BYGONE STREET GAMES by Alec Gill PART ONE (of Two): “Foggy First”

Virtual games seem to have replaced street games. Technology has always influenced the way society is shaped and individuals behave. Nothing stayed the same. The day it does is the end of progress. Now and again, however, it is good to reflect upon the past. So let’s take a look at the games kids played in the streets of Hull in bygone times. Timewise, I have focussed upon the “good old days” between the post-WWII…

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SHIVER MY TIMBERS! MARITIME SAYINGS used by LANDLUBBERS in EVERYDAY SPEECH ALEC GILL

Since the start of The Hull Hub, I have written articles for every issue (bar one). These mainly centred upon superstitions – especially ones revolving around Hull’s Arctic Trawling days. It’s time for a change. Another topic close to my heart is our rich English language. We are very fortunate having English as our Mother Tongue. We have such a vast vocabulary – many words to say the same thing in a variety of different…

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LUCKY BLACK CAT: Nine Lives Dr Alec Gill MBE

Why is it that only the British believe in ‘Lucky Black Cats’? Most foreign seafarers (including USA mariners) prefer a white cat aboard their ships. Cats spark off contradictory reactions in all sorts of areas. In Wales, if a black cat crosses your path, it was best to stroke it for good luck. A Yorkshire landlady boasted that she was non-superstitious; but if ever she received a postcard depicting a black cat, she dare not…

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Something Old, Something New… Dr. ALEC GILL MBE

WEDDING SUPERSTITIONS There are critical times in many people’s lives such as birth, marriage and death – or, as we say in Hull, “Hatched, Matched and Dispatched”. Superstitions are drawn to these key life events like bees to a honeypot. In this summer issue of Hull Hub, therefore, I would like to highlight the variety of folklore beliefs and traditions surrounding weddings and the honeymoon. The bride is more central then the groom – so…

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HOME, SWEET OMENS: A Fun Meander through an Old-fashioned Superstitious Household by Dr. ALEC GILL MBE

INTRODUCTION: Homespun Religion  Superstitions once inhabited every corner of many old-fashioned homes – especially in Hull, once the greatest deep-sea fishing port in the world. Taboo beliefs were not just a once-a-week activity but saturated every moment; and every nook and cranny of the home. In that sense, superstition was very much a homespun religion. It came from within the home rather than being imposed upon it by some outside religious order.  This article follows…

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APRIL ANTICS: And Hull’s Unique Tomfoolery

APRIL FOOLS’ and LEGGING-UP DAY April 2019 is a peculiar month. It is riddled with trickery, religion, and superstition. That is, April Fool pranks, Easter in the Christian calendar, and pagan undercurrents. Let’s start with the First of April – commonly known as Fools’ (or All Fools’) Day and, in Hull after twelve noon, Legging-up Day – a different kind of ‘leg-pulling’. April Fool is fun – for some, not everyone. It depends which end…

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The Mad Month of March: From White Rabbits to Mother’s Day

Dr Alec Gill MBE Should Hull re-brand itself as ‘Superstition City’? Why not make this a powerful USP (Unique Selling Point) for the port? After all, superstitions are universal and there is the old expression: “Of all seafarers, there are none more superstitious than fishermen”. Fishing is at the heart of Hull’s cultural heritage. It is still the world’s most perilous job – an extreme occupation – with a high loss of life. Crewmen battled…

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