Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Dock’

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich

Thursday, May 16th, 2024

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich: I was back in London’s docklands on 16th May 2004, a week after I had led a small workshop there, this time on my own, and rather than walking I had gone with my Brompton folding bike.

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich

The Brompton is an ideal way to cover larger distances when taking photographs. It can be folded to go on public transport and is very easy to get on and off and park in little or no space. It folds and unfolds in seconds. It’s a lively ride with a short wheelbase and good for riding in traffic, though for longer rides I prefer my road bike.

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich

The Brompton has some minor problems. They are not cheap – which delayed me buying one for years. It’s not built for off-road use and mine has mudguards that can clog and stop the wheel turning on muddy ground. And now I’m a bit older it is just a little heavy to carry for any distance in stations. But my main problem is that it is a thief magnet, dangerous to leave anywhere for any length of time even if you have a good lock. No bike lock can defy the well-equipped thief for more than around half a minute and it slips easily into a car boot and fetches a good price.

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich


I’d hoped to get the Jubilee Line to Canning Town, but trains were only running as far as North Greenwich, so instead I got off at Canary Wharf before the train went under the Thames again. It was no problem as I had the bike.

Canary Wharf, East India, Silvertown, Beckton & Woolwich

I took a few pictures around Canary Wharf, then rode off to the east past Blackwall Basin and on to the East India Docks probably the most boring of all the redeveloped docks.

From there I went up on the Lower Lea Crossing, taking pictures of Pura Foods to the north and the view south across Trinity Buoy Wharf and the Thames towards the Millenium Dome.

I photographed the Dome again from Silvertown Way, as well as the works taking place for the DLR extension to London City Airport.

A big advantage of being on a bike is that you can wander around, and I went down to the Royal Victoria Dock, then back to Silvertown Way and Lyle Park, then back to Victoria Dock again.

I couldn’t resist going onto the high level bridge across the dock, though the lift wasn’t working and I was cursing the weight of the bike and cameras by the time I reached the top of the stairs.

Eventually after making rather a large number of pictures I forced myself to come down and continued my ride along the North Woolwich Road to the futuristic Barrier Point, its west front like some space city.

In Thames Barrier Park I went down to the riverside to photograph the barrier before continuing on to Silvertown, stopping a few times for more pictures. Near North Woolwich I sloweed to photograph two boys on a scooter being towed by a woman on a bicycle. I stopped take more pictures but later I met them in North Woolwich and they told me she had soon given up.

I took some more pictures in North Woolwich and then rode on to Beckton Retail Park, then turned around and went down Woolwich Manor Way across the Royal Albert and King George Docks.

Back in 2004 flights from London City Airport were fairly infrequent and I had quite a long rest waiting to photograph a plane going overhead.

I rode on to North Woolwich ferry pier where I had a wait for the ferry and took some more pictures. In 2004 I wrote that the Woolwich Ferry is “London’s best-value river trip. I wonder how much longer this free ferry will operate?” It was upgraded in 2018 with new, modern, low-emission boats which proved rather a disaster. Services had been severely reduced, working with only one of the two new boats.

But Transport for London a week ago in May 2024 restored the two-boat service and expanded operating hours. They say the service will continue as long as there is demand. A short ride took me to Woolwich Arsenal Station where I folded the Brompton for the journey home.


FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis
London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Arms Fair, Chile & Syria – 2013

Monday, September 11th, 2023

Arms Fair, Chile & Syria – On Wednesday 11th September 2013 protests were continuing against the DSEi Arms Fair, with East London Against Arms Fair floating a wreath on the dock in Front of the ExCel Centre and protesters still occupying a camp at the East Gate. But it was also the 40th anniversary of the US backed coup in Chile, rather now overshadowed by later the 9/11 events, and Stop The War protested at the US Embassy against any military intervention in Syria.


