Tuesday 12-9-23

We had a bit of a lie in this morning because today was to be a wet day, and because of that we were staying here in Goathland an xtra night and catching the bus to Pickering, not that there's much to see, but it's better than trudging around on the moors in pouring rain. Our bus wasn't due until 11:33 for a forty minute ride to town. There are only a few buses a day and so we needed to make sure we caught it.

In anticipation of this trip being rather cool and wet I had treated myself to a pair of rugged, elasticated braces to attach to my over-trousers. For too long they've been dragging on the ground as I walk and are getting a bit frayed on the bottom of the legs. So it was on with all the layers to keep warm and dry although The Chef wasn't embracing braces, as it were.

Before setting off I made a point of disposing of our grey water as the tank was full, that's one hundred litres, which equates to one hundred kilos of weight, or two hundredweight in old money.

The 840 bus service runs between Whitby and Leeds via York which is a long bus route. I'm glad we were only travelling part of it.

The route was quite a pretty one, enhanced by our being on the top deck of a double-decker bus. But back to the important stuff. I hadn't got around to fine tuning the adjustments on the strong, elasticated braces attached to my over-trousers, and by then they were making my eyes water a bit if you get my drift. After a bit of adjustment they became more comfortable and I stopped talking in a squeaky voice.

The bus route took us through Thornton -le-Dale and past 'Mathewsons' the car auctioneers and stars of the TV programme 'Bangers and Cash'. I had planned we'd spend a night at the small campsite behind Mathewsons just so that I could have a look round, but that seemed a bit selfish given that The Chef had already been dragged around their onsite museum many moons ago, so I'd settle for a quick picture of the place as we passed on the bus.

Unfortunately, in order to save space and weight I had decided to leave the camera behind and rely solely on the phone and its camera. I seldom use the camera function on the phone and most certainly don't use it for me, me, me or us,us,us, selfie pictures. This lack of experience with the camera function manifested itself in my only managing to capture a blurred photograph of one of Mathesons shop windows as we passed. Oh well, there was always the return journey.

After forty minutes we arrived in Pickering. It hadn't got any prettier since we were last here, but it is least the end of the line for the North York Moors Railway, plus the folk up here are right friendly. I did do a bit of research about Pickering, but really, I couldn't possibly bore you with it.

All we did was amble about. Thankfully the rain had eased off so things weren't as grim as we had prepared for. There were a number of foodie shops offering right good stuff wuth eatin.

We popped in to one of them for lunch and a sit down to kill a bit of time as the return bus wasn't due until 15:37.

Having been fed and watered we popped along to the railway station. I was hoping to get a picture of a steam train coming in, but no, there were none due. What was there though was the sign with the ticket prices on. I had seen them online and thought I'd misunderstood it, but no, there it was -£45 a ticket, valid for one year. One year? If you live within about fifty miles of the railway then maybe you'd come back a few times during a year to get your monies worth, but most folk are going to be forced to pay through the nose for what will be a single day's travel. Mind you if you lived in a village along the track and worked in somewhere like Whitby or Pickering then a £45 ticket would make a cheap season ticket. Five days a week, fifty weeks of the year, that would be about twenty pence a day to get to work and back on the train. So in that case, we tourists are subsidising the locals.

To add insult to injury they wanted unsuspecting punters to 'Gift Aid' their fare price meaning that the railway could claim back from the government a further £11.50 'at no additional cost to you'. Governments don't have any money. The money they spend is OURS, so when they give £11.50 to the NYMR, that's £11.50 the government then don't have to put towards the NHS etc etc. 'No expense to you', isn't quite true, as you may well find out as you lay in your NHS bed needing an operation but you're told there's no money for it, as so much has been given back to greedy charities.

When I get home I'm going to send them an email pointing out an error by their sign writer who has obviously put an extra '2' in front of the £2.50 to travel between two stations. There's no way I would pay £45 for a day's travel on a steam train. We've come across this a couple of times before whereby tickets are priced for twelve months entry, knowing full well most people will never return. Sharp practice I call it.

So off to Lidl we went for a few bits of shopping before returning to the station where that damned diesel unit was in, getting ready to haul another bunch of disappointed customers who had paid forty-five quid to get a ride on a steam train.

The return bus was well and truly late. It was a bit worrying because it was the last bus of the day that went to Goathland. I told The Chef that if it didn't turn up it would be far cheaper for us to get a taxi all the way back than pay ninety quid for two rail tickets.

Fortunately as we passed through Thornton-le-Dale I managed to get a picture of 'Mathewson's' as we passed by. We'd managed to bag a couple of seats at the front of the top deck and so I was well placed to get a picture of something.

