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Friday, 23 June 2017

Out into Old Harbour.

HW in Hull was about 1730 and the Marina Lock's first pen out is 3 hrs before high water. We were in Hull early to take Skye the budgie and Macy the cat and do some, get the boat fettled and do a little shopping. We then had lunch out at Blue Water cafe on Prince's Dock side. Their picnic platter is lovely and does for the two of us. We got back to the boat and was then shouted at to come for a coffee with some friends, so our departure was a little rapid in the end with no time to worry for Helen. As we walked back to the boat it started drizzling. I thought this would be okay but as we moved towards the lock it got heavier.

As the outer gates were opened it was looking a bit dour but not too dratfy. We had paid our very big bill so they would not be using the gone on the dock side to stop us leaving!

As we cleared the lock I called VTS Humber to inform them that we had left the Marina and were just popping round the corner to enter the River Hull. They told me there was 4.1 mt on the tide gauge at Hull. I also told them there were to person's aboard.

This is all that remains of the ferry pier. The steam paddlers used this pier up until the Humber Suspension Bridge was opened in 1981. They took passengers and cars over to New Holland pier on the Lincolnshire side. That pier is now a series of cargo berths and is sometimes busy with bulk cargoes in and out. The pier was originally a two tier affair and has been whittled down over the years.

On the right are the piles of the Horsewash. There is a slope down into the river from near the pier here, and carters used to bring their animals down here to give the a splash in the water at the right state of tide. Then there is the tidal barrier that lowers down to prevent the town being inundated when there are high tides etc. Below that is the new foot bridge with the yellow painted counter balance. It was opened in 2001 at the same time as The Deep and is called the Millennium Bridge. Through the middle of the tidal barrier can be seen the control cabin for the Myton Gate dual carriage way which is the main east/west artery to the docks and out of town and is extremely busy at all times and was opened in 1981. The building also through the tidal barrier that looks like a jug kettle is the Premier Inn. The Deep Submarium stands guard on Sammy's Point. My main worry about this passage is that we are early enough on the tide so that we can fit under the last of the twelve bridge we need to pass under on the outskirts of Hull.

Once in the River Hull you are no longer under the navigational jurisdiction of Associated British Ports, but the Hull City Council in the form of the 'Old Harbour Master'. I have tried to phone him several times during our stay but no luck. I was therefore not expect to be answered when I called on the radio. All he wanted to know was where our insurance certificate was! I dropped it in the next day. 

As you pass the tidal barrier, very often missed form the shore are metal copies of two busts that can be seen in the Maritime Museum by Stefan Gec. They can be seen on top of the central pile. In 1847 the Hull whaling ship 'Truelove' brought back a brother, 15, and sister, 14, eskimos, or Inuit as they are now more properly called. The idea was to tour them around to raise funds and bring to the public the difficulties of the natives of Greenland and area. They were to wear native costume. Whether the plan raised any money for the natives I'm not sure but the next years whaling season, Memiadluk and Uckaluk were on their way home when Uckaluk died of measels aged 15.

Here we are passing under the Scale lane Bridge, the newest in Hull being opened in 2013. This is the only bridge that you can ride on when it opens. It also plays bird song when closed and makes a very convenient route from east to west into the Old Town. On the right is the 'Dovedale'. She has been there a while now and I think she maybe waiting for conversion up grade. It is the HQ of Whittaker's barges that used to have all the oil barges in the Humber area. They now seem to have moved up to ship bunkering around the UK. On the left is the 'Arctic Corsair', the last side winder trawler left and an can be looked over with a guide described in an earlier blog.

By the time we were past Myton Bridge the rain started sheeting down. There is a plan to move the 'Arctic Corsair to a dry dock further that was once the entrance to the original enclosed dock in Hull, called The Dock as there was nothing to confuse with it then! The berthing of the trawler is thought to have caused the build up of the mud which is in turn restricting the flow of water and may have contributed to the flooding ten years ago.

The entrance on the right is the bell mouth for the lock that once led into Victoria Dock via a half tide basin. There was another entrance direct into the Humber but this was very useful for the myriad of barges that used the River Hull. The knuckle with no building on it was where the Ranks' Mill was until very recently and was on of the first built by J. Rank that wasn't a windmill. He started in Hull. There is supposed to be a posh hotel built here at some stage. The tall building is Gamebore's factory where shoot gun cartridges are made. The metal is taking up the tower and melted it is then poured through a system like a watering can rose. The drops then fall down the height of the tower and into a vat of water at the bottom. They are mainly round when they have cooled but they are then rolled over glass sides and any that don't roll straight are taken aside to be smoothed. All cleaver stuff.

The next bridge is Drpool Bridge. Drypool was a little village that was just outside the boundary of Hull. The bridge was opened in 1961 and replaced an earlier on that was built in 1889 and was run by Hydraulic power as was the rest of the dock estate like locks and cranes. This bridge is a Scherzer type rolling bridge, the same as the railway bridge at Keadby over the Trent. The bridge has recently been painted for the City of Culture and is in honour of John Venn from Hull. His Father was the vicar of Drypool and was a friend of William Wilberforce and part of the antislavery movement. John went into science and it was he that 'invented' the Venn diagram that we use today, hence the bisecting circle design. On the left is part of the old Pease Warehouse. They were another old Hull trading family. This warehouse was built in 1765 and is now flats.

Between Drypool Bridge and the next up river, North Bridge, are several dry docks, plus the entrance to the old Dock or Queen's Dock. In one of these the HMS Bounty, of Mutiny fame, was built as a collier called the 'Bethina'. There are plans to redevelop this whole area as well as moving the trawler here. The brick building was an old chandlers premises and warehouse.

This is North Bridge and there has been a bridge here since 1541, and prior to that there was a ferry. This was the only bridge in those times as the River Hull was the eastern defences of the walled town of Hull, and this was just outside. As you can see this is another Scherzer rolling or walking bridge and this was built in 1928. It is Grade II listed. My Mum was born above an undertakers just off to the right. The building is still there. WE have no traveled the the full length of what is known as the Old Harbour. On the east bank, to the right, there was a fortress called the Garrison. It was well stocked in the time of Henry VIII and he visited Hull several times to keep his eye on it. It was the Garrison arsenal that brought Charles I to Hull, and it was then that the gates of the town were closed on him and he was refused entry. This was the action that really embolden the nation to start the Revolution against him. On the left bank, within the walled town, the west bank was lined with the rich merchants houses that were counting houses, dwellings, warehouses and wharves where their cargoes were landed directly. The River Hull was a free port and there was much chaos. On one of Henry VIII saw a ship collide with another whilst trying to get in and decreed that ships should then have a pilot. It is said that there was so much congestion that it took as long for a ship to sail to the Baltic and back as ship to arrive at Hull, enter the harbour, work cargo and leave. This was one of the main factors for building the enclosed dock. Also the Government wanted a port that they could regulate and obtain their proper customs dues.

That is enough for one blog, and we haven't even covered a mile yet.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

More highlights of Hull

A few more photographs of Hull and a general tour around as we go about our business.

Prince Street leads off Holy Trinity Square through an arch and is an often photographed view. The lovely Georgian houses from about 1770 are sought after now but were slums not too long ago. The street is probably named after the Prince Regent who later became George IV.

Holy Trinity Church, or now Minster, is under going massive changes at the moment. The majority of the pews are being removed and it is going to become a very flexible space for all uses. The beer festival that is normally held here in April will now be in November. The square in front is also undergoing change. When it is finished there will be seating and reflection pools so that the view of the Minster can be seen in them and become a haven of peace. On the left can be seen the campanile above the indoor market hall. It plays tunes on the peels throughout the day. The market Hall is also reopening after a massive refit and has a good selection of food and other items represented.

Next to the market is the Kingston Hotel and they have embraced the cafe culture with their outdoor seating on the square. Can this really be Hull we are asked regularly.

Just of the Trinity Square is the 'front door' of the Hull Trinity House.

The detail of the pediment above the door.

Further down Trinity House Lane is Bob Carvers who are well known in Hull and area and are the makers of the first Hull 'pattie', something that you don't seem to be able to get anywhere else. It is essentially mashed potatoes with some herbs, bread crumbed and deep fried. Lovely! You can also get original Hull Chip Spice on the your fries here. Upstairs is a sit down cafe where you can have buttered bread and tea with your fish and chips.

Alfred Gelder Street was named after a former Mayor and architect who designed a new lay out for the city centre that formed Queen Victoria Square and what became known as Alfred Gelder Street. The Guild hall was built as law courts next to the Town Hall in 1907. The Town Hall was a lovely building designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, who designed some great buildings in Leeds, and was opened in 1866. In 1897 Hull received City status and the town hall was deemed not fitting. It was knocked down and between 1913 and 1916 this current building was erected, designed by Sir Edwin Cooper.

