At time of writing Bohemian Rhapsody is an Oscar nominated film. We will know soon how that pans out but it is fair to say that this Queen biopic has faced mixed reviews and somewhat of a backlash. However it has been a huge box office success and when we finally caught up with it at a Vue cinema matinee performance we enjoyed the cinematic experience.
If you are still considering whether or not to watch Bohemian Rhapsody consider a few things:
Bohemian Rhapsody needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
According to reports online there are a few inaccuracies including when Freddie was diagnosed with AIDs particularly in relation to Live Aid.
As the movie starts it is 1985 with Live Aid about to kick off; it then moves back in time to 1970 when Freddie is a student working as an airport baggage handler. Brian May and Roger Taylor are also students but they are part of a band. When their lead singer quits they give Freddie a go and the rest as they say is history.
Along the way Freddie struggles with his sexuality, marrying the love of his life Mary Austin. Mary Austin remained a huge part of Freddie's life through the good and the not so good years. Although she moved on, had children, and married she and Freddy remained close. Their relationship however took a different twist after they both recognized he was not straight.
The band Queen became successful but in true rock band style they were difficult at times.
There are more inaccuracies surrounding an offer for Freddie to record as a solo artist. If you know little of the band Queen these may not matter to you but try not to take Bohemian Rhapsody as fact. It does follow Queen's success, but only up to a point.
There are some great moments during the film and of course there is the music of Queen.
I was curious as to who was the voice of Freddy during the movie. Rami Malek who plays Freddy put in a masterly performance of Freddie's moves and stage persona plus his speaking voice but what about the singing?
When the movie was released in October 2018 NME posted a report revealing Rami Malek is lip syncing but not to Freddie Mercury's voice. The singing voice is a mixed bag with Youtube Queen sensation Marc Matel's voice being predominant. If you fancy buying the soundtrack of the movie that is Queen performances.
YouTube footage of Marc Matel performing Bohemian Rhapsody is show at the end of this review and it is very good. It starts and ends perfectly but loses its was a little during the song. We should never forget Freddie had a very special voice. His character when being taunted by the press about his teeth actually says his extra teeth make for a perfect sound box of a mouth.
The press also hound Freddie about his sexuality and we should never forget it was a time of the new so-called gay disease AIDS. He faced some brutal criticism and verbal attacks.
The film goes full circle ending in 1985 with Live Aid. The band are back together after a break and according to the script Freddie knows he has AIDs and tells his band mates.
The final 20 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody the movie is the 1985 Live Aid performance. The movie characters play in front of scenes from Live Aid at Wembley. My hubby thought you could really tell it was filmed that way, I was not convinced. For me it was seamless.
By this point in the movie Rami Malek is Freddie Mercury. He now has a friend, that is Jim Hutton who becomes Freddie's husband in all but name, staying with him until he dies. Sadly Jim Hutton who also had AID's died on January 1, 2010, but his cause of death was lung cancer.
I would say this is a five-star movie. Forget any preconceptions, ideas about Queen and just who they are, and simply sit back and enjoy the experience.
The movie is in the 12A category at Vue for some strong language, sex scenes and drug references but those are all minimal.
A movie should take you on a journey and Bohemian Rhapsody will take you on the ride of your life if you let it
Main Cast and Characters
Rami Malek ... Freddie Mercury
Lucy Boynton ... Mary Austin
Gwilym Lee ... Brian May
Ben Hardy ... Roger Taylor
Joseph Mazzello ... John Deacon (as Joe Mazzello)
Aidan Gillen ... John Reid
Allen Leech ... Paul Prenter
Tom Hollander ... Jim Beach
Mike Myers ... Ray Foster
Aaron McCusker ... Jim Hutton
Jim Beach ... producer
Robert De Niro ... producer
Dexter Fletcher ... executive producer
Justin Haythe ... executive producer
Richard Hewitt ... co-producer
Graham King ... producer (produced by) (p.g.a.)
Brian May ... executive music producer
Arnon Milchan ... executive producer
Denis O'Sullivan ... executive producer
Jane Rosenthal ... executive producer
Donald Sabourin ... line producer: additional photography
Roger Taylor ... executive music producer
There are lots of Bohemian Rhapsody reports and stories here at the NME online
The UK has many outdoor and indoor markets. Most large towns and cities have more than one. Some markets are open daily whilst others are open for business on selected days of the week and during certain times of the year.