Wreath for Victims of London Arms Fair – Royal Victoria Dock

Arms Fair, Chile & Syria

Protesters met at Royal Victoria Station for a procession around the Royal Victoria Dock organised by East London Against Arms Fair (ELAAF) to commemorate all those who will be killed by the weapons being sold at the DSEi arms fair taking place in the ExCel Centre on the dock, as well as those sold there at previous DSEi arms fairs.

Arms Fair, Chile & Syria

The procession walked around the dockside led by a woman dressed in black carrying a white floral wreath with the message ‘REMEMBER VICTIMS OF THE ARMS TRADE.’

Arms Fair, Chile & Syria

Following here people marched behind the ELAAF banner with its dove of peace. Also there to record the procession were a class from the local primary school, many of whom took photographs on their tablets and interviewed some of those taking part.

Arms Fair, Chile & Syria

As well as ELAAF members there were also two Buddhist monks and some of the activists who have been occupying the roundabout at the East gate of the Arms Fair at ExCel since Sunday.

When the procession neared the end of the dockside path opposite the ExCel Centre it stopped and after a song against the arms fair the wreath was placed on the water in the dock.

As it floated away they held a two minute silence in memory of those killed by the arms from deals made at the previous fairs and those who will die from the weapons being sold at this DSEi fair. The event ended with another anti-war song, after which everyone dispersed.

More pictures on My London Diary at Wreath for Victims of London Arms Fair.


Occupation at DSEi Arms Fair Continues – Eastern Gateway Roundabout

Protesters were still occupying the roundabout at the eastern gate of the DSEi arms fair in East London, with around a dozen sleeping there most nights, and more visiting during the day.

Some protesters had been arrested earlier in the day after blocking the entrance to the arms fair for a short time.

While I was there the protesters were handing out leaflets to the few pedestrians who left by the eastern gate, and showing posters and banners to vehicles, including several coaches that were taking visitors from the ExCel centre.

More pictures at Occupation at DSEi Arms Fair Continues.


9/11 Protest at US Embassy – US Embassy, Grosvenor Square

The date 9/11, though confusing for those of us who put day and month in a more logical order was etched into our memories in 2001. For those who launched the attacks it was probably the anniversary of the defeat of the armies of Islam at Vienna in 1643.

But in terms of rather more recent American history, September 11th 2013 was the 40th anniversary of the CIA-backed military coup in which the Chilean military, led by General Augusto Pinochet, seized power from the democratically elected government and murdered Chile’s President Salvador Allende to set up a US-backed military dictatorship.

It was the Chilean anniversary that brought protesters to the US Embassy to demand that the US should not attack Syria, though the embassy flag was at half-mast for the 2001 twin towers attack.

More pictures at 9/11 Protest at US Embassy.


EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown – 2013

Thursday, September 7th, 2023

EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown: On Saturday 7th September 2013 after photographing the EDL attempting to march into Tower Hamlets and the people coming out to stop them I went on to the Excel Centre in Newham where East London Against Arms Fairs were holding a Musical Protest against next weeks DSEi arms fair. And on my way home I took more pictures.


EDL Try To March Into Tower Hamlets

EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown:
Whitechapel says ‘Take Your HATE Elsewhere’

I started the day in Bermondsey were around a thousand EDL supporters were gathering for a march across Tower Bridge to Aldgate High St.

EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown:

Police had laid down very strict conditions for the march, specifying the exact route and timings and more, which where specified on A4 sheets they handed out to protesters and were also broadcast every few minutes from a loudspeaker van where the marchers were gathering.

EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown:

There was a very strong police presence on the streets with police on all sides around the marchers and some mingling with them. The EDL were also on their best behaviour, with many posing for photographs. A couple who arrived in pig’s head masks were forced by police to remove them and hand them over.

EDL Stopped, Musicians at Arms Fair, Silvertown:

There was still a great deal of racism and hate in the comments that were being made and when the march got under way the majority took up the usual Islamophobic chants including “Allah, Allah, who the f**k is Allah“.

There were a small number of anti-fascist protesters in the area, and police tried to keep them well away from the march, although EDL stewards who led away one man with a bleeding face from the crowd alleged he had been hit by a bottle thrown from across the road.

