Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ABC Wednesday - W is for Whitby


I first encountered Whitby in 1962. Some fifty or so teenagers, all members of Methodist youth clubs around Pontefract, descended on Staithes camp. We stayed in wooden dormitories at the top of the hill, girls in one, boys in another. We visited Whitby by train.

So enthralled was I by the town that the next year, I spent a whole week in Whitby. It was my first ever holiday without my parents. I selected a B&B on Esk Terrace from an advert in The Dalesman.





The two photos above are from 1978, but I'd made a return visit in 1974. We hadn't intended going to Whitby for our honeymoon, but it was raining in Hampshire! Our planned honeymoon destination had been the Scilly Isles and I'd booked an overnight stay at a hotel in Droitwich. It subsequently transpired that there was no accomodation to be had on the Scillies, so we just let the Droitwich booking stand and then toured. We visited Salisbury and then headed down to Lymington. There it rained heavily. The forecast suggested the better weather was up north. We called at relations near Oxford for lunch and then headed up towards Lincoln. We eventually arrived in Cleethorpes before finding a vacant B&B. It was there that the idea of ending up in Whitby crossed my mind. Next morning we crossed the Humber on the ferry from North Holland [long gone in the wake of the bridge] and came to rest in Whitby - again on Esk Terrace though not the same place.



We loved Whitby but even so, decided to cut the honeymoon short as we'd bought a carpet in the salesroom there and were subsequently running out of funds. Somehow they managed to fold it up so it fitted into the back of my Morris 1100. We nearly didn't make it up the 1 in 3 to Rosedale! Back home, we couldn't unload it immediately because the electricians were still busy re-wiring our new house!

The picture above is from 1986.



The final picture is of a print by celebrated Whitby photographer, Frank Sutcliffe. Dated 1880, I picked it up for a pittance at a jumble sale. And, before you ask, yes that is a self-portrait of yours truly in the bottom left hand corner.

22 comments:

  1. Its lovely to go on memory lane ..Hope you had lovely X-Mas..Wishing you Happy New Year

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  2. I can see why you like Whitby - it looks like a really picturesque place. Nice post

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  3. WHat a nice story! Does Christmas time make us remember things that happened a long time ago?
    The pictures could have been taken in Normandy. The landscape is quite alike.

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  4. I have actually heard of Whitby! Lovely post!

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  5. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Whitby! I so very nearly posted one of the many photos I took of Whitby. We are so fortunate in being next door to this wonderful town, so historic and full of magic. Incidentally Frank Meadow Sutcliffe's great grandaughter lived in our village, she was Kathy's daughter. Kathy being one of the two girls he photographed in many of his works. Small world!

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  6. What a great story, Those are great photos. Nothing like running out of money to not continue your honeymoon. But i am sure you enjoyed that rug for many yrs to come.

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  7. I was having a little trouble viewing you site (probably on my end). It was kind of rippling some of the text together.

    I love that boat/harbor (are you supposed to use a u in harbor?) photo from 1986.

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  8. I really enjoyed the story, and the gorgeous photos. Really makes me want to be there! Lovely W post!

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  9. Wow very great post. I learn new thing from your post too. Wishing you Happy New Year.

    Cheers
    DSM

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  10. Yes, I have heard of this facinating town from Denise Nesbitt! Great pictures.

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  11. great way to do a self portrait... and i love the vintage film feel to all of these pics.

    jim baker

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  12. I loved reading your story. Like a picture book.

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  13. Loved the story of your honeymoon and the beautiful shots of Whitby. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    I really like the picture of your son giving a loving hug. That's good emotion.

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  14. These photos all look so foreign to me but I loved them all! Have a great New Year! :-)

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  15. Love the Sutcliffe B&W photos, I have a book of his work.
    My Grandmother lived in Acklam and us in Bolton. When we visited(late 50s), we would go to Redcar or Saltburn but first went to Whitby in 1958 with my dad and didn't return there until 1993 then back again last year.

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  16. Don't forget to let readers know that Bram Stoker's Dracula was imported into Whitby by sailing ship in his coffin and that he was not an invention of Hollywood.

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  17. Very nice story and photos. Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for your visits.

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  18. Those are wonderfully atmospheric photos.

    I will give you a shout on my blog tonight!!

    (http://gledwood2.blogspot.com)

    all the best!

    (& happy new year by the way!!)

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  19. Nice little photo essay. Thanks for all of the cool history.

    ~Oswegan

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  20. the dormitories are so huge! The town is lovely. I really really like that photo from the 1800s. Quite the honeymoon experience!

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