Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A load of old rubbish

I'd somehow forgotten the true tale of Hull City Council's attempts to get householders to spy on their neighbours' bin habits. Yes, a few years ago residents of Hull were being urged to 'keep a diary' if their neighbours were putting out bins at the wrong time or putting the wrong sort of trash in the bins. People were urged "Don't turn a blind eye to environmental crime in your neighbourhood." People responded in the manner you might expect them to and I never heard anything of this preposterous idea again. There's sometimes a little brouhaha about bins being left on the street and causing an obstruction. It never seems to be mentioned that all these bins belong to the Council and it is Council dustmen that leave them on the street instead of putting them back where they found them. Ah well, it is a well known fact that HCC can do no wrong.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Arnold Street

...or yet another photo of Anlaby Road. 
In the foreground is EYMS' Hull garage. EYMS quite rightly put up fares when the oil price rose but for some inexplicable reason haven't reduced them when the oil price fell. Must surely just be an oversight on their part, what say you? EYMS were subject of a documentary series on TV last year, On The Yorkshire Buses , if you seek adventure and derring-do then click on the link to catch up on all eight action packed episodes. *extracts tongue from cheek*
Lowering at the back is the spire of St Matthew's once dubbed the Stadium Church and now either closed or about to close because it's going to cost too much to fix it up. The local rag has it that this is Hull's last surviving Anglican church with a full spire, much good it did it.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sufficient unto the day

With the demolition the other week of Highcourt this building, Hull Royal Infirmary, became Hull's tallest building. At 57m (187 ft 3/32 inches , thanks Mr Google) and with 14 floors it does not exactly scrape the sky (tickle it maybe?) but it's quite big enough I think. Here it is in its new blue facade after a recent face lift and while it may look neat and tidy outside the workings of this place are at times beyond the ken of mere mortals. It manages to keep going with infusions of cash every now and then to tide it over till the next crisis but this is no way to run a modern health service. (I shall stop here there's an election coming on and no doubt promises will be heaped upon promises and we all shall see the broad, sunlit uplands ...)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

À la recherche du temps perdu or whatever

For no particular reason here is the Anlaby Road end of Midland Street from the station car park. The place hasn't changed much, if at all, in the time I've known it. Joynson's have been in that building since the 1890's selling kitchen equipment. I have to admit to a certain, possibly irrational, disliking of this street, indeed in an another post I called it seedy. When I first came to this town I was looking for digs and a B&B was recommended to me on Midland Street. I don't think I'd ever seen a more run down Dickensian flea-pit in all my then young life. It's not often I run away but that day I ran. Always a slight shudder when going past this place.

Weekend reflections are here.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Floreat GB

Humber Street, Hull
What does this GB stand for? Gor Blimey, Gordon Bennett, Geoffrey Boycott, gigabyte, George Bush, Great Britain, girl's blouse, gallactic bloodshed, gorgeous brute ... Well I don't know. I do know that this is the former warehouse of GB Flowers on Humber Street. Along with the rest of the fruit, veg and flower market GB moved their show out to the west of town and as far as I know they are blooming nicely.
I had a feeling I'd posted about this place before (there's only so much you can do before you start repeating yourself) and indeed here's what it looked like in May 2013.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


I've often thought our world is run on the sound principle of your guess is as good as mine ...

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pig Alley

I have sung the praises of Martin's Alley before and such is the constantly evolving array of its attractions a repeat visit is certainly merited. Three new public paintings have been thoughtfully provided to please the passer-by. These combine well with an ongoing installation on the theme of the transitory nature of existence which is both a visual and olfactory delight. 
Martin's Alley was once called Pig Alley due to nearby slaughter houses, I do not know who Martin was nor quite what  he did  to deserve having this heavenly place named after him.