As the march set off, police moved photographers well away, and police handlers with dogs walked in advance of the marchers. Later I was able to get a little closer.

After crossing Tower Bridge I saw red smoke in the distance coming from the ground in front of a row of police vans in Mansell St and rushed there to find a group of around 50 anti-fascist protesters, mainly dressed in black, with red and black flags and a few with Unite Against Fascism placards.

The EDL march stopped for a couple of minutes opposite them and the two sides shouted insults at each other with the police keeping them well apart before the march moved on to Aldgate High Street without further incident. I later heard that the anti-fascists here had been kettled for some hours before many of them were arrested.

I photographed Tommy Robinson addressing the rally, then made my way to where a counter-protest was being held by the community of Tower Hamlets, united in opposing the EDL. I had to go through several lines of police, showing my Press Card. A few officers refused to let me through, but I was able to walk along the line and make my way through.

As I commented, “It was a remarkable change in atmosphere from the feeling of hate and Islamophobia that filled the air with gestures and chanting from the EDL to the incredible unity and warmth of the several thousands largely from the local community who had come out to oppose them and make a statement based around love and shared experience of living in Tower Hamlets with people of different backgrounds and religion.”

There was clearly a determination in Whitechapel, as there was in the 1930s at the Battle of Cable Street which had taken place not far away of a community that had decided that ‘They shall not pass’. And although most had come to protest peacefully, had the police not kept the two sides well apart, the EDL would have been heavily outnumbered by local youths angry at their presence.

I’d left the EDL rally before Tommy Robinson was arrested for incitement, apparently for suggesting that people break some of the restrictions that police had imposed on the EDL march and rally. The police presence had prevented any large outbreaks of public disorder and although the EDL were up in arms over the arrest of their leader had protected them from a severe beating.

More on My London Diary at:
Tower Hamlets United Against the EDL
Anti-Fascists Oppose EDL
EDL March returns to Tower Hamlets


Musical Protest against Arms Fair – Excel Centre, Custom House

I didn’t stay long in Whitechapel but took the tube and bus to Custom House where on the walkway leading the the ExCel Centre East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF) were holding a Musical Protest against next weeks DSEi arms fair with a big band and singers and others handing out leaflets opposing the event.

THe DSEi arms fair, held every other year at the ExCel Centre in London Docklands attracts buyers from all over the world, including those from many countries with oppressive regimes. It’s a showcase for the weapons they need to continue to oppress their populations and to wage war on their neighbouring states and others.

There were more and larger protests in the following week against the arms fair.

More at Musical Protest against Arms Fair.


Silvertown

Although the DLR wasn’t running on the branch leading to Custom House, there were trains running on the branch through Silvertown and I walked to there across Victoria Dock on the high-level bridge, taking a few photographs.

The gates to the London Pleasure Gardens which had closed recently only a few weeks after its opening were locked but I was able to take pictures through the gates. I walked on to the elevated Pontoon Dock DLR station and made some panoramas from there before catching a train.

For once the DLR train had a very clean window and I took advantage of this to take some more pictures on the way to Canning Town where I changed to the Jubilee line.

More pictures: Silvertown


On My Brompton in Essex – 2004

Saturday, August 26th, 2023

On My Brompton in Essex: On Thursday 26th August 2004 I went for a ride on my Brompton in Essex on the north bank of the Thames, in an area sometimes known as the Thames Gateway. If anyone doesn’t know, the Brompton is one of the best folding bikes around, with 16 inch wheels, folding quickly to a fairly small package which can be carried onto trains and buses. I don’t ride it so much now, as I find it rather heavy to carry, particularly when loaded with my camera gear.

On My Brompton in Essex
Chafford Hundred, Grays, Essex

I bought the Brompton at the end of 2002, and spent a lot of time riding it for exercise on doctor’s orders during recovery from a minor heart problem at the start of 2003. It coincided with the purchase of my first digital camera capable of professional results, the 6.1Mp Nikon D100 DSLR.

