While the locals no longer wear the traditional dress of the fishing communities of the area. (Dark dresses/white pinafore for the women, sealskin hats, high heeled leather boots and black trousers for the men) The blue hand knitted jumpers or Ganseys can still be seen., being worn on the local males
Similar to the Guernsey jumpers, intricate patterns were knitted, by both men and women, to keep out the harsh wind and rain. By knitting 'on the round' -where numerous double pointed needles are used to create a tube shape, the knitted piece doesn't need sewing up, so this makes it even more weather proofed.
Each village had its own recognizable pattern, and families also had their own additional pattern, the wearer usually wore ganseys with the same pattern - there is some thought that this was an aid to identify the body, should he fall victim to the sea, though It's not certain if this is true.
Ganseys are just as likely to be worn by visitors as locals.
It is possible to purchase wool, needles and patterns to knit your own Gansey from Bobbins, Church Street, Whitby, or you can buy ready made versions there too.
I'm sure that I've seen kits in RHB too, but can't remember where at the moment!
Knitting is becoming a popular hobby again, with 'Knit and natter' groups forming, whereby it's a social activity. So hopefully, there will be a resurgence of the 'Wool Shops' that I remember from my childhood.
Now I don't know why, how or when this custom originated, but... at 12 noon on Sundays, from the grounds of the Victoria Hotel, a cannon is fired!!
The Victoria Hotel offers a varied menu, and a well stocked bar, with views over the Bay.
Seating outside, for warm sunny days.
The Hotel is situated opposite the car park, at the top of the village.
The North Sea, is home to a variety of sealife.
While I was visiting The Old Chapel, I picked up a postcard, which you use to report any sightings of Orcas, Minke Whale, Longfinned Pilot Whale, Bottlenosed Dolphin, White - beaked dolphin or Harbour Porpoises!
Afraid, I didn't spot any such creatures (I didn't even realise these inhabited the area!)
Didn't find out how common sightings were, but I'll keep my eyes peeled on my next visits!
The place to return cards to is:-
68, Plantation Drive
I'm sure this would also be the place to ask for further info.
The North Sea is freezing, so you won't see many people swimming here even in summer. But there is this curious British custom of "having a paddle". You can't go to the coast without dipping your toes!
I think the people in the photo were taking it a bit too far though - maybe I should have added something in the "tourist traps" section about making sure you get back before the tide comes in........