On Sunday, we managed to catch the last day of a sculpture exhibition in and around Hull’s Humber Street. The area where the marina stands was once a dock and Humber Street was a hub for traders, particularly fruit merchants.
However, it fell into decline and lay mostly derelict for some years, before being transformed into an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, artisan cafes, music venues and art galleries.
Above: an installation in the art gallery – blow it and it lights up in different colours!
So it was the natural choice to house the Paper City exhibit, part of the City of Culture events. The ten day display explored our relationship with paper and play, with eight artists and designers invited to create something using one of the most fundamental mediums for creativity.
Like many people, I love a good bridge. I’d like to give some poetic reason, such as they’re symbolic of links between points in our life journey, but the simple truth is I just find them structurally appealing. Strong architectural lines with the added bonus of generally being near another personal favourite, water.
I’m lucky enough to live very close to the Humber Bridge, once the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world. Its arrival in the early 1980s put it firmly on the map as an iconic local landmark, for many, a comforting signal of home as it looms on the horizon after a long trip.
Seeing as I’m also a big fan of classical music, it was a given that I wanted to get tickets when the City of Culture team announced an event in conjunction with Opera North to walk the bridge to a unique, specially composed soundtrack: The Height of the Reeds.
Unfortunately, as tickets were free, they went swiftly and I lost out. Then, hurrah! They announced it had been so popular they were extending the run and this time I was in, albeit alone as we could only get hold of one ticket.
So yesterday, amidst the extraordinary heat we’re experiencing at the moment in the UK, I set off for a 5K trundle.
Last week, I told tales of magic, mystery and mayhem that unleashed my poor attempts to solve some riddles!
A collection of urban legends, known locally as the 7 Alleys, was brought to life in a ‘secret’ performance as part of our City of Culture events (You can read about it here).
But where did these tales originate? And what other spooky tales and folklore delights are associated with my home town? Time to walk back down the Alleys…if you dare!
Riddles and Puzzles. Ciphers and cryptograms. Mysteries and folklore.
I fancy myself as being quite good at working them out but in reality, I’d be kicked out of any lectures by Robert Langdon before even being allowed through the door!
But my lack of expertise doesn’t stop me wanting to conquer a coded challenge so when a local mystery began to unfold a few weeks ago, I was eager to get cracking.
It all started with a small news story, that gained momentum on social media, of some mysterious, ancient looking crates found in abandoned tunnels under The Land of Green Ginger.
Now, despite having a particularly magical (and therefore fictional) sounding name, this place does exist within my home town of Hull. A small street in the city centre, it is often attributed with housing the world’s smallest window, within the George Hotel.
The tunnels, among many beneath the city streets, were once possibly used for smuggling, as much of the now paved centre was originally the docks, and some were reportedly used by monks to move items from their monasteries. So, a discovery of this nature was not completely unusual but was nevertheless exciting.
Queen Victoria Square, in the city centre of my home town, Hull, has become quite the location recently. Since the start of our City of Culture year, it has housed various attractions, including the light show to kick off the celebrations and ‘The Blade‘ – built in the city and the largest man-made single piece structure in the world (and I swear it’s not photo-shopped in!)
However, the most recent offering is a touring collection of ceramic poppies – you may be familiar with them cascading from the Tower of London as part of the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ exhibition, commemorating World War 1. And now we are privileged to look after them for a few weeks as they tour around the UK.