So its official, it’s nice in Hull, Kingston upon Hull that is. When it was announced on the BBC programme “Look North” I could have cracked eggs with a feather, there was no frivolity it was a serious comment! So you bung a few fibre glass toads around the city, linked of course to the famous poet laureate, Larkin, play host to an around the world yacht race and the visitors come flocking in. Forgotten is the wry comment, along the lines of roll on global warming, raising sea levels and bye-bye and good riddance to Hull.
So what is wrong with Hull? Listen to all the negative press, off the top of my head I remember the high rate of teenage pregnancy, one of the top ten cities for obesity, one of the bottom ten in the educational performance ratings (we are improving), high levels of unemployment poor inhabitants and to top that off the city smells of Fish and Cocoa.
So can the above statements be defended? Would the people of Hull want to defend the statements? I don’t think so. Hull has always either had no press or bad press (or so it would seem), in the Second World War, Hull, was the heavily bombed north eastern city. In 2007 Hull, was the forgotten city following the floods. In truth Kingston upon Hull and its inhabitants are very resilient. The city survived the end of Whaling, lived through the demise of the Fishing industry, conquered the loss of Heavy Industry under Margaret Thatcher, re-established the docks with the use of modern technology and will re-emerge somewhat scathed but fighting from this recession.
A couple from Essex invited up to stay at the ‘little fishing village’ on the east coast, could not believe what they saw and loved the city, but when they went home nobody in Essex, would believe them. The emphasis here is nobody would believe them! So what of our little list? Don’t teenagers in other cities get pregnant? Do all the fat people live in Hull? Perhaps they are transported here at a certain weight, so other cities have no overweight people. Yes we have poor people but we have wealthy people too. Yes there is high unemployment, perhaps due to all the negative press about the city stopping companies investing in the place.
You will have to go along way to find a friendlier city; it’s a cheap place to live with a great night life. There are two teams in the super league, an excellent football team, though no longer premiership. The ever improving facilities, The Deep, The Shopping, Museums, the University, and above all the People themselves. It’s not possible to have the history of Hull, the maritime history, ship building, whaling, and fishing, heavy industries and one of the largest ports in the country built on a work shy work force. Bring in the jobs and the people of Hull will work, yes, like every city Hull, has its slouchers but in general it is supported by a good underemployed workforce.
You can say what you like about Hull but one thing you should know is, the biggest critics of Hull, are its own people. They know what’s right and what’s wrong and will not hesitate to tell you – if you can understand the accent. OH and the smell, what smell? If there’s any at all that would be the smell of history.