Archive for the ‘My Own Work’ Category

Free Wine!

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Free Wine, or rather, ‘Free Bobi Wine‘ was the slogan of the protest. I have to confess that I’d not before been aware of Bobi Wine, a Ugandan business man, musician and more recently Ugandan MP. Bobi Wine his stage name, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu grew up in a slum in Uganda’s capital Kampala and is noted for his humanitarian work and promoting practical projects to improve conditions for the poor. He was elected as an MP in a by-election in April 2017.

President Museveni has been in power since 1986, bringing in legislation that although it allowed political parties to exist, banned them from campaigning in elections. In 2005 this ban was ended by a constitutional referendum. When elections were held the following year, Museveni was re-elected and the Ugandan Supreme Court upheld the result despite finding evidence of “ intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities.” He won further elections in 2011 and 2016.

International organisations rate the Ugandan government as among the most corrupt in the world, and the country has a terrible human rights record. Laws still limit many normal political activities and many opposition politicians, including main opposition leader Kizza Besigye have been arrested. So the arrest of Bobi Wine in August was hardly surprising, although it led to riots calling for his release with arrests and shooting by police and army and widespread calls in Uganda and internationally calling for his release.

Winee was tortured after arrest and in jail and was in a poor condition when brought first to a military court and then to a civilian court on the day of this protest. The charges against him were dropped, but before he left the courts he was rearrested and charged with treason. Released on bail the following month he went to the USA for medical treatment. In October the case against him and 34 co-defendants was adjourned and is expected to return to court on December 3rd.

Gatherings on his return to Uganda were forbidden, but he now appears to be getting on fairly normally with his life, and was recently in Ghana for the AFRIMA awards business summit.

It was a crowded and emotional event, with some very enthusiastic shouting and dancing as well as speeches. After a rally outside Ugandan House in Trafalgar Square they mmoved down to protest further in Whitehall opposite Downing St. When I left they were debating whether to return to the embassy.

Free Bobi Wine – Ugandans protest

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Justice for Marikana

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

On the day of the 6th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, August 16th, there was a protest and vigil for the victims outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square.

People held up posters with large photographs and brief details of those killed. As well as the 34 shot by South African police as they ran away as a demonstration was dispersed, there were other workers killed during the course of the dispute.

The use of force by South African police against the strikers was encouraged by Lonmin, including Cyril Ramaphosa, one of its directors and now President of SOuth Africa, who described the dispute where the strikers were faced by 800 police as a ‘dastardly criminal act’ requiring ‘concomitant action’.

Lonmin has long avoided its responibilities towards the workers at Marikana, failing to provide them with proper housing and other facilities as well as paying low wages. The company is a subsidiary of the notorious Lonrho, originally founded by imperialist and white supremacist Cecil Rhodes, and the vigil organisers describe it as perserving “its colonial legacy as the corporate face of racial capitalism.” Having avoided any compensation for 6 years, Lonmin is apparently getting ready to cut and run, selling the platinum mine to Sibanye-Stillwater.

The vigil and other events earlier in the week were organised by the Marikana Solidarity Collective which includes members of Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign, the Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, London Mining Network and Decolonising Environmentalism. There was drumming and speeches from activists including trade unionists from the UK and overseas before a vigil which began with African singing in which the names of the murdered miners were each read as their photographs were held up.

The photographs, along with flowers, were then laid in front of the gates of South Africa House.

More pictures at Justice for Marikana vigil

______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Brazil

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Monday 13th August was a long day for protests in London, and one that reflected the global nature of London both as a financial capital and in its population now.

The first event I covered reflected the huge involvement of the City of London in the exploitation of mineral resources around the world, and with it the callous disregard both for the countries whose resources are being plundered and in particular the workers involved. The very buildings we walked around on our tour of investors, insurers and shareholders profiting from the violence against people and nature in Marikana were a reminder of the great wealth that was appropriated from our Empire and is still being made from countries around the world.

