Tag Archives: Whitby

Pictures of Happier Times

I couldn’t find the photos I was looking for, so I hope these make a suitable substitute.

This group is from the Whitby area, in the days when we used to get into the car and drive where we liked. With hindsight, we should probably have done less driving, both from the viewpoint of pollution and cost. We will be making some changes once the lockdown finishes.

Spring flowers are always good – I am missing them at the moment as we live in an urban area and the local front gardens are a bit of a wasteland. We will be looking at the front garden with a view to making it more of a spring garden – at the moment it is great for butterflies and pollinators but it is only just about to start. We should look at starting the flowering earlier. We have said this before but always put it off on the grounds we have plenty of time. As current events show, this isn’t actually true.

Apart from driving where we liked, we could also have as much food as we liked. The fragility of our supply chain has been an eye-opener over the last month, as has the behaviour of panic-buyers. It has been very dispiriting to see pictures of bins of discarded food at a time when some people are struggling to get any at all.

After holding back and buying only what we needed, we spent a nervy couple of weeks worrying about supplies. If it ever happens again I’m not sure what I’d do, because our political masters and supermarket CEOs were wide of the mark when they talked of “plenty” of food being available and “robust” supply chains. I haven’t been able to buy flour or even a bread kit for the last month. We even had two weeks when we couldn’t buy courgettes or potatoes.

Finally, a few Robins and a sheep – something to look forward to as things return to something that resembles normality. I’m not sure they will ever be quite as they were because I sense we are all a little more afraid of what the future may hold for us.

It’s tempting to get philosophical and political here, but instead I’ll end with a feelgood story.

The Scone Chronicles XI

Another one without scones, I’m afraid.

After Wetherby Services we looped round through Teesside and drove down the coast through Saltburn (report later) to Whitby. It’s a great drive.

We finished by parking outside Mrs Botham’s Tearoom and entered the 1950s. I’ll cut straight to the food and ignore the rest of it if you don’t mind. I love the ambience at Botham’s but I’m writing about it elsewhere so I don’t want to repeat myself. Note that Botham’s retain the apostrophe, where Bettys have dropped theirs.

We selected their freshly made crab sandwiches on multi-seed bread. There’s a clue to quality there – the bread was wonderfully fresh, as was the filling, another contrast with our Bettys experience.

The salad was fresh and beautifully dressed too – I actually enjoyed it rather than just enduring it, which I often do.

Sorry it’s short – have to and pick up Number Two Son from work.

 

A Short Note on Pies

We had a bit of a mixed day yesterday – got off to a good start but ground to a halt on the Doncaster bypass. Got lost trying to get round it, more queues near York then made the mistake of relying on the satnav in Whitby. Switched it off, engaged brain and ended up in a parking space directly outside Mrs Botham’s tearooms.

Those of you who have been there before will know that the banner isn’t outside the teashop, it’s outside the bakery/cafe as you leave town for Scarborough. There’s a reason for this – mainly a queue in the tearoom and the realisation that we were going to be waiting ages.

We didn’t have to wait as long at the cafe, though it has to be said that the crab sandwiches at the tearoom would have been better than the prawn sandwich at the cafe. Julia’s decision to ask for salad proved to be a bad one as the onion swamped the flavour and the beetroot had no place in a sandwich. Beetroot, in fact, has no place in civilised society. Vile purple abomination.

We selected some pies – two for lunch and two for lunch next day (which was today).

We ate the standards pies for lunch and can report crispy crusts, flavourful fillings, excellent jelly, great texture and spiciness and an all round great eating experience. I’m a great fan of Mrs Botham’s pies.

The pork and apple pies we had today were crispy and well flavoured but had too much stewed apple in them. They could have used more texture and a little more acidity in the apple. And more meat in the pie.

I wasn’t as keen on the pork and apple.

But I preferred the pork and apple pie to the prawn and salad sandwich.

Beetroot, carrot, red onion, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomato, lettuce…

Not many prawns and a distinct tang of salad cream.

Basically it was a salad sandwich with a couple of prawns thrown in.

Pies good.

Sandwich not so good.

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.

 

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).

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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.

Just like Jane Austen

The day started well, with a telephone call from the pharmacy. This allowed me to drive down to the shop and use the words “Incontinence Advisory Service” for the second time in three days.  This time there wasn’t a crowd of people listening, so it was a less embarrassing experience than the first time.

I am now fully equipped for the next eight weeks and, as a result, feeling relaxed.

After that it was time for a trip to the jeweller’s. I don’t need any jewellery, watch batteries or repairs but I don’t really need an excuse to gossip and drink tea. With my current set-up I am able to drink tea without worrying about the consequences. It was a relaxing interlude, as it’s part jeweller and part antique shop. As I think I’ve said before I feel at peace in three places – church, antique shops and bookshops.

I also feel at home in “all you can eat buffets”, as you can probably tell from the self-portrait, but for some reason I’m never made  as welcome there as I am in the other places and don’t feel so comfortable. The staff always seem edgy when I walk in…

The last visits of the day were to drop off some Easter cards. It involved more tea and a look at several gardens that I used to look after. One of the ladies showed me her 80th Birthday Album. She had spent the week in Whitby with her children and grandchildren. It looked like a good time was had by all, and the Birthday Cake was made by Botham’s teashop. The picture on top was a view of the Abbey framed in the Whitby Whalebone Arch.

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Whalebone Arch – Whitby

As a result of getting out and about I feel much happier, even if the weather forecast is not good.

In fact, with all this tea and visiting I’d go so far as to say I feel very Jane Austen.