Many small towns have their own traditional markets; in fact many of these small country towns are called market towns.
Come with me then while I share a sample of just a few of these markets available in the UK.
This should give you an idea of what is out there when you visit the United Kingdom, but more specifically England.
The capital city of England, namely London, seems a good place to start our journey
This fine city has many boroughs, or areas, most of which have their own attractions or specialities. Many will have one form of market or another.
Check out Camden Market and The Portobello Road, for a traditional market in great surroundings.
The Portobello Road is a bustling street market with plenty of shops. It is often full of tourists and shoppers. Camden market has Camden Lock with its waterfront restaurants.
It is a more trendy modern market. When we visited Camden Market, some years ago, a young Roland Gift, the man who went onto fame as lead singer with The Fine Young Cannibals, had a stall at Camden Market.
London Markets will offer you basic goods such as fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, cheap household products, fresh fish, fake goods, clothes and so much more. You can often find unusual items which may make perfect souvenirs of your vacation. Be wary of items such as watches which may not offer longevity. If the market has casual retailers you will find the seller hard to track down and therefor be unlikely to secure a refund, or exchange, if the goods do not live up to expectations.
Most major cities in the UK have at least one market
Some markets are enclosed in what are called market halls. This could be a great place to visit for the building if nothing else. There are still some markets held in buildings which were built many years ago and may incorporate traditional Victorian tiles and architecture.
Other markets are assembled and dismantled each time they are opened and closed.
Cottingham which is a small village near where I live has a small market each Thursday held on what is called Cottingham Green. It is not green though and is a concreted area. It has a nearby bus terminus, pub, plenty of shops and the Civic Hall. It may only be a small market but it is popular and in the run up to Christmas is where Cottingham's Christmas lights are most prominent.
With changing times many traditional market places are no more
However Farmer's markets seem to be catching on. My city has a farmer's market, in quite a nice setting, usually once a week. These market stalls offer local produce but the goods on sale may be a little pricier than supermarket fare; they offer excellent quality and very fresh produce though. In summer, autumn and spring the stalls also sell a good selection of bedding and house plants.
Market Towns, such as nearby Beverley, have managed to maintain their traditional markets. Beverley has a large market in its main square each Saturday and a smaller market held in the Wednesday market place on a Saturday and a Wednesday.
When there is a race meeting in Beverly the market becomes even busier.
There are many such markets and market towns around the UK.
If you are visiting the UK consider checking out the markets available
Whether you are touring or staying in one location, there is bound to be at least one market being held in the region. Research online the local tourist offices for full details. They should be able to show or send you details of what is available and when. Remember outdoor markets may vary their running times in bad weather or out of season.
That said there are extra markets held at times such as Christmas.
My city holds a Victorian market in the run up to Christmas and more than once during the year holds a French or Dutch market. The fine city of Lincoln holds a large but busy Christmas market annually. These are just a few of those available.
English markets usually have some stalls selling snack food such as chips (fries), fish and chips, hot chestnuts in winter and autumn and jacket potatoes. Markets usually have the appetising smells of these foods and their accompanying fish and chips which whet your appetite.
As with all such packed places make sure that your valuables are safe and out of the reach of would be pickpockets.
Also if something for sale seems to good too be true, it probably is.
Check out the - Festival of Christmas Beverley Yorkshire
Market Day Mahon and Ciutadella Menorca
Due to covid19 Hull Fair was last hosted in 2019. It is set to return in 2021 with reportedly stringent safety measures in place.
Contactless payments will be accepted, hand sanitising stations will be in place and more. Some however see this event as a potential covid19-superspreader. The city of Kingston-Upon-Hull has struggled to keep its covid19 numbers down failing on more than one occasion.
The Fair has always been a big, brash, noisy and it has to be said grubby event. However if it appeals to you the dates for 2021 are at the bottom of this blog post.
If you prefer simply read on to learn about our Fair then and now
Kingston-upon-Hull, or Hull as it is commonly known, is situated on the North Bank of the River Humber, in Yorkshire England. As Autumn takes hold, leaves drift earthward and rain and wind increase, what is still often called the largest travelling fair in Europe arrives in the city of Hull.
It is noisy, brash and many would say expensive. It has a long history and remains a popular event for locals and visitors to the city.
