Archive for the ‘Hull Photos’ Category

Hull Photos: 20/10/17 – 26/10/17

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Another week of my daily postings to Hull Photos which are continuing through all of Hull’s 2017 year as UK City of Culture. You can follow them daily where each picture appears, but the pictures appear with comments on Facebook – and in the weekly digests here.

Comments and corrections are welcome here or on Facebook.

20th October 2017

A second picture of Ellerman’s House at the end of Bishop Lane Staithe taken from just a few yards further down the riverside path shows the river frontage of this building, converted to flats around 2000. The shed bridging over the path and overhanging the river in this picture has now gone, though there is a faint echo in some cantilevered balconies on the converted building. Also gone is the Clarence Flour Mill in the background, and the barges, with only the museum trawler Arctic Corsair moored a little upstream from here.

The listed buildings on the north side of Bishop’s Lane Staith were for some years the Ellerman’s Wilson Line Bishops Warehouse (listed Grade II, “Former warehouse, now flats. 1655, rebuilt c1800, converted c2000”). John Ellerman from Hull was a man noted for being unnoticed, highly secretive and shunning all publicity, but he was made a baron in 1905 for supplying ships to the government during the Boer War. He became Britain’s richest man, leaving over over £36 million, mainly to his son, when he died in 1933.

John Ellerman was born at 100 Anlaby Rd in 1862, but moved away from the city. He started his shipping company in 1892 when with two others he bought 22 vessels from the executors of the Liverpool-based shipping firm Frederick Leyland and Co Ltd. The company expanded through a series of acquisitions and became Ellerman Lines in 1903, with offices in Liverpool, Glasgow and London, becoming the world’s larges shipping company. During the First World War, Ellerman, then the wealthiest man in Britain, bought the Wilson Line of Hull for about £4.3m after the Wilson family had been devastated by the sinking of three of its largest vessels and renamed it Ellerman’s Wilson Line. It continued to trade seperately until 1973. Despite this, Ellerman remains almost unknown in Hull, and doesn’t even rate a mention in the most detailed book on the history of the city.

In 1971, The founder’s son, also John Ellerman gave the funds from Ellerman Lines to set up a charitable foundation, the Ellerman Foundation, which supported Hull’s 2017 City of Culture programme with a grant of £200,000 to Hull Truck Theatre Company.

85-5j-36: Ellerman’s House & River Hull, 1985 River Hull

More about Ellerman.

21th October 2017

A similar tank to this still stands on the corner of Hodgson St and Lime St, part of the bulk storage facility of IBL Bulk Liquids, though while the ladder still looks the same, the skin of the tank is now different. IBL was formed in Hull in 1947.

85-5j-41: Shadow on bulk storage tank, Lime St, 1985 – River Hull

22nd October 2017

Another picture of one of the few remaining old houses in the area close to Wincolmlee, Victoria House, built around 1840 and still standing.

The ornate entrance into the yard, described in the Grade II listing text written 9 years after I made this picture as “wooden doorcase with enriched scroll bracket to cornice and panelled recess with C20 door” is now gone, with just a faint trace in in the brickwork as a reminder of its loss. When I took this picture the building was in use by a printing firm.

85-5j-61: Victoria House, Cooper St, 1985 – River Hull

23rd October 2017

The padlocked door to this building with the IN boldly marked also less clearly has a Champion spark plug logo, which clearly suggests the nature of the business which went on, or once went on, inside. The empty hole in the upper floor perhaps suggests the building was no longer in use, and I think it has since been demolished as I can no longer see it in the area. It was the next picture I took after the previous image on Cooper St and the frame after shows Paul’s granary on Wincolmlee, but my walks often wandered considerably

Perhaps what made me stop and take a picture was the twin four rod aerial, which I don’t recall having seen elsewhere, perhaps for CB or Ham radio or could it be for a taxi service? I hope someone can tell me more.

85-5j-62: Industrial premises, Green Lane/Wincolmlee area, 1984 – River Hull

24th October 2017

The road side of Paul’s riverside granary building next to Scott St Bridge, with a regular pattern of reinforcements and bricked up windows.

The raised pavement here is presumably because of frequent flooding on the low-lying road. The Cottingham Drain, now culverted, entered the River Hull a few yards off the left edge of the picture. Just a few yards further on is also the Beverley & Barmston Drain. The area is known as ‘High Flags‘, said to be because of the large flagstones of a wharf used for handling whale oil, but perhaps because of this raised path beside the road. High Flags Mill is a little further upstream, on the bank of the River Hull a little north of the ‘Barmy’ drain.

85-5j-63: Bricked up windows on Granary, Wincolmlee, 1985 – River Hull

25th October 2017

A more than usually artistic spray paint addition to the wall and porcelain of the urinal, with a undoubtedly female figure facing the male member of the user of the facility.

Hull had a large number of these street urinals, simple enclosures with tall walls and no roof, around the city, and they remained well-used both by workers during the day and by drinkers at night, when it wasn’t unusual for their to be a queue snaking outside some of the more popular locations. It isn’t entirely clear why the council decided they were no longer required, and their removal certainly led to a huge rise in men urinating in the streets at night. Public conveniences across the country were shut down around this time in a huge wave of anti-gay sentiment, and the provision of these male-only locations led to a demand by some for their closure rather than the more logical provision of new facilities for women.

As a then undiagnosed diabetic who spent long hours wandering the streets I felt their loss sometimes rather keenly. You can still see the traces of this structure with some glazed bricks in the wall and lying on the ground beside it overlooking the River Hull, and a little angle of brickwork provides some slight privacy for those still using it for its former purpose.

85-5j-64: Scott St Urinal, 1985 – River Hull

26th October 2017

A smokehouse with 15 chimneys along its peak must be one of the finest examples of the type in Hull. Although it is still standing it has been considerably altered and all the chimneys have gone.

Despite their significance in the history of the city, none of the nine existing buildings on the local list has been given national listing – something that would certainly have been appropriate as a part of the celebrations of Hull2017.

85-5k-14: Fish Smokehouses, Subway St, 1985 – Hessle Rd

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

Hull Photos: 13/10/17 – 19/10/17

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Another weekly digest of the pictures I’m putting up every day on my Hull Photos web site where you can see a new picture every day. I also post them on my Facebook page, along with the short texts shown here, which are not yet included on the web site.

Comments and corrections are welcome either here or on Facebook, and will help me to get the finished texts which will eventually go on Hull Photos. Hull photos is divided into a number of sections, and the picture captions end with the name of the section that image has been placed in. Clicking any of the images will take you to it in that section of the site where you may find related images.

12th October 2017

A young man smiles as I take a picture of him sitting on his horse-drawn cart on Bridlington Avenue in front of the works of Rose Downs and Thompson Ltd.

I’ve written earlier about Rose Downs and Thompson Ltd, iron-founders and manufacturers of oil mill and hydraulic machinery, and their pioneering work in the UK building their listed 1900 factory extension (not in this picture) and the bridge on Cleveland St using the Hennebique ‘ferro-concrete’ system.

