Friday, January 29, 2010

Where 2x5=5

Just in case you miss the sign at the bottom of the steps …

A very important part of Whitby's economy, bed and breakfast establishments thrive on the West Cliff.  Book early for Folk Week, Regatta, Goth weekends and other special events. 

Not a gossip column

It's not open, of course, but you can dream of Spring. This is a minute from yesterday's picture of Royal Crescent on Whitby's West Cliff.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eclipse of the moon?

Part of Whitby's Royal Crescent on the west cliff. The flats have views over the sea but face away from the harbour and town.

The crescent only forms a 90º arc: because the developer, Railway King and Member of Parliament George Hudson, had overstretched himself and was unable to complete the semi-circle.

The oddly-named Khyber Pass was excavated into the west cliff to facilitate the transport of building materials for this project.

Hudson's financial dealings landed him in York prison for 15 months or so from July 1865, but he nevertheless managed to remain MP for Sunderland.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blue in Versailles, blue in Whitby

Youngs always looks pretty. The shop is at the sea end of Skinner Street.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bridge over untroubled waters

A familiar sight in Whitby is to see two crowds of people, one at either end of the swing bridge, waiting for it to reopen after the passage of a trawler or masted vessel.

The small building on the right is the gatemen's cabin, and the larger white one on the left the Whitby Gazette office. Turn right into Grape Lane just before that to see where Captain Cook lived during his apprenticeship.

Enlarging the photo will reveal that the red brick building occupying a prime position at the east end of the bridge is the Dolphin.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Harbourside reds

This is the blog's first photograph from the harbourside to the east cliff. St Mary's church needs no introduction: here she is again looking more than a little like a castle.

I like the cheering effect of the three bright red spots in this scene; it was a damp, grey day of the kind we don't often get in Whitby. Strange! My nose suddenly feels a little longer!

Cædmon's cross is clearly visible to the right of the church, at the top of the 199 steps. The town looks deserted here, but I had to wait a while for the human traffic to move on before I had a clear shot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

St Hilda's church, West Cliff

One more view over to West Cliff, showing St Hilda's church with its solid tower. The River Esk is just out of sight below the harbourside buildings in the foreground.

This scene is just to the left of yesterday's.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The sands of time …

Another of Catherine de Compiègne's holiday snaps, showing the long beach from Whitby to Sandsend, and the closer Tate Hill sands down below in the outer harbour.

The Captain Cook monument and whalebone arch to the right of the white Royal Hotel are unfortunately not clearly visible even in the enlarged version.

The road below the hotel and monuments is amusingly named Khyber Pass, and the elevated area which forms the other side of the mini-valley, Spion Kop, after a Boer War battle. The Boers had the best of it on that occasion.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Whitby beach huts

The first picture on Whitby Daily Photo was taken from behind the beach huts, looking out to the piers. 

The town centre is only a 15 to 20 minute walk from here, either along the beach at low tide, or by the Whitby Pavilion pathway.

The beachfront café was refurbished quite recently, and is no longer the eyesore it was for many years. This is a pre-season photograph; come Spring there will be locals and trippers braving the onshore breeze and deciding where to have their fish and chips.

Speaking of that national delicacy, we recently celebrated its 150th anniversary! Readers who don't know what we are talking about should go here for a picture and 150 fascinating fish and chip facts.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Black Horse Yard

Turn into this secluded, prettily decorated cobbled yard by the famous Black Horse Inn on Church Street for a choice of holiday cottages.

The Black Horse Inn was formerly The White Horse Inn, but a change of name was imposed by local magistrates in 1828 to avoid confusion with the The White Horse and Griffin, just along the street.

This last-mentioned pub took its name from the coat of arms of the Cholmley family, the local gentry responsible for several architectural features of the town, including the Old Town Hall where you might have seen the flute and guitar duo a few days ago.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The abbey close up

The abbey and refurbished information centre are well worth the visit. If I haven't sent you here before, I should have done.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Catherine's Arguments

Our friend from Compiègne, France, loved this yard, so here is the view she took looking back towards the entry from Church Street. Compare it with Saturday's picture.

