Archive for September, 2017

Derek Ridgers 80’s book launch

Friday, September 15th, 2017

I hadn’t gone to the launch of ‘In The Eighties, the ninth or tenth book by Derek Ridgers intending to take pictures, but to celebrate the occasion and meet up with him again. But I had my camera bag with me, as I’d been in Brixton photographing a protest there against London’s excessive air pollution – it took only 5 days to exceed the annual pollution limit on the Brixton Rd.

But on entering the The Library Space (built in 1910 as the Edwin Tate Library, Grade II listed and now a cultural space hosting workshops, exhibitions etc) I just had to take some pictures of the place and the event – as too did many others of those present.

And I also bought the book – and of course got Derek to sign it – and I photographed him signing for several others.

It’s a book packed with portraits, and with a few pages of introduction, concentrating on the developments in club and youth culture which Derek’s work concentrates on. Although central to much of his work, its an approach that I think rather minimises the value of his work. Yes, he documented the London scene, in the clubs and on the streets, but the strength of his work is not really what he did but the way that he did it, the reflection of his personality and his intent vision.


People look up at Derek’s pictures going around on a strip around the ceiling


And study the book

Of course there is interest in the people he photographed, their clothes, their hair styles, their make-up and their behaviour. But that isn’t what makes this work stand out above much other photography of the era dealing with similar subjects.

In The Eighties by Derek Ridgers, published by Carpet Bombing Culture, ISBN 978-1908211569

In The Eighties

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

In The Eighties‘ is the title of a new book by Derek Ridgers, an old friend of mine, being launched tonight (14 Sept 2017) at The Library Space in Battersea Park Road, London.

You can see a preview of the book and read some of Derek’s views in the feature ‘Documentary Photography: A Masterclass from Derek Ridgers‘ on ‘Another Man’.

Derek gives a straightforward account of how he took these sometimes remarkable portraits in the article: “I just walk straight up to people and say ‘Do you mind if I take your picture?’”. The people he chose were those who caught his attention, particularly as he walked along the King’s Road, then the epicentre of young London’s trend-setting young fashions. Since most – but certainly not all – of those he chose were very deliberately presenting their image to the public I imagine most were more than pleased to be asked to pose for a photograph, and cooperated with him as he moved them into a suitable place nearby to find the kind of background he liked, “something that’s very plain, without anything to detract the eye, and yet something that still possesses an element of time and place.”

The quote about backgrounds comes from one of five tips for aspiring documentary photographers in the article – you’ll have to read it to find the others.

Derek and I were for some years a part of a small group of photographers who came together monthly to bring our latest pictures and discuss them. We all I think benefited from the sometimes frank appraisals, and Derek’s were usually franker than most, often saying bluntly what others of us were thinking but trying to find more delicate ways to express. ‘Framework‘, as the group became known as, was something of a hard school, and one that some could not take. Elsewhere I’ve described it as “a pionering UK group of independent photographers until its demise in 1993; together we organised around 20 group exhibitions almost all of which included some of my work. (Among many UK photographers to exhibit with Framework were Terry King, Carol Hudson, John RT Davies, Derek Ridgers and Jo Spence“), though Jo was never a member, but one of a number of others we invited to take part in our shows.

Framework had started life as a group inside a photographic club, but became a separate organisation after than club appropriated a gallery space and exhibition opportunity we had arranged for wider club use, changing its name from ‘Group Six‘ to ‘Framework‘. Derek had designed the orginal logo for Group 6, and it was one of his pictures on the poster for our first exhibition in 1984.

You can read more about Framework on an unfinished web site I began about it some years ago. Since I wrote this, at least two of the members, its main organiser Terry King and Randall Webb have died. Framework itself came to an end with the formation of London Independent Photography in 1993, which most of us joined. It was the experience of Framework that led me when a LIP committee member a year or two later to argue for the setting up of the local groups which now form a vital part of that organisation.

Flares at King’s

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Photographing people holding flares is something of a hit or miss thing, with rather a lot of unpredictable behaviour. There are the people holding the flares, and protesters movements are often fairly unpredictable, but smoke is also peculiarly so. And if you actually get in the smoke, camera exposure metering gets pretty unhinged too and it can also be difficult to focus.

Though I usually like to get as close as possible for most of my pictures (though I know it often pays to stand back a little for a wider view) it seldom works to get too close to people holding smoke flares – and can be quite uncomfortable too. The smoke isn’t good for the lungs or the eyes and has an unpleasant smell, and very close contract can result in burns and stains on clothing that are hard to remove.

It isn’t I think illegal to set off smoke flares, although police and government web sites state it is. The relevant law is clear that it is only an offence “if in consequence a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered” and I think that would be hard to show in this case. But of course, I’m not a lawyer.

