PLEASE NOTE . . . . .

If you want to leave a comment and you don't have a Google account or similar, can you please choose the 'Name' option and put your name in the box, before you send your comment. Instructions are on the side bar. All comments coming in under Anonymous will be deleted. Thank you.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Blade in Hull

Hello and Good Morning on this wet and dull day in February. 2017 is the Hull year of Culture, and in the city centre is installed a massive wind turbine blade. I went to see it on Thursday. This is my first sighting of it as I walked towards it. Oh wow, that looks big, can't get all of it in one picture. 
The wider end sits on a cradle quite low to the ground. Close up you can see the the big bolts that fix it to the main tower. It will be a delicate operation when the crane suspends it while the holes are lined up with those on the main tower. It's amazing that those bolts will support the blade however fierce the wind is blowing.

When you look up to the top of a wind turbine it looks as though the blades are straight, they aren't, they are curved. Several seagulls have taken to using it as a resting place.

It is lying at an angle, corner to corner, across Queen Victoria Square.

The narrow end is supported by a cradle, protected by a wooden surround at ground level. 
People can walk underneath it. It looks as though those blocks were put there to stop people bumping their heads as it's a bit low on that end, health and safety and all that.

Fascinating how the cradle works. It rests on some kind of webbing, with rubber buffers each side to clamp it into place. The legs are bolted into the ground, it's all very stable.

Here is a little video, found on yooootooob.

Some have disputed whether this is a work of art. I tend to think it is, because of the surrounding location which has been chosen for it. While it is up in the air sitting on top of a tower, it's a piece of machinery doing it's job. While it's down on the ground and can be viewed at close quarters, with a backdrop of ancient buildings, I see it as art. What do you think? Is it art?

The weather was not good for taking photo's, I snapped a couple as I was walking around the Marina.

I went into the Ferens Art Gallery, but sadly there was a 'no photography' rule, which was a shame, because the Open Exhibition which covered three large galleries, and had several hundred artworks, was fantastic. The talent of these local and amateur artists was very awe inspiring, I really enjoyed looking at them. The Open is on until the 12th of March. I highly recommend a visit.

It's still raining, I'll have lunch, and maybe a quick trip to town later. I've had an email I need to reply to in a post, so that's next on the to do list. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip


  1. I would think it might irritate people who want a free passage across there

    1. Not sure I get your meaning, Brenda. It's a pedestrianized area and people can walk underneath it. The narrow end which protrudes over the road is high enough to allow doubledecker buses to pass under it.

  2. What is this wind turbine going to produce,electricity?
    I can't say that I like the look of it.

    1. Yes Briony, electricity. This is a single blade, a wind turbine has three of them.

  3. I see it as a fantastic piece of engineering normally seen from a distance but here seen close to. Brilliant celebration.

  4. I think it is an amazing chance to see it up close. As said above, it's fantastic engineering and we don't usually get the chance to take in the sheer size of it up close. I liked the video too, giving a chance to view it from all angles. I enjoy that through you I can see things that I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to see.

  5. Very interesting. We lived in Iowa, USA for 5 years near what was called "The World's Largest Truck Stop" and we always saw the blades loaded for transport in the parking lot. Of course, Iowa has lots of them in use but seeing them down at eye level is quite an experience. Thanks for sharing this with us. You would enjoy seeing the I80 Truck Stop, Ilona. If you google it you can see info about it. I have no idea if it really is the world's largest though. Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie. I've just goooglied that, it is a very big truck stop, it's got everything. I like the dogomat, where your dog can get a bath, ha ha.

  6. I like it. It is an impressive piece of engineering that is free for all to see up close. I would say it is art, simply because it does not have a function but is there to be displayed out of context for its aesthetics. I bet there will be a lot of people who do not like it because wind turbines are controversial in themselves. It is certainly NOT boring.

  7. Wow you don't realise how big they are until you see it like that.

  8. There was a programme on BBC2 this evening at 7pm which we just saw all about precisely this and some of the other things they've been up to for the Arts Festival.

  9. Loved your photo's Ilona. I was curious to see those boards around the base of the metal struts so checked my photo's, and yes, the day I took my photo's you could see how they were bolted to the ground and no boards for protection. I'll send you an email so you can see what I mean. The blade is in that position until March 18th and then it's going back to the Siemens factory and will/may be displayed to the public.

