BLUE BELL, HULL

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

So you’re in Hull and look­ing to get cul­tured right up. You’ve seen the gallery and you’ve been to the mu­se­ums and you’ve ap­pre­ci­ated which­ever piece of world-beat­ing ex­per­i­men­tal per­for­mance art is be­ing laid on that week. And now you want a sit down with a pint. Here’s a pub that al­most cer­tainly won’t be on your radar. Down an al­ley, run­ning be­tween Mar­ket Place and Trin­ity Mar­ket, en­tirely sur­rounded and (aside from its unique sign) in­vis­i­ble from pub­lic view is the Blue Bell.

Some pubs just sit there qui­etly be­ing a haven for regular clien­tele with­out a fuss ever be­ing made of them. The Blue Bell is one of those and it’s been sat, per­fectly happy with its lot, since at least 1791.

It’s has one long bar, a lounge (with mys­te­ri­ous door bells built into the seat­ing) and a tiny snug. It has dozens of ships’ bells and Toby jugs above the bar and is a Sam Smiths con­cern, so you’re al­ready aware of the virtues of the beer and food.

Why, then, choose this place while on your cul­tural visit to Hull? Well, it’s be­cause it’s prob­a­bly one of the Hullest things you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence on your visit. Sparsely pop­u­lated with for­mer trawler­men and dock work­ers, telling sto­ries of var­i­ous shades of blue and not car­ing if the world out­side is in the EU, out the EU or even ex­ists any more.

It’s just as much an his­toric space as neigh­bour­ing Holy Trin­ity church. It just has beer and ban­ter in­stead of fancy win­dows and pews. It’s what Hull was like be­fore cul­ture and it’s what Hull will be like when the cul­ture goes away.

Mar­ket Place, Hull HU1 1RQ. 01482 324382.

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