We eventually arrived home to find we now have a neighbour. We'd had the luxury of having this car park all to ourselves for the past three days and so it comes hard having to now share it with somebody else.

As I have mentioned before, the lads who look after my computers upgraded this laptop with Windows 10, something I have been trying to avoid having. So this evening trying to download pictures from the phone to the laptop proved to be a non runner. In the end I had to email the pictures to myself from the phone to the laptop. Not something I'd want to do too often.

Had we still been in Whitby this evening we could have gone along to a performance on the jetty of the local Morris Dancing group 'The Whitby Pie Eaters' (ladies section). Oh well you can't have everything.

Before we leave in the morning we'll be having a nice hot shower and then dumping everything. I will also need to find somewhere to leave a donation of four hardback books for the hut's library which is open for a few hours in the morning. Tomorrow we'll be heading for Ribblehead Viaduct for probably just one night.

Spot the motorhome

The old railway line

MONDAY 11-09-23

Without a TV signal we spent the latter part of yesterday evening watching DVD's before turning in early. It's just as well we did really, because soon afterwards the heavens opened and we had thunderstorms and heavy rain on and off for about six hours.

This morning we treated ourselves to a nice hot shower. We have access to a tap and so can top up the fresh water tank quite easily, so we'll make the most of it.

The weather forecast today was for light rain arriving at 13:00 and lasting well in to the evening. With that in mind we decided to have a fairly easy four mile circular walk around the area which would get us back in time before we got wet.

The walk began on the old railway line which runs just behind the motorhome then down towards the main campsite in the village. One we've tried to stay at before but gave up as the road down to it at the time was very rough and the pitches were on sloping grassy fields, and we find wet sloping grass and motorhomes don't go well together.  We were pleased to see that the old railway line trail has been resurfaced since we were last here. I'm sure campers going to the campsite at the bottom will be pleased by that. We on the other hand are very pleased indeed to be staying at 'the hut', with only ourselves for company.

We had some lovely views of the surrounding countryside on the way round and the sheep were not the least bit bothered by our presence. We, that is I, was lucky enough to see another train at Goathland station as we crossed the line at the end of the walk, though this time it was a diesel engine pulling the coaches, and I'm sure all those passengers that paid good money for a ticket were expecting to be pulled by a steam train, I hope they weren't too disappointed. I think I love steam trains because they remind me of being a kid and how we'd use the steam trains to commute between our village and Cambridge for shopping etc, and how the platforms at Cambridge would have churns of fresh milk on barrows waiting for onward shipment, along with boxes of day-old chicks and all manner of parcels and other goods. Happy days.

On our arrival home, with the sun still shining through the cloud we decided to take a chance on the weather and got some hand washing done. It may well prove problematic for us to keep up to date with such chores on the way round on this trip as we aren't planning to stop at many campsites, not because we're mean, but because they don't have them where we want them. There's no doubt about it, whilst the European mainland is best for motorhoming, the UK is best for caravanning, as once the car is unhitched from the caravan, the happy campers then have transport to get themselves in to town, or anywhere else they want to go. We have to rely on bikes, which we no longer have, or public transport.

It's late afternoon now and although it's very cloudy and looking a bit threatening, we still haven't had any rain, though we are due some later, or so they say.

We are due to leave Goathland tomorrow morning but I have sent a text requesting to stay here at 'the hut' and extra day. It is due to be wet all day tomorrow (alternative guesses are available) and so we'll look to stay here and catch a bus or the train to Pickering for a look round and to bring back some food shopping.

It must have been low tide at the stepping stones

The River Esk

SUNDAY 10-9-23

It was hot and humid yesterday evening and so I opened up the window at the bottom of the fixed raised bed, pulling the fly screen across the opening to keep out those things that may want to bite us. That certainly help to keep things cool. The only problem was, soon after we'd gone to bed I saw flashes of sheet lightening with rumbles of thunder in the distance. I lay there for ages trying to establish which way the storms were moving, but in the end I gave up and closed the window. The skylights were already on a 'medium' opening ready to be pounced upon and closed should it suddenly start raining.

So that was it, no rain, but it did ensure I lost a lot of zed's listening out for it.

This morning we intended to just have a wash before setting off on our walk, intending to have a nice hot shower after our return. Out of bed I leaped to turn on the boiler for some hot water. Oh dear, the dreaded red failure light was back with us. This was really annoying and threatened the rest of the trip as we couldn't cope without being able to generate our own hot water.

