Posts Tagged ‘Humber Bridge’

Hull Colour – 6

Friday, July 17th, 2020
Barges on River Hull and Croda works, Hull 81-04-Hull-030_2400
Barges on River Hull and Croda works, Hull 1981

A busy scene on the River Hull, probably taken in 1981, though the dates on these images come from the album they are filed in and are sometimes not the exact year, and this could possibly have been made earlier.

The slide mount crops the image slightly and I’m sure that the actual transparency will have included the top of the water tank on the Croda silo at the Isis Oil Mills, but it would have greatly slowed down the photographing of this and the other slides to have removed the slides from their mounts – and would have made handling them much more tricky. And the macro lens and bellows combination I was using with the older Nikon slide holder was fine for mounted slides but could not give proper coverage of the full 24x36mm.

Perhaps because of the problem of slide mounts, many SLR cameras, though marketing on the benefits of actually viewing through the taking lens rather than the separate optics of the rangefinder Leica or twin-lens Rolleiflex had viewfinders that cropped the images and were actually less accurate in their framing than the Leica. Though even the Leica white line frames never quite exactly represented the area that would appear on film (though some lenses came very close) making something of a nonsense the insistence of many photographers of printing the edges of the negative to give a black frame because this represented how they had seen the picture when they pressed the button. It was always more an aesthetic decision.

The silo was still there last time I walked along Bankside, but the location from where I took this picture was behind a locked gate and the buildings to the right of the silo had gone and there was only one vessel, Cargill’s edible oil tanker Swinderby, moored along this reach of the river.

Works, River Hull 81-04-Hull-032_2400
Works, River Hull 1981

I can’t remember now where I took this picture of a wharf across the RIver Hull, somewhere in Hull. But I do remember being attracted by what appears to have been built as an incredibly tall doorway, though it does now appear to have been blocked by a pipe that emerges through it at a little under half its height.

Was it, I mused, made for giraffes?

542 Hessle Rd and phone box, Hull 81-04-Hull-034_2400
542 Hessle Rd and phone box, Hull 1981

Hull Corporation was one of 55 local authorities to bid for a licence to provide telephone services in their local area in 1902 and opened its first telephone exchange in a former public baths two years later. While other local authorities who had been granted licences soon abandoned or failed, Hull continued its service after the Postmaster General had gained a monopoly elsewhere across the country.

And when in 1936 the Post Office launched a new red phone box designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and decided that all phone boxes across the country should be red, Hull decided while adopting the new design to keep their traditional colour of cream and green, eventually moving to all cream. Hull City Telephone Department continued to innovate – and introduced a message from Santa in 1952. The council hived off the service into a fully owned separate company, Kingston Communications (HULL) PLC in 1987, which was floated on the Stock Exchange in 1999. In 2007 Hull Council sold its remaining stake in the business which changed its name to KCOM Group PLC.

The scene on Hessle Rd is still recognisable, but the shop has changed and no longer has the colour scheme and awning that attracted my attention, and although there is still a phone box I think it may have moved a few feet.

Lincoln Castle, Hessle Forshore, Hessle 81-04-Hull-039_2400
Lincoln Castle, Hessle Forshore, Hessle 1981

The paddle steamer Lincoln Castle was now beached on the Humber foreshore at Hessle, close to the Humber Bridge, and was now a restaurant where we went for afternoon tea. I made it into a rather strange landscape of distant jagged hills in this picture.

Humber Bridge, from Barton on Humber82hull135_2400
Humber Bridge, from Barton on Humber 1982

And of course we went across the Humber Bridge which took us to Barton-on-Humber. Where we walked around a bit and found there wasn’t a great deal there. I took a few photographs, mainly of the Humber Bridge, and I rather like this almost monochrome view.

More pictures on Flickr in Hull Colour 1972-85.


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

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.


Hull Colour – 4

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020
Humber Bridge, Hull 80hull065
Humber Bridge, Hull ca.1980

I’m not sure from exactly where I took this view of the Humber Bridge under construction, but I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the construction organised for a group of science teachers, and it could have been made during that visit, though I don’t remember taking any colour pictures then. The bridge took around 9 years to build and was completed and opened in 1981.

The mill visible on Hessle foreshore was built around 1810 to grind the chalk that was being quarried here into whiting, finely powdered chalk used as a filler in paint and, together with linseed oil to make putty, in whitewash, gesso and ceramic glazes etc. The windmill went out of use about a hundred years ago, losing its cap and sails and the quarry closed in 1970. The area is now a country park.

Humber Bridge, Hull 80shull062
Humber Bridge, Hull ca.1980

After the cables were spun the box-girder sections of bridge decking were added, beginning in November 1979 and this picture must have been made shortly after this. Wikipedia states “the Humber Bridge was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world for 17 years.”

