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… and still we wait

2 May

The promised fountains in Queen Victoria Square have yet to materialise. We are told by a Councillor that “The technology used to operate these features has not been used anywhere else,” and “So it that sense they’re unique. Issues around that technology are being addressed.”. Now as far as I know fountains have been around for thousands of years; how difficult can it be? You have water, you squirt it through a hole, repeat process until bored… These however are fancy fountains with bells and whistles, well coloured lights anyway as you can see in this article from a well known local newspaper. If I were a gambling man I’d put a small wager on these things working on and off for a season or two then being quietly forgotten and paved over.

…and also outside the Holy Trinity Coffee Bar the so-called mystical mirror pools are also still not in place (surprise, surprise) and guess what the reason is? “I can safely say nothing like this has ever been seen before in this country, if not Europe. I prefer to call them glazed paving. They are going to be mystical, magical and I hope quite special….” says the guy who sold these puppies to Hull City Council and “They are definitely the first of their kind in the UK and they’re here in Hull.” Yeah right, puddles with knobs on, can’t wait.

The Flensing

2 Feb

Here lies the cold carcass of Holy Trinity Square scraped clean of history, of character, of any interest whatsoever. It’s as if an old  familiar face with  laugh lines and creases has been botoxed to oblivion so there is no possibility of a smile. Deathly dull doesn’t begin to describe it. Two and a bit years ago I said this would be “a tacky, crass and short sighted act of vandalism”; I’ve not had reason to change my mind.  A sign on the church door says the place is closed while it is being transformed into a coffee bar and in the Summer there’ll be small reflection pools (reflecting the sheer emptiness of the place I suppose). I can’t wait.
There’s seating and then there’s these things as well.

Tangled up in blue

25 Dec

Over in Trinity Square the finishing touches to this year’s marathon makeover were being put in place the other day. I noticed this figure wrapped in blue plastic. It’s the reinstated statue of Andrew Marvell. This seems to be a more modest presentation as previously he was atop four or five steps and surrounded by four concrete balls. Naturally those steps were the place for alkies and druggies to while the day away. Where will they go now, those poor souls?

And jumping over to the other side of town to the junction of King Edward Street and Jameson Street this was the scene late on Wednesday still with a rush to complete by Christmas Eve. Still with the old orange barriers and still a fair few paving blocks to be laid. I haven’t been back since then but the local paper reports that Jameson Street, off to the left, is now clear of barriers though the response from readers seems somewhat mixed.

And as ever a job is not done until it has been seen to be done by at least five other workers …

If you’ve reached this far it only remains for me to wish you all a “Happy Whatever It Is You May Be Celebrating” this exceedingly mild December 25 …

Maybe things are never as bad as they seem

5 Apr

Here’s a rather (too) large panorama of Trinity Square showing the work (ha!) in progress. Andrew Marvell has long gone, the church wall is history as is the large tree that stood on the right of the doorway and those uneven paving slabs of the church yards are probably in somebody’s garden as I write. The good news is that the awful Trinity Square layout with its ridiculous seating and tedious brick paving are also gone. Also, in October last year, plans to build a lean-to restaurant up against the church exterior were shelved due to lack of funds; yet another of those things that were planned but are now (thankfully) not going to happen. 
Now as far as I can tell the plan is to install something like the image below which I’ve borrowed from the council’s public realm document. I leave it to you to imagine how it will actually look. There seems to be only the vaguest of ideas as to what use this space will be put, cafés and seating and ‘events’ are mentioned but I don’t see that being much different from the present use and that is spectacularly hopeless. If this were any other cathedral city, and let’s admit that church is almost as big as a cathedral, it would be surrounded by a cathedral close with many tourist attractions, little stalls, entertainers; something to keep people interested. Here we get the same old “Seating will be installed and again pavement cafes will be encouraged ” Pathetic! I doubt that after the initial interest has waned there will ever be that many people in Trinity Square, the odd stray duck perhaps, sitting in those silly little ponds.

While I was away

10 Feb

I’ve only been into town once in about two months or so, so I missed the official opening of this, the C4DI building, that is going to be the fountain of so many brilliant ideas that we will all live happily ever after in a digital wonderland. While the future maybe bright the once gleaming brass skin is already going a bit grubby, sorry, that should read gaining an impressive patina. Work is well under way on the rest of the site and the old dry dock is finally dry with some sort of construction going on in it.

The iconic view from from Sammy’s Point

3 Aug

I don’t know if you local paper has a buzz word that it uses over and over despite the writer not having a clue what the word means. With the local rag here that word is ‘iconic’. So every old building becomes iconic, bridges become iconic, fried mashed potato patties become iconic, the very snot from kid’s noses is a runny green iconic splurge. So, in the manner of the iconic Hull Daily Mail, we have here on the left in the background the iconic Humber Bridge, moving across Hull’s iconic water front, the soon-to-be iconic C4DI building, the obviously iconic Holy Trinity, the newly iconic Millennium Bridge and the gloriously iconic Tidal Barrier. I’m standing in front of the iconic Deep and I realise I forgot to mention the iconic River Hull and iconic Humber with attendant iconic mud. Those clouds passing by, yup, part of the iconic Hull sky …

New plans for an old site

2 Apr

Over on North Church Side plans are afoot for a boutique hotel no less, in or on the site of these fairly plain shop units. A local property developer by the name of Allenby (such a fine name, if I may say so myself!) wants to make 30 or so short stay apartments. 

As the top picture indicates this development to this quiet backwater comes with close up views of Holy Trinity’s fine medieval brickwork.

Weekend reflections are here.