National Railway Museum Pictures – City of York, Great Britain
Not a clever blog or anything just things that caught me eye…
Section Two – The World in Miniature..
And a bonus section entitled…
National Railway Museum Pictures – City of York, Great Britain
Not a clever blog or anything just things that caught me eye…
Section Two – The World in Miniature..
And a bonus section entitled…
Four For The Sea – Adrian At Art Class
All excited about getting along to these new arts classes – Art and Afternoon Tea, The Coffee Beans Cafe, Scarborough – I dreamed up the idea of four pictures that become one.
I had been looking at models of rows of cottage smade out of blocks of wood in arty shops. I decided to walk and think. The way to the Coffee Beans is along North Bay, so my windy walk showe dme the castle upon th ecliffs, the high rows of holiday buildingd and a woild sea.
I also watche dwith joy at the way a seagul holds it’s winds when landing, especially in an updrafting breeze.
I had planned to ask to work in pencil and watercolour then suddenly came up with the idea of separate pictures onth epne page, positioned in such a way that the viewer has to fill inthe gaps; let you do some of th ework for achange.
Four images of the sea – oh and a cloud.Art and Afternoon Tea is just that. It promotes well-being and supplies material while being willing to work with different ways of experiementing all around the table. One can book in week by week too without having to commit to a full season.
I would say that Sarah’s classes in the Coffee Beans in Scarborough, North Yorkshire is worth travelling to but that would be without the afternoon tea. Include that and you have to come! At £9 per session just supplying materials would be marvellous, but a coffee, a cream tea, sandwiches and a cake make it a miracle in a pinny.
The taster session is only a fiver!
Not only that it is set on this bistro cafe where the food is second to none in the area. Go for a meal or a cake and ask about these sessions while you are there.
(Mine’s a merlot)And a link to the Seahouses images
Plus my very first arts classes
I saw a spectre, no a person, not a ghost, it was a man in a hat. None of that covers it. Something was wrong. I sought advice.
I nipped across the road to my pals Julie and Arthur (those of Carowagon fame).
“I think I may have seen your ghost,” I said.
Julie had earlier sent me some footage which was inexplicable. A view from the skylight shows the tall Dog and Duck steps next to our house. There are two mysterious figures on the steps; the lower figure looks like some sort of priest and the one higher up and above our house appears to be a boy. Both are in black and white and seem quite old fashioned. They look real enough but why on earth are they dressed like a century or so ago, especially so early on a morning.
My sighting had come a few weeks after seeing the footage. I had awoken very early and been unable to settle so eventually had decided to get up and take a walk.
I had turned right on Quay Street which is parallel to the seafront and passed Arthur’s and then left through a cobbled lane towards North Wharfe.
I stood looking at the lights of the boats for a while and then wandered to opposite the way through towards the end of Quay Street, (yes this was a short walk, as I was getting hungry), my plan being to turn right and head home. Before I could turn I noticed a figure passing me heading towards the seafront. I would have noticed him anyway as there was no one else about but he seemed to be suddenly there.
I was halfway up the short street and there he was to my left, I hadn’t noticed him coming out of the carpark or down Long Greece Steps to the side of the car park. So I looked at him in surprise. He looked back in the same way. I looked away and looked back, he did so a couple of times. It was as if we were both thinking, ‘where did you come from and don’t you look strange.’
Later that day I went into more detail during my visit to Julie and Arthur. Why I had said I thought I had seen ‘Julie’s’ ghost was that he was dressed very similar to the boy in the footage. That was why I had looked at him, he was out of place. I hadn’t felt like I was seeing a ghost, it seemed like a man, yet I felt that something was wrong.
Partly that was the way he was dressed; tight black trousers, (although, unlike the boy figure, his were full length), boots, a long jacket with many buttons up to the neck, a white ruff or frilled shirt and to top it all off I could just say a black flat cap but it was very large; too large.
Now he could have been in a period drama – but at half past six in the morning.
It was at this point that Julie pointed out that the footage of the other out of place figures was filmed at around the same time of a morning.
Arthur asked me how old I thought he was and I said about fifty or perhaps a little less and that he had large round glasses and a moustache but that his face and all these features were quite grey.
