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Classical Beauties

4 Jun

The Royal Hotel on Ferensway has joined the jamboree with these pieces of pseudomarmoreal pulchritude. Nothing says ‘culture’ better than a scantily clad lady with a jug.

Sign something simple

15 May

You can’t have a year long bean fest without some promotion and as with all advertising the less you mention the product the better. Whoever was paid a no doubt substantial fee to come up with these instantly forgettable catch lines has learnt that lesson well… Here’s a couple of the many enigmatic messages festooning the town.  When I’m bored I might post some more.


11 Apr

I mentioned last year plans to build a new hotel on the site of a former dance hall/disco/nightclub/knocking shop on Ferensway. Well it’s up and growing. This picture was taken at the end of March but it’s going up so fast that it’s probably open and taking its first visitors by now … I’m told it will look like this when it really is finished. The local paper calls it “swanky”; I think that’s sounds pretty close to what I would call it.

A tree on Ferensway

2 Apr

The weekend in black and white is here.


1 Oct

This month’s theme of ‘abandoned’ could have been designed for Hull. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel (did anybody ever do that?). Staples had been in this store on Ferensway for donkeys years, the place was always empty and almost never had what I needed and if it did it was way too expensive. Anyhow Staples has moved to a slightly smaller, slightly more out-of-town site on Clough Road (along with the Police, the Fire Brigade and old Uncle Tom Cobley and all …). This building joins on to the empty computer store I posted a while back making a seriously large vacant ex-retailing space in the centre of town. Maybe it can be filled with ‘culture’ of some sort for next year’s bean feast…

Lexington Avenue is no more

5 Jun

On this cleared site sometime in the late fifties or sixties was built the Mecca Ballroom known rather romantically as the Locarno, a place for stately ballroom dancing. I’m told the Kinks once played there and looked totally out of place. As times moved on it became Tiffany’s, a nightclub, a place to go after the pubs had closed to ‘dance’ (in reality to keep on drinking). I recall nightclubs of the seventies with their glitter balls and extra loud disco noise and groups of young women standing or jiffling around their handbags on the dance floor. Ye gods! What dreadful places! As the seventies slid ecstatically into the Thatcher years Tiffany’s became Lexington Avenue (LA’s to the cognoscenti), and I’m afraid by then I was too old to be allowed in (I think I’ve been too old for most things in this life but we pass along on that). Reports of drug taking (No, really?), drunkenness (who ever would have thought?) and antisocial behaviour (well those were the days) drifted past my eyes in those days but I didn’t care and I guess neither did anyone else. The place used to be absolutely heaving on weekends … and then well, autre temps as they say. It closed several years ago and stood empty as is the well known style in this town. Now with la culture approaching and an alleged shortage of hotel rooms in steps Hilton Inc. to pop in a 167 bed hotel. They’d better get a move on.

More Larkin about

11 Nov

Another sign on the via dolorosa that is the Larkin Trail, this on the doorway of the Royal Station Hotel

You are dying to read the poem he composed to the Royal Station Hotel aren’t you? Oh yes you are …

Friday Night At The Royal Station Hotel
Light spreads darkly downwards from the high
Clusters of lights over empty chairs
That face each other, coloured differently.
Through open doors, the dining-room declares
A larger loneliness of knives and glass
And silence laid like carpet. A porter reads
An unsold evening paper. Hours pass,
And all the salesmen have gone back to Leeds,
Leaving full ashtrays in the Conference Room.
In shoeless corridors, the lights burn. How
Isolated, like a fort, it is –
The headed paper, made for writing home
(If home existed) letters of exile: Now
Night comes on. Waves fold behind villages.