Last full day in Hull and we met Felicity and Nicola at Feren’s Art Gallery to see the ‘Curious Beast’ exhibition – animal prints from the British Museum.
The exhibition includes satirical illustrations, mocking pomposity or making fun of royalty. One pleasing example is a song written to mark the giving of a zebra to Queen Charlotte in 1762. The animal was also known as a wild ass, and Queen Charlotte placed it in an enclosure beside St James’s park were it could be seen by all. On a printed broadsheet created at the time, below a rather simple etching of the said zebra or ass, are the words of a song by Henry Howard. I offer a couple of verses for you now:
Ye bucks and ye Jennies who amble the park
Whose hearts and whose heads are as lightsome as cork
Through Buckingham Gate as to Chelsea you pass
Without fee or reward you may see the Queen’s Ass
See the Queen’s Ass, See the Queen’s Ass,
Without fee or reward you may see the Queen’s Ass.
A sight such as this surely never was seen;
Who the deuce would not gaze at the Ass of a Queen?
What prospect so charming, What scene can surpass
The delicate Sight of Her Majesty’s Ass?
After coffee we said goodbye to Felicity and Nicola and went to the Hop and Vine for sandwiches and beer – ‘One Eyed Jack’ from the Concertina Brewery, a golden ale from the Barnsley/Doncaster/Sheffield triangle. We caught a bus to Beverley, planning to visit an exhibition of sculpture, the Post Office and The Chequers micropub.
Managed to add an extra item – the Guildhall Museum beside the PO and not normally open on a Wednesday (the lady who greeted us explained how lucky we were to find the museum open). Good exhibition on the history of the trade and work of the town, from early wool wealth (lost to West Riding competition in the 17th century), followed by tanning and ship building (big barges and small ships launched sideways onto the narrow Beverley Beck. All gone now, Beverley depends on East Yorkshire Council administration and Tourism today. No doubt that is why Beverley is planning to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the succession of George I (1714) next month – making the most of its Georgian heritage.
At the art gallery we examined the work of Daniel Fraser Jones, a sculptor living in south Yorkshire. He has worked in Wakefield, working with locals and schools to incorporate sculptures in the revamped Cutsyke estate in Wakefield. But this show is based on another project. He decided to make a drawing a day for a year, and made it viable by getting the Arts Council to pay him for four seasonal workshops with local folk and schools, and then by turning some of the drawings into sculptures for display and sale. Clearly a guy who knows how to make a living from his passion.
This was in the show, carved in Kilkenny limestone and about a foot across, possibly based on drawings of an allium flower.
Then to the Chequers for a beer or three (halves I might add). In order of increasing delight: ‘Line and Length’ from Great Newsome brewery ( a golden ale), ‘Comet’ a very hoppy beer from North Riding Scarborough brewery, and ‘The Italian Job’ brewed at Roosters brewery by an Italian brewer, and containing Cascade hops and lemongrass.