A Hull of a week…

A Hull of a week…

‘So sick, so sick of being tired and oh so tired of being sick…’

2017 has not got off to the greatest start from a health point of view, in fact we didn’t even manage to see the New Year arrive! Stricken down with ‘flu over Christmas, it is still refusing to let go of the family and has even put one of us temporarily in hospital. Sigh.

But, despite being the living embodiment of a line from a Taking Back Sunday song, there are far too many exciting things going on in our neck of the woods at the moment, so I’m forcing myself out of bed!

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You may remember last year when I wrote this post, Would you…Go ‘blude’? about a mass naked artwork being created for my home town in preparation for it becoming UK City of Culture 2017.

Well, 2017 is obviously here and the events have begun in tremendous fashion! Kicking off with a huge firework display over the River Humber on New Year’s Day (at 8.17pm …clever scheduling, even if it was a little late!), the city centre was then transformed for the next seven days for Made in Hull, with various light and sound installations projected onto prominent landmarks.

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We were too ill to go to the fireworks, opting to watch a live stream on YouTube but I was determined to view the lights and managed it on the last night, along with what seemed like the entire population of Hull!

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Squeezing through the crowds to find a decent viewpoint within Queen Victoria Square, I watched part of Hull’s history unfold from the birthplace of Amy Johnson, through the rise and fall of the shipbuilding and fishing industry, past the destruction caused during WWII and on to the regeneration and beyond, all to the sounds of famous musicians and local heroes.

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The response from the crowds that have come from far and wide (a couple on the news were interviewed from Nova Scotia) has been overwhelmingly positive and with good cause. The effects were fabulous, with our City Hall genuinely looking like it was ablaze during the recreation of the Blitz. But it was more than the technical genius that warrants praise.

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Hull is a proud city but in many respects a poor one. Yet this exhibition celebrated the lives and achievements of the working class, who are often the heart of many great cities, yet get over looked.

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Such moving tributes to the many lost trawler men and those who had their lives taken during the heaviest bombing outside of London in the war, brought tears to young and old with some viewers having very clear, personal memories of the events. And to those not from Hull, it gave a fantastic insight into the wealth of history there is on offer from a city that has been written off by the media for years.

Over on our flagship submarium, The Deep, a more sedate show was projected across the mouth of the River Hull depicting the journeys of immigrants who have arrived in Hull over the last 150 years. Not, as two women behind us thought, a story of how the Deep was built on the dead bodies of those who died in the war (because it says ‘built on working hands’) Anyway…

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Once a thriving port, people came from Scandinavia, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Russia and beyond, being the ancestors of some of our most famous children and helping to shape the city through some of its most successful years.

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In a world where immigration and the refugee crisis seems to divide many, I think this type of history lesson would serve as a good reminder to every city about the positive effects a diverse population brings.

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There were several other installations I unfortunately didn’t make it to but if this first week is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to what else the UK City of Culture has to offer over the coming year!

This morning we have woken up to live streaming of a giant 75m wind turbine blade being suspended over the main square. Slightly random but as we have the Siemens factory that builds these structures by hand (the largest handmade component of anything in the world), then it’s a nod to our manufacturing future. And random is always good!

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So, spread the word and come to Hull… I might even buy you a coffee and one of our famous patty butties. 😉


Image Credits: Light show (all mine), fireworks (bbc.com), naked blue people (telegraph.co.uk ), wind turbine (bbc.co.uk)

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25 thoughts on “A Hull of a week…

      1. Yes, the photos obviously don’t show the work that went into the audio and specific visuals either. Or how quickly they erected and dismantled the entire set-up. Excellent organisation.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, good old North Sea Ferries! There are plenty of travellers who bypass us when they get off and head straight to York or Leeds. Hopefully, they may drop in now.
      And thanks, it was a very nasty bout of bugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sometimes I just skim posts, and at first, I skimmed yours, only saw the part about you being ill. Then when I read closer, I studied the photographs of Hull. When I was 10 years old, I had pen pals. In those days, there was no internet. My very first pen pal lived someplace called “Kingston on Hull.” I was entranced by this name. All of a sudden, it flashed on me that doing WordPress is reminiscent of the pen pals of my youth. I will never forget the thrill of the envelope with the stamp with head of the Queen on it!! So foreign to me. Maybe that was the start of my Anglopilia. Is that the right word? it sounds vaguely obscene. So, do you live in Hull, and is it the same place as Kingston on Hull?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, yes! It’s the same place, ‘King’s Town’ upon the River Hull. What a small world. Do you have any memory of whereabouts in Hull they lived?
      I was born in and lived in Hull for most of my life, but have lived just outside the boundary in a small market town for the last 5 years. Still only 10 minutes away though and all my family are there. Plus, I still work in Hull. So it will always be my true home!!
      And yes, despite it sounding a little rude, I think that is the correct word 😉

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    1. Thanks Carol, I’d rather have it acute but short than a prolonged, pointless sniffle! There’s certainly been a lot going around in our neck of the woods too.

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  2. Great post. Yes! Let’s hear it for the North and all its unsung heroes past and present. Where would the London bankers be now had it not been for the Northern engineering genius of the Industrial Revolution. Looks like Hull are off to a flying start with their cultural year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haylee – Hull sounds wonderful…such fabulous events…glad you caught the tail end of a few…and love your take on immigration and diversity…so true…so true. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m terribly sorry you’ve been so ill, Haylee. We’ve been pretty luck so far — an 18-hour touch of flu back in October, and nothing since.

    Your write-up about Hull as the UK City of Culture is fantastic. I had to go back to take in the Bludes. Was that an eye-opener! I’m sharing this link with Chris Fielden. He loved your idea of contacting the organizers about his upcoming To Hull and Back ride, and immediately sent them an email. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure we’ll be fine eventually Sue, but thanks for your kind words. We’ve been fairly lucky in comparison to other years as regards frequency of illness – working in schools means I’m usually the one who brings home the germs! It’s just made up for it being so severe.
      That’s awesome about him contacting the organisers, I hope he hears something back. Tell him he should contact the local BBC news show too, Look North. The presenter, Peter Levy, is a local man and I bet they’d be interested in the story.
      Glad you enjoyed the write-ups, thanks for sharing it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! I’ve passed your information about Look North on to Chris. He’s shared your post on Facebook, too.

        I was a child care provider for 22+ years. I know about germs. lol. But all that exposure seems to have strengthened my immune system. I rarely get sick, and even more rarely suffer anything that lasts more than a day or two. Even colds.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Very impressive. Aberdeen were in the running for this title too but basically it would have been a shit show if it won. Aberdeen is going to the dogs, the dogs I tell ya. Get well soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, we’re all on the mend… slowly! Ah, I reckon if it had won it would have pulled something out the bag. Everyone was very dubious when Hull won but so far they’re doing a grand job!

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