Monday, 31 March 2014


In the shadow of Holy Trinity this tattoo shop's sign intrigued me. Cruithni? Who or where or what is a cruithni. A short visit to our mutual friend Mr Google reveals that the Cruithni were a bronze age bunch of people living in Ulster about 700BC. Quite what that has to do with this place I don't know, maybe they just liked the sound of it. They have a website and it's here. Also while I'm here I may as well point out that this building or rather a building on this site was the origin of the Smith & Nephew health products company.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Spring forward once again

Driffield's Millennium Clock
So we lurch bleary eyed into Bloody Stupid Time so that we can enjoy 'extra' daylight in the evenings or in the mornings I forget which. Well whoopee doo! All across Europe and other places clocks are being taken down and fiddled with in this twice yearly farce. In these days of internets and instant communications why do we need to go through this rigamarole, it's just  plain bonkers. If people want to get up with the sun no-body is stopping them setting their alarms early, but no, we all have to suffer this tosh. Just set the clocks to GMT or whatever is suitable locally and leave it alone. Grrrr

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Blackthorn Winter

The past week has been a bit chilly, windy and wet and through it all the blackthorn has been blooming brightly.
Taken by Margot K Juby

Friday, 28 March 2014

Still awaiting repair

Victoria Pier is still undergoing repairs three months after the damage caused by a massive tidal surge. Clearly no urgency here and no sign of anyone actually doing anything either.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Market Place

Here the tubs of Spring flowers bring a little splash of colour to the near deserted Market Place. If you're wondering where the market is it left decades ago.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hands Off Hands On!

I have to admit to not really being a museum sort of person. Ever since I was dragged round museums as a child I've harboured the thought that they really are as dead as the exhibits. Still some like to take their children along for something 'educational' and this little place, the Hands On museum near Holy Trinity Church, which I personally found dull as a grey day, was just the ticket for inquisitive little minds to potter about in. Especially since those little minds' little hands could actually get to handle the exhibits. You'll notice that I used the past tense there and that's because, and you may like to sit down at this point, from April the Council of this glorious City of Culture is closing this museum to public admissions. Yes, in future only booked groups, such as schools, will be admitted.
Notice of the closure only emerged after staff were consulted about cuts to opening hours to save money. At least the Council were ashamed and deny trying to sneak this past everyone on the sly (I never believe anything until it has been officially denied). When the news broke about a week ago there was outrage and anger. So there's now a Facebook group to get this decision reversed and a petition with over 1100 signatures. We shall see how the Council responds. 
Anyhow there's me rattling on and not mentioning that this building was the old Hull Grammar School built in 1583 or thereabouts and alma mater to Andrew MarvellWilliam Wilberforce and countless other forgotten scholars. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

 Orchard Park from Hull Road, Cottingham
A £310 million investment in Hull may not be a pot of gold but it will bring 1000 jobs to the city and a sigh of relief all round. What is this crazed loon talking about, I hear you ask. Siemens have announced that, after months of humming and hahing, Hull is the place they want to build a wind turbine factory. A thousand jobs may sound a lot but the city needs many thousands more and possibly this will bring in more skilled high pay positions; we shall see. There's also the massive skills shortage in the city so quite a few of these jobs may go to outsiders unless training is improved. Still mustn't grumble ...not even as every single local politician and placemen seem to be crawling out from under the woodwork to claim the glory for landing this contract.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Full of hidden surprises

The 'Hull can do no wrong' brigade were crowing again over the weekend after the Sunday Times put Hull in a list of the sixty or so best places to live in Britain. After the usual City of Culture guff and a comparison of house prices (relatively low, since you ask, but rising fast) and inventing a popular road called "The Avenue" (??? typical bad reporting but then standards have been dropping for years) it then, I think, rather damned with faint praise by saying the reason it's great is that it's full of hidden surprises.... well yes it is and not all of them pleasant.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Is this land made for you and me?