The more you look the more detail you can find. It is worth entering the building to see the inside, and to make a visit to the the fantastic embroidery pictures that denote periods of Hull's history. they are so detailed they could have been painted.

At the bottom of Queens Gardens, the Old Queens Dock, filled in, and standing in front of Hull College, is column with William Wilberforce's statue atop. The whole thing was moved here in the 1930's from close to Queen Victoria Square. As it is City of Culture year the manuscript he is holding has been guilded. The column is also now lit up.

Hull History Centre was opened in 2010 and houses three main collections, each made up of many parts, The Hull City Council collection, The University of Hull's and the Local Studies collection. There are so many papers that if they were end for end they would cross the Humber Bridge four times.

Inside the atrium they hold regular exhibitions. This one is by local writer and photographer Alex Gill who recorder the scenes on Hessle Road, home to the fishing community in Hull. It certainly evokes a time passed, and not one to be returned to for many reasons.

I was following my own advice about looking up and noticed this in a fan light above a door.

A real hidden gem of Hull is St Charles de Borromeo. It is quite nondescript from the exterior, but when you get inside you could be in France. In 1780 the Catholic Chapel in Postern Gate was destroyed in the Gordon Riots. Various places were used until in 1829 St Charles' was opened. That was the year the Catholics in England received full emancipation.

It was the day of the monthly Hull food festival and the crowds were out.

Zebedee's yard was the site of the many stalls. There was food from around the world. I remember when the first pizza place opened in Hull, and they queued round the block for weeks. How times change.

 Just one of the many dock related buildings that still are there. This one is now a club and hotel just down Postern Gate.

Queen Victoria Square has been up dated for the City of Culture year and the children have been loving the new fountains in the warm weather. As you can see t with there is a mist function and they play with various height jets and are lit up at night.

We are moving on in the next few days so you will get a break from Hull you may be pleased to know.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Back to the boat.

After our visit to the 'Arctic Corsair' we walked back to the marina via a different route.

This another of the old Medieval streets of Hull, Chapel Lane, leading to Lowgate with the old GPO building in the distance.

Looking south down High Street you can see the Maister House on the right, up the steps. The Maister's were another large merchant family like the Wilberforce's. The house is now owned by the National Trust. Next to it is the Sailmakers pub that is in a courtyard and was an old ship's chandlers. The building on the right, jutting out is an old warehouse that had been the 'Bierkellar' of our youth and is now a vegetarian restaurant where the first person to book for a day gets to choose what sort of style food there will be. On the left is the columned entrance of the Old Corn Exchange and then the Pacific Club.

This the head of Neptune that is found on the Old Exchange Building in Lowgate. This was a Public Exchange that was built in 1794. Business was transacted here, but the exchange of information, ideas and news was also carried on. I suppose it was what we would call a networking venue these days. The building was improved and ornamented in 1820. It became a court for a short time and latterly was the Barracuda Bar.

Next door is Ocean Chambers that was built in 1899/1900 and seems to have been offices for a marine insurance Company, and later general insurance. Above the door way is this beautiful 'sculpture'. The lighthouse and dolphins complete the marine theme. It has been home to a solicitors since 1979.

On the other side of the road is St. Mary's The Virgin Church that has the tower built over the pavement. It can trace it's history back to 1327. The church has increased in size as more isles have been added. It is thought that the original tower collapsed in 1518 and this one was added in 1697. It is a lovely old church, much remodeled by Gilbert Scott in the mid 1800's. Interestingly there were three vicars over the period called John Scott as the living was passed down from Father to son. The middle John had five sons who went on to be founder members of the rugby league team Hull FC. The pub that is now in the old GPO building opposite is a Weatherspoon's called the Three John Scotts. Gilbert Scott was a cousin also.

Down Bowlalley Lane (yes, there was a bowling green here), is Samman House that was home to the Samman Shipping Co. Sir Henry Samman started out as an apprentice on tea clippers and became a self made ship owner. He sold his business after WWI predicting a deline and gave the building to the Chamber of Commerce and Shipping. They formed a council room and a set of stained glass windows depicting shipping through the ages. Thirty years later, for the Festival of Britain in 1951, they installed another set of windows, sponsored, showing the important industries of Hull. The building is sometime open on Heritage weekends.

