The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang page 1 By Patrick Henry Start
One individual at The Hole scathing of this development, Harvey tackled the Daily Telegraph crossword daily in the bar, and read the rest of that paper. His career as a NATO official at Brussels now curtailed, he applied his mind to clues in this puzzle. Sometimes I helped him to answers. Breezily scorning the Leftist elements in the place, he called the Westminster leader, Lionel Blair, and devised guises of ridicule for a performer so arch and slippery in his charades as to even impersonate a Prime Minister, none too successfully.
Angus arrived here occasionally from a hermetic shack out on the wild moors, in an old kilt and impenetrable accent. A borderer on the edge of every civilisation, he had been sectioned and locked up sometimes for mentally-induced offences. In here he seemed always peaceful, though stubbornly awkward and poetically-wandering in conversation. His big black dog centred on the trouble that had arisen with his moorland neighbours, yet here too it kept placid but for the odd deep growl. The Hole seemed a probationary respite for the wild, notorious pair. Richard had empathy for dogs from rough country, and for many other creatures.
Victor, an odd-job man at big hotels, kept in touch with rural origins by going out early gathering mushrooms proudly culled from a secret place, prime specimens he expected to sell frequently at shop prices here in the bar. Once, a landowner on a horse had challenged his presence. "I've got to be on somebody's land, I ain't got any meself." Victor reasoned. The owner said "We've owned this land for centuries. My ancestors fought for it." Victor retorted "Then I'll fight you for it." He rolled up his sleeves, but then ran off with the mushrooms instead.
They kept him in beer-money when odd-jobs grew scarce. But we had had a surfeit of high-priced fungi, even Richard, whose pub lunches had featured mushroom soup or omelette nearly every day until diners grew weary. Now that his trade dried up, Victor's indignant anger turned shrill. Harvey looked up from his crossword over half-moon glasses to suggest the gathering of seashells on the seashore. "Mollusc Colony, if it is seven and six," I offered a solution, should this be a puzzle clue. But it was genuine advice to Victor, who thought he was being ridiculed, and thumped Harvey's cheek, dashing down the precious spectacles, fortunately unbroken. But the mushroom man was barred from the place
The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang continued By Patrick Henry
Harvey's glasses went back on the end of his nose, and he thought my clue a good invention that he would send to the compilers. But he was a not always such an innocent party in disputes. Amid this terrain of dissenters he stood out awkwardly, the last gallant conservative, but he often acted the provocateur who punctured the truce of tolerance the place depended upon. So he too had to go away down the road. A NATO man descended to a bickering barfly, a sad end, Richard thought, although pacifist nonconformist himself, but regretting that alert professionalism should be wasted. The Hole existed to uphold life's misfits so they could advance, not slide into bitter dissolution.
George, a German surrealist artist, partially practised his genius upon these premises, on the precept that every customer here resembled a famous figure, past or present. So apparently the place became full of Martin Luther, Pope John Paul, Ernest Hemingway, Fritz Lang, Buddy Holly and Dolly Parton. Intensely, George almost believed these figures to be present, and interviewing or jibing them, which some found amusing, others annoying or insulting.
He spoke proudly of himself having survived extensive mental treatment. Once attending a psychologists conference, he had spoken from the floor to impress the assembly, later staggered to find out that he was an ex-patient with no qualifications but an arts degree and a folder of surrealist paintings. So the inmate had nearly taken over the asylum, but was now turning our Hole pub into his own kind of clinic.
Being on the verge of the premises of insanity had long been an off-beat attraction here, but George's de Sade-at-Charenton style of staging lunatic spectaculars, overshadowed the place's preference to ad-lib its own zany sessions, to enact our own personal fantasies rather than being cast into his blockbusters. So he too had to go, victim to Germanic super-efficiency, trying to impose on drop-out eccentricity a thorough system to rule the world, or the domain of The Hole-in-the-Wall at least.
Richard then sold the pub to go and breed retrievers in Scotland. The new landlord made the place smart, smooth and hopeless ground for the odd, bizarre outcast. Now we of that ilk foregather at an old coaching -inn at the far edge of town, a dusty, crumbling palace retaining awkward characters and lost social causes. All of this has to be perpetuated somewhere.
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - There IS Life After Alcohol - Part 2
I met a friends' daughter who was the same age as me - a year older actually - and we instantly fell in love. She was at the point of getting back together with an ex-boyfriend who was a practising alcoholic.
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - Hull - A Personal History Part Two
By Bryan Holgate
The one thing none of us apprentices really expected was to have to go back to school. Well, this was mandatory, as one of our teachers said at Queens Gardens "there is more to life than a screwdriver and a lathe". How true, there was beer. We went to the pub for lunch and a game of darts; unfortunately as with most youngsters we knew not when to quit.
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - Part Four Adopted in Hull by Diane
It took many cups of coffee and a brave heart to open this letter that had been in my shaking hand for hours after it arrived. Terrible thoughts of, 'What if she denies me, hates me, has awful stuff to tell me about the life I never had'. All negative stuff, no room for a happy ending or the remotest thought of open loving arms.
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - Hull - A Personal History Part One
By Bryan Holgate
In the 60's and early 70's I worked as an apprentice armature winder down English Street and spent time on the fish docks.
The company I worked for was called Wm Broady and Son Ltd. I was an apprentice working in the electrical dept to learn "The Craft of Armature Winding".
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - There IS Life After Alcohol - Part 1
After visiting thisisUll.com My only visit to Hull was with a house-mate while at college - taking in the Hull fair and riding a couple of the rides. The 'Enterprise ' and a loop the loop one I seem to recall after a few of the amber nectars many moons ago. I was interested in the article 'Diary from a detox'.
Articles - Our Telephone Pole By Mo
Poking my head out of the window I asked "Can I take some pictures for the website?". "No problem came the reply" from Alan the team leader looking up from the base of the pole. Another story lands in my lap I thought, as I unloaded the battery charger and slipped the first rechargeable into our 150 quid Minolta digital camera.
Articles - Hull is Fab and Super
by Suzie Horsington-cum-Scoff
Well I couldn't believe it when I heard that two nasty people had published a book about Hull being a crap town. Which is why I have decided to show my social conscience and write this article.
Apparently it all started with someone called Finlay Cooks-Britain, who is a celebrity chef or something, slagging Hull off as being crap and smelly.
Articles - Halloween - Where are your kids this year?
It's that time of year when the world goes mad and the nights call early and the coldness reaches parts we almost forgot about.
On the 31st October children dress up and we all allow them to behave quite oddly and go all American.
Exclusive Featured Serial on www.thisisUll.com Articles - Part Three Adopted in Hull
So time went along as it does, and my life was full to the brim.
What did I have to go on? Two dead mothers, a different name and still I felt lost, even though I had made 4 sons, who one day may ask, where did we come from. I would start to become anxious all over again.