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Published: August 22nd 2012
Kev & I picked Charlotte up from Rearsby before the drive up north to attend the Whitby Folk Festival; it was also a bit of a nostalgia trip. Our first destination was Terrington in Yorkshire where mum is buried; not the usual sort of burial spot but a nature reserve where trees are buried on top of the coffins, mum's being an oak tree which has grown somewhat since we visited four years ago. From there it was off to the village of Sherriff Hutton where she attended school. The school is now a private house but the owners were happy for us to take some photos. We then went looking for the farmhouse where she lived at the time although we weren't 100% sure the one we found was actually the one, nevertheless a few photos were taken.
Then it was off to the village of Easingwold not far from Sherriff Hutton where we met our cousins Lorna & Valerie - the daughters of Auntie Hilda who was mum's sister - and their partners. I'd contacted both Lorna & Valerie before we left Australia to arrange a meeting having not seen them in over at least 46 years. It
was great to get together, talk about old times, children, grandchildren and travels etc while enjoying a delicious meal at The George Hotel in the centre of the village. We won't be leaving it so long until the next meeting! It was great to see them all; thanks Lorna, Valerie, Kevin & Keith.
Next we headed off to Scarborough where I was born, dropping our bags off at the YHA before heading into town for a walk around which included the climb up to St Mary's Church were Anne Bronte is buried. While it was good to have a look around, especially along the sea front, Scarborough is looking somewhat faded and worn - it certainly needs some money spent on it to bring it back to it's former glory. A spa town, the music hall there once attracted the second largest crowds next to London. Dickens apparently visited there in 1851. We were unable to drive along Marine Drive from the North to the South sides as work is being done to stop the cliffs from eroding more than they already have done. Since the medieval castle sits atop the cliff Scarborough folk wouldn't want that tumbling down.
The following morning our first visit was to Scalby Lodge Farm just out of Scarborough on the Burniston Road where Grandma, Grandad, mum, Auntie Hilda, Uncle Norman & Uncle George lived up until around 1939. We have a photo of them all, with mum in her WRAAF uniform which she had joined before the Second World War, taken in the field next to the farm buildings. When we got there we discovered that it was a building site; the farm and outbuildings, which belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster, were being made into holiday apartments. Eventually finding the site manager Tony, he took us around including into what had been our grandparents house. He was very helpful, emailing us an overhead shot of the farm as it was originally was a couple of days later. We loved the apartments and vowed that on our next visit we'd stay in one of them ourselves; some of them had magnificent views over the sea while others were in sight of Scarborough Castle. It is great that the farm lives on even though it's in another format. And, as all the old bricks were being re-used, the feel of the place is
much as it was. We left there feeling very pleased with what we'd seen. Our next stop was to see the house in Burniston where our grandparents lived which we used to visit every summer holidays when we were kids. From there it was onto Cloughton cemetery to visit our grandparents graves, grandad only dying two years after grandma. Finally we arrived in Whitby which was abuzz with people due to the Folk Festival and a Regetta. While I've visited Whitby before I'd never really explored the place so that was a pleasant surprise as it is such a lovely fishing town.
We were booked into the Whitby YHA which is in a commanding position about the town next to Whitby Abbey, a ruined Benedictine Abbey which Henry V11 sacked when he dissolved the monasteries. The first monastery was built on the site in 657 AD so it has an interesting history. The YHA had magnificent views over the Esk Valley and along the coastline so it really was THE place to say and, being a YHA the price was very reasonable. Not only that the place was just brilliant with fantastic facilities having been re-furbished at a cost
of £4 million seven years ago. We just adored Whitby, the folk festival was fun; Charlotte did a drum workshop while we visited the Captain Cook museum housed where he lived during his nine year apprenticeship before he joined the Royal Navy. We also enjoyed listening to the impromptu concerts at various pubs in the evening when people just turned up with their instruments and began jamming together. We explored the abbey and its history as well as eating the best fish and chips in the Marine restaurant; they were to die for! A great town; do visit it if you are in North Yorkshire. The weather we experienced there helped too of course; then to top if off we saw a display over the town by the Red Arrows flying in formation.
A drive across the moors and we called into the little village of Ruston to see Auntie Barbara (Uncle George's widow); four years since we'd last met. Great to see her again and to meet some of her family who were also visiting.
Then our final visit was to the village of Sykehouse in South Yorkshire to catch up with our cousin David (Lorna &
Valerie's brother) who we hadn't seen in around 46 years. We also met David's wife Gill for the first time. They both made us extremely welcome, feeding us the most delicious meal which we certainly didn't expect; a VERY pleasant surprise. Once again there were a lot of years and memories to discuss; a fantastic way to end our little Yorkshire adventure. Special thanks to David, Lorna, Valerie & Auntie Barbara - great to spend time with you all.
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