Mortal Mindy's picture

The Futurist Theatre on Scarborough's Sea Front is now closed

The Spa is threatened by rising sea waters

The OAT is an economic eyesore

The Sands & North Bay Development is stuck

The Town Hall is still up for sale

The Market Hall is up for a £ 10 mil re-development

The Life Boat Station is to be demolished (and rebuilt ?)

The Town Centre is full of charity, betting and discount shops

Scarborough Univeristy Campus is up for grabs

The Castle Health Centre is about to be closed

Our National Park is about to be 'fracked'


Captain Black's picture

Shirt Tails Janet

Yorkshire Coast Radio 96.2 FM report : Futurist Petition Goes to Scarborough Council

7:44am 24th January 2014

A petition to save Scarborough's Futurist Theatre is being handed into the Borough Council this morning.

The theatre closed earlier this month, after the council said it wasn't able to secure an operator for the 2014 season.

In July last year the council's cabinet decided it wasn't financially viable.

Councillor Janet Jefferson has been campaigning to keep it open and set up the petition. 


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Dr Jack Binns : Nostalgia

"Elizabethans - the subtle similarities of two eras

Comparisons are sometimes made between the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) and that of the second of that name (1952-?), and the subtle similarities can be as striking and surprising as the conspicuous contrasts. History has no value for its own sake, only in so far as it illuminates the present.

The survival into the 21st century of our constitutional monarchy is a matter of some amazement to foreigners. Whereas most European states have long since got rid of their royal kings, queens and princes, the English flirtation with republicanism lasted a mere 11 years more than 350 years ago. It seems that the public execution of Charles I was such a shocking event to the whole nation that it has been remembered with dread ever since. For instance, the clock on the Horse Guards still has its number two blanked out as a memorial to the king whose head was struck off nearby at 2pm on January 30, 1649. Here is at least one obvious continuity between the first Elizabethans and us.

However, the monarchy has endured only because successive rulers learned to adapt to changing times and keep public respect for doing so. For example, when Great Britain and its empire were at war with Germany, to appease patriotic prejudice in 1917 George V changed his family’s name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. Also, individual monarchs during lengthy reigns have had to conform with social and political movements: so it has been with the second Elizabeth as it was with Victoria, her great-great grandmother.

Another thread of continuity is insularity. Even during the decades of peace since 1945 and the amazing increase in travel and mobility, the English have remained suspicious of even European foreigners. We no longer have to defend our sea shores against enemy invaders as Drake and Raleigh, Nelson, Jellicoe and Churchill had to do, yet the 21-mile Channel between Dover and Calais is still not regarded as open, at least on our side of it. Calais was lost to the French only months before the first Elizabeth became queen; long before it became a voluntary prison camp for frustrated migrants.

The seeds of what was to become the largest empire the world had ever known, covering a fifth of its land surface and a nearly a third of its population, were sown during the lifetimes of Shakespeare and Elizabeth l; but during the reign of Elizabeth II that empire has disappeared. So one Elizabeth was at the start and the other at its demise.

Ironically, only after the British empire had begun to disintegrate did the United Kingdom start to become multi-racial and multi-cultural. Previously, the English had admitted only refugees from Ireland, from France and continental Jewry, but after 1945 Afro-Caribbeans and Asians from former colonies arrived and settled permanently in large numbers. Subsequently, nearly a million EU citizens from former Soviet satellites have made their homes here. The four million subjects of Elizabeth I would be astonished and alarmed by the religious and ethnic-diversity of the more than 60 million who now live in Britain. For everyone of our ancestors then there now are 15 of us.

Despite the survival of residual xenophobia (which helped to propel the UK towards exit from the EU in 2016), British sovereign independence is more of a nostalgic myth than a present reality. In the 21st century, economic inter-dependence grows by the day. Foreign companies and governments already own the British motor vehicle industry, much of the centres of our main cities belong to Arab potentates and Russian plutocrats; our railways, power stations and fuel suppliers belong, at least in part, to multi-national corporations. Whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, our whole way of life and sources of livelihood are inextricably meshed into a global market. Nothing distinguishes us more than Shakespeare’s “sceptred isle, set in a silver sea” than globalisation.

