Sunday, 28 November 2010
Scenes from Horseback
I had a brief sojourn into the old town of Hull this morning to meet an old friend who showed me round an old building which goes back to 1698. I am going to lead a paranormal investigation there in January and it gave me a chance to have a look round to get my bearings and soak in a bit of the atmosphere. It promises to be a good one. The picture above shows the church this morning bathed in winter sunlight in the reflection of the bank windows on Market Place.
While there, I decided to have a short wander around, not dwelling too long because of the freezing weather - the only advantage of which was the fact that there was no-one around. I used to work in the old town centered by Holy Trinity Church in the mid to late 1970s and some of my ancestors were baptised and married in the magnificent church, originally built in 1285, just down the road from St Marys which featured on a blog a few weeks ago.
The statue of King William lll sits, unceremoniously in some ways, next to a public toilet in Market Place, just a few yards from Holy Trinity. This is a remarkable statue of a king who was relatively unloved and unmourned. Were it not for his missus, Mary, who was indeed loved at the time, he would be William the Obscure. The statue of him was erected in 1734, and apart from the war years, his gilded figure has remained there ever since, vigilant and proud. It is said that the sculptor committed suicide after realising, following his completion of the statue that he had not included any stirrups for the King's royal tootsies. The truth is that the Sculptor, Dutchman Peter Scheemaker died in 1781 at the grand old age of 90. The statue was probably designed that way to represent a 'classic' style of bareback horsemanship.
I haven't walked down Prince Street opposite Holy Trinity for 30 years plus and although there is a lot of restoration down there, the cobbled streets, the curved nature of the building line, the arched entrance and the old shuttered buildings takes you back centuries; I guess it hasn't changed massively - ghosts from yesteryear would recognise the scene.
On the way home, thankful for a warm car, the Humber Bridge presented a fascinating vista being half covered in a fog bank. Fog of course is no stranger to the Humber basin and with a still cold morning, there were attractive wisps of vapour all over the place as the water was considerably warmer than the air! The only problem was that the main A63, Clive Sullivan Way provides nowhere safe to stop and get a good photo.
From a bland chill morning with minus 5 on the car clock and no overnight snow, at the time of writing, an hours continual snow has now turned my village into a winter wonderland. This picture was taken at 12.35 today.
All the pictures were taken today - I love the immediacy of blogs.