On My Brompton in Essex
Royal Victoria Dock

For a year or two I worked with both digital and film, particularly because at the start I had only one Nikon lens, a 24-85mm zoom, giving an equivalent on the DX format camera to 36-128mm on full-frame, but I used a range of wider lenses on film. By 2004 I had added the remarkable Sigma 12-24mm (18-36mm equiv) to my bag, and many of the pictures I made that day were taken with that lens. I think it was the first affordable ultra-wide zoom, and certainly the results on DX format were very usable.

On My Brompton in Essex
Channel Tunnel Rail link under construction at Purfleet

As well as the Nikon I also had a film camera, a Russian Horizon 202 swing lens panoramic camera. You can see some of the pictures I made with this among those on the Thames Gateway (Essex) section on the Urban Landscapes site.

On My Brompton in Essex
Dartford Bridge and Channel Tunnel rail link, Thurrock

I began taking pictures that day at Victoria Dock in Canning Town, having taken the Brompton on the train to Waterloo and then the Jubilee Line there, before cycling to West Ham station to catch the C2C rail service to Rainham, all on a Travelcard. It’s something of a blow that TfL now intends to discontinue the Travelcard, which provided relatively cheap and simple travel for most of my photography.

Here is what I wrote about the day back in August 2004 – with minor corrections, particularly changing to normal capitalisation.

I like to make good use of my Travelcards, so Rainham, the last station out of Fenchurch St in zone 6 is a good destination. I pointed the Brompton first to Purfleet, to take a look at the state of play on the high-speed rail link, and also a new development in the old chalkpits, then on towards the Dartford bridge.

The Bridge Act obliges the operators to transport cycles and pedestrians across free of charge, and I cycled up the path towards it to claim this right, before changing my mind and deciding i didn’t want to go to the other side. Instead I took the new road through the West Thurrock Marshes industrial area and on to St Clements church, now a nature sanctuary, in the middle of a detergent factory.

It’s a quiet and pleasant place to eat sandwiches, though the smell of the perfuming agent is pervasive. There I planned a route largely along side roads, cycle paths and footpaths to Upminster, taking in Chafford Hundred, South Ockenden and Belhus Park and woods. It made a pleasant ride, though I had to make a few detours, and the B isn’t too stable on slimy mud, so some paths made for interesting riding, with the added pleasures of bramble thorns and nettles.

My London Diary

All of the pictures on this post were taken on the Nikon D100. There are a quite a lot more on My London Diary.


King’s Cross, Victoria Dock, Excel Arms Fair

Saturday, November 26th, 2022

2005 seems a long time ago now, but some of the same names are still often in the news. At a rally at King’s Cross station about fire safety remembering the victims of the disastrous fire in the Underground station there in 1987 that killed 31 people there were speeches from trade unionists and politicians including MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.

King's Cross, Victoria Dock, Excel Arms Fair

RMT leader Bob Crow died in 2014 but since 2021 RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has been very much in our minds recently – and like Crow putting the case for his members and the working classes effectively to the mass media, challenging the silly class-based observations of many reporters and interviewers and making clear the facts about the rail dispute.

King's Cross, Victoria Dock, Excel Arms Fair
John McDonnell

Trains were very much in my mind at the start of Saturday 26th November 2005, not because of strikes but because of the problems of our privatised rail system which led to me arriving in London half an hour later than anticipated. Privatisation only really made any sense when it could introduce real competition and that was never possible for the railways – and only by introducing an expensive and wasteful middle layer of companies for utilities such as gas, electricity and water. In all these sectors the results have been inefficienies, high prices and large profits at the expense of customers and taxpayers for the largely foreign companies who bought our ‘national silver’.


Kings Cross – never again! – 26th November 2005

King's Cross, Victoria Dock, Excel Arms Fair

So I arrived late, running up the escalators at King’s Cross and remembering the stories of those who had been caught up there in the terrible fire, thinking how hard it would be to find the way out in smoke-filled darkness. Even with good lighting and reasonably clear signage it’s sometimes difficult to take the correct route.