So that left The Chef having a wash in water supplied by the kettle, heated on the gas ring. As I sat there waiting for my turn in the bathroom it came to me. The bedroom window sits above the outlet flue for the boiler. What if the little gizmo attached to the window frame wasn't part of a burglar alarm system but something else? So up on the bed I climbed and checked the four catches which hold it firmly closed. Sure enough, having closed it in the dark last night two of the catches were incorrect, so have closed it properly I went back to the boiler control switch, turned it on and BINGO! we had liftoff. So all this time (ten years he confesses embarrassingly) I had assumed that contact point was part of an alarm system, it was in fact a safety device to prevent the boiler running and allowing gasses to rise and enter the living space through an open window. So maybe that explains the problems we had with it during a previous trip to Spain.

Anyhow, having scrubbed up and had breakfast we set off for our walk. Our exact route was a source of confusion, right up until we set off it was very much a matter of 'recollections may vary'. In the end we went for the route I remembered us taking many moons ago.

So it was up the road to the Mallyon Spout Hotel, then down a footpath through the woods to a 'T' junction. Left for the Mallyon Spout Waterfall (don't get excited, Niagara Falls it ain't), and right for the onward journey along the hiking trail. Eventually we arrived at the tiny community of Beck Hole. We arrived at 11:00 and the little pub opened at 11:30, so it seemed a good time to take a rest and refer to the map.

When the pub opened I ordered a couple of drinks and asked the landlady about the stepping stones over a ford which we remembered from a previous walk but couldn't quite place where they were. "Ah", says she "You're not far from it". Now rather than establish whether we were walking or driving she proceeds to give me directions via the road, so after enjoying our drink we followed the road to Darnholme (stay on the road then turn left at the junction incidentally). Now if she'd established that we were walking she could, and should, have directed us just down the road in the opposite direction and then to join the trail to Darnholme. Instead we'd walked two sides of a rather large triangle which wasn't necessary. Oh well, that's local knowledge for you.

The walk ended at Goathland railway station where we crossed the line to reach the village. There was a train due five minutes later and so we stayed so that I could take a picture of it then made our way back. Rain had been forecast from 13:00 and they were spot on with the timing, but thankfully as we arrived back home there were just the odd few spots. It did rain a little bit heavier about half an hour later but by then we'd wound out the awning and done something we've never done before - sat under it in our chairs and watched the rain. Thunderstorms and plagues of locusts are forecast for this evening. In the meantime I shall sit here outside and enjoy the smell of fresh air.

The cast of 'Heartbeat'

Rose Cottage


The alarm went off at 07:00 and we were up about half an hour later. The vehicle was pretty much ready for moving on but I needed to deal with the tanks both filling and emptying.

The nights have been quite cool and damp with a heavy dew lying on the grass in the mornings. With the grass having been cut but the cuttings not collected, wet grass is forever traipsing in, despite our having a large mat down plus our doormat. We'd hoovered round last night then left the hand held Dyson on charge overnight. This morning it was just easier to resort to a dustpan and brush to clear up.

The roadway up and out of the campsite was very step and with us being fully loaded, especially in the rear garage, we got a bit of wheel-spin getting up the hill. We sounded like the Dukes of Hazard.

Our first stop was a mile down the road at the local Sainsbury's supermarket.  That was the main reason I wanted to get away in good time, thus improving our chances of being able to park up before the masses came out (we need about four consecutive parking spaces to park across).

It was a pretty good store and we managed to get all we wanted including a copy of the Daily Mail. It's a rubbish paper but on Saturday's it has a great TV guide supplement and that's the only reason we buy it.

Then we were off to Goathland. We've been coming here off and on for over twenty years. We stumbled upon it when Rosina and I came up this way on a touring holiday with the car in the early days of our relationship. We'd arrived in Pickering and came across its Tourist Information Office which had a large map outside with pieces of thin coloured ribbon going out from Pickering to numerous film locations in the area. I spotted Goathland, marked as the location for the TV series  'Heartbeat'. I told The Chef that it looked a lovely area on TV and would be worth a visit. So it was, and we stayed at Rose Cottage a lovely B&B run in those days by Malcolm and his wife. Malcolm was the main man and had carried out an enormous amount of renovation work on the cottage himself. His wife as I remember, was a specialist teacher commuting daily to Leeds.

