5 October 2013

Worship

Back to my heartland today. Scooting across river plains on the M18 motorway and then over the Ouse Bridge at Howden to East Yorkshire. She spread before me like a magical kingdom - glistening in the sunshine - her early autumn fields like a patchwork quilt and beyond the seductive curvaceousness of the Yorkshire Wolds eased down to the wide chocolate-coloured Humber - crossed by its elegant filigree suspension bridge. I heard some sort of twinkly music - as if from a dream.

In Kingston-upon-Hull, I parked on Linnaeus Street - named after Carl Linnaeus - the famous Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. You must have heard of him? Then strolling on to Anlaby Road past Hull Royal Infirmary and the East Yorkshire bus depot - pictured above.

From Anlaby Road fly-over, I saw our temple appearing through verdant trees - The Kingston Communications Stadium. There were ninety minutes to go but already amber and black devotees were gathering to pay homage to our team of heroes - The Tigers - our beloved Hull City A.F.C.:-
Inside the temple, the pilgrims gathered - 24,396 of us though this included a couple of thousand who worship a different god - whose garb is claret and blue and who dwells in a mysterious foreign land known as Birmingham. Even before the two lines of monks emerged from the tunnel to do battle these strange neanderthal visitors were chanting their god's name - "Villa! Villa!"
I enjoyed the game and the way our team stood up to Aston Villa - matching them all over the park. It finished nil-nil but certainly didn't appear "boring" to me. That's what the unconvincing Radio Five reporter said of the match. Sometimes a nil-nil game can be like chess - full of guile and tension - sensing that it will take just a moment for one player from either side to find the key that will unlock the stalemate. But it never came. 

Before the game I bought a new Hull City mug - with the slogan "Pride of Yorkshire" emblazoned on one side and as has often been the case at Hull City matches over the years - our massed fans sang out the simple chant "Yorkshire! Yorkshire!" We never, ever sang "Humberside!" That was an invention of the evil Tory party that dwells in the incandescent bowels of the earth.... well, London and The Home Counties!

11 comments:

  1. I went to watch Sheffield play at hills borough once YP
    AND ENJOYED it
    Mind you I never repeated the experience

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    1. I think you'd have made a good mascot for The Wednesday - dressing up in their Ozzie Owl outfit.

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  2. Look at that crowd ~ special!

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    1. Yes Carol - some of the crowd do appear to have special needs.

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  3. Of course I know Linnaeus, he worked in close conjunction with my ancestor Sir Joseph B. You weren't expecting that, were you!

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    1. No I was not expecting that Monsieur Cro. Mind you if Linnaeus could see the rough old street that was named after him, I think he's turn in his grave - mostly run down sixties council housing.

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    2. Linnaeus, Solander, and Sir Joseph are all rather ignored these days. So, even a back street named after any of them is something!

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  4. Why, they look like ordinary blokes out to have a happy afternoon. I half expected them to be in full battle gear, ready to attack like the Visigoths..

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    1. Visigoths? Aren't they a heavy metal band from Salt Lake City?

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  5. I used to live near Howden... Storwood to be exact. And I never, ever went to a Hull City football match. Impressed? Probably not!

    LLX

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    1. Lettice - you clearly haven't lived! To be so near and yet so far! "LETTICE LEAF'S BARMY ARMY! ...BARMY ARMY!"

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