Saturday, 31 October 2015

Tour de wherever

Seems that sometime earlier this year (April or May, does it matter?) there was a cycle race held in these parts. Maybe it was a follow up to last year's Tour de France fandango. Well, whatever,  it totally passed by me without leaving a trace, somehow the sight of a group of sweaty lycra-clad steroid enhanced bicycle riders rushing past in the blink of an eye lacks a certain degree of appeal or anything really. But à chacun son goût, as they often say in these parts, and others (more discerning, I've no doubt) were inspired to mark this event. Bicycles were painted yellow and blue and hung in various places. Quite where the inspiration for this odd behaviour came from I know not but I suspect a certain Gallic influence. 
Above is Lairgate, Beverley and below Bridlington Station. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

A little bridge

If this looks a tad familiar that's because I've posted the other side of it here in glorious technicolour..

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A manifest denial of the truth

With a few tweaks here and there a dull afternoon's walk down Snuff Mill Lane becomes a promenade along a fiery glade. 

On the return journey, in the darkening twilight, we encountered several bats flying just inches over our heads on this stretch. Must be the exceptionally mild weather bringing them out.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

*Insert the usual seasonal cliché here*


I'm feeling even lazier than normal so the next few days may be filled with trees going orangey-yellow like it has never happened before. This scene is near Driffield keld last seen in verdant splendour here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Sitting in the railway station

I had a few minutes to sit and ponder on the 169 year old Driffield station and what's left of its glory. Above is the old stationmaster's house and the brick stand for a water tank, those white vans are parked in the old coal yards, while behind me the former goods yard is now modern houses. Just up the track to the right there were cattle loading facilities to take beasts to west Yorkshire from the cattle market in town. Below is the passenger station which once had a fine roof like Beverley station but now just awnings keep out the rain. Nowadays just four small trains an hour pass through whereas in the 1940's there were up to 125 train movement in one morning!
Well good riddance to all that I say. Coal is a foul stinking fuel, steam engines are inefficient mucky things and the great British railway system was a complete and utter unco-ordinated shambles with hundreds of uneconomic lines running hither and yon. There's a progress of sorts in all this, canals put out the wagoners, train put out the bargemen and diesel lorries put out the trains. No doubt the lorries and vans will be put out by something as yet unknown (though I don't see drones taking off, if you pardon the pun).
In the UK, unlike just about every other country,  the state played no part at all in planning or building the rail infrastructure. The early 19th century saw a mad rail glut as it were, completely bonkers and bound to fail which it duly did along with much criminality and fraud. After the last war rail was nationalised and rationalised and was working pretty well until monetarist ideology sold it off. Nowadays our rail system is officially much better organised with a mere 28 companies receiving between them a meagre £4 billion in state subsidies though it is said that this may rise (or skyrocket as one opposition MP put it). But surely it is only right and proper for the latter-day successors of George Hudson that the costs inherent in owning a licence to print money from a natural monopoly should be placed firmly on the broad shoulders of the long suffering taxpayer.
I'd better go now, I'm beginning to ramble incoherently ...

If you really want to know just about everything there is to know about Driffield station then follow this link.

Monday, 26 October 2015

What the Hull is that?

You'll have heard of the City of Culture thingy that approaches in 2017, well every thingy like this needs a thingy, a what's it, erm a logo;  that's it. And here,  designed by committee, is the very thing that will adorn all events for that year and thereafter, per omnia saeculorum. I'm told it's not a drowning menorah ... but a series of aitches (aitch, as in Hhhhull, geddit? the irony being that the aitch is almost always dropped in common parlance, it's 'Ull, doncha know!) disappearing into the horizon; like I say, designed by a committee to please a committee.
To go with this there's a collection of soggy slogans whose utter banality defies belief, here's a taster: "Someone bothering you? Tell them to go to Hull" (Ba dum tsh!)  or "I went there for the Hull of it" (that'll have them queuing for miles on the M63!). And they pay real people real money to come up with such an original play on words. I know you think I'm making this stuff up, don't you?  ... well click here or here and be underwhelmed.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

For my next trick ...

You sometimes see some odd things as you pass through town on a Saturday. I'm pretty sure a three year-old could figure out this old illusion outside a well known purveyor of beef patties. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Angel wing

Oh dear. This poor swan has angel wing, a deformity of the last joint of the wing that causes feathers to stick out from the body instead of lying flat. From the little I've read about it, it's thought it could be caused by too much protein in the diet and this guy swimming in a pond near Driffield was very fond of the white bread being thrown to him by little children. So if you're tempted to feed the ducks and so on chuck them some seeds instead.  I've also read that the outlook for birds with this condition is bleak but either there's a lot of this about or this guy has been lurking around Driffield for at least five years since I took the picture below in 2010.

Weekend reflections are here.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Store

This imaginatively named emporium and former church is on the Promenade, Bridlington.

Somehow the week seems to have escaped me and it's the weekend again which means there'll be monochrome magic over at the Weekend in Black & White.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

It's happy hour again

You never quite know what you might bump into at Hull Fair. This is guy I believe is called Rabbit De Niro but don't quote me on that.

