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.

Barry Melton – From Country Joe and The Fish – with Stephan Missri – at the Adelphi, Hull

Country Joe and the Fish was one of my favourite West Coast Acid Rock band.  I can still remember hearing that great album Electric Music For The Mind And Body for the first time. It was a totally different sound and Barry’s great electric guitar was an important element. He made that acid drenched sound that was quite different to anything else I’d heard. One of my favourite albums of all-time.

It felt great to have such an icon of those times visiting Hull again.

Barry was playing acoustic as a duo with the greatly talented French guitarist Stephane Missri. It worked well. They managed to summon up that counter-culture vibe of the old San Franciscan scene. They were joined by John Roberts on spoons and vocals.

The place was packed and Barry got the crowd joining in and grooving.

The highlight of the evening was when Barry jammed with Crooked Weather. He took up the electric guitar and it rocked.

Joh Roberts

Barry looking pensive

Barry with Stephane (John Roberts in the background)

EU Citizens’ Rights Info Session – HULL

For those EU citizens in Hull and around who are worried about their future. This meeting might help.

Following the uncertainty created by Brexit, EU citizens across the UK need information regarding their rights and their status in the UK over the coming years.

This event, which is co-hosted by “The3million”(https://www.the3million.org.uk/), aims to provide information about EU citizens’ rights in the UK during Brexit, about the ‘settled status’ scheme, and to offer a Q&A session.

The information will be introduced by “Hull and East Yorkshire for Europe” and delivered by a lawyer, made available through the EU Rights project. The lawyer is offered for free by the European Commission Representation in the UK.

Here’s a couple of links:




Photographer – Richard Duffy-Howard – Exhibition in Hull at the HIP Gallery.

I was privileged to be invited to the opening of the latest exhibition of a good friend of mine – the award-winning Photographer Richard Duffy-Howard.

The exhibition is at the HIP Gallery in Princess Quay and will be running for the next month or two (details at the link at the bottom). Entry is free. If you are in the area I suggest you pop in and have a look.

The theme of the exhibition is Music – which is highly appropriate as Rich is also one of Hull’s leading musicians. As both the acoustic duo, with Lou Duffy-Howard, known as Loudhailer, and as the electric, psychedelic unit, with magic fingers – Jeff Parsons, super-bow – Chris Heron, and master of the bangs and fills Rich Walker – known as Loudhailer Electric Company, Richard has been playing the scene with great aplomb, as well as hosting a great many brilliant acts.

Richard has managed to capture the moments with artistry. I was impressed with the range of Rock, Classical and Folk right through to Hip-Hop. It’s all there and the photographs are startling.

Laid out with great thought into complementing groups, colour and black and white, all capturing the mood.

It includes three shots taken by his son Dexter – a star of the future (mark my words – I said it first). Dexter Duffy-Howard is going to be mega.

These are photographs to study, look at in detail and appreciate. Get yourself down there.

Thanks Richard. I’ll go again!

Dexter Duffy-Howard showing off one of his outstanding shots. 

Richard in front of one of his groupings of photos. 

Dodge McKay opening the show with a couple of songs and appearing in one of the photographs himself.

Richard listening intently to Dodge.


Hull – City of Culture – The Fabulous Blade!

How that managed to get such a colossal structure into the centre of Hull through all those narrow streets is beyond me. Well done guys!!

Great idea and brilliantly done!

Siemens is a major development for alternative energy (shame they are no longer bringing their research and development due to Brexit) and will help make Hull a thriving centre of wind technology. Just what we need – a major development of a great area – much needed jobs – and a big financial boost for the region.

Alternative energy is the future – wind, solar and tidal energy is sustainable and non-polluting! Forget your dirty coal, oil and gas!! Hull could become a centre for the whole world! So it was appropriate that the organisers of the year of culture thought up such a brilliant idea. It looks wonderful. It is massive. What a backdrop to the old buildings in the city centre.

Unfortunately it was a bit of a dank January day when we went! But it didn’t spoil it! I loved it.

Here’s a few photos:

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Inside the refurbished Ferens Art Gallery.


Queen Victoria Square and the majestic blade in the twilight!

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You could feel the electricity!! We are Hull!! The gateway to the fabulous East Riding – the cliffs of the North Sea – Bempton Bird Sanctuary, The wonderful Wolds with the rolling hills made famous by Hockney, Seaside resorts like the rejuvenated Bridlington, The Yorkshire Moors and on to Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby!!


The Best Countryside on Earth!!

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City Hall and the Ferens Art Gallery Lit up like never before! p1160224-2



We’ve been deprived and down but we are on the up!! p1160237-2

Incredible scenes play out on the Ferens Art Gallery. p1160251-2 p1160262-2

Huge crowds roaring with pleasure. Those from Hull full of pride! p1160265-2

And off at the end down Whitefriargate!!


Hull – The City of Culture!!!  What a night!!!

The only fly in the ointment is the lamentable Hull City Council. There are still road-works and open sites, lots of construction sites!! It all should have been finished in time! They should have pulled out all the stops! This was Hulls big chance to shine and they have let us down again!!

The New Theatre closed!! It is a joke!!

Hull is brilliant! We had a SUPERB display! Why oh why don’t the council get themselves sorted out?