Posts Tagged ‘Old Harbour’

Hull Colour – 5

Thursday, July 16th, 2020
Wilmington Bridge, Hull 80hull102
Wilmington Bridge, Hull 19802

I’ve photographed this listed railway swing bridge across the River Hull many times, but I like this particular detail image not just because it gets away from a more standard view and for its colour, but because of the way it puts the bridge into its now largely gone industrial context.

The bridge was built to carry the lines from Hull east to the two North Sea seaside towns of Hornsea and Withernsea. Coming out from Hull Paragon the line turned north to a level crossing at the end of Spring Bank, close to the junction of Princes Avenue. Next to this was Botanic Station, where my wife in her youth would catch a train to Hornsea for the family’s annual week at the seaside. The line then swung east to Stepney Station, close to Stepney Lane on Beverley Road and then on to this bridge across the RIver Hull. The lines to Withernsea and Hornsea diverged on the other side of the river.

Sadly, Dr Beeching, an firm evangelist for the car and the motor trade, put an end to all that and both lines closed to passenger services in October 1964, a few months before my first trip to Hull. Goods services continued to use the bridge and track as far as Hedon until 1968, and all too often I found myself sitting on the top of a bus waiting for the crossing gates to open. In front of me during the evening rush hour then would be hundreds of men on bicycles on their way home.

Nowadays the bridge seldom swings for traffic along the river, though it remains in working order and will do so when necessary. And although there are no trains, the bridge is still in use for cyclists and pedestrians.

Sculcoates, Hull 80hull132
Sculcoates, Hull 1980

An evening glow lights up this view of Sculcoates, with the cabin of the Wilmington Bridge at its right-hand edge and the tall silo of the British Extracting Company Ltd at its left. I’ve not been able to find out why the water tank on its roof has a logo with a crown on top of a stylised letter R – please let me know if you know.

I think this view is from the embankment of another disused railway line which took the Hull, Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway and Dock Company line to its Hull terminus at Cannon St. This had been intended simply as a goods station, but the company (later more simply known as the Hull and Barnsley railway) ran out of money to construct a passenger station closer to the city centre. The line which ran here on the west side of the Beverley and Barmston Drain was a short spur down from Beverley Road Junction on the line still in use for traffic to the eastern docks.

Barges in Old Harbour, Hull 81-04-Hull-020_2400
Barges in Old Harbour, Hull 1981

Another view of barges moored in the Old Harbour of the River Hull, secured to each other by some bright orange ropes. I’m sure that some of my more imaginative psychogeographic friends would see it as some kind of weird psychic circuitry.

Red Doors, Pattern Store, Hull 81-04-Hull-022_2400
Red Doors, Pattern Store, Hull 1981

I like the idea of a ‘pattern store’. If you ‘Google’ it you will mainly get sewing patterns, but I think this one will have been at some kind of engineering works. Patternmakers were particularly important in shipbuilding, railway works and foundries, and the patterns they made were usually wooden cut-out shapes which recorded the exact size and shape to which metal had to be cut or cast for a particular purpose. Pattern stores might also be used to hold plans and drawings.

McGrath Bros, Fish Curers, St Mark's Sq, St James Street, 1981 81-04-Hull-023_2400
McGrath Bros, Fish Curers, St Mark’s Sq, St James Street, 1981

Unlike the previous picture which I have no idea of where I took it, I can locate this painted gate fairly precisely to St Mark’s Square. Off St James’s St, which is off the Hessle Rd, this bears little resemblance to its Venetian namesake, but is rather more accurately a square, though only two sides carry its name.

McGraths, later ‘Shears (McGraths)’ was a member of the HULL Fish Merchants Protection Association, and although the Cod Wars had more or less killed Hull’s fishing industry, when I took this picture the auctions at the fish dock were still the largest fresh fish auctions in the country, handling over two thirds of our Icelandic fish imports as well as the smaller amounts landed by trawlers still operating from Hull and fish brought by lorry from other ports. Hull got a new state-of-the-art fish fishmarket in 2001, but in 2011 Icelandic fish agent Atlantic Fresh abandoned Hull’s Fishgate for Grimsby.

