Tuesday, 18 March 2014

St Andrew's Dock, Tired and Lonely

Just a few remaining supports from a long derelict jetty, sentinels to times past

I had the opportunity the other weekend while the sun shone to spend some quality time with my middle son John as he comes home to visit now and then. We have a love to chat about eclectic subjects and we have a love of history and photography and what can be done that’s different with this wonderful media.

Son John taking a photo of me taking a photo of him - nicely framed - except someone's stolen the metal frame for scrap!
I’m not arty or anything, but I try not to be a simple snapper either. I suppose I am fortunate to live in a pleasant part of the UK next to the countryside in East Yorkshire and the city/urban life too, so there is a bit of choice and a bit of history to get my teeth into as you have discovered on here if you are a regular reader.

The dock basin, all silted now with the lock head at the top.

Living close to one of the countries busiest and dramatic rivers, the Humber helps to provide decent subjects and there are some disused docks and dock buildings from yesteryear that have not been developed which, for the photographer and the feral pigeon is fine, although I have to say that the more derelict the buildings get that surround the docks the worse it starts to look and does nothing for image of the area either. 

One of the many derelict buildings on St Andrew's Quay, once a home to a proud and busy shipping company (a friend's mother cleaned the boadroom there 50 years ago and grand inside it was!) Modern Hull docks and a ferry in the distance
If my memory serves me right there are eleven dock of various kinds not including dry docks and piers etc., in Hull which are either in use, derelict or filled in but nonetheless are still easily recognisable as docks. Perhaps this is testament to the city of Hull’s place in the import/export trade going back to the 13th century. With Hull being the only port allowed in Yorkshire to import and export legitimate goods, wine and wool became its staple business.

Fisherman's line caught on this pillar
Trade in cloth, lead, iron, tar, fish, whaling etc., meant that the Haven containing riverside wharves (at the confluence of the river Hull and the Humber) was just too small to cope plus of course the tides play havoc with the trade so in 1773 the Dock Company was founded and docks started to be built and the rest as they say, is history.

So the derelict St Andrew’s Dock was the subject of our pictures that day in beautiful sunshine and bitter wind. Opened in 1883, it handled fish and Hessle Road, adjacent to the Dock was renowned for its link to the fishing heritage of the port. It closed in 1975, some of it was filled in and a retail park built upon it and the rest just silted up and the buildings slowly ran to ruin.
In 2013, the charity 'St Andrew's Dock Heritage Park Action Group' (STAND) selected a design for a memorial to the 6,000 Hull trawler-men who lost their lives in the fishing industry, to be sited next to the Humber at the dock entrance and although vitally important, it looks a little lost tucked away between the lock gates and a derelict building. I lost a Great Uncle, Stan, an engineer aboard the Hull trawler Ross Cleveland which sank in 1968, so it does have meaning for me as one part of my family, my father’s side come from the immediate area and had links to the fishing industry.
A great day, enjoy the pics for what they are and enjoy the week ahead.
Chat soon