Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Brunswick Arcade

Across the road from yesterday's empty church stands Brunswick Arcade. Built as the sign says in 1890 and like the curate's egg it's good in parts. The northern end is in pretty good nick with a newsagent (Pickwick Papers, where I used to get my papers from many years ago) and a couple of restaurants though one of them is undergoing renovation. No, the trouble lies, as you can see below, at this near end which is or was nearly collapsing from neglect and decay. Now this is a conservation area and no doubt these buildings are listed ( I haven't checked) and as members of the public tend to resent buildings falling on their heads the Council has been put in the position of having to pay for scaffolding to prop up a building it does not own. Price, according to local press, a mere £200,000. Fine you might say, an emergency required emergency action except the emergency was back in 2011! Every week costs the Council £150 just for inspections required by law. No sight or sound of the people this wreck belongs to. The Council are quoted in the paper as saying "Any costs will be recovered from the owners", it's good to live in hope, don't you think?

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Trafalgar Street Church

Oh those Victorians! How they did like their churches, scattering them around the town with nary a thought to what the future would bring, like the market in Christianity collapsing post 1914-18. So now we have to deal with what might called post-Christian blight. This situation is made worse by a sentimental attachment to all things 'old' even if 'old' is only a hundred years and also conservation laws that defy stylistic and economic reason. Here's Trafalgar Street church on Beverley Road, built by the Baptists in 1906 in a mock Gothic brick flint-clad style (no doubt the builders' enthusiasm or funds did not run to paying out for stone) that you either love or detest (personally, it's as ugly a prayer factory as I've seen for quite some time). It was abandoned by them in 2002 then used by an even smaller sect for a while; it has been standing empty for nearly a decade. The rear church hall is now apartments, so far so good; but what on earth to you do with an empty church? Well they tried selling it for £160,000 but had to settle for a mere £80,000. That was over a year ago and still it sits there behind security fencing. I'm told it has been weatherproofed.  
Well now it seems to be a law that where ever there's an 'old' building falling into disrepair because there is no use for it there springs up a 'support' group to 'save' it and this is no exception. They want National Lottery money as well as donations for their rescue scheme. And their plan for this former house of God? A community gym! Because you must treat your body as a temple I suppose.
Did I mention it's a Grade 2 listed building in a conservation area? No? But then you'd probably guessed that's why it hasn't been knocked down a long time ago. More on this conservation nonsense tomorrow.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Old department store

The other day I went to East Park, a big mistake. Someone had turned it into a over sized playing field and filled it with thousands of screaming brats, yes, I'd forgotten it was still Easter Holidays and it seems the whole of east Hull had gone to the park for the day. Not a pretty sight. Strangely two of the park's attractions, if I may call them that, the water splash and the water park were not in action, neither were there any boats on the lake. Hull's parks department also seem to have taken a holiday. Anyhow, beating a hasty retreat I took this of what I think was once an old Cooperative department store on Holderness Road.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Oak before Ash

"If the oak before the ash, then we'll only have a splash, if the ash before the oak, then we'll surely have a soak"

If my oak and ash are any guide (and who is to say they aren't) it looks like we might be in for a dry Summer. That reminds me, I need a new brolly ....
 The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Have a nice day, Mr Turner

It may not come as a surprise to you to learn that there is little love lost between myself and the political powers that be in this area. A few weeks back a local MP, Karl Turner, blocked me on Twitter but not before calling me "meaningless"! Another local MP also blocked me after a mildly sarcastic comment about a box of chocolates and a long stemmed rose, they are such sensitive souls these politicos. Poor Mr Turner recently had to admit to misusing a Parliamentary email address on his Labour Party advertising, no great sin, I know, but hardly professional. And I might yet add to his woes: is that the House of Commons trademark portcullis sign I see adorning the offices of the East Hull Labour Party on Holderness Road? To quote Parliament's web site: "The principal emblem of the House is the Crowned Portcullis. It is a royal badge and its use by the House has been formally authorised by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The designs and symbols of the House should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House." Oh dear, I do hope the House of Commons doesn't see this, well I won't tell if you don't.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"For you can’t do that there ‘ere ...."

