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Kingston upon Hull is the butt of many a joke, just the other day live on radio one, Jimmy Carr said " if your going to get a tattoo, get it somewhere that doesn't matter? Like "Hull" repeated to me by many out of town friends who see my Hull pride and go for the kill!
Think of a poll and Hull will top the worst and fear pretty close to the bottom of the best, who cares? Not any Hullensian that's for sure!
However if you take into account Hulls leafy suburbs such as Cottingham, Beverley etc that are reported under another council, Hull is all of a sudden mid table mediocrity!
I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, Hull is my city and I will defend it to the hilt!
It's not Leeds/Manchester or London mainly because it was destroyed in WW2 and precious architecture was rebuilt with concrete and breeze block and the government cash was spent on the high profile, not an east coast town in the north of England.
I will use the often used cliche " don't knock something
Until you have tried it"
It's not perfect, it has it's faults, many mentioned in the previous, but it's got charm that can't be bought!
The city is a hole people who say it isnt cant be well travelled and know nothing of culture other than a dutch dash which as usual involves drink or drugs.The people are not nice infact i find them almost ignorant & incapable of holding conversation.A day out to most children means a trip to the local pub with there parents.We visited the museums this week which are great and the reason it gets 1 star.In the gardens there is a maze for children to play in 2 women actualy took there children in there and let them urinate in there even though there were toilets in the museum i went and told them how discusting they were acting.And in there terrible tacky hull accent said they didnt know.And that is hull in a nutshell they arent the brightest bulbs in the box.Hulls not dull its the people.
There are a lot of bad things said about Hull but I feel that I need to balance this out a bit.
I was born in Hull 37(eek) years ago and have not had any yearning to leave!
We have a few council estates eg. Bransholme, Orchard Park, Greatfield, Bilton Grange, North Hull, which in some areas are quite inner cityish but its not all doom and gloom as on these estates there is quite a bit of community spirit.
I was born in a street called Arundel Street of Newbridge road then moved to Greatfield and am now living on Bilton Grange which are all east of the city.
We have Hull Kingston Rovers rugby team and the west of Hull has Hull Fc. There is a lot of competition between the two. There is Hull City football which this footy season has brought all of Hull together as they are in the Premiership!
In the town centre there is alot of regeneration going on resulting in lots of apartments on the river and big shopping centres which St Stephens is the latest of ( I dont think that much to it and prefer Princes Quay ). I feel that Citybuild are going a bit too far though and seem to be getting rid of all the heritage of the city.
We have lots of museums including Maritime, Street Life and Wilberforce and The Deep. Also Ferens Art Gallery. We have got quite alot of culture and lots of learning places too including all the colleges and the University too.
We are nice normal folk and if you come to our city you will find we are very hospitable. All in all we do have our negatives but what place doesnt. Come and try us and see what you think! There are lots of wine and cafe bars and cinemas and restaurants which you will enjoy.
In 2003 the Idler Book of Crap Towns named Hull the worst place to live in England. Three years on, a quarter of a million people who call the city their home have many reasons to proclaim it one of the best. Hull is changing and has plenty to offer those willing to seek out East Yorkshire.
During one episode of a renowned eighties sitcom, much hilarity came from Blackadder naming Englands great universities as Oxford, Cambridge and Hull. Since suffering mass bombings in the Second World War many people might struggle to come up with anything of note about the city. A former thriving fishing port fell into decay and was often looked over in favour of more vibrant neighbours Leeds and Sheffield by those seeking culture and entertainment.
Located at the end of the M62, Hull feels like the final plot on the radar of Eastern England. Miles of flat open fields give way to the striking sight of the Humber Bridge, once the longest single span suspension bridge in the world that joins the city to the south bank of the river.
As an old fishing port the city takes pride in its link with marine life, a feature attraction of which is The Deep. Essentially a big fish tank, The Deep is billed as The Worlds Only Submarium and has attracted over 2 million visitors since opening in 2002. Visitors journey from the beginning of time through to the present day, whilst viewing the history of the worlds oceans. Standing in semi-darkness whilst countless tropical fish saunter passed is relaxing and educational, also families are catered for and regular guided tours are available.
Historically the maritime and whaling industries provided the bulk of employment for Hullinsians and there are many free museums within the city centre attesting to this. Famous philanthropist and architect of slavery abolition William Wilberforce came from Hull and the citys old town pays tribute with the house he was born turned into a museum in his honour.
Whether or not the Idler accolade struck a chord remains to be seen, but structural developments have sprung up in the city since the turn of the millennium. Greying stone buildings have made way for bright coffee houses and bars. The citys marina area is vibrant with sailing boats leisurely passing through at all times. The 25,000 seater KC Stadium sits in a beautiful parkland setting ten minutes walk from the city centre and hosts sport all year round: Championship football side Hull City during the winter months and current cup holders rugby league side Hull FC in the summer. Earlier this year the stadium was voted the best by supporters of the Football League and massive pop concerts are held annually with Bryan Adams, Elton John and R.E.M. having visited recently.
