Monday, 28 September 2015

Burnett House, try again

Four years ago I posted about this property, Burnett House on Castle Street. Back then I mentioned how the place had been renovated by the Council but was still standing empty. Well the place has been re-renovated (is that a word? well it is now) and instead of being just office space it now has permission to be either retail/restaurant or office plus there are now no fewer than seven apartments on the upper floors. I came across some estate agent bumf on this property describing it as being "located in a lively area, already boasting a well established evening entertainment scene", surely they can't mean the dead and dying old town, can they? Also the building has "superb road connections" that is to say it sits next to the A63 dual carriage way, the busiest road in town which is due to be overhauled in the next few years (possibly decades?). 
It is however nice to see the hideous tatty propaganda hoardings come down but the building still seems to be sitting empty though ....

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bold as brass

The latest on the new C4DI building is that it is now getting a cladding of shiny brass tiles. This is just the first of, I think, four new buildings for this site.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Death by a thousand bricks

In the late 80's or was it the early 90's Hull betook itself of a scheme to pedestrianise parts of the city centre. Whitefriargate's pedestrianisation in the 70's having been deemed a success it was thought that a goodly dose of the same medicine would improve the place. Accordingly Jameson Street, King Edward Street and Queen Victoria Square were closed to traffic and paved over. Then later bricked over, as you see. The idea, no doubt, was to improve the 'shopping experience' and indeed no-one now gets hastled by a bus on King Edward Street but then they never did if they stuck to the pavement. As for the shops they have for the most part gone; I doubt there's single business that was running from before still going now. Instead there's, well as I've said before numerous coffee shops, charity shops, shops selling telephones and discount stores. There's also the inescapable fact that the place looks (I'll be polite here) ugly and drab. I'm told that after about 6pm the whole place is deserted which accounts for the closure of so many restaurants, pubs and so on. Today's paper brings a  tale of a restaurant being opened with the forlorn hope to "revive the evening economy", well good luck with that.
Now  instead of drawing the logical conclusion that bricking the place up was a big mistake the Council is going to polish the turd, as they say in certain parts, and fling millions at 'improvements' for the City of Culture. It won't work, no amount of pavement fountains, arty farty works and so on will bring in the shoppers. (The shops by the way are all in the new shopping mall St Stephens or out of town (people are going to Leeds and Sheffield for their shopping!), we'll skip over the absence of joined up thinking here, shall we?)  
Well here's my view for it's worth: Admit that the planners were barmy (and quite possibly corrupt, Hull is far from alone in having failed pedestrian schemes all put in in the glorious 90's), rip out the bricks, put in some tarmac and bring back the buses and cars, restore the status quo ante; in short bring back the life that was sucked out by this idiotic scheme.  But I suspect it's too late, there's a definite stench of decay but that could just be the drains....

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Hull Entrance

It'll soon be that time of year when the youthful hordes descend again on the Cottingham Road campus to take up again their ascetic life of study. The Uni likes to boast how many of its graduates are in employment (95%, if I recall right) but will not disclose just what that employment is; be it a burger flipper or CEO of Tesco. This Summer's political hoopla means that it has now provided this poor nation with two deputy leaders of the Labour Party (keep that quiet). The University may have many secret drinking clubs with  bizarre toad rituals; I wouldn't know about that; this is not Oxford after all.... Anyway to any freshers reading this nonsense a warm welcome and remember to move down the bus when standing ...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Chop it up for firewood

They say planting a tree is a gift to the future well I think the time has come for us to enjoy what this gift has to offer by way of heat and light. This tree on Nelson Street has clearly not been alive for quite a while but, as ever, there's been no hurry to remove it possibly because this is a conservation area where you can't blow your nose without prior permission from the Council. Perhaps they are deciding what suitable gift to make for posterity ...

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Lake view

I've posted about East Park before so I've absolutely no excuse for doing it again ...

Weekend reflections are here

Friday, 18 September 2015

Zebedee's Yard

Having got permission to put a car park where a school building once stood Trinity House splashed out on a bit of metal work to proclaim that said car park is henceforth to be known as Zebedee's Yard. Access to this delight is via Posterngate. We've met with Zebedee before; Zebedee Scaping, long serving (55 years!) headmaster of Trinity House School lies under the sod in Western Cemetery.

The weekend in black and white continues here.

Thursday, 17 September 2015


With the end of world confidently predicted for next week or if not then October 7 (it's always good to have a plan B) , it seems that, in the twinkling of an eye, the occupants of these machines have been caught up together to meet the good Lord in the air ... or maybe they just popped into the cafĂ© on the corner. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Common Darter

This, if I'm not mistaken, is a female of the species Sympetrum striolatum and at the risk of being terribly politically incorrect is a bit of a stunner. Here it is taking up the sun on a fence on Snuff Mill Lane.

