Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hell, Hull and Halifax

Great Railway Journeys I have done (3)

I never realised that the thieves' Litany containing the famous lines 'from Hell, Hull and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us!' could have such a negative impact on the Subconscious mind until I actually left the city of my birth. Whenever people ask from whence I came ,the reply' Kingston upon Hull ' seems to provoke sympathy and commiseration rather than the plaudit I am expecting. I wonder if the rhyme itself is to blame ,and I am pleading with Hullensians to start putting around a new and positive one .I am going to start looking at the lyrics of Beautiful South but they should have stuck to the their more positive avian name.
For over 40 years my heart has warmed as it approached Hull by train. I used to like the Hull Brewery Ales hoarding which signalled the approach from all stations west, but I have for nearly 20 years appreciated a gem of a Banksy which has been there before even he was born.
So I start at the now (since 1965)North Riding beginning of my journey from Filey to Hull Paragon. Click on the 1947 map to enlarge, the places have not changed.

Filey Station hangs on by a thread to respectability. Brave and visionary volunteers and Station Buffet proprietors and rail network employees have tried to keep the station clean and bright, floral and litter free. This year they have succeeded, It is looking Great.
On a gray school holiday day the interior livery is looking good, but still only 2 carriages. Why? 2 carriages on packed August days, 2 carriages on busy school commutes, 2 carriages on icy don't take the car to work days.
Add Image Still , I enjoy the scenic ride to Bempton. All my favourite landmarks are here
  • Filey medieval field systems
  • Hunmanby-glacial valleys , steep cuttings (with primroses in spring)
  • dewpond Reighton Field
  • nearly a glimpse of Buckton Hall
  • definite glimpse of disused Bempton Methodist chapel
  • hoped for view of Newsham deserted village(winter only)
The no signal for mobile spot kicks in just after Bempton. NO phoning ahead to Brid for taxi to school -I remember that well. wait till the Maltings at Marton.
Tell what sort of a day it is going to be now, with the glimpse of the sea next to the mini golf at Bridlington. I have deleted that picture-the windows in the carriage are too dirty for you.
I do not know why Gardeners World or The One Show have not featured the Station Buffet floral display at Bridlington. Each year it manages to be , apart from David Hockney, and my friends from Hilderhorpe the best thing about the town. I have spent hours in that Buffet when on my way too early, to school, and drunk tea, waiting for ten to eight , in the days when School door opened at 8. Now they open at 7.30 am and most teachers have to stay the night anyway to get their preparation done.The Scarborough to Hull , and the Hull to Scarborough trains usually have a wait of between 2 and 10 minutes at Bridlington. This is thanks to the suit who rubber stamped the removal of one of the lines of track. Trains must pass at Bridlington or Filey.

This bridge is a dear friend. It is just south of Bridlington station, and links the path from Hilderhorpe Primary School as I suppose I must now call it , with the industrial estate famous for child car seats and the Morrisons car park featured in Hockney's Drawings in a printing machine, 'The Atelier' (in the 2009 catalogue-which is wonderful).
When I had to give up smoking, after the ban in all East Riding Schools circa 2000, the steps of this bridge were the nearest place I could get to ,from school, for a sit down and a cigarette during the lunch hour. Few children ever went home for lunch so I don't think I was spotted being a bad influence.
From Bridlington to Beverley is a rural ride of Cobbett preportions. I did not see any countrymen hanging upon the gallows, or miles and miles of turnips without fences to the fields. I saw miles and miles of field beans, dull golden stubble from the oil seed rape,more pinchbeck gold, and heavenly golden stubble from the wheat and barley . Many of the potato fields had been cropped and re ploughed , the Christmas tree plantation surprised me . I heard myself saying that I could remember when they had just been planted.
Beverley Station is still the dullest temple to bricks, lightened only by the sign to the Taxi Firm that will always be no 1 in the county as far as I am concerned. They ferry ancient parent around Beverley, to dentist , doctors, Tescos and chemist ,as if she is the Queen, carry her bags, treat her kindly, that I Thank God for them.
Beverley to Hull , via that best of all addresses, Cottingham reminds all those approaching the Humber that a vast City on the flat is no Has- been.

Smart new glasshouses serving us our Cucumbers and Tomatoes flash by in a healthy promise, vast powerlines are calling the Ordnance Survey map to 'Follow me', and the thrill of Walton street carpark (HullFair) and the new Football Stadium, KC call out YOU'RE HOME. Only the old Workshouse building next to the Hull RI reminds you that for some there was a half -life sans benefits of our times,a la Valerie Wood when there were the deserving and the undeserving poor . Or has that Changed at all?

Here is my Hull Banksy, TRIPPETTS, once the place in Hull for gloves, on the way to Thornton Varleys for a toasted tea-cake served in a charming chafing type dish.
My spouse , used to the Great railway Stations of Europe(Antwerp, Paris North, Ghent, Waterloo) used to tell me that Paragon Station was awful. Now he likes it . The interchange, the flowerstall, the new loos all tick the Baedeker box. Only the coffee is still frightful -one place where a Costas or Cafe Nero would satisfy, in the wait between connections or the arrival of Hullsister , before we hit Ask and THAT view of the marina.

1 comment:

  1. spruce12.9.09

    Trippets ! That brings back memories. But next time I come into Kingston -upon-Hull I must look for thr platform that the emigres used as they departed for Liverpool en route to the New World from Europe.