Poetry – Hull Bridges

Hull Bridges

Hull bridges raise their hands to the sky

East and West torn apart

But the twain shall meet again.

For Hull bridges have no feet of stone

Rather limbs that reach.

No city in the world is so apart

And so together.

Apart – together – again and again.

To release those that pass beneath

They raise their arms in joy.

Hull – the unique city on the river

Where every bridge does move

More like living beasts,

Like the leaves of a book,

Like arms that embrace,

They move;

They lift;

They raise;

They allow passage, commerce and fun.

To release those that pass above

They cross their arms,

They join in a handshake that links

Two communities,

Two sides,

Two banks,

Like no other.

Yet for one short time

They will all raise together

And the city is split,

Like no other in the world.

The city parts,

A hiatus,

Then is joined,


Hull bridges live and move

Not frozen

But alive.

No other city sports such versatility,

Such elevation,

Such cleaving.

No other city is split by rivers in such a way.

Across that divide

Tigers roar and robins strut,

Black and white,

Red and white,

Black and amber,

Colours joined

Into one.

One city,

One people,


One Hull!!

Opher 5.7.2017

As part of the City of Culture 2017 my good friends Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard organised this amazing event.

The city is divided by the river Hull, from whence it derives its name – Kingston upon Hull, and uniquely all those bridges can be raised to allow ships to pass through. No other city in the world has this attribute.

The characters of the two sides of the city are represented by the colours of its two rugby league teams – the red and white of the Robins and the black and white of City – but they all come together to roar the amber and black of Hull City football team – the mighty Tigers.

In order to demonstrate the unity of Hull in this fabulous year of culture in 2017 Rich and Lou devised and organised the splitting and rejoining of the city. Every bridge would be simultaneously raised to separate the two halves and then symbolically rejoined.

That is what happened. On the 22nd of September – the Autumn equinox when day and night are equal – at seventeen minutes past eight – 20.17 – all the bridges were raised.

A special musical score was created by John Stead and a film made of the event.

What an achievement.

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