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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…

A foreign country

4 May

I don’t know what the protocol is with photoblogs regarding showing photos of photos; I did it before and no-one said anything so I’ll try it again. So above we have the Princes dock as it was some time ago with trawlers parked up against Maurice Lipman’s tailor shop (yes, that Lipman’s dad). I have no idea who took it or when it was taken (1940s/50s early 60s even, someone will know)  and I do hope that lady crossed the road safely. The picture is on display in Zebedee’s Yard as part of a memorial to lost trawler men, I’ll show more tomorrow. Nowadays there’s no road,  no trawlers and no tailor shop either. I think it’s selling Apples (not the fruit). 

There were two other photographs on display so here they are to make the full set.

This is from what is now the Maritime Museum, that dinky little bridge in the distance is now Castle Street

…and this is from the exit to the Albert Dock if I’m not mistaken.
(And I am mistaken; it’s St Andrew’s Dock!)

You looking at me?

11 Mar

In town on Wednesady the weather was, well, good weather for ducks shall we say. I could see the front one was eyeing me up but then I noticed the back one was as well. All of which led Margot to give me my new word for the day:


The well based fear that somehow, no matter where you are or what you are doing, a duck is always watching you….

Have a nice day!

Dundee Chambers

4 May

Dundee Chambers, on Princes Quay, used to be the offices of the Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co. Ltd. This company ran ships up and down the coast from Dundee to London with all ports in between as well as other destinations.(DP&L History) Hull seems to have had good connections with the bonnie City of Dundee as this company took over an existing Dundee & Hull Shipping Company in 1857. Dundee is famed for its three J’s: Jam, Jute and Journalism. I can see Hull benefiting from the first two but it’s clear, if you’ve ever read the local paper, that the third J never made it.
This building is now part of the Sugar Mill nightclub on the corner of Posterngate


25 Nov

…and what to do with an old office building? Why not turn it into yet another outlet for that cultural delight that is coffee? Whether or not this is the real McCoy I couldn’t say. OK that’s enough coffee shops for now, I don’t even drink the stuff … give me a nice cup of tea anyday.

Private Seats

20 Aug

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, before the reinvention of coffee and the banning of smoking indoors, you could take a seat here and rest a while at no expense save to your backside. Now the only seats belong to the self-styled coffee houses that line the quay side selling ridiculous froth at even more ridiculous prices. They are living proof of Say’s Law that there is a buyer for every product no matter how bad. So, with the collusion of the Council, they have had the public seats removed and simply taken over this once public space and now no-one can just sit and rest a while without they pay. The result is this line of ugly glass cages, yet another mess. 

Thin red line

30 Jun

A few years back, when they were digging the Hull hole and generally tidying up the area around Princes Dock someone had the bright idea of outlining the old city walls (see the blog’s title picture for an idea of what these looked like) in red bricks which explains these lines, squares and circular markings by the dockside.