Just down my street a sign has gone up for the sale of 7.5 acres of what is essentially flood plain scrub land. Given that there is claimed to be a shortage of housing in this country I expect someone will buy this and plan to cram as many dwellings as possible onto it (no doubt all made of ticky-tacky). Watch out for planning objections and inquiries (not to mention Councillors mouthing vacuous sweet nothings) and in two or three years another hundred or so houses.
Speaking of land or in this case the lack of it, Hull Council is setting up an inquiry into taking over the neighbouring villages Cottingham, Anlaby, Hessle and so on from the East Riding. It claims people are living in these villages but using the facilities (???) of the city without paying anything for them. Hull, it is claimed, is being hemmed in and should be allowed to become much, much bigger spreading to Beverley according to one Hull Councillor. Given the track record of Hull Council in running what is in effect an overgrown town you can imagine the disdain with which this proposed expansion is being greeted in the villages concerned. This isn't the first time this quest for lebensraum has been put forward, back in the 1990's Hull was denied it and will no hopefully fail again.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Millennium Bridge

There seems to have been a bit of  a bridge building craze at the fag of the last century with the result that there are lots of Millennium Bridges spanning rivers up and down the country. Some like the Gateshead Bridge have a stunning original design whilst another suffered well known design failings. Here in Hull we got a simple lift up bridge with a bright yellow counterbalance. I read in a recent article that looking at the bridge one could almost imagine being in Copenhagen. I don't know whether that's good thing or not.

The Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Sporty little number

I'm not one for motor cars, as regular readers will know. I don't drive, never have and I've never been one for drooling over sports car and so on. I did, however, admire this over decorated Subaru parked up on Fairfax Avenue. It's totally out of place in this suburban environment, a bit like a penguin in an aquarium.

The weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

That was the Winter that wasn't

So a season with no snow, no frosts to speak of, a bit of rain and mild ...meh! I don't call that Winter. Still I'll have saved on the old gas bills and so forth. So from 16.57 GMT it's officially Spring (I had to look that up) and it'll probably snow, did last year.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

It's a Hull thing 2

Without going into the whys and wherefores of it all Hull has got two Rugby League teams, Hull Kingston Rovers (the Robins) out in the eastern boondocks and Hull FC (the Airlie Birds) in the slightly tamer west. There's a fierce, friendly, for the most part, rivalry to be top dog in this one horse town. On Savile Street however the two are united in trade as they try to take even more from the poor saps who support them. As an incomer I maintain a position of bored neutrality except to note that Rovers are having a clearance sale...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Carmelite House

On Posterngate Carmelite House was built in 1826 as an almshouse for twenty-three seamen and wives. It was named after the Carmelite order of monks who used to have a monastery or some such around here before being suppressed when religion got nationalised in the 16th century. Carmelites were also known as white friars hence Whitefriargate. The building was converted into offices in the 1950's.

After I posted the above I came across the following from Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary.

CARMELITE, n. A mendicant friar of the order of Mount Carmel.

As Death was a-riding out one day,
Across Mount Camel he took his way,
     Where he met a mendicant monk,
     Some three or four quarters drunk,
With a holy leer and a pious grin,
Ragged and fat and as saucy as sin,
     Who held out his hands and cried:
"Give, give in Charity's name, I pray.
Give in the name of the Church. O give,
Give that her holy sons may live!"
     And Death replied,
     Smiling long and wide:
"I'll give, holy father, I'll give thee—a ride."

     With a rattle and bang
     Of his bones, he sprang
From his famous Pale Horse, with his spear;
     By the neck and the foot
     Seized the fellow, and put
Him astride with his face to the rear.

The Monarch laughed loud with a sound that fell
Like clods on the coffin's sounding shell:
"Ho, ho! A beggar on horseback, they say,
     Will ride to the devil!"—and thump
     Fell the flat of his dart on the rump
Of the charger, which galloped away.

Faster and faster and faster it flew,
Till the rocks and the flocks and the trees that grew
By the road were dim and blended and blue
     To the wild, wild eyes
     Of the rider—in size
     Resembling a couple of blackberry pies.
Death laughed again, as a tomb might laugh
     At a burial service spoiled,
     And the mourners' intentions foiled
     By the body erecting
     Its head and objecting
To further proceedings in its behalf.

Many a year and many a day
Have passed since these events away.
The monk has long been a dusty corse,
And Death has never recovered his horse.
     For the friar got hold of its tail,
     And steered it within the pale
Of the monastery gray,
Where the beast was stabled and fed
With barley and oil and bread
Till fatter it grew than the fattest friar,
And so in due course was appointed Prior.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Rotten Apple

How time flies when nothing is happening. Three years ago I posted about this fine piece of urban dereliction and it's still there pretty much as it was then only minus a window that fell out and smashed into the bus stop. Finally the Council has gathered its petticoats up and in high dudgeon declared that it must be fixed or else, à la Violet-Elizabeth Bott, it'll scream and scream and knock it down itself. Can't see the owners wasting money on this so this show should be worth watching especially with all this City of Culture on the horizon they'll be wanting to tidy the place up a bit.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Witham & I