85-5i-21: Rag and Bone man, Bridlington Av, 1985 – Beverley Rd

13th October 2017

Shakespeare TV and Electronics was the place to go to buy a reconditioned TV, or for repairs, and they advertised their shop at 177 Springbank with the front of a TV on the fascia board.

This and the adjoining shop had some fancy decoration around their first floor windows, though a redundant strip of angle iron didn’t add to the effect. The shop is now a multicultral food store.

85-5i-41: Shakespeare TV and Electronics, Springbank, 1985 – Springbank

14th October 2017

Myrtle Villas, off Springbank roughly opposite Stanley St, was surely one of Hull’s shortest terraces, with only two houses on each side. But it did have its own Hull telephone box.

The houses across the end were being demolished when I took this picture, and the terrace now looks less enclosed and leads to further properties. The discount store on the right is now ‘Grab A Bargain’ and on the left is ‘Urban Trendz’. There is still a phone box, though I might have to wait a long time to see anyone using it, while back in the 1980s queues were not unusual.

85-5i-42: Myrtle Villas, Springbank, 1985 – Springbank

15th October 2017

Demolition was happening on a large scale in the area between Springbank and Beverley Rd and I took seven pictures. This image is unusual in that the demolition has cut through a long stretch of tightly packed houses and has left what appears to be a massive pile of bricks – and at bottom left a pile of old newspapers with the ‘Property Guide’ at the top.

85-5i-46: Demolition, Springbank area, 1985 – Springbank

16th October 2017

The decoration on the side of a former fire-station in Hall St now has a Hull Heritage Blue plaque stating it to have been the home of the Hull Volunteer Fire Brigade. There two wider doorways, slightly differing in size, one perhaps for the fire engine, and the other for the hroses that would have pulled it. That on the left is decorated with three horses heads and the other with images of three fire captains in their helmets, one at each side of the arch and the third on the keystone. The right hand arch also has a decorative pattern in the brickwork of the arch and small windows across the doors.

I made two exposures on this occasion, one showing the whole of the right hand gate and two of the horses heads on the left, and the second moving in closer to show just one of the horses and a man apparently looking up slightly towards it.

There was no plaque when I took my pictures, but it looked as if the building had been recently painted with the decorative figures picked out in white, slightly carelessly as there is some paint on the brickwork around. It looks as if the paintwork was a pale colour when I took these pictures, perhaps cream; later they were painted maroon and in 2008 repainted a dark blue.

85-5i-54: Hull Volunteer Fire Brigade building, Hall St, 1985 – Springbank

17th October 2017

The empty open box on the wall has a hook which probably once held a lifebelt and a cast-iron covered structure projects out over the riverside pathway and overhangs the river above a covered barge. The river seems full of vessels, but the only easily identifiable one is the barge Poem 21.

In the background across the river is Clarence Mill and the former Trinity House buoy shed. On the large heaps of sand at the wharf at right is the tiny figure of a man with a shovel, apparently facing an immense task.

The picture is taken from the end of Bishop Lane Staith and the Grade II listed building here is Ellerman’s Building, 38b High St, converted into flats in 2000. Out of site on the west side of the building is a stone with ‘G G M 1655’ which was retained from a former building on the site when this warehouse was rebuilt around 1800.

85-5j-21: Riverside path and loading bay, Old Harbour, 1985 – River Hull

18th October 2017

Kingston Supply Services was on Lime St on part of the site which is now a 24 hour car park next to L A Hall Roofing Contractors and Merchants. The building was demolished around 2010. The peeling sign once offered – among other indecipherable things – Pullovers, Blouses and Denim.

Some years earlier there had been a board a few yards down the street for Hull Ships Stores and this building may have been a part of this.

85-5j-31: Kingston Supply Services, Lime St, 1985 – River Hull

19th October 2017

At left are the buildings of Associated Tyre Specialists, still present with a frontage to Great Union St, now occupied by Adams Fast Food Supplies. Beyond them the buildings of Clarence Mill; those on this side of Drypool Bridge still standing and occupied by Shotwell, with the larger complex behind with ‘Clarence Flour Mills’ on its side sadly (and insanely) destroyed. The tanks and other objects blocking the riverside path are in front of the Union Dry Dock and at the right of the picture is the entrance to another dry dock, with a large shed of the Yorkshire Dry Dock Company to its right, between it and the former Queen’s dock entrance.

Burcom Sand, named after a sandbank in the Humber estuary between Grimsby and Sunk Island was a grab hopper dredger built in 1954 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell at Beverley which worked extensively for the British Transport Docks Board around the Hull docks in the 1960s and 70s. Later, like the Kenfig I also photographed here, she was owned by Dave Cook of Hull and used for jobs like removing old jetties. She was apparently fixed at the bow to piles at low tide with a wire hawser and pulled them up and out as she rose with the tide. She was broken up across the Humber at New Holland in March 1994.

85-5j-33: Burcom Sand moored above Drypool Bridge, 1985 – River Hull

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.

Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

Hull Photos: 6/10/17 – 12/10/17

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Another week of pictures added to my Hull Photos site – one per pay throughout Hull’s year as 2017 UK City of Culture. You can follow these daily on Facebook – and of course on the Hull Photos site, though the comments do not appear there – I hope to get comments and corrections to them before adding them. Your comments are welcome here or on Facebook.

6th October 2017

Rix tanker Beldale H, here backing further into the Drypool Basin entrance swinging area. Small tankers such as this transferred oil for large vessels in the King George V dock or other ports along the Humber Estuary or through Goole.

Beldale H, a 300 ton estuary and inland waterway barge was built by Harkers in Knottingley in 1959 and was later renamed Rix Osprey. Rix is a family firm begun by Captain Robert Rix; born on a farm in Norfolk in 1841, he ran away to sea when he was 10, later becoming a captain and setting up a shipbuilding company on the Tees in Newcastle in 1873. Ten years later he moved with his wife and seven children to Hull, where he continued to work for the firm until the day before his death in 1925. The firm developed to have wide interests in trade of lamp oil from Russia and later oil for tractors, heating etc, as well as shipping timber in and caravans out of Hull, agricultural distribution, haulage and more. As well as the Rix Petroleum site with a wharf on the River Hull and storage across Wincolmlee, from 1977 to 2012 they also owned Hepworth Shipyard Ltd at Paull a few miles down the Humber north bank.

The best-known member of the family, Brian Rix (1924-2016) noted for having trouble keeping his trousers up on stage, but also a notable campaigner on learning disability both before and after entering the House of Lords was a grandson of Robert Rix. Knighted for services to charity in 1986 he became a life peer in 1992.

85-5h-35: Beldale H at Drypool entrance swinging area, 1985 – River Hull

5th October 2017

By 1985, this shop had abandoned its earlier Royal Wedding window display I had photographed in 1981 and was back to basics – 4 toilet rolls for 52 p and cans of soft drinks.

