A Reader’s Memories

One of my favourite parts of running Stories From Scarborough is reading all the wonderful memories people share in the comments and by email. In this post I will share some memories sent to me via email, from Neil.

If you would like to share more detailed Scarborough memories in this way, please get in touch – I am trying to build up as much information about the attractions and histories as I can, so that this information is not lost.

My earliest childhood memories of the town are day trips with my Grandparents, up to around the age of 8 or 9. My Grandad would always park on Marine Drive and I can recall a particular visit when my Auntie and Cousin also came with us. We had a meal in a restaurant in the town and they served giant Yorkshire puddings with the meal, that my Grandad said were Scarborough castle. I can also recall that I visited Scarborough for the day with my parents when we had a holiday staying in Robin Hoods Bay. It was a miserable day, but we watched the naval warfare nonetheless.

During my early to mid teens, we holidayed in my Great Auntie’s caravan in Bridlington, but usually took the train to Scarborough one of the days from Bempton station. In summer 2001 and 2002 we holidayed in Scarborough in a small caravan site on Scalby Mills Road. which consisted on six caravans in what amounted to somebody’s back garden. The site has since been redeveloped as apartments, but if you go on Google Earth and wind it back to 2002, the caravan site is there.

I can remember that in 2000, the cable cars were still operating to Marvels, but it was surprised to find that by 2002 they had gone. I didn’t realise until years later that Marvels actually existed, I always assumed that the cable cars themselves were the attraction. I can also recall visiting the South Bay and seeing the outdoor pool in its derelict state before demolition, which is a great shame as I’ve swum in the Havre Des Pas outdoor pool in Jersey a few times in the past ten years, and that is still a popular venue.

Scarborough was also the first place my girlfriend and I went on a coach day trip in 2006. The weather was fine when we set off, but as soon as we got off the coach, it began raining heavily and without coats, we had to take cover under the bridge near the Grand Hotel. Thankfully the weather picked up after that.

We would return to Scarborough for a number of years around my birthday in May, staying at the Toulson Court B&B on Columbus Ravine. It was during one of these visits that we first discovered what someone on YouTube described as “The ancient ruins of Mr, Marvels”. There would be the obligatory visit to Leeds Fisheries at the bottom end of Eastborough for Cod and Chips (or Chips and Gravy in my girlfriend’s case), a Sunday evening roast in Wetherspoons, ice cream in Peasholm Park, a look in Boyes and a game of pool in the Bowls centre. Even though I never actually visited them as a child, it’s been sad to see Kinderland, Atlantis and the Corner Cafe disappear over the years as their loss leaves the North Bay very sparse in terms of attractions these days.

During one of our day trips to Scarborough while holidaying in my great auntie’s caravan in Bridlington, we were walking down Marine Drive and a gust of wind blew my cap off my head and into the sea. Luckily, a man fishing nearby kindly managed to hook it and reel it in when we thought it was lost forever. I also remembered about three visits to the Mere and rides on the Hispaniola to treasure island. Luckily, I was able to find a Dabloon each time, though my girlfriend says she never did when she went.

Thank you Neil for sharing these memories!

BBC Broadcasts From Floral Hall: Part I

Thanks to the BBC’s fantastic Genome project, it is possible to trace some of Scarborough’s history via radio and television broadcasts. A number of performances from Floral Hall were broadcast, and this post will examine some examples from the 1930s and 1940s.

Floral Hall
Floral Hall during the early 1900s

The earliest mention of Floral Hall comes on March 5, 1936, and features one of the venue’s most successful acts – the Fol-de-rols. You can read more about them here and here. According to the Radio Times, the group had spent over twenty years performing at Floral Hall as well as other UK seaside venues, and gave their first broadcast in May 1934.