A LITTLE HULL FAIR HISTORY
"This carnival of merriment is the largest travelling fair in Europe and one of the oldest - the fair celebrated its seven hundredth anniversary in 1993. The first charter granting permission for a fair to be held, from 9 to 23 March, was granted in 1278. The anniversary celebrated by Hull City Council dates from1293, when Edward I allocated six weeks in May and June for the festivities. By the 16th Century the festivities had become a 16-day fair, with 20 September as the start of the annual feast after an additional Charter was granted by Charles II.
As Autumn approaches many locals in the city of Hull look forward to October and the annual fair. If truth be known these days as many locals probably dread this annual event as anticipate it; however it is a tradition that as a child was enthralling.
In the 1950's
When I was young Hull Fair opened on the first Saturday of October and ran until around 11pm the following Saturday. The fair was always closed on a Sunday and local children would mosey around the fairground during the Sunday afternoon, hoping to collect small coins dropped, lost or forgotten by fair-goers.
The fair was the largest travelling fair in England and an amalgamation of many fairs which toured during the summer months meeting up in Hull each October. The fair was, and still is, situated on 'waste ground' on Walton Street, in Kingston-Upon-Hull.
Even back then there was talk of relocating this fair but a move has never materialised to this day. These days the Walton street fairground is used throughout the year for weekly markets and car boot sales. A section of it is used for local buses, as part of the Park and Ride transport scheme in the city.
The bonus is, these days, much of the fairground has been levelled and is tarmac. When we were kids it was mainly cinder paths and the often wet and windy October weather left a muddy, messy area underfoot.
Back in the fifties, and sixties, the fair incorporated stalls such as The Fat Lady, small zoos and other peculiarities. A local eccentric called Roland could be seen outside some of the stalls trying to entice visitors inside. With his walking stick and strange attire he was quite a scary character to children.
The fair was large and had many rides but it is massive now.
The actual street is longwith a park at one end near the fairly new Hull City football ground and it links two of the main roads of the city. This street has stalls selling candy floss, chips, hotdogs, novelty dolls, roast chestnuts and more. These line both sides of the street and the smells and sounds are always as much a part of a visit to the fair as the actual attractions.
There was a time when Spring Bank West, during Fair week, had twinkling lights along it leading to the fair. This helped build a feeling of excitement as you approached the bright lights of Hull Fair. The fairy lights sadly disappeared years ago.
Hull Fair today
These days the fair is brash and noisy, but it always was to those who dd not wear rose-coloured glasses.
The rides are expensive and overly loud music hurts my ears. Still, I assume that older people felt just the same when teenagers, such as myself, hung around the rides whilst the music of The Beatles and The Stones belted out across the fair-ground.
There was a time I would never have missed the fair. I had to visit it at least once each year but as a child I had to visit much more often and usually did, living within a half-hour walk. These days, although I do not live too far from the fair-ground, I do not often visit. All I can see now is expensive, tacky goods and noisy, sometimes foul-mouthed, people.
When I took a friend’s child a few years ago it was shocking to hear younger people swearing appallingly as they toured the fair in the early evening. This means that, even if you visit early evening children may have to suffer abusive language. This behaviour can give the fair an almost threatening feel, which is a shame. A larger police presence has improved some concerns.
Despite some problems the fair remains great fun for youngsters and really anyone who loves Fairs. As a travelling fair the rides are assembled for the week and then taken down, but generally there are no accidents.
Hull Fair now runs a day longer, as it opens on a Friday. The Lord or Lady Mayor of Hull traditionally opens the fair around lunchtime Friday.
The local bus companies operate extended bus services for the duration of the fair and the council provides additional parking spaces. These are in demand as visitors come to the fair from near and far
From late September travellers arrive in Hull and park up their caravans at West Park, which is near to Walton Street. Once the fair is up and running the air is full of smells such as fries and hot dogs. If the wind is blowing in the right direction the noise, smells and chatter of what seems to be a million voices all speaking at once wafts on the air around streets. In our rear garden it can sound as if a million people are all chattering at once.
Local residents sometimes say, “I can smell Hull Fair is on the way” and that “it's Hull Fair weather.” Perhaps smelling Hull Fair is about associating it with the start of Autumn. Hull Fair weather means that it is usually wet and windy but when you are young the fair is fun even in appalling weather. For me these days it is no fun at all in such dire weather conditions.
Thinking of the fair as the time approaches though, brings back memories of my Dad, who died in 1969. He always loved the fair and all the rides. As children he took us on the Big Wheel, the Waltzers and many other stomach churners.
