good idea as the sunsets at about quarter to four ....

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Xmas and all that jazz

After yesterday's village illuminations here's how the big town lights up. Above is Whitefriargate with its canopy of  glittery delight. The tree in Queen Victoria Square this year changes colour every few seconds and I must admit is probably the best tree for many years, someone had the bright idea of turning off the nearby street lights so it shows off better. I remember one year the tree was so puny it had to be replaced and on the whole the trees have been a bit of a disappointment. Not that I'm that much into Xmas and all that jazz, you understand, but if you're going to do it at all you may as do it well.. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Four weeks to go

Here's a sample of Cottingham's seasonal lights which are generally admitted to be far superior to those of the neighbouring big town.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

What a waste

OK this is another rubbish post ... I liked the peeling paint and dribbling rust on the pillar. This is somewhere off Clough Road in the back of beyond.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Adelphi Club

A few days ago I casually posted a massive bomb atop the Adelphi Club without saying anything about the actual club. This was remiss of me as the Adelphi is one of Hull's cultural hotspots. The Adelphi Club on De Grey Street looks like a terraced house that's because it is or was a terraced house. It opened twenty-six years ago because the owner wanted to go downstairs in his home and see a band play. Over the years it has grown the reputation as a premier underground music club. Its charm has to be its small size and the Bus bar (don't ask).

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Meet the new bank, same as the old bank.

A few months ago this Lloyds bank turned overnight into a TSB. This, I've read, was to increase competition among the retail banks (no, I couldn't believe that either). I doubt it'll make much difference to one man and his dog.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Looking good

My what a difference a coat of paint makes (along with hours and hours of hard work). Here is what was the Dorchester Hotel on Beverley Road. It closed a few years ago and was subjected to the now usual attacks from vandals and metal thieves (for a peek inside click here) and was left for long enough boarded up and looking pretty grim as you can see from a pic taken two years ago. (Would it be churlish to mention at this point that there is a police station directly opposite this building and still the destruction went on? Humberside Police "Protect, Help, Reassure", yeah right!)

The building is actually three Victorian villas built in the 1860's after Pearson Park opened just behind them. They were cobbled together to make what at one time was a 58 bedroom hotel later reduced to 25 after renovation in 2002. Even adding a nightclub couldn't save it. I think its position on the run down slummed down end of Beverley Road couldn't have helped. This year, however, it has been taken in hand and is looking good. I not quite sure what the plans are for it but I suspect it is returning to private accommodation. 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Who stole Xmas?

Taken by Margot K Juby
This year it seems that Christmas on Newie Ave1 has been cancelled, or rather the Chriggy lights have been cancelled due to lack of interest or funds or maybe the Grinch stole them. We are promised they'll be back next year and you must never break a promise to a child ... All is not lost though as there's going to be a Christmas 'event' next Wednesday when the road will be closed for the evening and there'll fairground rides and stalls and maybe Santa will pop in for a glass of sherry. Ho! Ho! Ho!

1 Newland Avenue, someone is going to have to compose a glossary of local terms for all those cultural visitors.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The C word

I suspect there may be a few sore heads this morning in Hull after the announcement that the city was to be awarded the City of Culture thingy. Never being one to shy away from pouring cold water on things it occurs to me that with one hand the Government has taken away from the city over £40 million in cuts to grants (things are so bad that the Council cannot afford to run elections next year) while with the other it (via various agencies see below) doles out a special "treat" of £12 million to be paid three years hence. The old phrase to lose a shilling and find a penny springs to mind.
Today's picture shows an overnight installation that appeared on the Adelphi Club (a place that will no doubt gain from this Culture dosh). It's meant to be a culture bomb about to explode and no doubt shower us all in the C word. Expect three more years of this c...

I like many others assumed that this money was to come from the government. Not a bit of it. In the next three years the city of culture people have to raise £12 million (or is it £15 million? the figure keeps changing) from sponsorship and national lottery money. This being the case the presence of a government minister in all this becomes even stranger.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Little Cottages

Though Cottingham has some grand old houses, built for the wealthy merchants of Hull, there are few remaining old buildings for the less well-to-do. Here's a little row of little cottages on Beck Bank soaking up the November sunshine.

I woke this morning to find that Hull had been selected as City of Culture 2017. The usual perps are strutting around saying how proud they are to come from Hull when all they've done is managed to be born and lack the gumption to leave. Oh we've got three more years of this self-serving guff before it even starts and then, well,  we'll cross that bridge later ... with £12 million about to splosh into the city I'll be keeping an eye out for the culture vultures circling in the updrafts of hot air.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Garden Grabbing

Now garden grabbing is the practice of building a house or houses in your back garden. Obviously you must have a fair sized spread for this to be even possible and it just so happens at the Cottingham end of my street the houses are blessed, if that's the word, with large gardens some the size of a small paddock. So within the past few years one garden has been 'grabbed' and now another one is on the way. Now I know there's a housing shortage and this country's idea of economic growth is a constant rise in the price of property but sticking not one but two expensive bungalows in your back garden does seems to me to be taking money grubbing to new depths. 
Still I liked the sign, I have three blacks cats in my home.