In 1937, the Rolling Stones (not to be confused with the well known rock group) were broadcast from Floral Hall by the BBC National Programme. These ‘Rolling Stones’ were directed by Richard Jerome. The line-up included comedian Frank Monckton, theatre and cabaret performer May Goring Thomas and Farleigh Price. For Kitty Prince, theatre was very much a family affair – her sisters Elsie and Edna were also performers. Doreen Season appeared in numerous BBC broadcasts and along with Fraser Rogers directed ‘The Six Dancing Debutantes and The Regent Orchestra’. Jack Stanford, Edna Moncrieff, Eddie Kelland and Kenneth Blain also appeared.

The Rolling Stones would make numerous subsequent appearances at Floral Hall and on BBC Radio broadcasts in the years to come.

A gap in relevant records on Genome coincides with the Second World War, and the next entry comes in 1949, with a performance by Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra, featuring Archie Lewis , Eve Boswell, Diana Coupland and Reg Dixon. This interesting line-up included some big names in entertainment at the time.

Geraldo Bright led a highly successful big band and concert orchestra from the 1930s onwards. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, he provided piano music for silent films before leading ensembles in UK-wide tours.

Archie Lewis was a Jamaican singer who enjoyed great popularity in the 1940s – he migrated to the UK to work in munitions during WWII, and was a regular on BBC radio, as well as appearing at the London Palladium and touring in the US, Canada and Europe. He worked regularly with Geraldo at the time of the broadcast.

Eve Boswell was born in Hungary and later became a successful pop singer during the 1950s. Her parents were also professional musicians and she even had her own radio show at one point.

Diana Coupland hailed from nearby Leeds and started out as a singer, which is presumably the role she undertook for this performance. However, from 1959 she switched to acting and appeared in television and film up until her death in 2006.

The Reg Dixon credited here is probably Coventry-born comedian Reg Dixon, but he shared a name with a well known organist (and Blackpool Tower resident performer).

The 1950s and beyond brought an increasingly diverse array of entertainers to Floral Hall, including Harry Corbett and Sooty. Check back soon for more on this….

In the meantime, if anyone knows more about these performers or performances, please get in touch!

A Monkey on Monkey Island?

Rumour has it that Monkey Island, the rock that was removed to make way for the Scalby Mills station and amusements site (now the Sea Life Centre), was named after a monkey was spotted there. But is there any truth in this story? A search through old newspaper articles revealed some interesting facts about the island and its history…

Scalby Mills Complex
The former Monkey Island site after it was redeveloped

Plans to demolish Monkey Island had been in the pipeline since 1930. The area was originally earmarked for development alongside nearby Hodgson’s Slack (which later became Northstead Manor Gardens).

An appeal for vision and a wide outlook in connection with the development of the North Side of Scarborough was made by Mr. F. Webster, chairman of the North Side Development Committee, speaking at the Liberal Club to-night. I believe some day that the London and North-Eastern railway will consider the probability of a station somewhere on the North Side,” he declared. The North Side of the future, he suggested, would Include a motor road connecting the Whitby Road via Scalby Mills with a promenade widened to accommodate motor traffic. There would be a modern bathing pool at Scalby Mills, where a Monkey Island now stands, a pool independent of the sea and sheltered from the tides by the extended, promenade. Scalby Mills Hotel should be rebuilt on the lines of a Swiss chalet, and then he would suggest near the bathing pool an up-to-date amusement centre. With these improvements there would follow a motor road running the whole length of the North Bay joining the Whltoy Road at Scalby Mills and the Marine Drive at the other end providing a sea boarded drive skirting the town and meeting the Filey Road on the south road. Regarding the criticisms that the South Side has been neglected, Mr. Webster declared it was very foolish. Why had the Council bought Scalby Mills Hotel if they had not in mind the development of that area. The new boating pool at Peasholm Gap had been criticised as puny. What they wanted there later on was a winter garden with a ballroom, a gymnasium and probably an indoor swimming bath.

Leeds Mercury, 13 June, 1934

That ‘puny’ boating pool at Peasholm Gap later became the much loved North Bay Bathing Pool (subsequently Waterscene, Water Splash World and Atlantis). The second railway station never happened, although the miniature railway would eventually get its new station.

