I know that many of my friends now seek new, exciting and unvisited places. Where you can view wonders and witness alien-like wildlife roaming the very streets of the places you visit. I scoff at their idiocy for do they not realise they themselves live in such a place themselves? For where is more un-visited (except perhaps for a dreary day of shopping and watery coffee) Hull. Where else can you see humans acting in such a deprived manner, and view original and authentic 50’s post-war concrete architecture?
So here I am aged 16, living in Hull and in 2 years’ time I will face my greatest opportunity, and my willingness to escape Hull only makes me try harder. Thanks, by the way, Mum, for being able to choose anywhere after 3 years in Indonesia to come back to England and choose Hull. One letter away from hell is what everyone not from this disjointed, randomly placed city say about it. They cannot understand the truth of it really until they’ve lived in deep Hull itself. And here is my list as to why that really is:
1. The people:
Unfortunately this is all you need to say. There are many perfectly ordinary pleasant people living here, but most of them want to live elsewhere and their ordinary pleasant actions are outdone by the actions of other exceptionally nefarious and incorrigible types. Of which Hull has far more than its fair share, to be honest. Perhaps there is also something charming about the way they talk funny and don’t know about things like cleanliness and politeness too. I visited Brugge recently (since I have been I now consider myself an expert on all things Belgian and can therefore use the Belgian name for Bruges). I admit I am shocked when I go to other cities and notice a lack of graffiti, louts (chavs) hanging around in small yet menacing groups, and that you can walk across a field without being punched in the face unknowingly.
I am confused about the morals of the Hull population too. I confess they do have a righteous heart in many respects, they support charities, have very tight knit families that stand up for each other (particularly in pub brawls) and despise money laundering banks, but this is probably more because the banks have lots of money, whereas as the average person from hull has, well, none. But then there are some confusing aspects which I don’t understand. Like the fact that if you remotely think of offending a soldier, or think that spending millions and millions in a country that we don’t really have much to do with and sending thousands of soldiers over there is wrong, then you are outcast. ‘Hull supports their troops’ and remembrance day has an exceptionally strong turnout. But then again, a very large amount of people are exceptionally racist, and want the government to stop sending any money overseas to help other countries in peaceful, dare I say it, more constructive ways.
2. The geographical stuff:
I guess the real problem with the city is, where it is, off on a limb- described by many people I’ve met as ‘Somewhere on the east coast, isn’t it? And there’s that big bridge? Is it near Newcastle?’ This not only makes me worry about Britain’s geography skills, it has made me realise that, we really are in the middle of nowhere. Why would a city build up here? The land is empty for miles around because there is just nothing going for it. You don’t go through Hull to go anywhere, not that you’d want too, and since the fishing industry has died off, there isn’t really anything for anyone to do, if you think about it.
Surely, people say, there are some good points about Hull. I suppose there are a couple, land is so cheap, because no one wants to live here, that you can buy a large house for the same amount of money as a 1 bed flat in London, same with the cost of living. But, you’ll pay out extra in smashed car windows and graffiti. And I would pay triple if I could to get out of Hull and away from the atmosphere of it. As explained above.
This has posed a problem for me, and for anyone living here, in that, a full day trip is required to go anywhere worthwhile. It is faster to get to Edinburgh from London, than from London to Hull. So I and the few adolescents here that don’t spend their time obsessing, worryingly, over the likes of ‘1D’ and Justin Bieber’ (remember the recent worldwide twitter trend #Cut4Bieber?) suffer. We must spend our lives watching forlornly as our more fortunate friends in far flung, exotic and un-reachable cities such as Manchester or perhaps Glasgow go to countless Gigs by our favourite bands. It’s enough to make you hate anyone. Everyone.
3. The ‘education’:
It’s like gods little experiment, if he put the worst of everything into one pot and stirred it up a bit; add some political unrest, base racism and traditional sexism, what comes out? It certainly isn’t a good education system. I moved (luckily) before I had to experience Hull’s secondary education, but I did use to be in the catchment area for a school called Endeavour. The whole idea is positive, the name ‘Endeavour’ endeavour to do better, to improve your life and beat the system. It didn’t work; £40 million of the council’s money was ruined and after coming bottom of the school league table for most of the 11 years it has been around, and it is therefore being closed.
One of the inhabitants downfalls is that logic too is not exactly a strong point; Humberside police will confess that drugs and smoking are an exceptionally large problem with youth in Hull. I once questioned a girl as to why she took M-Kat at all, she didn’t quite understand the context that I asked the question in, and replied; ‘because it is cheaper than coke.’ I smiled politely and moved the conversation on, this girl who was quite nice to sit next to, evidently lacked some obvious knowledge.
4. Beautiful Architecture
I admit, that Hull can’t be blamed for looking so, so damn bad. This is because, it is as ever, the forgotten city, (it’s probably best if things stay this way) and was desecrated by the lightning strikes of the Luftwaffe in world war 2. This actually destroyed some pretty amazing buildings, the remnants of which can be seen in the town centre.
However, it has always been a port, so the remaining old town is a dreary boring mass of dark brick, efficient, cheap and effective, nothing else. These buildings are dwarfed by giant, monstrous concrete multi storey shops and flats; the worst offender here is the Hospital however. It looks down upon it citizens, coughing and sputtering with one of the highest rates of lung cancer in Britain, a giant rectangular block of crumbling grey rock that exudes an air of defeat. There is also the shopping centre Princes Quay, imagine a giant egotistical, overrated corrugated garden shed floating precariously on muddy polluted waters.
All of these buildings are strangled by massed armies of council houses, which stop any expansion of the current town centre. People peer out from small, dark windows and wonder if their next house might have double glazing, or wallpaper. Any new buildings, endeavour for instance, look like oversized IKEA children’s furniture, bright and colourful, but bought with the knowledge that it is temporary and will be completely wrecked within 8 months. Perhaps in the distant future these buildings, concrete flats and corrugated iron shopping centres will become fashionable like the industrial age factories of yester-year. But I doubt it.
5. The wonderful cuisine:
Some people try to romanticise this beautiful facet of Hull. They talk of a certain ‘je ne sais quois’ about the substances some of them eat; I cannot really bring myself to call it food. I personally recommend a day trip to Hull for all families, perhaps, instead of a day trip to the zoo. Because I know many parents take their children to far flung places such as Ghana and India or Uganda to see poverty and make them feel slightly guilty and also grateful to their parents. I implore you; it would be much cheaper to take them to Hull instead. After you have tasted the ‘delights of Bob Carvers’, which undoubtedly serves ‘THE best food in Hull’, (well actually, that’s not too hard) you will be happy to never again see anything with a gram of trans-fat, etc. in it. Ever.
I now hope that you can see not only why Hull is such a bad place to live, but I also hope that you can pity my first world problems, be empathetic. But most of all, never ever come visiting.