I realised that seemed strange as he seemed like a real man. Arthur looked up at this and said perhaps it was a timeslip. It would make perfect sense that this was so, as if 2017 and (let us say) 1917 had interlinked for a while. This would certainly make sense of the mutual surprise and confusion.
It was a couple of days later that I awoke early again; this time with a start, a sudden thought: it was a timeslip but not to the past.
I leapt out of the bed, dressed, and hurried out the door – yes, at that point I was hunting my portal to the future. I was looking for a visitor from the future; one who thought he blended in.
There was something I hadn’t told Julie and Arthur the earlier evening; I had doubled back. On that first morning after the guy had passed I had rushed down Quay Street and taken a right up one of the cobbled alleys, back to the seafront. There he was.
He rushed up to the edge of the wharfe, held up a device, and moved on.
It looked like a phone, but didn’t have a screen and he didn’t seem to need to look through it. He moved a little way along and took a picture of Vincent Pier and its lighthouse, turned snapped the novelty shop and headed to East Pier and the Toll Gate, snapping systematically as he went. I left.
On that second early morning expedition I was intending to catch a record keeper from the future who was dressed inappropriately.
For this was my thinking now, our visitor had dressed in such a way as to blend in but had got it wrong by about 80 to a 100 years.
So it was that I dashed out of the house, but I bumped into another neighbour who was out walking her dogs. We chatted for a while, about my blog, and then I headed off up Quay Street. I got a glimpse of a group of people crossing the end from near the car park and they all seemed to be wearing something red.
They have adapted, they have seen a man from this time period and have emulated his look to blend in.
It is my intention to get up early tomorrow and head to the end of Quay Street and the access road from the car park. I fully expect to see several adults and teenagers wearing blue and white Converse, black jeans, a red and white shirt, a blue jerkin and a flat cap.
You will also like…
Click here for – Folk History of Quay Street, Scarborough
Click here for – The Mutiny
(it is not a lot to spend and it and keeps me going)
Ade’s Scarborough Business Review 01 – Mutiny on the Lancaster – It’s a Bounty
Rebel is the message; go rebel. No longer follow a captain be as the crew be – So how did the long lost Lancaster show up in its new form?
Mutiny from the usual on Scarborough seafront? No, even further than that, this is a leader – sailing us into a new Sandside. This is not a seaside amusements place.
We come here for (reasonably) sophisticated dining. We already have Golden Grid (Second best chowder to the Blue Crush, North Bay), Anton’s (Best use of a defunct chapel), Pizza-something and Ask any pizza to go (Don’t plug international chains or you are a sell-out not a respected reviewer).
This is the end.
The ‘in’ end. Well it is since this Bar and Kitchen came here. By you have read this review; a dozen other ‘Kitchens’ will have opened, Ivy House will be renamed as one, West Pier, North Wharfe and every available lobster pot clockwise will be setting out tables in the sun.
Remember: all cos of Mutiny.
Because of their still sticky varnish.
So, what do I think of the place?
It hangs out; it is OK (despite my horror at no hanged captain anywhere). It is basic, it is spacious, there could be a bar sign image in the space provided above the door in the original architecture, there could be a little more finish to the hand-crafted surfaces, the only place they could possibly learn from is ‘Eat Me’ (that’s a compliment!), but the space works.
It is wide open and varnished, no sorry woody. Atmosphere is everywhere and I am working my way through the food flip chart. Not enough ‘by the sea’, not enough ‘mutiny’ on the menu – but from breakies to big party buffets it is quality – quality.
I will not rebel.
You will also like…
Click here for – Folk History of Quay Street, Scarborough
Click here for – Pied Piper of Scarborough as performed as Rollercoastival
Click here for – Hobb the Ploughboy as performed at Scarborough Fossil Festival
I am fed up that everything I tile is collected by auto-chicken.
I realise now that my mistake was probably that I tried to type auto-check instead of auto-collect.
But it has been collected.
There is obviously a fault. At least with the auto-correct but possibly worse than that. So while we are stuck here I might as well carry on.