Thoughts of food conjure up only one thing in coastal resorts and the fish and chips Ive tasted in Hull remain to be bettered throughout the UK. Chippies are plentiful and make a point of asking for chip spice, a meat-tasting condiment prevalent in Hull takeaways.
A cultural surprise is the Hull Truck Theatre, seen over by award winning playwright and local man John Godber. A small and vibrant playhouse (200 people at a push), it plays host to numerous productions throughout the year, including Godbers well acclaimed hit Bouncers and Up N Under, a rugby comedy that was made into a Hollywood film.
The nightlife is centred upon the old town and the new town. The former is full of wonderful old fishermans pubs stocked with guest ales, including the Old White Hart, where drinkers have warmed by the still burning coal fire since 1550 and where Sir John Hotham decided the fleeing King Charles II would be refused entry to the town in 1642, a judgement that inadvertently triggered the English Civil War and led to Hotham later losing his head. The new town plays hosts to the usual array of late bars and clubs, with Spiders nightclub popular with locals fondly recalling being served home-made cocktails named after objects in the Sci-Fi book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
After recovering from over-indulgence in Pangalactic Gargleblasters, a weekend spent wandering around the city makes you feel ready to dispel disparaging remarks made about Hull. With the city being off the beaten track you wonder whether its detractors have ever bothered to venture over to see it. The city may lack the enormity and star quality of northern neighbours Manchester and Leeds, but its only location that prevents it from being placed into that bracket. It appeals as a warm and proud area with plenty of history to offer those willing to seek it out. You feel welcomed and cheered when chatting to the locals about the fishing past and the changing city centre, a contrast to the cold shoulder and fake smiles of southern cities.
Idler published a second edition of Crap Towns in 2004 and the prosperous mood of East Yorkshire looked to have taken effect. Luton was voted top with Hull conspicuously absent from the top ten.
Hull, Hell or Halifax?! Was the famous war-time phrase. Which doesn't place Hull in the most illustrious company, but hey that was 50 odd years ago. Also the reason Hull was referred to in such terms was the vast amount of bombing it got during World War II. Hull grew from the ashes, and is now a thriving metropolitan city with a lot to offer. Over time I hope to give the users of dooyoo an insight into what a worthwhile destination Hull is to visit.
So question is, what does Hull have to offer the average visitor then? Let's start at the top then shall we...
The Deep, which is the world's only Submarium. What's a submarium? An absolutely huge fish tank! That's what. So huge it will truly take your breath away. Imagine that they took a sizable piece of a tropical ocean and moved it indoors, and installed a lift that runs up the side of it. Well then you are getting close to the scale of this visitors attraction. Not just a fish tank though, The Deep is a massive educational and conservaion centre, and one of Hull's most recent and proudest additions.
Then there's the new KC Stadium. In the west of the city the stadium houses both the local football team (Hull City) and one of the two local rugby teams (Hull FC). Here they aloso hold many large scale gigs and concerts. From elton John, Westlife, Bryan Adams and many more have graced the stage of the stadium, with many more planning to play there. In beautiful park-land the stadium has fast becoem the one of the jewels in the crown of the city.
Hull has many parks. The one already mentioned attached to the stadium (West Park) has all the facilities expected in any city park. (Childrens play areas, large expanses of grass, tree lined walkways and sporting facilities.) East Park is a massive piece of parkland with all the same facilities as West Park, but on a grander scale. With a cross between a small game reserve and a zoo, and a huge boating lake, East Park is going through a multi-million pound revamp. In the centre of the city there is the Queens Gardens, and large sunken garden and open park, where during the summer months they hold many open air concerts. My favourite by far though is Pearson Park, in the bohemian quarter of the city. A true Victorian style city park that compares to any park in London or any other large metropolitan city for that matter. With its Victorian Conservatory and eclectic mix of people from all over the world, Pearson Park is a wonerful place to chill-out on a sunny afternoon.
Hull has a fantastic museum quarter, in which all the places of interest are close at hand, and even better are free. The local history muesum, the transport muesum have all been recently revamped and extended into fun interactive centres for all the family. Also close at hand is the Wilberforce Muesum, once the home of William Wilberforce who was instrumental in abolishing slavery, and a local hero.
Other features within short walking distance of the Muesum Quarter is the Holy Trinity church, the largest parish church in the country. The Ferens Art Gallery and the Town Dock Muesum. All FREE!!! You can spend a full day looking around these attractions and never spend a penny. A rare thing these days.
