2018 - click > to browse thumbnails - click pictures to browse images full size

Visit to Hull



We stopped south of the river Humber at The Waters’ Edge Country Park Visitor Centre where we began with coffee and their signature cheesecakes.  Designed to be one of England’s greenest buildings, the centre has interactive displays and games to educate families about caring for their environment and nature. The  park is built on a series of old clay pits, now flooded, which are home to  many rare and migratory birds.










We followed a short circular walk around the centre, taking us by a small muddy haven and on to expansive views of the Humber and its bridge.The walk allowed us to see the centre from all angles and see the imaginative re-use of roofing tiles that were previously produced on the site.                                                 






 Our second stop found us in the Brynmoor Jones Library Art Gallery. This appealing, naturally lit new space houses the University of Hull Art Collection, the theme of which is "Art in Britain 1890-1940".
The collection, dating from the 1960s, is a small but wonderfully comprehensive introduction to its subject with exhibits carefully grouped, accessibly hung and with just the right amount of information captioning each work. Mixing sculpture and paintings the collection made a virtue of its limited endowment of not more than £300 per annum (at 1963 prices) to focus the great skill of its founder curator Malcolm Easton in acquiring excellent works from a roll call of the best artists of the day. These include Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Henry Moore, Vanessa Bell, Nina Hamnett, Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Stanley Spencer and Christopher Wood to name but a few.                                                                      

Richard and Alison Thumpston






After lunch in the café we re-grouped and ascended to the 7th floor Observatory where we met our guide for the afternoon.
The views were extensive, but the building was not quite high enough to see the river and Hull’s geographical setting. However, we could see the Humber Bridge towers to the west and in the other direction, the apex of The Deep was just discernable.











We were taken on a short walk to see the exterior of the Gulbenkian Centre,  a Grade II listed theatre built in the late 1960s.           



A bus tour around Hull gave us a good idea of what the city had to offer, and a short tour on foot was an excellent taster in anticipation of the time to spend on our own on the following day.
I was impressed by the obvious wealth of the city that was expressed in its architecture.

We began our walking tour with a view of the remains of the medieval city wall. There followed an amazing mixture of a medieval brick built cathedral, with water features in the paving slabs of the adjoining square [Link to video], a covered market hall, narrow streets and even narrower “staithes” going down from the merchants’ houses to the river Hull.

We saw  Hepworth’s Grade II listed shopping arcade and the smallest window in the UK used by the gatekeeper of the George Hotel to look out for stagecoaches.

Much of the older architecture had decorative details alluding to the maritime heritage of the city.

The new Princes Quay shopping centre is built into a dock in which we saw a considerable number of enormous Koi carp.                                                       




We began the next day at The Ferens Art Gallery which is home to a broad permanent collection with important works by Canaletto, Helen Chadwick, Frans Hals, Henry Moore and Stanley Spencer. Contemporary artists featured include Ian Breakwell, Nan Goldin, David Hockney, Craigie Horsfield, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger and Gillian Wearing.

The temporary exhibition displayed the work of Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), one of the leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her work was grim, but full of emotional power.










Members then chose their own destinations for the remainder of the morning. Some revisited the cathedral, seeing the suspended moon that had previously hung in Leicester Cathedral.

Several members visited parts of the museum quarter, in particular the house of William Wilberforce which is now a museum of slavery, both ancient and modern.


The dock areas were fascinating. Despite docks being filled in, there still exists an extensive marina and a wealth of evidence of Hull’s maritime past in the surrounding buildings.                                                          







Scale Lane Bridge gave us the opportunity to see The River Hull close up.












The naturally formed patterns in the mud were very interesting.













Equally arresting was the other swing bridge carrying the traffic, the elegant lifting bridge for walkers and, towering over everything, the Tidal Surge Barrier which provided a suitable frame for The Deep in the distance.                                                                                                      


I always have a tingling feeling when I open my i-Pad to see the programme for our next Art & Design trip.
I immediately knew my favourite; it was The Deep, which has received numerous RIBA awards. It was designed by Sir Terry Farrell who has an International practice, together with John Czary who was responsible for its displays. The final cost was approximately 52 million pounds.

It is triangular in plan. Clad in aluminium and coloured glass panels, its appearance changes with the qualities of light and reflections from the surrounding water. The observation point at the prow of the building gave us stunning views over the city and across the Humber.

The building is wrapped around a huge display tank, 30 feet deep, containing 2,850,000 litres of water and displaying some 3,500 fish. This includes 40 young sharks and rays which are fed by divers in a daily show, which I was told, was highly popular.

For me, this was clearly the highlight of our second day.


 Click on this image to view a PDF version with fewer, fixed images, in a new window.

The file is in a high resolution so that you can print it out - should you wish to do so.

By the time you have read the first page the next page should have loaded.

Once all of the pages have loaded you can go backwards and forwards easily.