Saturday, 27 February 2016

Non-fluttering Non-dancing

It's that time of year when I usually post some harbinger of Spring, snowdrops or pussy willow or whatever. This year it's the little daffodils that the Council or somebody has planted under local street signs. As we've not really had any Winter to speak of (again) maybe the coming month will bring us something colder. As the old saying goes "February builds bridges, and March breaks them".

Friday, 26 February 2016

Carry on up the Khyber Pass

Details, details ... This little putto romping around with a sickle is according everything I can find an allegory of plenty or of Summer; take your pick. (I'm guessing that there are more similar putti in this series representing the other seasons but we only have the one that I know of.) It is situated in East Park's Khyber Pass where a bright stainless steel plaque close by informs us that "This "Folly" was originally the site of a copy of an Arab doorway from Zanzibar, used at the entrance to the East African Pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition held in 1928, and later erected in East Park in 1930." Which is all fine except the the British Empire Exhibition was held in 1924 but that's a mere detail compared to the claim that the folly was actually built in 1885-88 to commemorate the 'capture' (I use the word loosely) of the Khyber Pass by the British Army in the second Afghan War (see here for example). Now I have written in the past that the folly was built from bits of the old Tudor garrison that stood at the mouth of the river Hull. So what's going on? Well I think there's a pinch of truth in all these tales. Certainly a turret from the garrison was part of the folly but was moved to Victoria dock. The original Victorian folly must have been added to in the late 1920's as there was an Arab doorway in the past which has gone who knows where?

Anyhow here's what that East African Pavilion looked like back in 1924 in Wembley when the sun did not set on the British Folly, sorry Empire.

And here's the informative plaque
Ooopsy by Hull City Council
The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Broken window policy

Jarratt Street, Hull
I don't know how long this quaint window sign has been here but clearly somebody got sick and tired of it ... Seems to be a thing in this place, random window breaking that is. A few years ago I had windows broken on multiple occasions, by what could only be described as uneducated subhuman scum, when I lived close by the town centre, they would just pass by, pick up a brick and chuck ... who would want to live in such a place and with such 'people'?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

I must have told you about ...

You all remember the kiddies' water play area I showed, ooh ages ago. The one that shuts in Autumn? Yeah that's the one. Did I ever tell you about the clever guy who designed the sanitation units you see in the background so that they could (and did) leak sewage into the water that Hull's kiddies were merrily splashing about in? The human waste was then added to by generous contributions from the local bird life that abounds in the canopies of the trees, this is all news to you? Surely I must have told you how dozens were affected by Cryptosporidia? No? I didn't mention the thousands of pounds of compo the Council have had to pay out? Gosh I can't think why I haven't; I must be getting old and forgetful. Oh before I forget even more; the place is now shut down permanently and only the geese and crows play there now. Now, I know for sure I've told you how crap the Council is, haven't I?

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

I'm ready for my close-up ...

Readers with fantastic memories may recall my pathetic attempts to photograph the Goosanders that visit East Park most Winters. Usually they stay out of range of my camera. This time they were practically waiting to have their portraits taken. Only too happy to oblige.

The RSPB claims there are 12,000 pairs of these birds in the UK in Winter. This guy however was more like the MC in Cabaret with his two ladies ... Und he's the only man. Beedle dee, dee dee dee

Monday, 22 February 2016

You're going the wrong way

Another helpful sign, this one on Castle Street.

As the town's traffic problems continue in the usual manner, (somehow Fridays are block-up-the-town days, verb sap to any visitors from out of town) a councillor was reported in the local rag as saying that there things were only going to get worse. It was he said "unrealistic" to expect more roads to be built to ease congestion. The council, he said, couldn't afford a survey into how to improve things, indeed the council cannot even afford to submit a planning application for a Park-and-Ride scheme. Brave, plain speaking you might think especially as the local council elections are coming up in May, but then the voters of this town would vote for a smelly dead dog with a red rosette rather change their ways.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

For sale: One vote; never been used.

EU flags on Castle Street, Hull

To assuage the snarling, swivel-eyed, hoopleheaded little englanders otherwise known as the Conservative Party the utterly pointless prime minister has called a completely unnecessary referendum, in June, on whether the UK stays in the EU. I, like I suspect vast swathes of the country, couldn't give a monkey's arse one way or the other. I don't think it'll make a great deal of difference either in or out. So, on the principle (if you can call it that) of doing the opposite of what the Government wants me to do I'm going to vote for out ... but let me be clear I am not unreasonable and I am open to persuasion for a reasonable fee (cash only). Good grief there's going to be months and months of this boring euro-twaddle ... if I hear the word 'Brexit' again I don't think I can answer for the consequences!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The sunlight on the garden

Struggled to find a title for this post. Thought of "all that glisters" la-di-da but I've used that already, or maybe 'patent leather shine' but, nah, that's a bit naff. Margot, she with the English degree, thought Louis MacNeice's

"The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden. "

might be useful. So, as this was a new one for me, why not ?..., well, blame her...