85-5h-41: Shop window display, Church St, 1985 – East Hull

7th October 2017

Somewhere on – or just off – the Holderness Rd was a used car dealer with this peeling message on a window.

85-5h-53: Cars and Vans Bought for Cash, Holderness Rd, 1985 – East Hull

8th October 2017

Just a few yards down a street leading off from Holderness Rd was an unusual display of rectangles – empty notices, blocked windows and doors, some bricked up and ventilation. And just one message: “Victory to the miners”. Their strike had ended in defeat two months earlier

85-5h-54: Victory to the miners, Holderness Rd, 1985 – East Hull

9th October 2017

This rather unusual complex of interlocking buildings were on Church St, on the south side of the road just to the west of end of the road at the junction with Naylor’s Row/Marvel St and Strawberry St.

The site is just to the west of Paling Joiners, roughly opposite East St and I think the larger building at the back of the picture is possibly still there, perhaps with some alteration (or replaced by a similar building), though the rest has gone, and a thick hedge obscures the view.

The white building in the distance is the Kingston Arms, though rather closer to me just out of picture is The Blacksmith’s Arms, now closed and put up for auction last year as “a fantastic development opportunity.”

85-5h-55: Industrial site, Holderness Rd area, 1985 – East Hull

10th October 2017

Hull had many windmills in earlier years and around 30 are listed within the city boundary on Wikipedia, though most were demolished before the start of the 20th century. This mill appears twice on the list there and is, so far as I’m aware, the only one that remains in Hull, as The Mill public house on Holderness Rd, opposite East Park. There are of course quite a few in the surrounding area, including one at Skidby, said to be the last working mill in East Yorkshire.

This mill was restored in the late 20th century and is a Grade II listed building, as too is the public house, The Mill, adjoining it. It now has a cap and sails.

The mill had been disused for many years. A 1928 photograph shows it in a similar condition to my picture with a large advert for the Hull Daily Mail painted on it and a board for the business premises of W Lockwood in front of it. It could be the same board as was there when I took my picture but the name had change and now ended in OWEN with telephone number 783516. The remains of several advertising messages are dimly visible, one perhaps for a brand of Stout, and in front of the image are a number of blank headstones in what was presumably the yard of an monumental mason.

85-5h-64: Windmill, Holderness Rd – East Hull

11th October 2017

Carr St, off Scott St, was demolished to provide further parking for the Maizecor mill on Wincolmlee, although a downturn in business probably meant it was never needed. The building at right is the Scott Street Methodist Chapel of 1804, from around 1910 the printing works of Mason & Jackson Ltd, and at the centre of the image, along what had once been Marsh St were the buildings of the Sculcoates Relief Office.

The story of this chapel and the failure of attempts to get it listed in the 1990s are told by Paul Gibson and the buildings were all demolished in 2001. The extended lorry park this provided was always more or less empty when I went past.

85-5i-14: Carr St, 1985 – River Hull

12th October 2017

A young man smiles as I take a picture of him sitting on his horse-drawn cart on Bridlington Avenue in front of the works of Rose Downs and Thompson Ltd.

I’ve written earlier about Rose Downs and Thompson Ltd, iron-founders and manufacturers of oil mill and hydraulic machinery, and their pioneering work in the UK building their listed 1900 factory extension (not in this picture) and the bridge on Cleveland St using the Hennebique ‘ferro-concrete’ system.

85-5i-21: Rag and Bone man, Bridlington Ave, 1985 – Beverley Rd

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.

Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

Hull Photos: 29/9/17 – 5/10/17

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Another week of my daily postings to Hull Photos which are continuing through all of Hull’s 2017 year as UK City of Culture. You can follow them daily where each picture appears, but the pictures appear with comments on Facebook – and in the weekly digests here.

Comments and corrections are welcome here or on Facebook.

29th September 2017

Taken from Scott St Bridge, this shows one of the older industrial buildings along the River Hull, Paul’s riverbank Granary building, linked on its other side across Wincolmlee to the rest of the mill complex. At the extreme left you can see the bell used to warn of the bridge lifting, in front of the windows of the Paul’s bilding across Wincolmlee.

The local listing describes it as “Characteristic and increasingly rare historic riverside building. Important for illustrating the history of Hull’s development as a port in the 19th century. Extant in 1853 and pictured in a F. S. Smith drawing of 1888. Distinctive early 20th century iron covered overhead footbridge linking the former granary to the mill across the road has attractive decorative roundels in the wrought iron brackets at either side.”

85-5g-66: Granary, R & W Paul, Scott St/River Hull, 1985 – River Hull

30th September 2017

The River Hull is relatively narrow, even at high tide, and larger boats are unable to turn above Drypool Bridge. The swinging area just below Rank’s Clarence Mill was the former entrance to Drypool Basin which led from the River into Victoria Dock.

The Beldale H which I had photographed before going upstream towards Rix’s wharf a short distance below Wilmington Rail Bridge had made its way backwards down the Hull much higher in the water and I took a series of eight images as it swung around to go forwards towards the Humber.

The Northern Divers (ENG) Ltd building is still in Tower St, though the company moved to Sutton Fields in 2011. The 1901 building designed by David Christie, is a Grade II-listed former Trinity House buoy shed. Its distinctive tubular crane can just be seen behind a more conventional one; it predates the building having been originally installed at Princes Dock in 1861 and is possibly the only remaining example of its kind, and is separately listed as follows:

“Tubular Crane. c1865, resited 1901. Cast iron. Curved tubular cast iron jib which turns through 360 degrees. Original gearing and later electric motor at base. Sunk into circular hole in the quayside, with deep straight counter weight secured to base of quayside.”

This type of crane was designed and patented by William Fairburn in 1850 and constructed by various manufacturers.

85-5h-22: Beldale H at Drypool entrance swinging area, 1985 – River Hull

1st October 2017

Behind the Beldale H swinging out from the Drypool Basin entrance the large vessel is the 1424 gross ton suction dredger Bowstream, since 1996 known as the Porto Novo surprisingly still apparently in service, currently in Funchal, Madeira. Built in 1971 in the Netherlands as an effluent tanker and named Hudson Stream, she was sold to British Dredging Ltd of Cardiff in 1972 and converted to a suction dredger and renamed Bowstream the following year.

85-5h-23: Beldale H at Drypool entrance swinging area, 1985 – River Hull

2nd October 2017

When the new east dock (renamed Victoria Dock in 1850) was built in 1845-50, the plans included an entrance from both the River Humber and the River Hull. The entrance from the Hull led into Drypool Basin, with a further lock leading to Victoria Dock, and there was a similar arrangement but with twin locks (one larger with a smaller one alongside for barges) into the Half-Tide Basin from the Humber. The entrance from the Old Harbour on the RIver Hull was only completed a couple of years after the dock opened in around 1852.

