Today I found a little bit of America in my home town. You won’t find it in London, not Liverpool, Manchester or Leeds. Newcastle has its own thing going on. This is all of those, with history that bellows from every brick and hope that flickers in the old Victorian lamps. This is unique to Hull.
The old fruit market, off Humber Dock.
Formerly a quiet, unassuming shambles of disused apparently unwanted buildings gradually rotting. I’ve always loved this part of Hull. Old Town. But the fruit market, all those lush buildings covered in boards. Why? I could never understand. No one wants to live there and there is no longer a through route for traffic. The bells – now horns – warning of fog blared through empty streets.
Now first off, let’s deal with ‘the unwanted’. This area was busy when everyone else was still asleep.
Quietly, while the council plans to knock it all down, people have found use for it again. There’s not much to see on the surface, those that turn up expecting to be handed an experience will be disappointed. There’s loads bubbling away – if you look. If you stop the car and explore.
Pop up shops, exquisite galleries, live music echoing through a ghost town.
If you’re switched on enough to have your ‘ear to the ground’ you might hear it. A heartbeat, a pulse, you can feel it throbbing through the walls, rattling windows. The expectancy, the promise that whispered in the spring sun.
I happened on a tour of the new recording studios, http://fruittrademusic.com/ the reason for all the fuss and activity today. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next big thing came roaring out of this environment.
Grabbing a coffee and cake, this den of thieves even had a table for kiddies to colour. Not one of the big multi-nationals have the gumption to think of that. It’s not often I can enjoy a drink without the accompanying tantrums of my toddler. Better yet it wasn’t engineered, not shabby chick, or pretend. Instead it was useful, functional and vibrant. Real. Natural. I am sure Thieving Harry has big plans for the area.
I was reminded of Omaha’s old town. http://www.oldmarket.com/ USA.
A beautiful centre of entertainment, boutique and antique shops sitting along side bars and restaurants, and a massive footfall.
The tourists this would bring to Hull, imagine. I doubt very much that is what any of these business owners are thinking, nor the council for temporarily granting permission of use.
Who ever is behind it. – I am sure that’s plural. A true thinking outside the box moment. I was so glad I was there to see it, feel it – breathe it.