The year 2013 will forever be remembered for that magical moment when on a cold wet morning in November crowds gathered inside Hull Truck Theatre to hear the 2017 City of Culture announcement.
We were there thisisull.com all the whooping, cheering and celebration: Cilla, tireless and inspirational editor of thisisull.com and me, Michelle Dee, regular contributor and champion for Arts and Culture in the city.
This year, three of the Write To Speak poets had new collections published: they were Mike Watts with Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory, Joe Hakim's latest, Magic for Beginners and Catherine Scott's debut collection, Woman With a View, all published through Burning Eye Books.
Also appearing in the local writers section of Waterstones has been a number of Crime Fiction titles. The Crooked Beat, third in the Joe Geraghty series by Nick Quantrill and Russ Litten's first foray into the genre, Swear Down, which was launched at an excellent night at Pave on Princes Avenue.
Nick Quantrill also organised So You Wanna be a Crime Writer? which saw a panel of published authors shining a light on their inspirations, process and getting published, to an attentive audience.
Joe Hakim organised and Mike Watts hosted a return visit to the city for Radio 4 regular Kate Fox as part of the Northern Elements initiative on a rare all female billing made up of Ruth Dixon, Catherine Scott (prepping for Ed Fringe later in the year) and Alyx Tamminen alongside witty wordsmith Kate.
There were more live Spoken Word events organised by Write to Speak throughout the year, including an event at Heads Up Festival, the latest addition to the Arts calendar, which saw seven poets performing to audiences inside the Holy Trinity Church.
Write to Speak workshop poets also performed, some for the very first time, at the launch of this year's Humbermouth Literature Festival through the Try Poetry initiative, bringing spoken word and the Rugby World Cup to our doorstep.
Since the launch I have proudly been sporting my Humbermouth tote bag wherever I go - with design developed by local school pupils, inspired and guided by the work of visual artist Lou Hazelwood.
Theatre has featured heavily on the site this year: work from professionals, amateur and even a St Mary's College production have all been up for scrutiny by our critics.
Cilla and I were very pleased to witness the promenade theatre-work by Ensemble 52 City Sketch as the Other Space was born on Alfred Gelder Street: we look forward to seeing how E52 and the Other Space continue to evolve as it cements itself as an integral part of Hull's cultural offering.
Never one to rest on his laurels, the aforementioned Joe Hakim saw his play Guinea Pig performed at Hull Truck Studio Theatre as part of Play, Pie and a Pint.
New theatre companies have been springing up all over the city as the story telling renaissance continues in Hull surely driven by the Scratch@Fruit events organised and hosted by playwright Dave Windass .
Middle Child have been delighting audiences and wowing the critics once again, with sell out crowds at Fruit and Truck with Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Billy With His Boots On respectively. Two younger thespians, Tom Steer and Rachel Harris of Open Umbrella Theatre have been grabbing the attention as they settle into their new home at the Brolly inside Scrapstore Studios.
Music has always featured on the site and this year was no exception. We all thoroughly enjoyed Humber Street Sesh organised by DJ Mak and a team of dedicated individuals and organisations.
My personal highlight of that magical day was early on, inside Fruit and seeing the Night Flowers perform the snaky sultry North; surely one of the best songs of 2013 on anyone's list.
North by Night Flowers audio:
The Holy Orders launched their long awaited album For the Ears of Dogs to Come at the home of live music the New Adelphi Club on De Grey Street. You might be surprised to learn that next time you visit the legendary club you will be met by the awesome sight of an oversized steam punk bomb hanging over the door.
Go down and see it for yourself not that you should need a reason to visit the friendliest, most welcoming bar in the city, but if you do surely the Culturebomb will persuade you!
Also playing blistering gigs in the club and throughout the city, this year were Ming City Rockers , the best Hull band not from Hull. Also worthy of mention the magical night that saw RM Hubbert playing folk tunes hunched over an acoustic guitar telling stories to a spellbound audience.
Adult Teeth Recording Company added to the growing number of record labels in the city with an artist roster including MyOneManBand, Glass Delusion and most recently Foolish Atoms .
We were delighted to take our place in the parade which saw a thousand torchbearers, flames aloft, parading from the city centre to the Main Stage on the marina creating a fantastic visual spectacle for the opening of this year's Freedom Festival.
Contemporary Dance is a fairly new addition to the city's and the site's cultural canon. The Summer saw dancers from across the country coming to the Live Arts Space for Danza! 2013, curated by the hard working Jo Ashbridge.
The Hull/Liverpool based dancer/choreographer also competed in the first ever Hull Dance Prize, that saw dancers battling it out for audience votes to win a £2,500 cash prize. Eventual winners NS Dance were unanimous victors, scooping both the Judges and Audience awards.
If 2013 has taught us anything it is that Hull is and always has been a place where dreams can come true. Hull can be a city of opportunity if you believe, and Hull will always be a city of continuous change and endless possibility.
And finally we learned that things to do with thisisull.com are never forgotten, as Cilla and I were pleasantly surprised to hear that our Listening Project contribution, which launched the BBC Radio/British Library joint project in 2012, was to be broadcast once more on Radio 4.
Thisisull.com has been your platform to promote Hull and have your voice heard since 2003. Now as we bid a fond farewell to an eventful 2013, we look forward to hearing from you all over the next ten years.
Happy New Year from all of us here in Hull - always our City of Culture!
Articles - Theatre in Hull; A Lifelong Passion
By Michelle Dee
I started going to Hull Truck Theatre in its Spring Street days. I had a very switched on drama tutor at high school and saw
gritty Remould Theatre productions such as Steeltown, In Blackberry Times, Streetbeat and more.