There’s the joke of the year from Edinburgh Fringe by Ken Cheng, “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”
Well, things were different before the changes.
A previous year Tim Vine won with “I sold my vacuum cleaner, well it was just gathering dust.”
My son in law Spee tells me that Norwegian ships have a bar code on the side so they can Scandinavian.
On to my new look with the curls.
Now that it has grown back the way it has I don’t remember what my hair was like before I had radiotherapy, but I am sure it didn’t make mature women giggle like girls.
One Direction, they went their separate ways.
Away from humour and on to poetry with this corker from Ralph Bear (thank you ever so)
Me pen and paper
Me sword in hand
Me march off to unknown lands
Me get me got
Godspeed I trot
Me pen and paper
Me sword in hand
Here’s my big lad who has hit the big time…
This popped up again recently, created by Olivia Jayne Newton. As a promotion for the first ever stage production I’ve been in.
And my dream:
I dreamed that in the olden days what people who had excess limbs did is they joned the navy. Navy surgeons are renowned for cutting off limbs so sooner or later it is bound to happen. Neville had three legs so he joined up and a couple of years later there was an incident and sure enough the surgeon sawed one of his legs off. So he was able to come home with two.
When Mervin, (who had five arms) saw him returning looking so well balanced he too decided to go away to the navy. Eight years he was there, then sure enough there was an incident and they sawed off one of his arms. Trouble was, they sawed off the right arm, which was the only one he had at that side and left the other four he had on the left side as they were.
There is a moral to this story, or at least there was a moral to it in the dream.
NASA announced lately that they had discovered a planet that could harbour life, but it couldn’t be guarenteed that there was intelligent life there; of course there is, who do they think built the harbour.
I blogged a collection of poetry recently.
On the 27th of October I shall be performing in Scarborough Art Gallery Hobb the Night Guard and the amazement of museums. Here is Hobb’s recent stories for the Fossil Festival.
There’s my travelogue of Denmark.
My multi-national performances in Gudvangen, Norway; Viking Sagas in a Nutshell.
An dof course my very popular Cancer Care Capers.
For any of you who haven’t heard, I was given the all clear last week.
Feedback on my Discworld Blog;
“And, oh my! what a joy to receive your narrative on and your utterly delightful drawings of the most marvellous place to be in in the entire Multiverse. (Tho’ I can’t help thinking your portrait of C.M.O.T. Dibbler is just a little too flattering; “unsavoury”, after all, is not just a word that applies literally to his wares, it also applies metaphorically to his person.)” Julie Speedie
And here is the last magazine type blog I did…
Do buy the guy
The Folklore of Fossils by Hobb the Ploughboy – a read aloud version of my show at the Scarborough Fossil Festival at the Rotunda Museum 2017.
Oh hello everybody. I am Hobb. Hobb the ploughboy. I’ve been a boy for forty five years, boy and boy, ever since I was a boy.
Ploughboy. It is a very scary job.
And I will tell you what I’ve got. I’ve got a stick.
It is my prodding stick.
What I do is this (*Jiggle, prod*) then I go along a bit, like this (*shuffle*), then I do this a bit (*Jiggle, prod*).
You’ve got your field right and you’ve got your ploughboy. I work the fields up along the top of the cliff and it is my job to clear away the stones before the plough comes so they don’t break.
So, I am going to sit down and tell you all about stones
There are big stones and there are little stones.
That’s it. That’s all there is to tell.
Well alright there might be a bit more.
The big stones are easy. And the little stones are SCARY.
I get my stick and I go like that there that there… Oh I’ve done that bit.
I find a big stone. The big ones (*clunk*) are much easier, you just have to pick them up and carry them to the edge of the field, easy. Then they are all lined up along the edge of the field and then you can tell where the edge of the field is. You will have seen them. Ah, no, in youradays, not in myadays but in youradays you have things called a fence, don’t you! Well we had stones, big ones.
The little stones, they are the scary ones.
I get my stick, and I go like that there like that there… Oh I’ve done that.
And I find a small stone, I pick them up, carry them to the corner of the field where there is a mini-mountain of them, (that’s called a Cairn that is). They have scary things. You have to be careful. Sometimes they slip off the top and slide down and crack in half at the bottom – “Aaaaaaargh!”