This is probably the most well know street in Hull, The Land of Green Ginger. Not too far away on the Wolds is also the Land of Nod! There are many stories as to how it got its name, corruption of the name of a Dutchman who lived here, but it probably just where ginger was stored when brought in from the docks.

We are now back on Whitefriargate and this is the Neptune Hotel I spoke of in the last blog. It was a very important coaching Inn and place where business was done. It was built about 1791/95 but was not a great success. By 1815 it had been taken over as the Customs House for 100 years. It is another building open on Heritage Weekends.
This is the detail of the motif above the building. It is in fact the crest of the Hull trinity House, who own the buildings on this side of the street. The Latin motto means 'Hope beyond the stars'.

After getting back to the boat and doing a few jobs we decided that as it was such a lovely evening we would have another wander, again not far from the marina. This abstract sculpture of what appears to be fishermen is right next to the marina.

This is the bridge across the lock when the two halves are closed.

This area to the west of the marina entrance was once known as Paraffin Creek and was a run down industrial area. I wish they hadn't put offices here as the views and position could have been much better used. The public space is used during festivals etc as there is a lot of open space. On the building is one of the Gypsy Moths that formed a trail around Hull, celebrating Aviatrix Amy Johnson's achievement of flying solo to Australia in 1930. She was from Hull and very much a local heroine.

Hull was the port of transmigration for 2,200,000 people from Europe, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Russia etc. Wilson Line ships sold a package where they embarked on their ships in the European ports and were brought to Hull. Their ticket included a train fare across to Liverpool, Glasgow or London, where they ships would take them on to USA, Canada and elsewhere. The bronze is by Neil Haddock and I seem to remember that the boy poking the crab represents leaving of the old life and the girl toddling off the search for their new life.

This is the entrance to Albert Dock, which is still a working dock. The Transpennine route goes through here and the path is along the warehouse roofs at this mpoint. You have to cross the lock gates and then over the bridge that can be seen above the piles of sand to the left.

With the fall off in the North Sea oil production Albert Dock is home to these laid up vessels. There is even one in Goole. You get a different view of the estuary from the path on the roof and it is worth a look on a nice day, especially if there is traffic on the Humber.

This was the Hull headquarters of the Wilson Line. They were bought by Ellerman's and became the Ellerman Wilson Line. The building's main trading room is now a recreation centre with an indoor bowls area.

The weather vane is of a company ship.

Just before we arrived back at the marina we pass Warehouse 13 which is the sole survive of those round Humber and railway dock. It houses the marina services and offices as well as Al Porto Italian Restaurant.

With the mooring you get a parking pass and a fob to get you through the barriers which is very useful in the city centre. More later.

Friday, 16 June 2017

A short walk to a bigger boat.

I should tell you that the next few blogs will be as much an advert for Hull as it is about what we have been up to. We have gone home, about 6 miles, but are at the boat just about every day to check and to show folk round etc. We thought Macy the Cat would prefer to be in the garden than on a pontoon too.

On our next day in Hull, Sunday, we decided to see if we could get on a tour of the 'Arctic Corsair' and set off towards the museum quarter. Alongside Junction or Princess Dock is the Establishment of Trinity House. This started out in 1369 as the Guild of the Holy Trinity and then over the years morphed into Trinity House when it amalgamated with the Shipman's Guild in 1457 and became a maritime organisation. Mainly to look after widows and orphans etc. It later became the agency in charge of navigation between Flamborought Head and Winterton Ness and the Humber and licencing pilots. A school was opened in 1785 in the grounds and a new building opened in 1842, and this was the entrance.

This is the chapel of Trinity House that was also built in 1842. The photographs show you that the lads at the school had a uniform to wear. The school moved out of old building here in 2013 and took over another building in the town centre.

The dilapidated, non historic, school buildings were demolished and the area made into a public space that can be used for events etc, or a car park. With it's connection to the sea, Zebedee's Yard, named after an old headmaster, was felt a good place for the Fisherman's memorial. It is quite an incredible piece as it was designed by the son of an ex trawlerman and fabricated here. It has lights and sound and was paid for by subscription. The flowers are held in ship's bow shapes that are sponsored, as are the rivets. It is well worth a look.

The main throughfare to the Old Town is Whitefriargate (or White'fr'gate in Hull). All the land to the south is owned by Trinity House today and this provides the revenue for their many charitable concerns now. There are many beautiful buildings that they built, including the Neptune Hotel, now Boots, but if you look up!?  I thought I would put a newer building's photo here. This is a beautiful Art Deco building of 1934 which was designed and built for British Home Stores.