The extension of the North Bay Promenade at Scarborough has long been bone of contention in the local council, but the council and committee have now approved a scheme, submitted the North Side Development Committee, to extend the promenade as far as the terminus of the miniature railway at Scalby Mills, at a cost of about £12,000 Monkey Island, the isolated piece cliff at Scalby Mills, is to be demolished, and the material used to fill up the cavity between the extended promenade and the cliff-side. scheme follows the submission by the North Side Committee, and the rejection by the council, of a £55.000 scheme for the extension of the promenade as far as Scalby Beck, and the construction there of a new bathing pool.

Nottingham Evening Post, 1 May 1935

However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the extension finally happened, making way for an amusements site. You can read more about the attraction here.

While researching this history an interesting story from the 1950s caught my eye:

A series of housebreaking offences have occurred on the South Cliff at Scarborough, but though the police know the culprit they are not contemplating prosecution. He is Jacko. seven-year-old West African grass monkey, who disappeared from the home of his owner. Mr. John Ernest Jones, former Merchant Navy seaman, of Westbourne Grove. Scarborough, on Tuesday. Anyone who sees Jacko Is advised inform the police rather than try to capture him themselves. “Jacko is a friendly monkey” said Jones yesterday ” and quite harmless so long as people do not try to touch him. But he might turn awkward if anyone corners him.” Since his disappearance Jacko has climbed through open windows into at least two houses on the South Cliff for food. At one, where the table was set for the visitors’ tea, he drank the milk and ate some cakes. At another, when people entered the dining room, he was found with the sugar bowl, and stole apple and escaped through the window. He went off in the direction the wooded slope of Oliver’s Mount. Mr. Jones and his wife, who have two other West African grass monkeys as pets, have looked high and low for Jacko. Has anybody seen him?

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 3 July 1952

Perhaps the monkey went to Monkey Island?

Although Monkey Island gained its nickname long before this particular news story, it highlights a time when it was commonplace for sailors and others to bring home mementoes of their travels, including wild animals. Scarborough’s Aquarium also had a monkey house. Travelling fairs and circuses were another possibility. There were plenty of places that Monkey Island’s namesake could have come from.

It’s been lovely to hear from a few readers who remember Monkey Island, so please do leave a comment if this applies to you!

Scarborough’s Promenade Pier: Did You Know?

This is the third in a series of posts about Scarborough’s North Bay ‘Promenade’ Pier (1877 – 1905)

North Bay Pier

See some of the other stories about it by checking out the links below:

The Tragic Tale of the North Bay Pier

A Spendid Promenade Pier

Did you know that…

1) The pier featured in one of the first commercially produced picture postcards in Britain

You can see a picture of it by clicking here.

Created by the Dennis Printworks, formerly located on Vernon Road Scarborough, this postcard heralded a huge boom in seaside postcards that reached its heights during the early 1900s, and remained popular for many decades after. The printing company were vital in establishing the popularity of the picture postcard.

2) Scarborough pier and aquarium were both designed by the same person

Scarborough’s Promenade Pier was the handiwork of famed pier designer and engineer Eugenius Birch. He designed fourteen British piers in total, seven of which, including Blackpool North and Brighton, remain to this day. He was also responsible for Scarborough’s subterranean aquarium underneath the Spa Bridge

3) Entertainment was varied

When Scarborough’s North Bay Pier was built, pier-based entertainment was in its infancy, and would not become fully established until the 1900s. However, facilities included angling, a shelter for band concerts, a cafe, and the popular entertainment/sport of pier diving also took place there. 

4) The location was far from ideal

The pier suffered frequent steamer damage and the turbulent North Sea rendered the structure perpetually vulnerable. Due to the amount of storm damage suffered over the years, the pier owners were unable to obtain insurance – therefore when it was destroyed in 1905, there were not sufficient funds to rebuild it. This, combined with low visitor numbers, high operating/maintenance costs, and the likelihood of future damage, spelled the end for the pier.

5) The pier had its own cliff lift

There was once a cliff lift leading to the pier entrance. Designed to link the new Promenade Pier to the top of the North Cliff, its opening in August, 1878, was thwarted when a carriage broke loose. This was followed by numerous accidents and technical failures, and eventually a land slip in 1887, which led to the permanent closure of the route.

