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The Moggie and the Maggies …

19 Jul

… or the cat on a cool slate roof.
We were down the Land of Green Ginger the other day when the normal town hubbub was overwhelmed by a loud repetitive cackling from on high. Turns out a cat had entered the roof top domain of two magpies who were, to say the least, displeased by this development. The cat, as cats do, simply ignored all the fuss and went about its business. That’s it really; hardly worth craning your neck to see what was going on.

I think Margot K Juby took this one

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Silver and Green Ginger

9 Dec

At the corner of Silver Street and Land of Green Ginger site this imposing pile of Portland stone built in 1873. No prizes for guessing it was once a bank, the Natwest bank in fact. Since the banking crisis means banks no longer have any need for savers to put real money in, they simply get their ‘cash’ from the Bank of England at zero charge, they have no need of expensive branches like this so it’s been sold off. I’ve read that an application for permission for change of use to a “restaurant” and “drinking establishment” (I like that phrase even if it’s yet another trendy wine bar!) has been made. I heard today that the much vaunted trickle down effect hasn’t worked, but with all the coffee bars and boozers round here I think the trickle might become a flood …

Did Britannia waive the rules?

26 Nov

This building on the corner of Whitefriargate and Land of Green Ginger was built in 1886 to house the Colonial and United States Mortgage Company. The architects were one Mr Clamp and our old friend Alfred Gelder. I know nothing of the Colonial and US Mortgage Company, Google refuses to enlighten me. I can tell you that many years after it was built it housed another mortgage company, the Britannia Building Society, later to become the Britannia Bank. Why isn’t it still a branch of Britannia? Well you know it’s just the old, old story ….
The Britannia Building Society, was caught up in the dying embers of the 2008 crash. It was  formed in the mid 19th century and was the second largest building society until it merged with the Cooperative Bank in 2009. Now I’m not going to say there was a criminal enterprise involved because no-one has been charged with anything but  the Britannia  had a boat load of bad debts (sub-prime garbage) on its books. The merged concerned had to be ‘distanced’ from the mutual Co-op and in effect bought out. Expect a huge legal brouhaha over all this. Meanwhile if you know anyone who wants a Victorian French renaissance style office and erstwhile bank, here’s one going spare.
Here’s how it looked when new and yes it was enlarged at a later date. And quite how, despite being a listed building, that ornate frontage was replaced with  plate glass dreck is probably a story too murky for sensitive souls.

Neverland

24 Jun

OK this is one those believe it or not posts. If you don’t believe it then it’ll probably disappear in a cloud of pixie dust before your very eyes.

Land of Green Ginger

28 Jun
There’s a street, well it’s a more a narrow lane, near the old town called the Land of Green Ginger. No-one knows why it has this odd name and it really is a bit of a disappointment having mainly law offices , coffee bars and very little of any interest apart from a pub which claims to have the smallest window in England. This is little more than a slit between two bricks and in more enlightened times would be called a con.
Winifred Holtby  (who she?) wrote a book called Land of Green Ginger.
Alan Plater, who died last week, wrote a TV play called Land of Green Ginger, one of those gritty “realism” jobs that they always go on about when talking about how good TV was when there were only three channels and you had to get up to change them….Actually this is unfair to Mr Plater, who I once met in the old Hull Truck Theatre, smoking a ciggy and propping up the bar: he did boring so well it was almost an art form, non-events became the focus of his world, with complete fantasies woven into this mundane non-happening. Usually the lack of plot was jollied along with some fine old jazz tunes. I think old Plater was one of the good guys and will be sadly missed.
Wikipedia’s article on L of GG recommends that you see also Green Ginger wine; now this I can wholeheartedly agree with; top it up with some whisky, et voilà , instant cure for all that may ail you. Cheers!