Outside I photographed the joint trade union protest in memory of the fire, made more urgent by the plans of the management to change safety rules which protect workers and public using the system in order to cut costs. As well as those mentioned earlier, there were also speakers from ASLEF, the Fire Brigades Union and others.

On the https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/museum/history-and-stories/historical-fires-and-incidents/the-kings-cross-fire-1987/ 18th November 1987 a fire started when a lit match was dropped on an escalator around the end of the evening rush hour, falling through a gap and setting fire to litter and grease beneath. The small fire this started quickly spread, engulfing the escalator. People were told to leave the station by an alternative escalator and trains were told not to stop at the station.

Then at exactly 7.45pm while the ticket hall was still crowded a fireball suddenly erupted from the escalator into the ticket hall, followed by dense black smoke which made it impossible to see the exits. The heat was intense, melting plastic wall and ceiling tiles which added to the blaze. It took two and a quarter hours to get the fire under control, and a further five hours to put it out completely. 31 people died in the fire including a senior fire officer who was in the ticket hall telling people to get out when the fireball burst in.

Government and management justify cutting safety as “getting rid of red tape” and simplifying procedures and 12 years after this protest we saw the terrifying consequences of their approach to safety at Grenfell Tower.

The inquiry into the fire established a previously unknown mechanism by which the fire had spread so rapidly and also found that an over-complacent management had not had sufficient concern for the dangers of fires underground. New regulations were introduced, smoking was banned and a programme of replacing wooden escalators begun (though it was only in 2014 that the last was taken out of service.) Heat detectors and sprinkler systems were installed and better communications systems, improvements in passenger flow and staff training meant that almost all of the reports recommendations were put into practice.

Things changed in later years as Government and management justified cutting safety as “getting rid of red tape” and simplifying procedures and 12 years after this protest we saw the terrifying consequences of their approach to safety at Grenfell Tower. Had the reports and the coroners recommendations following the Lakanal House fire in 2009 been implemented and the lessons learnt, the fire at Grenfell would have been a minor incident, confined to the flat inside which it started. There would have been no deaths and we would never have heard about it on the news.

Poppies and leaves in Whitehall

Workers and their unions saw clearly the dangers of this change in attitudes to safety in this 2005 protest.

more pictures


Excel and Victoria Dock – 26th November 2005

I’d hoped to go from the safety protest at King’s Cross to a lecture at the ICA, but my work finished too late, and instead deciding first to go to Whitehall where I had expected to find another protest. There were still quite a few poppies from the Remembrance Sunday event, but I found nothing else to photograph in the area.

I decided the weather would be fine to take a trip to the Royal Victoria Dock and take some more photographs around there. It was a fairly quick journey now thanks to the Jubilee Line from Westminster to Canning Town and then a couple of stops on the DLR.

I got off at Custom House and walked past the entrance to the Excel Centre, making my way to the high level bridge across the dock, which had been closed on an earlier visit but was open now. And the lift was working.

I took rather a lot of pictures both on the dockside and from the bridge which has some interesting views of the buildings around the dock and further afield, including the Millennium Dome on the other side of the Thames, Canary Wharf and the London skyline in the far distance.

I took pictures with the full range of the lenses in my camera bag, from the 8mm fisheye to the a not very impressive telephoto zoom, which I think stretched to 125mm, equivalent on the DX camera I was then using to 187mm, which give a some quite different angles of view. I would now process these rather differently, partly because RAW software has improved significantly since 2005, but also because my own preferences have changed. Most of those fisheye images I would probably now partially ‘defish’ to render the verticals straight.

The camera I was using them, a Nikon D70 also now seems rather primitive, particularly as its images are only 6Mp and only offering a ISO 200 – 1600 range. But it did the job well, and the only real improvements in later models – unless you really want to make very large prints – were in the viewfinders. The D70 viewfinder was usable (and much better than the D100 which it replaced) but still not as good as those on film cameras.

