We were planning on coming here early on new year's day and went to York instead. Turned out to be a good choice, another friend did go and said the world and his wife was there. York, nicely quiet. Whitby is always busy! Although I have to say a cold, crisp and sunny January morning, with frost on the ground and the Abbey would look lovely.
Instead we went on a really lovely summer's day. The beach and the rest of the town was packed. Oddly thought, the Abbey was quiet. You couldn't say we had it to ourselves but it was by no means busy. The drive through the North York Mores to get there was lovely (Middelsborough excepted). One of the things about Whitby is that it is in the arse-end of nowhere... Says the man who lives in Berwick!
While in Durham, just after a cracking lunch at Vennel Cafe (really good quiches and, the one we were all after, scones!) the weather turned south as we headed just up the road and into the cathederal. It is an immensly impressive building, and like all 'big' churches one needs to imagine it the best part of 1000 years ago when it would have domintaed the skyline for miles around and reminded everyone of the power and wealth of the church. I always struggle to get an impressive shot of the outside of a church though, so its either the inside or details that get shown... The interior this time.
WWe had arranged to meet some of my oldest friends for a nice Saturday out. At the last minute we decided we would copy them and let the train take the strain.... Good decision, as it turned out.
Anyway, we left the station, and what a set of sights there were there... Lots of large orange ladies wearing bits of their net currtains on their heads. Apparently, they're called fascinators! Wear a hat or don't wear a hat but not those! Also, they were all wearing skirts that were at least a size too tight for them. I believe it was ladies day ay York races.
Having left the station, and sauntered into the usually quite quiet city centre, we were confronted with hordes of people, all intent on getting stuck into the town's supply of booze and more than a few sub-machine gun armed polis. We had no idea but it was the annual Durham miners' gala.
This is an old day out associated with trades unionism and, in particular the miners and mining villages that used to stretch across county Durham. I'd sort of, vaugely heard of it but if you'd have asked me I would have said it died out with the pits in the mid to late 80s.
How it works is each pit (usually) a village, carries a huge banner behind which their brass band plays and the village would follow on behind that and large quantities fo alcohol would be consumed. The parade would end up at the racecourse where political speaches were given. This year it was the leader of the opposition, the Magic Granddad, as the star turn.... Hence the machine gun totting police (I don't mean in a political assination sense of it!).
The black drapes along the top of the banner used to be used to signify that someone had died in that mine during the year. Now, they symbolise the death of mining!
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.