We went back to Rose Cottage a couple of more times before Malcolm and his wife sold up due to her health situation and I think moved to Staithes on the coast. We've never been back to Rose Cottage since they sold as we knew it just wouldn't be the same. We've tried to park the motorhome here without success, the local campsites being dire. Luckily as part of my research for this trip I, thanks to good old Google Maps, came across Goathland Hut (www.community hubsportspavilion.co.uk ) GPS: N54.398790 W0.715332. So I cheekily asked if we could park on their car park, self contained, and fortunately they agreed, in fact they are looking to expand their facility to motorhomes for additional income.

So here we are. Perfectly located for the village and the walks we are hoping to do while we are here. The only frustration is that we have a Wi-Fi signal, but having splashed out on a Daily Mail TV Guide, we have no TV reception. Never mind, most of what's on these days is rubbish anyway.

It has been very hot today bordering on about 32°C, so we've been trying to keep out of the sun by putting the awning out. Eventually we made the effort to take a wander around the village. It was nice to be back, and tomorrow we'll be off fairly early for a walk because the latest online guesstimate of the weather is for thunderstorms and rain from about midday.

So a bit about Goathland:

Much of the surrounding land is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster. The Duchy's tenants have a common right extending for hundreds of years to graze their black faced sheep on the village green and surrounding moorland.

The grade II listed Church of St Mary, was built between 1894 and 1896. However, a chapel has existed in Goathland since at least 1521, being supplanted by a church in 1821. Stone and other materials from the 1821 church were re-used for other buildings in the village. At that time, dressed stone was quarried locally and was in short supply, this being 15 years before the railway arrived in the village. The war memorial, made from sandstone and modelled on the nearby Lilla Cross, is located on the village green. It was grade II listed in November 2021, just before that year's Remembrance Sunday services. The Lilla Cross is 5 miles (8 km) to the east and is a waymarker point on Fylingdales Moor.

The village has a primary school, with a capacity of 49 pupils. The village had a library until 1966, and this was resurrected as a volunteer library and community hub in 2019, which is run from the village hall.

The Goathland Plough Stots, a troop which performs a Long Sword dance, are based in the village. Every Plough Monday, the Plough Stots perform in the village and surrounding area raising money for local hospitals.

The village was the setting of the fictional village of Aidensfield in the ‘Heartbeat’ television series set in the 1960s. Many landmarks from the series are recognisable, including the shop, garage/funeral directors, the public house and the railway station. The pub is called the Goathland Hotel but in the series is The Aidensfield Arms. After interior shots were filmed in the hotel for some years, a replica of it was built in Yorkshire TV's Leeds studio.


The first railway station in Goathland was located at the top of an incline. The station, Goathland Bank Top, was located in the village, and the carriages were drawn up the incline by the use of a rope-worked drum system. This railway station closed in 1865 when a newer one opened on a diversionary line to Grosmont. This closed to regular passenger traffic in 1965, and was re-opened as part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1973.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Goathland railway station is on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The railway is run by a charitable trust with some paid staff but is mostly operated by volunteers and runs nearly all year including Christmas. It carries more than 250,000 passengers a year and is the second-longest preserved line in Britain. It links Grosmont in the north with Pickering in the south along the route of the Whitby - Pickering line built by George Stephenson in 1835 and upgraded in 1865. From 2007 some trains on the railway were timetabled to run to Whitby and in March 2014 work began in Whitby station to replace a platform and allow more North Yorkshire Moors Railway services to be timetabled between Whitby and Pickering.

Goathland railway station was used as the location for Hogsmeade railway station in the harry Potter films and the line filmed for Harry's journey.

I will have to try and find what other information I have shared about Goathland on previous visits. If I can't find anything thanks to One.com, I'll just have to risk repeating myself.

The salmon leap

The River Esk on its way to Whitby

FRIDAY 8-9-23

Oh dear, is it only Friday?

We didn't rush to get up this morning as, rather than be beaten, we had decided to go back to Sleights on the bus and pick up the Eskdale Valley Way there and do the last section in to Whitby.

The Chef prepared a packed lunch and then we were off. It was quite nice not to have to walk briskly to the bus station as we had to do yesterday. On arrival, our bus driver was Mr Personality, quite the most miserable life form I had ever encountered. Never mind, we were only going two stops down so it didn't matter to us.

When we got off the bus we aligned ourselves with where we had exited yesterdays section of the walk and began looking for the signage for the rest of the trail, but there was nothing, which was such a shame given that yesterdays  signage had been so good. So in the absence of signs we began walking down a minor road expecting to be sent in to a nice green field further along and off we'd go. But no. Sadly we had to walk on the road, continually crossing from side to side so that oncoming vehicles could see us until we reached Ruswarp which has a salmon leap to get the fish from the lower reaches of the river to the higher.

