Back on the road again and time for a change from all this Venetian nonsense…
…except that my location today still has echoes of the city on the water.
It too is located on a North East coast; its skyline undulates with domes and cupolas, its maritime history is proudly retold in a grand museum, and it is at severe risk of floods from rising sea levels. It even has buildings raised above the waters on piles.
And I’m stretching the comparison to breaking point and beyond. For this is Hull. Kingston upon Hull to be precise; a city desperately fighting against post industrial decline.
The appetite for that fight was amply demonstrated by the bid to be awarded UK City of Culture 2017, after all this was the city that produced Tom Courtenay, Maureen Lipman, Alan Plater, Philip Larkin and more. Nevertheless many outsiders were astonished. Hull? The Jewel of the North? Wasn’t this the same city that was so synonymous with deprivation that a taxi driver there described it as “The Devil’s Armpit”?
I share their scepticism for on the same day these images were taken it was announced that one of the city’s cultural attractions, The Hull Truck Theatre Company, has been bailed out financially. Again. In fact, for the 8th time in four years, suggesting a limited demand for cultural provision on Humberside.
Perhaps it should have held the title in 1917.