  10. I hate these things. My daughter's farm now has them soaring on the hillside. They tried to stop them being installed because of the close vicinity to the farm but the planning permission went through. Her whole family haven't felt properly well since they were installed, headaches and migraines (when none suffered before) and her nearest neighbours have put their farm up for sale because of the health problems they've had. The noise is terrible, a constant "whum, whum, whum" which can be heard quite some distance away.

    The loss of birds is awful, in the year the windfarm has been there there have been many birds killed from being caught by the blades, especially hawks. She told me that last week alone there were 5 deaths, 3 kestrels and 2 sparrowhawks. So sad and such a waste of life.

    I'm all for green sustainable living but these windfarms are not the way to go. My daughter asked what happens to them when they've got to the end of their working lives (16 years) and she was told nothing happens, they'll be decommissioned and left where they are, a permanent blot on the landscape. Apparently it would be a waste of resources and not financially viable to remove them.

    Do I think the blade is art? No.


  11. Where I live there was a huge outcry when they wanted to site one of the largest wind farms ever just offshore. I'm not far from the Jurassic coast, and the area comes under various protection orders. I signed the petition and was glad when it didn't go through, as it would have ruined the views from the bay here forever. There were accusations of nimbyism but millions of visitors come here every year to enjoy the beaches and collect fossils and so on, the damage to the tourist industry (on which many local towns depend) would have been significant. I freely admit I don't really know that much about wind farms, and I know we have to find ways to generate energy, have clean air and so this context I like the blade in Hull, it has a beautiful shape and makes for an interesting form of art. Perhaps it will be a conversation opener towards wider discussion about wind farms? I just hate the way man encroaches everywhere, destroying the natural environment, once it's gone, it's gone, wildlife lost and so forth. Sorry this post is a bit muddled, but it's an honest one about my confusion over these farms, I just don't know enough about them really.

  12. I think they -- wind turbines -- are not a good energy solution -- there is noise at levels which people cannot consciously hear, but can damage nerve endings (and some can hear it), harmful to birds, and I understand that many are made with rare earth metals (as are much solar panels) which are mined under horrible/dangerous/polluting/harmful conditions in countries which do not protect the poor workers/or environment..

    so, sorry to put that rant first...

    what do I think of this art installation...?

    actually I like it...(and if none of the what I wrote is true, I could even say I love it).

    I remember reading somewhere, someone famous (maybe Einstein?) wrote that true art/true useful machines combine art and function, and it is the beauty of this combination which makes them valuable/enjoyable etc..(now that is a very rough paraphrase as I cant even recall who said it)

    I love the smooth beauty of this, that it is useful/functional (even though I disagree with the function), that it is durable (I truly hate those outdoor art installations which require constant expensive upkeep)..etc...

    also, to my mind, it harkens back to an much earlier time, and combines an earlier time with today
    it reminds me of the old props on propeller planes..

  13. I think it's fantastic. And I think it is art. I've seen all sorts of things displayed as "art". Just last week I went to the Versailles Treasures from the Palace exhibition in Canberra, Australia- they had parts of the plumbing from the magnificent fountains displayed as art. Everyday objects carefully displayed can certainly be art. I love how they've positioned it over the road- to ensure maximum exposure- you certainly can't miss it.

  14. Hi, Ilona. Thought you might like to know that several wind turbine blades like the one shown here have passed through our part of Canada. We have a "wind farm" about 100 km. from us along a ridge, and though I have never seen it personally, there is another one up over the mountain from us. Wind farms are installations of several giant wind mills, used to generate clean energy. I visited the wind farm that is 100km. away. I stood at the base of a large moving wind mill, and was surprised at how quiet it was. The only sound was the slight buzzing sound we heard as the blades automatically adjusted to catch the wind. It was quite the day in our rural little valley, when we saw the local train carry in these gigantic blades on flat decked railcars. Mary Jane in Canada.

  15. Wind Turbines are a total con. Only put up because of massive subsidies and normal power stations have to keep running for when there is not enough wind. Plus a total desecration of the hills and mountains.

    1. A comment from somebody with common sense! Well said Anon.


To put your name at the top of your comment click on 'Comment as' the small down arrow, a drop down menu will appear. Highlight Name/URL, click on that, and put your name in the box. Ignore URL. Click on continue, then publish. Thank you. Nobody needs to be Anonymous, everyone has a name.