When Victoria Dock closed in 1973, it was filled in east of Tower St, including the Drypool Basin (though much of the dock area was timber yards rather than water, with the timber ponds having previously been filled) and few traces other than the Half-Tide Basin remain in the Victoria Dock estate. The entrance to the Drypool Basin was retained as far as Tower St, as an essential swinging area allowing longer vessels on the Hull to turn around in the Old Harbour.

Tower St at the left of the picture is roughly where the outer lock gate was (previously a swing bridge had carried it across the centre of the lock), and a vertical stone on the river wall separates the lock entrance from the curved wall of the swinging area. The large board fixed on the building on the right at a slight angle names this as the Swinging Area and prohibits mooring, though the details are too small to read on the full-size image.

The building at the right is still there, though a little hidden, but that at the centre and left has gone. The 1928 large-scale OS map calls it ‘Pumping Station’ and the tower appears to be part of the hydraulic power system that was used in the docks. It’s replacement is considerably less attractive.

85-5h-24: Erdmann Ltd, Welders & Fabricators, Tower St and Swinging Area, 1985 – River Hull

3rd October 2017

The Drypool Bridge is raised for the small Rix tanker Bledale H to reverse through underneath, though it looks as if there might have been sufficient clearance without it opening, but the water is fairly high close to high tide.

The photograph is taken from the riverside path underneath Joseph Rank’s Clarence Mill, where another small vessel, possibly an oil tanker, is moored with crew on board.

In one of the more senseless acts of recent years in Hull, the Clarence Mill, an iconic local landmark, was recently demolished, and the site has lain empty for several years. It was meant to house a new hotel for Hull2017 Year of Culture, but not a stone on the site was turned and it seems that this was simply used as a pretext to gain permission to demolish one of Hull’s best-known and loved buildings.

It had little claim to architectural merit, having been largely rebuilt after wartime destruction, but was an important monument to one of Hull’s great men who changed the milling industry and was of some interest in terms of industrial archaeology. It appeared to be in sound condition and could almost certainly have been repurposed without losing its character, or at the very least some of the riverside elements should have been incorporated into any new development.

On the other side of the river just above the bridge is a block of warehouses, demolished in the late 1980s, another sad and unnecessary loss to Hull’s heritage. Again the site has since remained empty, used only for car parking.

85-5h-31: Drypool Bridge and River Hull, 1985 – River Hull

4th October 2017

Another picture of Rix tanker Beldale H, here moving stern first into the Drypool Basin entrance swinging area. At right is the Grade II listed Pease Warehouse, then recently converted into flats.

Although there are still quite a few barges moored on the west side of the river at the High St wharves, there is now quite a long empty gap.

85-5h-34: Beldale H at Drypool entrance swinging area, 1985 – River Hull

5th October 2017

By 1985, this shop had abandoned its earlier Royal Wedding window display I had photographed in 1981 and was back to basics – 4 toilet rolls for 52 p and cans of soft drinks.

85-5h-41: Shop window display, Church St, 1985 – East Hull

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

Hull Photos: 22/9/17 – 28/9/17

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Another week of Hull photos and comments. You can see the new pictures every day on Hull Photos or better on Facebook, where these comments also appear.

Comments on the images welcomed here or on Facebook.

22nd September 2017

A man walks his dog in front of rubble from demolition. In the background at left is the rear of Stepney Primary School, and to its right the rear of the baths and a rather small and undistinguished chimney which still stands. The larger chimney to the right, also seen in the previous picture may have been a part of the Beverley Rd Baths.

The Cottingham Drain, culverted some years before I took this picture, ran behind the school and baths, close to where this picture was taken.

85-5g-25: Man and dog, Epworth St area, 1985 – Beverley Rd

23rd September 2017

Taken from the embankment of the former Hull and Barnsley railway close to Bridlington Avenue this view has a wide sweep of Hull industry in the background, with Reckitt’s chimney and the British Extracting Co silo. But dominating the middle ground are the Grade II listed Northumberland Avenue Almshouses, built in 1884-87 for the Hull Charity Trustees by architects Richard George Smith & Frederick Stead Brodrick of Hull in a domestic Tudor revival style.

According to the Victoria County History at British History Online these new almshouses replaced nine existing ‘Municipal Hospitals’, Crowle’s, Ellis’s, Gee’s, Gregg’s, Harrison’s and Fox’s, Lister’s, Watson’s, and Weaver’s Hospitals. The new almshouses cost £15,000 and took in 114 inmates from the old hospitals.

Northumberland Court is still run by Hull United Charities and is a category 2 sheltered housing scheme for persons over the age of 55, and is now 58 modernised self-contained flats. The site also includes Richardson Court which also provides sheltered housing.

85-5g-42: Beverley & Barmston Drain, allotments & Northumberland Court, 1985 – Beverley Rd

24th September 2017

From the same viewpoint as the previous image, a telephoto view of the Grade II listed Northumberland Avenue Almshouses shows more clearly the work of Smith & Brodrick. In Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, Nikolaus Pevsner and David Neave state they “had the largest (architectural) practice in East Yorkshire, but their work is of mixed quality, with the more distinctive buildings from the late 1870s suggesting the influence of Norman Shaw and the Queen Anne style.” The building is certainly impressive – if not to everyone’s taste – and despite its large overall size gives the feeling of domesticity, essentially a long terrace of smaller houses, with the added accent of the clock tower.

Two of Hull’s other listed buildings appear behind it, the British Extracting Co Ltd silo with its water tower with a puzzling logo, and just visible right of centre close to a metal chimney, the control room on top of the Wilmington Railway Swing Bridge.

85-5g-43: Northumberland Avenue Almshouses from the Hull & Barnsley embankment, 1985 – Beverley Rd

25th September 2017

Robert Paul (1806-1864) founded Pauls Malt Ltd in Ipswich around 1842, after the family business with a small brewery and its 15 public houses, a saddlery and an ironmongers had been sold up. The business which at his death had 11 small maltings and six barges, passed to a trust until his two sons, Robert Stocker (1845-1909) and William Francis (1850-1928) reached the age of 24. Under them and with financial help from Robert’s father-in-law the business prospered and diversified into animal feedstuffs flaked maize and shipping, and in 1893 became a private limited company, R & W Paul Ltd. The company purchased a number of other companies in London, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and in 1918, the Hull Malt Company, converting their works to mill animal feeds. Expansion continued with other company purchases and in 1960 the company became public and acquisitions and mergers continued, with the company investing in Belgium, France and Germany.

But the 1979 recession hit the company hard, and shortly before I took this picture the company was acquired by Harrisons and Crosfield, though George Paul, the great great grandson of the founder remained as chief executive Two year later Paul’s took over their major competitor Associated British Maltsters to become the largest maltsters in Europe, but in 1998 Harrisons and Crosfield sold Paul’s to the Irish-based Greencore.

Maizecor Foods Limited appear to have taken over the business and their registered office moved to this address around 1998. Since then the business has had a number of crises, but has managed to continue.

