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Dancing in the street

22 Jul

Not having TV or social media folk had to make their own entertainment in the old days. In Yorkshire and North East England they came up with this, it’s called rapper sword dancing. It involves five dancers, five double handed steel blades and a guy on the pipes or maybe an accordion playing a catchy rhythm. They whirl around, leap over one another and weave to and fro never leaving go of the handles and trying not to decapitate themselves as they go. The dance ends with the blades intertwined in a star-like figure which is then held aloft as if the solution to all life’s problems has been found. It is profoundly pointless and that I suppose is the point as, having made the star, they start all over again, always twirling, twirling, twirling …
These guys were part of the three day Hull Folk and Maritime Festival which this year I managed to get to see part. There was folk singing on several stages. Not really my scene. I don’t mind a bit of the Irish pipes, (Planxty and so on) but modern “folk songs” make me want to reach for the mute button. But then there were lots of folk dance groups doing their thing in various spots across town. Now somehow this appealed; the often bizarre costumes, the music: all good stuff. Below is a sample. 

And last but by no means least …

Now this being Hull the city of culture as well as all these delights the BBC Proms was being broadcast from the stage in the dock and the UK Pride festival was being held in Queen’s Gardens.  I could post about them now but I think I’ve gone on too long as it is…
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Comrade of Hull

16 Oct

Well here’s a little bit of nautical history moored up in the Marina. The Comrade is a type of craft known as a Humber Keel designed to carry cargoes around the Humber and Trent. The design is ancient and thought to be based on Viking longships with a shallow draught and a square rigged sail. Comrade was built in 1923 and could get as far inland as Sheffield. It’s last commercial voyage was in 1975 when it was acquired and renovated by the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society. Of course it has its very own picture filled and informative website.  There’s also a pretty comprehensive history of the vessel here.

A pretty Pickle

12 Sep

Came across this little ship in the Marina today. This is the schooner Pickle and it claims to be a replica or reconstruction of HMS Pickle which brought the first news of the Battle of  Trafalgar back to Falmouth in 1805. In fact this ship was built in 1995 in Russia along with several other similar craft to commemorate the creation of Peter the Great’s navy some 300 years ago. Back then it was known as the Alevtina Tuy. Then in 2004 or thereabouts it was further altered to take on a role as HM Schooner Pickle to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar. It was left going to rot in Gibraltar until it was recently bought and rescued by a local businessman. Anyhow for the moment it is now sitting in Hull Marina and you can have a guided trip round it for a fiver should you wish.

A Thing

26 Jun

Someone sat down, or more probably in this town a whole committee sat down, and decided it would a good idea if there was a thing at just this point. Plans were drawn up, consultations held, a contract signed (with Things Inc. no doubt), steel forges fired up, presses squeezed the metal  sheets which were cut and then engraved and welded to give us the glory that is this thing. Now tell me this isn’t a worthwhile thing …

Never saw the sun shining so bright

26 Jun

Here’s an odd thing at the marina, I’ve no doubt it has meaning but I’m damned if I know what it is. This was taken before the EU-know-what and that shade of blue known as Euroblue or Brussels blue will not be seen in these parts again as blue skies come to us courtesy of the sunshine articles of the Lisbon Treaty (tru dat, tru fact innit!).

Light and shade

14 Jun

Trying something different with the Spurn lightship.

Dangerous Waters

13 Jun

Hull’s marina sparing no expense on health and safety …