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Posted:  Wednesday 02 May 2018

A Spring Holiday for
North West Associates

- Friday 20th to Monday 23rd April -

On Friday morning of the 20th April. A coach with forty-five happy revellers on board from the Manchester P&G Associates set off on a four-day holiday to Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast.
The weather was bright, and things were looking good.  Our lunch stop was at the McArthurGlen Outlet near York.  This allowed us all to have a bite to eat, a chat with friends plus a bit of early shopping – What?  Shopping already!

After lunch we made our way to our base for the holiday.  The imposing Grand Hotel sits on a hill overlooking Scarborough.  Some of the party took the chance of a chill before the evening meal.  A couple of us took a stroll along the front, only to find the Spa Theatre.

A wonderful Victorian building, once being a spa.  Scarborough of course once being a spa town.  Having an interest in theatres they inquired, and were shown around the building by a very nice technician.  He enjoyed talking to us about the Lowry in Salford and wants to visit us at some time.

Then back to the hotel to eat and enjoy the evening’s entertainment.

Day Two and we are all off to Whitby on another sunny day.

On reaching Whitby we all separated, going our own way exploring the many attractions to be seen. Some brave souls took the walk up the 99 steps to St Mary’s Church and the Abbey.  The view from the top makes the climb worthwhile.
The Abbey with its haunting ruins was the perfect setting for Dracula, inspired by Bram Stoker’s legendary tales.

Once down in the town again it was time to try out the famous Whitby Fish & Chips.  Some rounded of the day with a trip round the bay on one of the many boats plying their trade, giving great views of the Abbey & St Mary’s church.  You must read the accompanying article about St Mary’s.

Whitby is a thriving fishing town with a great mix of shops, cafes, pubs and buskers to entertain you along the way.  A great day was had by all, made even better by the glorious weather.

Day Three.  Today is a free day so everyone went off in different directions to explore Scarborough.  Those that were able took the trek up to the imposing Scarborough Castle that dominates the town.  Once again a bit of a climb to see the fantastic views and learn a little of the history of the castle dating back from the Bronze Age, it has many tales to tell.

Some of our party visited Peasholme Park, an oriental themed park, opened in 1912.  They are set out in the Japanese style with many shrubs and plants, a pagoda, half-moon bridge, and much more, well worth seeing.

A few of us in the party decided to have a walk up the coast to find the building used as the hospital in the filming of the Royal.  Who can forget that wonderful series when it was on the telly.  A very nice place with the imposing clock tower opposite.

We also started to sing the memorable theme song to the series - somebody help me please.  Nearby were the Shuttleworth Gardens, a very nice area with lovely miniature gardens, donated by one of the townspeople many years ago.

Walking back to the hotel through the very nice coastal gardens, made it a great day.

While on our way back we came across Dr Who’s Daleks invading the Spa.

Turns out there was a Sci-Fi convention on over the week-end.  Time to change and go to the restaurant for our final evening meal, and enjoy the entertainment.

Day Four.  The weather had started to change so it was decided to set off home a little earlier than billed.  It was intended to have a stop at Helmsley, but because to coach could not get close enough - twenty minutes walk away - we instead had a short comfort stop, then headed for home, thereby avoiding the rush hour.

Everyone agreed what a wonderful weekend we all had, and a massive vote of thanks was passed on to John Horrocks who went to a lot of trouble to organise the holiday, his first time of doing so.  Well done John.

Dilys Bray & Cyril Heap

Whitby, the Parish Church of St Mary, and Whitby Abbey
Many of the pictures above relate to this article

Whitby Parish Church, St. Mary’s, stands at the top of the 99 steps which is also access the ruins of Whitby Abbey.  You can also walk up a very steep path at the sites of the steps, or perhaps use the bus, not as much fun as climbing the steps!!

The church is Norman in origin, built by Abbott William de Percy in or around 1110.  It is built on or close to the site of the Saxon Church of St. Peter, which was funded by Oswy, King of Northumbria.  Sadly this church was destroyed by the Danes aka The Vikings, in the 9th century, leaving very little evidence of its existence.  Although some fragments of the Daub filling used in walls were found doing some excavation work on the church.

On entering the church, the impression was that of a very “full” church, yes there were visitors, but everywhere you looked the Nave was filled with Box Pews, unlike a vast majority of churches where the pews are in regulated rows, therefore, giving the impression of a very crowded church.

Some areas of the Nave were impossible to be seen from the choir stalls, not so from the imposing pulpit.  This is situated very high outside the chancel area, where the Rector could see all around, woe betide anyone falling asleep in the sermon!!!!

At one period around 2000 could be seated in the church, some pews dating back to the Reign of James 1st of England, 6th of Scotland.  Some pew doors have names on them specifically to be used by those named, e.g. Church Warden, Sides-men, certain benefactors of the church, others nameless for the general congregation, while one or two had “Strangers” on the doors, hopefully this was for visitors attending from outside the Parish of Whitby!!

Around the church were many interesting historical features and facts relating to the church.  The plain oak Communion Table, possibly Elizabethan in origin, has the ability to be extended when carried out to the Choir or Nave for the Holy Communion service, common practice during the Elizabethan period, and is known as the drawing-out table.

Around the church are many stone tablets in memory of parishioners/church dignitaries, one in particular, in memory of Francis and Mary Huntrodds, 19th September being a significant date for them, they were born, then married and died aged 80, on this date.  Two other notable points of
interest in the church were the Coat of Arms of Queen Victoria above the Chancel, and opposite on the Balcony wall, the Coat Arms of George III.

After leaving the Parish Church, we made our way up a much smaller climb, to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, which commands a very prominent position, with panoramic views across the town of Whitby, across the bay and out over the North Sea.

It wasn’t unusual for an Abbey and Parish Church to be built in close proximity.  The Church for local people to worship, while Abbey was the
home for men, and sometimes women, who dedicated their lives to their religion plus it was also an important Religious Centre in the Anglo-Saxon world.

The original Abbey was founded in 657, by the Anglo Saxons, and then re built by the Benedictine Order in 1100, similar in age to St. Mary’s.

The Abbey was also a place of sanctuary, for servants and serfs being persecuted for what ever reason, and hopefully escape any punishment, one example given via the audio tour, was that of a servant named Edwin he had been accused of stealing, he claimed sanctuary within the inner sanctum of the Abbey, he was followed by the master, or landowner, as the Abbot had absolute rule in the Abbey, judge, jury and executioner, Edwin was granted a place of safety for at least one month.

The sentence for those disobeying the Abbot’s authority was, fines, imprisonment, even execution, needless to say Edwin was spared for the short term, however, it wasn’t said what the outcome for him was, fingers crossed all went well for him.

Over the centuries the Abbey was added to, but also had parts destroyed, some through general neglect, some during the Reformation under Henry VIII, the English Civil War, and in 1914 by the German High Fleet.

After walking around the now ruined Abbey, listening to the audio history, and visualising exactly how imposing a building it was, it was once again time to return to the 99 steps and make our way back to the town centre, and sample some of the famous Whitby fish & chips.

Enid Taylor


pictures:  cyril heap

(ch 02/05/2018)

(ph  02/05/2018)

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