Wednesday, October 03, 2018

I go further up stream

The Northern Rail Strikes on Saturday have done me a favour . Needing to be in Kingston upon Hull by lunchtime and having 3 hours to use wisely before meeting Hull Sister I head off river bound from a quicker than train journey on a National Express coach .

Soon I will never again use these 50s handles .They are on a shop I have known all my life as Hammonds OKA House of Fraser whose CLOSING DOWN POSTERS have upset the windows since last night.
Hull sister has told me about a POP UP ART Gallery around Scott Street Bridge. I now know the way, my senses are responding to my hometown , 53 years since I left it. I cross FreeTown way , and see again the Albion Pub, once a lurid pink , now back to a respectable yellow , and on to Scott Street bridge , and my first glimpse of the Graf Art .
I have enjoyed Graf Art for years , but especially since Eurostar drew in to Gare du Nord in 09 and  first took real notice of the Graffiti and started looking for tags.  The difference here in Wincolmlee was that artists were openly working using spray cans and rollers and paint trays , with surprising purples and blues as if someone has found left over paint cans in the garage from the 60s. 

On to Air Street , for the next room of the gallery . I found a little graveyard, St Mary's Sculcoates, a little oasis of green amongst the rat run streets and emerging wall art. Its a timeless corner considering that everything around it is changing by the day .
Why had I never seen the fantastic bridge over the river that is Wilmington ? Now just a foot bridge , but once I'm sure the Hornsea Line must have come this way. I digress here as nostalgia kicks in , and I remember that I could see the trains from to Hornsea miles away across the the flat Holderness Countryside from our house on a small rise, Riseholme  near Sutton . How thrilled were we children when we saw our first Diesel speeding by near Swine!
Air street is as far as I went up stream today , I enjoyed the walk back even more as I kept to the Bankside, and found another bridge , Chapman Street Bridge , a swing bridge for Road Traffic this time. I would have followed my nose to Cleveland Street , a road I knew well in the 1960s, the route of the 37 bus from our village into town , past the Oil and Cake Mill and the Ropery with the eponymous name written in a vast piece of rope several metres high . Who can forget the awful smell from the Mill when the wind blew the fumes to Saltshouse Road ?

When I got back to Scott Street not an artist was around. I had met the Project Manager. It must have taken lots of RED TAPE to get the permissions in place for the Impromptu but hopefully permanent and evolving Bankside Gallery up and running in the months since my last walk . I hope it doesn't get sanitised and lose its rough edge . I hope no Chain Coffee shops or Gin Lounges will think to open near Rix Truck depot , but everyone will use the Albion and the Bankside Cafe .
Next time , I'm starting at Air Street and walking to Stoneferry, where my Great Grandfather , Benjamin John Elder Bruce , lived at the Waterworks House on the Sculcoates side of the River with his wife and children .

I saw some other Art too in Air Street , a deliberate attempt at print making , of the sort found for many thousands of years  all over the world. I liked that too .