Thursday, 31 March 2016

Deep Blue

Here's a close-up of the nose-cone of the fish tank cum penguin prison known as the Deep. It's still pulling in the hoopleheads and last Monday, the bank holidays, queues were over an hour long, despite (or maybe because of) the vile weather. As you can see the weather has cleared up a bit since then.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Highway Maintenance

Those familiar with the current state of the town's highways may appreciate this unsubtle attempt at visual irony ...

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Ice cream castles in the air

I've taken dozens of these shots down the Humber from this point or nearby. I post this one just because I liked that cloud and for no other reason.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Ice Cream Time?

As the remnants of Storm Katie wander off into the North Sea taking with them the gales, horizontal rain and hail that make a traditional Easter Bank Holiday such a fun day out it's surely time to enjoy a double whippy ice cream. No? Well, perhaps a hot cup of tea with a little something added to thaw out your bones would be more appropriate.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The perennial gull problem

Or rather the perennial stupid human being problem.... There are several signs by the harbour claiming that gulls are aggressive and so should, on no account, be fed. What a calumny! Gulls are no more aggressive than any other bird. You build a town on their territory, eat your meals outside and wave food about in front of their beaks, quite naturally they think you're an idiot and swoop down to take a free meal. That's hardly aggression that's just taking advantage of human numptiness. And so every Summer there's outrage at seagulls taking ice-cream out of a tourist's hands or whatever and just as surely some opportunist politician will pipe up about culling these magnificent, intelligent beasts. (The answer to all our wildlife 'problems' it seems is to slaughter the animals. Our badgers are to be culled because our farmers cannot be bothered to immunise their stock against TB or practice good husbandry. There's no scientific evidence to blame badgers but they're going to be killed anyway, that's the weight of the farming lobby on this vile government. But that's another story) The whingeing ninnies, who go to the seaside maybe once or twice a year, won't be happy till every last gull is safely in a bin bag, the coast silent and dead, and they can stuff their stupid faces in peace.

The owner of this car, parked by the harbour, will have a hefty cleaning bill but that's not my problem. Should have known better!

Utter claptrap!

Weekend reflections are here.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Gansey Girl

On the north pier sits this recently installed (October last year) statue, the Gansey Girl, depicting a young woman knitting a traditional jumper or gansey for her fisherman sweetheart. It's part of the maritime trail which is apparently ten years old; how time flies. The sculptor was Steve Carvill.

I have since found out that the little fishes on the base carry the names of fishing families from Bridlington and nearby. If I'd known I'd have taken a close up but if you zoom in on this picture you might just be able to make out some names.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 25 March 2016

A movable feast

This Sunday being the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox means that it is Easter Sunday, a day for eating chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits and, well, chocolate basically. (I know it has some other significance but we'll leave the increasingly irrelevant, not to say bizarre, Christian sects and crazed neo-pagans to their own private grief. ) This, of course, means that today is Good Friday; a day for eating hot cross buns, traditionally just lightly toasted and eaten with a smidgeon of melting butter, very yummy. But what's all this then? Here, from a distant antipodean place (where no doubt be dragons), comes this meaty, cholesterol laden concoction; the hot cross burger! I love it! It offends on so many levels that I'm almost tempted to wander down the road and try one.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A footnote in history

Somewhere in Bridlington

By the harbour side on a bollard, one of dozens of such bollards, hides this little plaque to a fairly big event in the English civil war between king and parliament. Queen Henrietta Maria liked to be addressed as Her She-Majesty Generalissima, and why not, you'd need a fancy title being married to an idiot and long-time loser like Charles Stuart. The guns and ammo, however, did no good, as we all know, her husband's side lost. I don't know whether whoever put this up didn't want any one to see it or whatever but if Margot hadn't pointed it out I would certainly never have seen it. I had to kneel down to read it.  I nominate this for the "possibly the most inconspicuous plaque in the world" award.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Don't you know there's a war on ...

And so to Bridlington, and what is all this then? The High Street was chosen to be the location for filming a rehash of Dad's Army, a late 60'-early 70's BBC sitcom about the Home Guard in WW2 (sounds dire but was actually very good, and still is, a bit of classic). The filming was in 2014 but the film itself has only just been released (some say it should be recaptured and never see the light of day). A review in the Times called the venture "cultural necrophilia", the Guardian said (more or less) it wasn't as bad as it could have been while others politely called it a "bad idea". As the original show is repeated constantly on TV I really can't understand why a second rate repro would get off the ground. Anyhow shops on the High Street are brazenly cashing in while they can with windows taped up against air raids, vintage posters and a general attempt to recreate 1940's Walmington on Sea; and who can blame them?

