If you know me well, I’m sure you’ll have heard me boast about the City of Culture time and time again. Unfortunately I missed the whole year of events back in 2017, as I was living in Canada. I was keen to get out and about and make the most of the ongoing culture whilst I’m back in Hull.
Firstly, the newly redeveloped Fruit Market was the place I was eager to see when I landed on UK soil. Supposedly it had been selling local fruit and vegetables on the cobbled streets from as early as the 16th Century. By the end of the 19th Century the majority of Hull fruit and vegetable traders operated in and around Humber Street where businesses thrived for over 100 years. In 2009 the fruit market moved to a purpose built facility outside of the city centre. The area was due to be redeveloped into residential and retail units however due to the recession, it was left untouched. Fruit Space was the first to open the doors of a disused fruit warehouse. For 7 years it was a space for music, arts and events. However it unfortunately shut shop in August 2018. Rumours about the increase of rent were a possible reason for its closure. Other rumours surfaced about rent increases and other potential closures, including Costa moving into one of the independently run cafes. It is currently home to other local bars, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and arts and crafts spaces. You can sip on exquisite gins, devour fine foods and purchase prints from local artists. Nibble is a great place for brunch and pop to Form Shop & Studio to get the quirkiest cards. I really hope the Fruit Market continues to flourish and grow, whilst still reveling in its historical roots. And a big eff off to any chain restaurants/coffee shops trying to get their greedy guts involved.
Secondly, Trinity Market has been given a new lease of life after a £3 million refurbishment in 2017. It has a food hall with a variety of stalls selling everything from pizza cones to tiramisu. My favourite stalls so far are; Flour and Feast (the finest donuts with unusual fillings), Falafia (tasty falafel wraps) and Greko (the best gyros outside Greece). You can get your caffeine fix at Caffeinated and chug on beer at the micro-brewery bar. You can purchase Eco products from the Eco Shed and also drop off your all-important Eco bricks (blog post coming soon). This is amongst other stalls selling records, flowers, vegetables and so much more. This regenerated indoor hub is not one to be missed and is a haven for foodies alike.
Finally, I’d love to share some of the events I’ve checked out in the past year, with the majority been totally FREE. How lucky are we…
Museum of the Moon – September 2018
A huge moon created by Luke Jerran was suspended from the vault of Hull Minster. It was 7 meters in diameter and lit up when the sun set. It showed detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface with the church interior as a contrasting backdrop. It was paired with a composed soundtrack by Bafta winning Dan Jones. It was hung for 2 weeks attracting myself and 81,999 others lucky individuals. It doesn’t even look real…
Hull Fair – October 2018
You are definitely frowned upon if you don’t do a compulsory visit to Hull Fair during the week it’s in town in October. It is one of Europe’s largest travelling funfairs attracting thousands of visitors every year. It has been a tradition in Hull for over 700 years. It wouldn’t be a night at Hull Fair without a ride on the Ferris wheel and a Bob Carver’s pattie (if you know, you know).
Urban Legends: Northern Lights – November 2018
Hosted by Absolutely Cultured, a free light installation and interactive event took place across the city of Hull back in November. They used fascinating projections and soundscapes to showcase the connections between Hull and the countries across Northern Europe and Scandinavia. They incorporated themes of ancient mythology, fairy tales and bedtime stories into the different artistic displays from British and Scandinavian artists. It was a great event with a buzzing atmosphere across the city.
Ship of Gods at Hull Minister – a magical shape shifting ship displayed using a mixture of film, 3D laser scanning technology, sound and lighting effects.
Still Live on Whitefriargate – an enchanting shop window displaying fairy tales and theatrical scenes.
Lost Parade in Queens Garden – Storytelling tipis discussing where our shared Northern culture began.
Avenue on Parliament Street – Projection beneath your feet exploring iconic 20th Century textile designs from Hull and Sweden with sound.
Oh the Night! in Queens Garden – Projection onto the building delving into what happens to the characters when the children sleep.
Knife Angel – March 2019
This travelling sculpture arrived in Hull on the 4 March 2019 for 28 days. It is 27ft high and took 18 months to create by Alfie Bradley. It is made of more than 100,000 surrendered knives from UK police forces, in the shape of an angel and engraved with messages from knife crime victims’ families. It really put things into perspective with the sheer size and impact of the sculpture. Unfortunately I didn’t see it up close, just from a moving vehicle.
Craft and Flea Market – March 2019
An arts and craft fair at Hull Minster for one day only. It was a paid event, £2 each if I remember rightly and you could come and go as you pleased. It hosted numerous stalls selling baked goods, local art, cards, handmade beauty products, candles, plants and vintage clothing. I bought a card, a hanging wooden flower and lip balm from Perfect Pout. The Minster is beautiful inside and out, making it the perfect backdrop for a bit of retail therapy.
Bankside Gallery – ongoing
This is an ongoing outdoor art space throughout Hull, mainly on/near Wincolmlee industrial estate. It is an organisation that works with the council and business owners to identify legal walls for graffiti use. It began in February 2018 after Banksy left his mark on Scott Street Bridge. This was later covered with Perspex to prevent further vandalism, after someone defaced it two days old. When driving through the industrial estate, graffiti is everywhere. It has turned a grey, drab area into something interesting and colourful. They have recently branched out to Preston Road to liven up an estate which is due to be demolished. A number of empty council houses have been painted and sprayed with vibrant art. Additionally, it has had a positive impact on anti-social behaviour and crime. I think this is a great addition to Hull and at £0 anyone can experience it.
Ferens Art Gallery – ongoing
I had no idea this gallery was free (donations are welcome). Ferens Art Gallery is nearly 100 years old. It was restored and reopened in 1991 and in 2017 it hosted the Turner Prize as part of the City of Culture year. When I went to the gallery in May, I saw the Microbes exhibition. It’s an interactive art installation inspired by microscopic imagery of bacteria and cells. It was pretty cool and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on upcoming exhibitions.
Hull Street Food Nights – First Thursday of the Month (last one in September)
This monthly street food night is a foodie dream with over 30 stalls to drool over. It’s free entry with live music, tasty treats and a variety of cuisines to devour. With the Minster as the perfect backdrop, this event is not one to be missed. Just make sure you’re starving marvin before you arrive.
Hull is constantly shamed in the media and I cannot stress enough how amazing this place is. Don’t knock it until you try it because I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It has beautiful buildings, plenty of history, the best fish and chips and you can get a pint for under £3.
I’m hoping to check these events out this summer:
- Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibiton
- Humber Street Sesh
- Freedom Festival
- Yum! Festival