Another case where laws are often invoked against protesters is for the use of chalk and other easily removed markings on roadways, pavements and walls. Police during this protest talked with and asked for names and addresses of some of those who painted with chalk on the wall of King’s College. It’s had to prove ‘criminal damage’ when a simple wipe of a damp sponge – or even the rain – will remove it, though at least one protester was convicted for this a year or two back at the University of London Senate House – and a specialist cleaning company apparently got paid hundreds of pounds for a few seconds wielding a damp rag.
The organiser of this protest, PhD student Roger Hallam had been suspended for writing “Divest From Oil and Gas Now. Out of Time!” in spray chalk at an earlier protest, and in response at this event there was a great deal of displaying messages by other non-permanent methods, as well as a few who chose to deliberately paint washable coloured dots.

There is so far as I’m aware no law relating to the use of balloons on the public highway, and the protesters took full advantage of this. It was just a little difficult to photograph the long line, and space was limited between the wall and he protesters as they moved to tape them onto it.

The aim of the protest was to persuade King’s College to end its investments in fossil fuels and switch to investments in renewable energy,  part of a London-wide divestment  campaign.

More at King’s College Divest Oil & Gas Now!

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Trump & May

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Mobile phones are a mixed blessing. I don’t like the thought that your every movement can be tracked whenever you carry one, though it was very useful when I left mine on a bus earlier this year – and was able to watch it slowly moving along the map towards the depot, from where a couple of days later I collected it. But as a journalist I don’t like the idea that the police can now track my movements – and would like it even less if I was working in some foreign countries.

And on my recent holiday it was great to be able to see my own position on the OS map I’d bought and downloaded to the phone, something I used far more than the paper copy. This year, rather unusually I didn’t get lost at all.

But being available for people who know your phone number to contact you at any time – or at least when your phone is switched on and has battery – is not always a good thing. Though much of the time when I’m actually working there is too much noise for me to hear (or notice a vibration) from the phone in my pocket.


Dawn Butler MP

At lunchtime on 4th Feb I was more or less at the front of a densely-packed crowd in front of the US embassy, in a good position to photograph the speakers at a rally calling for Trump to end his Muslim ban and for May to withdraw the invitation to a State Visit here. It was at a quiet moment in the proceedings when a refugee poet was reading one of her works that I heard a faint ringing and answered the call.

It was my wife, and she was locked out as the lock on our back door would not open with her key. And she wasn’t well, or I might have stayed to finish the job before making the fairly long trip home, but I began walking to the bus stop as I talked to her, abandoning the protest. An hour and a quarter later I found my key didn’t work either, but fortunately I had the keys to the front entrance which did. More bad news was that we needed a locksmith who came, couldn’t open the lock and had to use a jemmy and then an angle grinder to cut through the lock and fit a new one. It wasn’t cheap.

Fortunately I’d already taken enough pictures to file a decent story, including probably the two most important speakers, Brent Labour MP Dawn Butler, shadow minister for diverse communities before she resigned to vote against the Brexit Bill and NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney, and plenty of the protesters and their placards – it was a protest that brought out wit and obscenities – so I was able to file a decent story, though I had to miss the march to Whitehall and the further rally there.

It’s often the case with marches than the best opportunities for pictures are before they start, when people are often more closely packed and a little less organised. Back when I photographed some carnival processions with a few of my photographer friends we would usually pack up and go the the pub as the procession began. And for many of the longer political marches in London don’t walk the whole way.

Taking photographs means a lot of walking backwards as well forwards, going too and fro, and is considerably more tiring than simply marching. And as I usually want to cover marchers at the back as well as at the front (and those in-between) with large marches I try to find a convenient point to take the tube to the destination.

I often see other photographers standing around talking with each other before a protest starts, and while I like to be sociable (and often we have useful information to exchange) I sometimes feel they are missing opportunities and will leave them and get on with the job. And at some marches there are some photographers who only photograph the people carrying the banner at the front and just walk ahead of this all the way. It’s seldom a place to get the most interesting pictures.

And a small note to event organisers. A red roof to the stage is not a good idea. It really doesn’t provide a good background and it bathes the speakers in red light which isn’t flattering. Please chose a fairly neutral colour, perhaps a light or mid grey.  18% would help with our exposures!

More pictures at: No Muslim Ban, No State Visit.

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Slash, Trash & Plunder

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

STP must be one of the most overloaded TLA’s (Three letter acronyms), with well over 30 possibilities listed on a Google disambiguation page, including the Government’s latest back-door approach to the transfer of our National Health System (NHS) to the private sector, the Sustainability and transformation partnerships, but not the alternative interpretations favoured by pro-NHS campaigners such as Slash, Trash & Plunder.

Campaigners, many of whom work in the NHS, see the STP’s as a part of the plan by minister Jeremy Hunt to replace our NHS with a privatised system based on the US model which he advocated in a book published well before he became Health Secretary. They say the STPs amount to a cut of £22m in NHS funding and will result in cuts in services, reduction of quality, cuts in social care and increased health inequalities And they point out that our public system is several times more cost-effective than the US model the government is moving to by stealth.

