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Rise and slow decline of Albion Street

23 Dec

Albion Street was built as Hull expanded in the early 19th century and could be said to have been the intellectual hub of the city at that time. It had at one end Hull General Infirmary, a Church Institute built “to promote the study of literature and science …in subordination to religion”, the Royal Institution Hull’s first museum finally finishing with the Assembly Rooms on Kingston Square. Hull Central Library was built at the western end in 1900. Since then the ravages of time, war and city planners have taken their toll. The Hospital was demolished in the 1970s and replaced by the Prospect Centre shopping mall, The Church Institute is now a hotel, the Royal Institute was destroyed by bombs in 1943 and is now a car park and health centre, and the Assembly Rooms are now the New Theatre
When I first came to Hull 30 or so years ago these houses in a once fine early Victorian terrace were pretty run down and neglected but over the years they’ve been done up and converted to apartments or flats as we call them over here. So much so that supply now appears to be exceeding demand.

Finishing Touches

24 Sep

Here at last the nearly completed Wilbeforce Health Centre. I showed you the plans and the initial construction here and here. Now they’re putting the finishing touches to what is, in my humble opinion, quite possibly the ugliest building in town. I can’t help but wonder whether that ghastly red pillar symbolises the bleeding dry of the NHS by wasteful projects such as this.

Building with Meccano

9 Aug

Chuck Jones joins the NHS

12 Jun
I think I may have mentioned before that Hull doesn’t do hubris. At the outbreak of the last war the man in charge of Hull’s museums advised curators against moving their collections to safer places. He is quoted as saying  “even if there is an air raid they [the Hull Museum authorities] have taken the necessary measures for protection from anything except a direct hit”. You can see where this is going. On 24th June 1943 Hull’s Municipal Museum on Albion Street took a direct hit by an incendiary bomb. The whole place was destroyed leaving only a bombed out site that was eventually cleared and turned into a car park. 
All was not lost as in the late 1980s an archeological excavation of the site recovered many items that had been stored in the museum’s basement; including a motorbike left in the boiler room.
The site is now being cleared to build a “Health and Well Being Centre” with access to a “range of health and council services” in “modern and welcoming surroundings”. This picture shows the intended construction.