Category Archives: Yorkshire

Robin Hood’s Bay

Yes, it’s more photos from the trip to the seaside. Robin Hood’s Bay is nowhere near Sherwood Forest – it’s between Whitby and Scarborough. It has a very interesting history, but to be honest, we tend to park in the viewpoint at the top of the hill.

It was a bit hazy on the day, so I used the “pop-art” setting on the camera to brighten things up. It isn’t very realistic, but it’s cheerful. It’s also as realistic as most of the 60’s postcards I remember from childhood.

There was a good variety of plant life in the grass around the parking area, and it was very easy to access as you had tarmac to walk on.

I’m not sure about the species of  the spider in the featured image, but the beetle is a soldier beetle, bit I won’t push my luck by being more precise as there are 530 European species and many of them look alike.

This, by the way, is my 800th post. I think I must be getting a little blasé about blogging because it’s not as exciting as it used to be when you hit a big round number.  However, I just prodded the dashboard at the top of the screen and found that I can put an accent on the final e of blasé. It’s only taken me 800 posts to find that out, but then I didn’t need it in the first 799. (It’s the Ω sign).

I’m going to write a post about Schrödinger now I can spell his name properly.

 

Scarborough, Sandwiches and a Broken Phone

This morning (Thursday)  I broke my phone. It slipped from my hand and hit the pavement face first. I’ve dropped it many times before but this time the screen shattered. In itself it’s annoying, but the full importance will be revealed later…

The weather on Wednesday lived up to its forecast so we swung into action with a trip to the coast. It was Julia’s only day off of the week so I thought I’d treat her to a day at the seaside.

We drove further north than usual and visited Wetherby Services for elevenses (breakfast had been toast, which I don’t actually recognise as a meal). We’ve stopped there once before and were impressed by the architecture.

Sadly, having decided to have a bacon baguette from Upper Crust, the architecture remained the only impressive part of the visit. Too late, we remembered that this was the situation after the previous visit. The bacon tasted of fish.

From there we turned towards Teeside, dropped down through the moors and emerged on the coast at the top end of Whitby near the Rugby Club.  A few years ago Nottingham U15s went on tour to Scarborough. Scarborough Rugby Club, with their £10 million facility, didn’t reply to my enquiry about a match.  Despite it being last minute, Whitby stepped in and hosted us.

They made us welcome and lent us several players (including a full Yorkshire player) to augment our squad. By “squad” I mean 11 forwards and a scrum half who had spent the previous day and night on a training diet of seaside rock, chips and Red Bull.

All in all, I always feel a warm glow when driving past the club.

We had crab sandwiches at Mrs Botham’s. They were excellent. The photos are currently stuck on my camera. Attempts to extract them, trying to swipe the shattered screen, did not go well.  At quiet times of the year you can park outside the shop, obtaining a parking disc from the newsagent.  There are some very interesting shops along the street.

Finally, we went to Scarborough.

The vessel in the featured image is the MV Coronia, the second excursion ship of that name to sail from Scarborough. Built as the Brit, she cruised the Norfolk coast from 1935 to 1939 befire being taken up by the Admiralty and renamed HM Tender Watchful. She spent the war in hard but unglamorous work – boom defence on the Humber, resupplying destroyers in Yarmouth Roads and working on PLUTO (Pipeline Under the Ocean).

For a short time in 1940 she was one of the ships that rescued troops from Dunkirk, bringing 900 home. One of the crew at that time spoke of clearing body parts from the deck and having to beach the badly damaged ship on the return to Dover.

The other shots show the castle above the town and a painted bicycle – probably from the recent Tour de Yorkshire.

 

Bowie, Bears and Staxtonbury

There’s been an outbreak of bears in Yorkshire.

We were coming back from a day out on the coast last year when we first spotted them. It was twilight at the time and too dark for photos. This year we were better prepared and managed to take some photographs.  There is another group about 200 yards away, but that would involve parking by the side of a fast bit of road, obstructing traffic and putting my life at risk for a picture of a teddy bear made from straw bales.

They are advertising Straxtonbury. Follow the link for more information and a video including pictures of last year’s bears.

They are at Staxton, in case you want a look. Or pretty close to Staxton, I’m a bit hazy on the geography.

 

More from Bempton Cliffs

Sorry about the short post yesterday, but I was a bit tired by the time we got home. At just over two hours each way it was a longish trip, but worth it because of the quality of the paths and views of the birds.

Even as we travelled up the A1, under almost cloudless blue skies, I could feel the curse of daytime TV lifting from my soul.

The sun was in the wrong position for photography, with much of the cliff being in shadow so I didn’t get many shots. Fortunately the young Gannets were relaxing in the sun and gave me plenty of chances for photography. I’d have preferred a few Puffin shots but you can only take what’s in front of you.

Gannets don’t breed until they are about five years old. The ones in the picture are around that age, as they have just about lost all their adolescent black feathers. Next year they will breed, but this year they are practising their bill fencing and preening. It’s not a bad life.