Margot took this because the camera and I have issues over macro shots grrrr.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Never trust a man called Dave

How do you pronounce Mbps? Is it megabips or magaberps? Anyhow while the local monopoly is trying to sell digital speed with its optical cable roll out I'm stuck on 2 and bit meagreboops and really I don't think I'm missing anything, but maybe good old Dave knows better.

Saturday, 12 September 2015


There's a guy down the road who grows these giant sunflowers every year and every year I mean to photograph them and every year forget. Well this year I was passing, camera in hand ....

Friday, 11 September 2015

Simply Buses

I always strive, as you are aware, to be upbeat and positive in my postings about this fair town. So it gives me immense pleasure to inform you that half of Hull's buses, those blue ones run by Stagecoach, have undergone an overhaul. Not the actual buses themselves, no that would be too much, no the routes they run on. Routes have been combined, adjusted and played around with so that now there are just fifteen routes, numbered 1 to 16. For some reason there is no number 15. Mirabile dictu there's now even a service that runs from the west unto the east (and back again) and it runs right past my front door every ten minutes. The old buses were labeled Pronto now in a masterpiece of PR they are to be known as Simplibus. We tried out that new service on Monday and sure enough it went all the way across to Holderness Road; pretty straight forward except when the driver forgot the new route in town and took us on an impromptu tourist ride round the houses to get back on track. Still, early days ...

Weekend Reflections are here.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Samman House

The last in an impromptu triplet of doorways is this on Bowlalley Lane complete with bin bags. The story of the rise (if that's the right word) of Henry Samman from Oxfordshire born cabin boy to Hull shipping magnate, owner of the Deddington Steamship Company, mayor of Beverley and eventual baronet can be read here should you want a good read. Hull's chamber of commerce and shipping no longer resides here and indeed the whole building was recently (2013) refurbished and converted into "eight unique high specification apartments" which I suppose explains the trash. A recent addition, well I've only just noticed it, is the little picture of what I believe is the SS Elf in company colours.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

76-78 Lowgate

Just round the corner from yesterday's doorway and within spitting distance of the old Queen's Dock this pair of buildings, now the Lowgate Centre, were built in the late 18th-century as merchants' houses complete with stables and warehouses. The medieval practice of merchants living over the shop, as it were, died out pretty soon after this date which led to the spread of Hull north of the dock into Baker StreetAlbion Street and that area. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Maritime Buildings

Maritime buildings are on Alfred Gelder Street close by the Guildhall and were actually designed by our old friends Gelder & Kitchen in 1900. The doorway is impressive but could do with some tlc and a good coat of paint. A nearby blue plaque informs us that a goodly portion of Finland's huddled masses went through Hull on their way to the land of the free and the home of the whatever ...

Monday, 7 September 2015

Slo-mo demolition

You've seen those demolition videos where a whole block comes down at the push of a button and lies in a neat little heap ready to be swept up and taken away; well this ain't like that at all. The old Clarence Mill is coming down but brick by brick and at this rate we'll still be here by Christmas. Complaints have been received that rubble is falling in the river and causing pollution. This is denied, of course, but the public walkway used to have a safety fence recently erected and that has been crushed by bricks so if some were to have fallen in the river it would hardly be a surprise. There's still a section of wall that runs along a busy road; it'll be fun pulling that down without injury or damage. I've recorded some graffiti for posterity, if you look real close you can see someone (SP) has even tagged the very top of the tower.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

A few flags and stuff

A low pressure system over the North Sea was bringing down cloudy Polar Bear breath from Svarlbard or so it seemed on Saturday as I took in a few of the Freedom Festival's goings-on in and around Queen's Gardens. It seemed to involve lots of flags, tying up children in rubber bands (an excellent idea), strange signs, yet more flags and eating cooked pig. The BBC had a big display here as well but you don't want to see that....This is but a mere fraction of the 'attractions' that last for three days (and nights) and take in the old town as well. Just think, in 2017 every day will be a festival day ..... how frabjous!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Afrikan Warriors

So I'm on my way to Tesco when I came across these guys, the Afrikan Warriors if their shirts are not lying, doing acrobatics and strutting their stuff in the middle of Jameson Street. I don't know if they were officially part of the Freedom Festival but who cares, they certainly kept the crowd, particularly the children, entertained.

Friday, 4 September 2015

In the pink

To mark the Hull Freedom Festival  Ye olde black boy  on High Street has been painted pink (temporarily, I hasten to add, it's a listed building and so on and so forth....) Further the question "Does Kolour (sic) Matter?" has been asked. I leave that up to you. I draw your attention to the handsome window boxes, always a  favourite in these parts.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Still life with cone

Church Lane Staithe, Hull
This might have made a contribution to the curiosity theme the other day. It's probably best not to ask too many questions how this installation came together.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Anyone for extras

A film crew was at work on High Street on Monday filming some Victorian costume drama about a woman who poisoned lots of people (charming) and I came across a motley crew of extras tucking into their dinner on the new swing bridge. The lady with the yellow tail was also carrying dinners. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015