Towards the end of the time I spent there, the sky turned orange, though perhaps the photographs slightly exaggerate the colour.

more pictures


East London Against the Arms Trade – Musical Protest, Excel Centre, 26 Nov 2005

I’d photographed more or less everything I could see and was beginning to make my way back to the DLR station when “I heard the brassy notes of the red flag, and made my way towards them.”

Musicians from ‘East London Against the Arms Fair’ were treating visitors to the Excel centre to a musical welcome. They were calling for Excel to stop hosting the DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International) arms fairs which attract visitors from around the world, including many repressive regimes to come to London and see and buy arms.

London’s then Mayor, Ken Livingstone had spoken against having the arms fair in London as have the nearby London boroughs, and local residents had voted 79% against them, but the arms fairs continue every other year – with several days of protest against them.

One had taken place here in October, and the musical protest was calling for those already booked for 2007, 2009 and 2011 to be dropped. But their protest fell on deaf ears so fast as Excel’s owners were concerned and they continue, supported by the government, to be held there.

more pictures


As well as seeing more pictures on the links in this post you can also see the accounts I wrote back in 2005 by scrolling down the November 2005 page of My London Diary. You can see photographs of further protests against the DSEI arms fair by putting the four letters DSEI into the search on the front page of My London Diary.


Dangleway, Silvertown and Stratford Marsh

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Dangleway, Silvertown and Stratford Marsh: My day out on Wednesday 26 June 2013 began by taking the tube to North Greenwich and then walking to the cablecar for the ride across the Thames.

Back then I commented “Given the huge losses it is sustaining I can’t see it remaining open too much longer, so if you’ve not taken a ride don’t leave it too long“, and I’m surprised to find it still running 8 years later. But perhaps not for much longer, as the sponsorship deal with the Emirates Airline comes to an end this month, and no other company has come forward to pick up the tab, even though TfL have offered a huge reduction for the privilege.

Never a sensible contribution to London’s travel network it remains one of London’s cheaper and more interesting tourist attractions. I’m not sure whether the fact that it now lands on the north bank spitting distance from London’s now misplaced County Hall adds to its chances of retention, but it could make it more likely to be brought within the normal London fare structures.

There are already fare reductions for people with Travelcards, and frequent users can buy a ticket which reduces the cost to make it a viable part of a commute to work, particularly as you can take a bike with you for free. However I suspect the number of ‘frequent fliers’ is probably only in two figures. Its also a service which is more affected by weather than surface transport, closing down in high winds.

But it does have the height to give some splended views, even if the surrounding area is perhaps less rich than that of London’s other aerial attraction, the London Eye. Actually for me is considerably more attractive, and it’s an area which is now rapidly developing on both sides of the river, with new residential developments replacing old industrial and commercial uses.

The dangleway is also a part of the East London sculpture trail, The Line, which vaguely follows the Greenwich Meridian, from North Greenwich to Stratford and makes an interesting walk, although this will become a more interesting walk once the riverside path from Cody Dock to the East India Dock Road is opened, something we have been waiting for around 20 years. One day it might even extend past Canning Town station to Trinity Buoy Wharf, but we may not live that long.

Although you can see the riverside from above, little of it is now publicly accessible, though I walked along Bow Creek and a little of the Thames here back in the 1980s taking photographs now on Flickr. But back then the Royal Victoria Dock was largely fenced off and you can now walk around it and over a high-level bridge which also has interesting views.

Or at least you can most of the time. But the area becomes a high security zone with the bridge closed when the Excel Centre is full of arms dealers selling often illegal arms to repressive regimes around the world – every other September. Fortunately it was June, though I was back there for the DSEI protests in September – and in other years.

The DLR also runs through the area on a viaduct, and from the train and the stations you also get some interesting views, though the train windows are often rather to dirty for taking photographs. That you are looking south from the line can also mean the sun is shining directly into the lens.