The blonde lady coming down the steps was a willing participant. I think the cottage on the right was one we rented in 2006 while on holiday back from Franche-Comté.

The blues cheer up the place a bit!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Arguments Yard 2

Arguments Yard 1, entitled "Where folk don't get on" was a face-on shot of the two doors seen here on the right. This view, taken by our visiting friend Catherine from Compiègne, shows the yard itself.

For an explanation of the name, Arguments Yard, see the earlier entry (6th January 2010).

The spire in the distance belongs to West Cliff Congregational Church.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Impressive from any angle

St Mary's again, from the Flowergate end of Cliff Street, just above Somerfield's car park. In front of the houses just below the church is the terrace from which Wednesday's picture was taken.

The 199 steps are visible, snaking up from Church Street, as is the cliff, down which have hurtled the contents of more than a few graves over the years. Future occurrences have been avoided by resiting those at risk.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The abbey from Flowergate 2

A second view of the abbey from Flowergate, but this time without Bagshawe's clock (see entry 2). This slight change of position allows us to get a little closer. We're looking roughly eastwards.

The building bottom left is the back of what used to be Woolworths (see yesterday's entry). The gap between the foreground buildings is Golden Lion Bank (where bank means slope or incline).

Flowergate is already quite steep, but this road down to the harbourside is even more so. They say that buses used to drive up here!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where time stands still?

A view over the town from east to west, taken from the terrace up the steps from Blackburn's Yard.

Locals will immediately spot that this is an archived photograph: Woolworths, clearly visible on the harbourside in this picture, is no more! It has been replaced by an outdoor clothing shop.

Seeing the high harbour wall down below, it's difficult to imagine that the Esk sometimes overflows onto the streets. There is usually plenty of warning so that folk can get out the sandbags.

I'm not sure if the Old Town Hall clock, beneath which yesterday's buskers were playing, keeps good time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do

Christmas is coming,
the geese are getting fat;
please put a penny
in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny
a ha'penny will do;
if you haven't got a ha'penny,
God bless you!

The Christmas rhyme is a little late, but the money and the hat are appropriate. This is an old, scanned photograph of a couple of musicians playing under the Old Town Hall between Church Street and the cobbled market. The town was much busier than it looks here, and there were more than pennies going into the (old man's?) hat.

This duo were eventually invited to play in the Shepherd's Purse (now Sanders Yard) restaurant opposite. With my inside knowledge, I can also tell you that the young woman is Swiss, and that she is now a mother and published children's writer.

Busking is very popular in the UK, and is not considered as begging. It is much less common in France, except during festivals and in high density tourist spots like Montmartre, Paris, or Sarlat in the Dordogne.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blackburn's Yard 2

A second look at Blackburn's Yard, the Pottery and the award-winning community garden. Straight ahead  to the cobbled Church Street, with its pubs, cafés and boutiques.

On a good day there will be buskers, (street musicians and performers) ranging from mediocre to magical. For the magical, come during Folk Week.

I have a picture of a flute and guitar duo somewhere …

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not the fog on the Tyne

I try to post only my own pictures, but this one was sent by a friend, John Shooter, who runs a small computer business in the town. I could be mistaken - perhaps it was Martin!

The title, for those who don't know the group Lindisfarne, is a reference to their Fog on the Tyne.

The Grand Turk is more clearly visible that in the earlier inner harbour photograph. This is a very atmospheric shot, thanks to the fog and the broken reflections.

Thanks John - or Martin!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowy moors

There is a lot more snow on the hills at the moment than in this picture, but this one nevertheless gives an idea of the situation of the town from the other direction, showing why it is so easily cut off in bad weather. We have already looked up the coast towards Sandsend Nab, the section of headland jutting out into the sea where, not surprisingly,  the sands end.

I mentioned the marina yesterday: it is clearly visible here, just below centre left, viewed from St Mary's church yard, just after the top of the 199 steps. If you've been following these pictures, you'll know that the cobbled Donkey Path is just over the wall.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The inner harbour

This one is taken from the swing bridge, which separates the outer from the inner harbour. Further upstream, but out of sight here, is the marina.

