Open Bridges

One of the more interesting projects as a part of Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017 was ‘Open Bridges‘ , an event unlike some truly based on Hull, a city which has long been split in two by its river. Rivalry between East and West Hull is at its highest in terms of sport, with Hull Football Club on the west formed in 1865 and Hull Kingston Rovers in the east from 1881. The sport is of course Rugby League, though other codes of football are available.

Back when I first began visiting Hull in the 1960s people were always complaining about being late for things because North Bridge or Drypool or one of the other bridges “were up“, disrupting bus or car journeys.  Then the bridges opened frequently with a great deal of traffic moving up and down the tidal river  to various wharves, though now bridge openings are fairly rare (except for Scott St bridge, a listed structure permanently open since some time in the 1990s.)

For Open Bridges, for the first time ever, all the bridges were opened simultaneously at 20:17 hours on the autumn equinox, 22nd September 2017, splitting the city completely in two, although only for a few minutes. Open Bridges also included a film and specially commissioned musical work for the event.

A River Full Of Stories is the follow-up to Open Bridges, and with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund is producing a film, exhibition, website and a book which will be given to each library and museum in Hull and the East Riding.

I’m very pleased that some of my own work is now included on the web site as one of the Open Bridge Stories,  The River Hull 1977-85 by Peter Marshall, with links to my ‘The River Hull’ and ‘Still Occupied’ books and my Hull web site.

My web site was also produced, but as an entirely unofficial contribution, for Hull’s year as City of Culture and rather to my own surprise I managed to post a new picture on-line every day during 2017 on it, as well as on Facebook, where I also put some short comments.  But I have to admit that I’ve rather neglected it since then, posting only a very few new pictures, and making little progress with adding the text about the images which I’ve written on to the web site.

Recently I’ve begun to scan some more of the colour images I made, at first on colour transparency, and from some time in 1985 using colour negative film. Technical problems in getting the results I wanted from slide film in pictures from Hull were a major motivation in my moving to negative film, and problems in getting the results I wanted from commercial printers led to me setting up my own colour print processing line – and doubtless breathing in lots of harmful fumes. Things are easier in many ways now, though scanning colour negatives still remains rather a dark art.


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.

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