This is the Woolwich branch of the DLR and at Canary Wharf I changed onto a train towards Stratford, alighting at Pudding Mill Lane to walk up onto the Greenway. I arrived just too late to go into the View Tube there so I had to be content with making pictures from the Greenway which runs high through the area.

I’d begun making photogrfaphs here back in the 1980s, and had published some of these on my my River Lea/Lee Valley web site – and in the Blurb book ‘Before The Olympics‘, returning to the area occasionally and photographing it as it changed and particularly as the Olympic site developed. Progress on restoring the area to some useful purpose appeared to be very slow

More on My London Diary where the pictures are also larger – though you can see these ones larger by opening the images in their own window.
Stratford Greenway Olympic Revisit
Victoria Dock and Silvertown
Emirates ‘Airline’ – Arab Dangleway


Hull City of Culture 2017

Saturday, February 19th, 2022

Hull City of Culture 2017. I spent a few days in Hull in February 2017, while the city was celebrating its year as UK City of Culture.

Hull was important to me in my early years as a photographer, and was also where my wife grew up, and we made our trip partly to celebrate her birthday in the city, as well as for a little promotion of my photographs from the 1970s and 80s and also to work on a new photographic project.

I had my first – and still my largest – one person show in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery in 1983, and much later self-published a book, Still Occupied: A View of Hull 1977-85. It’s still available, but at a silly price – and for some reason the hardcover imagewrap version is now cheaper than the paperback version. I’d always suggest getting the PDF version at £4.50, as the images are at just a tad better quality than in print and good enough to make a print should you wish (and I’ll pardon any small breaches of copyright.) The book has around 270 black and white photographs, some reproduced rather small, on its 120 pages. First published in 2011 it was republished with minor corrections to captions for the 2017 Hull UK City of Culture.

Two rather more reasonably priced 36 page black and white booklets were later published by Cafe Royal Books, one on the River Hull, and the second, The Streets of Hull. I promised another on the docks but have not yet got around to it.

Hull from The Deep

I also set up a new web site on Hull for its year as City of Culture, finding much to my surprise that the domain hullphotos.co.uk was still available. I began this with a couple of hundred pictures at the end of 2016 and then added one every day through the whole of 2017. There are now over 600 black and white images on the site. A search of my images on Flickr reveals rather more than twice as many, including a large number in colour.

The Blade in front of City Hall

I had some disappointments during the 5 days I was in Hull in February 2017, and I found many other photographers and others in Hull who were also upset at the lack of opportunities the year had provided for local artists, instead concentrating on buying in talent from elsewhere. There is no shortage of talent in Hull and it would have been good for more of it to be showcased during the year. Plans for a small exhibition of my own work unfortunately fell through.

Self-portrait by gas light in Nellie’s in Beverley

But it was a good 5 days, with plenty to do and to seem and I was pleased with some of the panoramas I was able to make, though I’ve not yet got around to creating a show of these together with my old black and whites from the same locations. We also enjoyed a family celebration of Linda’s birthday,

Scale Lane footbridge

The pictures in this post were all taken on Sunday 19th February 2017, where I got up fairly early for a long walk in the area close to the River Hull before meeting family for lunch, then took a bus to Beverley, where we walked around the town before having a drink in Nellie’s, one of the country’s more remarkable pubs and then catching the bus back to Hull, and then walking back through an empty city to the house we were staying in on the Victoria Dock estate.

Here’s the full list of links to our five days in Hull:
Hull 2017 City of Culture
    Sculcoates & River Hull
    City Centre & Beverley Rd
    Ropery St & St Mark’s Square
    St Andrew’s Dock
    Hessle Rd
    Gipsyville
    Beverley and Nellie’s
    Around the Town
    The Deep
    More Hull Panoramic
    Wincolmlee and Lime St
    Evening in the City
    Old Town
    A ride on Scale Lane Bridge
    Around the City Centre
    Hullywood Opening
    East Hull & Garden Village
    Albert Dock
    Old Town & City Centre
    River Hull
    Night in the Old Town
    Victoria Dock Promenade