Visit Hull: Culture, history, and Dead Bod
Potentially approaching the most controversial opinion we have had all year, I plan to spend the next 500 words or so suggesting that Manchester does not in fact have it all, and fully advocating a trip to Hull instead. So, if you were wondering how to make the most of the Spring sunshine this weekend, please read on.
I have recently been convinced by our Editor-in-Chief that Hull really is the place to be right now. Certainly, typing into Google ‘what to do in Hull’, I cannot deny that there are a solid few result pages listing articles ranging from ’10 things to do in Hull’ to ’24 things to do in Hull’. Turns out then, that there are things to do in Hull. So, I dug a little deeper.
One article cites activities “from trampolining to learning about the past,” and I have to say I’m intrigued.
In all seriousness, Hull actively promotes its submarium ‘The Deep’, its Streetlife Museum of Transport, and of course, the infamous Humber Bridge. The latter, apparently, was once the world’s longest suspension bridge, and ‘offers stunning vistas of the Humber estuary.’
Hull’s street art, it seems, could be a potential rival for Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Featuring a 2018 piece from Banksy on Scott Street Bridge, ‘Draw the Raised Bridge’ alongside other Banksy-style pieces which, however, remain unclaimed by the artist.
Banksy’s work is not the only highly-valued piece of street art featured in Hull. ‘Dead Bod’, a white graffiti work from the 60s featuring a starkly drawn bird, of the on-its-back, legs-in-the-air kind, ominously hovers over the unfortunate and brutal description of its current state, the phrase ‘Dead Bod.’
The work is not only an outstanding piece of art, but reveals a deeper history, that of a man named Pongo, his friend Gordon, and the skipper William Valentine Hopper trawler ship. The latter nursed a seagull with a broken wing back to health, demonstrating attentive care to the extent of providing ice-lolly splints, before another crewman heavily kicked the box the bird was in. The very crewman, trying to make light of the situation uttered the phrase that inspired the creation of art – “all this fuss over a dead bod.”
The piece of art, featured on a canvas of corrugated iron, has become something of an emblem for the city. Having played its part guiding fishermen home, it is now Hull’s logo for T-shirts and burger vans. Residents even swung into protest when a movement was announced to remove the sheds on which the painting is found. Thankfully, however, they saved the poor dead bird.
So, there we go, in my short space in print I hope I’ve managed to convince you that Hull deserves a number on your bucket list. Situated roughly two-thirds of the way up England, and quite close to the right-hand side, I hope you manage to find Hull [insert adjective here].