Saturday, 30 April 2016

Nothing rhymes with ...

The local rag, unable to come up with anything newsworthy, pretended to send a reporter out to count the barriers in town. I forget the total, it was something like 3,600 of the little orange darlings. I guess we'll just have to put up with them, they won't be here for ever and when they're gone I bet we'll miss them. Strange old world ...

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Polar Bear

The Polar Bear on Spring Bank has gotten itself a pretty new sign, well it's new to me. The place seems to have the decorators in at the moment so maybe it'll reopen soon.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Inappropriate to say the least

Bene qui latuit bene vixit.
So you spend a bit of money buying a lease on a quiet little plot in the General Cemetery, you lay out your dead in simple plain graves with no ostentation and there you might think you'll lie, without attracting much attention, in perpetuity or at least for the 999 years of your lease. But you had not reckoned with idiots (no better word, well there is but this is a family friendly site) plonking ten foot high signs that are just an insult, a desecration if you would, of the whole ethos of the place. No doubt it'll have something to do with the pestilence that goes by the name of 'Culture' and no doubt a grant will have been obtained to create this vandalism.
I don't know who is responsible for this and I can find no record of any planning permission being sought or granted so it's all a bit of a mystery.

Monday, 25 April 2016

A thing from the past

Trawling through some old pictures I came across this from about 2004. I'd totally forgotten about this testament to the welder's skill that used to be on Scale Lane near where the new swing bridge was (eventually) built. I don't know what it was, who made it or where it went. Somebody will know, won't they?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Fracture lines

It's really not fair, some might say, to juxtapose a broken window with Orchard Park. Orchard Park, the very name conjures up a rural idyll, a place of bucolic bliss. But in reality Orchard Park is home to packs of feral, anti-social, uneducated, despicable untermensch who roam around destroying any last vestige of civilisation...and that's just the children.
Oh I know other cities have far worse places and OP is not even the worst place in Hull but when they witter on about 'City of Culture this' and 'City of Culture that' just bear in mind how utterly irrelevant it all is to Orchard Park and the kindred hell holes that surround this place.

Margot took this picture while we waited for a bus to leafy Cottingham, where the snobs live, if we are to believe some Hull Councillors.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Saturday, 23 April 2016


In England, on this St George's Day, down the leafy lanes of Cottingham it  is heartening to find the Bard's innovative use of language is still finding a voice among the oppressed youth. Innit Blud! (as they often say in these parts)

Friday, 22 April 2016

A pair of cranes

A pair of cranes has taken up residence behind the University's business studies building this Summer as yet more building work gets under way. Somehow the University has put together £25 million or so to build a new bio-medical facility complete with "a mock hospital ward, operating theatre, intensive care facilities and a large lecture theatre". Where will it all end? I should mention that £7 million of this has come from a donation by a very rich (I believe the term 'stinking rich' applies in this case) man who I shall not name here because, well, you can look him up if you're that bothered and he certainly doesn't need any more publicity.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Another day, another plan, another slogan

This is a slogan of the  property development company, Wykeland, eager to make a buck out of redeveloping the old Fruit Market and its surroundings. It is part of a slick marketing operation to sell the (£80 million) plans for not just a hundred or so new homes but a whole 'urban village' lifestyle whatever that may be. Well, judging by the company video, what it appears to be is people of a certain age (no older than 27, I'd guess) giggling, drinking coffee, giggling, drinking more coffee, giggling more  (presumably all that coffee sets off a giggle reflex) and so on as they live, work and play and their money pours into the coffers of Wykeland.
The video, so I'm informed, was shot in Shoreditch and Southwark in London as well as in Hull. Those places may well be able to support an 'urban village' lifestyle being situated in the middle of one of the greatest and richest urban populations in the world. The old Fruit Market is surrounded by water on three sides and the hell that is Castle Street on the other and is a crusty pimple on the bottom of one of the poorest cities in Britain. It will be interesting to see if the project gets off the ground. 

On a lighter note, if you are into meaningless slogans such as the one above, check out the mind blowing one below. Well D'oh!


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Ceci n'est pas un tardis

OK I don't know why I haven't shown this antique telephone booth before. It sits in the indoor market and serves no purpose other than ornamentation. I think I can remember it working many years ago as a phone box but that may be one of those false memories you read about in the papers. Something about a row when it was proposed to do away it also surfaces now I come to think about it. There's really not a lot you can say about an old empty phone box that doesn't even do time travel any more ...