Hull Fair 2021
Note: Dates: 8 October 2018 – 16 Oct 2021
Location: Kingston upon Hull
Location Venue name:
Walton Street Car Park
My hometown, or rather city, Kingston-upon-Hull on the north bank of the River Humber, in the county of Yorkshire, hit the news in November 2013 and for once it was for the right reasons, as the city was named UK City of Culture for 2017.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller, announced that Hull, as it is also called, had beaten Leicester, Swansea Bay and Dundee to win the four yearly title. She said: This is brilliant news for Hull and everyone involved in the bid there. "This year's UK City of Culture, Derry-Londonderry, demonstrates the huge benefits that the title brings. These include encouraging economic growth, inspiring social change and bringing communities together. "It can produce a wonderful mix of inward investment, and civic pride, and I hope Hull's plans will make the most of all that being UK City of Culture can bring."
Will the title make a difference to the city?
Blitzed heavily by Nazi bombers during WWII Hull lost many of its architectural beauties. It also lost some of its squalid, tiny houses but sadly many of those remained for years.
Hull traditionally has high levels of unemployment. The fishing industry was the city's major employer until the Cod Wars between the UK and Iceland during the 1970's. The fishing industry of Hull collapsed. In 2009 the affected fishermen received some compensation from the government but their communities were already lost. It was too little and too late.
Following the global economic downturn of 2008 the caravan industry, which had become a major employer in the city, stumbled. Unemployment rose again.
Dogged at one time by poor housing and drug-related crime Hull now has something to celebrate
The title City of Culture should lead to an upturn in the economics of the city, with predictions of a £60million boost for the city.
What does Hull have to shout about?
For a relatively small city Hull offers visitors a wide-range of museums, a world-renowned art gallery, two theatres, a premier league football team, two rugby teams, modern shopping centres and more.
Sadly like most UK cities and towns it also has many empty shops and run-down parts of town but today we will concentrate on the positives.
Free Museums, yes these are free to visit
Wilberforce House, birthplace of the slavery abolitionist of the same name, combines one of the few 17th Century buildings in Hull with informative displays about the slave trade and its abolition in England. Situated along the old High Street this area of the "old town" gives visitors a glimpse of a bygone era.
Streetlife, Hull's transport museum, the defunct trawler Arctic Corsair and the archaeological museum complete the so-called Museum Quarter of Hull.
Town Docks, Maritime Museum, across town in Victoria Square but only a few minutes walk away, features displays relating to Hull's seafaring past. The building was once the Dock Offices of a vibrant seafaring community.
Queen's Gardens behind the Maritime Museum was once a busy dock. These days it is a green area of flowers, grass and ponds. Concerts during the summer months use the Mick Ronson Memorial stage. Mick was a member of David Bowie's "Spiders from Mars" band along with fellow Hullite Trevor Bolder. Sadly both are deceased.
The Ferens Art Gallery is across the square and houses works of art by Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearin, maritime works of art, modern and old masterpieces. If you are planning a visit check the gallery's program of events.
The Deep is located where the River Hull meets the River Humber at Sammy's Point and although it charges an entrance fee is still worth a visit. This huge Submarium, shaped from the outside like part of a ship's hull suits Hull's history down to the ground.
The New Theatre offers a more traditional programme while Hull Truck Theatre provides more contemporary entertainment. Hull's City Hall is also a venue for comedy and music events.
The KC Stadium home to Hull City FC, or the Tigers, hosts musical events from time to time. Previous shows have included The Who, Sir Elton John and Neil Diamond.
Need I go on?
The above is just a hint of the attractions available.
So was Hull a good choice for City of Culture 2017?
Of course I am biased but, yes I think it was and recognition for this tough city and its people was long overdue. It may be a diamond in the rough but it will rise to the City of Culture challenge.
Note: Famous citizens of Hull include - Tom Courtney-actor, The Housemartins-pop group, Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder-guitarists in David Bowie's Spiders from Mars, John Alderton-actor, the late Norman Collier-comedian, Maureen Lipman-actress, Phillip Larkin-poet, Andrew Marvell-writer, William Wilberforce-slavery abolitionist and politician, Joe Longthorne-singer, John Prescott-politician and one-time deputy prime minister of the UK, Alan Plater-playwright, Amy Johnson-early aviator, Roland Gift-musician and actor, Andrew Motion, Keith Devlin, Nick Barmby-footballer, Barrie Rutter-actor, Sheila Mercier-actress, Francis Durbridge, Ian Carmichael-actor, Herbert Baker, Brian Rix-comedy actor, David Whitfield singer, Thomas Ferens-philanthropist, Thomas Reckitt-philanthropist and business man and Maria Gilhooley (aka Waterson).
