Saturday, 24 January 2015

Temporary Closure

while I take a short break from the hectic life of a Hull and Hereabouts' snufflehound and take that big old black dog out back and well .... laters.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

As good as gone

After a delay of a year or two (that's no time at all really) the Arc [ 1, 2, 3 ] is finally being packed up and moved on. The turbines came down a few weeks back and now, the "unique modular buildings" (yes, the estate agents did call them that) have been sold and are on their way out leaving yet another vacant lot.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Finkle Streets

There are lots of Finkle Streets scattered among towns in the north of England. No-one is quite sure what 'finkle' means but the current best guess is a corner, bend or elbow; Finkle Streets tending to have an bend in them at some point. I know it sounds a bit tenuous but I don't make the rules. There's always an exception and Finkle Street in Cottingham is as straight as a Roman road. This Finkle Street runs or rather ran from old Mytongate (now the Castle Street/A63 dual carriageway) to Blanket Row and beyond where it bent round to the Humber. It's now nothing at all really and you wouldn't know it was there; there's no street sign or buildings or anything to let you know it existed. I only stumbled upon it and its history by reading an excellent little article by a local historian.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Common Gulls

Well the first dusting of snow in two years thankfully melted away before I could get any pictures. Here's one I took earlier, much earlier, these are Common Gulls (Larus canus, the grey gull!)  in Pearson Park where they gather en masse to steal the bread out of the beaks of the ducks. Snow is just snow; you've seen one load of it you've seen the lot. I can live without thank you.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Wellington Assembly Rooms as was

The Welly Club, Beverley Road, Hull
It's come to this, I'm taking advice from a cartoon rabbit: "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all"  ... 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Council Waste

In days of yore when town councils could raise their own taxes without interference from a very fat man in Whitehall it was considered essential that every last detail of the council's main building, the Guildhall, should reflect the greater glory of the city of Hull. So it came about that even the very drain pipes had a cast iron triple crowned putto to show the world what a true city of culture it once thought it was. 

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Just the other day I was on my way to Cottingham along Snuff Mill Lane when the Hull train sped past, knowing the trains around here there had to be one coming the other way so I waited and duly took the above picture. I guess the driver was a bit surprised to see anyone taking his photo at this point but better that than yet another suicide on the tracks. Yes unfortunately the crossing here has seen two deaths in recent years, the Samaritans even put up a notice which was, of course, stolen. Anyhow best not dwell on that. Being the conscientious type I googled the number of the train and found that there is a whole page, nay two, devoted to photos of this particular train, here. Ha! I thought who would want to take pics of the same train like that, train spotters .... that was until later in the evening going through some old pics I found this taken in 2010 at Bridlington station. I'll fetch my anorak ....

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Money Hole

Today there's news of an extra £250,000 top up for this place, on top of its annual increased grants from the Arts Council. That's £1.75 million in hand outs in the last four years. In February 2011 I wrote "No doubt there will be appeals for more public money to be spent on this place and no doubt more will be spent." Well I told you so ... Seems there's no-one with the balls to shut this place down, (it should never have been built in the first place!) especially not now there's the city of culture creeping closer.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Is it Tuesday today?

I'm not exactly sure, no, really I haven't a clue. Or what goes on here or even who runs this place. It's in buildings that are or were part of the Hull College of Further Education but I can't find anything about a "Centre for Business and Enterprise" on the usual internet sources. I clearly lack the enterprise to find a fuller account and frankly I don't care much either. Whatever it is they do here they've given themselves a nice big sans serif sign to hide behind. Oh it is Tuesday after all, hmmm.

Monday, 12 January 2015

The British way of death

Northern Cemetery Chapel, Chanterlands Avenue, Hull
People, it appears, can no longer afford to die. Yes I know they keep on shuffling off without a care but those left behind are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for disposing of the earthly remains. The average cost of dying, that's including funeral, burial or cremation and state administration, rose last year by over 7% to £7,622 if you believe a survey by an insurance company although that does seem rather a lot. That figure is greater than average savings so you can see how it might distress the bereaved to get into debt over this matter. Clearly someone is making a pile (dare I say they are making a killing, why not?) out of all this; undertakers' mark-ups on coffins, for example, are  reputed to be 200%!. Then there's deeds of grant (£25 a year, minimum 10 years payable in advance) and interment fees, in Hull that's currently £820! And don't get me talking about wreaths and flowers!  Still you don't have to fork out all that; there are cut price jobs for under £1000. If you own your own patch of garden you can always go under the roses wrapped in a blanket for that stay-at-home interment, just make sure you're at least two foot under the sod. 
The chapel here is a grade 2 listed building from the early 1900's, it'll cost you a £70 'chapel fee' to hire it! Have a nice day!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

"Take it outside, God boy!"

This set of photos come from the heritage open day back in September. I had thought that there might be something interesting lurking behind the archway entrance to Trinity House School, the old school not the new cereal box conversion on George Street. Well I ought to have known better. As you pass through the arch you are met (or rather were since demolition has thankfully removed it) by a boring brick building, typical school building in fact. Meh! Ahead the entrance to the chapel. Well much money had obviously been spent on sitting bums so that some deity can be bothered by prayers and hymns. There's stained glass, an organ and the usual paraphernalia. What educational value all this had I do not know. My own experience at a Catholic school many years ago led me to one of my few firm convictions that religion and schools should be kept well apart.