“For you can’t do that there ‘ere,
“No, you can’t do that there ‘ere;
“Anywhere else you can do that there,
“But you can’t do that there ‘ere.”
This rather proscriptive sign down by the Humber Quays buildings brought to mind an old music hall song of which I knew only the chorus. The internet, however, is a marvelous toy and a few inquiries of our good friend Mr Google brought forth a link to the following offering from You Tube. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Inglemire

Is there an award for most boring picture on the internet? What to say about The Inglemire club? It's on Inglemire Lane (where else?), looks deadly dull from the outside but it could be a palace of delights on the inside for all I know, I've never been inside and don't intend to. It's the sort of place where people go to drink and watch football: understandable that; watching professional sport would drive anyone to drink. I do know there was what was described by the police as a "a bit of a melee" between two groups of 'customers' last November with one man hit on the head with a glass bottle and another kicked and punched and also damage to the plasma TV ( I bet that put paid to their live sports) and other things. So perhaps it's not quite so dull after all.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Passing off as Pizza Parlours

Upper Holderness Road; Lower Beverley Road
I suspect that neither Mr Brando, Mr Pacino nor yet Mr Coppola are aware of these establishments and if Mr Puzo ever found out he'd have to make them an offer they couldn't refuse.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

New for old

You've heard, no doubt, the one about the hundred year old broom that's had four new handles and six new heads, well 'old' Cleminson Hall has got lots of new walls and windows and is now getting a brand new roof. Still at least it's standing which is testament, I guess, to the protected building legislation and similar laws have saved most of the magnificent trees on this site.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

On your bike ...

Bike hire schemes are nothing new in big cities such as London's Boris Bikes and Paris' Vélib'; well not to be outdone Beverley now has this Bike and Go scheme at the railway station. Hull's council was considering developing a bike hub two years ago but nothing seems to have come of it (the usual lack of funds and/or a sponsor) and there's a brand new bike hub at the University but apart from that hiring a bike in Hull seems to be a no-go. A shame really given how flat the area is and how much congestion (and pollution) caused by cars is clogging up the place.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Taking liberties

So I go to see that old tree as I always do when I'm around the Westwood and I found it surrounded by cars. There's usually a couple of cars parked here, people visiting the place and that's no problem but the other day I counted sixty or so cars on this stretch and I doubt there were sixteen people on the Westwood that afternoon. Clearly the place has become a 'free' car park for people working in the town. I could see there's damage to the road edge and footpath so this is going to cause trouble sooner or later. I read somewhere that cars spend over 90% of the time parked up and I guess they have to go somewhere but on the local beauty spot? Surely not. 

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

"When gorse is out of bloom kissing's out of fashion"

Took myself off to Beverley Westwood and had the place practically to myself, just an occasional dog walker, an errant golf player or two, a few crows, oh and a couple of skylarks to lighten the spirits. There were banks of wood anemones and this large gorse bush blooming away which was just as well if that old saying has any truth to it.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Winding your way down on Baker Street

At the end of the 18th century Hull was, to use a recent newspaper headline, "one of the UK's fastest emerging cities". A savvy local tobacco merchant, Richard Baker, bought up land to the north of the new dock and two new streets were built Albion Street and Baker Street. The eastern end of Baker Street is now in a pretty poor state and due for demolition and the erection of apartments to join up with a particularly bland block of living units (but don't hold your breath). The other end is in a much better state and being looked after. There used to be a public convenience at the western end but though the building is still standing it is permanently closed; if you want to pee in the city of culture you must seek relief elsewhere.

Monday, 14 April 2014

I think this sign means keep out ...

... it's also the sign I ignored to take the day before yesterday's picture. How does that old song go? ... ah yes:

"As I went walking I saw a sign there 
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." 
But on the other side it didn't say nothing, 
That side was made for you and me."

The precious patch of land protected by this fine sign is Alexandria Wharf off High Street near, in fact behind, Blaydes House. It's just a patch of cleared land, (once a riverside warehouse, I believe, that burned down some time back, it wasn't me, guv, honest) in the centre of the city so unsurprisingly it's up for sale with permission to build 33 apartments. Just as well I nipped in before the builders took over; Hull is just a frenzy of building activity at the moment. OK that last part of that sentence may not be exactly true.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Open Season

Seen here reflected in the Transport Museum's window the Arctic Corsair, Hull’s last sidewinder trawler, is open to visitors from today. The museum runs guided tours round so if you're interested it's probably best to book a tour (here), also with the present parlous state of the Council's finances who knows how long this feature will be available. Did I mention it was free? Yeah, I know, why don't they charge?