Let us move on the Hull nightlife. Many bars and clubs right across Hull, for every taste and budget. From the packed out banging music fun bars, to quite period pubs filled with history. In fact one of the oldest pubs in Hull (if not the country), Ye Olde White Harte has the Plotting Room, famous as being the place where city merchants and alike plotted to stop King Charles the 1st coming into the city, and was instrumental in the beginnings of the English Civil War.
I could go on and on... And will, but not now. I aim to write about Hull in each of the sections that there are on cities in the UK & Ireland. Sorry if you were getting into my piece on my fair city, but I do not want to repeat myself, and will fully expand in the relevent sections. If you want to get a flavour of what is going on in Hull then I suggest you visit what is probably the best local community website in the country... www.thisisull.com
P.S. Hey! Hull must be up and coming... The BBC have moved their BBCi section to Hull. Hull is becoming the centre for interactive TV with its own communication network and digital TV channels. Like the strap line for the city goes... It's Never Dull In Hull.
Well, that's not strictly true. It would be more accurate to say "it's not usually as Dull in Hull as it would be in any location further west or north of Hull" but that probably wouldn't fit on the tourist board's t-shirt. Anyway, back to the point, why would I want to tell you about a place that 12 other writers have very successfully covered nearly every aspect of? Well, there are 2 reasons... 1) I have found something important that hasn't been covered and 2) Being a born and bred West-Hull-Villages girl, I think I'm very qualified to tell you about it. Now, I mentioned this was important, as this is because you will need to know this in order to survive in Hull! You see it probably has something to do with Hull being a bit of a backwater, which in turn probably has something to do with the fact that Hull is the end of the line - literally. The end of the M62 and the last stop on the train line (although Arriva have usually swapped their train for a bus long before it reaches Hull) have all contributed to this bizarre fact. You see not a lot of people know this but most of the locals don't speak English! No, it's true! Well, not English as you or I would know it. No, their version of English is the lesser known dialect of 'Ull. Now before you panic, it's OK! I'm fully fluent and I can teach you! In fact up until only a few years ago 'Ull was my first language! That's because I was a 'lercal' and now I live in Sheffield and can't get away with Hull vowels. And there, is your first and most important lesson. In Hull the vowel for almost everything is an 'er' sound. In case you missed it I said lercal but I meant local... You see somewhere in the depths of times past, Hull lost most of it's other vowel pronunciations. So, let
's practice. Pull yourself a frown, think rain and misery and grunt "herler". That's the way! And can you guess what that meant? Yes? You at the back in the red t-shirt? That's right! It's "hello". The 'o' sounds are usually the worst offenders. Say you were popping into one of the local water holes for some refreshment you would fit in perfectly by ordering a 'Bercerdi 'n' Kerk'*. Obviously though if you would prefer Pepsi as your mixer do specify the brand name. Also, one of my favourite is "Er ner!"* which is usually cried in horror when things go wrong! Now don't start running before you can walk though as the Hull Vowel is only a general rule of thumb. It does work in most instances but sometimes you can get caught out. For example if you mentioned a 'serfer' to an 'Ull speaker, they are not very likely to offer you a board and point you in the direction of the sea. In fact they are far more likely to brand you as 'posh' and offer you a spot on their settee. Ser*, there you 'av it and jolly good luck to you all! * Kerk = Coke, Er ner = Oh no!, Serfer = sofa, Ser = so
Although I was born in London,my parents moved to Kingston-Upon-Hull when I was a mere two weeks old I cant remember much of the journey north-I suppose I was just a wee bit too young. However, I spent the next six years living in Kingston-Upon-Hull and my first primary school was Wold Road Primary School in the west of the City. I still have memories of that school and the oh so friendly class teacher. Since leaving Hull I have been back three times and have always enjoyed my visits tremendously. Contrary to popular opinion Hull is by no means a bad or dull city. Its housing stock is good, there are some excellent parks, a good shopping centre and there are a number of good restaurants in town.There are the delightful Queens Gardens in the centre of the city and a flourishing marina in the Old City. Just outside the city is the wonderful sight of the Humber Bridge,one of the longest single span bridges in the world. The sports scene is not too bad either with Rugby League, pro Soccer and Cricket,all popular sports.Unfortunately Hull City has not set the football world alight for a long time but I believe the Rugby league is flourishing. I very nearly returned to the capital of East Yorkshire for I was offered a place at but finally ended up across the other side of the country at Liverpool University. What I like most about dear old Hull are its very friendly people. My father and mother still have good friends in the city although they left it 25 years ago. My Mother,in particular,regards Hull as her second home and is so Pro Yorkshire it isnt true, Another wonderful memory of Hull that I have is fish and chips. When we lived there I am sure there must have been upwards of a 100 fish n 'chip shops. The prices,compared to my late grandmother's home town in the South,were and ,I believe,still are incredibly cheap. I was also introduced to Fish, Chips and Curry Sauce in Hull and a
gain havent come across that in the South of England. Take it from me "Ull" is OK-there are a lot worse places than this friendly Yorkshire port and,as a bonus, the city has its very own telephone company. Now that cant be bad !