I love the pointing hand with its flourish directing the reader to the company’s Office.

Barge Torcha and River Hull, Bankside, Hull 81-04-Hull-028_2400
Barge Torcha and River Hull, Bankside, Hull 1981

I read the name of the barge incorrectly from a black and white version of this picture as it is TORCHA and not TORCH , but here is what I wrote about it.

A little downstream from the Hull Exhaust Centre, visible at left was another viewpoint, I think from a derelict wharf on the River Hull. This image, looking upstream, shows barge Torch, with number 22, owned by Hull’s Gillyott and Scott, a major tug and lighter owner formed in 1964 by amalgamation of the five companies of William Gilyott, John A. Scott, T.F. Wood, Furleys and John Deheer. Gilyott and Scott (Transport) Ltd also owned lorries. The barges are said to have been sold to Dave Hornshaw of Hornshaw Water Transport in Goole.
 
The buildings on the East bank are some of those on the Morley Street ultramarine works, then still part of Reckitt’s – with Hull’s tallest chimney a little out of the frame to the right. Most or all have now been demolished.

Torcha is Spanish for torch, and according to one dictionary in English is a mixture of mud with straw and cob used for roofing. It’s not a word I’ve heard used but the connection with mud would certainly be appropriate for a barge the the River Hull or Humber. Cob is a more usual term of the the mix of clay, sand and straw used in building, the daub in wattle and daub which often also contained cow dung.

More pictures at 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 – 3

Sunday, July 12th, 2020
Humber Ferry, Hull 72hull057
PS Lincoln Castle – Humber Ferry, 1972

Before the Humber Bridge was opened in 1981, ferries transported passengers and cars across the Humber from the pier in Hull to New Holland in Lincolnshire, where a train service took passengers on to Grimsby and other stations. For drivers it avoided the journey to Boothferry Bridge near Goole, 28 miles away up river – and a similar journey back on the opposite bank. By the mid-70s an alternative route for many journeys had been provided by the M62 viaduct a mile or so east of the Boothferry Bridge – which largely removed the necessity for the Humber Bridge.

The Lincoln Castle was a great improvement on the other paddle steamers when she came into service in 1941, and was much loved by the time she was replaced by a more economical diesel-powered ferry in 1978. For a short time she was grounded on the beach at Hessle as a restaurant – where I went for afternoon tea – and later in the same role in Grimsby. By 2009 her condition had deteriorated and after attempts to preserve the ship failed was scrapped in 2010.

I travelled across on the ferry a couple of times, took a few pictures in New Holland and took the ferry back. It was a good family outing, particularly for our two young boys as the ship had been constructed to give passengers a good view of the engine room and steam engine.

Old Harbour, Hull  77hull045
Old Harbour, Hull 1977

You can still walk beside the River Hull in the Old Town, and it remains an interesting walk, but back in the 1970s there was still some commercial activity, and at the right times of the tide vessels would pass up or down past these largely redundant barges, moored here three deep.

This was the original harbour of Hull, before the docks were built, though there were many wharves upstream both in Hull and further north to Beverley and beyond, and the river remains navigable. Although traffic had dropped markedly there were still a number of industrial sites still using the river in the 1970s and into the present century.

Old Town, Hull 77hull047
Old Town, Hull 1977

Wooden crates were being burnt in a bin down an alley and producing an almost comic book head of flame, a beacon in the shadow of the alley. Flames are always something of a challenge for photography, generally resulting in burned out highlights that have nothing to do with their temperature but simply their intensity. I was surprised that transparency film with its very limited exposure range handled this so well, more I think a matter of luck than expertise.