The Black Lion pub was renamed the Royal Oak in the film and no-body seems to have taken down the sign.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Arts and Science

Last Summer I posted a statue of Minerva that stands in the museum gardens; I mentioned at the time that there were two other statues that I had failed to find. Well I must have been walking around in blinkers to miss these two standing by the exit gate, not exactly hidden are they? The near one represents Art and the other, fittingly headless, one, Science. Neither are in particularly good condition but then high explosives will do that to you.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A 1962 Red Morris

As I know very little (and care even less) about cars I looked up about the Morris Minor in our old friend Wikipedia. According to this impeccable resource the Morris Minor is "considered a classic example of automotive design, as well as typifying "Englishness". Well hmmm. I don't get this Englishness thing; it is a pretty meaningless word especially relating to a motorised box on wheels but let's not start the week off with quibbling. This particular car is a little bit younger than me, was once orange and is now standing in a place that renovates clapped-out old bangers. Speaking of clapped-out old bangers I could do with a bit of renovation as well.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Sign of the Dancing Goat

This oddly named coffee house is on Beverley Road between Dinos pizza and burger place( "a Healthier alternative" yeah right) and the Newland Christian Centre (doubtless a holier alternative). It is an excellent establishment, so I've read, but as you know I don't touch coffee.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Deep and dangerous

Here's the good old Barmston Drain passing under Clough Road. That yellow thing in the water is a sign from the nearby fitness centre that you can see in the background. It had clearly not read the warning below.

Weekend reflections are here.

Friday, 18 March 2016

A room with a view

Sneaking through the new Zebedee's Yard car park the other day I came across this odd thing. It's some kind of observation platform stuck on top of a building behind the old Neptune Hotel aka Boots the chemist on Whitefriargate. I'll tempt fate and say it wouldn't be sticking my neck out too far to say that, as the building was part of the Customs and Excise extortion racket until 1912, it has some nautical connection since from up there you would have been able to see all the comings and goings on Hull's docks and the river traffic as well. A low tech version of Big Brother is watching you ... the 'security' camera is the modern version.

The weekend in black and white has crept up on us again and it's here.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

On yer bike mate ...

So I hung around this sign waiting to see what might happen given cyclists' propensity to be a law unto themselves. Just my luck to find the one cyclist in this town who obeys traffic signs. Mind you cyclists really shouldn't be riding on the pavement now should they?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Labyrinthine mess

The closure of Carr Lane has extended the feeling that the town centre is really becoming a labyrinth at the heart of which lies not some half-man half bull but just some crazed substance abusing town planner who is full of the brown smelly stuff.

Below the magnificent workforce are holding a prayer meeting before carrying out the sacred work of civic destruction, or maybe it was just a pep talk in how to drag the job out for as long as possible.

Of course you can't make omelettes without breaking eggs or it seems brave new worlds without cutting down half a dozen perfectly healthy alders to make way for the addled dreams of the town planner.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Yet another sad tale

Four years ago to the day I  posted about a young man drowning in the river, well last December it seems it may have happened again. Another young man has disappeared after a night out. As his phone, clothes and shoes were found on the bank of the river it's thought he's somehow gotten into the water. So now there's a petition to erect railings on watersides near bars and pubs. As you see below there's nothing at all to stop someone falling in and those boards can get slippy in the rain. I can see no good reason not to fence off this particular area and with the City of Culture looming shortly there's likely to be an influx of unwary strangers staggering out of the nearby hostelries who might be wondering why their feet are wet ...

Sunday, 13 March 2016

On the fence

I've shown bits of this sculptural fence before (here and here) so it's time for a full reveal as it were. It belongs to a warehouse-turned-apartment block that sits alongside the river. The little adornments represent trades and things related to Hull and hereabouts.
I had a root around in my old pictures as I knew I had more from this place and put together this little collection. So that's enough of that, I think, time to get off the fence and move on.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A little bit foggy

Our new super-dooper street lights were struggling to make any impression on the wonderful thick fog that rolled in the other night. I like a nice fog even though we no longer get those glorious mournful foghorns sounding out from the river and making for that complete film noir sensation.

Friday, 11 March 2016

You looking at me?

In town on Wednesady the weather was, well, good weather for ducks shall we say. I could see the front one was eyeing me up but then I noticed the back one was as well. All of which led Margot to give me my new word for the day:
The well based fear that somehow, no matter where you are or what you are doing, a duck is always watching you....