So whats your first impression of Hull? Like most people my first thought was oh god that smelly fishing town, my second was where on earth is it anyway? Well to answer the second question for all the uninformed people Hull is up north near Leeds it's very much the end of the road, it lives on a very large river called the Humber, many people will probably have heard of the Humber Bridge, it was at one point the largest single span bridge in the world but has since been beaten by who else but the Americans. Hull used to be a busy fishing port, but these days there are more ferries leaving the ports than there are fishing trawlers. P&O run trips out to Amsterdam and Bruges at very reasonable prices, and this year they will be adding to the fleet with the worlds biggest cruise ship The Pride of Hull, so you can cruise to the continent in style and comfort, well you'd hope so with the amount of money thats been spent. With Hull being a fishing port for many years it's not surprising really to find so much fish related tourism. The fish trail takes you round the old town to the marina and past Princess Quay looking for different fish embedded in the pavement, there is a different fish for each letter of the alphabet, as students we used it as an excuse for a pub crawl round the many bars and pubs that are present in the old town. Another fish related tourist attraction due to be opening in February 2002 is the The Deep. When completed it will house allsorts of different fish aswell as cafes and businesses, set to cost £38 million it's bound to be good. Hull has a bountiful array of different museums, Wilberforce house which is now a museum tells the story of William Wilberforce who was an ardent anti slavery petitioner. The Hull and East Riding museum displays the geology and natural history of the area. There is also the Maritime museum which as it's name suggests deals with all the fishy business. Every October Hull is host to e
uropes biggest travelling fair, very popular with locals and also with people from further afield, it has an enormous Big Wheel, i made the mistake of going on it one year and it took an hour from getting on to getting off, however the views were amazing, you could see all the way to the Humber Bridge. Plenty for everyone including the children. Hull's theatres the New Theatre and the Hull Truck Theatre offer a varying selection of plays and shows. Stand up comdiens and the more serious such as Dr Faustus and Shakespeare classics like Romeo and Juliet. Shopping in Hull is not the best, but it does have most of the larger stores and also a small assortment of boutique style shops aswell. Princess Quay is Hulls biggest shopping centre, it stands on stilts in the marina itself, inside you will find shops such as Virgin, New Look, GAP, Alders and the Disney shop. The top 'deck' as it is known is full of smaller shops and boutiques selling everything from jeans to beauty products. It also has a very good restaurent area serving all different types of food. the other shopping centre in Hull is the Prospect Centre, here you will find WHSmiths, Early Learning Centre, Boots and MVC amongst others. Amongst the smaller shops you will find one called Bolo, owned by the guy from the Beautiful South, who are from Hull, it's a car park for bikes, an attempt to encourage more people to cycle. Hull city centre has quite alot of green areas if you know where to look, all have plenty of seating and lots of shade to be found under the many trees. The town has two universities Hull University and Humberside University, and hence alot of students, which also means an awful amount of cheap drink to be found. The area around the university is overrun with pubs and bars there is sure to be at least one where you can pick up a pint for less than £1.50. One particular favorite with students and the local population is Beverly Road, definitely a firm fa
vorite with many university societies who attempt the now imfamous pub run. In total there must be about 30 pubs on this one road alone, not for the faint hearted or weak stomached. There are plenty more pubs and bars in the old town, the include old favorites like The Mint or the newer Hogshead and Lloyds No1. Club wise Hull has a surprising amount. The biggest although not necessarily the best being Lexington Avenue, refered to locally as LA's, has a 70's night called Bus Stop on a Tuesday and then the usual chart and dance sessions at the weekend. There is also the Fez club a fairly new addition to Hull, however it's really well decorated and has plenty of different nights definietly something for everyone, cost wise it's not so bad for a club, most nights bottles are about £1.50 so you can't go wrong. The Room and Planet Vodka are found on George St, The Room is a strange mix of different music styles split over 3 different rooms, Planet Vodka as it's name suggests specialise in different flavours of vodka, and for the brave amongst you there is even Bull Semen flavour, i wouldn't recommmend it. The Waterfront is another club found close to Princess Quay in the old town, it's like a rabbit warren full of little rooms and narrow corridors not one for those who don't like confined spaces. Hull has a hard time with the reputation it has aquired but it's well worth a visit
Hull is a place that I always loved to go back to. I lived abroad a lot of the time in my younger days but my family lived in Hull. I always go excited when I knew I was going back. My early memories include the docks where there was a lot of activity in those days. i had an uncle who skippered a pilot ship so I was very familiar with the river Humber and the ships. A sense of pride was instilled into me when I was shown the statue of William Wilberforce and told of his battle to stop slavery. It's a sense of pride that is still with me today. This sounds a little old fashioned in present day circumstances I know. The parks are still there in all there splendour and the annual fair hasn't changed very much except that its all fresher and brighter now and the kids demand so much more. There are two excellent shopping complexes in Hull and you can buy most things. Infact i don't think I've ever had to wait and buy elsewhere when I've been shopping in Hull. I particularly like the indoor market for fruit, veg, meat, etc. There is usually a play or concert being hosted locally and the new Theatre puts on some excellent musical events including pantomime and theatre. For the younger set there are the ice arena, various clubs and pubs and even live gigs by well known artists from time to time. (This is not the back water some people think it is.) In the surrounding area you can visit Beverley Racecourse if you enjoy horse racing or cross the Humber Bridge to Lincolnshire (quite an experience if you haven't been over this huge bridge.) It's just a short trip to the coast to Selby or Redcar if you fancy the seaside, or you can go west to the moors. Hull is an ideally situated town. It's self-contained but if you fancy a change of scenery you don't have to travel too far.
