Monday, January 28, 2019

Bankside with Grandma

Doing Bankside

Its 10 years since I saw my first Banksy . It was in Israel
and was a definite political statement, and even from the coach window was recognisable. Ten years on and Banksy is very much main stream and market worthy . Now with a celebrity status even Secondary Schools deem the artist of note and encourage pupils to discover his work and appreciate it . One such is my grandson Reuben . When I told him about the Banksy on Scott Street Bridge, Kingston upon Hull, he asked if I would take him to see it. 
We had a great day out from Filey , taking the train to Paragon is always good for boys who travel to school in a coach, and everywhere else by car . They however are both walkers ,every weekend they go for miles with their parents on the beach at Cayton, Scarborough and Hunmanby Gap , BELOVED  only slow strolls with the Sholley these days to get the paper, or collect his medication.He potters around quite happily without us, always spurred on by the prospect of Neighbours at lunchtime so we left him to hold the Filey Fort.

WE walked straight to the Banksy on Scott Street Bridge. Its not much of a sight now that its been vandalised, preserved and covered with perspex, as its lost its integrity . THE one in the war torn West Bank has more about it . I won't go on here about the lack of care of the Brits for the man made environment when the gift of a Banksy arrives. Its just as easy to say that any graf is destructive. 
The Bankside Gallery has to be understood . Artists are provided with designated Permission Walls, which like everything may be abused, as in the Preston Road site, now probably gentrified up as another Gallery Site. I cant see any reason not to paint on derelict houses. HCC waits for years before seeing the housing needs, and finding money to renovate existing stock, the graf is a useful wake up call to a Labour Council .(IMO)
Reuben took lots of photos, he's good at that, .Zak hung around patiently asking intelligent questions. I Walked them to the great walls in Air Street , dodging huge lorries trying to park on the corner near the small graveyard. This all added to the urban feel, as Bankside is not a cosy Gallery with seats and the smell of freshly ground coffee around very corner. It is edgy and a small part of the day to day industry that is going on around it. Men in high vis jackets hang out the front of engineering plants and car yards enjoying a fag and a break . We saw no one else walking around looking at the paintings. WE  were the odd ones out . The spray canned ones fitted in mostly well, because we expect to see them in all cities, and railway sides, but we never expected them to be SO GOOD, SO CLEVER,SO DIFFERENT or SO INDIVIDUAL.The boys had their favourites obviously, MANUKO was a tag to look for, and this one was great!
Air Street I think 

Time for a drink , this grandma knows teenage boys have hollow legs, and their mother will be furious if I let them have fizzy drinks, so we had a very sober milk and sausage roll in the Kingston cafe. Its loo I must say , across a yard with a key was better than the Station Hotel, and a thousand times better than the station ones .
So we crossed Chapman street bridge and got the 10  bus to Queens Gardens.
The next part of the Art walk was for me a denouement . The pseudo Banksys are just that, PSUEDO. Boys liked them though , especially the Mary Poppins with the Lidl bag, which Zak spotted immediately . 

Time for a late lunch in the Omelette, still better than all the fancy new  places opening up , and home on the train  to the land that time forget , Geriatrica on Sea OKA Filey.
Saltaire next I think !

NB Ray . WE had the boys for the day as the parents were back at work and they did not go back to school until the next day . This was done on 7th Jan , Ive only just written it up. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Stoneferry to Wilmington downstream

