Wednesday, 31 January 2018

2-4 Charlotte Street

As any fool will tell you this is not Charlotte Street but George Street and any fool would be right. But what you see now ain't how it always was. Before the new North Bridge was built Charlotte Street meandered down to the river and on to the old bridge. But road straightening and modernisation meant Charlotte Street lost about half its length which then became part of  George Street. It's all water under the many bridges of Hull now, but if you've ever wondered (as I'm sure you do daily) why there's a Charlotte Street Mews behind George Street well now you know.

Now from what I can gather with a modest amount of searching one of these building was the home of Dr John Alderson and the other was the former YPI, a charity connected with Thomas Ferens (he of the Art Gallery). All that counts for little as both buildings are now split into apartments.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Out-of-Town Experience

Having lived around here for thirty five or more years it seems surprising that there might be parts of the town I have never been to. Mind you for a good ten or fifteen years I could not have gone here since it wasn't even built. This is the Kingswood Shopping Centre on the newish Kingswood estate, situated on an eastern flood plain of the River Hull just north of the town. We went to see the shops, the big ASDA, and other delights and were, on the whole, underwhelmed. They are big stores, I'll grant, but I can't see myself going back. There were plans to extend this shopping area (with a big Next store, I believe) but these were turned down as it was thought that out-of-town shopping would kill off the town centre. It might come as a big shock to the planners but the centre is dead already and beginning to smell.

The bus route took us through some of the newish housing on the estate. I confess that I have never seen such cramped, tiny dwellings squashed as many as possible into the space. These are not council houses but private dwellings that folk are paying mortgages on. The urge to own your very very own rabbit hutch it seems is strong. The whole place gave a very claustrophobic feeling and the thought that, given a few years and the inevitable drift away of the original owners, this place would make a fine slum; especially when it floods as it did in '07.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Well Hello there ...

Somehow I missed out on National Inclusion Week ... story of my life really.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Wicked Witch of the Wych

Here's another set I should have posted last year before the grand ennui set in. You might recall an old dead tree being reshaped in Pearson Park and you might also recall me saying there was another dead tree close by that might be available. Well most of last summer someone was busy with a grinder transforming that tree into a mix of faces and animals.

We happened to be passing this tree and saw the guy at work; he stopped and made some kind of hand gesture indicating "would I like to come up and have a closer look?" So after much struggling ( I have the acrobat skills of a hippopotamus ) I eventually got onto the scaffolding and took a few pictures.

"What did I think this was?" asks the guy, "A clown?" says I  having in mind Punch and Judy. He was not impressed, "No, it's a witch! And why would I put a witch here?" he asked (it was beginning to feel a bit like the Spanish Inquisition) I shrug, "The tree was a Wych Elm!" he says with a gleam in eye ...

Here's the nice guy with grinder and  the skill to make things appear out of the wood, his name is Julian Barnard and his work was for the Trustees of Pearson Park. He was given a brief of “poetic” (Philip Larkin's old lodgings are directly opposite and the toad figure is again another Larkin thing) The piece, which is now finished, has the title Whispering Sweet Nothings.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Harbour Wall

I was going to call this something like 'next stop Hamburg' since if you keep going East over that horizon you'll end up close to that place but then I guess no-one or very few from Hamburg these days thinks 'heh if go that-a-way I'll end up in Bridlington' well at least not for the past seventy five years or so... This was taken in October when by rights it should have been posted then but though the body was willing the spirit was weak ... Besser sp├Ąt als nie as they might say over yonder ...

The City Daily Photo theme for January was 'Photo of the Year'; it's not too late to go have a look.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Audrey's x 2

Serving battered fried fish and chips must be a lucrative business as Audrey's in Bridlington seems to have doubled in size since I last noticed ...

Saturday, 20 January 2018


If anyone bangs on about intelligent design being the way of the world just ask how the apex of the alleged Deity's plans, the most intelligent species on the planet can be brought low by something 80-120 nanometers in size. And what part that horrid little virion plays in any vast eternal plan? But that's enough theodicy for now. So in case you haven't guessed I've had and still have to some extent a version of influenza: could be the deadly Australian or the ever-so-polite Japanese or the entente filled French well whatever it was it was an absolute bugger. The past week has been one long semi-concious blur spent under a duvet surviving on soup, tea and easy-peel satsumas oh and regular doses of Paracetamol. Grrrrrr.

Today's picture is a reflection I caught at Cottingham station. If, like me, you see a sort of face in this image it's not a sign of warped mentality but of a "well wired brain" according to the Daily Mail. Pareidolia is, it appears, a good thing though I fail to see its place in intelligent design. If you don't see a face, of course, it means you have an even better wired brain, however if you regularly read and take the Daily Mail seriously I can't comment on your wiring ...

Anyhow back to the duvet and a cup of life saving tea ...

