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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.

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