When our family was travelling to Hull by train in the 1980s we would look out for the Humber Bridge in the distance to know we were getting close to our destination. I always offered a small cash prize for the first of our party to spot it through the train window, but think I never had to pay it out as I always saw it before the others.

River Humber, Hull 80hull110
River Humber, Hull 1980

The Humber has always seemed more mud in motion than a river, always a dirty brown colour, and it is only the small waves that differentiate between the river and the shore in this view. The mud and sandbanks in the estuary are always moving, and for many years ships travelling up the river to Hull or Goole needed the services of the Trinity House pilots, who started offering their services in 1512 and in 1581 were granted a charter authorising them to examine and licence pilots and take charge of ships. Various Acts of Parliament followed to endorse and regulate their activities, but the 1984 Pilotage Act transferred responsibility to the ports. In 2002 Associated British Ports terminated the authorisations of all Humber Pilots and employed their own pilots directly.

You can now walk along an esplanade along what had been the river frontage of Victoria Dock and various ship-building and other related businesses but only as far as what was the Alexandra Dock and is now ‘Green Port Hull’, a a¬†wind energy manufacturing plant and riverside quay. I think this picture was probably taken just a little further downriver than the path now takes you.

Humber Dock Side, Hull 80hull113
Humber Dock Side, Hull 1980

There were some blue sheds on the dock side of Humber Dock that were demolished when the dock was dredged and converted into Hull Marina, and these had painted steel columns and wooden sides. The marine air had over the years produced this incredible rusting, lifting up the thick painted layers.

The buildings at the right of the picture are still there, though considerably altered on Humber Place at its junction with Wellington St, and are now Francis House, the offices of an accountancy firm, though the Wellington St building at extreme right has been demolished.

Railway Dock, Hull 80hull114
Railway Dock, Hull 1980

Although Hull lost some of its most impressive warehouses to a road scheme which split the Old Town from the city centre to take the heavy traffic for the King George Dock to the east of the city, some of those beside Railway Dock were retained, with the three gables shown here still visible, though the mass at the extreme right has been demolished.

KIng Billy, Market Place, Hull 80hull115a
Railway warning, Hull 1980

King Billy, King William III or William of Orange, successfully invaded Britain in 1688 in what is sometimes called the ‘Glorious Revolution’. James II was unpopular, largely because he was a Catholic and was seen to be changing Britain to a Catholic country, suspending anti-Catholic measures by decree when Parliament refused to do so and prosecuting Anglican bishops for seditious libel. His actions prompted anti-Catholic riots and many leading political figures of the day invited William to come and take over the country. But there were also leading Catholic members of the aristocracy who defended James and the ‘divine right of kings’ to overule all others, including Parliament. One of them was the governor of Hull, Lord Langdale, who took the military to occupy the city of Hull, fearing that William of Orange might try and land there. But instead of coming across the North Sea, William’s fleet went down the Channel and landed at Brixham on Novermber 5th, marching from there to London. The army deserted James and he fled to France on December 11th.

Hull had remained under Catholic control until December 3rd, when Protestant officers, hearing of a plot to imprison them, got together and arrested Langdale and his Catholic supporters. The day was celebrated in Hull for many years as ‘Town Taking Day’ when many wore orange sashes and celebrated with a procession, church service and fireworks in the Market Square – and around the statue of King Billy after it had been erected there in 1734.

Market Place is very much a backwater in the Old Town now, on the edge of the busy A63 and with one side occupied by some of the city’s most tedious buildings, as well as the rear end of Holy Trinity. Since the listed public toilets under King Billy closed there are few reasons to go there.

Railway warning, Hull 80hull116
Re-used Railway warning notice, Hull. 1980

A dockside building with a doorway closed with boards from a notice that was once beside one of the swing bridges, probably that taking Wellington St across the Humber Dock lock, warning people it is an offence to pass the warning lights onto the bridge or be on it while it is moving.

A public footpath crosses the swing bridge into Albert Dock, and some time in the early 1980s while I was out walking with my family I notice that my wife and younger son in a push-chair were no longer following me. I turned around an looked for them, eventually spotting them on the bridge which was turning around to admit a ship to the dock. They had walked past the warning lights before they had been activated and the bridge operator, do doubt thinking only of the lorries which went across, had failed to spot a young woman already on the bridge with a baby buggy. She got a free ride and profuse apologies rather than a fine.

One of Hull’s minor tourist attractions, perhaps inspired by notices such as these, is now a footbridge across the River Hull on which people are allowed to ride. Unfortunately ship movements up the Hull are now extremely rare and the bridge almost never operates in anger, but there are scheduled tests most if not all weekends on which I’ve taken a couple of rides.


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

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.