Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I'm not driving

Rolled up in town late on Friday afternoon about 4pm but could tell something was up as the bus diverted and left us to get off on a side street. The reason was obvious; each street in town was filled with traffic going absolutely nowhere at all. I wonder if you ever played that game as a child where you had to move from place to place without touching the ground? We called it Pirates, you might have called it something else. Anyhow you could play Pirates all round town on the roofs of cars stretching from the river to Beverley Road and all other points west and east. And the reason so many hundreds of vehicles decided to use the centre of town ... someone decided to play with the Myton Bridge and oops, oh dear ... it broke down. Hmmm ...
The picture was taken last year on Spring Bank, another notorious bottle neck. It's a stretch of about one thousand yards and my personal record for rush hour slowness on here is twenty five minutes; that's a little over 1 mile per hour! Even I can walk quicker than that.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Work for idle hands

A while ago the local School of Art and Design teamed up with a bus company "to transform two double-decker buses into modern masterpieces".  Well here's one of those "masterpieces": a bus decorated with the hand prints of folk from the town. The other bus I'm told "features landmark buildings from across Hull and quote from the city's residents" but I can't say I've noticed it.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Small town blues

Hull City Council has had an epiphany; it has discovered what everyone else knew years ago that the town is a desert after 5pm. ( It's hardly the bustling metropolis before then but we'll keep with the story). So what does the Council do to address this? It creates something to look into it ... so a "special scrutiny review" has been set up to describe in full detail what we already know. But I can tell them now with no charge; Hull is not a city, cities never sleep; Hull is an over grown town that needs its eight hours ... so if you'll excuse me I'm off to my bed.

Monday, 8 January 2018


Well it's not quite a beautiful mosaic (not even close) but for a public convenience in Bridlington this brickwork doesn't look too bad at all. OK it's a bit clunky but at least they tried, come on ... c'est seulement un pissoir ...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Paragon Plants

On the concourse of Hull's Paragon Station there's this odd thing, a plant stall. It's been there for as long as I can remember and sells an eclectic assortment of greens from cacti and carnivorous plants to pansies and petunias ... oh and pink flamingoes.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

O where do we go now but nowhere

The final show, as it were, of the Year of Culture was a series of installations scattered about the town each consisting of several robotic arms that were supposed to move around with lights and sound (I believe the term 'music' may have been used, but it was basically just eerie noise). This junk was titled "Where Do We Go From Here?" and is described as a "thrilling mix of art and technology" ... the blurb continues "...At a time of political uncertainty at home and abroad, it also asks important questions: What kind of place do we want to live in? What role should culture play? Where do we go from here?" There's more (isn't there always?) "Where Do We Go From Here? , is a deliberate provocation designed to get individuals reflecting upon their city’s future. It invites everyone to take part in a timely conversation about art, culture and society." Yada, yada, yada ...
I came upon this very unmoving piece  as they were obviously fixing some kind of fault, so it wasn't working. However later I did cross paths with a different installation that was in full flow; the arms had lights attached and waved about a bit and there was sound to go with. (Gosh, how very sixites I thought, when robots were just coming into the work place and were seen as menacing ... ) An enthusiastic Hull person (there are some, well, at least one) grabbed me by the arm and exclaimed how brilliant and fantastic it all was... I'm afraid I used language that the clergy do not know.

So the Y of C ended not with fireworks, nor yet with a whimper; it just fizzled out possibly from exhaustion or, more likely, boredom... (Officially there was no celebration because (& I paraphrase) "It's not over yet, there's still more to come and, and ,and ..." yeah, yeah, we paid already) The gang of imps, pimps, banjo players and blow-ins from the world of Culture Incorporated responsible for this fest of dreck were all dutifully gonged by Queenie over the New Year and have not been heard of since... And while Hull is still City of Culture for another three years attention will now pass to poor old Coventry. Oh yes! the birth place of Phillip Larkin (damn Hull did him first, still...)... and Lady Godiva and, and, and ... aint culcha fun?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


A couple of Hully things cropped up in the news while I was away. First Hull was declared the second worst town in the UK. The source for this sensational news was a survey by some folk calling themselves LadBible ("Redefining Entertainment & News For a Social Generation", no, me neither!) clearly this is nonsense and caused uproar and upset in the City of Culture as a) Hull is not a crap town but a crap city (there's no shortage of parochial pedants in this place) and b) Hull is definitely the worst place in the UK, coming second is not an option.
The second incredible snippet of news was the estimate of 3.5 million people attending events during the Year of Culture. Given that this came from Hull City Council who could hardly be said to be impartial observers let alone capable of counting over twenty, this figure is open to some doubt. Still even if we take this figure and look at the break down for individual events say the fireworks on New Year's Eve, the Blade, the porcelain poppies and a handful of other shows soaked up well over 3 million visitors (allegedly). But, and here is yet another incredible (or amazing as they called everything last year, if it wasn't amazing it was stunning ...) fact, there were 2000 events put on over the year. I kid you not, 2000! So by the figures of Hull City Council the vast majority of these cultural events must have attracted two men and (perhaps) a dog. 
Now I'm a trusting sort of guy and if a statement is made to effect that nearly one million folk visited the Blade in its seventy day stay in Queen Vic Square I'm not going to do some back-of-a-fag-packet calculation that this means 600 per hour visited the colossal thing, 10 a minute or roughly the normal number of folk crossing the square at any one time... Also I passed under it dozens of times and must, I suppose, have been counted dozens of times... But I don't want to start off the new year in this suspicious mood. Hull City Council are fine and trustworthy folk as trusty as this picture of the Rose Bowl Gardens.