A final obscure fact is that Arthur Lucan, also known as Old Mother Riley is buried in Hull!
(C) Eileen Kersey
In the summer time when the weather is high.....If we are lucky in England and the weather is really 'high' a series of annual events locally and further afield offer fun days out.
July 9, 2017, Hessle Feast will play out and hopefully the sun will shine.
In July the sun may or may not shine but this is our report of a previous very sunny Hessle Feast;
"Saturday July 4 was 'Cottingham Day' and Sunday July 12 was 'Hessle feast". Both Cottingham and Hessle are villages on the outskirts of Kingston-Upon-Hull on the north bank of the River Humber.
Hull as it is often called locally is bordered by the River Humber to the south but hemmed in every other direction by a series of small villages.
Hessle Feast is an annual event and for 2015 the weather was very kind.
If you travel into Hessle by bus or car expect slight diversions on feast day.
Held on a Sunday bear in mind bus services will be limited.
Also as it was a Sunday many shops were closed but plenty had opened their doors for the event and there were stalls outside of some shops.
On sale were a range of goods from handbags, to clothes, to antiques, to cakes and more.
Having lived locally since when I entered this world in 1952 I have only visited the 'feast' a couple of times. I was therefore surprised to read it is not such a 'new' event; here is a little 'feast' history from its dedicated website;
Earliest found records of the Hessle Feast date from the 1800s. These have it as an annual event around Whitsuntide (May). A time of enjoyment, when the people of the Parish would gather to celebrate the coming year.
2015 was a good year too though.
Rain dogged Hessle Feast 2014 but im 2015 the sun shone, the temperature rose and the crowds flocked in.
There were some great musicians dotted around Hessle's small centre and the entertainment was free.
A small park area was the scene for a small funfair of attractions and dog show.
Beginning around 12pm many of the stalls begin to pack up around 4pm.
We ate at the Villa Blanca, a first for us, and were impressed at the service, staff, quality of food and prices. As it was such a beautiful day the area outside of the Villa Plaza and the optician's next door held tables and chairs and it was a hive of activity.
Keith Newby a local musician provided the right style of good music with a mixture of classical guitar, pop and rock. I have added YouTube footage of Keith below. You can catch him playing locally in Hessle or Cottingham most weekends.
Kingston-upon-Hull is almost halfway through its year as City of Culture and Friday one famous local fund-raiser celebrates her 95th birthday.
Jean Bishop aka The Bee Lady cuts a tiny figure as she buzzes around the city raising money for Age UK dressed as a rotund bee.
She is a fund-raiser extraordinaire and Friday a party is being thrown in her honour at the Guildhall, Hull
In 2013 she was awarded the Fundraiser of the Year gong but she has never appeared in the Queen's honours list.
One young Hull resident has created a petition to the current PM Theresa May to try to change that. Ellie writes:
"I'm Ellie Broadley a 13 year old girl from Hull. Since I was little I have always seen the bee lady walking around the streets of Hull raising money for the charity Age UK. This lady is called Jean Bishop she is 94 and so far has raised £110,000 and is aiming for £200,000.
This lady is an inspiration to everyone in Hull. Jean has been awarded a 'Pride of Britain' in 2013 but I believe that she deserves to be on the Queen's Honours List. The bee lady has been in and around the local shopping centre's in Hull forever, since I can remember. She is such a lovely lady and always has a smile on her face.
Most importantly I don't know the outstanding Jean Bishop but I think she should receive the award that she thoroughly deserves.
Sunday 5th February.
On Friday 3rd February, the wonderful Bee Lady came to my school bringing with her, the Hull Daily Mail reporter/photographer and Viking FM (our local radio station). I just thought a photographer was going to come and take a few pictures. But to my surprise, Jean and the reporters all came. When I found out she was coming, I was overwhelmed! Everyone knew except for me.