This was a story backed up by facts and figures in presentations at the brief stops the tour made as the tour stopped at Majedie, Schroders, Investec, Legal & General and BASF, the major customers for Marikana’s platinum.

The tour came three days before the 6th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre when 34 striking miners were shot dead by South African police at Lonmin’s platinum mine, for striking for better wages and living and working conditions. Those shot were trying to disperse and hide and many who survived are still in prison, and 19 were charged with murder. There has been no justice and no compensation for the victims’ families or for the injured mineworkers. One of the South African company directors implicated in ordering the police to take action is Cyril Ramaphosa, now President of South Africa.

From the city I went by bus on my way to Belgravia, taking a route that took me down Whitehall. Looking out of an upper-deck window I saw there was a protest taking place opposite Downing St, rang the bell and jumped off at the next stop.

I’d photographed the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party UK at an earlier event also calling for the release of their party leader Begum Khaleda Zia, jailed in February for five years for embezzlement; her supporters claim the charge was politically motivated.

I took a few photographs, but couldn’t stop long as I was on my way elsewhere. Friends from Bangladesh have told me that both the BNP and their opponents now in power, the Awami League are both corrupt and neither represents the interests of the people of their country. There are some things on which I don’t know enough about to take sides.

Fortunately buses in London are usually frequent, and before long I saw the next on my route and made a run to the stop to catch it, getting to Belgrave Square only around ten minutes later than intended.

Belgrave Square was for a return visit to hunger striker Ali Mushaima, campaigning for his father imprisoned in Bahrain and camping on the pavement in front of the embassy. Early in the morning the previous day someone in the embassy had gone onto the ambassador’s balcony and thrown a bucket of an unknown liquid down on him while he was asleep.

The police had been called but do not appear to have taken the attack very seriously. While diplomats have immunity the attack is thought most likely to have been carried out by one of the bodyguards who are subject to the laws of this country, but the police appear to have declined to make appropriate investigations.

The campaigners from Inminds.com had returned to show their support in an emergency protest, along with a few friends of the hunger striker. Though the police had failed to properly investigate the attack, a small group came to harass the protesters, telling them they could not protest on the pavement outside the embassy, but had to move to the opposite side of the wide street.

There were arguments and threats of arrest, but the protesters who had previously protested in the same place with police on duty not objecting, refused to move and went ahead, performing a short piece of street theatre in which Theresa May sold arms to the Bahraini dictator which he used to shoot protesters, who were then chained up. Unlike in real life the International Criminal Court came to their rescue, released them and condemned the Bahraini regime for their crimes against humanity.

It was unrehearsed and something of a shambles, but pictures taken by Inminds were later made into an effective comic strip about the situation in Bahrain.

I rushed off and jumped on another bus to take me back to a protest outside the Brazilian embassy. I arrived shortly after it was due to start, but there were very few present and nothing much happening. Eventually more people arrived and the protest began, and I was able to take a few pictures before it was time to leave for home and some food.

The protest by the Workers’s Party (TP) was calling for the release of former President Lula so he could stand in the October elections. The TP say that the right wing who have seized power in Brazil have brought highly dubious charges against both Lula and Dilma Rousseff to prevent them winning in the elections.

By the time the event got going, the sun was low in the sky and shining almost horizontally into my lens making it impossible to work from some positions, and there were some excessive flare made unusable. It also created some very high contrast where there were areas of sun and shade in the same images. Fortunately working with RAW images does make it possible to do a fair amount of taming the contrast, so long as detail is retained in the highlights, but it does add to processing time. Some can be handled by overall changes but faces that are half in shade and half in sun sometimes need both ‘dodging’ in the dark areas and ‘burning’ in the light parts.

