As well as The Ferens, we popped into the Maritime Museum to see the Bowhead exhibition. The blurb read:
“Get up close and personal with a Bowhead – also known as a Greenland Right Whale – in this lifelike audio visual installation, commemorating the city’s whaling heritage. Bowhead has been created by the University of Hull and Hull School of Art and Design, showcasing the best of the city’s emerging talent in music and games design.”
I could see that this was very good and that it would take a lot of work to design such a thing but unfortunately Patrick and I found it a bit boring just watching a CGI whale swimming round in circles. You can’t please all the people all the time as the saying goes.
Next up was Zebedee’s Yard to see The Last Trip, a touching memorial to Hull’s lost trawlermen. Made of rusted steelwork, it features the titles of all jobs aboard a trawler cut into the steel as well as titles of family members such as ‘husband’ ‘brother’ etc. Members of the public can purchase a ‘ships bow’ which can be engraved with their own memorium to lost family members and has space for a floral tribute. Personally, I thought the plastic flowers stuffed into these engraved memorials a bit tacky and felt they spoiled the overall effect. I would have preferred them without the flowers but that’s just my opinion. It has a light and sound installation and is really very moving.
Continuing our walk down Whitefriargate having grabbed a bag of chips to eat en route. We continue into Silver Street to cut through the stunning Hepworth Arcade, a fantastic example of a Victorian shopping arcade, leading to our indoor market where you can buy almost anything from specialist teas or vinyl records to your weekly shop and then enjoy a coffee at Caffienated whilst admiring the latest match-worn Hull City shirt from past players as loaned by the fantastic Hull City Kits guys.
Hepworth Arcade is apparently the only L-shaped Victorian arcade in the UK. It’s also where Marks & Spencer opened their first Penny Bazaar in Hull. More importantly than that is that it has been home to the amazing Dinsdales joke shop for 80 years! Most of us who grew up in Hull, me included, would have spend most Saturday afternoons gazing in the window and deciding whether to buy the trick dog poo, the nail through the finger or other such practical jokes. An excellent article here from the Yorkshire Post.
Whitefriargate, the Market Hall and Hepworth’s Arcade are not specific to Hull 2017 City of Culture of course, they have always been here, part of the rich culture that we have always enjoyed. It’s not often that I take the trouble to visit nowadays but when I do, these are the places that evoke some of my happiest memories. When I was growing up, this was ‘Town’. When people say, they are going ‘to town’ usually meaning the city centre area of the place they live, this was the place we 1970s kids called town. The place we spent our pocket money or babysitting wages. For me, Woolworths down Whitefriargate, Dinsdales and the second hand record stall on the old outdoor market. Whenever I’m here, I’m transported back in time.
Next, onto Humber Street…more of that in the next post.