Terrible things, terrible monsters, terrible lizards – well bits of them. Therapods, that’s monster’s footprints. Something very scary has been creeping about here.
So, anyway, I get my stick, I go like that there like th… Oh. I’ve done that bit.
And sometimes, I dig out a stone, a perfectly ordinary looking stone. I go over to the pile, turn it over and – Aaaaaargh! – there is a hole going into it.
I go like that there that there and… I’ve done that.
I find a stone.
Aaaaaargh. It is stuck on my finger. Help Help pull it off (a child does so after much resistance). It has holes going right through it! That’s magic that is! Ooooooo Witches and wizards do that magic stuff they do. Ah, of course, this is in myadays, not in youradays, in youradays they will say oh no there is no such thing as magic, there are no witches or wizards, that is science that did that. I don’t even know what science is but they go on to say that what actually created the holes in the stones was creatures eating it – THAT’S EVEN SCARIER!!!!
Well thank goodness the wizards turned all the scorpions to stone, that’s all I can say.
Now this scares me. Look at this. Seashells. Do you know what is scary about these? Look how far away we are from the sea. How on earth did they get all the way up here?! And what is really scary is – what was it that ate them???
And then there is these things, I ask what it is and the answer I often get is ‘Annomites’.
I know what these are. Imagine we are at the top of the cliffs in Whitby up by the Abbey. There are fishermen, there are priests and there are monks, and they are shouting, “Get out.” – “Go away.” – “You are not a saint.” – You cannot be a saint – because – you – are – a woman!”
At this point I got to play the saint herself Saint Hilda (to quite mixed reactions), “Yes, I am a woman.”
“And I am a saint”, she said. She went on to say, “I shall prove it to you, by the power of the four horsemen of the Lord and the Holy Ghosty Spirity Thingy (Well it went something like this I think), and by the power of the mother of the blessed babe – and all the cupids and cherubim’s as well – I shall make all Whitby safe; safe forever and for all time.
The grass was moving! There was a slithering, a shining, a weaving, a glistening, a wending, a bending, a lifting, a slithering – The whole of the field was moving. It was… It was… It was snakes! Millions of billions of zillions of lots of them. Snakes. Did I say? There were snakes.
Her arms were upheld and she prayed and every single snake slithered off, slithered off the cliff.
They went down and down and down and, (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) down and down and down and (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) down and down and down and (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) (How about on long ‘down’ all together? “Doooooowwwwwwn”)
As they fell they coiled up, as they coiled up they turned to stone ‘Aaaaaaaaaargh!’
In youradays, not in myadays, in youradays you will say they are ammonites (or you might be one of those that says annomites), but I will tell you something you didn’t know, what they did in myadays and what they still do in Whitby in youradays. And this bit is true, it might be the only bit that is, this bit is the truth. A Whitby person, a fisherman or someone who lives there like, they are walking along the beach, like this…. And they spot an ammonite, what they do is they pick it up, get out their knife and they cut a mouth and two eyes in. Then it looks like a snake and they put it back on the stones for all to see. Then me, or you, are walking along, like this…. And we are like, ‘Look it is a stone snake, it must be true what they say about Saint Hilda after all!’ Well that’s what we are supposed to say anyway.
That still happens today.
The Vikings are scary. But they were frightened of snakes. Frightened of ammonites. They would see snakes on the beach and in the sea but they would also see them in the sky; in the night, in the north, in the winter. They would see the twisting green writhing around the night and they would say, “Look, it is Jormungand the serpent!”
He was huge. He would crawl around the land, biting people’s heads off! Crawl about the land biting people’s heads off! “Would anyone else like to volunteer to have their head bitten off? Many volunteer.
Even the gods themselves were frightened of him, well fed up of him anyway – biting people’s heads off!
So the big boss god of all the Viking gods, Odin he was called, except we don’t say it like that in my stories we say Ooooooooooooodiiiiiiin. What’s he called?
He was right fed up, so he went and he grabbed Jormungand and he held him up in the air and he went to the sea and he threw him in!