Monday, 18 April 2016

Central Fire Station

The Central Fire Station on Worship Street is, like the Central Police Station on Queen's Gardens, no longer in use having been replaced by a new place on Clough Road. I'm posting these because pretty soon the place will be no more. It's being demolished to make way for an extension to the New Theatre and a new £10 million University Technical College. I had to look up what a UTC was; as far as I can make out it's a type of grammar or elite school for the twenty first century with business sponsorships and links the the University. The New Theatre works were going to be held up due the the Council lacking funds (that old sofa trick no longing working). Step in the Chancellor of the Exchequer, no less, with £5 million spare change to save the day. ("He's a very nice man, a very, very nice man" *tugs forelock*)

The place was originally run by Hull City Council hence the city crest.

Then it was run by the now defunct Humberside County Council but it remains a Humberside service, serving both sides of the Humber.

This faded plaque informs that the place was opened on 6th April 1927 by a Mr Crook J.P!

Finally a not very good picture of the front.

Saturday, 16 April 2016


I know you all appreciate the lengths that I go to in order to bring you photographs of this precious town. I do however draw the line at lying on my side with my feet in the air. I know, I know; I'm such a party pooper. This young athletic chap was quite determined to photograph his model on Victoria Pier from what can only be described as an awkward angle. I do wonder what the model thought of all these callisthenics

Friday, 15 April 2016

Blue Violet

What else can an aspiring university do with a football pitch that was only used on Wednesdays and as a short cut to the exit other than build a set of halls of residence? There'll soon be 560 students living in accommodation that will be "among the best in the country". When you've spent £30 million you might expect it to a bit classy. I'm disappointed that the stunning pale violet colour is to be covered up with boring cladding and the whole thing will eventually look like this. Dull, almost boring

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Any colour you like as long as it's orange

A veritable fleet of gas platform supply vessels was filling up the usually empty Albert Dock the other day. These belong to a company called Sealion Shipping and clearly they have a favourite colour and they're sticking to it. It's like a hi-vis jacket for boats.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sydney House

I rather liked the look of Sydney House which sits along Adelaide Street and Cogan Street, two tree lined and seemingly pleasant avenues. As council flats go I've seen far uglier ways of housing a lot of people in a small area. Ah but would I want to live there? I'm afraid I am not worthy to share in the delights of having Castle Street on one side, Ferensway on another, the Salvation Army hostel just across the road and a neighbourhood (I think 'community' is the current must-use word these days) that is somewhat high on unemployment, social deprivation and crime. I feel I must leave these pleasures to others more fortunate than myself.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Dante woz 'ere

Being the city of culture has obviously brought out the more literary minded graffiti types. This apt warning is on the site of the Department for Work and Pensions medical centre on Stanley Street.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


Last time I posted about the Clarence Mill it was half pulled down and well on its way to being a fully cleared site. Well you won't be at all surprised that nothing is ever so straight forward in this wonderful town. I'd already mentioned how slow the demolition was, well 'slow' turned into 'stopped altogether'. Shortly after I posted the contractors, who apparently hadn't been paid for some time, walked off the site and nothing happened for several months. A few weeks ago work started again and so we are down now to this stump and a huge pile of bricks. So what do you reckon? Another year before this place is finally cleared? Or maybe two?

The weekend in black and white is here.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Friday, 8 April 2016

Wave goodbye to the purple pig

The oddly named Purple Pig restaurant on Trinity Square went  belly up last October when the company that owned it put itself into liquidation. A nearby planning sign indicates that it is to reopen as a pub and further research tells me that the pub will be called "The Head of Steam" (*sigh* Pubs used to have such quaint names as the King's Head, the Red Lion or even the Drunken Duck; now all pubs in a chain have the same name). The new owners are Cameron's Brewery from my old home town, Hartlepool, so it's bound to be a great place. I just hope access is restored to these premises as, at the moment, it's just a bit tricky ....

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Police Station For Sale

Having put all their eggs in one basket by moving to Clough Road, Humberside Police now find themselves with surplus empty police stations. One in East Hull went for £300,000 just the other week and this one on Queen's Gardens is also up for grabs. The council had an idea of joining the sale of the station with redevelopment of the multi storey car park behind. A bigger site would attract a higher premium being their thought (for once it's not a bad idea). Now you'd think public services like the police and the council could at least get along well enough to come to some mutually beneficial arrangement. But, as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside plod is of one political persuasion and the council is run by a different party, no agreement has been reached between the two idiotic parties over the future of this place. The PCC is also up for re-election next month so probably wants to get some Brownie points for independence though during his tenure the force has seen the highest burglary rates and been declared 'inadequate' by those who declare these things. He's not all heartless bureaucrat though, recognising that the place will attract vandals and so be unappealing during the year of culture he has promised to have the place demolished if it's not sold by then; leaving an empty brick filled demo site instead to greet visitors to Queen's Gardens. As I say, a thoughtful sort of guy.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Maybe things are never as bad as they seem

