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Some Hull stuff

17 Sep

The Prospect Centre is having some work done on the lift and to protect Joe Public boards have been erected and to hide or brighten up these boards these decorative Hull based adornments have been added. So clockwise from the top right: Amy Johnson seeming to leap from England to Australia; a footballing tiger representing the local football club, Hull City aka the Tigers (though this year I’m told they are playing like pussy cats), a fisherman with what appear to be laughing cod (clearly a Mickey take of the Hessle Road mural), and finally a not very convincing and somewhat puzzled Philip Larking (as the Daily Mail recently called him) with a toothy toad. There’s another panel that I couldn’t photograph (on account of there being a stall in the way) with rugby players on it but I reckon you can have too much of a good thing.
There are more Monday murals here.
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The Masters Bar

17 Sep

At the junction of Jameson Street and South Street stands this little gem of Edwardian baroque revival. It was built in 1903 and is, of course, protected by a Grade 2 listing.
I’ll mention  here (without comment) an odd little poster that you may have noticed in the top photo. It’s for that Larkin exhibition at the University which I posted about a few weeks ago.

New Eyes Each Year

14 Jul

Yet Another Larkin Event! It seems you can drive out Larkin with a pitchfork but he still comes straight back in. So this is the New Eyes Each Year thing at the Brynmor Jones library at Hull University. As Margot quipped “New Eyes Each Year” sounds like a good line for an optician and indeed there are plenty of Larkin’s spectacles on show along with his shoes, razor, trousers, crayons and so on, there’s even an x-ray of his head!. If, like me, you are a gawper at the debris of other people’s lives then you will find yourself in a rich seam. If however you need to know just what each display means then pick up the informative pamphlet that is available or ask the helpful assistants. I found it an interesting half an hour or so; my one gripe was the ambient music. I know Larkin couldn’t go a day without jazz but there can be too much of the damn stuff. But that’s a petty grumble, I wear a hearing aid; normal ears might not notice it so much. So what does the passing visitor learn from all this? That he was an obsessive, a hoarder of books and correspondence, he had big feet (I’m saying nothing but he did have three lady friends on the go at the same time) and a large collection of ties; other than that his bric-a-brac is pretty unsurprising middle class stuff. Overall it’s a satisfyingly dull exhibition, really, and somewhat depressing; a bit like his poetry.

Some of his books, all catalogued of course, he was a librarian after all.

Some Beatrix Potter potteries.

Mr Larkin’s Olivetti word processor. (Margot took this)

His hedgehog killing machine along with an early draft of Toads.

Margot took this. She claims it’s somewhat sinister but I think it’s just a depressing collection of neck wear.  

Trademark spectacles.

His middle name was Arthur

He was given this little Hitler by his father so it’s no surprise he kept it. It’s more camp than Kampf.

I thought this was a nice chilling touch. Larkin died sometime between 2nd and 3rd December 1985. He never did get his pension.

The Best Remedy

7 Feb

Quite right! Nothing like putting your feet up with a large G&T (a pint might be pushing it but who’s gonna know?) and letting some cool jazz fill the room … This sign, part of the Larkin Trail, is on the White Hart one of his jaunts for listening to jazz and getting absolutely rat arsed. 

Old woss’is name lived ‘ere.

21 Dec
‘It was the top flat of a house that was reputedly the American Consulate during the war, and though it might not have suited everybody, it suited me’. 
                                                                   Philip Larkin
Pip Larkin gets a small plaque for his endurance if nothing else; eighteen years in an attic flat overlooking Pearson Park. I’d liked to have shown more of the place, a large Victorian town house, but high hedges and a high gate with a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign, along with sounds of said dog sniffling and growling around somewhat put me off. Visitors to next year’s city of culture are duly warned.

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.

Dead Poets’ Corner

17 Jun

I took a few more shots of Larkin’s somewhat grotesque statue in Paragon Station the other day with a view to using them at some point in the future. He’s always good for a post on a dull day is my view. Well it seems the dull day has arrived rather quicker than I expected as it’s been announced that the man who handed on misery to man is to be honoured, if that’s the right word, in Westminster Abbey’s poets’ corner. Would it be going too far to say that the Abbey is jumping on the city of culture bandwagon? Perhaps. The ceremony, on December 2 2016, will take place only days before the start of the Culture fest in 2017. The custom used to be to bury the famous scribes in the Abbey but nowadays they just lay a named floor stone. I’m thinking a pair of entwined bicycle clips or a hedgehog would be a fitting extra decoration anything but toads ….