Anlaby Road, by Andrew Reid Wildman

As a child I had no reason to come along Anlaby Road. It was not the right direction for Beverley, and it was nowhere near the childhood delights of 1970s Hull city centre, with its toyshops and cafes where I could be fawned over by matronly Yorkshire women, grinning coyly from behind my mop of thick golden hair. Nor was it on the way to my father’s workplace at Reckitts, with its noisy, whirring noises and overpowering smell of aerosol. So despite knowing Hull all my life, it was only later  that I ventured along this major thoroughfare, in search of  inspiration for photography and art. I discovered a road that changed mood with the frequency of a hormonal teenager.At its city centre side are the haunted shells of Victorian “hot spots,” trees bursting through damp-riddled ceilings. DSC_0062 DSC_0066

Once I came on a match night and heard the roaring crowds shatter the peace of the night. The sound was electrifying. I took photographs that night, that later I made into one of the largest paintings I had created. 

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I discovered the Circle 87 Cafe and painted that too.

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And I found this weirdly-shaped bus, designed for passing through Beverley’s historical Bar.

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Concrete fascinates me, brutal and weirdly nostalgic. And Anlaby Road has its share.DSC_0074

Later the road becomes calmer, as it stretches towards the suburban outskirts, and the houses and cafes sit morosely watching. 

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I like this road, and I walk here often now. It is part of my Hull. It is ever-changing, dynamic, and rich in history.  

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