Scott St Bridge was unfortunately closed to traffic in 1994 and has been permanently raised since then, and looks as if it is being deliberately allowed to deteriorate by Hull Council. The council tried unsuccessfully to get permission to demolish this listed building a few years ago but were refused permission by the Government in 2012. Many in Hull would like to see it kept as a part of the city’s heritage and reopened if only as a useful cycle and pedestrian route.

85-5g-51: R & W Paul silo from Scott St Bridge, 1985 – River Hull

26th September 2017

The two buildings closest to the camera on opposite banks of the river are still standing but the other riverside buildings visible here on Wincolmlee have been demolished and the ground stands empty and unused.

The vessel proceeding upriver is the small RIX tanker Beldale H, loaded and fairly deep in the water.

Moored at right is the Krystle, a small 380 tons gross general cargo ship built in Appingedam in the Nethrlands in 1961 which over her lifetime had a succession of names, Visserbank, Aegean Eind, Rene S, and Trio before becoming Krystle from 1985-8 and ending her life as Michelle. She was last recorded at San Lorenzo in 1995 sailing under a Honduran flag and has almost certainly since been lost or broken up.

85-5g-52: River Hull, downstream from Scott St Bridge, 1985 – River Hull

27th September 2017

The name on the bridge across Wincolmlee has changed to Maizecor, the windows on the ground floor of the silo have disappeared, though you can still see the ghosts of their presence. There is now a metal security shutter in place of the gated entrance, and the top right window of the brick building has been bricked up but the differences are relatively minor. The lamp post in the foreground is still there, though the actual light fitting has disappeared.

The big difference is out of picture to the right, where the bascules of Scott St Bridge are now locked near vertical, the bridge closed to the road since 1994. The now redundant 10 tonnes weight limit sign has gone, though there are now newer equally unneeded 6’6″ width restriction signs on both sides of the vestigial street leading up to the up-ended roadway, as well as some sturdy black and white striped posts to enforce that limit.

Further down Wincolmlee the public footpath sign as gone, though the path is still there, and three trees above the former Cottingham Drain it runs beside restrict the view of W & J Oliver Engineers and Smiths (now ‘stead engineering’) and the premises beyond.

85-5g-53: Wincolmlee and Scott St bridge approach, 1985 – River Hull

28th September 2017

This rather empty yard is now occupied by John Brocklesby Metal Management at 92-96 Lime St, and both the brick building at right and that in the background at the centre of the picture are still there. Whether any of the building at left is hidden beneath metal cladding on the large metal shed now on the site is hard to tell, though I think not.

The low wall at the end of the yard is the river wall, and the more distant building is on the other side of the River Hull, the more northerly of two large mills at around 196 Wincolmlee, the Grade II listed High Flags Mill.

85-5g-62: High Flags Mill from Lime St, 1985 – River Hull

29th September 2017

Taken from Scott St Bridge, this shows one of the older industrial buildings along the River Hull, Paul’s riverbank Granary building, linked on its other side across Wincolmlee to the rest of the mill complex. At the extreme left you can see the bell used to warn of the bridge lifting, in front of the windows of the Paul’s building across Wincolmlee.

The local listing describes it as “Characteristic and increasingly rare historic riverside building. Important for illustrating the history of Hull’s development as a port in the 19th century. Extant in 1853 and pictured in a F. S. Smith drawing of 1888. Distinctive early 20th century iron covered overhead footbridge linking the former granary to the mill across the road has attractive decorative roundels in the wrought iron brackets at either side.”

85-5g-66: Granary, R & W Paul, Scott St/River Hull, 1985 – River Hull

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
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Hull Photos: 15/9/17 – 21/9/17

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Another week of the daily posts on Hull Photos of images I made in the 1980s. You can see the new pictures every day on the main menu page, but it’s better to follow my posts on Facebook, where you will also see the comments I make on the pictures, and can comment on them.

Comments on the pictures are also welcome here.

15th September 2017

Taken on Wincolmee just a few yards south of the junction with Green Lane and Lincoln St this image incorporates the reflection in the window, the machinery – I think for sale – within and also a view out through the window around the side. This building is still there but the side window has been bricked up.

But most of the view is straightforward and past the roundabout shows the buildings at the junction of Lincoln St and Wincolmlee, looking roughly north. These are still recognisable, and the Whalebone Inn is still open though it has lost the hanging sign and is under different ownership. The site at the right, with a notice for a seed crushing company is now empty.

84-4k-51: Wincolmlee, Green Lane, Lincoln St roundabout, 1984 – River Hull

16th September 2017

This structure, I think a large panel in front of a bulk oil storage tanks, at one of the wharves on Wincolmlee fascinated me and I photographed it on several occasions, both in black and white and in colour.

The way the different panels caught the light and their diamond shapes, the vertical ladder with its horizontal rungs and the various rectangular and circular accents all seduced my attention.

But I do have a nagging feeling that this is perhaps more of a design exercise than a real photograph of Hull.

84-4k-52: Wincolmlee, 1984 – River Hull

17th September 2017

Conveniently both street names are visible in this view take from just inside St Mary’s Burial Ground, on the corner of Air St and Bankside.

Sculcoates by the 1820s had grown from from a population of around a hundred to over 10,000 and the old St Mary Sculcoates which had existed since 1232 or earlier was replaced in 1760 by “a very handsome structure, with a square tower of white brick and Roche Abbey stone, in the pointed style of the time of Henry IV” with seating for 1300 people on the corner of Air St and Bankside. You can see it in a print on the Hull Museums site.

The two pillars in this picture are the lower parts of the gate posts of the 1760 church which was ‘improved’ in 1875 at a cost of £1000 and then demolished in 1916. A new St Mary Sculcoates was built a few hundred yards to the west on Sculcoates lane and is still in use. That church is open on Heritage Open days, but all that remains of the 1760 church are the gateposts (cut off rather shorter – perhaps the upper parts taken for incorporation in the new church, as apparently were the columns) and a little of the wall on which the railings once stood, and the burial ground. There are roughly 50 graves and monuments although inscriptions are only legible on around 20 of them, the most recent dating from the 1850s.

85-5f-11: Air St and Wincolmlee, 1985 – River Hull

18th September 2017

Taken just a few feet from the previous image, this shows the corner of St Mary’s Burial Ground at the junction of Air St and Bankside. The earth here appears to have recently been cleared, and is now rather more overgrown.

At the extreme right is one of the truncated posts of the gate that led into the churchyard, and to the left of that two slimmer posts, one for a street light and the other for the road sign. The shadow of this latter amused me by adding a cross to the churchyard.

Across Bankside, a wall with a gate is of one of the wharves on the west bank of the River Hull, now disused and empty, part of a long riverside site for Seatons. The company John L Seaton & Co Ltd, was founded by John Love Seaton (1820–1903), born in Chatham, Kent, who became an alderman and mayor of Hull in 1873-74. His Mayoral portrait in the Guildhall by Ernest Gustave Girardot is one of the better examples of the genre. Its main business was in crushing rape seed to extract the oil, then known as colza oil.