She is one of the kindest and nicest people I have ever met. When I told her how many people so far had signed the petition (1,300 at the time) she was blown away with the thought of everyone doing it just for her. She said 'I thought things like this only happened to filmstars' and that she 'couldn't believe one person could do such a lovely thing' for her.
They came at dinner time so everyone was watching and as we walked out the doors I told Jean to look up. Everyone was shouting 'Bee Lady' she was so happy to see older children wanting to see her. She thought only little children liked to see her. She smiled and waved at everyone.
In my half-term holidays, Jean has invited me and my family to go for tea and biscuits at her local knitting club which, of course, I will be honoured to attend.
Saturday 4th March.
I went to see Jean and all her friends at her knitting club. They all were so lovely and me and my mum stayed all day. But the local news came, Look North, and filmed us all! Also BBC Radio Humberside came to record me and Jean to play for the next morning. Then at 8:30am the next day, I had to go live on radio and they played the recording.
I wrote a letter to Theresa May too, asking her to help in getting Jean on the Queen's Honour's List. Today I got a reply from Downing Street and they have forwarded it on to the Cabinet Office, who makes all the decisions. I will hopefully here from them soon too.
Monday 17th April.
I haven't got a reply off the Cabinet Office yet I'm still waiting but I have now sent a handwritten letter to the Queen and I am waiting for a reply. Today I have featured in the Hull Daily Mail again to tell people how much this would mean to Jean, and of course how much this would mean to me.
Keep your fingers crossed for Jean, we can do this!
Thanks to everyone supporting this and please keep sharing. Ellie. xx"
Follow this link and sign Ellie's petition here
Bee Lady Updates
Statue of Hull's Bee Lady Jean Bishop unveiled - but it's not what you'll expect
Why Hull's Bee Lady still gets a buzz out of fundraising at the age of 96
City of Culture 2017 Kingston-upon-Hull hosts various events throughout each and every year.
Take the city's Big Bus day and our review from 2015.
"The Big Bus day Hull 2015 was held Saturday September 19. The sun shone and the crowds rolled in. It was a busy old time around the 'Old Town' area of Hull with cafes, pubs and restaurants doing a roaring trade.
The free to enter, council owned and operated, Transport Museum was filled to the rafters when we dropped in around lunchtime Saturday. The amount of people we encountered around the city centre that day indicates it was busier still as the afternoon rolled on.
The best way to share the day is with a few images of ours from in and around the transport museum.
Special mention to the young man with young son both dressed in local bus company's uniform. We were having a dumb day and it took time for us to cotton on when the adult told us the boy was a celebrity-aka Minnie Driver!
It was the first Big Bus Day we have visited but it won't be the last, hopefully.
Bus enthusiasts flocked to the event but it was good fun and a great day out whether buses are your thing or not.
2015 was a bumper year for events in Hull which was a promising start in the run up to the city's year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture 2017.
The bonus in 2015 was most events luckily experienced good weather. Well it is Hull, south Yorkshire and close to the North Sea.
[From the Big Bus Day on Facebook September 21-Thanks to everyone who came to Big Bus Day on Saturday, we had over 7,000 visitors, and raised lots of money for charity! We'll update you on a total later this week when all the donations are collated and counted, and we'll add some pictures of the day to this page later. Thanks to everyone for sharing their photos of the event on this page, love seeing your pictures!]"
The annual Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea Flower Show for 2017 gets underway May 23 and runs until May 27. Not long when you consider the huge effort that goes into perfecting the sensational garden and flower displays on offer.
Worth a visit if you are in London? You bet it is
The first Chelsea Flower Show was held in 1913 so 2013 staged the event's 100-year anniversary.
Established in the grounds of Chelsea Royal Hospital in London in 1913, it was a roaring success and is now a world-famous event. It has been held annually apart from some gaps during the two world wars.
To mark the 100-year anniversary Chelsea Flower Show pushed the boat out. That said, each year there are some displays which are truly amazing.
Final preparations will soon be underway but the show's worst enemy could scupper efforts, namely bad weather. In recent years, Britain has experienced rain and cold weather in May and June and even snow in some parts of the UK.
This year then as always the show's organisers and participants have their work cut out protecting delicate blooms as they hope for kind weather.
According to RHS, the Grand Pavilion in 2013 displayed a variety of flowers old and new; look out for "our display of 100 years in pictures, a spell-binding look at how Chelsea style has evolved through the decades" they advertised.
But each year competing teams and gardens work hard to create temporary magical gardens which are everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.
