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As the evening sky grew dark

23 Dec

There you go; tree, lights and an illuminated fountain. Who says I don’t do Xmas?

Three fountains and a thingy

16 May
I’ve shown this installation outside Britannia House (the dole office) on Spring Bank before but that was taken from a bus and you don’t really get the full sheer tackiness of it from that post. The three hemispheres are little trickling fountains; so far so meh. But what is that naff blue and white column? What is it supposed to be?
When new the idea of adding washing up liquid to the fountains appealed to certain elements but even that minor act of rebellion seems to have died away. Maybe it’s so stupid no-one can be bothered to vandalise it.

Blooming lovely

18 Sep

Yesterday was a bit of a dull, overcast day, anticyclonic gloom is the meteorological word for it, any hoo this did nothing to detract from the colourful display round Queen’s Gardens’ fountains. 

Speaking of blooms I came across a nice short film on the Avenues Open Day, where private gardens are opened for the public to raise money for Dove House Hospice. It’s only fourteen minutes long and best watched without HD unless you’ve got a good connection. Oh yeah, it’s here.
Finally if things go the way of a certain group to the north of here this blog may soon be coming to you from a different country. We live in exciting times…. *yawn*

Queen’s Gardens: Back to the Future

18 Jul

I mentioned a few days ago that the collective insanity known as Hull City Council had proposed a series of makeovers for the city centre, at the time I said that I thought they weren’t too bad. Well I think I spoke in haste because on closer examination some of the proposals are borderline bonkers. Take, for example, the proposal to reinstate Queen’s Gardens as it was planned in the 1920’s. Let’s be clear this would be an act of pure vandalism. Queen’s Gardens is now a place of mature trees and tranquil ponds with pleasing fountains. In the 30’s the place looked like a desert with immature trees, boring planted borders and no ponds (see here and here). Is the Council really proposing to remove mature trees and fill in ponds? To top off this lunacy there’s the creamy delish proposal to build a retractable stage over the duck pond at the far end, this is to stage ‘events’ and lies alongside yet another proposed stage to commemorate Mick Ronson, a guitarist with the eminently forgettable Spiders from Mars or so I’m told (this presumably would stage non-events). Very 1920’s I must say! So there you have it, vandalism mixed with tawdry tackiness, about par for HCC.
Queen’s Gardens is one of the few places in Hull that doesn’t need fixing, so kindly leave it alone.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.
Weekend Reflections can be found here.

Adorned with a handsome fountain

4 Oct
The Boulevard was planned as a grand thoroughfare running up from the Humber to Anlaby Road and possibly beyond. It is a fine, wide, tree lined road with many fine villa residences built for the well-to-do of the time. In the 1870s someone writing of the Boulevard noted that “about half-way down, the street widens into a spacious circle, the centre being adorned with a handsome fountain”. Fifty or so years later a car crashed into the fountain and completely wrecked it. And so for eighty years the Boulevard was sans fontaine. After a seven year campaign of fundraising this delightful restoration was installed in 2008. 
If you’re thinking this looks familiar it is a copy of the mermaid fountains that adorn the Avenues area, only this one works.

Mermaid Fountain

26 May
At some time in the 1870s life in Hull was so unexciting that it was decided to liven things up a bit by installing a set of six mermaid fountains in what was then the rich part of town, the Avenues. Over the years these beauties have been moved around, destroyed,  rebuilt and become part of the community. I hear strange things happen around here on New Year’s Eve ….
This picture shows the Westbourne Avenue fountain, just visible in the distance is Park Avenue’s version. Recently a working mermaid fountain was installed on the Boulevard but I haven’t been to that see that yet. 
If you’re interested in the rebuilding process there’s a website here.