3 December 2023

Moving times

I said I wasn’t here this week, and I’m not… but by the magic of modern technology I’m still able to write and send this column from sunny Menorca, where I’ve been enjoying a much-needed break for the past few days.

It’s not exactly been “Hull Fair weather” back home, has it? Sounds like it’s been unseasonably warm there, too, as it has been before in recent times. I recall an October not that long back where people were wandering around Walton Street in T-shirts and shorts, which is nice… but probably worrying on a deeper level.

I think I’ll leave the climate change debate for another day, though, as my mind’s already turning to matters a little more local.

As our front-page story this week announces, the Gazette will be leaving its Seaside Road premises for pastures new at the end of this month.

To say it will be an upheaval is an understatement – not least because, even though the property was in need of significant renovation (and, indeed, the new owners have already started on this), it has been our home for decades, and staff past and present have many fond memories of it. I’m just a relative newbie – I’m coming up two years here, this month in fact – but I will really miss it, too. We’ve certainly had some fun here…

As the front page says, we’re moving on a temporary basis further up Queen Street to the old Southgates office on the corner of Hubert Street. This is far from an ideal location, though, as it’s just a bit too far out of town.

We know that people like visiting us to place adverts, give us stories, ask us to put posters in the window, do some printing and copying… and sometimes just come in for a chat. People can still do this – and we’d hugely welcome it, so please do keep coming in, and please spread the word about where we are! We are looking at a more permanent place nearer the centre of town, so hopefully we’ll be back in the thick of it before long.

With any business move, there are likely to be a few teething troubles, especially with technology. We’re upgrading our IT (including the phone system) to coincide with the move, and are hoping this runs as seamlessly as possible, but please bear with us in case any gremlins come along for the ride!

So, a couple of days from now (as I write this), I’ll be back home and trying to mentally prepare for all of this. I was worried the break would have thrown me off my stride, but I think it’s been necessary, really. When you’ve been going at 100mph for months, sometimes you just have to slow down and stop. I think I’ll try to give my liver a bit of a break too as I’ve had enough San Miguel to last me the year.

I’d like to thank my pal and Hull Story comrade, Simon Bristow, for keeping the editor’s chair warm this week, and of course our fab and friendly team for helping him find his feet. He told me they’d been “brilliant”, and I don’t doubt it! And I’d like to thank my mum for coming to look after our cats – I think she’s enjoyed her own little holiday in Burstwick.

See you back in Blighty! It’s going to be an interesting few months ahead…