He grew so big that he went all the way around the world until he met his tail. Now they do say that he swims around the world with his tail in his mouth like this….
But I say that is daft. He would swim around with his head above his tail, like this….
Then he can look around and see what he is doing.
Let’s say there’s an elf on the beach. There’s an elf on the beach. There.
“Ooooo hello, I am a little elf it is nice to meet you,” he squeaks. Grumpth Gruffle Gulp. Gone.
See, a lot more sense.
(this next bit is actually an outtake from the show, so I have put it back in here as an easter egg – a special gift for you.)
Then sometimes I pick out a rock and there is a tooth in it, a huge great big tooth, a tooth from a black panther. “Aaaaaaargh!”
Technically, actually, they are a puma, but there are hundreds of reports of Black Panthers a year in Britain. Some say it goes back to when we hid in trees. You are up at the top and you are look out and along comes a black panther – “Aaaaaaaaaargh!”
Everyone hears and climbs the tree, (if they don’t then – “Aaaaaaaargh!”)
Nowadays in youradays when people see shadowy shapes the mind turns the shapes into a black panther so we can scream out a warning just to be on the safe side. So they say don’t worry if you think you have seen a black panther you have just seen shadows. That means to me that when you go out if there are any shadows whatsoever, which of course there will be, then you will definitely see a panther – “Aaaaaaaaaargh!”
But really it is a Belemnite they say, which means that it isn’t a tooth at all, it is just a seashell, that isn’t exciting at all is it, just a great big granddad winkle.
Others though say it is an elf bolt. That it fires from the elf’s bow and when it hits you – you fall in looooooove.
Then there is the devil’s toenail. If that is what it is. I didn’t know he had such big feet.
But I did know he has a big thumb. When he built Filey Brigg he dropped his hammer and picked up a haddock. Filey Brigg is a long sharp rock that sticks out into the sea. The devil built it, it should have been three times as long. Then it would have stuck out into the sea and speared ships. The devil was hammering away and he dropped his hammer. He reached into the sea quick to grab it and grabbed a haddock by mistake. If you go look at fish you will know which is a haddock because you can clearly see a thumb print on it (this bit is true). Look at that thumb mark and think to yourself, it is right about the devil dropping his hammer! “Aaaaaaaaargh!”
The Vikings loved a good fossil find, a sign from the gods if ever there was one. The Vikings long long ago, in theiradays not in myadays or in youradays carried them about. And sometimes as you know the Vikings would go to war. Sometimes, as you know, they would die. When they did, as you know, they were buried. Sometimes, as you didn’t know, they were buried in a ship. With their fossils and all their weapons and everything.
Well, they said that the ship would rise up, into the air. Yes it was a gggggggggghost ship; a ghost ship. There might be one underneath you right now, right where you are.
If you do find one in the ground ever, the Vikings in it wouldn’t look too good. They would look like that Gristhorpe man, and bits of the wood that were left would be petrified. And that is your ghost ship so now I am petrified.
The ship rises up into the sky and flies all the way up to the holy mountain up there look. No don’t look, unless you have washed your face.
The dead Vikings land on the holy mountain and come back alive in a ghosty kind of a way and walk down the mountain, like this….
They travel through the hunting fields and all the way to the Viking heaven – What’s it called? Yes that’s right – Valhalla.
To the big boss god of all the Viking gods, what’s he called? Ooooooooooodiiiiin. Yes that’s right.
And they fight all day. Yes that’s what Vikings think of as heaven; fighting. All day, “Hey you’ve chopped my arm off, never mind, carry on.” “Hang on you’ve chopped my head off I will just balance it back on.” They go on like that till teatime, and then they have fish and chips or something and they get better ready to start all over again tomorrow.
They go on like that till the end of the world. What’s that called? Ragnarok. Yes that’s right.
(Gritting of teeth is required during this next paragraph.) – The gods and the monsters rise up against each other and they fight and fight until everybody is dead, dead. (ungrit now.)
The seas rise up and wash everything away. Lightning strikes the great tree and it will fall, eeek creak eeek crash! Fall, bumphf dumphf boom boing dumphfffft.
