Friday, 5 September 2014

Yet More Oldy Worldy Postcard-Ness - This Time It's Whitby

And here's another one of the postcards I bought from my jaunt to the lovely island of Jersey and the fabulous little antique shop on the edge of the covered victorian market in St Helier.

I picked it because - I like its colour and composition and most of all because I HEART WHITBY.

I've been going to Whitby for a long time now - I first went in the early 90's, very early one morning and the sea was rough and the spray splashed my face as I stood at the railings to the left of the pier. It was so cold my hands almost froze to those railings but it was also completely invigorating and energising. To warm up I went to a little cafe to have a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. It's called Arbuthnotts now but not sure if it was called that then but I remember that bacon sandwich as one of the best I've ever had. Thick white bread slathered with butter (not margarine) with a bit of brown sauce and slabs of crisply cooked bacon - my mouth is watering just as the thought. I've had many bacon sandwiches since them and many have been delicious but none have been as delicious as that one. Like the bacon on the grill - it is seared on my memory.

I fell in love with Whitby that day - its kooky side streets, old world charm, tea shops, cake shops, chip shops, two penny falls, lucky ducks (though it's the letters from grateful recipients that make me smile the most) kippers, cottages, Abbey ruins and of course last but not least the Dracula connection and one of these days I will stay in the house that Bram Stoker stayed in....and who would have thought that in years to come I'd be getting my engagement and weddings rings made there or meet and take the picture of one of my all time favourite photographers - none other than Martin Parr who was there to take pictures of the goth festival for the upcoming Terror and Wonder Exhibition at the British Library.

Since that first magical trip I've been back to Whitby many many times, sometimes for daytrips, sometimes for Valentines Day, sometimes with family and if we can afford it twice a year for the Goth Festival though me and my non goth at all husband are quite jonny come latelys to the goth festival side of things as we've only been going to that for the last 9 years or so.

I have not been able to kick my adolescent addiction to black hair dye and eyeliner and rather than continuing to try and resist this addiction and be a so called 'grown up' I decided to re-embrace and recapture my lost goth youth a few years ago - it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Happiness comes clad in black and pinstripe and on big stompy platform heels with blood red lipstick and nails for me with a bonus soundtrack of bleepy industrial nonsense on occasion :-)

Whitby is a place where I feel instantly at home and happy and I hope to continue going there for many years to come and this postcard reminds me of what it looked like when I first went as just visible on the left handside of the picture is the rickety bridge down to the other pier. That bridge is not there now and nor can cars park along that bit of road anymore, I think the whalebones has been replaced too. That cliff face has changed too - thanks to heavy rain and coastal erosion more of it has ended up in the sea over the last few years.

Judging by the clothes on the people in the picture I'd say it was taken late 60's but if any of you know a more definite date then please let me know. It doesn't have a date on the back - just the description 'The Whalebone Arch on West Cliff with St Mary's Parish and the Abbey on East Cliff'.

Sadly this postcard was never written on and who knows why it was bought - most likely it was a souvenir of a trip but I'd love to know how it ended up unwritten and unposted in an antique shop in Jersey....

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