It’s a move that will mean rich pickings for those with money invested in healthcare companies, including many Conservative MPs. Already companies like Virgin Healthcare are taking over many more straightforward aspects of the NHS, with Richard Branson laughing all the way to the bank – and currently suing the NHS because he hasn’t been awarded more contracts.

My medical knowledge is probably at about the level of playing that the ‘Operation’ game demands, though I lack the hand-eye coordination and motor skills required to do well.

After a rally with speeches, including one from the first baby born under the NHS in the first seconds of 1948, Aneira Thomas (shown below with Junior Doctor Aislinn Macklin-Doherty), the campaigners marched to the Department of Health on Whitehall for a further rally.

But unfortunately it will take more than a minor medical miracle to cure the deliberate deafness of the Tories chasing the scent of lucrative winnings from replacing a public service by their private businesses.

Perhaps another of those TLA possibilities listed by Google might be appropriate for the British public given the plot of the Tory privateers; there is apparently a Society for Threatened Peoples, and our health provision is certainly facing a massive threat. And the only hope for the NHS is a change of government.

More pictures at Save our NHS from STP Cuts.

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Hull Photos: 25/8/17 – 31/8/17

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Keeping up the daily postings throughout August, particularly when I was away from home presented a few minor problems, taking me back to hand-coding the web pages in my text editor and having to work off-line and then walk a short distance to get internet access, and I was pleased not to have missed a single day putting both the added image on my Hull Photos web site and also making these postings to my Facebook page – where you can read them daily. Comments are welcome either to this digest post or the daily Facebook posts

25th August 2017

The lifesize statue of Hull’s first mayor was commissioned for the new Town Hall in 1868 from Hull sculptor William D. Keyworth and unveiled in 1870. After the Town Hall was demolished in 1913 it was moved to its position here on Nelson St in 1920. It was Grade II listed this year as a part of Hull2017.

Inscribed on the pedestal is

SIR WILLIAM DE-LA-POLE,
KNIGHT BANNERET
FIRST MAYOR OF HULL, A.D. 1332-1335.
AN EMINENT AND MUNIFICENT MERCHANT,
HIS SOVEREIGN’S FRIEND, THIS TOWN’S BENEFACTOR,
LORD OF MYTON AND OF HOLDERNESS,
BARON OF THE EXCHEQUER,
FOUNDER OF THE CHARTER-HOUSE, HULL,
ANCESTOR OF THE NOBLE FAMILY OF SUFFOLK
HE DIED 21 APRIL 1366.

And on the plinth:

PRESENTED TO THE CORPORATION OF KINGSTON UPON HULL,
BY ALDERMAN ROBERT JAMESON J.P.,
MAYOR 1870-1871, 1871-1872, 1872-1873.

William de la Pole, Hull’s first Mayor, was a wool merchant and financier of both King Edward II and King Edward III, responsible for commandeering and commissioning ships for the King in the Hundred Years War and in 1339 was created a Knight Banneret and also Baron of the Exchequer. He represented Hull in Parliament, and with his son Michael established the Maison Dieu hospital in Hull and a Carthusian monastery – which later developed into the Charterhouse.

The sculpture has deteriorated in its exposed position here, and is probably best seen from the rear as it looks a little silly from the front – tastes in sculpture have rather changed. He seems to be looking down Queen St towards Hull’s Parish Church of Holy Trinity – now upgraded to Hull Minster, again for Hull2017 CoC.

The scaffolding at left is on the Grade II listed 1819 Pilot Office, disgracefully sold off for development and conversion to flats in 1998 after the privatised Associated British Ports decided that the property of the Humber Pilots belonged to them. The scaffolding in 1983 was for a refurbishment with the aid of a £2,000 grant from the Lord Mayor and City Council. The opposition by the pilots to the redevelopment is seen by some as the reason for ABP replacing the independent pilots by its own employees in the bitter dispute in 2001-2.

The Oberon pub at right, 44 Queen St is now a block of luxury flats – and the empty site at extreme right has been filled.


36s05: Nelson St, looking down Queen St, 1983 – Old Town

26th August 2017

The smoke house was built in the 1930s for C & J Horowitz & Co. Hull and the Hull and Humber Bacon Smoking Company, so it is perhaps not entirely correct to call it a fish smoke house, though this being Hull I’m sure it would also have smoked fish.

As names like Wellington St and Nelson St indicate, this area was developed in the early 19th century, reclaimed from the river marshes by the dumping of spoil from the excavation of Humber Dock (the dock was constructed from 1807-09), starting around 1804 though only named officially around ten years later.

The smokehouse was in an enclosed yard between Wellington St and Humber St and I couldn’t find a way to get a closer picture of it, and it was obviously in a semi-derelict state. The remaining the property along the north side of Wellington St including the sheds shown here were demolished in 2014/5. The south side had been rather badly redeveloped earlier, presumably after the closure of Humber Dock to shipping in 1967. The area around Humber St and Wellington St remained the centre of the wholesale fruit and vegetable trade, which had began when most arrived at Humber Dock, but by the time it closed mainly coming in lorries along the A63 a short distance north.

