Today there was no recording to be done – a rare day off you might call it. Well I’m not sure I know how to cope with a day off so largely it was spent catching up on some admin, writing a few blog posts and then wandering around some bits of Scarborough. I started the day with another fine breakfast courtesy of The Blue Bell Inn at Weaverthorpe and then decided to find out if there was anything interesting in this corner of Yorkshire. The weather had rather put a damper on my plans to trek around the dales – or perhaps I was just feeling lazy.
So I decided to find out what Scarborough had to offer and first of all headed to the Northern part of the town to stare at a dead poet. Apparently, unbeknown to me the poet and novelist Anne Bronte is buried in Scarborough. Anne, the youngest of the Brontë children, was born on 17 January 1820, on the outskirts of Bradford where her father was curate and she was baptised there on 25 March 1820. Anne’s father was appointed to the perpetual curacy in Haworth, a small town seven miles away. In April 1820, the Brontës moved into the five-roomed Haworth Parsonage which became their home for the rest of their lives.
After staring briefly at the dead poet, I decided to venture into the town and glare at the sea. As you can see from the photograph above it was a typical British Summers day. Clear blue skies, sun shining and…. oh no wait….
I’ve always considered that British seaside towns are essentially relics of the Victorian age. This may seem a bit prejudice and rather generalist. However….
Central Tramway is the oldest surviving tramway company in the country, established in 1881 it is still owned and operated by the same corporate entity that established the Tramway over 100 years ago. Connecting the busy Foreshore Road and Marine Parade near the town centre the company is proud to have retained much of its rich Victorian engineering and legacy, and to be still fulfilling its primary function of carrying the Scarborough public and visiting holiday makers.
Today however, there were very few locals and even fewer holiday makers to be seen. And so I decided it would be quicker and probably easier to walk down the steps to the sea front.
I decided it perhaps wasnt a day for paddling in the sea so walked a little further along the sea front to Scarborough Spa where 3 or 4 years ago I had recorded Bevox Choirs.
Scarborough Spa is a Grade II listed building in South Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. It is a venue for conferences, exhibitions, entertainment, live music and events on the Yorkshire Coast. Originally built around the source of Scarborough’s spa waters, it is owned by Scarborough Borough Council and is managed by Sheffield International Venues.
The Spa has a Grand Hall, which seats nearly 2,000 and hosts live entertainment including the Scarborough Spa Orchestra and the annual Scarborough Jazz Festival. The Spa Theatre, a 600-seat Victorian theatre, is home to summer season shows and Christmas pantomimes. The Spa Ocean Room is used for dances, conferences and other events, including the Scarborough Jazz Festival and Coastival.
At the time of its grand opening in 1867, it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in Europe.
The hotel was designed by the Hull architect Cuthbert Brodrick, who was better known as the designer of several Leeds buildings, and when completed in 1867 was one of the largest hotels in the world, as well as one of the first giant purpose-built hotels in Europe. The hotel’s distinctive yellow (also referred to as tawny) brickwork was made locally in Hunmanby and is complemented with traditional red brickwork around the windows. The architectural sculpture was executed by Burstall and Taylor of Leeds.
The building is designed around the theme of time: four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for the months of the year, 52 chimneys symbolise the weeks, and originally there were 365 bedrooms, one for each day of the year. Following the renovation the room count was reduced to 280. The hotel itself is in the shape of a ‘V’ in honour of Queen Victoria. The hotel’s heyday was arguably during Victorian times, when wealthy holidaymakers made up the establishment’s clientele. As Scarborough was a famous spa town, the building’s baths originally included an extra pair of taps, so guests could wash in seawater as well as fresh.
Back to Business
Having wandered around the top sights that Scarborough had to offer I decided that I needed coffee and so retired with my laptop to a little coffee shop in town. This afforded me somewhere slightly warmer and a space to work on the artwork for this weeks recordings.
With some artwork done it was then back to Weaverthorpe and time to prepare for tomorrow’s recording at Leavening Primary School.