Just one branch remains, sticking up out of the sea. The debris of the old world will gather around the branch and form a new land.
From the branch will climb down Lith and Lithrasia to start the world anew.
From the edge of the sea the power of the old gods will rise up like a globe of light and the world is alive.
Listen, listen for the healing songs of Odin.
What if there is one of those gggghost ships right underneath us right now? – “Aaaaaaaargh!”
But Ragnarok hasn’t happened yet. What hasn’t happened yet? Ragnarok.
You can still see the tree, look up, with your eyes in a certain kind of a way, look, a huge tree with a different land along every limb. That’s what the Viking say.
I went to a Viking camp. Not in theiradays, in youradays, yes not in myadays, in youradays. A Viking camp.
I bought this amber, this is amber, real amber, it cost a lot of money. This is very special amber, so the Viking market man with a Viking market stall told me. He said that these are the actual tears of Frejya. I paid fifty pound each for them.
Freyja is the goddess of loooooove. What is she the goddess of? Loooooooove. That’s right.
There she was at the top of the tree and she was, in a live performance you would get to see what a good actor I am, because she is beautiful!!!!
I possibly do better at acting the next role, because she met a handsome man….
She fell madly in love with him, she said, “I have falling madly in love with you and I want to be with you forever.” He cleared off and never came back.
They do say that if you listen carefully you can still hear her crying now. Because, yes, she started to *cry* and the tears rolled out of her eyes, dripped down her face and fell all the way down through the sky into the sea, turned into amber and get washed up on the shore. Then that Viking market stall Viking man gathers them up and sells them to fools like me, I mean people like me!
Who believes me? Are you do believe me that these are the actual tears of Frejya. I might get some of my money back. Who would like to buy a piece? It is £55 each. £60. £65……………..
A huge thank you to Libby and Wendy and the team from Create, and to Julie of the Fossil Festival for putting the fantastic Scarborough Fossil Festival together at and around the Rotunda. And of course to Tim the Geologist who supplied just the right fossils and really got the idea of what I was doing. Thanks all for doing the lifting and shifting too.
I will see you all there next year.
Oh yes and to the highly imaginative participants, I reckon around a thousand people saw my show and contributed with comments, input, reactions and feedback.
Quay Street, Scarborough
It is quaint is Quay Street, let us hope I do it justice. I write this for a neighbour. For a short while back there she thought she had lost her family in that terrible night at Manchester Arena.
So for all those who did lose loved ones and for all of us who suffered through that disgusting tragedy this is a tribute, a sense of belonging, in the way of praise of; the street where you live. – For us, here, that is the historic easy-going Quay Street in Scarborough.
The narrow lane of fishing boats and fisher people has widened along most of its length yet it starts and finishes as a cosy cobbled alley. Quay Street (Pronounced ‘key’).
Cobbled its full length still, set just a little back from the ‘Cobles’ in the bay.
We are the bottom-enders. There is a large grass bank behind us built up of the rows of fisher people’s houses; stacked rows of tightly placed dwellings all rubble now. Rubble.
Above the grass banks of long gone kitchens and bake houses is the most prominent feature of the town: The Castle.
Down below Scar’s Burg our row survives. The Bottom-enders.
I have stayed here on and off for many years with my parents; now, I live here, with Mum while I recuperate – stitch-knitting time.
Fishermen from the street told us when Mum and Dad first got the place of living here man and boy, as did their father before them and his father before that.
A house just a little further down from us still has its bake house out the back, (a few of them do). The lady there, three doors up from me, passed away recently and the moving eulogy to the packed church just up Dog and Duck Steps for here, a step beyond Paradise, spoke of her skills; smoking, baking and sousing the herring, roping the mussel, and dressing the crab; she could dress a crab in less than fifteen seconds.
I chat across the wall to our neighbour, but she has another friend. Her back garden is in two levels; two walled terraces. Her new friend lives on the roof and spends his time on the top terrace – He is in love with her. He has built a nest and comes down to the upper patio to tap on the glass of the French windows with his beak to attract his love. He knocks very loudly. As loud as a large fisherman knocking.
She says it is not her he is knocking for. She says he is knocking for the love of his own reflection.
