Her­itage list­ings for Hull in­clude Larkin’s flat and Humber Bridge

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Josh Hal­l­i­day North of Eng­land cor­re­spon­dent

The at­tic flat where Philip Larkin wrote many of his most with­er­ing po­ems about Hull is among nine of the city’s land­marks to be listed in a boost to its city of cul­ture sta­tus.

The Humber Bridge joins St Paul’s Cathe­dral and the Palace of West­min­ster in Grade I list­ing, on the ad­vice of His­toric Eng­land, 36 years af­ter it opened.

Hull’s tidal surge bar­rier and some “el­e­gant and well de­signed” Ed­war­dian-style pub­lic toi­lets get Grade II list­ing. The loos were opened in 1926 for use by men and women. Al­most all of the orig­i­nal fix­tures and fit­tings have sur­vived.

A statue of Wil­liam de la Pole, Hull’s first mayor, some 19th-cen­tury ware­houses, and the church of St Michael & All An­gels will also be listed.

The at­tic flat where Larkin lived for 18 years, writ­ing about “palsied old step-tak­ers” and “hare-eyed clerks with the jit­ters”, is also given Grade II sta­tus. The flat at 32 Pear­son Park, over­look­ing a 22-acre Vic­to­rian park, was a per­fect peo­ple-watch­ing spot. “Not a bad place to be. Yet it doesn’t suit me,” Larkin wrote in the poem Toads Re­vis­ited.

His de­scrip­tion of a four-bed­room sub­ur­ban house he later bought was less kind: “Fear­fully grace­less … an ugly lit­tle house. I feel like a tor­toise that has been taken out of one shell and put in an­other.”

The grave of Ed­ward Booth, a rail­way fire­man whose death in a train crash in 1906 prompted an over­haul of rail­way safety in Bri­tain, and the home of J Arthur Rank, the saviour of the mid-20th-cen­tury Bri­tish film in­dus­try, are also listed.

Dun­can Wil­son, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of His­toric Eng­land, said: “From its rich mar­itime her­itage to the grace­ful Humber Bridge opened on this day in 1981, Hull has a proud story told through its his­toric build­ings and places.”

Main pho­to­graph: Christo­pher Thomond for the Guardian

Clock­wise from top: the Humber Bridge, opened by the Queen on 17 July 1981 and now awarded Grade I-listed sta­tus; the statue of Hull’s first mayor, Sir Wil­liam de la Pole (1332 to 1335), also given her­itage list­ing; the poet Philip Larkin and his now Grade II-listed for­mer flat at 32 Pear­son Park, Hull

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