Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Five minutes

Walking along Cottingham Road when I get to this point I know it's just five minutes to go and then I'm home to put my feet up and have a nice cup of tea.

Monday, 27 February 2017

It's only money

I've shown the Maritime Museum more than enough times but not, I think*, this façade above the entrance. The building was originally the offices of the Hull Dock Company and clearly money was not a problem at that time as we have a goodly supply of classical gods and goddesses adorning what I take to be Queen Victoria with her rhythm stick (I might be wrong) and a fine but somewhat faded plaque with the symbols of the then four countries of the United Kingdom. At the time of building (1870's) the Hull Dock Company had a monopoly but later competition forced down prices and profits and in hindsight spending £90,000 on Italianate offices may not seem like such a good use of resources. Still it makes for a grand museum.

And while I'm here I've just come across a new-to-me blog about Hull. 150 facts about Hull has been going for four years and has reached 89 facts, if you are into things of a Hully nature this may interest you.

* As I write this blog I often get the uneasy feeling that I'm repeating myself. So if any of this seems familiar it probably is. Indeed I may have mentioned this feeling before ...

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Watch Where You're Going

What all this then? HGVs going down Kingtree Avenue? Weren't they looking? And were there so many the council had to put up a sign? If drivers of heavy goods vehicles are really so thick and unobservant as to follow a stupid sat nav down a narrow residential street in Cottingham what chance is there that they will even notice this sign? That's enough from me, you have reached your destination.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

There was a crooked man ...

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Reflections of Queen's Gardens

The continuing works to titivate this town are now reaching out to Queen's Gardens. The result is that the two duck ponds are fenced off and the fountains are also out of action. As a result for once the surface of these ponds is absolutely mirror-like. I don't know what the renovations to this place entail but I did hear that in the original plans those trees were due to meet their maker and the horrible cheese-grater that was refused elsewhere is to be installed right next to this spot. It'll be awful, on that you can rely. Hull is very good at awful.

The weekend in black and white is here.
Weekend Reflections are here.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Visit From Doris

I've posted this little folly before but I think it's worth another visit especially as the trees are in their Winter best. This was part of the old town hall pulled down to make way for the Guildhall. I've just noticed the three rusting crowns on the top; the symbol of Hull, the crowns not the rust; although ....
The weather forecasters have taken to giving storms names, a practice I believe that originated in the States with hurricanes and tropical storms. Well today Storm Doris is due to pay us a visit and rip up this little part of the world with heavy rain, snow in Scotland and high winds for us in Hull and hereabouts. But I'm sorry Doris just doesn't cut it as a storm name, it lacks any menace. My first cat's mother was called Doris, for heavens sake, and a sweeter cat you never did see. The only other Doris I can think of is Doris Day! Until tomorrow then, Doris permitting.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Under Construction


Next door to the New Theatre I showed yesterday is the site of a new school or University Technical College to give it its fancy name. The last time I was around here, in May last year,  they had been in the process of demolishing bits of the old fire station so they've come on a bit since then.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The New New Theatre

Work on the expensive rebuilding of the New Theatre seems to be progressing nicely.  It now seems to be twice as big as it was. I came across a nice little time lapse film of the work in the local rag so I thought I'd just be awesome and share it here

Monday, 20 February 2017

The elephant in the room

Hull was and still is to some extent noted for its fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture, though many buildings were demolished in the War and shortly after to make way for 1950's drabness. Some of the finest remaining buildings are here in Queen Victoria Square.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The next plane to land at platform two ...

Somehow a replica model of Amy Johnson's plane has ended up in Paragon Station. The cash conscious people at the British Science Museum refused to pay for the original to be smothered in bubble wrap and sent up North. (The hidden message being they thought it might get broken by uncouth Hullians! I don't know where they might get that idea from.) So, instead,  this was built by inmates of the local prison. What a truly wonderful place this is!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

You wanna put what? Where?


After years of planning you'd think that somebody, somewhere would have sought planning permission from the Council to dump this thing in the town square. But you forget, this is Hull! So now retrospective permission is being applied for. Be funny if it was refused.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Airy BnB

The massive influx of visitors to the cultural offerings has led to an extraordinary demand for accommodation. This radical solution offers fine views of Pearson Park and excellent transport facilities.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Trees in Winter

Pearson Park in February without its greenery is still a pleasant enough place to while away a half hour or so. Just watch out for the geese, the mud and the poisonous blue-green algae in the pond, apart from that and the drunks it's idyllic. I hear talk of a two million pound make over, with a bandstand (the drunks and junkies will like that somewhere to get out of the rain) a new conservatory and so on and the loss of fifteen trees ... enjoy it while you can.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Victorian Grime

In Pearson Park the old Queen could do with a bit of a wash and brush. She does scrub up well as they say, see here. And we breathe in the air that makes this so mucky ... yikes!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Love from Newland Avenue


They're a romantic lot on Newland Avenue so when Valentine's Day looms they deck the trees with red hearts and ribbons. Oh and the florist, noted for its odd window displays, thinks that nothing says "I love you" quite so much as a large bull bearing a long stemmed rose. Must be something in the water.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Lime green and diarrhoea

The Drypool Bridge might have thought that it could escape the attentions of the C of C nonsense but no, it is undergoing repainting and the scheme has something, some tenuous thing, to do with John Venn (he of those damn diagrams). Mr Venn, in case you were unaware had the misfortune to be born in Hull, but possessed enough sense to leave as soon as possible and never come back. Any how riding on the back of the supposed kudos of being the place where he popped out the Culture Loons are taking him hostage as a "Born & Bred in Hull" figure of note. Almost all these B & B in H figures made their names elsewhere but that's a mere detail to the marketing man. (You can buy "Born & Bred in Hull" mugs and T-shirts should you wish but you are far too sensible to do so.)  So with Venn in mind this bridge, I suppose, represents the intersection of the set of bridges needing a coat of paint and the set of bridges in a one horse town taken over by desperate need to gain fame by association. I hope people like the colour scheme, a mixture of lime green and diarrhoea, as it's planned to last for twenty five years.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

And while we're on Whitefriargate ...

And while we're on Whitefriargate, a short mediaeval street just 200 yards or so in length and once the flourishing bustling heart of town, I thought I'd count the empties as it were, the shops that serve no customers. I made it thirteen as of the end of last month. Even the charity shops have closed. I read recently that the death of the high street had been exaggerated, that people would not forgo the experience of real shopping for online purchasing. Well not here it seems.You expect to see tumble weed and hear coyotes howling.  Must make all those culture vultures wonder what kind of a place they've come to. Still the paving's new if a bit uneven in parts and there's a brand new phone box to call the Samaritans.

This 'joke shop' was opened at the beginning of the year of culture for one week only but seems to have survived. Click on it to enlarge and read the 'amusing' posters; the humour may not travel well.

I counted this as one but it could be two, so make that fourteen empty shops.

This one has been empty since at least 2014.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

It's another Hull thing

OK it's one of the things that Hull is noted for: cream coloured phone boxes. I'm sure I've been over this before but briefly for those who don't know the story behind it; when all municipal phone companies were nationalised many years ago Hull Council stood firm and the phone company remained in council hands. So that's why the boxes are this distinctive colour and not red as in the rest of this pleasant land, they also lack a crown coat of arms but that's a detail for geeks. So, as I say, all phone boxes in Hull are this colour except for this one and erm that one and maybe that other one as well.
Anyhow I'm not here to talk about old history. It being the year of culture and Hull just having gone through a massive makeover (yada yada) the now privatised phone company was asked to plonk a load of these boxes around town, often in places, like here in Whitefriargate, where no phone box had ever been. I think they are actually working boxes but no-body uses them as everyone has got a mobile these days and also they're very expensive. Basically they're just there for no good reason other than Hull has cream boxes and you, as a visitor, will damn well see cream boxes. (Gee would you look! A cream phone box! That's got to be way cool!) I believe the word 'iconic' has been applied to them as well, and why not? It's applied to everything else in this cultural town.

Friday, 10 February 2017


There's often someone trying to earn a few pennies busking on an accordion at this spot on Jameson Street. The quality of performance varies from dire to almost professional with electronic drum boxes giving some extra oomph to the performance. This guy was quite good and I left humming Sous le ciel de Paris  for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Scott's Square v2.0

I have posted about Scott's Square in the past and about how it is nothing more than an alley way leading to an empty space, a home for the destitute. Well as you can see there are plans to build dwellings for people to live in the area once again. This has got to be a good thing.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

You win some, you lose some

After nearly two years of repairs and whatnot Humber Street is now back in use with most of the buildings having been saved. However the ones that stood next to this building which I last showed being propped up by a forest of scaffolding and ballast did not respond well to treatment and had to be removed. The place is now on the tourist "must visit" list again and there's plenty of art galleries and eateries and drinkeries for those that like that kind of thing.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Best Remedy

Quite right! Nothing like putting your feet up with a large G&T (a pint might be pushing it but who's gonna know?) and letting some cool jazz fill the room ... This sign, part of the Larkin Trail, is on the White Hart one of his jaunts for listening to jazz and getting absolutely rat arsed. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

"Shortened to whatever length you want ..."

Here's the tanker barge Dovedale H, built in 1962 and currently for sale (price on application) after many years on the Manchester ship canal. The seller/agent informs us that she is "waiting for survey and then being shortened to whatever length you want" and at nearly 46 metres she might just be a tad too much for messing about on the river.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The man with the golden scroll

There was idle talk sometime back of moving this column back to its original place by Monument Bridge but, surprisingly, wise heads prevailed and it's staying where it is. However this being the year of culture the scroll, held for so many years in old William Wilberforce's right hand, has been given a coating of gold leaf. So if your click on the picture to enlarge it and peer, possibly with the help of a magnifying glass, you might just about make out the most useless adornment to a statue in many a long year.

Friday, 3 February 2017

The lamps are going out

Actually these lights are being thrown out as part of the grand makeover. There was a small heap of them outside BHS. I hope they're going to be sold on and recycled somewhere.  Here's one in better times.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Flensing

Here lies the cold carcass of Holy Trinity Square scraped clean of history, of character, of any interest whatsoever. It's as if an old  familiar face with  laugh lines and creases has been botoxed to oblivion so there is no possibility of a smile. Deathly dull doesn't begin to describe it. Two and a bit years ago I said this would be "a tacky, crass and short sighted act of vandalism"; I've not had reason to change my mind.  A sign on the church door says the place is closed while it is being transformed into a coffee bar and in the Summer there'll be small reflection pools (reflecting the sheer emptiness of the place I suppose). I can't wait.

There's seating and then there's these things as well.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Life's little mysteries

So just what is this woman doing staring so intently at the ground in the newly townscaped Queen Victoria Square? I know but I'm not telling, the mystery to me is why she'd bother ...

The theme for the first day of February is Loving Life.