Now that I’ve visited East Yorkshire I can quite see why they were so keen to take advantage of the last local government reorganisation to break free from Hull, ditch the name Humberside and reclaim their Yorkshire roots – I’ve never been to Hull, but the word that springs to mind as soon as I hear it is ‘grim’. And Beverley is anything but grim.
I popped up there for the weekend to get a break from London to visit a friend who’s just moved there, and it was just what I needed. Surrounded by open countryside, Beverley is a lovely old market town with one of the UK’s largest non-cathedral churches at its heart.
It’s a particularly impressive church, dating back to the 13th-14th centuries, and apparently its twin towers were the inspiration for those of Westminster Abbey. What I certainly didn’t expect to see (or rather hear) in such a place was an organist playing Bond Themes. First off we had the main theme, followed by Goldfinger, and then best (and most inappropriately of all)… Live & Let Die. Yes, Live & Let Die. In a church. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Live & Let Die echoing round the nave of a vast church played on an organ. It was truly awesome, and made the whole trip worthwhile on its own. (Apparently the organist was doing a recital of Bond Themes that evening…I suppose churches in a country as non-religious as England have to find some way of paying for their upkeep these days).
The other highlight (well, for a geek like me anyway), was finally getting to see East Yorkshire’s famous cream-coloured phone boxes – for some reason when British Telecom was created Hull & the surrounding area kept their own phone company, which is still separate today, and as a result it’s the only part of the UK not to have the famous red phone boxes, but has cream ones instead (they also lack the crown).
On the sunday we ended up in Hornsea, a little seaside resort overshadowed by its more famous (and prettier) rivals just up the coast, Scarborough, Bridlington & Whitby. I can quite see why – the beach isn’t all that great, and the town a little shabby. On the plus side though, we got a chance to see families exhibiting classic English summer seaside behaviour – After coming all this way to get to the bloody beach, I’ll be damned if you kids don’t get in the bloody sea, rain or no rain. You could have powered a small town off their shivers.