There we sat and ate our lunch opposite what looked like a Victorian junior school which, surprise, surprise, was still standing. It was a reminder that as a nation, we once constructed buildings that would last longer than thirty years.

Just round the corner was the railway station. The North York Moors Railway runs its steam trains on the track it owns from  Pickering to Grosmont. It then shares a single track line from Grosmont to Whitby with another private rail company which runs diesel trains from Whitby to Middlesbrough, though why anybody would want to go there is beyond me.

Speaking to the locals we had established where exactly we could pick up the Trail again and just as we were about to leave the automatic barriers came down which was my cue to get the camera out and stand by the track. 'Click', 'Click', job done.

Off we went, and this time we found ourselves walking across some green spaces until we arrived at the 'Cinder Track' which runs between Whitby and Scarborough. This was clearly a former railway line and provided us with a good surface to walk on with not much chance of getting lost.

As we neared the edge of town and about to walk under a bridge we found that our path had been hindered by a lorry whose driver I can only assume was following his satnav, stuck fast under a bridge. Ooops! I hope his boss was in a good mood when he phoned him to tell him what happened. The Chef said she was surprised I wasn't photographing it. But I said to stand in front of the poor driver and take pictures of his dilemma would be very unkind - so I took a picture of the back after we'd squeezed past the vehicle.

We knew we were back in Whitby by the smell of fish and chips everywhere. We picked up a few bits from the shops before heading 'home'.

Since arriving back we have been doing housework and preparing the vehicle for a timely departure tomorrow morning. Four nights here in Shitby was too much. I honestly don't know how people occupy themselves here during a week's holiday. Still each to their own.

Tomorrow we're off to the local Sainsbury's supermarket before heading down the road to Goathland.


We've been motorhoming now for over ten years and we still haven't got it quite right. Firstly, using the infill's we converted the two single beds running back to front, in to a transverse king size and then put a thick foam mattress topper on it. This means we have a very comfortable bed indeed. On top of that we have choosen a very peaceful campsite (no dogs allowed) resulting, once the drug dealers dogs across the valley have gone to bed, of having a very peaceful night's sleep. That's good so long as we just want to laze around, which isn't very often, but today we needed to catch the every-two-hours bus service which was to take us to Grosmont.

Unfortunately we were slow off the mark resulting in our having to dash around to get ready and in to town to catch the bus. It was on the way there whilst walking briskly I realised that in my haste I had left both my phone AND camera behind, and there was no time to go back and get them. It was so very annoying.

So with no more than ten minutes to spare we decided to pop in to the Whitby branch of Greggs, right across from the bus station to buy a couple of packs of ready-made sandwiches for lunch (I was already carrying the crisps and bottled water in my backpack). Unfortunately for us it was staffed by two old duffers who were as slow as hell, the old girl was not only serving at the till, she was also making the coffees and just about everything else while the old boy wandered around behind the counter looking a bit confused, the queue, though short, was going nowhere. The Chef, who has never done it before, cheekily asked the chap at the front of the queue if he would let us nip in front of him to pay for the two packs of sandwiches. The guys said that normally he would - but he was a bus driver, and was on a very tight schedule himself to pick something up and get back to his bus.

In the end we put the sandwiches back on the shelf and walked out. Then Lady Luck smiled upon us. There were quite a few old folk waiting to get on the bus which was parked in the bay, but the driver was missing. So The Chef nipped back to Greggs, and when the shop was empty nipped in quickly and bought the sandwiches whilst I kept a lookout for the driver.

Mission accomplished, and we boarded the  smallish, single-decker bus with our survival rations, leaving five minutes late, but we weren't complaining.

The bus was heading for a place called Lealholmside, wherever that is, but most importantly it was going to dive off the main road to go to Grosmont, our destination.

The road down to Grosmont was really narrow and twisting. I take my hat off to the bus drivers on that route. There were a number of occasions where we had near misses on corners and passing places with only a fag paper between vehicles. I was so glad not to be the driver. 


Once off the bus at Grosmont station we walked quite way to pick up the Esk Valley Way. We were hoping to walk all the way back to Whitby, a distance of about seven and a half miles, but we had a couple of cut off points along the way should we not wish to do the whole distance.

It was a pleasant walk. The only problem was the local weather forecast chap who got yesterday's forecast exactly right, got today's wrong, and instead of walking in cloudy, misty conditions we had blue skies and heat.

This was making our progress hard work, and it wasn't helped by a couple of sections of rather steep rugged footpaths. This left me wishing that when Ambulance Services and charities are done with filling town centres, local communities and shopping centres with automatic defibrillators they make a start on installing them on challenging footpath routes, with maybe signage stating 'X number of hundred yards to your next defibrillator'.