6) The entrance survived the storm

The main part of the pier was destroyed in a 1905 storm, but the entrance pavilion remained until April 1914 when it was finally demolished. Up until this point the surviving units were still being rented out to local vendors.

7) The pier was an inspiration for the East Coast

Following Scarborough’s lead other piers were built along the East Coast, Saltburn-on-sea (1869), Coatham (1872), Withernsea (1877), and Hornsea (1880).



Scarborough Evening News


British Newspaper Archive – various articles

The Uncertain Beginnings of Floral Hall

Like many of Scarborough’s best loved attractions, Floral Hall faced opposition when it was first proposed. Thanks to stories published in newspapers across the UK, it is possible to explore the local politics behind these disagreements, and to appreciate that an attraction in one seaside town, offers a glimpse into much wider debates about tourism, entertainment legislation and

Floral Hall

The initial proposal seemed innocuous enough. After purchasing Alexandra Field in 1889, the Scarborough Corporation opened Alexandra Gardens in 1907, which included space for open air entertainment. However, the UK’s unpredictable weather necessitated something extra:

A full committee of Scarborough Town Council has adopted a recommendation of the Entertainments Sub-committee that a floral hall should be erected in the Alexandra Gardens, North Cliff, at an estimated cost of £3000. The building will be a little over twelve feet in height, of glass supported by iron columns. it will be used for season entertainments, and protection against wet weather, the sides opening out in fine weather. It will afford accommodation for about fifteen people.

Leeds Mercury, Wednesday 06 October, 1909

The plan seemed relatively uncontroversial on first reading (I think the part about accommodating only 15 people is an error, as you will see later), but subsequent reports reveal deep rooted concerns for local business, and longstanding tensions between committees, ratepayers and the community at large.

MUNICIPAL SCHEME OPPOSED. The managers of the principal places of entertainment in Scarborough, including the roller skating rinks, are memorialising the Scarborough Town Council against the proposed erection by the Council of floral hall and pavilion in the Alexandra Gardens on the North Cliff, being of opinion that the “indoor amusements provided by legitimate caterers are already adequate, and that any addition to the same will greatly affect the revenues of those place– which have to contribute so heavily to the rates of the town.” They also submit that the policy of the Entertainments Committee during the past two seasons, in carrying on the business entertainment caterers in opposition to themselves —ratepayers—is against the best interests of the general body of ratepayers, and they urge that the gardens, stands, and places under the control of the Corporation should in future be let by public tender, so that those carrying them on shall have to bear a burden similar to that borne by those who have carried on their business in the town for so many years.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Monday 25 October, 1909

The objections are understandable – local businesspeople wanted to protect their livelihoods, and ensure that any new business venture would fairly contribute to the financial wellbeing of the town.

So what happened next?

The Mayor of Scarborough, Mr. W. Ascough, with the approval of his colleagues, announces it a ‘ clear duty to decline to petition over 500 ratepayers and owners in Scarborough to convene a meeting owners and ratepayers to consider resolutions protesting against any further expenditure, either out of capital revenue, in the erection of a floral hall in Alexandra Gardens…

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, Monday 29 November, 1909

Kinderland faced similar opposition when it was first proposed, as did the addition of slides at the North Bay Bathing Pool in the 1980s. However, in all cases, the attractions were built/amended anyway.

At a meeting of Scarborough Town Council last night it was resolved by 17 votes six to expend the erection of a floral hall for the holding entertainment.

London Evening Standard, Tuesday 14 December, 1909

And then…

The Town Clerk of Scarborough has received an intimation from the Local Government Board, sanctioning the borrowing of £3,000 for the purpose of making a Floral Hall the Alexandra Gardens.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertised, Saturday 12 February, 1910

It’s not been possible to find out what happened to the opposition, which is often the case in disputes such as this.