Yesterday I had an appointment on Witham otherwise I would not normally spend any time there at all. I have mentioned before that it's a bleak and dismal space occupied mainly by car sales, small auto related businesses and various night time attractions. I don't think anybody actually lives on this street. There is an isolated pub that has somehow survived Hitler and the demolition crazies. In this desolate landscape there's a big Council office which was where I was bound.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Upstream and down

From Drypool bridge to North bridge and vice versa.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

White Hart Blues

A sad little note in the window of the White Hart on Alfred Gelder Street informs the world that it is closed "due to the current economic climate". Optimistically it expects to reopen in the Spring. We shall see. Quite a few pubs have closed in recent years only to "reopen" as apartments.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Hull hole revisited

If there's one thing that can be said about meetings between councils and conservation bodies it is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is done with any degree of haste. So it was over a year ago that Hull Council entered into talks with English Heritage over the future of the oversized rubbish bin otherwise known as the Beverley Gate ruins and still there are no puffs of white smoke to indicate just what is going on. The plan, if you can call rumour a plan, is to fill it all in and build some new tourist attraction. Frankly the sooner the better, for despite its links to the English civil war, it is, when all said and done, just a large ugly hole in the ground.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Blaydes Yard

Next door to the old Dock Office that I showed a couple of days back sits this old shipyard belonging, at one time, to the Blaydes family. It's main (if not sole) claim to fame is that a merchant ship named Bethia was built here in 1784. 'Bethia?', I hear you say, 'never heard of it'. Well if I you told that the good ship Bethia was bought by the Royal Navy and renamed Bounty, a few bells might start ringing. Yes breadfruit, Captain Bligh, Fletcher Christian,  mutiny, Pitcairn Island, Charles Laughton and Clark Gable all that started here in this silted up dump. A more enterprising city with all that history lurking in its backyard might have made something of it, some tourist trap perhaps, but this sleepy back water prefers to leave it to silt up and rust away.

Here's Blaydes House, just along the road from the ship yard. It was the Blaydes family home but now houses a department of Hull University.

Friday, 7 March 2014

There's an old mill by the stream

Full marks for those of you who recognised  the reflection of the old Clarence flour mill. Now when I first posted about this old mill, over three years ago, I mentioned that planning permission for a hotel and casino had been granted. Well as you can see no hotel, no casino and what's more planning permission expires after three years so who knows what's going on.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.
Weekend Reflections are here.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Old Dock Offices

Right next door to the entrance to Queen's dock that I posted yesterday stands this late Georgian building, the former Docks Office. It was built in 1820 but as trade grew and the docks expanded new offices were built at the other end of Queens' dock now the maritme museum. Well that's the story on the blue plaque, personally I think they just wanted somewhere just a tad grander, if you click  here you'll see what I mean.
At one time, if I remember rightly, this place was a pub called the Mutiny on the Bounty then it was used by some youth training scheme. At the moment the place seems to be empty and unused.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Queen's Dock Basin

Back in the days of the late eighteenth century this was the entrance to what was then the world's largest dock. Getting sailing ships to turn  a right angle from the river to get through those gates must have been fun. Queen's dock was closed down in the 1930's, bought by the Council and filled in to give us Queen's Gardens. This entrance basin was retained as a dry dock until the 1990's.  Like a lot of places near the river it has silted up. The old crane remains; I expect it's got some sort of preservation order on it otherwise the scrap iron boys would have taken it years ago.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mr Toad meets Gandhi

Seems this toad has found its way across town, a short hop you might say, into the Transport Museum's gardens with convenient access to a suitably large pond. A much more tranquil site than next to the Arc building on Castle Street where I last saw it; and peace, as someone once said, is its own reward.. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Back seat driver

The bus service to Cottingham was, until recently, a bit of a joke with timetables serving a mere decorative function. With the introduction of  a second route and a spruced up timetable the service seems to be much improved, so a quiet vote of thanks to EYMS. The fares, however, are still a bit eye-watering.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Glorious mud

The river Hull as I may have mentioned before is filling up with mud and there are no plans, as yet, to dredge it. So if no-one's prepared to shift the stuff we may as well learn to appreciate it. These three were taken near the new bridge.

And finally just for kicks and giggles:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

By Paragon Station I sat down and wept ...

Today being the first day of the month (March already ...) it's the theme day for City Daily Photo and, by what passes for democratic choice these days, it has been decided that 'People on the street' shall be the thème du jour. So here a motley crowd having safely negotiated the crossing between St Stephens and Paragon Station is making its way home or in the case of the guy with the box of Budweisers to a pleasanter place by far, I hope ...

Weekend Reflections are here.