Thursday, 31 August 2017

Wanna buy another bank or two?

As the money flowed in during the boom times of  the turn of last century so the banks thought it wise to make a presence on Hessle Road. So substantial buildings adorned, as was the style in those days, with the symbols of strength and security were built to supply the needs of the local trawler owners, skippers and three day millionaires (though perhaps not so much the latter). Lions with shields were the choice here on the Yorkshire Bank ...

...and a shield with lions at Barclays.
No matter, now the money is now no longer flowing the banks are both empty and for sale along with the strength and security.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Gold Medal Post Box, Hessle Road

Can it really be five years since I posted about the golden phone box outside the unemployment office? It had been painted gold after some local lad won a gold medal in the boxing at the London Olympics. I knew they'd also painted a pillar box gold somewhere on Hessle Road but had not come across it until now. OK I admit I wasn't really looking very hard, boxing, Olympics not really being my thing ... Well anyway here it is looking in need of new coat of the gold stuff. There's a wee plaque on the side that tells you all about it. It says ... well you can read it yourself.

The pillar box itself has the monogram of King Edward VII so dates between 1901 and 1910, the boom years of Hessle Road.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Dairycoates, Hessle Road

This pub was built in the mid 1870's to cater for the thirsts of railway workers at the engine sheds of the Hull and Selby Railway. The railway arrived in the 1830s and transformed what was an agricultural hamlet with a population of just three in 1823 into one of the largest  engine shops in the north east. To this then add the arrival of St Andrew's Dock for the fishing fleet in 1883 and you can see how Dairycoates, a veritable boom town, might be spreading eastwards to meet the westward surge of Hull just two miles down the road. By the turn of the 20th century the union was complete with all signs of agriculture long gone and Dairycoates just another busy and overcrowded area of the city as Hull continued to surge out westward towards Hessle and Anlaby. 
Today no one with an ounce of sense uses steam engines so the engine sheds are long gone. The former rail track is now the busy A63 dual carriage way of ill repute. Iceland's decision to extend its fishing limits and other factors including the EU saw off the fishing fleet. St Andrew's Dock is now a silted up mess with dereliction and vandalism a real problem The area is given over to supermarkets like ASDA and Lidl and to small industrial firms. I doubt if even three people now live in the area of the original hamlet. All that seems to remain is this colourful pub, a nearby Dairycoates Avenue and a flyover known as the Dairycoates Flyover.

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Half Way, Hessle Road

That's half way between Hessle and Hull. As a crow flies it's about four and a half miles from the centre of old town Hull to Hessle's bustling heart so maybe it's five or so miles on the ground.  A fair walk but hardly exhausting. Nevertheless you'd need some refreshment if going to either destination, and if overcome by dread or fatigue you could rest up at the Half Way Hotel.  This place, by the look of it built in the first half of the 19th century when Hessle Road was a turnpike and ran through open fields, is no longer a hotel but still refreshes so I'm told. The large mural I showed the other day is on the far side.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Annoying lamp post thingies, Hessle Road

What can I say about these odd decorative features attached to street lights? I don't know who made them, when they went up or anything at all about them other than their obvious local theme. They quite interesting but also a bit annoying as you have to be at a certain angle before they catch the light and reveal the picture within. There's a fair few of them; I limited myself to four.

PS: I've just found out that the local rugby league team won their cup final at Wembley for the second year in a row. So there'll be much rejoicing on Hessle Road and thereabouts.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

ASDA, Hessle Road

If you look at old maps of Hessle Road you'll find the area between it and the docks along the Humber crammed with housing, every inch taken up with dwellings for the families of fishermen, rail workers and so on. The 60's and 70's saw much of this quasi-slum demolished and people shipped out to the sunlit uplands of Bransholme and Orchard Park. This left a large open space on the edge of town and as nature abhors a vacuum so in rushed a superstore, ASDA. It's a large, bland and inhuman space (now owned by Walmart) but at least does have windows to reflect the mural I showed the other day.