Before then these premises had been occupied by Brooksbanks Fine Foods, suppliers of potatoes, fruit and vegetables to the catering industry, and are now being replaced by rather bland blocks in the area now called the “Fruit Market” (which it no longer is), described by an estate agent as “a unique, characterful and stylish new community, combining premium residential developments with a vibrant retail, leisure and arts environment“, and where a one bedroom flat will cost you around twice as much as in other areas of central Hull.

There are nine fish smokehouses in Hull’s local list, none of which have national listing, and this one, recently restored for £133k by Hull City Council with an English Heritage grant is perhaps the least good example – and the restoration has made it into something of a joke. It was deeply disappointing not to see at least one of the other better examples listed in the ten properties selected for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture. It is perhaps another example of where a more significant local input might have been preferable.


36s06: Fruit merchants and Smoke House, Wellington St, 1983.

27th August 2017

A closer view of a building on Scott St extending to its corner with Catherine St that in previous post I identified as “built as the Vulcan Iron Works (unsurprisingly a common name for iron works) for Tindall & Co, Ironfounders. Around 1900 it was owned by Messrs Tindall, Earle and Hutchinson Ltd, Marine and General Engineers who among other things made engines for steel screw ships. In 1904 the works was divided and sold; among the occupants after this was H Smith & Co, Electrical Engineers.

It appears from this picture to be in reasonable condition and as I commented before could have been converted to other uses rather than demolished, along with other buildings in the area.


36s13: Former Vulcan Iron Works, Scott St, 1983 – River Hull

28th August 2017

These horizontal storage tanks have long gone from their site just north of the junction with Hodgson St, their site taken by a small office building for the bulk storage company, IBL Bulk Liquids formed close to here in 1947. The larger vertical tanks at both edges of the picture can still be seen, along with two horizontal tanks a few yards further up the road. There web site states they have “some 120 storage tanks, with individual sizes ranging from 50 to 1,700 cubic metres and a total capacity of around 34,500 cubic metres” in Hull at two sites on the River Hull and in the port area at King George V dock.

The tanks can handle a wide range of liquids, from edible oils to “aggressive and sensitive materials”.

Much of the industry that developed along the River Hull was concerned with oils, in the early days with whale oil and later until the present day with the extraction of vegetable oils, as well as in recent years waste oil reclamation.


36s25: Bulk Liquid Storage, Lime St, 1983 – River Hull

29th August 2017

I photographed this office on Great Union St, roughly opposite Hyperion St on several occasions because of its links with Hull’s heritage. The site is now occupied by The Crossings, a centre for the homeless which opened in 2011.

Surprisingly in 1983 it seemed a little tidier than in the previous year, though with the same plinth and posters. I wrote at some length about the Ruston marine engine and the poster of the coaster Surreybrook, next to the advert for PoLadaire who supplied the equipment that enabled deep sea trawlers to freeze fish at sea.

There were now several pieces of equipment on the display stand, and what I think is probably a heat exchanger proudly sitting on top of what had previous been an empty plinth.


36s31: Great Union St, 1983 – East Hull

30th August 2017

Companies House list the HULL SHIPS STORES(HOLDING)LIMITED as active from 06 Mar 1950 – 31 Dec 1976 and then continuing under the name to the HULL SHIPS STORES COMPANY LIMITED until 26 Oct 1987.

No 19 Bond was presumably a bonded warehouse where goods could be stored before clearing customs and paying import duties, VAT etc. The goods can only be removed when the appropriate duties have been paid.

This site is now occupied by L A Hall, Roofing Contractors and Merchants, whose gate also has an instruction to use the entrance in Spyvee St.


36s33: Hull Ships Stores Company No 19 Bond, Lime St, 1983 – East Hull

31th August 2017

Rank’s Clarence Mill, destroyed by bombing in 1941 were rebuilt after the war only to be senselessly demolished in 2016, shamefully destroying one of Hull’s landmark buildings. The section of the mills upstream, here with a Rank Hovis logo, remains, now occupied by cartridge manufacturer Shotwell.

Two small tankers from John H Whitaker’s fleet are moored in front of the mill, and two lighters, one the ‘R50’ and a small tug on the closer bank. A part of Drypool Bridge can just be seen at the left edge.


36s54: Clarence Flour Mills and River Hull, 1983 – 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.
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Hull Photos: 18/8/17 – 24/8/17

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

18th August 2017

When the first Hudson Ward mill was built on this site, it was on the bank of the canal – the Aire and Calder Navigation – that made Goole a port for Yorkshire, linking it to Knottingley, Leeds, Sheffield and South Yorkshire. In 1910 the canal west of Barge Dock was widened to form South Dock.