Colza was widely used in oil lamps to provide light, with the residue after extraction becoming animal feed. The first lighting installed in railway carriages was provide by colza, but was later replaced by gas – and then electricity. Perhaps more importantly for Hull, this was the oil used to calm troubled waters and was carried in all ship’s lifeboats for this purpose. It was also widely used as a lubricant, and is now extracted mainly for use as bio-diesel, particularly in Germany. Different varieties of rape are grown for the rapeseed oil now widely used in cooking.

The business obviously did well, with Alderman Seaton leaving over £50,000 in his will. The company amalgamated with others over the years developing a wide range of vegetable oils and oil-related products and in 1970 was acquired by Croda International. Production at its site in Hull continued until 2002 and for some years after this it had offices in Hessle, but is now simply a trade name used by Croda.

The buildings whose triangular gables are visible are on the far side of the river and are an Enterprise Zone, part of the River Hull Heartlands Foster St development site.The site was once a brickworks and is privately owned.

85-5f-14: Air St and Bankside, 1985 – River Hull

19th September 2017

Taken near to the corner of Air St and Bankside, but nothing in the image enables me to identify the exact location, though I think it is probably at a corner of the site of John L Seaton & Co Ltd.

I made two exposures from exactly the same position, this and another in portrait format, which shows the metal chimney to have been rather tall, and it is possibly on the site of Holmes Hall’s Sculcoates Tannery on the south side of Air St. The fixed viewpoint suggests to me it could have been taken with the lens poked through a fence or gate.

85-5f-15: Air St area, 1985 – River Hull

20th September 2017

Steam issuing from a pipe at the top left confirms that the North Works of John L Seaton & Co Ltd on Air St was still at work. This rather handsome brick building was perhaps rather suprisingly still there when I last looked, as were the pipes bridging the road, although the name board is long gone, presumably removed when production there ceased in 2002 if not before.

Beyond Seaton’s North Works the picture shows (just) the Golden Ball pub and I think some further buildings which I seem to remember included a small shop selling sweets and cigarettes. Air St is the eastern end of Sculcoates Lane and was probably built around 1800, and the Golden Ball probably dated from about then (there is a detailed discussion on Paul Gibson’s site ( and was definitely a pub by 1810, though extended and altered later. It was listed as the Blue Ball in 1823, but changed its name to the Golden Ball around 1882. There were further alterations in the 20th century, but as the factories around closed, trade dropped off in the 1970s and 80s, and the pub was demolished in 1996 when Seaton’s wanted more storage space. Only six years later they ended work on the site.

85-5f-44: John L Seaton & Co Ltd, Air St, 1985 – River Hull

21st September 2017

Thanks to comments on-line I can now be sure that this picture is of Victoria Terrace, off Stepney Lane and shows the Grade II listed chimney of Beverley Rd Baths. Unfortunately this appears to have been demolished. There is a chimney somewhere near, but it is a plain brick affair. The listing text for Beverley Rd Baths describes the chimney as “At the rear, a tall panelled chimney stack, formerly with a decorative cap.”

One of my wife’s great aunts, Florrie Needley, kept a small corner shop on Stepney Lane close to here that I visited back in the 1960s, I think on one of the corners of this terrace. I remember it as selling sweets, but I think it also sold other foods, and some wives in the area would bring in the money their husbands gave to them after they were paid for safe-keeping, as they were afraid that after having drunk the cash they had kept back their husbands would take it back from them.

This terrace was clearly still inhabited in 1985, with washing hanging out and windows open, but has almost certainly been demolished since. The boat has number 497 and I can read the word ‘TRINITY’ but what follows is impossible to make out. The front yards on the opposite side of the terrace are slightly wider and opposite the boat but just out of frame was a small caravan in one of them, though it was hard to see how it could ever be moved out.

85-5g-22: Terrace with boat, Victoria Terrace, Stepney Lane, 1985 – Beverley Rd

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

Hull Photos: 8/9/17 – 14/9/17

Friday, October 13th, 2017

I’m still managing to post a picture every day on Hull Photos, and there are plenty more still to come, though I’ll need to scan another batch soon, but I keep forgetting to post these weekly digests here on >Re:PHOTO. Of course you can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I also post them each morning with the short comments below on Facebook.

Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

8th September 2017

Wincolmlee and Oxford St meet at the north end of Oxford St at a fairly acute angle, and this filling station occupied the tight triangle between them, now taken up by McCoy Engineering, who occupy both the large shed and the smaller brick building in the background behind the pumps.

This was naturally a Rix petrol station, just a stone’s throw from their site further north on Wincolmlee, the petrol equivalent of a brewery tap. I loved the way it fitted into the site and the upcurved sweep of the canopy at the left, as well as the simple and symmetrical design of that in the centre.

Behind is a large factory building on Wincolmlee, still there, though for sale when I took this picture. For some years later it sold pine furniture and more recently was Mattress Master and Mould-it. The building in the background at centre right, which looks as if it might have once been a chapel has been demolished, though I think a low section of its walls, around three or four feet high, remains as a site boundary.

84-4e-23: The Oxford Filling Station, Wincolmlee/Oxford St – River Hull

9th September 2017

Underneath each of the numbers 1-6 neatly painted on this factory wall is a small wooden notice with the message ‘Reserved‘. But occupying these parking bays when I took this picture was a large heap of some unknown substance and I wondered briefly if underneath this lay buried the cars containing those privileged people who had their reserved parking spaces here. But on reflection I think the piles of whatever were only three or four feet high, insufficient to cover the revenge of some wronged worker – unless he came with a bulldozer to flatten the vehicles or it was just the managers’ bodies below them.

I no longer remember the exact location where I took this, though the frame previous was taken in Cooper St, and the next frame at the start of Cannon St, and so I think this was probably in Green Lane, in front of some long-demolished factory.

84-4e-32: Parking bays, Green Lane/Wincolmlee Area, 1984 – River Hull

10th September 2017

Somewhere in my wandering between Cannon St and Oxford St and Wincolmlee, most likely in Lincoln St, I came upon this house with painted sunflowers, the works and perhaps the work of Richard Bacon Inflatables. I think the house has now gone, and Richard Bacon Inflatables has sunk without trace, though doubtless some people in Hull – and perhaps even Richard Bacon – will remember it 33 years later.

Apart from the flower and the house door, out of keeping with the building there were other aspects which attracted me to this house, which somehow appeared like a slice cut out of a terrace, tall and thin, and marked out for further slicing by the verticals of the shadow, telephone post and drainpipe.

At the time ‘inflatables’ meant nothing to me. Did Richard Bacon make balloons, perhaps blimps, air-beds or life-size plastic doll sex toys – or even large and rather blobby plastic sunflowers?

RIBs or Rigid Inflatable Boats are still made in the area, and Humber RIBs, based further south at 99 Wincolmlee, claims to be the UK’s leading RIB manufacturer with the most extensive range and over 12,000 craft built to date and. And at 246 Wincolmlee is a large sign with letters on the wall now reading (unless more have since been lost) ‘in l t ble b at sales’, which took me a little while to decipher.