Though distant in time and strange to our lives and values, the age of “Good Queen Bess” still determines vital features of our inherited traditions. Elizabeth I ensured that England would be a Protestant state and all her successors have fought to keep it so.

Even today every parish church is Anglican and 400 years later Queen Elizabeth II is still supreme governor of the Church of England; only Anglican bishops sit in the House of Lords; and the law prohibits a non-Anglican from becoming or marrying the monarch.

Apart from in Ireland, Elizabeth I gave domestic peace to a country that had suffered civil wars for generations and her reign of nearly 45 years is often described as “a golden age”. Yes, in terms of music, poetry, drama, architecture and seafaring navigation, hers was an unrivalled time, but it was also an era of religious extremism and intolerance, of cruelty, superstition, violence, gross inequalities of affluence and destitution. We should not patronise our ancestors with our superior knowledge and toleration, but neither should we romanticise them with our notions of their uninformed naivety.

Elizabeth’s age was one of cock-fighting, bear-baiting, of routine torture, public hanging, drawing and quartering, of plague and endemic poverty. Nostalgia is a dangerous weakness: we ought to be grateful to be alive in the time of Elizabeth II, not Elizabeth I.

To be positive, perhaps we should think only that it was the age of William Shakespeare. No other Englishman has been so influential in shaping and defining our view of ourselves. Without a university degree, without rich parents and family connections, handicapped and endangered by his Catholic associations, he still managed to tell us more about the human identity and predicament than anyone before or since. Ben Jonson (no fawning sycophant) wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time” and in the sense the English can claim full membership of a species whose joys, fears, dilemmas and tragedies he described so vividly.

Finally, some commentators of contemporary politics have already compared prime minister Mrs Theresa May with Queen Elizabeth I: reluctantly battling with home-grown terrorism; in revolt against the treaty of Rome (not the papacy this time); and armed with Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson (Sir Walter Raleigh?), the unpredictable opportunist, and Liam Fox (Sir Francis Drake?), regarded on the continent as a wolf in wolf’s clothing. All nonsense, of course: only historians and journalists short of copy repeat themselves."




Up the Parish... Periscopes


lol : http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/alien-conspiracy-theoris...

red dust = plane.

fun tho ... Refraction.

Captain Qahn's picture

Little Gems - 'Between the Ears'


"Though little more than 20 years old, Scarborough’s municipal gaol in Castle Road no longer satisfied the higher standards of central government requirements. The Prisons Act of 1865 obliged borough councils, like Scarborough’s, to provide more and superior accommodation for long-term prisoners. So, in anticipation of the new law, in Scarborough there was a rapid search to find a suitable, spacious site for a new model prison.

Only as recently as 1859, the town had seen all its paupers moved out of Waterhouse Lane to new, purpose-built premises on the south side of Dean Street and now councillors were determined that the borough should have its own model gaol to match its own model workhouse. Accordingly, after other locations, such as Seamer Lane, Gallows Close and North Marine Road, had been rejected, two fields on the west side of Penny Black Lane, formerly owned by 
Edward Nesfield, the brewer, and ES Donner, the solicitor, were bought by the council.

On October 24, 1865, mayor Ambrose Gibson laid the foundation stone and underneath it he placed a large bottle or jar containing contemporary 
memorials of the occasion.

In those days, builders moved faster and worked longer hours. The completion of Scarborough’s new gaol was celebrated at a “roofing supper” by 300 guests at Mr Hunt’s Prince of Wales hotel on February 20, 1866.

Only seven months later, 22 men and 11 women were transferred to their new home from Castle Road.

