Whitby Weekend - Day 1 17th July 2004 Location: Staithes (eventually!) Weather:
Overcast and Raining
Now what is it about a man and driving? You pass a sign that says Staithes
1/2mile, and 3 miles later you are still going. Do you stop? Do you turn round?
No you have some blind belief that the destination will eventually appear before
Well we did eventually persuade Glenn (sabretalon) to turn round and head back
towards Staithes where poor Phil (Phil-LS) had been patiently waiting for us.
The us being Glenn, me (csurry) and Brian, a friend of Glenn who is not currently
a member of ePHOTOzine. You'd have thought after a weekend of us showing him
the upside of membership that he would have joined by now, oh well perhaps not,
The car park at the top of Staithes proved to be an interesting meeting point
as it was difficult to get a phone signal to contact Phil to let him know we
had arrived. If we'd known he was sat there in a car watching our every move
we might have behaved differently. When we did eventually get a signal on one
of the phones we joked about hearing Phil's phone ring as we dialed. We were
close to the truth as a hand and then a head and body appeared from a nearby
car waving a mobile phone in our general direction to confirm contact.
Introductions over we headed down into Staithes village. The weather was not
good and after a short while wandering around looking for something to photograph
we decided to head back to a café we had seen for breakfast, and very
nice it was too.
The weather did brighten for a short while and we walked up the far side of
the village to look at the classic view of the harbour, unfortunately I don't
think we were actually in the right place as that seems to be a bit further
along the road. With the tide out the view wasn't exactly inspiring. It was
about now that we began to realise that Brian was a photo-fiend, anything that
moved, in fact anything that didn't move had to be recorded.
None of us really being inspired by Staithes we decided to head off to Goathland,
which for those of you like me, who are ignorant of these sort of useless facts,
is the setting for Heartbeat.
| Now I don't want to start sounding
like a weather forecaster, but by the time we reached Goathland, or Aidensfield,
it had begun to pour again, we parked the car in a car park belonging to
a local garden centre, more of this later. Headed towards the railway station
in the hope of some shots of the steam trains or at the very least a nice
warm cup of coffee.
Little did we know that this was gonna to become a familiar place over
the next couple of hours. So the story goes like this, had a cup of coffee,
bit of a chat about photography, took some pictures of classic cars, more
rain showers, more coffee, more chat, missed all the steam trains.
Some people think I should mention my tripod-carrier at this point. Well,
Anne (Flossie) gave the idea to me, and no I don't feel any guilt that
I allowed a disabled person to carry my tripod for me. There I said it,
it may not be PC, but who cares.
Just when we were beginning to despair of the rain, it looked as though
it was genuinely about to improve, at which point Glenn suggested a stroll
to Beck Hole where we could photograph a waterfall. According to Glenn,
Beck Hole was a mile away (remember the Staithes fiasco ½ a mile
being confused with 3 miles).
Jaguar bonnet. (csurry)
The start of the walk was pleasant, it was flat, it wasn't raining and we were
still swapping stories to fill the time. These stories included a tale from
a very reliable source about the meaning of the markings on the sheep that were
roaming about. Apparently green is for those that are OK, red is for those that
kick during the act and blue is for those yet to be tried. By the way I didn't
get this from a Welshman as you may think but from a Dane.
By the time we reached Beck Hole via a very steep hill, it was not surprisingly
raining again, so we decided to take shelter in a local hostelry, well in fact
the only hostelry.
Now if you've seen the film 'An American Werewolf in London' then you'll remember
the Slaughtered Lamb, strangely at this moment we were all reminded of the line
'Go! And stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.'
About an hour or so later, who knows, because it seemed like we were in a time-warp,
it brightened once again and we ventured outside where Phil announced that the
'blue clouds' were a good sign. Not for Phil, because we teased him mercilessly
for the rest of the weekend about that one.
A long and tiresome walk followed where we had to negotiate gates that weren't
meant for people with backpacks on to get through, until eventually we reached
our target, Mallyan Spout.
The light was by now good, in fact too good, which led to Glenn trying
out the two polariser technique to try and get a slow enough shutter speed
to blur the water. At last we all had something to photograph, so you'd
think I would have a lot of shots to include here, but no. Not sure what
happened to them, but as no one has sent me any I've included a standard
slow-shutter speed picture of running water that I took.
Double Polariser shot (sabretalon)
After we'd taken a number of shots and spent some time here Glenn announced
that the walk back takes between 10 and 20 minutes depending on your speed.
Now you are probably asking the same question we were at this point. If there
is a quick route, why on earth did we take the scenic route in the first place.
Luckily for Glenn there was a pub at the end of the short-route and a sit down
and a drink was more than welcome.
We made a decision to head into Whitby for 'Fish and Chips' and so headed back
towards the car park. At this moment I asked if anyone else had read that the
car park closed at 6pm? There were a few rumblings about not mentioning this
earlier, like we could have sprinted back up the hill and through Goathland
to the car, anyway.
Sure enough when we got back to the car park the gate was closed and appeared
to be locked, but after a brief heart-stopping moment we realised that the padlock
was merely hanging loosely around the gate.
Fish and Chips were great and something you just have to have when at the seaside,
well as long as you are not a vegetarian I guess.