Looking for a great pub-crawl around the historic city of hull? Then read on: The city centre of Hull is split between new town and old town with pubs a plenty no matter which side you choose. My tour of the best boozers is in the old town starting off with: The Mint, Silver Street.Great meeting place with plenty of room and balconies so you can definitely stand out in the crowd whilst waiting for your pals. Music quite good with a mix of old stuff and charts. Aquick half down and onwards to the next pub which is a couple of minutes away (If its raining there’s one exactly opposite the Mint) Courts is the name. Always busy, sometimes you can hardly get through the door for fellow boozers and needless to say long queues at the bar. Then again this is because the drinks are so cheap even on a Friday/Saturday night.-$1.00 a pint!! Next stop Lloyds No1 a very short walk away (less than 1Min) This is the former Barclays Bank building and stands quite grand on the corner of Whitefriargate. Very large pub but music quiet and drinks more expensive. Good if your out in a large crowd as you can always squeeze in somewhere. Ready for another! Round the corner to Schnapps bar. Need I say more. This place only sells lager by the half but has schnapps and many varieties of it. If you’re feeling brave try one of their cocktails served in a jug with 4 glasses. There’s only so much schnapps a girl can take so off to the pub practically next door, The mission. You’ve guessed it a renovated church. Large pub not very loud music but always popular and a great stop off before hitting the nightclub just across the road. Fancy another before going to a club? Let’s go to Tunnel bar- probably the busiest pub in Hull! A basement bar so beware all you tall people. Low ceilings, strobe lights in there many and plastic fluorescent glasses. If you can actually manage to get in and get served it’
;s a great atmosphere with the D.J playing a good mix of music. Some great 70’s songs to sing and by this time dance along to. Great place but it’s now 11’o’Clock and their playing the last song. Go home or hit the clubs! The choice is yours. Mmmmmmmmmm...decisions, decisions.
My parents live in Hull - it is a very exciting place for many reasons.... You have a great view of the estuary when you wake up. (this is providing you live near the estuary) The nightlife is brilliant (although some trouble could be expected) Accomodation in the centre is fairly cheap.(if you go to the right places) And it has great shopping facilities - I would say after leeds, the next best shopping city! So, pay a visit to Hull one day, you might like it, you might not!
I lived in Hull from 1954 until my marriage in 1978, and still go back regularly (6-8 times a year) to see my parents, so I can see it from a perspective of a visitor as well as a citizen. It is a small city on the East coast, right on the Humber estuary. Its main industry used to be fishing, but that declined in the 70s, and much of that has disappeared. Since I left Hull in 1978, a huge programme of improvements has taken place, in terms of roads and buildings, and it is now an excellent city centre. The shops are first rate, if slightly spread out, and the retail parks and leisure complexes which have been created account for most tastes, with ice skating and bowling across from the Princes Quay shopping centre, as well as multiplex cinemas. As a parent of 3, the parks are my first love. I grew up by East Park, off Holderness Road, and have never seen a better facility anywhere in my travels. I have not tated the night life for a few decades, but my daughter has, and tells me the clubs and pubs are good. Parking is easy and cheap, and the city is full of historical places such as the Town Dock's Museum, Wilberforce House, a Transport Museum, guided walk, the docks, marina. I could go on and on. Hull has so much to offer.....