84-4e-35: Richard Bacon Inflatables, Wincolmlee Area, 1984 – River Hull

11th September 2017

This view looking south down Wincolmlee has changed remarkably little, although there have been some significant changes in the area. The bridge which frames the image has been repainted with the name of new company, Maizecor, incorporated in 1991 and still in business despite various periods of financial difficulties (during one of which in 2007 its then managing director died after falling 200ft from the top of its silo having apparently previously slit his wrists – the inquest returned an open verdict) and the rather fine streetlamps have disappeared, along with the road signs.

Gone too is the board for Bridgeside Garage, and a large metal shed for Northern Accessfloors has appeared on the corner of Scott St. But the other buildings are still present with few visible alterations, with the view down Wincolmlee to the many chimneys of the Charterhouse.

But more basic changes are hidden from view – most notably that Scott St Bridge to the left has now been closed to road traffic for around 25 years. The much-used urinal that stood close by it is also long gone, and the riverbank behind Grosvenor Mill at the centre of the picture, then still lined with wharves and buildings, is now empty with just a few bare areas used as car parks.

84-4e-51: Pauls Agriculture Limited and Wincolmlee, 1984 – River Hull

12th September 2017

Hull had a number of vandalised cemeteries – and under the Youth Opportunities Programme in the 1970s the young unemployed were put to use to further vandalise some of them, given a nominal wage for doing what they had previously done for free. This one on Sculcoates Lane had not been subjected to the official mistreatment as it was still owned by the Church of England.

There were two cemeteries on Sculcoates Lane, both overflows from another a little further east at the corner of Air St and Bankside which was the original St Mary’s Churchyard. Sculcoates in the 19th century was a densely populated area and the churchyard became crowded. The cemetery on the south side of Sculcoates Lane, where this picture was taken, was opened by the Church of England in 1818 to cope with the growing demand, and had a mortuary chapel (destroyed by wartime bombing) so became known as the Sculcoates Sacristy Cemetery.

Demand for burial space remained high – Sculcoates was a heavily industrialised area and pollution levels will have kept life expectancy in the area low – and a third parish cemetery was opened on the north side of the lane in the 1890s – Sculcoates Lane North Cemetery (also known as St Helena Gardens Cemetery.) There were relatively few burials in the Sacristy Cemetery after 1920, and these were mainly of people being added to existing graves. The last burial there appears to have been of 82 year old William Marshall (no relative) in 1955, added to the grave of his beloved wife Martha who had died 39 years earlier.

Since 2007 the cemetery has been run by and tidied up by the local community who have also photographed many of the graves for ‘’ but is still pleasantly overgrown and apparently popular with ghost-hunters, a group of whom led by local historian and Ripperologist Mike Covell heard loud moanings coming from one corner of the site and walked in on a porn film being shot there, much to the consternation of the actors in flagrante delicto. His story was widely reported in the popular press.

And no, there is no real Hull connection with Jack the Ripper, though given that thousands have been put forward as being the murderer it is hardly surprising that at least two, James Maybrick and Frederick Bailey Deeming, had a Hull connection.

84-4f-35: Sculcoates Sacristy Cemetery, Sculcoates Lane, 1984 – Beverley

13th September 2017

Another picture featuring the cobbles of Glass House Row, taken shortly after the previous landscape format image posted earlier which was on the last (39th) frame of a cassette of Agfapan 100. I stopped more or less where this picture was taken (probably moving into the shade by the wall) to reload my camera with my more usual Ilford FP4 (or Tri-X) and then took several similar portrait format images before more or less repeating the previous exposure and then waling down Glass House Row for some more pictures.

Glass House Row comes to a dead end at an industrial site and I think I had to retreat to Cleveland St to make my way up to Foster Street and the path to walk back over Wilmington Swing Bridge. A great deal of demolition was in progress in the area then and more since; the sidings for the cement works have gone and there is a different road layout with a large roundabout.

84-4f-62: Glass House Row, off Cleveland St, 1984 – River Hull

14th September 2017

Field St, off Holderness Rd, running down to Abbey St, was laid out a few years before the parish of Drypool-cum-Southcoates became a part of Hull in 1837 and was first known as Marfleet Lane. Later it became Prospect Place and in the 1960s it was renamed after a prominent Hull seed merchant, grocer and tea merchant William Field.

Field’s daughter Esther Ellen in 1873 married one of Hull’s greatest men, Thomas Ferens, a fellow Methodist Sunday School teacher though they separated during the First World War. Ferens continued to teach Sunday School throughout his life. A great philanthropist he worked his way to become general manager and then joint chairman of Reckitt & Sons, and donated much of his earnings to various causes, including the Hull Art gallery that bears his name and the University he brought into being with a donation of a quarter of a million pounds in 1925, which accounts for its motto ‘Lampada Ferens’. Ferensway was opened the year after his death in 1930. He on several occasions refused a knighthood, but was called by The Times ‘The Prince of Hull‘.

Abbey Street was only created in the 1890s, and was not named after a religious establishment but after Alderman Thomas Abbey who was a member of the local board with responsibility for laying out streets and had the reputation of being the rudest man in Hull. A B Rooms, Locksmiths and Safe Specialists, now trade in rather larger and more modern premises on Abbey Rd.

The building which this sign was on is I think that described in the Holderness Road (West) conservation area document as “Late Victorian building now altered beyond all recognition”. Formerly a commercial school, possibly a parish school, the parish relief office, parish dispensary and a “whitesmiths” (a worker in tin or other metals, including tin plate and galvanised iron) it certainly now requires a considerable leap of the imagination to recognise any of its past – and indeed from its frontage to recognise it as the building I photographed back in the 1980s.

84-4k-01: A B Rooms Locksmiths, Field St, 1984 – East Hull

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.

More Hull

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

There really is so much to see and do in Hull, though the city is not so huge as to feel unapproachable, as can sometimes be the case with London. Most of what is more interesting is within walking distance of the city centre, and what isn’t is largely a short bus ride away.

Though there are parts of Hull that are rather cut off, particularly by the A63, a busy major trunk route that was pushed through south of the city centre with little or no regards for the movement of local people. It was of course necessary, but while other cities might have got a by-pass, Hull got a through-pass.

It went partly through former dock areas but split the old town in two, cutting off its southern tip, with its marina, wholesale vegetable trade and the redundant pier, none of which were greatly valued by the authorities responsible. There were plans for a wide pedestrian overbridge in time for Hull2017 to give easy access to Hull’s new leisure area but this never happened. Getting across on foot requires a lengthy wait at one of a couple of pedestrian crossings, or a longer walk around to the one road that goes under the A63 where it rises to cross the River Hull.

But it does mean that it is much easier for visitors to get to Hull’s most popular tourist attraction, The Deep. Worth a visit if only to go to the cafe, where you can climb the stairs to the upper level viewing area. You don’t have to pay and can walk past the queues, and though I can’t recommend the food, at least it isn’t silly expensive like at many tourist attractions.