More on all four events on My London Diary:

Justice For Marikana – 6th Anniversary
Release Bangladeshi opposition leader
Attack on Bahrain Embassy hunger striker
Free Lula – Brazilians for Democracy & Justice

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Free Shahidul, Free Hassan

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018



Shahidul Alam
who grew up in London returned to his native Bangladesh and has become its leading photographer as well as setting up a number of related major organisatins there, including Drik and Majority World photographic agencies and Pathshala which is now arguably the world’s leading photojournalism school. His work has made Bangaldesh an important centre in Asia and the world for photography.

His gallery at the Drik Agency has several times attracted the attention of police. A show on Tibet was closed down after China had put pressure on the Bangladesh government, and the show ‘Crossfire‘ dealing with extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh was also raided and closed down by a police raid.

On 5th August, shortly after Alam had been interviewed on Al Jazeera over Skype about the student protests on road safety that had been taking place in Dhaka, police raided his home and arrested him. A week later he appeared in court after having been badly beaten and despite various court appearances he remained in jail – until a few days ago when he was finally released on bail, possibly as a result of a special section about him in a resolution on the human rights situation in Bangladesh adopted by the European Parliament and the publication of an open letter about him by Indian writer Arundhati Roy both coming 48 hours before his release.

After his arrest, there were petitions and letters from photographers, academics and others around the world, including several I signed, as well as protests. The protest at the Bangladesh embassy in London was attended by a number of his friends and relatives and several well-known photographers.

I’ve written a number of times about Shahidul, both here and elsewhere; one of the longer pieces still available on line is From the Lions Point Of View.

Earlier in the day I had been at another protest calling for freedom, this time outside the Bahrain embassy, where Ali Mushaima was on the 10th day of a hunger strike demanding that his 70-year-old father immediately receives the medical care he needs, as well as access to books and family visits.

Hassan Mushaima was one of the leaders of the 2011 mass movement that peacefully called for human rights and democratic reforms in Bahrain, which was brutally crushed by the ruling Khalifa dictatorship aided by Saudi forces, killing dozens and imprisoning thousands. Around 5000 are said to still be held in Bahraini jails and Islamic Human Rights organisation Inminds.com who organised the solidarity protest calls for all of them to be released.

Ali Mushaima’s hunger strike has not led to his father’s release, but it did result in him being given a cancer scan and access to vital medicine and following many requests from his friends in September after 44 days he moved to a liquid diet that would keep him alive, though still resolved to keep fighting for other medical treatment and better conditions for his father, and if necessary to renew his hunger strike.

More from both protests:
Free Shahidul Alam
Free Bahraini Human Rights activist

______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Meeting the Council

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

I don’t often go to Council meetings. In my experience they tend to be rather boring and I’ve generally avoided them. I was once asked if I’d like to stand as a councillor by the then Mayor of the borough where I live, but I declined the offer, not least because it would have meant joining the Conservative Party.

I’m not a member of any political party, though in the dim distant past I went to the meetings of the Labour Party youth, but really only because they gave out free cigarettes (this was back in the early 1960s – I gave up smoking when I was 21.)  As a student in 1963 I did join the Labour club at university, and was very  impressed by our President, Barbara Castle, then at her prime in her 50s, but then the Party decided we were all too left-wing and chucked us out.

In the late 80s I joined the Ecology Party, which split to become the Green Party, but I didn’t stay long; at that time there were too many eccentric sandal-wearers and not enough people with any political sense, and though I’ve known and admired people at the top in more recent years, including Caroline Lucas and Natalie Bennett, I’ve never quite felt like joining.  And although I like both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, both of whom I’ve met and photographed many times over the years, there are parts of the Labour Party I wouldn’t want to be associated with.

So although it might have been interesting to be a Conservative councillor on the very far left outside the party spectrum, I don’t think I would have lasted more than one meeting.

But on a Tuesday in August I did go to the public meeting with the planning committee of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and though it started in a rather prosaic fashion, things soon livened up, as I had gone in with around 30 members of the cleaner’s union, the United Voices of the World.