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Cup Final Fever

OK fever may be an bit over the top but the local rugby league team's second trip to Wembley in two years (it seems they won last year, who knew?) is sure to clear the streets around Hessle Road this Saturday.  This guy didn't seem to be having much trade with his flags and so on but that was on Tuesday. I'm sure excitement will be at boiling point by now ... or maybe not. I don't even know who they are playing ... (*goes off and Googles for a minute*) ... Wigan Warriors, there you go... hope it's a nice day for them.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

King Cod

Right, let's get these monsters out of the way. Hull has recently put up several memorials to trawlermen lost at sea and there's something of fishing heritage thing developing on Hessle Road. As there's no money in fishing any more maybe there's a bob to made out of tourism ... So for whatever reason money from the City of Culture paid for these murals on Hessle Road. Local artists worked with the guys from Northern Ireland who did Big Lil to produce what are monumental images. ("Cor ain't it big" says I, "It's the size of  houses" says Margot, who notices these things.) Being about fishing there's a King Cod motif which is clear on the triptych below but you have to peer at the fisherman's hand to see his tattoo is the self same Cod. I think what they lack in artistic merit they more than make up with imposing size and they are clearly much loved by the folks around here; one of whom was walking along and found his granny was on the wall, must have been a nice surprise.

More murals are planned I suspect this little fellow will reappear.

Mural Monday is here.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

152 & 154 Hessle Road

In the late 19th century a businessman by the name of William Henry Franklin seeing the need for shoes and boots in the boom town of Hull set up the fabulously named Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Company to go with this glorious moniker the company's logo was a horse drawn boot. This building designed by our old friend Alfred Gelder's company in 1896 was one of several stores in Hull in what had become a national chain. For what was effectively just a shoe shop it is a tad grand in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style. I note the ornate decoration above the first floor windows is only on one side which I find rather pleasing, can't be having too much frippery. It is, of course, grade 2 listed. It still sells boots though not for the public benefit needless to say.
I took me a walk down Hessle Road and along the way took a shed load of pictures so the next few days, possibly weeks, will feature this  part of town which was the centre of the fishing community in Hull, unless something better crops up or I get bored.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Burnett's Buddleia

I've mentioned before how buddleia can grow in unexpected nooks and crannies. This one has taken root half way up the gable end of Burnett House and very nice it looks too.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Billy's Old Nag

At the risk of being trampled under hoof I bring you this unusual angle on the King William statue in Market Place. The poor old thing looks in need of another coat of gold leaf.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lowgate Lion

Victorian and Edwardian buildings often have decorations that are frowned upon by the modern steel, glass and concrete builders of today. This fine lion is on the Old Custom House on Lowgate.

The weekend in black and white just finishing here.

Saturday, 19 August 2017


Queen's Gardens was no peaceful place on Saturday. Tucked away under the shadow of the Wilberforce Memorial a small would-be jamboree was taking place with attendant amplified noise otherwise known as a band. I learned later it was a "Collective Youth Festival" and that it was "challenging oppression through collective action" (again). There were stalls of various unions, even a Socialist Party stall (I say 'even' I didn't think they could organise a stall) and, of course supporters of the bearded loon of the Labour Party. There were more toilets than security staff and more security staff than attendees (I exaggerate a little but this looked an event for the few and not the many; maybe they all turned up later.)  I've seen other posts showing folk raising their fists and reportedly singing that favourite of doomed causes ¡No pasarán! ( Ah but they did pass and seventy years ago my dear, do keep up ...) For a youth event many seemed aged and miserable looking, maybe it was the music, the ancient clichéd slogans that meant little even when new or the dire speeches from international guests which gained nothing in translation. It certainly couldn't have been the weather which was nicely cool and blustery with showers, perfect! Venceremos, comrade, sin duda venceremos, pero no hoy...

Friday, 18 August 2017

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sudden Elegancies

Hull has its own sudden elegancies.
Philip Larkin 

The fiddling around by the Council with Queen's Gardens does mean that there is this view of the Maritime Museum, the fountain and City Hall in the distance.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ceci n'est pas une râpe au fromage

So as promised the thing that Hull Council bought but couldn't find a place to put has been plonked in Queen's Gardens where is sticks out like a proverbial sore thumb. I was wrong, I now admit, to say this looks like a cheese grater, it's not as useful as that. No it puts me in mind of childish origami using a crumpled doily. I look forward to seeing selfies from atop the structure and how quickly it turns a sooty black and green with mould. I believe that when finished it is supposed to do tricks with sunlight and other whimsical things, can't wait. No really ...

