Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - Who's that behind you ???????

By guest blogger Pete

If ever you're anywhere near the north east coast of Yorkshire then there are, at least, four places that it would be a crime not to visit.

The first of these - the best known of them all - is Whitby. There can't be many people who visit the North East coast who haven't been to Whitby. It's a fairly large fishing port and, generally speaking, one that has escaped the modern improvements inflicted upon some of our most attractive towns. For those who love their food, Whitby boasts the best fish and chip cafe in the U.K. - at least I think it is the best. I can't remember it's name now but it is on the north shore and I've never been there when you didn't have to queue to get in. Having had your fill of this delicacy you'll then be able to tackle the hill ( all four of my locations have hills that you'd weep for if you were a hill lover) that leads to the Abbey ruins and the non ruined boxed pewed church near bye. I've enclosed a copy of one of my paintings of Whitby.

If you've got to be fit to tackle Whitby's hill then you have to be super fit to tackle the slopes down to the sea that feature on visits to the other three. No transport for tourists here - not even a bike. These three beauties, known as Robin Hood's Bay (don't ask me why), Staithes and Runswick Bay are all within easy driving distance from Whitby and each other. You'll be relieved to know that I can't find my painting of Runswick Bay, the smallest of the four. I am an artist who is absolutely sure that recognition of my talents will come some 20 years or so after my demise. In the meantime, just occasionally, I share my future good fortune by inflicting some of my future masterpieces onto troublesome relatives of ex friends. (Only joking here, troublesome relatives and ex friends)!!!!!

These three ports earned their fame not just from fishing but also from smuggling. They are a maze of alleyways, lanes and jitties. In my dialect a jitty is a very narrow passage way down which only the slimest of bodies can pass. Obviously the customs' men were more rotund than the smugglers. There is a very narrow jitty in Staithes - I think it's Staithes - down by the church - or it could be the chapel. ( It's my age!). I once enjoyed ambitions of painting a picture of one of the customs' men stuck there and trying to get out. I guess I must be a very charitable person not to have fulfilled that ambition - or it could be that the last time I went down that jitty I only JUST avoided getting stuck myself.

Happy Smuggling."

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