Ask most people what they think of Hull and 9 times out of 10 you'll get a derogatory answer, but how many of those people have actually worked in Hull? The reason I ask the above question is because I did for just under a year and I have to say that it was one of the most people friendly cities that I have ever visited, and to top this all off this is coming from a resident of Grimsby - the town that everybody in Hull is supposed to hate!! Anyway onto the city itself, to start off with the city centre is any shopaholics idea of heaven as there are so many different stores in the city, but then you can still sit back and realise how beautiful a city it is as well especially the older parts of town where they have set up museums and galleries that you could easily spend a whole day browsing through!! So if you want a good day out don't dismiss this city straight away!!
I didn't choose to live in Kingston-upon-Hull but instead ended up here as a result of having to change universities at the last minute and in many ways this influences how I feel about the place. Depending on who I'm talking to my opinion on the city will vary. In many ways I hate the place for everything it lacks, but at the same time it genuinely is a great city and I would staunchly defend it. I could have done a lot worse although I could also have done better. Although this is only a brief guide to the city I will warn that it does appear to have turned out to be rather long. The name I cannot swim and so would most likely suffer a very quick death if I lived in Hull because it is a river, and a somewhat muddy one at that. Wyke used to stand where the Hull meets the Humber until 1299 when it became Kingston after receiving a royal charter from Edward I. To me it is no more "Hull" than Kingston-upon-Thames is called "Thames" but as that is the name most people know it by it is unavoidable and so I use that term for brevity rather than the more accurate Kingston. I should thank Casilda, the DooYoo city guide manager, for including the city's real name in it's DooYoo entry. The location For me one of the worst aspects of the city is its isolated position. It is situated in the south Eastern corner of a rural county, East Yorkshire. It is not on the coast as some people think, although that is not far away, but instead sits on the north bank of the Humber estuary It's neightbour is the historic town of Beverly which is only a few miles to the north, the only other town of notable size in the county is Goole, another Humber port, which is around half an hour away. York is only an hour away, as is the nearest big city, Leeds. Travel Travelling to Kingston is not difficult as there are good transport connections. By road it is served by the M62 trans Pennine moto
rway which runs to Liverpool through Leeds and Manchester and with connections onto the A1, M1 and M6. If you are coming from Lincolnshire in the south then there is the infamous Humber bridge. Started in 1972 and opened in 1981 it was (and depending on your source still is) the largest single span bridge in the world, the costs were so high that even the profits it made from tolls couldn't pay off the interest, never mind the loans themselves. Currently they expect to pay off the costs by 2032 after the government refinanced the bridge. Rail travel is supplied by Northern Spirit who run an hourly service to Sheffield and Doncaster, an hourly express service to Leeds and Manchester with some trains going on to Manchester Airport, an irregular service to York with some trains extended to Newcastle, and a regular service to Beverly and Bridlington with some trains extended to Scarborough. From this winter (2000) there will be an additional hourly service to Doncaster. There is also one train per day between Kingston and London operated by GNER so normally you would need to change at Doncaster. You can also change here for Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. A new company called Hull Trains will start running a service to London as of this winter although there will only be three trains per day in each direction. As with most of the country the previously council owned bus company was sold, although not directly, to one of the large national operators, in this case Stagecoach (owned by the homophobic Brian Souter). There is also a local company, East Yorkshire, and together with Stagecoach they share the city's bus routes. There is a third, much smaller, independent operator called North Bank. Special fare saving schemes are available which cover all three of the main bus companies. For travelling outside the city National Express run a service to London while both East Yorkshire has a regular service to York, Stagecoach has a service
to Humberside Airport with many going to Doncaster and Sheffield and both companies share a service to Leeds. Because the city is flat cycling is very popular and cycle routes, lanes and specially modified junctions have all been provided with National cycle routes 1 and 65 passing though the city. Finally P&O North Seas Ferries run a daily service to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and next year to intend to replace their existing fleet with new 'Super' Ferries which will supposedly be the best in the world. The phone company The one thing which makes Kingston stand out from the rest of the UK is the local phone company, Kingston Communications. Back in 1912 when all the other phone companies came together to become what is now BT, the then named Hull Corporation Telephone Department remained under the ownership of the council. While BT may have once held a monopoly in the UK, and still carry a dominant position in this area, it has never been available in Kingston. Travelling around in there coverage area, which includes Beverly, this becomes apparent when you see cream coloured phone boxes rather than BT's traditional red. Last year the council privatized the company in order to give it the flexibility to compete commercially although it still holds a large percentage of shares in the company while many people in the city also own shares. Due to its groundbreaking service, which includes flat rate local calls for only 5.5p, Kingston is a becoming a technologically advanced city, it is one of the few places in the world offering a truly interactive TV service which includes real video on demand services. Here you can pause and rewind as though it were a video tape unlike the pay per view services offered by Sky and cable etc. The council intends to make this service, which also includes internet access, freely available to all in the city. Sports There is one soccer team, Hull City, who play footb