This is a detail of the lovely Portland stone old National Westminster Bank building on Silver Street, that was designed by Smith and Brodick and erected in 1873. It is now a nice restaurant and bar.

A little further down Silver Street is this above street level, and missed by many. 1848 George Moore Garrick, Master. This was designed by famous Hull architect Cuthbert Brodick who is well known for his buildings in Leeds, but this is only one of two left in Hull. George Garrick was the Master of Charterhouse, and ancient and religious establishment in Hull that owned this plot from the 15th Century until very recently. Garrick was the Master from 1847 to 1849 when he died aged 48.

On the corner of Silver Street and Low Gate is this logo on an old bank building. The beehive is a symbol of industry and was adopted by Lloyds bank following the theft of some of there bank notes. As most people couldn't read they decided to put a logo on so that people would know whose they were! Their present logo of the black horse came to them from a goldsmiths, Humphrey Stokes of Lombard Street in London that thyey bought in 1884. They then started using their emblem, the black horse. Mind you this building was from 1912 so it took a good while for the whole organisation to take it on.

Not a very good photo of Hepwrth's Arcade. It is unusual for an arcade as it has a dog leg in it. It was opened in 1899 and a few years later Tom Spencer of Marks and Spencer fame opened one of his first bazaars in three shops here. Today it is known as a place of independent shops, and especially a good old fashioned joke shop, Dinsdale's. You can also access the covered market from inside.

I don't know anything about this wooden moulding on a shop front on Silver Street, but it has a touch of Grinling Gibbons about it. I wonder if it was a game shop! Not something you see everyday.

Hull was a walled town, but in the 1700's they started replacing the walls with docks. This helped to preserve the Medieval street plan within the old town, which is very rare in the UK. This is one of the streets that ruuns from the High Street to Lowgate at the heart of the Old Town, Bishop's Lane.

High Street was the centre of activity for the Old Town. The merchants had their big houses here that ran down to the River Hull, where they had their own wharves and warehouses. One is still as it was, William Wilberforce's birth place is now a museum. This is the Pacific Club that was built in 1899. Hull had become the centre of the seed crushing industry and so paints, oils, fertilisers etc etc. Each trader had an office that people would have to travel round and round. They decide to build an exchange where each could trade in good northern light without leaving the place. Joseph Rank, founder of Rank Hovis Macdougal would have come here too. It was important until after WWII. It then became a club for well to do before going under. It was saved and has housed the council, the police authority, Police and Crime Commissioner and the City of Culture team.

Further down High Street is the old Corn Exchange, built in 1901. I love the building that was later used for a museum and is still part of the museum complex today.

I'm not sure where the gates came from as they are dated from Lincoln in 1855, but I really like the fact that the corn traders office signs can still be seen outside the door way.

We arrived at the museum to find that we could just tag on to the 1200 tour that was just starting. These tours are free and take a bit over an hour and are led by ex trawlermen. Check before going though as they only run two or three times a week. The Artic Corsair is the last surviving side winder trawler, where the trawl gear was towed over the side, rather than the stern, and the net recovered over the side too. She was built up the River Hull in Beverley in 1960.

The accommodation was a real step back for me as the smell was just as the ships I sailed on and even the fittings were very similar. The ship was usually away for three weeks fishing and in Hull for three days before sailing again to the northern fisheries of the White Sea or Barents Sea, in 1973 she broke the world record for landing cod and haddock from the White Sea. A lot of the equipment on the bridge was just as my early ships.

The green boards is the fish pound where the net's cod end would be lifted aboard after a tow of three hours. From here they would be gutted and then flung in the fish washer, the silver thing with the chute, before passing down below where they were carefully laid out in ice in species type etc. The trawl winch was just in front of the wheelhouse.

Just for you engineers here is the engine thing! Apparently it is a Mirlees 6 cylinder and pushed her along at a creditable 15 knots. She was bought by Hull City Council in 1993 and was restored by volunteers. She is not in very good nick now, but there are plans for her to move a little further up the River Hull to an old dry dock, that was actually the lock entrance to the first enclosed dock in Hull, The Dock, or Queen's Dock as it became, opened in 1778.

My best advice when visiting Hull, or anywhere actually, would be too lock up. Everywhere has shops, but if you look above them you usually see much more interesting things.