Monday, 23 March 2015


"Our purpose is to promote quality in placemaking 
and the built environment in the Hull and Humber region" 
                                                                                          From Arc-online

And so the great wind powered wigwam that was the Arc has gone and in so doing left a large concrete legacy. The place was set up to develop a sense of 'Hullness' (I kid you not) and with this bankrupt mess they've certainly attained Hullness of the highest order. I wonder if environmentalists do irony or do they just look for next subsidy? 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

What a carillon!

Holy Trinity, Hull

This place, this wannabe restaurant, has installed a carillon that plays tunes on the hour. Somehow in all my comings and goings I'd missed this musical offering that is until the other day. With you in mind I caught the end of it on video. You'll note an odd thing about this building that one end is built of brick and the other of stone. That's because a) there were no local stone quarries and b) Hull had a big brick making business owned by the de la Poles (the Dukes of Suffolk) who just happened to be paying for the building (the faint whiff of mediaeval sleeze drifts in as I write). Hull had the distinction of being the one brick-built town of the Middle Ages in England and this building is the sole survivor of that period.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Now don't rush into anything ...

Corporation Pier, Hull
A year and three months after it was damaged by an extraordinary high tide there appears at long last to be some movement towards a repair to Corporation Pier (or Victoria Pier if you like). Some very large beams have appeared. Maybe they've been waiting for the trees to grow.
Those who like watching paint dry might like these two previous posts here and here.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 20 March 2015


St Mary, Lowgate, Hull

noun BRITISH informal
an official who upholds petty rules even at the expense of humanity or common sense.

Imagine how it might be then after feeding hot food to poor people who would otherwise be looking in dumpsters and bins for cast-offs, to be told that you cannot do this because of some regulation about food safety. So it was with St Mary's, Lowgate where the Council shot itself in the foot once again by denying a charitable organisation permission to serve hot meals to the homeless and poor because the food was prepared in unregistered homes and then brought to the church to be served. The vicar was threatened with prosecution for carrying out charitable works!
These days you cannot even give hot food away now without being registered by the Council no doubt with a fee to pay annually and with inspections. The so-called customers (no money is involved) might get food poisoning it is claimed, it goes without saying the Council does nothing about the hygiene of dumpsters. So it was to be sandwiches and cups of tea until proper facilities could be found which, given the flood of outrage this caused amongst the good folk of Hull, was not too long. A nearby café has offered the use of its kitchen so normal service has been resumed.
Meanwhile, and here the C of E really does not do irony, just a hundred yards or so down the road £4.5 million is being sought to build a restaurant in Holy Trinity church.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Further development

And while we're in the vicinity of Paragon Street I suppose I'd better mention the opening of this Nisa store in what had been a long vacant shop that I posted about sometime ago. There's a trend for smaller supermarkets in town these days, Tesco opened one in the Summer and Sainsburys are making a comeback as I mentioned the other day and I've heard yet another discount "pound" shop is to open as well. So it's no longer exactly all doom and gloom in town anymore but I wouldn't go so far as to say we have a full recovery, let's say the patient is still seriously ill but stable...

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Change of use

Paragon Street, Hull

In what appears to be a remarkable outbreak of common sense Lloyd's Bank is moving from its position on Paragon Street to a new place round the corner on Jameson Street. Yeah wow, I know, exciting (not). But bear with me, the old place along with the empty former Job Centre next door is being converted into apartments with affordable rents. Bringing people to live in the town centre, occupying these large empty shops and offices has got to be a 'good thing'. If the scheme succeeds there are plenty of similar buildings that could be used in this way. Whisper it gently though, this is social housing (if by proxy), with a not-for-profit trust and the Council owned builders firm involved under a Government project to bring empty buildings back into use. And it only tickles the surface of the massive housing shortage crisis in this green and pleasant land, still the journey of a thousand miles begins by putting your shoes on as someone once said.

