Scarborough was England's first true seaside resort. It was attracting wealthy visitors from the end of the seventeenth century But in the middle of the nineteenth century the railway line from York began to bring in visitors from Yorkshire's industrial towns and cities. Mass tourism had begun.
Throughout that time there was a farm on Irton Moor just west of Scarborough. It is called Riggs Head and it still exists today. It was here that my ancestors on my father's side lived and worked. They never owned the farm, they just lived there as farm workers raising their families through several generations. In documents, my great great grandfather was described as a rabbit catcher and his place of residence was indeed Riggs Head.
Naturally, I feel a special bond with Scarborough and its environs. Though I have never lived there myself, I sense there's still some Scarborough in my blood. My late father could recall childhood visits to Riggs Head in the nineteen twenties though by that time his own father had left the land to become a railway worker based fifteen miles away in Malton.
This afternoon, Shirley and I are driving up to Scarborough for a couple of nights. I have booked a little apartment overlooking the town's famous cricket ground. The weather forecast isn't too bad for early October.
I hope we'll walk on the beach, visit the castle on the headland and perhaps drive up to Riggs Head even though I know it is has changed a lot through the passage of time. Hopefully, we'll have a nice Sunday lunch somewhere.
Below, an old railway poster anticipates our brief sojourn in "The Queen of the Yorkshire Coast".