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The Quality Street Lights

23 Jan

So here’s some old flats on Porter Street all lit up as an arts project called “I Wish To Communicate With You” for some reason that escapes me. Puts me in mind of those coloured cellophane wrappers that came (probably still do for all I know) with Quality Street chocolates. Obviously it’s all to do with that damn culture thing. The pictures I’ve seen of it, including this one, really don’t do it any justice, it’s much more impressive in real life, though hardly a stunningly original piece.

Roundabouts but no swings

21 Nov

Quite the most pointless roundabout in town. Behind are the battery farms off Osborne Street where people are raised to become awesome citizens and quite a few of them are.

Block of colour

30 May
Anlaby Road, Hull

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Change of use

18 Mar
Paragon Street, Hull

In what appears to be a remarkable outbreak of common sense Lloyd’s Bank is moving from its position on Paragon Street to a new place round the corner on Jameson Street. Yeah wow, I know, exciting (not). But bear with me, the old place along with the empty former Job Centre next door is being converted into apartments with affordable rents. Bringing people to live in the town centre, occupying these large empty shops and offices has got to be a ‘good thing’. If the scheme succeeds there are plenty of similar buildings that could be used in this way. Whisper it gently though, this is social housing (if by proxy), with a not-for-profit trust and the Council owned builders firm involved under a Government project to bring empty buildings back into use. And it only tickles the surface of the massive housing shortage crisis in this green and pleasant land, still the journey of a thousand miles begins by putting your shoes on as someone once said.

Jameson Street, Hull

Sunday mornin’ and I’m fallin’ …

8 Mar

So what would get a crowd out on a Sunday morning in Orchard Park?

Well maybe a bit of demolition might stir some interest

Seems the world and his mother was there to see the fun.

Then the bang, well bang’s too short a word for the thumping great crack like thunder and the jolting shock.

And a second later it was all over. Done and dusted as they say.

Party’s over; time to go home.

This was the end of Highcourt on Orchard Park. Bit of a blink and you’ll miss it situation, it came down too fast for me, so if you want to see the action here’s a video from YouTube.

Look your last on all things not so lovely

6 Jan

High rise buildings were seen as an answer to a lack of space in inner cities, you couldn’t build out so you built up. Strange then that when Hull spread out into the fields and countryside surrounding it in the 1960’s building hundreds of Council houses in the fancifully named Orchard Park Estate, it also built several high rise blocks despite there being no lack of space. OPE, as it is tagged by local grafittistas, was designed along the lines of Radburn, New Jersey, a garden city ‘planned for the motor age’. Well what might have worked in 1930’s NJ didn’t quite workout in East Yorkshire. One suspects the crossing of palms with silver may have happened as it did in other slum clearances and redevelopments in other towns across the country at the time. Anyhow a high rise with a country view turned out to be no more popular than a high rise with a view of the back of Paragon Station. Nor did it lead to a community-in-the-air rather a dystopian anti-social nightmare with the usual mix of high unemployment (currently 27%), vandalism, drugs and crime. So to cut a long and sadly predictable story short these towers are being removed either by explosion or gobbled up by a giant building eating machine. This one, Highcourt, is the last one standing and it too should be gone soon with a bang so I’m told. 
Meanwhile in another part of town I read that 5,402 new homes are set to be built in Hull in the next five years. I love the exactness of the figure and the vagueness of the phrase “set to be built”. Maybe the palms haven’t as yet been crossed with enough silver …