Thankfully demolished for a car park!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Dog's Head

The faithful dog - why should I strive 
To speak his merits, while they live 
In every breast, and man's best friend 
Does often at his heels attend.
The New-York Literary Journal, Volume 4, 1821

This piece of doggerel (well pardon me) is, as far as I can find, the first reference to "man's best friend" in print. The local rag has it that the East Riding, and Hull in particular, has one of the highest rates of animal cruelty in the country, but then it was quoting the RSPCA, an organisation that is, perhaps, more of a money raising engine than an animal welfare organisation. This old hound was left to wait its master return from the supermarket and, if you'll allow a little anthropomorphic fancy on this Saturday morning, appears to be regretting its choice of 'friend'.

There will, I suppose, never be a better opportunity  to post this little song by Alex Glasgow.

The weekend in black and white is waiting here.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Déjà vu

The Christmas tree is deepest red
Its plastic leaves will ne'er be shed.

I hadn't been into town for over a month so I missed, if that is the word, the seasonal decorations, save for these remaining red trees which had been recycled from past yules, waste not want not. If this post seems familiar that's because exactly two years ago I posted this

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Grimston and Jarratt

Grimston Street, Hull
Homœopathy is, like so many things, complete tosh, often dangerous tosh at that, but that doesn't stop the gullible from meeting the duplicitous and both parties 'benefiting' from the encounter. As I understand it the more dilute the dose the more powerful it is, so the oceans must be one hell of a potent source of well being which I suppose explains that ancient joke about homœopaths who drown dying of an overdose. This old fading (but growing stronger with every dilution) sign points to a building around the corner, you want to know what that building looks like don't you? Sure you do ... ever seen a bow-window like that before?

Jarratt Street, Hull

The observant or still living amongst you might remember this sign next to it.

PS. now I read the sign with more care and attention I see that it refers to Princes House, and the dentists is called Princes Denture Repair, well I should try to wake up in the morning and put one and one together... 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Slow Zone

George Street, Hull
For those motorists who have difficulty understanding numbers, and that would seem to be the  majority, the authorities have posted a helpful idiot's guide to indicate the sort of crawling speed they would appreciate on the town's roads. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Look your last on all things not so lovely

High rise buildings were seen as an answer to a lack of space in inner cities, you couldn't build out so you built up. Strange then that when Hull spread out into the fields and countryside surrounding it in the 1960's building hundreds of Council houses in the fancifully named Orchard Park Estate, it also built several high rise blocks despite there being no lack of space. OPE, as it is tagged by local grafittistas, was designed along the lines of Radburn, New Jersey, a garden city 'planned for the motor age'. Well what might have worked in 1930's NJ didn't quite workout in East Yorkshire. One suspects the crossing of palms with silver may have happened as it did in other slum clearances and redevelopments in other towns across the country at the time. Anyhow a high rise with a country view turned out to be no more popular than a high rise with a view of the back of Paragon Station. Nor did it lead to a community-in-the-air rather a dystopian anti-social nightmare with the usual mix of high unemployment (currently 27%), vandalism, drugs and crime. So to cut a long and sadly predictable story short these towers are being removed either by explosion or gobbled up by a giant building eating machine. This one, Highcourt, is the last one standing and it too should be gone soon with a bang so I'm told. 
Meanwhile in another part of town I read that 5,402 new homes are set to be built in Hull in the next five years. I love the exactness of the figure and the vagueness of the phrase "set to be built". Maybe the palms haven't as yet been crossed with enough silver ...

Monday, 5 January 2015

Upon this blasted heath ...

Well hardly, this is the well grazed almost manicured common land that is Beverley Westwood and much of what you see here is a golf curse. This was taken sometime ago so it's a good bet that that wreck of a tree is no longer there especially as it was being used as a swing by the locals. Far away, off on the horizon you can just make out (with a magnifying lens) the old black mill.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The things you used to see

It's a shame that the old local custom of placing a large pig in your window for good luck and prosperity is no longer as commonly observed as it once was. It's been a while since I've seen an example of this and this photo dates back a good five years or so. Perhaps the city of culture will see a revival of this quaint practice.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Ocean Seeker

Maybe it's just me but watching ships carry out intricate manoeuvres in a fast flowing current attempting to get into a narrow dock gate there always the vague wish, no that's too strong a word, idea maybe, lurking at the back of your mind they might, I don't know, overshoot or run into the bank or some such. There's probably a word for it: schadenfreude infantilis or some such.  Thankfully it never happens, at least not while I'm standing there taking pictures. This survey ship made its stately way up stream then halted and performed a very smooth almost balletic right-angled turn to enter Albert Dock. No bumps, no scrapes, no fun at all.

The Weekend in Black and White continues here.

Friday, 2 January 2015


This ghost of Xmas just passed was taken by Margot at a bus stop on Newland Avenue.

Weekend Reflections might be here if it's still going.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bee and Burdock

Asked by City Daily Photo to post my favourite photo from the year just ended I pondered for a while but in the end  it had to be this close up of a tree bumble bee enjoying the nectar of a burdock flower. These bees were first spotted in the UK as recently as 2001 but are now quite common, they've even nested under my kitchen roof and, of course, they are most welcome. Read more about Bombus hypnorum here.

You can see other favourites of the past year here.