The good news from Victoria Pier is that the hole caused by the tidal surge two and a bit years ago has finally been patched up but ( & there's always a but) for some reason the area is still fenced off.

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 19 February 2016

The ties that bind

The former warehouse now restaurant close by Princes Quay has an unusual large array of structural ties holding it together.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Keep on smiling

Also while I was away the Council finally took a big deep breath and blew down the New York hotel, well maybe a JCB was involved, but anyway it's gone leaving this impressive pile of bricks and dozens of homeless pigeons. The building had only been empty for fifteen years and in a state of terminal decay for nigh on eight so this is really quick stuff from HCC, verging on the impetuous. (maybe I should go away more often) The bill for demolition is thought to be well over £250,000 which the Council thinks it will get back from the owners ... I think I know who is smiling after all this.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Let us spray

Some creative spraying has been going on in the old fruit market area. This, on Pier Street, is by a "collective of Hull based aerosol graffiti artists, mural painters and urban decorators available for hire". I hope they have other colours besides green maybe you can ask them by going here.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Stages of development

I was happy to find that the little pathway that runs alongside the old dry dock has been re-opened so I could have a wander along there this afternoon. As I mentioned in an earlier post some construction is under way in the dry dock. This is to be a small open air stage/amphitheatre for events during the Year of Culture, I don't have to tell you how enthusiastically this has been received amongst those who like to troll the local newspaper. Personally I think it's a grand idea and will entertain many on those warm evenings that Hull is especially noted for, between the end of June and the start of July. As well as a stage there's to be reed beds planted at each end for that eco-friendly look that is so in vogue these days.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Flares and flags

This brought to mind memories of the physics lessons of my distant youth; the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection or so they say. The thing in the middle is one of a pair rags on this pier; possible entrants in the most tattered flags in the world competition, and a truly heart-warming symbol of the state of this United Kingdom. Rule, Britannia!

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 12 February 2016

47 Queen Street

Here's yet another of those old riverside warehouses reused as offices, this one is next door to that C4DI building I showed the other day. It's also the offices of Wykeland the development company that is building the C4DI site so that's handy.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

A Scheduled Monument

Catching up with other news from this charming little town and you'll be delighted to learn that, after an exercise in public consultation hitherto unknown in these parts, the local hole has been saved for future generations and is to be extended with seating and a few hedges and so on. This represents a reversal for the Council which wanted to fill it in but had not reckoned without the power of digital petitions and news articles describing that decision as idiotic. (Quite why that particular decision any more idiotic than all the rest is a mystery). So now the litter will have more space to gather in and the youths will have more space to hang around and be disaffected. But history has been saved ...
The few medieval bricks, tucked away in the corner down there, that make up what was once Beverley Gate have now been made a Scheduled Monument by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (I assume it costs the Government nothing to do this) which means that...., well I don't know what it means, but it sounds good doesn't it.
I've also heard that regarding the dreadful Word Gate proposed for nearby the Council are looking for other sites. They didn't respond to my suggestion that two miles east of Spurn Point was an excellent site.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

While I was away

I've only been into town once in about two months or so, so I missed the official opening of this, the C4DI building, that is going to be the fountain of so many brilliant ideas that we will all live happily ever after in a digital wonderland. While the future maybe bright the once gleaming brass skin is already going a bit grubby, sorry, that should read gaining an impressive patina. Work is well under way on the rest of the site and the old dry dock is finally dry with some sort of construction going on in it.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Having another dig

If you've got a few visitors coming round you might tidy up a bit, run a hoover over the carpets maybe sort out those convenient piles of stuff that you like to have to hand. You wouldn't throw out all the furniture and decorate every room all at one go, would you? Well maybe you would if you work for Hull City Council. So it comes about that, with less than a year to the City of Culture thingy, a mad panic has taken over and every street in the centre of town has "works" going on. Well I say "works" but it's hardly a hive of industry, less Ford Maddox Brown more Jerome K Jerome.  And will it all be worth the inconvenience, the loss of customers, the closed businesses, the mess and the hassle? Silly me, of course it will ...

Monday, 8 February 2016

Same old same old

I'll post this and maybe a few more before I disappear again. Hull is like some aged tart undergoing cosmetic surgery at the moment, it's not a pretty sight. Those nips and tucks are all being done in one go so you can imagine the mess.