Here's a rather (too) large panorama of Trinity Square showing the work (ha!) in progress. Andrew Marvell has long gone, the church wall is history as is the large tree that stood on the right of the doorway and those uneven paving slabs of the church yards are probably in somebody's garden as I write. The good news is that the awful Trinity Square layout with its ridiculous seating and tedious brick paving are also gone. Also, in October last year, plans to build a lean-to restaurant up against the church exterior were shelved due to lack of funds; yet another of those things that were planned but are now (thankfully) not going to happen. 
Now as far as I can tell the plan is to install something like the image below which I've borrowed from the council's public realm document. I leave it to you to imagine how it will actually look. There seems to be only the vaguest of ideas as to what use this space will be put, cafés and seating and 'events' are mentioned but I don't see that being much different from the present use and that is spectacularly hopeless. If this were any other cathedral city, and let's admit that church is almost as big as a cathedral, it would be surrounded by a cathedral close with many tourist attractions, little stalls, entertainers; something to keep people interested. Here we get the same old "Seating will be installed and again pavement cafes will be encouraged " Pathetic! I doubt that after the initial interest has waned there will ever be that many people in Trinity Square, the odd stray duck perhaps, sitting in those silly little ponds.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Red and Blue

This is an old trader's warehouse on High Street that was converted for use as a restaurant some time back. Quite why it's not being used at this moment I don't know, perhaps the neighbours didn't like the colour scheme...

Monday, 4 April 2016

No iron bars, no cage, no worries

Have I mentioned how they'll nick anything in this one horse town? Even if it's cemented into the ground. Here's the old Mankind Under Threat feature of  Queen's Gardens under threat once again. Most of the iron bars, as you can see, have been stolen for want of a better word. The Council are now said to be preparing to move the whole thing to a site nearer the City Treasury where they can keep an eye on it (ha ha). That's if they can scrape up enough pennies from the back of their collective sofa. It's present site acts as a down-to-earth (literally) counterpoint to the outrageous, grandiose memorial to Wilberforce directly across the road; a stark reminder that the work started by Wilberforce et al is by no means complete. To move it would lose that poignancy and rob it of  meaning.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A story for another day

You'll be aware from a casual reading of this blog that the town is undergoing a make-over, a renovation , a transformation from ugly duckling to, well, we'd better wait and see. A large wodge of cash has been found to pay for all this. Included in the first stage plans was a facelift for Queen's Gardens which involved taking the place back to its 1950's redesign (down come those trees), a central performance stage (for what?), a removable stage over the above pond (again why two stages?) and more space to play 'sport' (just plain why?) and a memorial to some guitarist, Mick Ronson (who he?), from the 1970's whose appeal was and remains limited in the extreme. All of these bizarre ideas are, thankfully, now on hold, and officially won't start until 2018; that is to say after the year of the City of Culture (if ever). I don't know the reason for the delay but the suspicion that the Council bit off more than it could chew seems a reasonable one.
In the meanwhile, this place, which on a pleasant day should be an enjoyable peaceful haven in the centre of town, is suffering from neglect and decay by contractual cock-up. Being a park you'd think it would be looked after by the park services company, wouldn't you? Well the contract with that company mysteriously does not cover Queen's Gardens, so it is left to the overstretched street cleaners (or possibly the Council secretaries, dog wardens or whoever is free that day) to maintain this place and that is failing. The paths are cracked, litter is accumulating and anti-social elements, drunks and druggies, roam the place making it not as welcoming as it should be. The Council continues with its unrealistic, unnecessary pipe-dreams while the place is falling apart around it; nothing new there then.

More tales of woe from this lovely place tomorrow.

Weekend reflections are here.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Wilberforce Monument

I have shown this monument to William Wilberforce before but not, I think, from close up and personal. There were rumours of a move back to its original position on Monument Bridge but that is now considered unlikely. Lots of things that were proposed last year are now considered unlikely but that is a story for another day.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Two men in a boat

Here the little coble Harlequin is putting out into relatively calm North Sea to check lobster or crab pots or maybe just for a trip round the bay. If you click on this picture and peer a bit at the horizon you can just about make out some wind generators, these are part of what is going to be the world's largest offshore wind farm. This will keep the lights on in a million homes just so long as the wind blows.

The theme for City Daily Photo this month is the 'beauty of simplicity'.