Barges could bring cereals on the extensive canal system to Hudson Ward’s mill in Goole Docks from a wide area around, and grain from the USA and Canada could be brought by ocean-going large vessels for transhipment from Hull Docks by smaller vessel. Barges could also be used to distribute the mills products, flour, sharps, bran, flaked maize and a complete range of compounded foods for pigs, cattle and poultry.

The vessel berthed at the mill is the Daunt Rock, 892 tons and 64 m, long with beam 10.8 m, built in 1976 at Hancocks Shipbuilding Co. Ltd at Pembroke Dock and registered in Cork (where Daunt Rock is a hazard to navigation close to the harbour mouth.) In 1988 she was renamed Cornet and in 2001 Zila. In 2011 she was reported to be still sailing under the Panamanian flag, but her current status is listed as “Decommissioned or Lost”.


36l33: Daunt Rock berthed at silo, South Dock from Bridge St, Goole, 1983 – Goole

19th August 2017

The view from the bridge along South Dock with the Hudson Ward mill at right, and the moored Gaunt Rock in the centre. At the left in the distance is one of Goole’s trademark buildings, No. 5 hoist for the ‘Tom Puddings’, compartment boats developed by William Bartholomew in 1863, bringing coal to Goole to be loaded into ships. Each compartment could hold about 40 tons of coal, and they were towed in trains normally or 21, sometimes up to 38. Trains often had be be split to go through the locks.

There used to be five hoists at Goole and they could load up to around 300 tons of coal an hour. They were last used in 1986 when No 5 was Grade II* listed.


36l34: South Dock, Goole, 1983 – Goole

20th August 2017

A view along the south side of South Dock from close to the Bridge. The boat moored a few yards down is I think an old steam tug and a board on it (partly obscured by a rope) says Acaster’s Water Transport Goole, a company still listed as supplying two tugs on the Humber web site and based in Swinefleet in Old Goole.

Beyond that is the entrance to No. 2 dry dock and then No. 5 Hoist. The ship moored just past this is I think partly in South Dock Basin which is I think the inlet where the ‘Tom Pudding’ compartments were stored. The rather odd tower to the left of the hoist is still standing, and there are still large sheds beyond – Sheds 44 and 45 of the Caldaire Terminal opened in 1999, which I think are modern replacements for that in my picture.


36l43: South Dock, Goole, 1983 – Goole

21st August 2017

A tighter view of the Acaster’s Water Transport tug in South Dock and the shed behind. There is a name on the lifebeltm but I can’t make it out. The first two letters at the top could be SV (for steam vessel?) but this is followed by an unreadable letter, possibly A, then T,O and some more I can’t read. Only a part of the lower letting is visible, with the first four letters clearly ROCH, perhaps the start of Rochester or Rochdale…


36l45: South Dock, Goole, 1983 – Goole

22nd August 2017

The entrance to Associated British Ports Goole with a barrier on a ramp, and on the building in the centre the message ‘No Public Allowed’. The dock visible in the distance is I think Ouse Dock, but I’m not exactly sure in which direction this picture was taken.


36l52: Associated British Ports entrance, Aire St, 1983

23rd August 2017

Another picture from Bridge St showing South Dock, Daunt Rock and the Hudson Ward mill. I’ve never been too good at holding a camera level, and would probably have straightened this up in printing, but I’ve left it, as correcting would lose the hoist at the left edge of the image.


36l55: South Dock from Bridge St, 1983 – Goole

24th August 2017

The sign points to Shed 37 which is on the north side of Ouse Dock, and Lowther Bridge joins this dock to the rest of Goole Docks. This was one of the early entrances from the Ouse through Packet lock (replaced by the larger Victoria Lock in 1881) for the numerous steam packets.

There was a larger ship entrance (Ship Lock into Harbour Dock – both now filled in) and then into Ship Dock, and then into Ship Dock, as well as a Barge Lock leading into Barge Dock. Ship Dock and Barge Dock were opened out where there had previously only been a narrow channel and Ocean Lock constructed from Barge Dock to the river to take larger ships in 1938, replacing both Ship Lock and Barge Lock.

There is a public right of way across the Lowther Bridge but I think in 1983 any signs to it had been fairly well hidden by ABP which had recently taken over the docks when they were privatised.


