Tag Archives: Whitby

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).

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.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

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.

 

 

 

Sandsend – an Old-Fashioned Resort

We went to Sandsend last Saturday. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an old-fashioned sort of place just north of Whitby, with a couple of cafes, some car parks, hotels, toilets and probably some pubs (though I’ve never really noticed as I’m usually too busy looking at the road and avoiding caravans). It also has a small river, cliffs, a great beach and wonderful views.

Yes,I know what you are thinking, as a reviewer of travel destinations I leave something to be desired.

It wasn’t originally part of the plan, but Whitby had been rammed with cars when we tried to find a parking space so we drove north. That’s the problem with travelling to the coast on the first nice Saturday in Spring – everyone else decides to do the same thing. We’d known that when we set off, and the queues around York (which seems to be at least 50% retail outlets these days) had confirmed the presence of large numbers of cars.

We weren’t able to get into the cafe by the beach, where I used to eat Yorkshire Curd tart. We haven’t been for a few years, and the cafe has been done up, so they might not even serve curd tart any more. That’s the trouble with time – you look back at something you used to do regularly and find it was ten years ago. I like curd tart, but as with liver and bread and butter pudding, which I also like,  I find out I can live without it for years at a time.

It’s not that I go short of food (far from it!) but there’s so much food and so little time.

People were fishing from one of the car parks, which seemed a good way of securing a supply of fresh fish, though experience with a rod suggests it’s actually a good way of wasting a day. Even without fish, it’s a good way to get out into the open air.

There seemed to be a camera club about, as small groups of people with cameras were wandering about taking pictures of an ancient mounting block. I took photographs of Herring Gulls, Starlings and Pied Wagtails on the chimney pots of the hotel. Each to his own I suppose.

Finally, there was a microlight that flew across the bay a couple of times, even landing on the beach after the first pass, which seemed a bit dangerous. The engine note had sounded a bit ropey as he approached, but I’m not sure why he needed to land as he didn’t seem to have any time to fix anything whilst on the ground. Maybe he just wanted to expose beach users to heavy machinery and a moving propellor.

After ice creams we looped back to Whitby, but I’ll leave that until later.

The Best of Times… etc

Yesterday was, as I said yesterday, a good day.

It was also, which I didn’t say, a bad day at times. I generally try not to mention the bad times unless I can see humour in them, as I don’t want to depress readers or transfer my real life reputation for moaning to my blogging life.

That’s why I didn’t mention the Gregg’s breakfast at the M18 Services. It featured an idiot, filthy tables and ketchup. I could have dealt with the idiot and the filthy tables, but I asked for brown sauce. If I’d wanted ketchup I would have asked for it. And the day I ask for ketchup in a bacon sandwich will be the day we see Satan wearing ice skates.

In the afternoon I hit a wooden post in a car park.

It wasn’t easy. First I had to reverse past it without either seeing it or hitting it, then I had to pull forwards and damage the door and wing in one easy motion. Two months ago someone scraped the car while it was parked and three weeks ago a bus clipped my mirror and took the cover off it. I’m hoping that bad things really do, as my mother used to say, come in threes.

As I took the final photos at Bempton my camera card filled up. I cleaned a few off and managed to get all the photos I wanted. After fitting the other card I took some shots in Whitby, including a Cormorant, a Redshank and eight Pied Wagtails at the side of the harbour. I also had a go with some of the camera settings taking shots of the Abbey and churchyard.  You could almost see Dracula. Some of them were really good shots, as were some of the shots of fishing gear. I was quite pleased with them.

Unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for it. After viewing that card I put the other one in the computer to load shots for the blog.

Twenty four hours later I still can’t find it or remember where I put it. Nor can I think of anything else to write about.

So, as I say, borrowing heavily from Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Tomorrow I may find the missing card, but if I don’t I hope to find some inspiration.