Archive | April, 2014

The Beauty of Curves

30 Apr
Bowlalley Lane
May day is traditionally a day of protest by workers against whatever it is workers don’t like, usually low wages, the system, the bosses and the bourgeoisie and so on. Today’s City Daily Photo first-day-of-the-month theme dictated to us without democratic choice is ‘squares’. So in the spirit of the day and not to be cowed by the growing tyranny of theme days I give you this ornate entrance on Bowlalley Lane which is marred only by those two quite unnecessary quadrilaterals.
If you must seek squares you should look elsewhere.

Brunswick Arcade

29 Apr

Across the road from yesterday’s empty church stands Brunswick Arcade. Built as the sign says in 1890 and like the curate’s egg it’s good in parts. The northern end is in pretty good nick with a newsagent (Pickwick Papers, where I used to get my papers from many years ago) and a couple of restaurants though one of them is undergoing renovation. No, the trouble lies, as you can see below, at this near end which is or was nearly collapsing from neglect and decay. Now this is a conservation area and no doubt these buildings are listed ( I haven’t checked) and as members of the public tend to resent buildings falling on their heads the Council has been put in the position of having to pay for scaffolding to prop up a building it does not own. Price, according to local press, a mere £200,000. Fine you might say, an emergency required emergency action except the emergency was back in 2011! Every week costs the Council £150 just for inspections required by law. No sight or sound of the people this wreck belongs to. The Council are quoted in the paper as saying “Any costs will be recovered from the owners”, it’s good to live in hope, don’t you think?

Trafalgar Street Church

29 Apr

Oh those Victorians! How they did like their churches, scattering them around the town with nary a thought to what the future would bring, like the market in Christianity collapsing post 1914-18. So now we have to deal with what might called post-Christian blight. This situation is made worse by a sentimental attachment to all things ‘old’ even if ‘old’ is only a hundred years and also conservation laws that defy stylistic and economic reason. Here’s Trafalgar Street church on Beverley Road, built by the Baptists in 1906 in a mock Gothic brick flint-clad style (no doubt the builders’ enthusiasm or funds did not run to paying out for stone) that you either love or detest (personally, it’s as ugly a prayer factory as I’ve seen for quite some time). It was abandoned by them in 2002 then used by an even smaller sect for a while; it has been standing empty for nearly a decade. The rear church hall is now apartments, so far so good; but what on earth to you do with an empty church? Well they tried selling it for £160,000 but had to settle for a mere £80,000. That was over a year ago and still it sits there behind security fencing. I’m told it has been weatherproofed.  
Well now it seems to be a law that where ever there’s an ‘old’ building falling into disrepair because there is no use for it there springs up a ‘support’ group to ‘save’ it and this is no exception. They want National Lottery money as well as donations for their rescue scheme. And their plan for this former house of God? A community gym! Because you must treat your body as a temple I suppose.
Did I mention it’s a Grade 2 listed building in a conservation area? No? But then you’d probably guessed that’s why it hasn’t been knocked down a long time ago. More on this conservation nonsense tomorrow.

Old department store

28 Apr

The other day I went to East Park, a big mistake. Someone had turned it into a over sized playing field and filled it with thousands of screaming brats, yes, I’d forgotten it was still Easter Holidays and it seems the whole of east Hull had gone to the park for the day. Not a pretty sight. Strangely two of the park’s attractions, if I may call them that, the water splash and the water park were not in action, neither were there any boats on the lake. Hull’s parks department also seem to have taken a holiday. Anyhow, beating a hasty retreat I took this of what I think was once an old Cooperative department store on Holderness Road.

Oak before Ash

27 Apr
“If the oak before the ash, then we’ll only have a splash, if the ash before the oak, then we’ll surely have a soak”
If my oak and ash are any guide (and who is to say they aren’t) it looks like we might be in for a dry Summer. That reminds me, I need a new brolly ….
 The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Have a nice day, Mr Turner

26 Apr

It may not come as a surprise to you to learn that there is little love lost between myself and the political powers that be in this area. A few weeks back a local MP, Karl Turner, blocked me on Twitter but not before calling me “meaningless”! Another local MP also blocked me after a mildly sarcastic comment about a box of chocolates and a long stemmed rose, they are such sensitive souls these politicos. Poor Mr Turner recently had to admit to misusing a Parliamentary email address on his Labour Party advertising, no great sin, I know, but hardly professional. And I might yet add to his woes: is that the House of Commons trademark portcullis sign I see adorning the offices of the East Hull Labour Party on Holderness Road? To quote Parliament’s web site: “The principal emblem of the House is the Crowned Portcullis. It is a royal badge and its use by the House has been formally authorised by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The designs and symbols of the House should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House.” Oh dear, I do hope the House of Commons doesn’t see this, well I won’t tell if you don’t.

"For you can’t do that there ‘ere …."

23 Apr

“For you can’t do that there ‘ere,

“No, you can’t do that there ‘ere;

“Anywhere else you can do that there,
“But you can’t do that there ‘ere.”
This rather proscriptive sign down by the Humber Quays buildings brought to mind an old music hall song of which I knew only the chorus. The internet, however, is a marvelous toy and a few inquiries of our good friend Mr Google brought forth a link to the following offering from You Tube.