Jameson Street, Hull

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The return of Sainsbury's

This corner building on Jameson Street was once a post office with BBC Radio Humberside occupying the upper floors. Well the post office moved into W H Smith's and the BBC built itself a little palace and this building has been mainly empty for ages. Now Sainsbury's have recognized the error of moving out of their town centre store and are opening a new place here and as an added bonus there's to be a Secret Garden Café on top. Well not so secret now ...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Ocean Chambers. Lowgate

Well the doorway was open so I did not resist the temptation to have a sneaky peak inside. This is Ocean Chambers on Lowgate built in 1900 in what is called a baroque revival style. It has some pretty fancy detailing including this cartouche with attending dolphins. I'm assuming from the name that it had some maritime/shipping connection originally, now it's the offices of a law firm.

Saturday, 14 March 2015


It's been a while since I mentioned Hull's fish trail so I thought it might be safe to venture back into the water, as it were, that is until I came face to face with this gurning brute. This monkfish was made in 1992 or thereabouts by Gordon Young out of black carboniferous Belgian limestone. I think that's just about all you need to know about it. Oh yeah it's lurking at the end Whitefriargate , you have been warned.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Wake up and smell the ....

Newland Avenue, Hull
Readers of this blog will know that I am a tea man myself. It was not always so. I used to drink loads of coffee, just like the old proverb: black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love. But then about three years ago after a nasty encounter with the Norwalk virus (I've never heard of any pleasant encounters with this little life changer) I just couldn't face the stuff again. Now I can't even stand the smell. 

So tea, anyone? Shall I be mother?

The weekend in black and white is brewing up over here.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A twofer

Here's St Alban's V2.0 on Hall Road. The fairly hideous brick block building was started in 1938 and finished after a long delay in the 1950's. It was built to replace the temporary church built in the 1920's which still stands beside it as the church hall. From the amounts spent repairing the newer building it might have been a wiser move to stick with the first effort. It's Grade 2 listed, a testament to its ugliness.
Hall Road is not to be confused with nearby Hull Road, I mean, come on, Hall and Hull; two completely different words aren't they. Not to taxi drivers and the Royal Mail apparently grrrrrrrr! 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Dull is often underrated

I think there may have been a homesick Yorkshire Dalesman responsible for naming the streets immediately near to where I live. Here we have Wensley Avenue, then there's Aysgarth and Leyburn Avenues. Together they make a small block of redbrick terraced houses where seemingly nothing much ever happens. Quiet, safe, secure streets, dull maybe but then dull is often underrated, it's what city living is all about, isn't it? Could maybe do with a few trees though.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A shot of shots

Newland Avenue, Hull

Now it's been a while since I studied la língua española (put it this way Franco was still regrettably Caudillo de España, Por la Gracia de Dios) and I really don't care that much but surely(or just maybe) that should be los chupitos? It doesn't matter much, I just liked the sign. This place is, as you might have guessed, a Mexican themed restaurant that opened recently on Newland Avenue. This street  is fast becoming what someone has described as a United Nations of food.  ¡Basta ya! Hasta luego.

Monday, 9 March 2015

A word from our sponsors

A couple of Government sponsored adverts have appeared on Cottingham Road, they accompany others on TV and in newspapers in a similar vein. It is a new development, in this country, that the Government should seek to advertise like this, trying to convince us that the country is doing "Great".(War time hype excepted) It comes on the back of other advertising campaigns about the Scottish referendum and the UK's role in Afghanistan. Overall Government advertising spending has risen by 22% this year. I cannot recall anything like this particular campaign in my lifetime, maybe the pathetic "I'm backing Britain" thing in the 60's comes close but it was nothing like as widespread as this. One might almost call it propaganda. Oh and there's an election coming up in May did I forget to mention that? I expect the Government will win that again ...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sunday mornin' and I'm fallin' ...

So what would get a crowd out on a Sunday morning in Orchard Park?

Well maybe a bit of demolition might stir some interest

Seems the world and his mother was there to see the fun.

Then the bang, well bang's too short a word for the thumping great crack like thunder and the jolting shock.

