Three Days in Yorkshire – 1: Whitby

Posted on 13/11/2016 By

Steam Bus Elizabeth when operating in Whitby.

And so finally to Whitby.

Whitby. The start of “Just three days” in Yorkshire. We left Joe (see Joe’s Story) at the famous swing bridge and walked on along the quay. A beautiful sunny day in September. The old life boat was advertising trips round the bay. £3. Not bad eh? So off we went. We could see the cottage we used to stay in from the boat. From there we walked to all those familiar places.

Whitby Harbour - the swing bridge and the pirate ship.

Whitby Harbour – the swing bridge and the pirate ship.

Bertie… I always went on those holidays and surveyed the scene from the upstairs lounge window while the family went off for fun. Quite often leaving me and Diddley watching the world below in peaceful contemplation. And a glass of wine.

Whitby: Harbour View Cottage looking across to the lifeboat station.

Harbour View Cottage looking across to the lifeboat station.

Bobby… The times we had in this lovely town were some of the best of our lives. Summer family holidays in August. Granny and Grandad with the grandchildren. A really lovely fisherman’s cottage. Narrow, but four stories squeezed up by a wooden spiral staircase. High above the town looking down on the harbour; the swing bridge; the constant movement of boats. The church opposite and the ruined abbey of Dracula fame. The lifeboat station below. Down by the quayside; a sea of fish and chips munching humanity. Funfairs, slot machines, fortune tellers, oysters, ice creams. Across the bridge, the old cobbled streets; the jewellers selling Whitby jet, from earrings to necklaces; 199 steps up to the church. Looking across the harbour to the town’s famous son, Captain Cook. The whalebone arch commemorating far off whaling days. And the station, where steam trains to Pickering are now a favourite holiday day out. Folk festivals; the regatta, but never clashing with the goths.

Down south, maybe, something to avoid, but I really do think Yorkshire folk are different. In any event, we always had the peace and supreme position of the cottage. There were donkey rides on the beach. The beach miles of perfect sand and a very safe sea to mess around in. Boat trips on old lifeboats, the pirate ship, the speedboat, but, most of all, those yellow boats. Just a couple of quid for a ride round the bay. A bit more for the speedboat. Diddley’s birthday and the regatta were always in the middle of those holidays. Including her 60th, which became a proper seaside birthday. With a special cake from the best baker’s shop in Yorkshire. E Botham of Whitby.

I did my own thing on occasions and walked the Cleveland Way north to Staithes or south to Robin Hood Bay and Scarborough. We had “boys” days to the North Yorks Steam Railway. Nowadays, I plan my Yorkshire trips to coincide with galas at that brilliant heritage railway. (Next week’s blog). And we drove over the moors to Middlesbrough, to see Diddley’s Yorkshire relatives and friends.

It couldn’t last forever. Nothing does. Illness came to both our family and the owners of the cottage. Diddley succumbed to hers. I recovered to where I am now. The owner of the cottage is well again but had to sell up. So, that period really is set in stone now. With masses of photos to record those special years. But back to 2016. I went to see Sue Tingel, the proprietor of Isobel May. A beautiful upmarket gift shop where Diddley had struck up a once a year friendship. Isobel May: her granddaughter who had died of illness at just 6 years old. We smiled and we laughed at the memories of summers gone by and those to come. However sad life can be, we are lucky to have had those times with those we love and the memories are with us forever. Too much love is invested in Whitby to stop going there.

2009

Whitby 2009.

Layla. The balcony of the cottage. Looking across the harbour to St Mary’s church and the abbey.
A yellow boat below.

Whitby 2009.

Diddley (broken ankle) and Bobby, beach wheelchair and a one legged paddle.

Whitby 2009.

Sisters .. Jasmine and Layla

Whitby 2009.

Fishing boats coming home.

Whitby 2009.

Layla and those donkeys

2010

An unsuspecting bride walked on the beach for wedding pictures and had two wet bridesmaids she had never met before. Or again.

Whitby 2010

Layla and Ayla. Impromptu soggy bridesmaids.

Whitby 2010.

E Botham … best bakers shop in Yorkshire.

Whitby 2010.

E Botham masterpiece.

Whitby 2010.

Over the rainbow from the cottage window.

2011

Whitby 2011.

Sonny and “Elizabeth”. He loved that steam bus.

Whitby 2011.

Sonny and Layla.

Whitby 2011.

Got on…..most of the time!

Whitby 2011.

Buried alive.

Whitby 2011.

“Velocity” … the speedboat.

Whitby 2011.

199 steps.

2012

Whitby 2012.

Dracula gets Amber. Step daughter.

Whitby 2012.

Happy Birthday from the Red Arrows.

Whitby 2012.

Sonny and Layla on the pier.

Whitby 2012.

The last time. By yellow boat to Staithes.

2016

Whitby 2016.

Harbour View Cottage (arrowed).

Whitby 2016.

Whitby Bay. Can you see the Yorkshire Lass? She is behind the bollard holding onto Bertie who kept slipping off.

Whitby 2016.

The Abbey. Scene of Dracula.

Whitby 2016.

The Magpie. The town’s famous fish and chip shop.

Whitby 2016.

The whalebone arch. Actually the jaw bones of a bowhead whale presented to the town by Alaskan Inuits. Replacing the bones of an earlier larger Fin whale from Norway.

Whitby 2016.

Captain Cook.

Whitby 2016.

Isobel May. A really nice gift shop.

Whitby 2016.

Sue – The lovely lady of Isobel May.


Lighting a Candle to Diddley.

Whitby: Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

St Mary’s Whitby.

Whitby: Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

A church with a view.

Whitby: Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

Lighting a candle for Diddley.

Three Days in YorkshireWhitby    


  1. […] the previous one “Whitby”, posted November 2016, we mentioned Diddley’s 60th birthday in Whitby. Including the special […]

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