Eventually we said good night and set off for our hotel, I would tell you another
story about Glenn missing the road the hotel was on and I could because it happened,
but I think you're getting the point about Glenn's directions.
Day 2 18th July 2004 Location: Whitby Weather: Bright and Sunny.
You'd think that by staying in a nearby hotel you would be able to have a lie
in before setting off to Whitby, well with a 7:00am meet, I don't think 5:30am
is a lie in. At least they laid on an early breakfast for us.
We thought we had set off in plenty of time for Whitby as the hotel claimed
to be just 15 miles away, but when you have been driving for 15 minutes and
you pass a roadside marker that says 19miles to Whitby you know one of two things.
Hotel brochures lie or Glenn is driving, I'll leave you to make the call.
Eventually we made it to Whitby, though we were a bit late, thankfully
the others had waited for us (bet they regretted that later in the day?).
Introductions were made and the gang now included the four from Saturday,
me (csurry), Glenn (sabretalon), Phil (Phil-LS) and Brian (non-member)
as well as Anne(flossie), Keith(keithh), Fred(funkeldink) and Phil number
two(eskimo). A late arriver who was still to join us made up the party,
As you can see from the team photo Tony is a bit camera shy, I did think
about inserting a dotted line where he should have been or a large question
mark, but decided not to.
team photo (by Keithh)
First port of call was the pier before it got too crowded with people.
You've probably seen a lot of photos from this part of the day and I think
the reason will become clear as our story unfolds!
Some people were more adventurous than others and investigated
both the shoreline view and the lower level of the pier, but I think everyone
got some shots of which they were justifiably proud.
|Keith seemed intent on getting a shot of each
of us, now like phoenix I'm not keen on having my picture taken so decided
upon revenge. I have a shot of Keith bending over his camera bag which can
go by a number of titles, "Photographers' Bum" or as I like to
call it "Whitby Beach, Exposed". Copies can be purchased from
my photobox gallery.
pier (By eskimo)
We spent a couple of hours taking photos around the pier area, before
a plan was hatched to walk along to the beach huts further along the beach.
At this point Phil and I thought we would head into the old town as we
had no desire for photos of the huts.
About ten minutes later Phil got a call to say they had changed their mind
and would also being heading into the old town, but as we had found a cosy café
for a cup of coffee we decided to stay put.
I can't say what the others got up to at this point but I believe a second
breakfast was had by some!
On leaving the café, Phil and I spotted Phil and Fred taking photos
at the top of the road, and not being afraid to make complete fools of
ourselves we began waving frantically and shouting their names. Now they
may have been deliberately trying to avoid us (not confirmed) or they
were still a both phased from the previous night, but we had to virtually
walk right up next to them before they saw us.
So the gang wandered around the old town for a while, mainly talking
and taking a few pictures, until the decision as to whether to climb the
stairs to the abbey or not became the focus.
Kipper Shop (by Flossie)
For those that don't know Whitby, apparently there are 199 steps from
the town to the Abbey, though phoenix swears that there are 203. The secret
to climbing the stairs as a photographer seems to work something like
this, if you feel yourself getting tired, pause, check out the view and
pretend to take a photograph until you have got your breath back.
Once again we split into two groups, those prepared to walk up the steps
and those opting for the car drive.
We all met up again at the Abbey teashop, some took pictures or so they
claim, and some had refreshments. Now to some Whitby was not a new location
and they didn't want to pay to go into the Abbey, me being a southerner,
thought you can't go all the way to Whitby and not actually visit the
Abbey. So once again, we split into two groups.
Abbey Photo Here (Phil-LS)
Group one will from now on be referred to as the pubgroup and included Keith,
Anne, Fred and Phil, actually they won't because I have nothing more to say
about them, except thanks for a great day. Whether they took any more photos
I can not say, but apparently they did spend three hours in the pub before setting
off home. Enid Blyton had the Secret Seven and the Famous Five, ePhotozine has
the Furtive Four.
Group two, which included me, Phil, Glenn and Brian paid to go and look at
the Abbey. Phoenix who hadn't wanted his picture taken had already entered the
grounds some time earlier.
We spent a while at the Abbey, though perhaps the best shot came from Phil
on his visit (illegally) on Friday night when he joined a number of other photographers
in scaling the wall to get a sunset shot.
Whilst at the Abbey, Glenn determined to improve upon his two polariser technique,
invented what is now to be known as the periscope technique. Problem - Glenn
couldn't get the right angle to see the whole reflection of the Abbey in the
pond at the far end of the site. Solution mount your camera on your tripod,
extend it to the maximum height, set the self-timer, hold the contraption above
your head and aim in the general direction of your required image. Now Glenn
claims that this worked, but we have yet to see the evidence.
I have a question, what is it about old monuments that attracts the very worst
of American visitors? They know that the place is old, yet still think that
every remaining piece of stonework is a potential climbing frame from which
one must bellow at the top of your voice to a companion just metres away (or
should that be meters). Just a question - I don't suppose anyone really has
We wandered around Whitby for a few more hours including finally getting
some shots of the beach huts, ate chips from a plastic tray wrapped in
paper and generally had a good time before heading home.
Did we get any good shots, well I think on these sorts of days, that
is only a secondary consideration
Thanks to Cheryl Surry for this article.