APRIL – Weeping Window

I’m sure most of you will remember the beautiful poppies of the weeping window at the Tower of London.  Well the poppies have been on tour and in March 2017, 5000 of them were pouring out of the window of our beautiful Maritime Museum.  Like Blade before them, they were the subject of many photos and selfies.  Here are a couple of mine.

After this we decided to pop along to one of our favourite pubs The Minerva for a drink.  For the first time ever, I managed to get sat in the smallest pub room in Britain!

MARCH – Fantastic Felines & Jason

There was an exhibition in the Streetlife Museum that I kept seeing mentioned on Twitter.  It was called Fantastic Felines and was a display featuring picture postcards designed by a music hall singer Violet Roberts.  Although born in Hammersmith in 1895, her family moved to Hull when she was 6 and she spent the rest of her life in Hull and later, Beverley.

A very talented lady, as well as singing, she was a postcard artist.  In Edwardian England, the postcard was almost like today’s text message.  Postal deliveries were several times a day so you could send a postcard in the morning and get a reply by the afternoon post.  Violet’s postcards featured drawings of comically dressed cats with amusing captions and the exhibition featured a number of them. Unfortunately, the displays were not easy to photograph and this is the best of a bad bunch of my photos.

There’s a great article and pictures on the KCom website here

On the way home through the station (now known as The Paragon Interchange although you’ll never hear anyone from Hull call it anything other than ‘station’), we stopped to have a look at the full-size replica of Amy Johnson’s biplane, the Gypsy Moth nicknamed ‘Jason’.

Full size replica of Jason

As part of Hull Prison’s reducing reoffending initiative, Hull-based artist Leonard J Brown worked with inmates to create the model.

APRIL – First Shifts

In April I had my first volunteering shifts.  Both at Hull University, first up was the Science Festival.   This is an annual event and to be honest, I’m pretty sure they could have managed just as well without us vollies but it was lovely to have the opportunity to be a part of such a fun event.  It was a day crammed full of children’s activities, all science based of course and I’m not sure who had the most fun, the kids or adults!

Next up was a shift of gallery invigilating and visitor welcoming at the BP Portrait Awards exhibition in the Brynmor Jones Library, the same place as the Lines of Thought was held.  This was a fantastic opportunity for me to enjoy the amazing portraits on show.  When you are there for 3 hours, it’s plenty of time to see them properly rather than rushing round which is what we all usually do if we are honest.  A few pictures below of some of my favourites.

MARCH – So…I Volunteered

I had thought about becoming a City of Culture volunteer last year when they first announced the volunteer program but I was worried that because I work full-time, I wouldn’t be able to do much to help.  After the first week’s events though, I decided that I really had to be involved with this once in a lifetime opportunity or I would regret it forever.

I looked into it a bit more and discovered that it is really flexible, you really do exactly how much you want to do.  You are offered shifts based on your interests and availability via an online portal and if you want to do it, you sign up, if you don’t then no problem.

I went for an interview and to try on a uniform for sizings in early February and was notified about a week later that I had been accepted.  Two core training sessions followed which were really good fun.  Just a bit of information about how the volunteer program works and a section on local knowledge.  Uniform collected and I was ready and raring to go….’scuse the slippers!

FEBRUARY – I Wish To Communicate

I just wanted to mention this art installation because this is the kind of thing that I hope the City of Culture year will leave as a legacy – community spirit.

There is an estate just off the City Centre, Thornton Estate.  It has a reputation for drugs, dodgy dealings and prostitution and most of us know little about it but that. However, as in most places, there are also plenty of good people living there and even some of the ‘bad’ ones just may turn out better given half a chance.

Instigated by an artist Silvio Palladino who lives on the estate and assisted by CoC funding and local charity The Goodwin Trust, this was in essence a very simple idea.  Each resident of the flats on the estate had a coloured filter fitted to the external light of their flat, they could choose their own colour.  At night, the flats are awash with colour.  The project was inspired by Hull’s connection to the sea and traditional methods of communication.

Watching the news report on the TV, I saw the various residents getting involved, helping to cut out the filters and choosing colours.  One lady commented that it had ‘got everyone talking to each other’. This is art being used in such a positive way, it’s possibly going to be my favourite installation of the whole year.

I didn’t manage to take any photos myself so have gleaned a couple from the many on the internet.  I hope the BBC and The Guardian don’t mind!

Photo credit BBC Radio 4

Photo credit The Guardian