No sooner had the chair of the meeting outlined what was going to happen, than things began to run to a very different plan, with UVW’s Petros Elia standing up and interupting proceedings by demanding that the council pay their cleaners a living wage, and he was backed up by the others in the group who brought out banners and called for justice for the cleaners.

The protesters refused to back down, and after a few minutes argument, the chair led the members of the committee, except for one who remained, out into an adjoining room. A debate then took place between some of the public who had come to the meeting and the UVW. Local campaign groups wanted to present their case about a local development to the planning committee, and while they agreed that the cleaners should be paid a living wage asked them not to disrupt the meeting.

The cleaners who worked for the council had not come into the meeting but were holding a protest outside. They had been picketing the offices all day during a 3 day strike for the living wage and to be brought back into direct employment by the council rather than being employed by a contract cleaning company on the legal minimum conditions of service and badly managed.  Earlier in the day council officers had said the council would bring them back ‘in-house’ but later that offer had been withdrawn.  The UVW was angered both by this withdrawal of a promise, and also by the refusal of the council to talk with the union to which almost all the cleaners belong.

Eventually a woman who had been sitting with the public stood up and informed us all that she was a leading member of the council and promised that she would come and talk with the cleaners on the picket line the following morning, bringing with her as many of the other ‘cabinet’ members as she could arrange to be there to join in.

After some further discussion between her and Petros Elia for the UVW, the protesters agreed to leave the meeting to allow it to continue and went out to join the cleaners outside the offices and tell them the news.  The  protest had acheived a breakthough as before the council had simply refused to talk.

Less than a month after the strike and this action, the council agreed to ensure that the cleaners were brought up to the London Living Wage by December 2018 and to review the contract with Amey with the intention of early termination so the cleaners can be directly employed.

The cleaners who were currently paid on the minimum wage (renamed by the Tory government the National Living Wage, but well below a Living Wage in London) of £7.83 per hour will get an almost 30% increase.  Coming into direct employment will bring them proper sick pay, longer holidays and better pensions as well as management that has to take much greater consideration of their health and safety and will hopefully be far more competent.

You can read more about the meeting and see more pictures at Council cleaners demand a living wage

______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Victoria Coach Station – Paul Baldesare

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

The latest title from Café Royal Books, Paul Baldesare — Victoria Coach Station 1991–1993, showcases some images that I’ve really loved since I first saw them when Paul was working on this project. And there are a few great pictures I’ve not seen before.


© Paul Baldesare 1991-3

Paul and I met at the Museum of London a year or so before he took these pictures, and we became members of the ‘London Documentary Photographers‘ group set up by Mike Seaborne who was the curator of photographs at the museum. At the time Paul had a great body of work taken on the London Underground (some in another Café Royal book) which inspired me to begin a series of pictures on London buses.

London Documentary Photographers decided to put on a show about transport in London – and the museum showed this, I think in 1992 or 1993. As well as some of the bus pictures, I also contributed a set of black and white panoramic images showing the DLR extension to Beckton under construction, including this picture of the line going over Bow Creek.

This was the first project that I’d done using the Japanese Widelux swing lens panoramic camera, chosen because the subject matter seemed to suit it so well. This picture from it has been published and shown a number of times, but much of the rest of the work has hardly been seen since I took it, though an image taken a couple of years later when the line was in operation and I returned to photograph it in colour,  still using a panoramic camera, did rather nicely wrap around both sides of a record cover.

There are plenty of other Café Royal Books worth looking at, and now is a great time to stock up, as there is a half price sale – 50% off orders over £24, but only until midnight on 26th November. As well as buying copies for yourself, they might make good stocking fillers for friends.

______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Hull in the Rain

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

It rained rather a lot when we were in Hull. I generally write these posts without notes, based on the pictures I take and my memories, and for things that were now almost four months ago, unless I took photographs my memories are often a little vague. So writing about Friday night in Friday in Hull I mentioned that we ate in one of Larkin’s haunts, the Royal Station Hotel. We did eat there, but it was on the Sunday night, not on the Friday.