But you know what they say about albatrosses, perhaps it is true about seagulls too.
Her late husband was a Skipper, I am sure he has worked widely in the sea trade throughout a life of Scarborough, it is as a Skipper that I remember him. Skipper of the ocean-going pleasure cruiser the Caronia, or at other times the Regal Lady. Many a cruise with glass in hand and majestic creatures just off the bow I remember. Many remember and the fiddle plays in our souls as we think back.
There they await you among the 300 plus boats betwixt the three piers of no peer; Scarborough harbour. They have been called on from here before at times of great need as you will hear in the accompanying blog linked to below.
I awake early, it may be the sea birds, it may be the operation scars re-knitting, it maybe is the boot segs, ready to grip the sea boards, clattering the cobbles still.
I hear them I swear. For the street is narrow and the bottom-enders are an endless march along here all through time.
“My father before me, man and boy as I was, as his father before him: Fishermen.”
Yes they were, but something doesn’t quite ring true. After living here a couple of years my dad suddenly realised what was wrong with this claim. The hosues weren’t old enough; they were about 70 years old and the chap living in the one to our right was in his eighties man and boy.
Turns out, the fisher families have always lived here just not in the same building. When the old timey Quay Street was demolished, along with all the lines of houses along the bank above, this road was widened. All this side now housed luxurious semis and lots of the fishermen moved back in, back into a new house, back in to the very same spot man and boy man and boy.
The old street is still there, winding through the centre of the wider road; there are the cobbles.
One can well imagine this narrow street filling as rowing boats are lifted off the bake-house roof and carried through the narrow passage and out onto the street towards the sea.
When I first came here I was surprised to discover that my neighbour at the other side of Dog and Duck Steps was the great uncle of a good friend in York; well-known singer/songwriter Dan Webster. He sings of his relatives: of his grandfather, “I have always loved the sea, but fishing not fighting was for me.” And of his great grandfather who bravely lost his life; Frank Dalton.
There are rumours among locals around the tea stall that when the seas are real rough and the life boat call comes some rotaed crew are hard to find; rumours. The older seasoned seamen are there and ready.
So it was with two who were in their late fifties and early sixties; Jenkinson Mainprize and Frank Dalton.
Thomas Jenkinson Mainprize was best known as Denk and was a relative of the Mainprizes who run a wet fish shop in Scarborough today.
He and Frank were the brave ones who went aboard. It was the Dutch coaster Westkust. The skipper had delayed accepting assistance and had survived eight hours in heavy swell before requesting assistance.
All of the crew were aided by our two heroes who lowered them all one by one down to the life boat deck.
Then Denk and Frank. They swung over the side. The Westkust rose up. Denk made the leap and was down safe. Before Frank could join him a huge wave parted the craft and he was left high up hanging from the Westkust. The coaster dropped, the life boat was pushed up and in, they met in a sickening crunch. The Westkust again lifted and Frank fell, to lay dying on the deck of the life boat.
At his funeral, well, just after his funeral, the Second Mate of the Westkust stepped alone from the crowd to stand at the grave.
He took off his cap and he knelt, “Frank Dalton, as soon as I saw your smiling face climbing over the side of the Westkust I knew we would be saved. Frank Dalton thank you.”
All the more reason for fellow fishermen the next day to have a Cobler’s Monday. That is when there has been a hard time of it and just a weekend is not enough time to ‘recover’. So the crew of the coble agree between them they will all claim a sickie and spend the day ‘recovering’ together; most likely in the Golden Ball or the Newcastle Packet.
Scarborough is known: for these few old buildings here on Quay Street, for its two bays with its harbour between and of course being looked over by both Olivers Mount and the Castle.
It is the natural spring near the end of the south bay which brought people here; 3000 years ago this way a sacred spring was visited and adorned. It was much later that these waters caused an expansion of grand buildings. We came here to take the air, (we still do, just watch the walkers up and down), and we came to take the waters too. Spa town.
The Spa was built and people came in their droves to go down the steps to draw the magical waters.
Trains helped. Workers starting to get actual holidays also brought more trains and very busy patches.
