I’m a Yorkshire girl. I was born in Hull nearly 22 years ago and I’m still here. I’m here by choice too! I finally moved out of my parent’s home almost 3 years ago when me and Matt decided to move in together. We had all sorts of plans, actually… We were primarily thinking about moving to Wales, yet we stayed in Hull because this is simply where we wanted to be.
Hull used to have a terrible reputation – some of the criticism was fair, most of it was not. I think Hull is one of those places that you can really only truly love and enjoy when you live here. Passing through doesn’t give you enough time to explore, and there’s really plenty of places you can do that. You can walk through the historic old town, taking in lots of pre-Second World War original features, whilst being only a 10 minute walk from the beautiful fountain of Queens Gardens or The Deep (the world’s only submarium, a landmark centre for marine research and the voted ‘best family place to visit in Hull’). If you wanted to stray from the city centre, there are entire portions of the city renowned for their food and drink too.
Recently, Hull has began to make more of a name for itself. No, I’m not talking about Hull City, sorry! Hull won the title of UK City of Culture 2017, an award given every 4 years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture. In 2017, the city will celebrate 365 days of cultural activities and, in the meantime, there’s a lot of city-wide preparation (we’re talking so many building sites!). I’m sure it’ll be worth it though.
As well as the City of Culture title, thousands of people recently participated in the world-famous artist Spencer Tunick’s “Sea of Hull” installation. Every participant stripped bare, painted every inch of their body blue and head into the streets of Hull completely starkers in the name of art. As you’d expect, it made the national news and it even trended on Twitter. The final photographs will be revealed when the Ferens Art Gallery re-opens in 2017.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may already know one of Hull’s residents! Young Ned Stark, who’s making fans freak out in Bran’s flashback scenes, is played by Hull-born actor Robert Aramayo. When I saw the news that Ned Stark was returning in series 6, I didn’t know whether to be more shocked that he’d return via flashbacks or that a kid I went to secondary school and college with was playing him! After moving to New York to study at the Juilliard School of Drama, known for its prestigious alumni, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of him too.
I’m so happy that Hull is finally starting to be recognised by the rest of the country, even if that recognition did start because of a bunch of naked, blue Smurfs lying in the the middle of Hull’s city centre roads.
Have you ever been to Hull? Have you even heard of Hull?
You can read my previous post here.
Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills