To Hull and back: the rebirth of Britains poorest city

Hulls twin loss of its fishing and shipping industries consigned it to a future of poverty, isolation and even ridicule. But now all that is about to change, because the city is putting its faith back in the North Sea

Philip Larkin liked Hull, he once said, because its so far from everywhere else. On the way to nowhere, as somebody put it. Its in the middle of the lonely country, and beyond the lonely country there is only the sea.

Growing up within the Hull postcode, travelling into the city to patronise its guitar shops and nightclubs and dealers in motorbike spares, I never felt the city was a nowhere but looking out across the Alexandra Dock on a summer afternoon, it is easy to appreciate the Coventry-born poets view. This is where the lonely country meets the sea, or at least the estuary.

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