Mostly you will be looking through glass, and it can’t be easy to clean so your vision will be slightly impaired, but you will be spared the wind and rain. It was quite blustery on the small outside area, and the view is a little limited, but does give a splendid view of the Western Docks.

The Deep

But better still you can visit these on foot, taking a few steps along the Trans-Pennine Trail, my favourite Hull footpath. If that rather flimsly looking lock gate puts you off, there is a much more solid structure as an alternative at the East end of the lock, and from either you go up onto the rooftops of the Riverside Quay.

Albert Dock

Walking along there, or taking the bus out along Hessle Rd to West Dock Ave and then finding the rather well camouflaged path under the railway and Clive Sullivan Way (that A63 again) will take you to the remains of the former fish dock, St Andrews Dock.

This is another site of failed plans, and you many need to hurry as there are applications for the demolition of the unlisted Lord Line building, and probably designs on getting rid of the two listed buildings close by.

On the ‘bullnose’ at the former dock entrance is one of several memorials around Hull to fishermen, many of whom sailed away and never returned. Even in recent times deep sea fishing was a dangerous occupation, though made a little safer by the protests of one of Hull’s heroes recently commemorated in a Hull mural, Big Lil, who led a fight to get radio operators on every voyage. A short walk further west there is now another memorial.

St Andrew’s Dock

You can see more of the pictures I took on this trip in the ‘Hull Supplement‘ on My London Diary.

Blade Revisited

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Almost certainly the single thing that brought most attention to Hull’s year as UK City of Culture – at least so far – was the appearance in the city’s main square of a giant wind-turbine blade, made at the Siemens blade factory now occupying the former Alexandra Dock in East Hull.

Seeing them as we do on the horizon as we do from Hornsea  and elsewhere along the East Yorkshire coast they look small and rather delicate, but close up the 250 foot long blade seemed pretty solid – and, dare I say it – rather boring.  Though it was hard to imagine it having the strength to stand up to North Sea gales.

I’d previously seen – but failed to photograph (thanks to Fuji’s short battery life and my lack of preparedness) – wind turbine blades in a yard beside the Kiel Canal, but those blades in my memory were rather shorter and stubbier and seemed more likely to provide large amounts of power than this slender object.

But is it art?’ some asked, and certainly it lacked the shock and re-purposing of an upside-down urinal.  It reminded me more of those odd lumps of machine parts we used to come across visiting various railway preservation sites of which one of my son’s young friends, desperately trying to lift something several times his own weight asked ‘Is it spare?’

Late at night – not very late, but as usual the centre of Hull was deserted when we arrived back on the bus from Beverley – it became a sword reaching up into the sky, perhaps looking rather more like an art-work than a rather large bit of junk.

But I couldn’t help thinking that Hull at the time had a considerably larger and perhaps even more impressive work of art, one that snaked its way across the whole of the city with those thousands of orange barriers turning the centre into a maze, making some areas difficult to penetrate.

I’m not sure what has happened to the blade, now long gone from Queen Victoria Square, though there were plans to exhibit it permanently at the Siemens factory. But I am worried too about the future of a rather more significant publicly sited art-work, the ‘Three ships’ mural designed by Alan Boyson for the Co-operative Society shop in Jameson Street in 1963, commemorating the Hull fishing fleet (and you can read HULL at the top.) And at the time I took this picture it was totally surrounded by those orange barriers over one of which I was leaning.

The mural is a monumental mosaic of Italian glass, with 4224 foot square slabs, each made up of 225 small glass cubes, fixed on  a 66ft x 64ft concrete screen – a total of over 950,000 cubes.  Co-op became BHS and BHS went down, failed by Sir Philip Green who suck out the cash and gave away its husk. Leaving the future of the mural in doubt.

One of the major disappointments of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture came when Historic England announced ten new Listed Buildings to celebrate the year, but failed to include this mural – which they had also previously turned down for listing the previous November.  Like a number of other recent listing decisions they have turned down – including those of the Robin Hood Gardens and Central Hill estates in London – there are suspicions that their decision many have been influenced more by commercial interests than made on artistic grounds.

You can see many more pictures from my visit to Hull in February on My London Diary.

I photographed Hull extensively in the 1980s, and there are many pictures from that era on my Hull Photos site, with a new image being added every day during #Hull2017 to celebrate the city’s year as UK City of Culture. I also post these every day on Facebook, along with a comment on the image.


Down River

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

This was the River Hull from Drypool Bridge back in 1977, in what was known as the Old Harbour, in use from before Hull had docks, and still in use in 1977. Those barges in the foreground were moored in front of Rank’s Clarence Mill, one of Hull’s great landmarks,  rebuilt after being almost completely destroyed in the war.

That same waterfront, seen looking upriver towards where I took the earlier picture in February this year is rather different. There are only two vessels moored and one of those is the museum ship Artic Corsair, Hull’s last surviving sidewinder trawler, bought by the council in 1993 and now occasionally opened to the public. The other at right is the Dovedale, built as an inland tanker in 1962 that has clearly seen better days.

There are three new bridges across the Hull, two of them footbridges and the other carrying the heavy traffic of the A63, including much going to and from Hull’s King George V dock, as well as a tidal barrier.

And past the tidal barrier at the mouth of the river is of course now The Deep, a major visitor attraction.  The message on the side of the Tidal Barrier was an art installation which enabled people to put up their slowly scrolling messages on it. Hull has always suffered from flooding, with much of the area being very close to sea level and reclaimed from marshland. The tidal barrier keeps out tidal flooding, but the dramatic floods in the summer of 2007 in which almost 8,000 homes were flooded and 1300 businesses effected came from heavy inland rainfall converging on the area and swamping the rivers and drains.

A day later I joined around twenty other  people for a ride on the most recent bridge, the footbridge at Scale Lane, which was designed to allow people to be on it while it swings around through about 90 degrees to leave the river clear.

Of course with little or no river traffic, there is seldom a real need for the bridge to open,  but it still has to be able to open – along with the other bridges across the River Hull – if a vessel requests passage.  Last week in an art event as part of Hull2017, all 13 bridges between East and West Hull were opened together for a minute at the Autumn Equinox (or technically around 45 minutes before it), splitting the city in two. There is considerable rivalry between the two halves and some Hull residents would like the opening to be permanent – and one listed bridge has been open permanently since 1994.

The bridge rotates around an axis close to the west bank of the river, where a curved walkway remains in contact with the land, but the other end swings out across the river, with gates on the approach and on the bridge itself being closed seconds before the bridge begins to open. It then moves slowly and steadily, fully opening in a minute or so before moving back and into position again. It isn’t exactly a thrilling ride, but interesting and free  and once or twice a week (times on the Hull corporation web site) makes sure that the bridge will still work.

More pictures
River Hull
A Ride on Scale Lane Bridge