Have a nice day!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Big Lil

Lillian "Big Lil" Bilocca

The only memories that I have of Hull from my childhood back in the swinging sixties in the idyllic seaside town of Hartlepool is of dock strikes (seemingly every other week), trawlers being lost at sea and a large woman in a headscarf berating all and sundry up to and including the Prime Minister about safety for trawler men. That woman, whose trademark image of the headscarf and raincoat on the grainy black and white TV of the days was really unforgettable, was Lillian Bilocca, who, along with other equally formidable women from the Hessle Road fishing community, managed to get some modicum of safety on the fishing fleet. Trawlers had to have a radio operator, come to that, trawlers had to have a radio, quite a few didn't. Why did it take a group of women to achieve these things while the men were seemingly invisible? Well that's a story for someone else to tell.
So what's all this mural about then I hear you ask? Well someone's written a book, Headscarf Revolutionaries, about all these goings on and the film rights for the book have been sold so watch out for a Hollywood blockbuster. Then the BBC program, the One Show, got involved and commissioned two fellows from Belfast (where murals like this are two a penny) to come over and paint, well, what you see. It was unveiled, if that's the word, over last weekend. And I have to say I'm impressed and I don't impress easy.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Moving upmarket

Last weekend the 99p Store became a Poundland; clearly going for the more discerning customer.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Turn that frown upside down

This being Hull even our Smiley faces are bursting into tears. Still if you look behind there's a reason to be cheerful; the pier is now mended and open again and you could dance a polka if you so desired on the new boards, just don't wear high heels.

Monday, 7 March 2016

One in five

Oh he's not going to go on about empty shops again, is he?  Well yeah, he is. In 2015 21% of Hull town shops were vacant, a rise from the previous year of 0.5%. And this is before the Council started their excavations and closures and so on. Now nationally the number of vacancies fell to a rate of 11.5% in town centres. So you'd think there'd be some real concern instead we hear nothing but complacent platitudes from those the council and whoever chose to put forth as spokespeople ... here's one that stuck in my craw: "We're building a world class city centre for 2017!" Well hmmph won't be any shops left by then, matey.

Yes even Heaven has closed its doors ....

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Guildhall ball dropping exercise

Peer closely at the top of the Guildhall tower and you might just make out  a ball with pole sticking out of it. Yup not an impressive sight I agree but this is, or rather was, a time signal for ships on the river and in the nearby docks. The ball would be raised up and then dropped at noon, much like the more famous Greenwich ball dropping thing down south. It hasn't worked for donkey's years and indeed I didn't even know it was there until an article in the local rag drew my attention to it. There's been a few attempts to get it going again but all have failed due no doubt to the fact that £50,000 to drop a ball at noon seems a bit of a waste of money given that there's no ships and no dock. But these are mere piffling details; with the City of Culture coming up balls will drop I have no doubt.

Saturday, 5 March 2016


Part of the Fish Trail, this rather unhappy looking life-sized swordfish is on Humber Dock Street close to the marina.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Heaping Pelion upon Ossa

“Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam”.

The Greek myths tell of  giants waging a war on the gods and in an effort to destroy the home of the gods they pile one mountain on another. These days, of course, there are no giants and no gods either. Just the midgets and minnows of the Council who are seemingly waging an undeclared war, not on heaven but on Hull itself. The opening front of this stadtkrieg involves ripping all the pedestrianised areas up in order to lay new paving stones with fountains (they will no doubt squirt you for the sake of civic virtue). The supposed enemy, reeling from this blitz, are then faced with a flanking manoeuvre; the closure for refurbishment of Carr Lane. Ah yes the timing of this assault is exquisite, that is to say, exquisitely awful..
So there'll be four months (better make that five you know how things go round these parts) of upheaval, 32 buses per hour rerouted, pedestrians rerouted, shops made inaccessible in the usual Hull way of cacking things up. I'm looking forward to the inevitable epic gridlocks that will happen; it's bad enough at the best of times. My bus doesn't go down there but, things being the way they are, one little niggle in a road and the whole godforsaken place grinds to a halt. Oh it's going to be so much fun ... but when it's all done there'll be silver paving stones, the road will glisten with gold and people will dance gaily in the brave new world while minstrels will sing songs of praise to the glorious Council.
But as Virgil says three times they tried to pile Pelion on Ossa  ... ah yes the works already carried out in Jameson Street are having to be ripped up and reinstalled because there were "defective".

And while I'm here, and on a roll, I may as well mention the Ferens art gallery, on the left,  is also being done up to make it able to meet the demands of modern day art exhibitions (the Turner Prize for example), the bill for this just recently went up by a cool half mil to £2.8 million. Kerching!

"Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat" as no-body ever said.