Monday, 18 November 2013

After the rain the sun ...

Today we had a cold front pass over (a portent if we are to believe certain newspapers of a cold long Winter) and with it some rain and drizzle. And then, well the setting sun broke through ...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Plane Trees

Something to thank the Victorian planners for: Cottingham Road's mile long stretch of plane trees, really quite impressive at this time of year. Is it my imagination or are the leaves on the trees falling later with every passing year?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A folly or two

I don't know if I've shown this before but it doesn't matter if I repeat myself (a sure sign of creeping old age ...). Anyhow this is or was the top cupola from the old town hall built in 1866 and knocked down to make way for the Guildhall. Clearly there was no shortage of money for public buildings in those days. It now sits among the ducks and geese of Pearson Park.

For those of you who long to see a short film about Hull  the city of culture people have produced a four and half minute encomion. You can see it here and judge for yourself. I suspect Larkin, whose words (taken from an introduction to anthology that appeared over thirty years ago) are used at the beginning, would be laughing his head off  if he could see how much pretentious tosh has been made out of his scribblings.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Little bit of culture, innit.

As the excitement reaches fever pitch for Hull's City of Culture bid, the Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries ( yeah, I didn't know there was one either) paid a visit to the city today to see for himself what exactly is what. So on a suitably grismal day he was touted round all the sites and glad handed by all those who hope to gain something from this potential crumb from the master's table. These street adverts have cropped up recently promoting a new cultural guide . I don't know what good all this does and somehow the cynic in me says that the award will go north of the border to bonny Dundee; there's a referendum on Scottish independence to win after all ... but life is full of little surprises and we await the decision on, I think, the 20th of this month. Ooh the excitement of it all ....

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The next Tesco?

By neatly not quite appropriating the founder of Tesco's slogan this discount store on Holderness Road should go far, possibly as far as Hessle Road, you never know ...

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Eagle Has Flown

Thirty or more years ago I once spent two evenings in this pub. The second visit was to confirm the sheer dismal horror of the first. Even after this length of time I shudder at the thought of the back room of the Eagle, as it then was, a place akin to a waiting room to Hell. Maybe my memory exaggerates the Dickensian squalor and the pallor and hopeless despairing looks of the two or three other silent drinkers but I think not. The years passed and the Eagle became the Tap and Spile (I still don't know what a spile is and don't know anyone who does) and then, by sheer laziness, the Tap. I never went back. Passing the place the other day I saw that instead of selling beer someone was trying to flog furniture, I hurried on by ....

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Knotty problem

Something of a problem has arisen as my computer has broken down, needs a new power supply. So until  I get that sorted I´m down to borrowing an Android contraption which is completely unsuitable for any rational person. It may be a while before normal service is resumed.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Put a little sparkle in your life

It was Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Day or whatever you want to call it. Somehow, I don't quite know how to describe this, there seemed no enthusiasm for this ritual waste of money. I blame the last government's prissy stupid fireworks laws finally killing off a four hundred year tradition of stupidity and daftness that lead to many injuries and so on but there was a satisfying cleansing of the air. It's amazing what the smell of spent gunpowder can do to a neighbourhood. Now only those with money to burn can afford to celebrate a so-called terrorist's failure. Me, I've got a packet of sparklers from 2007 to burn...

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Bumblebee Phone Box

OK the deal here is that the local phone company have painted a phone box outside their HQ black and yellow and adorned it with antennae to look like a bee. This is to honour a local lady, 91 year old Jean Bishop, who has been collecting for charity for as long as anyone can remember always dressed as a bumblebee. The box was unveiled in mid-October and I took this picture a day later by which time the antennae had been broken off and stolen. It's sometimes hard not to develop a Manichean outlook ....

Friday, 1 November 2013

All Saints' Day

A church tower is a beacon to direct the faithful to the house of God; it is a badge of ecclesiastical authority, and it is the place from whence the heralds of the solemnities of the church, the bells, send forth the summons. Let no one imagine that a tower is a superfluous expense, it forms an essential part of the building, and should always be provided in the plan of a parochial church.
Augustus Welby Pugin

I thought there had to be a reason for these things that pepper the countryside, there I was thinking they built them for the view. But then again this is Pugin speaking and he was a distinctly odd fellow. Here's the tower of All Saints church in Driffield built around 1450. As I mentioned earlier the church was revamped by Gilbert Scott in the 1880's when eight additions were made to the tower, not to everyone's delight. The church's own website says of them "The eight pinnacles at the top, 110 feet from the ground, also elaborately panelled, are somewhat unsatisfactory and heavy in appearance:...which gave them a distinctly debased type of crocket decoration". Still it's an impressive pile of stones for all that.

Today, the feast of All Saints (somehow I don't think that'll ever include me), is also City Daily Photo's theme day with the subject 'Heights'. See what others have got up to here.