My anger and frustration at having left the camera and phone(in case of emergencies) behind was exacerbated when we stumbled upon a couple of large sheds with a chap tinkering away with an old motorbike and sidecar. It was the two old tractors standing outside which first caught my attention. In no time he was showing what else he had in his sheds. This only added to my grief. I know a few people who would have loved to have seen pictures of some of the items he had in there. The two items which stick in my mind was a very old Royal Enfield motorbike and sidecar, the motorbike having a boxy olive green fuel tank suspended beneath the cross bar, and an old two-seater Alvis open top touring car.

Eventually we arrived at Sleights, about half way along our route. We debated what to do and in the end opted to catch a bus from there back to Whitby, as to have completed the hike in the heat would have knackered us.

It was the right decision, and when we arrived back in town we popped to the Co-op and a local butchers to buy the ingredients for a barbie we'd decided to have when we got home.

Upon our arrival home The Chef went for a nice hot shower, whilst I paced myself and sat and had a beer first before following her. We both felt a whole lot better having done it.

So sorry, no pictures  today other than those I took while the food was busy burning. We have decided that in future backpacks will be filled with all that is required the evening before. All I have to do now is to convince The Chef that she doesn't need to do all her chores before we go out so that anybody breaking in to the vehicle will be impressed with her housekeeping skills, and I think we may have cracked it.

Tomorrow is our last day in Doggiepisstown, before moving on to Goathland.



Having watch some telly yesterday evening followed by the depressing national news, we got two weather forecasts. The guy presenting the national forecast was telling us just how hot and wonderful it was going to be today, whilst the chap giving the local forecast afterwards told us that it was going to be cooler on the coast with mist and fog patches. Unfortunately he was the one that was right. Before going to bed the thick mist had descended, even the drug dealers dogs had gone indoors.

This morning we awoke to a cool damp morning and the mist had lifted to form a layer of low cloud which never burnt off, and with no wind it just sat hovering over us all day. So much for our relaxing outside, soaking up the sunshine this morning, never mind at least it stayed dry.

The campsite is fairly high up above Whitby, but an easy downhill fifteen minute walk in to town. From the campsite we can hear the shitehawks circling above the town ready to dive down on any unguarded tray of fish and chips.

So a bit about Whitby:

At the end of the 16th century Thomas Chaloner visited alum works in the Papal States where he observed that the rock being processed was similar to that under his Guisborough estate. At that time alum was important for medicinal uses, in curing leather and for fixing dyed cloths and the Papal States and Spain maintained monopolies on its production and sale. Chaloner secretly brought workmen to develop the industry in Yorkshire, and alum was produced near Sandsend Ness three miles (5 km) from Whitby in the reign of James I Once the industry was established, imports were banned and although the methods in its production were laborious, England became self-sufficient. Whitby grew significantly as a port as a result of the alum trade and by importing coal from the Durham coalfield to process it.

Whitby grew in size and wealth, extending its activities to include shipbuilding using local oak timber. In 1790–91 Whitby built 11,754 tons of shipping, making it the third largest shipbuilder in England, after London and Newcastle. Taxes on imports entering the port raised money to improve and extend the town's twin piers, improving the harbour and permitting further increases in trade. In 1753 the first whaling ship set sail to Greenland and by 1795 Whitby had become a major whaling port. The most successful year was 1814 when eight ships caught 172 whales, and the whaler, ‘Resolution’'s catch produced 230 tons of oil. The carcases yielded 42 tons of whale bone used for 'stays' which were used in the corsetry trade until changes in fashion made them redundant.  Blubber was boiled to produce oil for use in lamps in four oil houses on the harbourside. Oil was used for street lighting until the spread of gas lighting reduced demand and the Whitby Whale Oil and Gas Company changed into the Whitby Coal and Gas Company. As the market for whale products fell, catches became too small to be economic and by 1831 only one whaling ship, the ‘Phoenix’, remained.

Whitby benefited from trade between the Newcastle coalfield and London, both by shipbuilding and supplying transport. In his youth the explorer James Cook learned his trade on colliers, shipping coal from the port. HMS Endeavour, the ship commanded by Cook on his voyage to Australia and New Zealand, was built in Whitby in 1764 by Tomas Fishburn as a coal carrier named ‘Earl of Pembroke’. She was bought by the Royal Navy 1768, refitted and renamed.