Friday night we had decided to eat somewhere on Princes Avenue, a street with a considerable number of eateries, most of which I would give a miss, and we took a bus there. Usually such vague ideas result in a lot of walking along and looking at menus before we find somewhere we can both agree is possibly suitable, but this time it was different. Almost as soon as we got off the bus, the heavens opened, and torrential rain had us scurrying for a bus shelter. The rain kept on, and after perhaps ten minutes the pavement inside the bus shelter was beginning to flood.

From the shelter we could see the lights of an Italian restuarant, ‘UNO’s Trattoria -Pizzeria’ and we made a dash for it, hoping there was room for us and that the storm and the flood would subside before we had finished our meal (and they had.) It was a place I would probably have walked passed without bothering to examine, but we had one of the best Italian meals there I’ve had for a long time, and certainly the best I’ve found in Hull. Thanks to a thunderstorm.

TripAdviser (not something I’d generally take too seriously) rates it as #21 of 534 Restaurants in Kingston-upon-Hull, and it gets some seriously good reviews – with the usual one or two with a grudge, who sound like very awkward customers who made a real nuisance of themselves.

Sunday started off rainy, and after another breakfast in the Admiral of the Humber (a modern Wetherspoons with their standard menu, decent and cheap) I refilled my coffee and waited there until I could go and worhsip again at the Kollwitz show, having pointed Linda towards Holy Trinity.

After lunch it wasn’t raining too hard and we set off for a walk down Springbank to Hull General Cemetery, apparently a favourite place for Larkin as well as for Linda an myself, somewhere we often walked while staying with her parents.

From the cemetery we head down Chants, familiar but different, with most of the shops having changes hands and business. We crossed Bricknell to go down the alley to Loveridge Ave, though the tenfoot there is now behind locked gates we could walk past the front of the house Linda grew up in. In the cemetery further on we visited her parents’ grave, and then walked on to Cottingham Road, turning down Newland Park, to see West Garth where we had often stayed with our friend Ian and then on to Larkin’s house, complete with a large toad.

Back to Cottingham Road through the eastern entrace to Newland Park we ran to catch a bus back into town. The services on a Sunday afternoon are few and far between. We spotted another Larkin sign as the bus passed Sharp St, where I’ve often stopped to photograph the street’s war memorial, moved several times as the buildings it was on have been replaced, and recently refurbished again.

Then it was time for the visit to the Royal Station Hotel (officially now the Mercure Hull Royal Hotel) for dinner as mentioned in a previous post. Good company but the food was nothing special.

We were leaving Hull at lunchtime on Monday, so had a morning still to spend. Despite light rain we went for a walk, taking Anlaby Road out of town as far as the ‘flyover’ where Linda left me as she wanted to revisit the Ferens which opened shortly, and I made my way along some back streets and then Boulevard to Hessle Rd.

On my way the rain turned from light to rather heavy, but I was determined to find a mural to ‘Big Lil’ that had been painted since I was last in Hull, and put up my umbrella and strode on. Despite the brolly I was pretty wet by the time I reached it, but managed to take a few pictures and then walked back a little way into town before the rain came on even more heavily, and I was glad to find a bus shelter, and, after a few minutes, a bus to take me back to collect my luggage at the hotel.

As we left Hull, the rain stopped and the sun came out.

More text and pictures:
Wet Sunday Morning in Hull
Spring Bank, Chants & Newland Park
Anlaby Rd & Hessle Rd

______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Hull Saturday

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Saturday was the day of our family celebration, with a dozen family and friends coming from across the country (and France) to lunch with us at one of Hull’s newer eating places in Humber St in the Old Town. Fortunately, being Hull, the food was a little more down to earth than in a similar place in London, rather more filling (and mine at least actually came on a plate), the service was friendly and the cost perhaps half or less than it might have been in London, with the difference probably paying for both our hotel bill and train fares.

