Start 2017 with a Bang
Happy New Year – head over to Hull it’s Party Time in 2017 !!
Happy New Year readers. I do hope your Christmas went well. I hope that for the majority of my blog post readers Christmas has been warm, cosy and glowing with children’s excited voices, presents, roast turkey, mulled wine and church carols.
For some it is a time of reflection on happy and sad memories or maybe it’s the end of one chapter of life and beginning of another.
I firmly believe the secret to positive and happy wellbeing is to try and spend as much time and surround ourselves with younger people. Young people and children tend to simplify life and generally have a very positive outlook and that, for me is like a tonic.
I am so lucky to have a huge extended family and I managed to see them all over Christmas, not all at once I might add – though Christmas dinner was a sight to behold – 18 in total and it was brilliant.
Back to the present and I am writing on New Year’s Day and at 20.17 hours Hull will officially become the UK’s City of Culture 2017. It will start with “In with a Bang” – a fabulous firework display from the Marina in the City centre.
I was born and brought up in Hull and so obviously I am biased when I talk about my roots. I believe though that Hull, since it lost its fishing back in the 1970s it had become orphaned. Over the last forty years gradually it looked more and more neglected even though its centre is steeped in history and beautiful buildings. In previous times when entering the city centre people (me included) had stopped looking up at the beautiful architecture and instead looked down at the cracked pavements, closed down stores and relics of what were once thriving stores, cinemas, pubs, clubs and eating places.
Roll onto 2016 and Hull has had a makeover. Hull is clean, proud, modern, boasting lots of investment in business and can handle anything. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes – Hull was of course the worst bombed city after London during the 2nd world war – she is now a beauty to behold. Hull is steeped in history boasting, museums, a fabulous art gallery and theatres.
I have such fantastic memories of growing up in Hull and one of my first jobs in the early 70’s was on the fish dock. Not that glamorous obviously but it was certainly an eye opener. I worked as a junior secretary and one task I had was to take the wages to the workers in the fish house on a Friday morning. The weekly wages then were in small brown envelopes and the payslip was a thin strip of paper with hours, deductions, tax, NI and gross and net pay.
It was terrifying !
I would approach with a tray with a strap around my neck, very much like an usherette in a cinema. The tray contained all the wage packets for all the workers in alphabetical order – probably about 80 packets. My job was to hand them out. The first thing the workers did was to open their wage packet, check the payslip and the money inside and if it wasn’t correct – I was the quivering wreck who had to deal with it.
A 16 year old, fresh faced kid having to face up to men and women towering over me, ruddy faced, dressed in white rubber coats and wellies wearing white caps or turbans. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.
Many years have passed since then and Hull gave me many jobs and experiences. UK City of Culture makes me proud and the tremendous firework display tonight was the first of what I am certain will be many memorable and proud moments.
Please come to Hull – we would love to see you.
Talk soon x
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