RHS offered these key facts about the show previously;
The show is interesting to visit whether you are a keen gardener or not. The displays offer inspiration, are a beautiful sight for world-weary eyes and give a nod to the environment. You can also pick up helpful tips and advice to take back home.
Chelsea 2017 May 23 - May 27
Tuesday - Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 5.30pm
March 31, 2017, and an unusually warm and sunny day here in Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire.
Hull as it is known locally and sometimes called for obvious reasons is the U.K.s City of Culture 2017.
This sometime bruised and battered semi-northern city, situated on the North Bank of the River Humber, just keeps bouncing back after each hit; high unemployment, bad press nationally, increased crime figures, poor health and more have all hit the reputation of this city and its population at one time or another and we are not quite out of the woods yet; in fact we may never be but we will continue to fight for a way out.
In party of the city centre of Hull the world famous Ferens Art Gallery, City Hall music and theatre venue and Hull Maritime building await your discovery.
Some fine statues bedeck a raised part in the middle of these buildings. But Queen Victoria and her cohorts only offer you long established free toilet facilities.
Crossing Victoria Square to access these toilet facilities was a daring feat when this blogger was a child as traffic whirled around but these days like much of Hull's city centre it is pedestrianised.
Until recently a huge wind turbine blade boldly dominated this square as a temporary art installation for the City of Culture festivities.
Initially the square looked so empty when the blade was removed but there have been some changes now.
Construction work, the accompanied staff, equipment and barriers are still visible in parts of the city centre almost one year and five months after work started but the construction sites are shrinking fast as completion nears.
New and stylish seating is in the square.
And appearing to tumble down the outside of the city's former Dock Offices, now the Maritime Museum, are bright red ceramic poppies. These 'poppies' began a tour of the U.K. following a successful installation in London:
"The major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War.
The major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War. Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower's famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war."
In November 2014 BBC News reported "888,246 poppies will start to be dismantled by a team of about 8,000 volunteers" and thousands were to go on a nationwide tour.
The ceramic poppies displayed in London were for sale with money raised going to the British Legion and five other charities; "Chancellor George Osborne has previously agreed to waive the £1.1m VAT from the poppy sales, also using money from Libor fines."
The Maritime Museum was chosen for the Hull installation of "weeping window" because of the sacrifices made by the city's Merchant and Royal Navies.
This blogger's grandfather was a merchant seaman who died during WWII. His vessel was sunk by a U Boat while it was travelling off the coast of Egypt.
But the city has a history of service on land, in the air and at sea during various conflicts.
It has severely bombed during the WWII Blitz though that was kept an official secret nationally for many years.
Hull's "weeping window" is small compared to the installation in London but it sits well in its temporary location.
On a sunny day the blue sky, cleaned up stone buildings and red of the poppies contrast wonderfully.
But remember each poppy represents a person lost in WWI.
The display in Hull will end in May 2017. The ceramic poppy tour of the UK ends in 2018 one hundred years after WWI ended.
Originally written October 2016 Hull Pride is rapidly approaching
"Pride LGBT events feature annually in many UK cities and further afield. But in 2017 the first ever "UK Pride" event will be held and Kingston-upon-Hull which is having its year in the spotlight as the country's City of Culture 2017.
On July 22 Queen's Gardens in the centre of Hull will play host. The venue is not pun intended but a popular city centre area for outdoor events.
A Pride march will be followed by a series of fun-filled events in the "gardens."
There will be a week of events timed to coincide with an important 50-year-anniversary; the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.
But though there was a legal change in 1967 attitudes took a long time to catch up.
There are still hate crimes relating to the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender communities.
Hull should be and hopefully will be proud to welcome the first UK Pride event.
The city staged Hull Pride Summer 2016.
With a range of events on for City of Culture 2017 it is just another one that highlights the diversity of this sometimes troubled but always welcoming northern city.
UK Black Pride
[October 2016 there were reports that pranksters had filled the familiar Queen's Garden's rose garden fountain with washing-up-liquid. The response was mixed with senior councillor Terry Geraghty saying "It's vandalism. We are getting ready now for Christmas and that will be where all the lights are put up again, and this spoils it. It's a lovely part of the city and I don't know what they get out of it. "The rain will wash it away. It's not going to cause any damage. People ought to be more vigilant and report things like this when they happen."]
2018 latest - Pride In Hull, Yorkshire