At the end of the summer they will fly as far south as West Africa.

There were other birds too, but they weren’t as interesting.

That’s a bit unfair really, but I was tired and limping and I can get quite unfair. I can also be quite short with people, as one idiot found when he wandered in front of the car in Bridlington.

We went for fish and chips in Filey and ate them on the seafront. It’s an interesting place, but I didn’t have the energy to take photos. It was a big piece of superbly cooked haddock and took a bit of eating.

There were House Martins nesting under the eaves of the chip shop.

 

The missing Whitby Photos

Do you remember around a month ago I lost a camera card? At the time I said it held some great photos of Whitby.

Well, I found the card. Unfortunately I found it while looking for another card which I dropped. I found the old one, but now I can’t find the one I dropped. To make things worse, the photos aren’t as good as I thought they were as the light was going and many of them are blurred. Added to that the composition and effects didn’t seem as good as I remembered.

It’s always the same isn’t it? As Shakespeare pointed out, old men remember with advantages. Or in sporting terms – the older I get, the better I was.

To add insult to injury I just posted a half-finished post – I just can’t get used to the Publish button being next to Post Settings.

I used several of the buttons for altering the camera settings as it was growing dark and it’s very tempting to add to the general Dracula feeling of the town by using the “dramatic” setting (though it really just darkens things).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The new Whitby war memorial

The new memorial was erected in 2013 when people realised that there was no town war memorial, apart from the War Memorial Hospital, which had been demolished (though the original plaque was moved to the new hospital) and the memorial boards in the church. I think they really meant there was no place for them to hold a ceremony.

It is made from Norwegian green granite, which is significant as the local regiment (The Green Howards) served in the Norwegian campaign in 1940. The campaign lasted 62 days, which doesn’t seem long but, according to Wikipedia, was longer than any other nation resisted the Germans apart from the USSR.

This seems unfair on Norway as I’m pretty sure that the USSR started by dividing Poland up with the Germans, so their record of resistance is patchy.

Finally we have an attempt at an arty shot of crab pots and a portrait of Julia taken as an experiment.

 

I think I may stick to portraits and crab pots in future as pictures of War Memorials encourage thoughts of politics which is bad for my blood pressure.

Bombardment, Bones and Captain Cook

We decided to give Whitby another look on the way back from Sandsend. There’s a lot to see in Whitby and we decided to have a look at the Captain Cook statue and the whalebone arch on the West Cliff.

The first thing we saw was the Bombardment Garden, which commemorates the East Coast bombardment of 16th December 1914. On that day two groups of German warships sailed down along the coast and attacked the towns of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool. One group attacked Scarborough, killing 18 people, before steaming up the coast and killing three more in Whitby. The other group attacked Hartlepool, killing over 100 people.

To be fair to the Germans they were attacking military targets -they shelled a naval radio station at Scarborough and the railway at Whitby. At Hartlepool they engaged shore batteries and the Royal Navy.

The garden represents a house destroyed by a shell.  The shell in the middle of the living room floor is a proper WW1 shell that was given to the town for fund-raising during the war and donated to the project by the town council.

 

Just along the cliff is the statue of Captain Cook. He was born at Marton, which is now part of Middlesbrough, lived at Great Ayton, was apprenticed to a haberdasher on the coast in Staithes and finally ended up in the Merchant Navy at Whitby. He first came to official notice for his service in the Royal Navy when his charts of the St Lawrence River helped General Wolfe to take Quebec. This led to him being selected to make his famous voyages of discovery, with a certain William Bligh acting as his sailing master on the third and final voyage.

Despite his great achievements he is little more than a cycle rack and seagull perch these days.

 

The third thing of note on the cliff top is the whale bone arch. Whitby was a major whaling port and between 1753 and 1837 the Whitby fleet accounted for 2,761 whales, 25,000 seals and 55 polar bears.

The inventor of the Crow’s Nest (William Scoresby) came from Whitby and used to be commemorated by a modern sculpture (now replaced by a war memorial). His son, also William Scoresby, was, like his father, a whaler and arctic explorer, but also a scientist and priest, who was quoted by Ishmael in Moby Dick.

The original arch was set up in 1853 to signify the importance of whaling in Whitby’s history. That set lasted around a century and were replaced by a set from a Fin whale donated by Norwegian whalers. They only lasted until the 1990s, when their replacement caused a certain amount of ethical concern. One suggestion was that there might be some bones preserved in the cold of the Falklands. In the end Whitby’s twin town of Barrow in Alaska came to the rescue with a set of jawbones from a Bowhead whale killed in a legal hunt by Alaskan Inuit.

I don’t know what I’d do if I was in charge of the whalebone arch. Fibreglass and plastic have been considered but dismissed, which I think is fair enough, but I’m not easy with the idea of using real bones, even if they are legally taken. I think I’d opt for a nice stainless steel sculpture.

Or a plaque saying that there used to be whale bones there but we have moved on.