36l66: Associated British Ports entrance, Aire St, 1983


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.
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My London Diary: July 2017

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Another month of posts to My London Diary – July 2017 – complete

July 2017


Justice for Rashan Charles
Mitie get ‘Worst Employer’ Award
Atos still killing the disabled
DPAC/RMT ‘Right to Ride’ protest


Grenfell survivors tell Council “Resign now!”
Protest welfare reforms, cuts & sanctions
Kentish Town
Processione della Madonna del Carmine
March against school funding cuts


Barts NHS Cleaners march against Serco
Community calls for Ritzy Boycott
Freedom for Palestinian MP
Council tax TAP Protest
Have a Field Day HS2 protest
Anti-Racist & Migrant Rights reclaim Pride


Cleaners protest at Facebook HQ
Pub Jiro
Stop Killing Londoners Road Block


Haringey Residents protest housing sell-off
Tories Out March

And as usual a few pictures taken as I travelled around the city:


London Images

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Hull Photos: 11/8/17 – 17/8/17

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Another week’s postings from August:

11th August 2017

Another view of the swing bridge across the entrance lock to the former fish dock. St Andrew’s Dock had been built with the coal trade in mind, but was opened in 1883 as the fish dock, and remained in that use until 1975, when the fishing fleet moved to nearby Albert Dock.

The area around the lock was designated as a conservation area in 1990, but the Lord Line building – trawler owners offices built in 1949 – is only locally listed. In May 2017 Hull Council issued an enforcement order against the building’s owners telling them to make it safe and secure after many photographs taken inside the building and on its roof had been published. The owners response was to put in plans to demolish both this building and the nearby listed Hydraulic Tower and Pump House, which environment officers have rejected.

Although people in Hull welcomed the recent listing of around ten Hull buildings in recognition of its year as UK City of Culture, many were disappointed that Lord Line and the also the threatened huge ‘Three Ships’ mosaic on the former BHS store were not also protected.

Most of the other buildings visible in the picture have now gone. In the distance at the left of the picture you can see the distinctive chimneys of two of the fish smoke houses.


36k54: Swing Bridge, St Andrews Dock entrance and Lord Line building, 1983 – Docks

12th August 2017

Water still remained in St Andrew’s Dock, though the entrance was now closed by the roadway across it. The main part of the Lord Line Building was I think empty, though people still seemed to be working in some of the other buildings around where cars and a van and a lorry are parked.

The Lord Line building was still in good condition, with not a single broken window. On its frontage are the names of some of the companies which used it – British United Trawlers Limited, Marconi Marine, J Marr & Son and another I can’t quite read.

At the end of the road are trawlers in William Wright Dock. Of the buildings on the right only the listed hydraulic tower remains. The Lord Line building has been deliberately left open to vandalism for years but its basic shell appears sound.


36k55: St Andrew’s Dock, Lord Line Building and road, 1983 – Docks

13th August 2017

St Andrew’s Dock had been the fish dock since it opened in 1883 until it was abandoned in 1975, with what remained of the fishing industry moving a short distance east to Albert Dock.

Those that remained of the businesses around the dock moved with it, leaving empty buildings, some dating from the 1880s, and they quickly deteriorated.


36k61: Abandoned buildings, St Andrew’s Dock, 1983 – Docks

14th August 2017

CEA Towne Ship Riggers Ltd is a family firm founded in 1948, becoming a private limited company in 1951, and still trading as the Towne Group. The plates by the office door show it was also the registered office for Charles Towne Agencies Ltd and ‘Ropes & Rigging Ltd’ presumably all part of the group. The bottom plate is for the Fleetwood Trawler Supply Company Ltd which was set up in 1912 to supply Fleetwood trawlers with oil burning navigation lamps and also provided sheet metal work, ships rigging, sail making, chandlery and provisions, and which became a part of the Towne Group, which also includes a farm on Hull Road in Skirlaugh.

The business of the companies has changed somewhat with the end of the fishing industry; some of the companies are now longer active but the Towne Group is now particularly involved with lifting equipment.


36k65: CEA Towne (Ship Riggers) Ltd, St Andrew’s Dock, 1983 – Docks

15th August 2017

Empty cable drums and coils of rope on the dockside at St Andrew’s Dock. The reflection in the window shows a fish smoke house and what I think is a part of the trawler owner’s offices in the Lord Line building.


36k66: Abandoned workshops, St Andrew’s Dock, 1983 – Docks

16th August 2017

I was fascinated by the texture and marks on this wall and the tall, slim post embedded in the concrete path in front of it on a corner of Lime St, to the east of the River Hull, and photographed it on several occasions. There was something about the vertical stains coming down the wall with their diffuse edges and the precise edge of the post, as well as the square aperture in the wall, and there always seemed a peculiar quality of light here, with the tall and fairly light coloured wall acting as a huge reflector.

There was a certain mystery about it. Lime St now has no walls, no posts like this.

Lime St is said to have got its name from the time when the processing of whales was one of Hull’s main industries. There were pits of quicklime beside the river where the whales were rendered down. It was an industry that gained the street the reputation of being the smelliest street in England. It was still a street lined on both sides by industrial premises – including the wharves along the River Hull on its west side – when I took this picture in 1983.


36l24: Post and Wall, Lime St, 1983 – River Hull

17th August 2017

The first of a few pictures from Goole, which I visited briefly. The port of Goole was always linked with that of Hull, as well as being a competitor, with barges taking goods between the two. Goole has its canal connections with West Yorkshire and beyond while Hull was closer to the sea and has docks for large ocean-going vessels.