Whitby developed as a spa town in Georgian times when three chalybeate springs (mineral spring waters containing salts and iron) were in demand for their medicinal and tonic qualities. Visitors were attracted to the town leading to the building of "lodging-houses" and hotels, particularly on the West Cliff. Then, in 1839, the Whitby and Pickering Railway connecting Whitby to Pickering and eventually to York was built, and played a part in the town's development as a tourism destination. George Hudson, who promoted the link to York, was responsible for the development of the Royal Crescent which was partly completed. For 12 years from 1847, Robert Stephenson, son of George Stephenson, engineer to the Whitby and Pickering Railway, was the Conservative MP for the town promoted by Hudson as a fellow protectionist.

The black mineraloid jet, the compressed remains of ancestors of the monkey-puzzle tree, is found in the cliffs and on the moors and has been used since the Bronze Age to make beads. The Romans are known to have mined it in the area. In Victorian times jet was brought to Whitby by pack pony to be made into decorative items. It was at the peak of its popularity in the mid-19th century when it was favoured for mourning jewellery by Queen Victoria after the death of Prince Albert.

The advent of iron ships in the late 19th century and the development of port facilities on the River Tees led to the decline of smaller Yorkshire harbours. The Monks-haven launched in 1871 was the last wooden ship built in Whitby, and a year later the harbour was silted up.

On 30 October 1914, the hospital ship ‘Rohilla’ was sunk, hitting the rocks within sight of shore just off Whitby at Saltwick Bay. Of the 229 people on board, 85 lost their lives in the disaster; most are buried in the churchyard at Whitby.

In a raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in December 1914, the town was shelled by the German battle cruisers ‘Von der Tann’ and ‘Derfflinger’. In the final assault on the Yorkshire coast, the ships aimed their guns at the signal post on the end of the headland. Whitby Abbey sustained considerable damage in the attack, which lasted ten minutes. The German squadron responsible for the strike escaped despite attempts made by the Royal Navy.

During the early 20th century the fishing fleet kept the harbour busy, and few cargo boats used the port. It was revitalised as a result of a strike at Hull docks in 1955, when six ships were diverted and unloaded their cargoes on the fish quay. Endeavour Wharf, near the railway station, was opened in 1964 by the local council. The number of vessels using the port in 1972 was 291, increased from 64 in 1964. Timber, paper and chemicals are imported, while exports include steel, furnace-bricks and doors. The port is owned and managed by Scarborough Borough Council since the Harbour Commissioners relinquished responsibility in 1905.

A marina was started in 1979 by dredging the upper harbour and laying pontoons. Light industry and car parks occupy the adjacent land. More pontoons were completed in 1991 and 1995. The Whitby Marina Facilities Centre was opened in June 2010.

We decided that we needed to get out and about and so walked in to town with the intension of treating ourselves to some fish and chips.

First we wandered around the historical old streets only to meet Pete C and his wife. Pete was one of my crewmates in the Ambulance Service. We were together for a number of years and I owe him a lot. He was one of three colleagus who supported me during the breakdown of my marriage and I must have bored the pants off him at times but he never let on. They are here for a few days before making their way to Scarborough for Saturday night where their son is performing in a Royal Marine band concert.

By then it was time to visit the Tourist Information office for details of what's going on around here at what bus services are running. Had I known The Chef wasn't up for doing the steam railway again www.nymr.com I would have only booked three nights because there isn't much here apart from lots of fish and chips shops separated by plenty of pubs and shops selling tourist tat.

Armed with a few leaflets we popped across the road to the local Co-op supermarket to see what they sold in the way of barbecue food as I think we might have one tomorrow evening to relieve the boredom.

We bought our fish and chips from the take-away section of the Magpie Cafe, a very well known eatery with a good reputation. We saw no point in queuing for a seat in the cafe when we could just buy take-away and eat them on the hoof. There's very little public seating around Whitby, I think the council are afraid old people may sit down knackered and not move all day.

Then it was time to wander back 'home'. It's difficult to describe Whitby but my observations on the way back just about sum it up. There are lots of geriatric mobility scooters, though not nearly as many as in Benidorm, and there are dogs everywhere, and because there are dogs everywhere there are puddles of dog pee everywhere, and because there are puddles of dog pee everywhere they get trodden in, resulting in wet yellow footprints all along the pavements.

It's early evening and already the mist is coming back down again and so I suspect it will be another damp night. I  shall now attempt to upload today's drivel. It already takes longer than it used to now that we are hosted by One.com, but I now have the added frustration of having to find my way around Windows 10, something I've been trying to avoid having but when the laptop went in for a refresh the guys upgraded it for me thinking they were doing more a favour. Oh well, if I wasn't pulling my hair out I'd have to find something else to do.

