Hull is at the end of the railway line, at the end of the road. It's out on a limb. Hull is fiercely independent. You don't go through Hull, you go to it. Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, Hull was England's second port after London and in the sixties it was the world's number one fishing port in terms of the sheer weight of fish landed annually at Hull's docks.
I am so pleased that our daughter Frances may end up going to university in Hull where they have an excellent American Studies course.
This was a good weekend for Hull. City beat Preston 2-0 and I was there to watch this joyous event. Hull Kingston Rovers beat Leeds in the rugby and Hull FC beat Huddersfield. Overshadowing all of this is the gathering momentum behind an international celebration of the life of William Wilberforce - Hull's most famous son. He was the local MP and for twenty years he worked tirelessly to bring an end to the Slave Trade. His leadership brought about The Slave Trade Act of 1807 which finally began to see an end to England's involvement in this barbaric activity.
Hull isn't England's crappest town, it's England's best kept secret. You can keep your Canterbury, your Solihull and Richmond-on-Thames - give me Hull any time. It's real, it's honest and it's unique.
Pictures - Humber Bridge from beneath and painting of William Wilberforce.