Not that we chose Hull for that reason. Hull was where Linda grew up and where we were married back in 1968, one of the less reported events of a rather spectacular year, though my recollections of it are rather hazy.

Before the lunch we had time to visit the Ferens where the Kothe Kollwitz show was spectacular and as always there were other things of interest too, thanks to the generosity of one of Hull’s great Methodist philanthropists, Thomas R Ferens, who gave the city its art gallery (and its University) but also had the sense to know the gallery needed a continuing income to buy works to show. One small disappointment was that the gallery space in which I had shown work in 1983 was closed for refubishment. Ferens was truly a remarkable man, both in business where he made Reckitts into one of the leading companies but in other ways. By 1920, when he was earning £50,000 a year (about £2.5m in today’s value) he was giving away £47,000 of it.

I didn’t quite have enough time to properly view the Kollwitz show, so promised myself I would return the following day before rushing out to go to Scale Lane. I got held up again in the square outside, where Morris Dancers were performing, and had to run most of the length of Whitefriargate to get to the bridge on time.

Because the bridge was opening as it does most Saturday mornings, probably mainly to check it still works, but also as an attraction to the city, as it is one of very few swing bridges on which the public are invited to ride as it swings. It’s a rather slow and sedate movement rather than a fairground ride, but is still something of an experience. It pivots around a centre close to the Old Town side, and because the bridge and its matching landside approach are both semicircular you can step on or off safely at any stage of its ninety degree swing.

My wife, slowly pushing a pushchair and baby across the swing bridge at Albert Dock entrance anticipated this attraction many years ago, probably because she was walking slowly and had stopped to appreciate the view. She got her ride despite notices forbidding it, flashing lights, warning sounds and gates. Fortunately she stayed in the middle of the bridge in safety and didn’t try to walk off before the bridge returned to its landward position.

We walked back across the high Myton Bridge, where the wind made it cold and difficult to stand still without holding the rail, then back towards the city centre, stopping to admire the new ‘Bean and Nothingness’ still being got ready to open in Whitefriar gate; we were able to go in and have a chat, but weren’t able to try the coffee.

Soon it was time to meet my son and his wife at Paragon (sorry, Hull) station, arriving after a long journey from the south coast where they had been holidaying, and to walk with them to Butler Whites to lunch with them and our other friends and family.

It was quite a long lunch, and after we had finished some had to rush away, while I led a short conducted tour of the Old Town for those who remained, finally leaving them with directions to station and car parks before finding another eating place in a ccorner of the now renamed Trinity Square. This was a totally different experience. Deafening noise, cramped seating, poor food, terrible service, a place to avoid unless you are totally drunk and want to shout at your friends. The town centre as we walked back to our hotel, an area frined who have visited Hull tell stories about on a Saturday night was civilised by comparison.

More here:
Riding the Bridge
A short Hull tour
______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Friday in Hull

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Our Friday in Hull was a day of two halves – and then an evening. We started with a slightly indirect walk to the bus station (or rather the Transport Interchange, rather posher and better organised than the old bus station that Larkin would have known) and caught a bus to Cottingham, a “village” just outside Hull where Larkin briefly lived and often drank and is site No 19 on the Larkin Trail.

We hadn’t gone there in search of Larkin, but to meet old friends, including both the organist and one of the bridesmaids from our wedding long ago. I’d enjoyed a full English breakfast earlier at the Admiral of the Humber but managed to squeeze in some cakes, coffee and a small celebratory drink before we left to walk to Oppy Wood, on the edge of Hull’s Orchard Park Estate.

