The photographs for this week’s challenge were all taken on or around the pier at Saltburn. The first creates the impression that you could walk to the end of the pier and step on to the horizon, as though the show goes on forever – reality is more prosaic. Originally 1500 feet long with a steamer landing stage, a severe storm in 1875 removed last 300 feet which was never rebuilt and the steamers came no more:
The fishing village of Staithes, hides on the North Yorkshire coast above Whitby. It has a lived-in, unprettified look which makes it feel genuine and not too different from the photographs in the Francis Frith collection dating from the 19th and 20th Centuries. We approached on foot from Runswick Bay, along the Cleveland Way, perhaps the best way of finding the village; from this route there is little sign of modernity as you walk down the partly cobbled path onto Seaton Garth.
In the window of the Family Butchers they even try to maintain early 20th Century prices – pre-decimal signs advertise Prime Steak @ 1 shilling and tuppence per pound (about 11 new pence). The illusion is shattered by the modern pricing of Moor’s Heather Honey @ £5 per jar. A jar of honey or 45 pound of steak – the choice is yours 🙂
We should have been somewhere entirely different but circumstance and the elements placed us here, on the north Yorkshire coast. I was not entirely disappointed; this coast lacks the grandeur and the spectacular reflected light of the far northwest but if the landscape is shrouded in highland mist then you only have your memories to call on.
Whilst the weather remained benign we walked the Cleveland Way, north from Runswick Bay to Staithes and south from Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar. Much of the coastal section of this 110 mile trail is cliff-edged and the views go on forever. On the clear-skied days we tramped our way north and south, the skies, the sea and even the land appeared infinite, the few people that appeared, wholly insignificant, walking shadows:
(click on the images to enlarge)
Only time goes on forever which is just an excuse for inserting some more Tom Waits. This was the track (Time) that crept into the recent episode of Peaky Blinders – a perfect marriage:
All summer long the plan had been that we would wait for a suitable weather window and head for the far north in the early Autumn. A combined lack of patience and unfavourable Met Office forecasts has found us in an entirely different place – Runswick Bay on the north Yorkshire coast, not far from the centre of all things Goth, Whitby (sorry meticulousmick, definitely north another time). It is a special place ideally positioned for invigorating walks along the cliff-top sections of the Cleveland Way. For three days we were rewarded with generally benign conditions walking as far as Staithes to the north and Ravenscar to the south. However, this morning we awoke to an entirely different place – the North Sea that had lain silent as a millpond was now a seething cauldron; it was like waking up to a landscape utterly changed by overnight snow. Before and after: