Friday, 31 March 2017

Finishing Touches

The public works were due to be finished today but to no-one's great surprise some bits and bobs are running a tad late. So we'll have to wait till mid-April for the fancy fountains in Queen Vicky Square; such a shame as I was really, really, really looking forward to them .......

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A little trompe-l'oeil

You'll remember that scaffolding I told you about on Beverley Road, the stuff that was thrown up back in 2011 to stop a building falling down after its owner took out all the internal walls and how the council was paying £150 a week just to check it's still safe ... No, of course you don't, never mind, you have a life, I appreciate that. Well somebody, probably the selfsame council but I can be bothered to find out for sure,  has decided to cover all that up with this impressive illusion. It sure works for me, I can't see any more problems, can you?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

What lurks behind the Brexit mask?

So the day after the so called Scotland Parliament demands (I like that: a jumped county council making demands of the UK government) it has a second independence referendum (no chance Jimmy! You blew that the first time round ) and the same day as effective direct rule begins in Northern Ireland the Prime Minister writes a Dear John letter to Mr Tusk saying so long and thanks for all the fishing quotas... So yes at long last the very welcome two year divorce proceedings with the EU begin with all the necessary pleasantries and crocodile tears ... Expect the unexpected is my best guess for the near future.

The mask I found in a joke shop some four or more years ago I thought it might come in useful for scaring little children; if you don't like it I have another ...

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Take up our quarrel with the foe

O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
                                              John Keats

As cultured folk you'll be aware how for millennia the poppy has signified sleep and forgetfulness in European culture. From the poppy we get opium, morphine and all those other lovely "ines" that make us fall through a hole in the carpet when life becomes too much... 

Whoah! whoah! stop all this liberal thinking right now! For the Royal (& sycophantic) British Legion, for hosts of hoopleheads and fellow travellers, for the whole UK indeed (or so it seems) and even for level headed Canada or at least those parts that love to dwell on the horrors of the last century the poppy has become The Symbol Of Remembrance. Well ha! So much for culture. This craze started in the 1920's as a merchandising scam to sell cloth poppies to help 'rebuild war torn France' (a likely story) or perhaps it was inspired by that really bad and militaristic poem  "Flanders Field" (which at least had the idea of poppies meaning sleep). Whatever, it's too late and the genie is out of the proverbial glass container and you can't tell anyone that this is cultural illiteracy else they look at you as if you have two heads (which I suppose is two more than they have). 
So it comes about that, two years after the celebration (no better word) of the start of WW1, Hull gets a teeny portion of the crazy poppy themed thing that took over the Tower of London.  It's an unimpressive, tawdry splash of  red down the side of the Maritime Museum. Puts me in mind of a slit throat or perhaps a some overly enthusiastic menstrual flux. Certainly does not inspire any thoughts of 'remembrance' despite it being blessed by vicars and cooed over by the hoi polloi ("Oh isn't it beautiful!" 'it', by the way, is supposed to represent the deaths of thousands of men from high explosives, bullets, poison gas and general military incompetence so ... well I just give up!) and idiots in WW1 uniforms standing in front of it like dorks!
Still it attracts folks to town to take piccies (guilty as charged) and of course selfies. Oh the name of this thing? ... Weeping Window

Monday, 27 March 2017

Weeping Window

Here on Beverley Road the latest installation exposes the  close dependency between the various layers in the culture business each clinging on to the coat tails of the next one up and how rubbish flows from the top to the bottom to be transformed into a neat little heap of acceptable art. The piece has had a highly favourable reception in the press and TV. The locals simply can't get enough of this and queue up to take their selfies in front of the gushing red flow of culture. It's only here until May before it goes off to tour the country so get your skates on.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ask a volunteer

If all this culture has your head in a spin and your can't tell  your Amy Johnson from a wind turbine or your Humber Dock from the Marina then look out for a kindly smiling face in a light blue jacket and they will put you right or so I'm told. The Year of Culture, despite its millions of pounds of sponsorship, is depending on the unpaid work and goodwill of hundreds of these hardy souls. I think they get to keep the jackets. No, I'm not a volunteer (go on pretend to be surprised!); light blue is so not my colour!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Standing up for stuff

A small demo outside the railway station on Friday afternoon. They brought more placards than supporters which might be a bit embarrassing but they seemed more intent on a good chin wag than in letting the world know their concerns. The world, for its part, just passed them by.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Once again, from the top, with feeling

... and here's the bus station again, sorry, Hull Interchange, from the top of the bus. You can see how they just borrowed a bit of the rail station and parked buses up against it. As I've mentioned before buses have to reverse with passengers on board, something which, according to a well and truly pissed off bus driver, happens in no other bus station in the country and is illegal on a public road but, ha ha ha,  this is private property so it's OK.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Exit pursued by a duck

The little arena cum stage in the old dry dock has wet land areas at each end with planting and clearly this sheltered spot is just the place for ducks. If this place hasn't got a name yet, and I haven't heard that it has, why not call it the Daze; it's still tagged that way. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Mobile Chippy

I haven't seen many of these around though I can imagine they must be visiting fair grounds, football matches and so on all over the place. Now I come to think of it, I dimly recall being told that an aunt of mine ran a fish and chip van around the York area many, many years ago; we're talking 1920's or thereabouts. So nothing new under the sun.
This was parked outside what used to be the Endyke pub which became such an unexciting place that it had to change into a shop.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

You have it to do

It's a strange compulsion I know, a kind of reflection fetish ... Someone puts up a set of windows and you just have to see what reflections they give. So here's what you get from the office windows around the new dry dock stage. Below is what it looked like straight on. This is, of course, the penguin prison and fish farm a.k.a  the Deep.

Apologies for the grainy pictures, entirely my fault.

Weekend Reflections are here.

Saturday, 18 March 2017


I pondered why there might be a sliding door all secured and what have you underneath Myton Bridge. Then the answer came to me; it's obvious when you think about it. This is the home of the famous Hull Troll ("fol-de-rol" ) so be careful or he'll eat you up for supper.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Just Passing

Somehow I think the carefully designed advertising for some upcoming cultural event is not reaching its intended audience.

Thursday, 16 March 2017


A fire in a house last Friday morning resulted in an explosion which blew out the front windows of this house on Beverley Road. A man later died of his injuries and two firemen were also injured. Despite appearances the house is said to be structurally sound as are the neighbouring properties.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Pick a colour, any colour

What it's got to do with culture I don't know but if you fancy picking the world's favourite colour then head on over to this site and waste a few minutes of your precious time choosing a suitable shade. I believe there's a prize for the winner although I've always been a bit hazy on the concept of winning so I can't be sure. It's actually a cunning piece of market research by a paper manufacturer (who just happens to be a sponsor of the City of Culture) but who cares these days?
This tosh is at the same place as the vacuous nonsense I posted earlier this year and is clearly reaching the exacting standards of culture demanded in this town. I expect there'll be more delights.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017


You can see this is a place to park bicycles, you don't need someone to put silvery studs in the ground spelling out STAND. It seems the Council has gone for the no expense spared, money to burn approach to the installation of street furniture. Oh that thing on the left? It's old sharkey reinstalled (doesn't every bike stand come with a shark these days?) 

Meanwhile at the other end of the street the bike stand has attracted the attention of delivery vans not once but twice. (and I think the woman in that shop window hasn't really got half an upside down corpse ... but you never can tell).

Margot took the the top picture.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Oh! we don't want to lose you but we think you ought to go

The thing that has been littering  Queen Victoria Square for the best part of three months is due to depart next weekend as the year of glorious culture completes its first quarter (how time flies when you're having fun, I mean, culture!). It is due to sneak its way back to east Hull some time on Sunday morning so I doubt I'll be around to see it go nor, to be honest, will I miss it much. This view down Paragon Street shows there's still work ongoing (hate that word) with plenty of our old friendly orange barriers in evidence and the place looking like a bomb has gone off.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Out with the modern in with the old

Parliament Street is one of the last places to get a make over and consequently has those old familiar orange barriers making a maze out of straight line. When I first posted about this street back in 2011 someone commented that the square paving stones made the place look modern I wonder what they'll make of the new look stone blocks. Here's another view of how it used to look.
And while I'm here I may as well add the HSBC bank on the right to the list of empty buildings on Whitefriargate.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

To Let: One City of Culture

I read a report in the esteemed local newspaper that, according to the equally esteemed Sunday Times, Hull is to be included for the first time in the "Best Places to Live in the UK" list. Being the ST it is aimed at readers who would not dream of taking the bus (yes a bus dear! you pay a fare and sit with 'other people' and they may even talk to you) to the human battery farms of Orchard Park and Bransholme or the ruins of Preston Road or, God forbid, a leisurely stroll along Beverley Road with its ambience of traffic pollution, cannabis and the glorious delights urban and human decay. No these blinkered snowflakes only appreciate how the tree-lined Avenues have become desirable with lots of eating places and how "everyone in Hull has got involved" (in the C of C, darling, do keep up). It's delusional BS for the aspirant middle classes.
The list is in no particular order of merit and has no fewer than 143 places on it (as the list takes into account "the personal experiences of the authors" I'm thinking that's a hell of a lot of baksheesh!).  I suppose by the same criteria of making a big enough list Abu Ghraib might have been one of the best prisons in the world.
The other day I was accused of moaning (yes, moaning, me!, as if I would!) by some anonymous commentator, may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Going right round the houses

The cars down below were aiming to get on the road up above and had to go the scenic route right through old town; but thanks to these traffic lights they were crawling along at less than walking speed. I hope they enjoyed the culture while they were waiting. This was the scene yesterday and I hear there is another gridlock in town right now but that's just normal for a Friday.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Grainy Day Photos

If these pics of the tidal barrier seem a bit grainy that's because some idiot (that would be me) left the camera at a ridiculous ISO setting of 3200 (don't ask) and didn't realise that, unlike my old camera, it does not go back to auto when turned off.

I think you can just about make the word #city on the tower part of that 'see your words in print' thing that I mentioned yesterday. And as luck would have it a passing tourist asked me all about this so I was able to do an impersonation of a tourist guide. He seemed quite impressed by the place but then he gets to go home in the evening.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Amusing Misuse of Resources

Many lifetimes ago I used to use Linux as my operating system, I vaguely remember concerns about the mighty Microsoft taking over the world and other silly nightmares that were common at the time. Anyhow between figuring out the many and varied scripts that kept the computer swimming and wondering how to get a wifi dongle recognised I was made aware of a program called AMOR. AMOR caused a little figure to appear at the top of a window which would then run along and fall off or it would just wander aimlessly around the screen. Utterly pointless and, of course, AMOR stood for Amusing Misuse of Resources. So what has brought that fascinating snippet of my past to mind? Well here on Humber Street an iron dais has been erected which at night time allows a person to have their spoken words captured by voice recognition software and then projected dot-matrix style on the flood barrier at the other end other street. Here's an example from the local paper. I'm sure it's all very hi-tech and we are told the machine will 'learn' to recognise the Hull accent and, of course, it comes with the usual culture-speak nonsense about changing the way folk see public spaces yada yada yada. But come on now, admit it; it's just a big toy and about as much use a wobbly widget on an X screen. 
Oh and as for the Linux thing forget it, I learned to love Microsoft's Windows XP and no, I will not upgrade, never, not ever, do you hear me?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Bang a gong, get it on

In a way the idea of turning this useless bridge to nowhere into a musical instrument makes as much sense as an unlamented 70's pop hit with pastiche hippy lyrics (Well you're dirty and sweet Clad in Black. Don't look back And I love you ... I guess you had to be there and I wasn't!) So it will come to pass that "tuned" metal plates will be attached and struck in the manner of Indonesian gamelan and folk will invited to whack the bridge with a hammer to make "music". To quote the idiot in charge of the asylum "By Playing the Bridge, participants and audiences will form a new relationship with and think differently about a city landmark. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn a new instrument and be part of an amazing City of Culture project." Nuff said!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Unique pile of bricks and old crane

I've shown this riverside building before. It used to be a buoy shed for Trinity House but it's been empty for a while and looks (as it always has) like it might just slide into the river any day. Any how it's up for sale so you can buy a piece of Hull that no-one can find a use for and get to play with that really rare swan neck crane; go on you know you want to.

Friday, 3 March 2017


Albert has had to wait six years for his appearance in this blog due to a slight aversion on my part to anything batrachian. It's been three years since my last toady post so allow me a small indulgence while I clear these old photos out of the waiting list. This fine fellow squats (he may have hopped off by now; it's been a while!) by the entrance to the Pearson pub on Princes Avenue. If you have no idea what Hull's Toad fixation was consider yourself lucky and count your blessings.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Primary School

This is just the local primary school down the road designed by someone who thought (rightly) that a box topped by a pyramid makes for a nice shape. However, nice buildings do not a successful school make and this place is currently under special measures for "failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education". "Must try harder" I suppose is the note on this school's report card.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Black and White and Colour

So that's the end of Winter as the meteorologists would have us believe and what a warm wimpy Winter that was. Anyhow on this Saint David's day the good folk at City Daily Photo want as their theme black and white in colour so here's what's best described as the backside of a lecture theatre with a nice daffodil yellow sign to show it's not monochrome after all.