The weekend reflections are here.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Shotwell Tower

Close by Drypool Bridge this place produces shotgun cartridges for the entertaining business of slaughtering birds specially reared to be 'sport' for gun toters with rather too much money than sense. The tower is so that molten lead can be sprayed into water from a height so producing lead pellets to further pollute the land. Do I seem a tad down on this place? Well tough.

The Weekend in Black and White is right .here

Friday, 11 April 2014


Europa House, Ferensway
Do you ever play with graphics programs and wonder what use all those distorts and transformations could possibly have? Me neither.

In case you're wondering it used to look like this.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Who will stop me?

“Do you mean to tell me that you're thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?"
"My dear fellow, who will let you?"
"That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?” 
― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Here, at the junction of Ferensway and Freetown Way, is a fitting testament to the supremacy of man, the ferro-concrete box. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Fresh Fish Daily

Here's a little mysterious shop. It's close to the station on Quay Road and never, ever seems to be open yet there's a fresh display of adverts in the window whenever I see it and that window over the door opens wider with the passing years. Something fishy about this....

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Street Life

I mentioned a long time ago how Bridlington tries to stop gulls nesting on buildings. They put netting and spikes and so on with limited success. But if you're going to leave your Christmas decorations up all year you're just asking for trouble as this pair of Kittiwakes think it's a very des res.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Faded Glory

There's a lot of what is politely called 'faded glory' abounding in Bridlington. Here, for example, is a classic seaside hotel, five floors including basement bar and so on and nobody wants it, at least not at the offering price. So here it sits, with expired planning permission for conversion to flats, quietly falling apart until the next auction. I posted about this block some three years ago; very little has changed since then apart from the new coffee bar and even that could still do with a splash of paint on the upper reaches.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A little splash of colour

I've just realised that the other day when I said they were making ready for the tourists to pour in that  in fact they were repairing damage done by last year's tidal surge that flooded Bridlington especially around the harbour. The water came over the harbour wall and into the little shops and cafes that line the harbour. 
So to today's post which is the Bayside funfair, which, at the risk is of appearing to kick someone when they're down is hardly the most fun place on the planet. I know it's pre-season but it seems that a quite a few of the rides that were there are no longer; the water slide, for example, torn down for health and safety reasons so I've heard. Well maybe it was just the dull weather and things will brighten up ...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Big Guns

Nowadays Bridlington will welcome any visitor who cares to call but at one time there was felt a need to keep out certain foreign invaders, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish just about everybody at one time or another even the Americans. The top gun, on the North pier, was found during excavations and restored in the 1977, the lower one was found by a passing gull who set up home there.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Making Ready

On what was possibly the greyest and dullest day ever known I took myself off to the seaside for an afternoon in Bridlington. The place was somewhat rundown and not quite awake, with lots of little painting jobs being carried out and pavements being power hosed by the Council in readiness for the forthcoming influx of tourists. No amount of painting however will cover up the demolition heap of what was once a broken down leisure centre and what will be a brand new £20 million (there must be money in the East Riding!) pleasure palace.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Church's North Door

Turning 180 degrees from yesterday's post and moving no more than a few feet here's Holy Trinity's north door. I'd say this was a nice piece of gothic albeit in brick with dressed stone. English Heritage however has it as a "restored north doorway with moulded head and triple filleted shafts" so now you know. The two carved head are looking a bit distressed which considering they've possibly been hanging around there for nigh on six hundred years is hardly surprising.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

North Church Side

After yesterday's little diversion where were we? Oh yes, outside a tattoo parlour on North Church Side. Well here's broader street view. The building with the tower houses a boxing club and beyond that there's the indoor market or what's left of it. This little street leads on to Posterngate near that white building in the distance. 
Here's the entrance to the boxing club which seems to be wanting to tell us something ...

Yes that is snow in the picture; it was taken last March.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

From espaliers to Brendan Behan in one easy step

No big building these days comes without at least some landscaping, few roses here, a flower bed there, an act of propitiation for the dreadful architecture that usually lurks behind. Well Humberside Police HQ on Clough Road is no exception and this expensive lump comes with a row of espaliers. I don't know if they're apple trees and plod is setting up an orchard but they are an interesting development.
If you think that, because of the date, this is a joke then you might be right or you could check out the City Daily Photos theme day where they're fixated on triangles for some reason. I must admit that when I heard that triangles were to be the theme my mind instantly thought of this. Sláinte!