Margot is responsible for this.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Leisurely Development

You turn your back for a year or so and lo, a brand new £20-odd million  leisure complex appears from out of the rubble of the old one. They seem to have opted for the grand piano style of sea front building which is not totally displeasing. It opens next year but if you can't wait here's a little animation of how things are expected to be. 

Sunday, 18 October 2015


Meanwhile, back in Bridlington, a new sculpture depicting a ruddy-faced chap in period costume carrying a grapnel anchor has appeared atop the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners' offices. Reading about the plans for this I find it was intended to be situated in gardens across the road; a quote from a local councillor in 2013  "I think tourists will see it and probably stand next to it for a photograph", he goes on, "People will delight in having their picture taken and if they spread the word when they go home perhaps it will encourage people to come here." Hmmm, well such were the plans; now it's just stuck out of reach on a plain old brick hut serving little or no purpose. 
The culprit, sorry, sculptor of this is one Ronald Falck.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Some of the fun of the Fair

The last time we went to Hull Fair properly, as it were, was so long ago that digital cameras hadn't even been thought of. So, thinking that it might be another thirty years or so before we return, we perhaps overdid it by taking some 700 shots between us some of which turned out OK. We arrived during the 'Happy Hour' meant for families with young children when some of the rides are half price. I have to say that I not a great fan of crowds or loud, no, not loud, louder than loud, noise (couldn't call it music) that you don't so much hear as feel viscerally as it thumps through the thoracic cavity. Nor do flashing lights and those green beams of 'laser' lights have any great appeal. After a while, though, a morbid fascination takes over and we stayed for an hour and half leaving as many more were arriving and the party could really get going. This is the 722nd Hull Fair and it closes tonight at midnight, so get your skates on ...

Margot caught this rather tired looking customer.
Really crowded

Friday, 16 October 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sunshine and Sea

Well not much sunshine to be honest as the wind that has been blowing in all the way from Russia for the last week brings with it cloud and spits and spots of rain from off the warmish North Sea (everything is relative!). Here's Bridlington south beach this afternoon, Brid hasn't changed much in the year since we last visited except for a new development which I'll post on another day.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Down among the Dahlias

Whoever does the planting at  East Park's Star Gardens is clearly a dahlia fan as every year the display seems to get better. 

I thought, maybe, a little panorama would not be out of place.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sign of the cross

This is a new display on St Columba's on Holderness Road. Somehow I doubt any amount of new signage is going to get the punters into church although I grant it does have high brand recognition.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

University rhubarb

Of course it's a damn hoarding, do you take us for fools! University spending millions on a big TV screen, no sorry, an "industry standard digital cinema"; yeah right! You can't buy culture? Pshaw! Culture is a whore, you have to haggle over the price.

Friday, 9 October 2015

A bit of a mess

I'm afraid this post is a bit of a mess, basically just a pile of snaps of the ongoing demolition of the Clarence Mills. There's not a lot to add to what I've already said about this. So just excuse the mess and make of it what you will.

The weekend in black and white is here, all being well.

Top notch!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sudden Closure

There has been a rash of sudden closures of restaurants in the town centre. This one, a fish bar on King Edward Street, opened last October and closed in September. Starbucks and Pizza Hut have already left town. There's news today of yet another closure in the old town. The local rag carries tales of woe from restaurant owners demanding that 'something must be done' as if the public purse should remedy their poor business choices. At this rate of attrition there won't be any left by the year of Kultur.  But, you ask, don't the good folk of Hull like to dine out of an evening? Sure they do, just not in the moribund centre of town but in places such as Princes Avenue which is crammed with restaurants and bars. I think it's called market forces or some such ...

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The House on Salthouse Lane

... and while we're on Salthouse Lane I must show you this grade 2 listed Georgian dolls' house that completely dominates what's left of the lane. This was built in the 1780's as a merchant's home, later became a branch of the Bank of England then a home for sailors. It's now part of a housing association. Although facing onto Salthouse Lane for some reason this is officially 105 Alfred Gelder Street. Ah well ... Someone with a lot of time on their hands has researched the whole history of this place and put their findings online here, so, many thanks to that person.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The White Hart Hotel, again

I've shown this pub/hotel a couple of times now. The last time was back in March last year with a hopeful note that the place would reopen in Spring. Well two Springs have passed and a Summer and now Autumn and it's still not open. The economic climate has clearly not changed much, at least not for the better. This is a rear view, as it were, from Salthouse Lane and shows the full extent of this really quite large establishment. I guessing from the cosy way it agrees with the streets that at some point this was rebuilt to fit in with the 'new' layout of Alfred Gelder Street.

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Hull plinth

In the manner of Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth I offer you the scaled down, rough and ready Hull version which features that aid to modern living, without which no public space would be complete, the damaged runaway shopping trolley... oh, have we got culture for you! Anyhow Queen's garden's trees are nicely doing that thing they do at this time of year.