Terrace, Hull 81-Hull-003
Terrace, Hull 1981

Widely publicised as a “fairytale wedding” and the “wedding of the century”, the marriage Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on Wednesday 29 July 1981 clearly caught the imagination of many in Hull, and I photographed some of the decorations painted on derelict buildings and here on a typical Hull “terrace’, though I cannot remember its location.

Many of Hull’s roads have these short pedestrian terraces at right angles to the main street to pack more houses into a small area. Not all have such neatly maintained fences and gardens, but almost all are too narrow for them to have been converted to take cars.

The black cat halfway down the street didn’t bring the unhappy couple much luck.

Wincolmlee, Hull 80hull087
Wincolmlee, Hull 1980

Wincolmlee runs roughly parallel to the River Hull, on the road side of the wharves along its west bank, from the north of the Old Town up to Air St, a little over a mile. Lime St, runs in the same way on the east side of the river a little less than half the distance.

Much of Hull’s industry involved agricultural oils and there were storage tanks on both sides of the river. I think these colour-coded pipes probably linked some of them, but what attracted me as well as their colours were the clouds of steam.

Scott warehouse, Hull 80hull088
Scott warehouse, Hull 1980

Hull’s unlisted riverside properties have largely been demolished with some notable losses. But John A Scott’s warehouse in Alfred Gelder St was converted to flats around 1980, the work going on while I took this picture involving making windows in what had been a largely or entirely blank wall.

It isn’t in itself a very exciting building, but it’s river frontage now fits better with the listed building immediately downstream than a new build.

Quite a few buildings in the industrial area around Wincolmlee which in areas of higher property values – such as London – would have been converted to luxury flats have simply been demolished or are still largely derelict. But the area has perhaps been given a boost by the ‘Bankside Gallery’ of graffiti which sprang up following the intervention by Banksy.

Mud, Hull 80hull090
Mud, Hull 1980

I’m unsure as the the actual location or date of this picture – one of the great majority of my slides which lack any captioning. But it is certainly one of Hull’s docks, almost certainly Humber Dock, Railway Dock or Humber Dock Basin. The reflections in the wet mud give some clues, but not enough for me to be sure.

These docks close to the centre of the city had been unused for some years and were all heavily silted with Humber mud. Considerable dredging was required to make Humber Dock usable as Hull Marina, which opened in 1983.

S Not W, Hull 80hull091
S Not W, Hull 1980

I deliberately cropped the message which I think was written on the wooden side of a dockside shed to give the rather enigmatic message ‘S NOT W’. Unfortunately I can no longer remember the entire text, though the letter after W is clearly E, and not as I hoped A for an anti-war slogan.

The saturated red which attracted me, at least in part because it matched the colour of the painted letters, was the roof of a car.

British Extracting Co Ltd, Hull 80hull089
British Extracting Co Ltd, Hull 1980

This former British Extracting Company silo on the side of the River Hull was built in 1919 and one of a number of similar buildings in Hull and elsewhere designed by Gelder & Kitchen of Hull. It has regularly been visited and photographed in recent years by urban explorers.

Sir Alfred Gelder (1855-1941) was born in North Cave and became a Hull councillor in 1895, serving five terms in a row as Mayor from 1898-1903 and overseeing the extensive redevelopment of the city after which he was knighted. He was Liberal MP for Brigg from 1910-1918. A Methodist, he founded his architectural practice in Hull in 1878 and designed a wide range of buildings including several Methodist chapels in the city and elsewhere as well as many flour and oilseed crushing mills, including the first roller mill for fellow Methodist Joseph Rank and other buildings for Ranks’s son, J Arthur Rank.

Llewellyn Kitchen, (1869-1948) from Manchester joined Gelder as chief assistant in 1892 after having worked for a number of architects elsewhere and soon became the junior partner in the practice, although he appears to have been the more interesting architect of the pair. Kitchen was also a leading freemason in the area.

Gelder and Kitchen LLP is still in business, the second oldest firm of architects in the UK today.