all in the third division and have recently appointed Brian Little as manager. I don't really follow the sport but I am led to believe he is rather famous. It is fair to say that Kingston is a rugby (league) town, although it would be probably be contested by the football fans. Hull Kingston Rovers represent the east of the city and play in the Premier league while Hull FC in the west play in the Super League. A lot has been said of Hull FC recently, they were threatened with closure when the owner tried to merge the club with Gateshead. A lot of protesting took place within the city but the merger still went ahead but with an unexpected twist, it was Gateshead which lost their team and the club was unlikely to have survived had the merger not gone through. Further publicity came after its 'supporters' rioted following a match shown live on BBC ONE, something unheard of in rugby. The club and local people have successfully rallied to disown those involved in the incident to the satisfaction of the league who threatened very strict punishment. The city also boasts a national league ice hockey team as well as a speedway team. Planning is advanced for the building of a new stadium for hosting football and rugby matches which includes the possibility of an arena in order to be able to bring a basketball team to the city. The shopping The city centre has three department stores, Debenhams, Alders and Hammonds (House of Fraser) and the usual array of high street chains with the latest being a Gap store which is due to open in the Autumn. There are two malls, The Prospect Centre is rather small and contains several empty shops but this could be because it is due for renovation and enlargement. The much larger Princes Quay is far more interesting as it is built on water, sitting on stilts in a former basin from the days when the docks came right into the city centre. It is designed to look like a steamer although I'm not such I
would necessarily say it is successful at that, and contains four decks. The lower floor has a food court, a Disney store and a TK Maxx, the next two decks contain the usual high street stores including Dixons, New Look and a Virgin Megastore. The top deck contains small 'specialty' stores and when walking around there you really do forget you're in a mall. Here you can buy seventies clothing and various ornamental pieces. Sadly the Jigsaw shop has closed down. As with all modern town high streets there is no supermarket unless you count the food court in Marks & Spencer although there is a Jackson's, the local company which runs 'corner shop' mini markets across the region. Different areas of the city also have their own shopping streets including Holderness Road, Anlaby Road, Newland Avenue and Hessle Road. There aren't really any particularly interesting shopping areas although some unique shops do exist if you can find them. All of the main supermarkets, with the exception of Morrisons, seem to be scattered around the edge of the city. As are the large retail parks for the warehouse type stores. One exception being Kingston Park which is to the south of the city centre and contains Toys R Us and the large electrical stores. The entertainment There are four cinemas in the city, the most convenient being an Odeon which is within walking distance from the city centre (it is behind Kingston Park) and is next door to the Hull Arena where the Hull Thunder ice hockey team play. There is also a UGC to the north of the city and a UCI to the east. The fourth is a council owned independent cinema, Hull Screen, which is part of the library and located in the city centre. There are also two main theatres, Hull New Theatre is just to the north of the city centre and features the usual touring productions as well as a pantomime every Christmas. More interesting is Hull Truck Theatre which is owned by renowned
modern playwright John Godber whose play Bouncers was voted as one of the best of the twentieth century by the National Theatre. At the moment it is a blue corrugated building across the road from a warehouse but is due to be rebuilt in much grander style as part of the Ferensway redevelopment. The other main venue is Hull City Hall where big name comedians usually make a visit while on tour and is also home to an annual concert series which features orchestras from around the world (Eastern Europe to be more precise). There are also several museums covering different aspects of the cities history and an art gallery in the city centre, all of which are free. The nightlife Apparently Kingston is one of the biggest nightclub venues in Northern England, and I can see why. There are a lot of night clubs and each offer different flavours of dance, house, garage, fish pond, r'n'b, soul and indie etc. (I may have made one of those up.) Great if you like that kind of thing but not if you want to hear something good. Most are located on George Street, rather bizarrely is where the offices of electrical retailer Comet are based, which is seen as nightlife centre of the city. Only a couple of clubs are located outside the city centre, although they are within easy reach of it. One of these is Spiders which is the closest you will get to hearing real music although they still play a bit too much indie for my liking. You do get to hear bands like The Cure though with plenty of music from the 80s when bands didn't try to send you to sleep. There is also the Adelphi club which is located halfway between the city centre and the university campuses where live bands play before they become famous and as featured Oasis amongst others. The venue is under threat from the cut price drinks offered by other places competing in price wars although a lot of people feel this club is too important to loose. There are also several other pub/clubs whi