There was plenty of room there for all of them. And the council had not spared the pockets of rate-payers. The plans had been drawn by 
Alexander Taylor, the accomplished borough surveyor, and the architect was William Baldwin Stewart. The latter was already renowned locally for his almshouses, especially the Northern Seabathing Infirmary on the Foreshore (1860), his churches, such as Westborough Methodist (1862) and his schools, such 
as that of the Amicable Society on Castle Road (1865), all 
of which still survive 150 
years later.

Not content with a merely functional and conventional design, Stewart treated Scarborough to a machicolated, stone gateway flanked by Gothic lodges, complete with arrow-slits for imaginary archers and chains for a non-existent drawbridge. On the parapet above the gate there was a circular stone plaque displaying the borough seal. The boundary walls, made of red and yellow brick, were crenellated and turreted to resemble those of a medieval castle. This was Alice in Wonderland architecture.

Inside the walls, the huge central L-shaped prison block had cells in one wing on the three top floors for 36 men, each seven feet wide, 13 feet long and nine feet high and in the other similar accommodation for 12 females and four debtors or juveniles. All of them had sink, water closet, gas lighting, table, stool and bed or hammock.

In the main block (which still survives, more or less intact) below the male cells, on the first floor there was a chapel, chaplain’s room, surgery and infirmary; and underneath the ground floor offices for the governor and his staff, the basement contained coal cellar, windowless punishment cells, kitchen, clothing store, an “itch cell” and a “fumigation closet”. Outside the main block in the courtyard, there were laundry, blacksmith’s foundry, separate exercise yards for males, females and debtors, stables and a stone-breaking place for prisoners doing hard labour. The governor, John Thornton, had his home in the tower on the right hand side of the 
entrance gateway and the chief warder lived on the other side.

Altogether, this splendid, grim collection of buildings, a hybrid of Victorian folly and medieval romanticism, had cost the borough rate-payer about £12,000, twice as much as the neighbouring workhouse which housed nearly 100 aged, sick and orphaned paupers.

Yet Scarborough’s latest and last gaol had a most unpromising start and a short life. Five days before the transfer of prisoners from Castle Road, on Sunday night, October 15, 1866, the town’s brand new model lost its first inmate. A horsebreaker called Walter Scott, waiting trial for robbery, scraped away the mortar around the ventilation grille of his cell and, 
tying three blankets together, passed through it and down an outside drain pipe. Then he used his blanket rope, an old bedstead and a pole to scale the 15 foot perimeter wall and disappear into the darkness.

But Scott’s successful escape was not the reason why the borough’s prison was closed in July 1878, less than a dozen years later. Much to the extreme displeasure of Scarborough’s councillors and rate-payers, Disraeli’s Conservative government nationalised the service, bringing all prisons under the authority of the Home Office. In effect, Viscount Cross’ Prisons Act of 1877 shut down 31 of the country’s smaller gaols, including for instance Ripon’s and Beverley’s as well as Scarborough’s.

Of course there would have been relief, not complaint, in Scarborough if the government had closed any one of its previous, town-centre obsolete prisons; but Dean Street/Cemetery Road prison was a costly expression of municipal pride which no other borough in the country could match. And the corporation still owed £10,000 for it!

In 1880, Scarborough’s voters showed their disapproval of the Conservatives by demoting their sitting candidate, Sir Harcourt Johnstone, from top to bottom of the poll. But even when it was pointed out to the new Liberal Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt, that since 1878 it had cost the borough £150 to send 286 prisoners to York by the North-Eastern railway, the argument for re-opening was rejected. For several years, the Council offered its redundant prison to let, but no tenant came forward. Apart from temporary use as a stray dogs’ home, the buildings stood empty.

Finally, in 1899, rather than demolition, councillors chose to re-employ them as a central depot and storehouse for the borough engineer’s department. More than a century later, unlike its workhouse neighbour, Scarborough’s model prison block remains as a listed Grade Two Victorian relic."

Snoooze must have been in a time loop? Eh.

Flakes :