The silo now helpfully has the name Hudson Ward across the top and is the Hudson Ward mill; it was perhaps being repainted when I took this picture in August 1983. The company are flour millers and manufacturers of animal foods of all kinds and came to Goole in 1885. On 31st December 1893 the partnership between Thomas Francis Hudson, Robert Robinson, and Thomas Hanley was officially dissolved and the business carried as the Hudson, Ward and Company Limited, Flour and Corn Merchants and Millers at the Dock Mills, Goole.

Robert Robinson was a farmers son, born in 1846 at Thorne Levels and worked on his father’s farm until he bought a flour mill at Conisborough in 1870 with his father-in-law T F Hudson. Four years later he rented a mill at Doncaster with Thomas Hanley, which unfortunately burnt down in 1881. They bought a mill at Retford and rebuilt the Doncaster mill.

The mill at Goole was opened around 1885 and cost around £18,000 though possibly older existing buildings on the site were used as offices. The rather plain silo in my pictures I think probably dates from the 1930s, built alongside the original six storey brick building which had many more windows and electric lighting and was demolished probably in the 1970s. Hudson Ward were formed when Robinson retired, spending a few years travelling abroad and later becoming a well-known Doncaster councillor and Mayor from 1902-3. He was also a leading Methodist in the area, as were several of Hull’s leading industrialists.

The major part of the wheat used for flour milling is brought up the river in the firm’s fleet of barges direct from trans-Atlantic ships in Hull and discharged in bulk into this large 4,000-ton silo on the north side of Goole’s South Dock.


36l32: Daunt Rock berthed at silo, South Dock from Bridge St, Goole, 1983 – Goole


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Hull Photos: 4/8/17 – 10/8/17

Monday, September 4th, 2017

I’ve managed to keep posting an image a day over the holiday period, despite some problems with accessing WiFi when away from home, but I’ve rather got behind in posting the weekly digests of posts. So this is the first of several posts in an attempt to catch up over the next few days.

4th August 2017

One of the upper rooms in the Pilot Office on the corner of Nelson St and Queen St was built to give the pilots a clear view up the Humber for incoming vessels, and doubtless they would sit or stand there with a telescope waiting for their turn to go out in the pilot boat to meet them. But on this occasion the launch had been out in the Humber and had then come in and was waiting at the riverside, next to the horse wash before setting off to meet the ship. The view out from the Pilot Office along the estuary is now blocked by The Deep.

The ship’s name appears to be Simone, and there are several ships of that name, but all I can find details of were built after I took this picture in 1983. She has the letters RNO large amidships.


36i24: Humber pilot boat Camilla speeds off provide a pilot, 1983 – Old Town

5th August 2017

This area close to the mouth of the River Hull was Hull’s ‘Old Harbour’, lined with warehouses and wharves. I was standing close to the end of Scale Lane – where the new footbridge is to take this picture. There are more boats behind these front four, including I think a couple of the redundant lightships from the Whitton Sands, replaced a year or two earlier by solar-powered unmanned lights.

A crane is mounted on a platform jutting out from one of the warehouses, but I think will no longer have been in use. The river walkway is still there but the varied buildings which made for an interesting townscape have been replaced by an anodyne apartment development, unpleasant though not particularly ugly but lacking in character

From left to right the four boats are named Onward Pioneer, Maureen Anne W, Iveco and a crudely written SFS. The Maureen Anne W was built in 1964 at Hessle or Thorne by Dunston’s as the Hessle Flyer II, used as tranport between their two yards, and renamed Maureen Anne W in 1978. Around 2010 the tarpaulin covered open hold was converted into living accommodation and the wheelhouse rebuilt in Hartlepool.


36i31: Boats in Old Harbour, Myton Bridge and Tidal Barrier, River Hull, 1983 – River Hull


6th August 2017

A man stands on a curious lump in the River Hull looking at the swirling water and I hoped he was not about to jump in. I decided not to follow him out on the rather flimsy looking bridge from the end of Nelson St.

Proba from George Town in the Dry Dock was a sizeable ship of around 1500 tons, around 268ft long and 40 ft wide, a coaster built by Ailsa Perth Shipbuilders at Troon for Wm.Robertson Shipowners Gem Line in 1962 and seemed to pretty well fill the dry dock. I think she was floating when I took this picture and soon to leave to pick up cargo in the King George V dock. She was named Tourmaline until 1982 when she became Proba until 1986, then had a string of names – Fergus H, Socotra, Sorocco and finally in 1993, Akram V, under which name she was converted into a tanker. At the time of the photograph she was owned by Concord Leasing Ltd of Brentford in West London but registered at Georgetown in the Cayman Islands. The ship was stranded off Malaysia in 2009 and is thought to have been broken up at Chittagong in 2011.