ch regularly offer live music. As the last train back from Leeds leaves just before 10pm, which is especially galling as there is an all night service between York, Leeds, Huddersfield (!) and Manchester you can't really go elsewhere unless you want to drive (and not drink). Eating and drinking Mr Chu's China Palace situated on the bank of the Humber is the largest Chinese restaurant in the UK although I have not tried eating there. In the city centre there are two Chinese restaurants, including the Water Margin which I seriously would NOT recommend, but otherwise the city is dominated by Indian restaurants. The city centre also features a Malaysian restaurant, who have recently relocated to George Street, and the excellent Hitchcock's Vegetarian Restaurant. They have one sitting at around 8pm, booking essential, and it offers an all you can eat buffet for £10 (concessions/students £8) where each night has a different theme. Finally I will mention Le Bistro on Beverly Road which offers traditional English and French dishes but is flexible enough to adapt dishes for Vegans. You are never far from a pub including chain ones, Irish ones and ones with real ale. A favourite is Cannon Junction on Beverly Road which is built out of two railway carriages and the railway arch. An interesting gimmick but at £1.60 for trebles it is very cheap. Spiders nightclub probably offer the cheapest drinks with shots only costing 45p Miscellaneous Kingston is a cheap place to live. I pay £250 pm in rent for a two bedroom flat which is so centrally located that I can see the city centre through my window and walk to the train station in under ten minutes. You would not find anywhere that cheap in many of the countries other cities. At the same time the council has frozen the council tax simply because they can. Money from Kingston Communications has made them the richest council in the country and this can be seen by the number
of projects taking place in the city including a new £36m stadium, a £40m ocean research and discovery centre called the Deep, £150m on redeveloping the Ferensway area of the city centre which includes a new bus and train interchange as well as renovation of council homes and all manor of street improvements. Where possible though these are actually being funded by various grants and private money so there should be plenty more ideas to come. The city doesn't offer much of a gay scene with one club offering a weekly Friday night and a much smaller one offering a few days also. There is surprisingly no gay pub even though this is the fourth largest city in Yorkshire! Likewise the city is lacking in ethnic minorities, somewhat surprising considering it is a port town. It was the local MP William Wilberforce who lead the abolition of slavery, although the city was never a slave port. The end It is a beautiful place with a lot of interesting architecture an statues with an interesting mix between the historic buildings, fishing heritage and its very modern technologically driven future. If you're into club culture, want a nice peaceful time or to be in a city which bold aspirations then Kingston is the place for you, if you feel you exist outside of mainstream society then you may be left a little disappointed. The update Just to add that Kingston has won the best city centre category of the Yorkshire in bloom competition!
I have lived in Hull for the past 10 years and worked for a Shipbuilding company, Hull has always been a shipbuilding town but unfortunately this is beginning to die out now but there is still much to see with regards to this. When I first came here about 18 years ago the town centre reminded me very much of London, big old buildings with the shops below. The first thing you see as you drive into Hull is the Humber bridge, the largest single span suspension bridge in the world (at the moment) exactly 1 and a quarter miles in between each tower, it is certainly a sight to behold! It is not cheap to cross it though...£2.40 each way for a car. The Humber estuary which runs under the bridge is the busiest estuary for shipping in the country. A quarter of all the United Kingdoms water drains into the Humber Estuary it also has it's own pilots for guiding the ships up and down due to the tides being so strong, millions of tons of silt move on each tide. So this gives you an indication of the size of it. Whilst proceeding down the A63 Clive Sullivan Way, which is named after one of the famous sons of the city who played Rugby league for Hull, Hull Kingston Rovers and Great Britain, you will pass two of the most famous docks in the country - St Andrews Dock and Albert Dock which until the 1970's was home to the biggest deep sea trawler fleet in the world. St Andrews Dock was home to some of the most famous trawlers in the country such as The Gaul and The Arctic Ranger. Carrying on past the Docks you'll come to the Marina which houses boats and Yachts from all over the world, restaurants and bars line it's quayside. opposite the Marina there is a strange architectrual site known as The Princess Quay Shopping Centre which is built on 3 stilts inside a disused dock. Inside Princess Quay you can find every shop you could imagine, the very top floor being the most interesting with it's hand crafted stalls. P
ast the Marina you will go over the River Hull which is the heart of the old town. In 1940 to 1943 this area of Hull was the most heavily bombed city in the country which destroyed a lot of the old buildings but leaving the car behind and going on foot there is still a lot of the old town to be seen, such as the Customs House, Trinity House (one of the oldest schools in the country)William Wilberforce House a famous son of the city - the man who abolished slavery in Great Britain. The River Hull also divides the city in a different way, on the West side your colours will be black and white (Hull FC) on the East side Red and White (Hull Kingston Rovers) and never the twain will meet! Approx one mile further on you arrive at the gateway to Europe where the Ferrys for Rotterdam, Zebrugger and the Hook of Holland leave on a nightly service. In close proximity to the city of Hull you will find the quaint market town of Beverley where you will find the North Gate where King Charles the First was refused entry into the city and thus starting the English Civil War. To the East of the city there are the very popular seaside resorts of Withernsea, Hornsea and Bridlington. To summarise it's well worth a visit to the capital of East Yorkshire.