Stoneferry Bridge ,Kingston upon Hull

Wainwright  does not have the monopoly  on walks . I expect that more people have done the River Hull walks over the centuries, even though judging by the rat run from Stoneferry to Wilmington in 2019 most are travelling in fast car . 
I travelled downstream on Monday along the banks of the  River Hull as close as I was able , without being accused of spying, industrial espionage  or looking for  a  wild swim  mudbath. Actually I  never saw any one else on foot apart from a thinly clad Hoodie and a woman with a pushchair . Its not really good for walking , as when  crossing the road to look for places to take a photo, or look at the river , one dices with death. Only at Wilmington, the end of today's river route does one get a Crossing Place with a press the button and wait for the green man.  It really is the industrial heart land of Wincolmlee.  At the end of the walk, catching a look at the fantastic new plant that is Energy Works  crossing Cleveland Street was no joke.
  I am so out of the urban loop. I was even fascinated by the cohort of youths , hiding up a cul de sac , with  new motor bikes and no helmets taking  turns at  shared wheelies out into  the busy road , and trying out their revving .
I had always wanted to have a good nosy around Stoneferry Bridge and see if theres anything left of the house where my 19th Century Family lived until they emigrated to New York in the 1890s. The house was razed to the ground in 1944 by German bombing. every time we drove over the bridge in the 50s the remaining stones would be pointed out to us, but now I cant even remember which side of the Bridge they were, except they were on the West side of the river, and must have been near the Waterworks where my GG worked being the Chief Waterworks  Engineer . As the Waterworks stopped pumping water in 1891, and the site wound down completely by 1901, I now see why my GG needed a new job .
The Stoneferry House
The bridge seen today is the new bridge, built in the late 80s. I came back home to Hull to visit the family home in Sutton and found that my remembered bridge had gone . 
I was enthralled  to see the film about the day all the bridges over  the river were lifted, on 22nd  September 2017. I watched it in  Beverley Library , Beloved was waiting , not very patiently  . 
I have now walked over 10 of the 13 bridges(not Scott Street, obviously). Next walk I will do the remaining ones, and am hoping that I get some company for this one, Stoneferry to Kingswood.

The walk downstream  from Stoneferry confirmed all that I had expected and more. 
  • The Bankside gallery additions were great  and I love that they are works in progress. One has to keep crossing the road to get the scale of the graf.  It is so unlike being in the Millbank Tate where a picture of Gordale Scar , taking the whole of a  gallery wall may be viewed sitting down from 20 metres away on a comfy stool . This gallery  is  raw , and not comfortable , not quiet ever, as traffic speeds  past . It took me 5 mins to get across the road here at 11am long after Hull  rush hour.***
  • The mud of the river was as fascinating always, gloopy and thick and brown , colouring the water a silty mid #hex873600 . Any child, or adult like me ,
    would relish safely paddling in its deep promise of squelch and danger .They have glass bottomed boats in Bermuda, I would pay to go on a zip wire across the Hull in secure waders dangling just above the river. The river is tidal to at least Beverley. What a contrast from the clear water of Barmston drain which begins near the Scott Street Bridge. Friend tells me that American servicemen used the drain for swimming in the war, and staging was built to make it easier at the drain sides. I know that at Hempholme and Wansford the Hull is clear as a bell, where the tides no longer reach. My father used to fish there for grayling and trout  in the 60s. 
  • I loved the heaps of detritus all along my walk, piles of iron work ,ready for a skip and lucre,  soil, mountains of brick dust and concrete and my favourite of all this collection of wood, looking as if it had been specially curated for an exhibition. Is it driftwood lifted from the river, or parts of trees long since felled? I loved it 
  • The scenic views were just as picturesque as any of Ben Lomond from Luss IMO.
    looking upstream from Exhaust Centre 
    British Extracting Co silo from Wilmington Cycle track 

  • One learns plenty about the not so changing face of industry. Here amongst old signs reminding me of the advert on yellow lorries SAM ALLON DEMOLITION , fresh in my mind again from the 50s and 60s are many firms whose business is in Demolition, and Recycling as it has always been,HERE  Hidden behind high fences and ordered in neat rows seen at best on Google Earth are the 21st century sorters and scavengers , money in muck ,and brass from nowt firms who labour relentlessly to clear and tidy with truck load after truckload, though at present many don't have to move an inch from the banks of the Hull . The amazing looking new facility ENERGY WORKS looks up and running , but it isn't . It is going to take lorry loads of Hull Rubbish destined for landfill , & turn it in to ELECTRICITY . Here's HOPING !

  • My 1961 book is a gem  .Published to highlight and attract more industry and development to Kingston upon Hull it does nothing but show me that we are still producing many of the same products . The Fishing Industry might well have gone , but Hull is still making PAINT, PLANT and PRODUCTS FROM OIL MILLING , and it can be seen along the banks of the river to this day.

Was the paint made here?
***I have yet to do my post about my walk with my grandchildren  just look at the art . This will follow. Today's walk finished with lunch at the Wilmington Cafe after walking the old cycle track across Wilmington Bridge. I caught the 10 bus opp Energy Works back to town
the great Wilmington Cafe

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Not breakfast, but start of HOTBED in greenhouse

Are you sure your meadow is a meadow?