The dry dock is now the event venue Stage@TheDock, where the Proms did an afternoon concert last month. I think the stage is actually above the dock, which is still visible at each end. Also last month the Tidal Barrier was one of several building given Grade II listed status.

The bank to the right of the picture is Sammy’s Point and from 1849-1864 the site of Martin Samuelson and Co one of Hull’s best-known shipbuilding yards which built around a hundred iron ships in 10 years and was one of the pioneers in using steel for shipbuilding. It later became a timber yard for Victoria Dock and appears to have a number of buoys stored. This is now the site of Hull’s popular visitor attraction The Deep.

36i35: Mouth of the River Hull, Tidal Barrier and Hull Central Drydock from Nelson St, 1983 – Old Town

7th August 2017

Although there was still some river traffic on the Hull, many of these vessels were apparently moored here awaiting disposal

The Humber Princess, the largest vessel in the picture, moored on the far bank, a 380 ton Oil Products Tanker built in 1979 for John H Whitaker (Tankers) Ltd of Hull (“Industry leaders in bunker logistics for over 120 years”) is apparently still in service, her last reported position in Stanhope Dock, Goole a day ago. She was built just a little upriver in Hull at the Yorkshire Dry Dock.

Some of the other vessels will have been sold and converted into houseboats and others simply broken up.

None of the buildings on the far shore have survived, with the exception of the large light-coloured shed, which I think is still there though rather altered, the premises of John H Whitaker (Holdings) Ltd on Tower St.


36i41: The Old Harbour, River Hull, 1983 – River Hull


8th August 2017

Both the Pease Warehouse, tastefully converted into flats and Drypool Bridge, recently given a paint makeover to celebrate mathematician John Venn, born in Hull but who moved away almost as soon as he could walk, are listed buildings and have survived.

Unfortunately Joseph Rank’s Clarence Mill, rebuilt after wartime bombing was not listed and was demolished early in 2016, despite being one of Hull’s best-known landmarks. A solid building which could well have been converted to other uses – like the warehouse opposite – it was to have been replaced by an ugly hotel in time for Hull’s year as UK CIty of Culture, but that failed to materialise and the site remains empty and the riverside path fenced off. The half of the Rank’s site on the other side of the bridge which was manufacturing animal feed under the trade name Blue Cross still remains, now making shotgun cartridges.


36i55: Drypool Bridge, River Hull and Clarence Flour Mill, 1983 – River Hull

9th August 2017

This was a fairly typical sight in the Old Harbour on the River Hull back in 1983, with barges moored along the wharves at the rear of the High St. On the East bank of the river in front of a sand and gravel wharf is Bowprince, a 1,485 ton suction dredger, built by Ailsa at Troon in 1964 and in 1983 London registerd and owned by British Dredging (Sand & Gravel) Co Ltd. Like so many of the ships in my pictures she came to an unfortunate end; after being sold to Madeira Island in 1991, where her name was changed to Bom Príncipe she sank and was lost there. This was apparently not her first sinking – she had in around 1968 sunk in the Thames above Greenwich after a collision with the coal coaster Blackwall Point.

Gilyott And Scott Ltd were incorporated as a company in 1901 and liquidated around 1993. John Scott was born in Beeford, a village between Bridlington and Hull, in 1827 and was a lighter owner long before the company was formed. For a time the company also operated a fleet of lorries. They were a major owner of tugs and lighters in Hull certainly after 1964 when they brought together the companies of William Gilyott, John A. Scott, T.F. Wood, Furleys and John Deheer.

There were a number of barges in the Poem series, and several others appear in my Hull photos. Twite was one of a class named after bird species.


36i56: Poem 21, Bow Prince and Twite in the Old Harbour, 1983 – River Hull

10th August 2017

The Neptune Inn was first recorded in 1817 and closed in 1979 and was boarded up awaiting demolition – which finally took place a couple of years after I photographed it. The name of the licensee, J A Lancaster was still written above the door which bears the single word ‘BAR’. Previously an older picture by another photographer shows rather more ornate doors on both sides in keeping with the pub frontage.

The pub – taken over from a local brewery chain by Worthingtons in 1897, was known as the ‘Little Neppy’, perhaps not just because of its diminutive size, but also because there was from 1797 a Neptune Hotel in Whitefriargate, built by Hull’s Trinity House for merchants landing at the newly built dock, opened in 1778 and now Queen’s Dock Gardens.

That Georgian building survives, with a blue plaque about its history, though it soon failed as a hotel being too grand and too expensive for Hull, and it was Hull’s Custom House from 1815-1912. Since the 1930s it has been leased by Boots and the staff canteen was in the former Banqueting Hall.

Neptune St is still there, leading to the Albert Dock but I don’t recall where on it this pub once stood. A small and homely pub, it used to be popular, certainly up to the 1970s, being close to the docks, Smith & Nephews, Sanderson’s paint works and various fish dealers.


36k-34: Neptune Pub, Neptune St, 1983 – Hessle Rd


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