An insider’s guide to Hull: ‘It’s better than you think, honest …’ by Dave Lee
The Guardian – Monday 19th September 2016
Kitsch street style, pattie butties and theatre in old fruit markets – Hull might not have a glowing reputation but it’s been inspiring poets for generations
At the confluence of the rivers Hull and Humber is the Pierhead, where boats carrying fruit from exotic places used to dock. Next to it is the Oss Wash, a slipway where traders could (you can probably guess) wash their horses. At mid-tide, the water laps around the Pierhead’s wooden support beams and bigger waves break on to the Oss Wash. If you sit at just the right place, at just the right time you hear the sound of water all around you. It reminds you what made Hull one of the greatest ports in the world.
The obvious thing would be pick one of the glorious old buildings down the High Street but, while they are beautiful, they are pretty similar to those of any mature English city. I’d rather go for something that symbolises the make-do-and-mend, bloody-minded, independent spirit of the people of Hull: The Adelphi Club. It used to be a normal, small, Georgian terraced house but (thanks to Hitler and the second world war) it became a semi-detached, and then (thanks to Hull legend Paul Jackson) it became a magical musical wonderland.
The Housemartins started life there and – for 30 years now – the tiny stage has been trodden by the likes of Oasis, Radiohead, The Stone Roses and Pulp. There may be better looking or more architecturally significant buildings, but the Adelphi is known throughout the world and loved throughout the city – and that makes it the most important.