The Weekend Reflections are here.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I'm not driving

Rolled up in town late on Friday afternoon about 4pm but could tell something was up as the bus diverted and left us to get off on a side street. The reason was obvious; each street in town was filled with traffic going absolutely nowhere at all. I wonder if you ever played that game as a child where you had to move from place to place without touching the ground? We called it Pirates, you might have called it something else. Anyhow you could play Pirates all round town on the roofs of cars stretching from the river to Beverley Road and all other points west and east. And the reason so many hundreds of vehicles decided to use the centre of town ... someone decided to play with the Myton Bridge and oops, oh dear ... it broke down. Hmmm ...
The picture was taken last year on Spring Bank, another notorious bottle neck. It's a stretch of about one thousand yards and my personal record for rush hour slowness on here is twenty five minutes; that's a little over 1 mile per hour! Even I can walk quicker than that.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Work for idle hands

A while ago the local School of Art and Design teamed up with a bus company "to transform two double-decker buses into modern masterpieces".  Well here's one of those "masterpieces": a bus decorated with the hand prints of folk from the town. The other bus I'm told "features landmark buildings from across Hull and quote from the city's residents" but I can't say I've noticed it.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Small town blues

Hull City Council has had an epiphany; it has discovered what everyone else knew years ago that the town is a desert after 5pm. ( It's hardly the bustling metropolis before then but we'll keep with the story). So what does the Council do to address this? It creates something to look into it ... so a "special scrutiny review" has been set up to describe in full detail what we already know. But I can tell them now with no charge; Hull is not a city, cities never sleep; Hull is an over grown town that needs its eight hours ... so if you'll excuse me I'm off to my bed.

Monday, 8 January 2018


Well it's not quite a beautiful mosaic (not even close) but for a public convenience in Bridlington this brickwork doesn't look too bad at all. OK it's a bit clunky but at least they tried, come on ... c'est seulement un pissoir ...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Paragon Plants

On the concourse of Hull's Paragon Station there's this odd thing, a plant stall. It's been there for as long as I can remember and sells an eclectic assortment of greens from cacti and carnivorous plants to pansies and petunias ... oh and pink flamingoes.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

O where do we go now but nowhere

The final show, as it were, of the Year of Culture was a series of installations scattered about the town each consisting of several robotic arms that were supposed to move around with lights and sound (I believe the term 'music' may have been used, but it was basically just eerie noise). This junk was titled "Where Do We Go From Here?" and is described as a "thrilling mix of art and technology" ... the blurb continues "...At a time of political uncertainty at home and abroad, it also asks important questions: What kind of place do we want to live in? What role should culture play? Where do we go from here?" There's more (isn't there always?) "Where Do We Go From Here? , is a deliberate provocation designed to get individuals reflecting upon their city’s future. It invites everyone to take part in a timely conversation about art, culture and society." Yada, yada, yada ...
I came upon this very unmoving piece  as they were obviously fixing some kind of fault, so it wasn't working. However later I did cross paths with a different installation that was in full flow; the arms had lights attached and waved about a bit and there was sound to go with. (Gosh, how very sixites I thought, when robots were just coming into the work place and were seen as menacing ... ) An enthusiastic Hull person (there are some, well, at least one) grabbed me by the arm and exclaimed how brilliant and fantastic it all was... I'm afraid I used language that the clergy do not know.

So the Y of C ended not with fireworks, nor yet with a whimper; it just fizzled out possibly from exhaustion or, more likely, boredom... (Officially there was no celebration because (& I paraphrase) "It's not over yet, there's still more to come and, and ,and ..." yeah, yeah, we paid already) The gang of imps, pimps, banjo players and blow-ins from the world of Culture Incorporated responsible for this fest of dreck were all dutifully gonged by Queenie over the New Year and have not been heard of since... And while Hull is still City of Culture for another three years attention will now pass to poor old Coventry. Oh yes! the birth place of Phillip Larkin (damn Hull did him first, still...)... and Lady Godiva and, and, and ... aint culcha fun?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


A couple of Hully things cropped up in the news while I was away. First Hull was declared the second worst town in the UK. The source for this sensational news was a survey by some folk calling themselves LadBible ("Redefining Entertainment & News For a Social Generation", no, me neither!) clearly this is nonsense and caused uproar and upset in the City of Culture as a) Hull is not a crap town but a crap city (there's no shortage of parochial pedants in this place) and b) Hull is definitely the worst place in the UK, coming second is not an option.
The second incredible snippet of news was the estimate of 3.5 million people attending events during the Year of Culture. Given that this came from Hull City Council who could hardly be said to be impartial observers let alone capable of counting over twenty, this figure is open to some doubt. Still even if we take this figure and look at the break down for individual events say the fireworks on New Year's Eve, the Blade, the porcelain poppies and a handful of other shows soaked up well over 3 million visitors (allegedly). But, and here is yet another incredible (or amazing as they called everything last year, if it wasn't amazing it was stunning ...) fact, there were 2000 events put on over the year. I kid you not, 2000! So by the figures of Hull City Council the vast majority of these cultural events must have attracted two men and (perhaps) a dog. 
Now I'm a trusting sort of guy and if a statement is made to effect that nearly one million folk visited the Blade in its seventy day stay in Queen Vic Square I'm not going to do some back-of-a-fag-packet calculation that this means 600 per hour visited the colossal thing, 10 a minute or roughly the normal number of folk crossing the square at any one time... Also I passed under it dozens of times and must, I suppose, have been counted dozens of times... But I don't want to start off the new year in this suspicious mood. Hull City Council are fine and trustworthy folk as trusty as this picture of the Rose Bowl Gardens.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

It's been yonks ...

... since I posted anything.

The new year sees Hull and all things Hully still much the same. Be assured you haven't missed anything.