There was another fame, a fish, a big fish which brought the rich. A tough fish: the tunny. Strongest fish in the sea so they say: the North Atlantic Tuna.
Not that there are many now; the mackerel and the herring runs diminished massively in the 30’s through to the 50’s as more intensive fishing techniques developed unchecked (before my 17 year old niece became the fear of the unwise and the inspector of nets).
Interest in the tunny was intense, but on a much smaller scale – Which is strange for such a very big fish.
They say now they are returning and are up to 500lb but the records say far bigger.
Very rich pickings indeed, for the very rich. They came in their droves, filling the best hotels, finding fame and indeed further fortunes.
One poorer catcher of a tunny got rich by charging for photos with it.
Fame came with the danger, small boats, small crews and fishermen in ones or twos. Some fought for hours, only to lose the line and the monster in a sudden snap. Some might be relieved at such a result as the boats were hardly large enough for the big big strong strong fish.
The record holder wasn’t a rich visitor, well he was a Lincolnshire farmer, so he probably was reasonably wealthy. Lewis wasn’t a fisherman, he was taking a break after being discharged from the RAF and was talked into having a go.
Some say he doesn’t hold the record. He caught a fish a full pound heavier at 852lb than the previous largest but someone complained later that the rope was extremely wet. What a wet fish! What a slime! I say, “Pah!” I won’t have it, I hereby award the record to Lincolnshire farmer Jack Hadley Lewis for his amazing 852lb tunny.
Go see the impressive statue on the Northern pier.
You might try finding the entrance to the Three Mariners Inn while you are on your way from Quay Street.
The RAF are responsible for one eyesore on Quay street between two of the three beamed buildings in the street; an ugly flat-rooved intrusion between the Mutiny (formerly the Lancaster) and the Three Mariners Inn. Them bombers they had disposable petrol tanks, like bombs attached to the wings. When they were empty into the sea they went. They weren’t at sea on this occasion, they were above a beautiful old building – gone now.
I think the horrid flat building should be covered by a commemorative mural.
The devil brought his revolution here. His Brigg at Filey pierced a ship or two. Perhaps it stabbed at John Paul Jones. The American revolution came to this coast and his sword was left here. So the legend goes. It is said that he ‘safe harboured’ at the Three Mariners Inn across from me. I’ve seen the sword, that missing sword. It was said to be his and I saw it when the oldest complete building in the area (circa 1430) was a museum.
What a cranky museum it was, everything was everywhere, stuff heaped up, jewellery, toys, weapons, clothes – piled on every surface.
Rummage away visitor, ride the toy vehicle children, steal away visitors. Well some did. The sword somehow went one day, that was the last straw for them and the museum is no more.
You might want to buy the house though.
Sit on the bed, look in the mirror. Well, that’s what my young daughter did. Incidentally there is a long running (now suddenly exacerbated) family argument about which daughter it was.
As we left she said, “I didn’t like the man in the woman’s hat.” I asked where this was. “When I was sat on the bed.”
I was in the room, in fact I lifted my little girl up onto that bed. There was no one else there. So I told her I had seen no one. She looked up at me and with a serious face said, “Oh, you could only see him when you looked in the mirror.”
You might want to buy the house though.
I wonder if Dr Strange would? My mum has a claim to fame and I utilise it whenever I do publicity for my story-walks over in my home city: son of York’s first ghost-walker. It is true.
So it is a shame for her that after a lifetime of telling ghost stories, now in her retirement, she has to listen to loud ghost stories outside her window. Yes, Dr Strange of Scareborough Ghost Tour stops right outside to tell his screamer tale (which mum tells me is quite tall).
There is another fame to be experienced in this street, and I don’t mean just international blogger Adrian Spendlow (me), There is a great fame in Quay street, wait for it; Quay street is the home of the most famous vehicle on Scarborough.
A truck and a caravan welded and melded into one stupendous vehicle. The ornate homely transport is to be home to some of my stories – the side opens to provide a raised patio stage; my stage.
We will be appearing at various venues with Travelling Tales.
As Anne said, and you may still hear her voice if you visit her grave just above our house, “But he, that dares not grasp the thorn. Should never crave the rose.”