Hull Photos: 19/1/17-25/1/17

19 January 2017

Although Hull’s fishing industry had been reduced greatly with the cod wars, in the 1990s Hull remained an important fish marketing centre with two thirds of UK imports of fresh Icelandic fish being handled by the daily fish auction at Albert Dock. In the mid-1990s the Hull Fish Merchants Protection Association stated that “over half the capacity of the UK (fish) processing industry is sited on the banks of the Humber Estuary. Over 80% of all imported supplies of fish comes into the Humber ports.” In 2011 the Hull Daily Mail reported the end of fish auctions in Hull as main Icelandic supplier Atlantic Fresh Ltd switched to Grimsby.

28h24: McGrath Bros, Fish Curers, St Mark’s Sq, St James Street, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

20 January 2017

This was taken between two frames, one showing a view south on Alfred St around a hundred yards south of its junction with English St and the next a development site on the north-east corner of the Alfred St / English St crossroads. The sun was coming from the southwest, so this building was facing roughly south. But I m not sure of the exact location.

It is quite a distinctive building with its four storey tower, and doubtless some people in Hull will recognise it, but this is the first time I have shown this picture. The parked cars and lorry at right suggest the site was still in use. I’m not sure why I took the image slightly tilted, but it must have been intentional, perhaps intended to add to the feeling of dereliction and I haven’t corrected it.

28h32: Derelict building, Alfred St or English St, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

21 January 2017

A site on the the north-east corner of the Alfred St / English St crossroads, cleared for the building of Alexandra House, offices for Hull Building firm Robinson & Sawdon (now occupied by The Water Hydraulics Co.)

The buildings behind are around At Mark’s Square and include the distinctive chimneys of McGrath Bros’ fish smoke house, and further distant, council flats on Porter St, across Hessle Rd.

28h32: Building site, Alfred St / English St, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

22 January 2017

Local fresh fish merchant Wood’s Fish Supply was one of many companies buying fish from the Hull Fish Market. The wall is still there, though with a small window in its impressive mass and the site is occupied by UK Auto Service. The wall is almost ten feet taller than the building behind it and is a couple of feet thick – though perhaps hollow.

A comment on Facebook suggests it may have been built this thick to support large steel beams spanning a large hall behind – but the only rational explanation for its excessive height seems to be that the building was expected to have another floor. The premises were also home to a second wholesale fish company, Moody & D’Arcy Ltd, whose name is on the board at the right of picture. This company, formed in 1948, was dissolved in 2002.

28h35: Wood’s Fish Supply, 54 Alfred St, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

23 January 2017

The Top Deck Snack Bar, now renamed the Top Deck Cafe is still there at 140 or 142 English St, on the north side between ALfred St and Ropery St, looking overall very similar now to 1981, with the addition of metal blinds over the door and ground floor window, the replacement of the door and its 1930s style glazed windows and different signage. It looks rather more open and welcoming now, whereas before it had the air of a place where only regulars would venture. The side wall now has its brickwork exposed and has lost the sign for ‘Suggit’ – (H V Suggit, Poultry Packers and Frozen Foods) – and also lower down the rather crudely painted logo for HVS only part visible in this frame.) But without the snack bar sign, a house with a chimney, I would almost certainly not have stopped to take the picture.

Suggit’s site is now a car repair business, the Engine and Gearbox Centre.

28h44: Top Deck Snack Bar, English St, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

24 January 2017

This is the image that we chose for the poster of my 1983 show at the Ferens Art Gallery, ‘Still Occupied – A view of Hull‘ though I’m not entirely sure why. Certainly it was a more ‘arty’ image than many in the show, playing a little with formal qualities, rhythm, punctuation and texture, and I wanted an image that was clearly ‘vernacular’ and not pictureque, classical rather than romantic.

The scene is still readily identifiable on Street View. The window at left is in the Top Deck Snack Bar featured in yesterday’s image and there is still a wooden pole (though probably a replacement) in the same place on the pavement. Most of the next section of wall has gone, replaced by a wider blue painted metal gate, and those two window recesses I carefully placed on either side of the post have been filled in, their positions still marked by a groove or crack around them. The roof has been renewed and its front replaced; Google, not always reliable in such things, tells me this is the Tom Thumb Industrial Estate. The next section of buildings has also had its frontage rebuilt, but the final group of three window recesses remains.

Street View doesn’t let me manoeuvre myself into quite the position I stood in the road to produce this image, and certainly doesn’t let me reproduce the glancing lighting that produced the textures and shadows from 1981, and the tension and atmosphere I felt then have disappeared completely.

28h46: English St, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

25 January 2017

Hessle Rd Public Wash House was opened in 1885, though rebuilt and added to at later dates. It was part of a public baths complex between Madeley St and Daltry Street, where Clive Sullivan Way now turns off from Hessle Rd. As well as swimming baths and slipper baths there were laundry facilities and I photographed the notice on the outside of the Public Wash House, by then closed and boarded up.

28h52: Hessle Rd Public Wash House, 1981 – North & West Hull – Hessle Rd

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