As a young adult I remember seeing dance productions such as Orpheus in the Underworld and then Woza Albert by a Zimbabwean
company, as well as a host of John Godber shows, Wuthering Heights, Up n Under etc.
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 5 By Terry Hood
When I was in my early teens I went to my grandparents in Gypsyville to do any shopping for them.
I remember going to the cinema in Gypsyville but cannot remember the name of it.
It was just a few yards from the corner of North Road towards Dairycoates.
Articles - Longing to Snorkel By Phillip Rhodes.
How do you define an obsession that doesn't dictate your daily routine? That said, how do you put to bed that nagging regret of a life-long unfulfilled dream? We all have aspirations and ambitions - without them we remain stagnant automatons.
But what if others think your interest is insignificant or not worth getting involved? And what if you have to rely on others to make things happen? Yes, Mr. Rhodes is definitely on one!
Articles - Monkeys By Merle R. Stone.
Monkeys. We have all seen them. Monkeys in the zoo. Monkeys on the television. Monkeys in books. Monkeys everywhere. If you want to know something about monkeys, you don't have to go far for information on them.
Why do you suppose thats is? Why do humans have such an incredible thirst for knowledge and understanding of these fuzzy little beasts?
Articles - Finding Nigel ... Can You Help? By Therese.
My story begins on Saturday 8th may. I was working as a bartender in a bar in Kristiansund, Norway when Nigel and a couple of his work friends came into the bar. It was busy, but I saw him right away. We got eye contact and said hello and smiled and all this ''I like looking at you'' out of the way - but since it was busy we didn't get to talk too much.
I was then sent down to the cellar to get some Bacardi Razz (yumyum) and when I came back they had gone.
Articles - End of 2010 By Joe Hakim
Maybe it's because winter is here... Maybe it's because we're here at the end of the first decade of the new millennium... Maybe it's because we have a new government in power... Maybe it's because I'm getting on a bit...
...but just lately I've been thinking about a lot of things; things that have happened, things that are happening and things that may yet happen. I've been thinking about the journey I've been on, both as an artist and a person.
Articles - One Banana Banquet By Brian Hodgins.
The old man stood by the fruit racks in the super store contemplating at what to buy today, 'just for a change'. As his eyes took in the plethora of fruit before him, his gaze fell upon an absolute mountain of yellow and green Bananas. His thoughts flew back over the years, when such a sight would have been absolutely unimaginable ...
Articles - Is This An Article Or A Letter, Or What? By Merle R. Stone.
It is with tremendous trepidation and maybe a tiny bit of panic that I begin this writing. You see, I once wrote with exceptional ease, and had no trouble at all putting my thoughts into print. As of late, though, it would seem that that particular talent has abandoned me. Has this ever happened to any of you (I presume, of course, that somebody is actually reading this)?
Not that I feel that I ever had any real talent for writing.
Articles - Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes By C.B. Tempest.
There are times when a friend's death can be such a surprise, as to justify it being shocking. With Phil Barnes, otherwise known as 'Acker' was just such a moment.
Though never the centre of the action but passing his fine arts degree all too easily, he always lay to the side, carefully rolling his 'baccy' to smoke, dressed in his 'ironic' suit and tie: he never
held down any obvious 'career' jobs, like being a lawyer or banker; rather he was an outsider,
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 4 By Terry Hood
Whilst living in Hull I worked for other companies. They were C.D.Holmes, Blackburn Aircraft and Ideal Standard which is in National Avenue.
We purchased our first house in National Avenue and we found out that when the washing was put out on the line, when it was brought in the items had smut marks on them and had to be washed again. This was due to the smoke from Ideal Standard's chimney.
Articles - All About Sex, the Government Minister, the Dead Boy in the Orphanage and the Cover Up By Tim Roux.
When I am not focusing on Hull (and I have recently completed another 'Hull' book, called Missio, about a boy whose father went down with the trawler The Gaul in 1974) I do sometimes engage with the wider world although, to be honest, it isn't up to much.
However, there is one excellent site I contribute to called Speak Without Interruption Read more...
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 3 By Terry Hood
On 26th January 1955 the nation was stunned by the news of the loss of the Lorella and Roderigo with all 40 crewmen during severe weather off Iceland. This was due to black ice forming on the trawlers. As quick as the crew were chipping it off, it was forming again.
My cousin was on another trawler standing by listening to the radio operators on each trawler talking to each other and then he heard one of them say, 'Give our love to our wives,
Articles - (Belated) End of 2009 By Cilla (Editor).
It's late. This was supposed to be an end of year piece and I guess it's typical of my life recently - there's just never enough time to do everything I want to do - time just passes too quickly.
So, it's 2010. Another year bites the dust. The first decade of the 21st century is over with - gone in a flash and here we all are, shivering with cold and sliding off pavements, sitting in queues of smoke billowing traffic.
When I was growing up, I took it for granted
Articles - Christmas With The Big D By Andrea Longstaff
Well, it's that time of the year again; a time of incongruity that spills over into the blurry edges of surrealism. At no other time but December will you see elves strolling down the street. I fondly recall one past Yuletide playing a game of pool with an elf.
Throughout the rest of the year we tell our children not to talk to strangers, then come December and they're all scared witless
Articles - The Political Show Trial the BBC Just Couldn't Resist By Steve Regan, the King of Hull
Shame on the BBC for giving a platform to people prepared to deny the dignity and worth of fellow human beings.
Yes, the bullying approach adopted by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Tory Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Liberal-Democrat MP Chris Huhne and the American writer Bonnie Greer on last night's Question Time was an affront to decency.
And the BBC top brass should not have allowed the show's usual format to be hijacked and used as a nasty and counter-productive show trial of BNP chairman Nick Griffin.