Archive | November, 2014

Jacob Bronoswki

30 Nov

Who he; do I hear you say? Or maybe: oh him, I remember him and his unbelievable, interminable, meliorist, nay almost utopian TV series and book entitled, with absolutely no sense of irony, The Ascent of Man. Yeah him. Seems this man who knew everything once had a job teaching maths at the University of Hull and I suppose he had to lodge somewhere so this place on Hallgate in Cottingham was his home. During his time here he was, as a Polish-Jewish immigrant, of course given the usual warm welcome this country remains famous for and duly put under surveillance by the security services. That sort of thing wouldn’t happen these days now would it?

Humber highlights

29 Nov

Riverhead Apartments, Driffield

28 Nov

Nothing much changes or so it seems at this place. It was just like this when I first came here nearly half a century ago. Maybe the warehouse apartment developments are newish but it looks much the same.

The weekend seems to have crept up on us again. See it in black and white here. Or see its reflection here.

Expect Delays

27 Nov

I may have mention once or twice the problem that is Castle Street and that money had been agreed for a grand plan to alleviate some of the mess that is caused by funnelling a motorway into a inner-city dual carriageway. By now the detailed plans should be available, well it is well known that “should” butters no parsnips. These plans will not now be available until next Springtime (when birds do sing hey ding a ding, ding). I’m all for measuring twice and cutting once but to keep on putting things back will mean the actual work will neatly coincide with that other Hull problem the 2017 City of Culture. (One of themes I have heard is to be “Roots and Routes” so maybe it’s all part of fiendish plan.) Drivers and that includes visitors to the cultural delights will be advised to take alternative routes, that is shorthand for find your own way through the infernal gridlock, matey, you’re on your own! You have been warned.

Did Britannia waive the rules?

26 Nov

This building on the corner of Whitefriargate and Land of Green Ginger was built in 1886 to house the Colonial and United States Mortgage Company. The architects were one Mr Clamp and our old friend Alfred Gelder. I know nothing of the Colonial and US Mortgage Company, Google refuses to enlighten me. I can tell you that many years after it was built it housed another mortgage company, the Britannia Building Society, later to become the Britannia Bank. Why isn’t it still a branch of Britannia? Well you know it’s just the old, old story ….
The Britannia Building Society, was caught up in the dying embers of the 2008 crash. It was  formed in the mid 19th century and was the second largest building society until it merged with the Cooperative Bank in 2009. Now I’m not going to say there was a criminal enterprise involved because no-one has been charged with anything but  the Britannia  had a boat load of bad debts (sub-prime garbage) on its books. The merged concerned had to be ‘distanced’ from the mutual Co-op and in effect bought out. Expect a huge legal brouhaha over all this. Meanwhile if you know anyone who wants a Victorian French renaissance style office and erstwhile bank, here’s one going spare.
Here’s how it looked when new and yes it was enlarged at a later date. And quite how, despite being a listed building, that ornate frontage was replaced with  plate glass dreck is probably a story too murky for sensitive souls.

McCoys

25 Nov

…and what to do with an old office building? Why not turn it into yet another outlet for that cultural delight that is coffee? Whether or not this is the real McCoy I couldn’t say. OK that’s enough coffee shops for now, I don’t even drink the stuff … give me a nice cup of tea anyday.

Fiat Lux

23 Nov

“Hey”, said the guy who was fishing off the Corporation Pier, “they actually work! I thought they were just for show!” I looked a bit non-plussed, what could he mean?. “The fancy lights”, he explained, “they work, not just decoration!” And I bet you thought it was just me that was cynical in these parts …