And a second later it was all over. Done and dusted as they say.

Party's over; time to go home.

This was the end of Highcourt on Orchard Park. Bit of a blink and you'll miss it situation, it came down too fast for me, so if you want to see the action here's a video from YouTube.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Smoke ring

Nelson Street, Hull

The laws against smoking mean that poor nicotine dependent souls have taken to congregating in little huddles on the streets to share their 'vice'.  

Friday, 6 March 2015

Singing too-ral-li, oo-ral-li, addity

Singing too-ral-li, oo-ral-li, addity,
Singing too-ral-li, oo-ral-li, ay,
Singing too-ral-li, oo-ral-li, addity,
And we're bound for Botany Bay.
Sorry, couldn't resist a quick chorus of this well known ditty which has absolutely nothing to do with today's post, so let's get back on track shall we ...

You might have thought a florist opposite a large hospital would have a good trade in what Larkin called "wasteful, weak, propitiatory flowers". But the shop despite (or perhaps because of) its fine name has, like old Larkin, failed to thrive. I remember when this was a post office many years ago. The online history of Anlaby Road informs me that the building, 197 Anlaby Road, was originally known as Albert Cottage and was built between 1842 and 1848 it also notes that it is "a rare survivor" of the original buildings in this area though how much longer it will last is anyone's guess.

It's a bit of an earworm that song....

Now all my young Dookies and Duchesses,
Take warning from what I've to say:
Mind all is your own as you toucheses
Or you'll find us in Botany Bay.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lines that never cross

The track to Hull at Snuff Mill Lane

There's nothing quite like the old conundrum of parallel lines never meeting or only meeting at infinity for getting the mathematicians gassing on and on about Euclid's 5th postulate, spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry or whatever they feel like calling it. Me, I just take comfort in these lines staying 4 foot eight inches apart all the way to Hull station. After that they can do  whatever they like.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Purplish haze

Jameson Street, Hull

The weatherpeople say we've just had the sunniest Winter on record, well every sunny day has it end and this one went out in a blaze of glory, though not everybody seemed to appreciate it.
I've just noticed the Council have for some reason installed little pink illuminated spikes on the street lights. Money to burn so it seems.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monday meanderings

Clough Road, Hull

An idea being put out by a group calling itself Generation Rent suggests that Parliament be brought to Hull and that the Houses of Parliament be converted into affordable accommodation. No seriously, I checked the date and it's still March not April 1st. Well I suppose it's a thought and I'm sure the 650 or so MPs and 800+ Lords (a legislative body surpassed in size only by China's National People's Congress) with attendant lackeys and lickspittles would easily fit into and be made welcome by this City of Culture. And the sight of Brenda in full regalia in her state coach traipsing down Clough Road with a cavalry guard to open Parliament would be bound to draw the crowds. It's reckoned 5000 jobs would be created in Hull (no mention of how many lost in London but why wake up the dreamer?) and save £120 million over a five year parliament (or smell the coffee!). So yeah, bring it on ....

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Signs of ageing


Lichenometry, a way of telling the age of exposed rocks by studying the size of lichens, is, I'm told, particularly useful on specimens under 500 years old. However I think I can accurately date this stone to sometime in or about March 1859 this being the date inscribed on the grave of one John Oxtoby late of Hull Bank1 who, we are informed, departed this life aged 55 on the 21st of that month.

The new month's theme for City Daily Photo is ageing or aging depending which part of the world you come from. You can see how well others have aged or agd here.

1 Hull Bank I have found was a " a hamlet in the township and parish of Cottingham; the seat of Benjamin Blades Haworth, Esq. (which explains the Haworth Arms right on the corner of this estate) 3 miles from Hull". Hull Bank was mentioned in the Domesday Book and was part of the Manor of Cottingham, roughly bounded by Clough Road, Beverley Road, the River Hull and Dunswell. The area became part of Hull with the boundary extension of 1882.