Monday, 14 August 2017

Fun on Ferensway

A bit of skyline on Ferensway with the St Stephens on the right, the arches of Paragon Station and the new coffee hut which, on closer inspection, seems to have no appeal whatsoever.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Domed, we're all domed ...

One of the first buildings I posted about was the Maritime Museum and over the years it has cropped up regularly (like a recurring toothache some may say). I admit it's one of my turn to subjects when the well of inspiration has run dry  and as it's been over six months since I last mentioned it here it is again... Here's the same dome from two sides (do domes have sides? ... ) in glorious monochrome and in colour, no expense spared. I'm spoiling you.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The buck stops here

Came across this fine roebuck on Snuff Mill Lane the other day.  It being the rutting time of year I suspect he was looking for female company but I didn't see any around. Something I didn't know was that roe deer became extinct in England in the 18th century  and those we have now are the result of reintroduction from Scotland. There's lots of them about now thankfully and if this guy gets lucky there'll be even more.

Friday, 11 August 2017

" ...listen, linger and think about what you see."

"While you are looking you may as well also listen, linger and think about what you see"
                                                                                                                             Jane Jacobs
This is the ever so new King Edward Square: the time is around five thirty and most folk are heading on home; the only noise is the fruit seller desperate to sell his strawberries "Two for a pound" "Your strawberries two for a pound". There are a few people passing but this is the very centre of what claims to be a city. It's more like a desert. There's no traffic, no people lingering, nobody wanting to be here at all; not even the poor soul trying to sleep by the doors of the old BHS store. This is a dead space.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Been there for years ...

Another one of those "been there for years" shops non è più. This one on Holderness Road. Never mind we can always order a yard brush on line (free delivery!) and get DIY advice from You Tube. I mean, shops, who needs 'em?

Monday, 7 August 2017

King Edward Street: a touch of the baroque

King Edward Street as the name might suggest was pushed through the chaos of late Victorian Hull around 1905. These are a few buildings that survive from that time still retaining what I've heard described as Edwardian baroque revival upper storeys. The ground floor styles are Elizabethan in need of reviving.
The cladding on the middle building is noted for containing volcanic bombs which sound exciting but actually look like fossilised dog droppings. This cladding dates back to when the building was a bank, before it was a bank it was a chapel; now it's community church and food bank

I've shown this before here but I think this is a better picture.

Sunday, 6 August 2017


Though the mills of God grind slowly they are a speedy blur compared to progress in the stinking backwater. So it is that the burnt out shell of the Lambert Street Chapel remains wrapped in scaffolding as the end times approach.

The weekend in black and white is here.

The bags of ballast have become home to a variety of wild flowers.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Highway Robbery

Suppose, just suppose you wanted to stand by the Humber at this point for whatever reason. Maybe you like to wander aimlessly wherever your feet take you or perhaps you like to watch the ships go by or you want one last peek at your enemy as she/he floats by. All perfectly good and valid reasons. And on any day you could freely do just what you wanted. However in this stinking backwater (or City of Culture if you will) the Council colludes with a little known group of scallies who run an annual thing called the Humber Street Sesh; an exhibition of hundreds of desperately untalented noise makers, sorry that should read fabulously gifted musicians from all over the place... (I keep forgetting to type in PC speak). Fine; a 'festival', I'm all in favour ... But (there's always a but) to facilitate this shindig the Council not only blocks off the roads to traffic but allows the organisers to set up tolls and charge pedestrians to walk the streets. So for today you will have to pay someone up to £15 for the right walk on your own streets that lead to the riverside and also to the public conveniences on Nelson Street (pay to pee indeed!). This is why I call it highway robbery, they have stolen our streets and are charging us to use them, the noisy bastards!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A place to rest

The rather silly Boer War memorial on Ferensway makes a nice perch for a sea gull. I think he improves it tremendously; I'm  thinking of calling him Steven ...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


I'm told it means You Only Live Once. It's how the youth of today communicate with one another. IKR too busy to use words, poor darlings. 

Today's first of the month City Daily Photo theme is 'Young at heart'

Margot took this. We are both still searching for our inner adult. TTFN as we used say back in the day.