Hull – City Of Culture 2017 (2)

Running on from the previous page there is much more and there is some reference to one of the major industries of Hull, and the many tradigies from that industry of deep sea fishing. Many men were lost but now it is another historical subject and there are those who will never forget the sacrifices of these brave men just for people to have their fish and chips.

But things are taking shape and there are alsorts of things in the pipeline for many shows, and displays throughout the year but here is just the start still only a couple of weeks into the year.

Hull – City Of Culture 2017

Hull – City Of Culture 2017

Hull – City Of Culture 2017

Am I proud? You bet, there are art displays in the Ferens Art Gallery and works by Leonard Da Vinci and others in the University Of Hull buildings and most of this stuff is available to see free. I also have to mention that over £20 million of refurbishments in the city centre has taken place and although as of this moment in time is not complete it’s nearly there. After years of neglect by those with the power to do improvements, maybe, just maybe, Hull maybe cool or whatever the term is these days, and all the laughing remarks of the past may be able to be put behind us. It’s a big maybe, but we have a chance and the more people who visit and actually take a look instead of just taking for granted what has been written in the past maybe in for quite a surprise. Hull City Of Culture? Laugh no more.

Messing about again.

I am in the process of trying to merge 2 of my blogs into 1 so bear with me as I’m not sure how this will turn out. But I was checking over what I have written on my blogs and realised that there is some overlapping and so I am reducing the number of blogs I have, it may well end in disaster but lets see. The blog I am going to delete when I can get all this sorted out is Off on a tangent into obscurity which was supposed to be a collection of totally irrelevant musings and to be honest I’m doing that on this blog hence the tidy up, well that’s the theory.

Oh and thanks to the many people who have taken the trouble to look in on my last entry but as my wife will confirm I do have a tendency to look upwards at buildings to look at the chimney stacks as I know the construction of such things, especially those with multiple chimney pots, disguise an intricate construction unseen until buildings are demolished and the flues leading up to those chimney stacks can be seen winding there ways from the fireplace, wherever it may be in the building, to a central point, the chimney stack.

I missed a trick when many old buildings in Hull were being demolished as there laid bare was the brickwork that enabled all that smoke and the fumes to make its way out into open skies. And the reason, unfortunately that many of the older buildings built of stone were badly stained by the soot coming out of the chimneys and it only took a little rain to make that soot into a messy mess. Over time of course all that smoke and soot caused many problems not least with peoples health, we have learned from the past but all of our energy waste still has to go somewhere and these days hardly any of us see where to.

The 2nd course (layer) of bricks.

Not so long back I went around the city of Hull, my home city, and took pictures of buildings still standing from a bygone era, and a couple more up to date buildings. You see Hull was the most heavily bombed city in Britain during WW2 outside of London, but because it was important as a port its name was never mentioned. So the likes of Coventry, Birmingham and others cities get a mention, and they did get severely damaged, but Hull is left out, even today.

So it was no surprised then that uncle Adolf destroyed many of the fine buildings built during some very prosperous times for Hull when traders and entrepreneurs were making their fortunes, but some survived. Only that the council knocked down a lot more for the re-development after the war so we are no left with very few. But those that are left have some magnificent brickwork in them, which the pictures below show.

Its of a building in the heart of Hull, thousands of people walk by it everyday and do not even blink, on a brickwork level I think its a masterpiece, and ironically, right opposite is a college that teaches brickwork, I don’t even know if they have looked at this building. There is nearly everything, different types of arches, bulls-eye, semi-circular, segmental, Gothic, Flat arch,  and even ones on the corner which is actually a bend along with a turret on the top of the building, the craftsmanship is awesome. There is even a bay near the top of the building.

The building, by the way, is The Old Customs House, Market Place, Lowgate, Hull, check it out on Google Maps. There are many grander buildings in Hull but I’m concentrating on the brickwork aspect of this building, some of the more grander types are stone and very grand indeed, but to me, this is a gem, well done the brickies, and architects, whoever you were. Click on a picture by the way for a larger view.

Brickwork …… yes you read that right.

Not a subject that anyone, well anyone I know, ever mentions, and why would they? Bricks are just …… well ……. there and not something you think about but although I’m not about to alter that perception I do think that brickwork in general is worth a mention. I want this to read by anyone so I won’t go into detail about bonds and the rest, that is not what this blog is about, it’s trying to get people to look at the many different styles of brickwork throughout the country, indeed the world and the innovative way in bricks have been used for all matters of construction.

This is just an ordinary door with a brick arch over the top and the amount of work to get all this together is awesome. A template would have been used for the arch to be constructed on and then all the cutting of the bricks around the arch itself is near on perfect. The bricks themselves are wedge shape and all the brick joints are equal giving a very tidy appearance.

The same arch but looking underneath to see how the bricklayer was a real craftsman to get everything to look so tidy. You may also notice that there are some different coloured bricks, that is because the walls inside are of a glazed brick and totally different to the ones on the outside.

All in all a very decorative way in which to bridge a door opening, lintels, wood and stone, have been used since the beginning of building and in later years concrete became plentiful and when metal rods were bedded inside gave incredible strength over wider areas and so brick arches became a luxury.

Churches were always big users of  arches in both brick and stone and some are just truly magnificent. How some of that stonework got put into place many centuries ago, without the help of mechanical means, one can only guess at. But there are plenty of arches of brick within Church buildings and when I was out and about on my bike, (cycle), I came across this small Church but only had my mobile (cell) phone with me so took these pictures, sorry if they are not all that good.

As you can see these arches to a point and are known as Gothic arches, there are semi-circular and segmental, as well a many more. But a closer look at these arches display, yet again, both the craft of bricklaying and the effects on what would otherwise be just a blank brick building. Not to mention that the arches match the shape of the windows and doors themselves, all very symmetric.

This is just a small example of the effective use of different coloured bricks in an imaginative way and if you notice the picture of the smallest of the windows you will see alongside the window is another use of brickwork first used centuries ago, the buttress. Used to strengthen walls and sloped at the top to finish off another decorative effect. I hope to expand on more decorative uses of bricks and brickwork in future blogs without any technical jargon.