TUESDAY  5-9-23

My word, that was a very peaceful night's sleep even if we were only a stone's throw away from the main road from Scarborough to Whitby (N54.391349 W0.553159).

We were up in good time and having scrubbed up, pottered around until about 11:30 when we headed for Sainsbury's supermarket in Whitby before going on to our campsite which allows new arrivals to book in from 12:00.

And so it was. At about 12:10 we rolled in to Folly Gardens Campsite N54.481943° W0.607817°. I selected it for its location being near to the town centre. I have to say, at thirty-five pounds a night including electricity, it is very pleasant, and sadly at today's prices, not unreasonable.

We bagged a nice roomy pitch with views across a small valley to the social housing estate opposite, where, judging by the barking dogs, are the homes of local drug dealers.

We really were not prepared to enjoy such glorious weather, though it does so often happen that as soon as the kids go back to school, the sun comes out. I was expecting much of the trip to be done in damp, gloomy, cool weather, yet here we were, outside sunning ourselves in shorts and not much else. I'm not very good at lying around doing nothing, but I must try to master the art this week as there isn't really enough to do in Whitby to keep us occupied for three days. I was hoping to spend one of those days going to Pickering and back on the North York Moors Steam Railway, but The Chef made her feelings known about that this afternoon, and I can't blame her really. One way or another we've been in this area a number of times over a number of years, and on each occasion we've travelled on the railway, so I'm conceding that one. Little does she know that having had  her visit to the Bronte Museum in Haworth further along on the trip, I'm hoping we'll be having a ride on the local steam railway used in the filming of The Railway Children.

Having relaxed for much of the afternoon we decided to have a walk in to town once the temperature had cooled to something quite comfortable to get our bearings. Yup, we'll have a job to occupy ourselves over the next three days, but we are considering jumping on a local bus armed with our buses on one of them.

Our evening has been spent sat outside on a lovely evening enjoying a delicious chicken salad created by my darling Chef, and a bottle of plonk. The campsite is very peaceful apart from one gobby northerner who feels the need to shout loudly in to his mobile phone when making calls. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Where we're spending the night

St Mary's church, Scarborough

MONDAY 4-9-23

These days I'm not sure if life is still full of mysteries, or whether nothing is new except the onset of senility and increasing stupidity.

When we set off from home we came via Peterborough because according to their website the Morrison's supermarket and filling station had an LPG filling pump, but oh dear me, no they didn't. Two or three years ago I contacted Morrisons suggesting they show an LPG pump symbol on the online information for each store that sold it. They thought it was a great idea and rolled it out within weeks. Unfortunately it's inaccurate and I really must now contact them again about it once we get home.

Just up the A1 we came across a filling station displaying an LPG sign and so we pulled in, only to find the pump was out of action. I was now becoming concerned that we wouldn't be able to get the tanks topped up. As I recall, we were down to about forty percent capacity, though we do carry quite a lot of it. The trouble is LPG pumps are few and far apart these days. There was one last chance, and that was a filling station on the outskirts of Scarborough. The Chef phoned ahead and checked that they did indeed have a pump and that they had stock. Luckily they did and we pulled on to their forecourt at around 13:30. The only problem then was our refillable tanks only took about seven litres and it should have been a lot more than that. Not wishing to force more in to the tanks after our escapade down in southern Spain I called a halt to the filling.

After parking up at Scarborough I checked the gauges on both LPG cylinders are they showed full, and yet I have no idea where the hell I filled them up. I can only assume I topped up in France on the way home on the last trip, but I've no idea. At least we do now have full LPG tanks, though we did spend a lot of time searching for the stuff on the way up here.

We were in Scarborough to take a few photographs (more of that later in the trip) and have a wander round. We had parked in St Mary's church car park, charging four pounds for four hours which is reasonable with all proceeds going to the church. No doubt Justin Welby, the woke Archbishop of Canterbury will get his cut, and probably donate it to his favourite charity 'Stop the Buggering of Choir Boys by Clergy'.

Scarborough doesn't get any smarter, though it does provide everything a family would want for a bucket and spade holiday. Looking around at the size of some of the visitors in town I think they must be hosting  the annual pie-eating contest and we saw a large number of serious contenders.

We are now parked up beside the A171, about halfway between Scarborough and Whitby. We'll be arriving there tomorrow having booked four nights at a local campsite. It's only one of two locations we've booked ahead, the rest of the trip we'll just be winging it.