The tall mast belongs to the Grand Turk, a replica of an 18th century man o' war. She has featured in several films and is open for visits daily.

You might have noticed that the harbour is not fenced at this point, but accidents are thankfully rare, even after closing time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where folk don't get on?

A pair of cottages in … Arguments Yard! This is off Church Street, on the side leading down to the harbour.

We've already visited Blackburn's Yard, further down the street towards the Old Town Hall, but that takes you steeply away from the river and up to the abbey via the Donkey Path.

There are many strange street-names, and even some of the ordinary-sounding ones have unexpected origins. Who would expect a Grape Lane in Whitby? We're a long way from Champagne or Provence, after all. There is another narrow street of the same name in York, and there's a clue: narrow! Grape in neither case has anything to do with the fruit of the vine, but I'm getting ahead of myself, as Grape Lane is a few hundred yards away.

Back to Arguments: quite simply the name of the builder of some of these cottages, so it should really be Argument's Yard. There are still Arguments in Whitby, and no doubt arguments too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Arms still open wide

The same classic view as yesterday, but with some Henrietta Street rooftops showing, and a bit of that fence without which …

No smoke from the kipper shed this day, unless the wind was blowing in the other direction.

The moors roads in both directions were closed for a time on Sunday; given the weather conditions today, I expect that Whitby will be cut off again, at least until the gritters get out.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Arms open wide

St Mary's church is now behind us, whilst Henrietta Street and Tate Hill beach are out of sight directly below. We have come to the edge of the cliff, thankfully protected by a sturdy fence. Is that a whiff of smoked kippers from Fortune's shed?

Be careful if you continue on foot to Robin Hood's Bay, as the path is open to the cliff for much of the way. It is a lovely walk, only really dangerous in bad weather, and Bay is a must if you have a few days in the area. Walk it one way and take the bus back, or else hire cycles and follow the old railway line.

I remarked recently on JorvikDailyPhoto that I needed to pay more attention to my vertical lines; the sloping horizon in this shot reveals another area to work on! For a superb aerial photograph of the harbour, including the abbey, church and a view to Sandsend, go here, but you might stay longer than intended.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Headstones and headland

Just a little further into St Mary's churchyard to take in the west cliff and the coastline towards the pretty little village of Sandsend. The road drops steadily down to that point, then climbs steeply to Lythe and the moors road to Guisborough and Teesside.

The cliffs are unstable here, and several graves and headstones have been moved from the edge to a safer place to prevent them ending up in  Henrietta Street below. That's probably an exaggeration, as there is a certain amount of rough ground before you get to the cottages themselves.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

St Mary's and the sea

We've just gone round the back of the church to get the view over the harbour and sea. That's the North Sea,  and had you gone down to the beach a few days ago you would have been able to see people bathing! The annual charity dip on Boxing Day (26th December) always attracts some photographers, but not this one! Hardy folk in fancy dress sponsored by friends and family, brave the icy waters to raise money for charity. They don't usually stay in the water very long, and I would be surprised if the event has not come under the scrutiny of the much-maligned Health and Safety Executive.

There are people who take the plunge along this coast every day of the year, even if only for a few minutes in winter, and surfers are a common sight. Tough, these northerners, but back to the church. The white-painted railing leads up to another gallery, now out of use.

The large Georgian window is evidence of the controversial alterations which destroyed the cruciform shape of the church in favour of a spacious rectangular area which was then filled with square box-pews. The older single bench pews go back to at least the 17th century, and in some of them you can find Civil War  (1642-1649) graffiti carved into the woodwork.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Nu sculon herigean …

To wish you well for 2010, here is a more complete picture of Cædmon being called and inspired to rock the world to the Creator's praise.

You can listen to 
Cædmon's hymn in the early West Saxon dialect and read it at the same time. This is 7th century English, before the arrival of the Normans and the influence of French on the language.

Bonne Année à tous mes lecteurs !