Joplings, John Street, Sunderland, 2013
• Established in 1804 and rebuilt many times over its two centuries on this site, this long-lived department store closed for good in 2010. Known as “the Harrods of Sunderland” (maybe not a hard title to win), it even has a Wikipedia page. There are some early pics here and an unlikely-soundng plan to convert it to Sunderland’s flagship hotel here. In the bottom image, note ghost sign and clock behind current offerings.
Lady Godiva News Devlins, 26 Broadgate, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013
• The equally weird twin of yesterday’s Peeping Tom newsagent; they’re situated either side of Coventry’s “famous” Lady Godiva clock, hence the names. Below is the clock tower, and at bottom the naked strumpet on her horse, with Tom peeping on.
Clueless, 88b East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002
• Not the ideal name for a boutique. Now called “CD’s DVD’s“, which also lacks an air of longevity.
CMaster, Cumsers (Cutmasters), 202-204 Merton High Street, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010
• Bizarre signage which almost looks like a rude joke. They’ve now got a “proper” sign but the building’s just as tatty.
Yorkshire Penny Bank (Caffe Nero), 37-40 Savile Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013
• Established in 1860, Yorkshire Penny Bank changed its name to Yorkshire Bank in 1959, so it’s still around – just not at this branch.
B. Cooke & Son Ltd.. 58-59 Market Place, Kingston upon Hull, 2013
• This is nice – a traditional maritime business established in 1863 by Bernard Cooke, and still specialising in making nautical charts and optical instruments. Pity the gold lettering in the window has got so faded.
Skeltons Bakery, 11-15 Trinity House Lane, Kingston upon Hull, 2005
• Founded 1931, this 43-branch bakery went into administration in 2007 – there are some photos from its heyday here. It was bought by Cooplands, the UK’s 4th largest baker, but this premises cased to trade and the nice sign is long gone.
Rank Hovis Clarence Mill, Clarence Street, Hull, 2013
• And this is the reason I went to Hull – to catch this monolith before it gets knocked down, which is due any time soon (no chance of it getting turned into an art gallery like Newcastle’s Baltic Mill, another 1950s Rank edifice). Shotwell, the towering gun cartridge factory opposite, is also on land which used to be occupied by Clarence Mills. Designed by Joseph Rank’s friend Alfred Gelder and opened 1891, the entire complex was bombed in 1941 then rebuilt around the Victorian silos in 1952, so is mainly newer than it looks. Saying it was too costly to update, Rank closed it in 2005; it’s now owned, like Hull’s fine ex-Co-Op, by developers Manor, who say they want to build student apartments and a casino. Very sad: founder Joseph Rank (father of movie mogul J. Arthur Rank) was a major local philanthropist, and this is a piece of Hull’s industrial heritage. Until about 2009, the interior and its beautiful old wooden machines remained in fairly good nick, and was fortunately extensively documented by urban explorers (such as here and here). But it’s now trashed and dangerous, as these more recent photos show.
Maizecor, 141 Wincolmlee, Hull, 2013
• A maize milling company inhabits this imposing complex, whose immense walls are studded with wrought iron bearing plate rosettes (more about those here). The historic Scott Street bascule bridge beside it has been stuck on “open” since 1994, being too weak to support traffic.
W. & J. Oliver. (Stead & Smith Engineering), 153 Wincolmlee, Kingston upon Hull, 2013
• Nice to see an old engineering building that still houses engineers – and sells macho things like rigger boots. Wincolmlee is a very long, hard-to-spell road running alongside the River Hull. It’s semi-industrial, semi-derelict, and all interesting: more of it tomorrow.
Mercure Hull Royal Hotel, Paragon Station, 170 Ferensway, Hull, 2013
• Built in 1849 and recently refurbished, this is at the start of Hull’s Philip Larkin trail. It’s described in his doleful poem “Friday Night at the Royal Station Hotel” as a place “Isolated, like a fort” where “silence laid like carpet”. Given which, I was particularly taken with this tiny scrap of mosaic ghost-flooring preserved in the foyer.
G.W. Horners, 21 Anlaby Road, Hull, 2013
• Pub in an imposing ex-fleapit, The Regent, which was built in 1910 (the towers were added later) and owned by the same family as the Tower. It closed 1979, by which time it specialised in X-rated fare. The bar is in the former foyer, and may not be as welcoming as the exterior suggests: the establishment was ordered to use plastic drinking vessels after an outbreak of glassings. Apparently the current name derives from a giant confectionery works in Chester-Le-Street, where the pub had its original branch.
Ex-Edwin Davis department store, Bond Street, Hull, 2013
• When I came across this I guessed it was a derelict 1930s telecoms or waterworks building. In fact it’s a post-war rebuild of an art deco department store which got bombed in the blitz, having already been rebuilt after a WW1 bombing. Its final incarnation was as a nightclub (Hull seems to specialise in these). Hull council think it’s an eyesore and it’s slated for demolition; but it looks rather handsome to me.
Queen’s Garden News, 10a Alfred Gelder Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013
• Alfred Gelder Street – named after Hull’s most famous architect – launches in style with this liner-like black deco building, housing an incongruously stark newsie specialising in neatly-labelled junk snacks.
Paragon Arcade, Paragon Street, Hull, 2013 (top) and 2005
• Cute 1891 Gothic Revival arcade by Alfred Gelder. On the lower right of the very blurry 2005 shot you can see Segal’s Jewellers, est. 1919; sadly owner Maurice Segal (son of the founder) passed away in 2011, aged 87. The shop’s still there though, unlike The Bewlay’s Pipe Pub on the other side.