Unfortunately we found most of the wood, planted in 2004 in memmory of the 200 “Hull Pals” who died at the battle of Oppy Wood in France in 1917, had disappeared, dug up to provide a large hole to help prevent more disatrous flooding in the area – much of Hull was inundated in 2007 and 90% of the city is below high tide level, though the 2007 flooding came from the land as the rivers and drains couldn’t cope with a month’s rain in a few hours. We walked around the field that remained then to the bus stop to go back to the city centre where we picked up a snack for lunch before catching the bus to Stoneferry.

The afternoon was planned by me to make some panoramas in one of the areas I’d not managed to get to in my visit in 2017, and then to go and see the Bankside Gallery, a tremendous outpouring of street art on the walls of the old industrial area beside the River Hull, which sprung up after Banksy’s January visit to create his ‘Draw The Raised Bridge’ on Scott Street bridge.

We ate our lunch snacks in hot sun beside the Hull before beginning a longish afternoon walk, first down beside the river to Stoneferry Road, then continuing on down to the path to cross the river on the former rail bridge at Wilmington. I don’t think Larkin ever appreciated the industrial areas of Hull, though parts have a picturesque gloom that might have appealed if he had he ever gone there. The sky was rather too empty clear blue for my taste and my pictures, particularly the panoramas, though there were more clouds later in the day.

Then we wandered up Bankside to see the many painted walls, before turning back down where the gallery continues on to Scott St, resting for a short time in the Whalebone with a pint of a local brew, before walking back into town for a short rest and a cup of tea.

We spent the evening having dinner with Linda’s brother and his wife in another of Larkin’s haunts, the Royal Station Hotel, where he stands in Martin Jennings’s statue close to the door on the concourse of what he knew as Hull Paragon station. Appropriately it was Friday night, and pretty quiet, though perhaps not as quiet as when he wrote ‘Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel‘ in 1967, but I took no pictures.
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My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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Larkin about in Hull

Monday, November 19th, 2018

We’d booked in at a hotel in the centre of Hull, five minutes walk from the station, but we didn’t intend to spend much time there except while sleeping, and having dropped our luggage in the room, went back down to the foyer, where while waiting for Linda to join me I picked up and opened a leaflet on the Larkin Trail.

I’m not a great fan of the poet who spent much of his life working at Hull University’s Librarian, but there are certainly some memorable lines, some evocative of the city, and  some of the city centre locations were on the route we intended to take for other reasons, so we began to loosely follow its directions, and our rather longer progress around the city centre and outskirts over the next few days I think included all of the places mentioned in the trail, seeing all its signs and reading most of them, though not those in the much wider area outside the city,  most hard to visit without a car.

The trail is a bit of a disappointment in places, its signs some distance from the true Larkin sites, for example some distance away from the flat where he lived in Pearson Park and rather further from his later house in Newland Park. If you download the longer version from the web site you do get much fuller details than the printed leaflet. You will find many of the places mentioned in these pictures and those from later in my visit, and perhaps more authentically as they were when Larkin lived in Hull on my web site, ‘Still Occupied: a view of Hull‘.

I don’t know if he came to see my show of around 148 of these pictures at the Ferens, a couple of years before his death, though it’s fairly likely given the kind of city that Hull is where the art gallery plays an important role in cultural life. He was a keen amateur photographer and I think some of the pictures would have appealed to him, perhaps with a similar ironic stance.  I’m fairly sure wasn’t at the opening, but then he disliked such social occasions, avoiding them when he could.

We didn’t do the full length in the afternoon, having other important business – such as a drink and an ice-cream at the Kardomah – and taking a quick look at the venue where we had booked a table for our family celebration in a couple of day’s time. Then it was time for dinner, after which in the fading light we took a bus to walk through Pearson Park (and past the flat in which he wrote much of his better work) and then walked back along Beverley Road to the city centre as it got dark.

On the later days of our visit we did visit, or at least go past the other places mentioned in the trail as we visited people and places important to our own past in Hull, parts of which were important to Larkin as well.

Hull – City Centre & Old Town
Hull – Pearson Park & Beverley Rd

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________