The Mayor Scarborough (Councillor W. Ascough) on Saturday formally opened the new floral hall in the Alexandra Gardens, on the north side of Scarborough, which the Corporation has erected at a cost of £3,000. Despite the inclement weather there was an excellent attendance. The new hall seats at least 1,200 people, and artistic and effective floral decorations have been carried out internally. The Mayor, in formally declaring the building open, said they could not have too many attractions for a town like Scarborough. Not only would the new floral hall be an attraction to the town, but he prophesied that it would not cost the ratepayers one farthing. In the past the north side entertainers had been the mercy of the weather, but now they had building which would make them independent of the weather. Mr. Charles. Cardow’s company afterwards gave entertainment. Yesterday a band of the Royal Artillery gave concerts during the afternoon and evening.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Monday 04 July, 1910

William Ascough (1849 – 1926) served as Mayor of Scarborough between 1909 and 1910. It is unclear what kind of entertainment Charles Cadow and his company provided, but the Royal Artillery Band have a well documented history dating back to 1557.

There was a great deal of interest in Floral Hall from newspapers in Yorkshire and the North East.

Splendid weather conditions were enioyed yesterday (Thursday) and the South Sands and principal promenades presented animated scenes. The new – Floral Hall in the Alexandra Gardens on the North Cliff is much appreciated. The first illuminated fete of the season takes place there to-morrow, and on the following day concerts will he given afternoon and evening by his Majesty’s Band of the Irish Guards.

Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Friday 15 July, 1910

According to research, military bands provided regular entertainment across Scarborough including at the Aquarium (later Gala Land), North Bay Pier and Peasholm Park, just to name a few examples. However, providing entertainment required a license, and Sundays presented particular challenges:

SUNDAY MUSIC AT SCARBOROUGH At a special transfer session Scarborough yesterday, Sidney Jones, Deputy-Town Clerk, behalf of the Scarborough Corporation, made an application to the magistrates for music and the dancing licenses for the new Floral Hall, on the North Side, and for a similar license for shelter on the Marine Drive. Air Jones also applied that music and singing should be permitted Sundays. _ . . The magistrates retired, and on returning the Chairman intimated that the whole question of Sunday in places entertainment would carefully considered before next session. In the meantime these licences would be granted.

Hull Daily Mail, Wednesday 13 July, 1910

Soon reporting on Floral Hall was part of local (and national) newspaper summaries of Scarborough’s entertainment offer. Scarborough’s decision to open Floral Hall even influenced developments in nearby Bridlington:

The list of entertainments in Scarborough is quite bewildering in its variety. First comes the Spa with its Electric Theatre as well as its Open-air Theatre, with a visit from Mr. Pelissier and his Follies.” The Aquarium presents the juvenile fairy spectacle of The Sleeping Princess ” as the close lengthy programme ; the Theatre Royal has forsaken strong melodrama for light comedy; Miss Stella Gastelle and company give soena from La Poupee at the Hippodrome; the Floral Hall was ringing with the music of the Black Dyke Band on Sunday; The Chorus Lady ” is the comedy the Londesborough; and there still remain variety shows and orchestras in other places, all bidding against each other for the patronage the holiday crowds.

Now that the Scarborough Corporation is running a Floral Hall there seems to be no reason why the Bridlington Corporation should not run a People’s Palace. This People’s Palace was a sister scheme of the Scarborough Aquarium. Speculators, with an eye on the Aquarium dividends, readily put £22,500 into the project, and they are about take out £7,250, the price to be paid by the Bridlington Corporation by leave of the Local Government Board. In the days when the Royal Prince’s Parade was conducted upon Puritanical principles by the local authorities the New Spa was built Hilderthorpe by Messrs. Whitaker, of Horsforth, and the late Mr. W. Morgan, of Scarborough, was the head of the company which erected the Palace. Neither had much chance of success against the money-bags the ratepayers, but both rendered a service to Bridlington that should never be forgotten.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 26 July, 1910

Interesting also to note the close links between Scarborough’s Aquarium and events in Bridlington. William Morgan, mentioned above, was the manager who saved the aquarium from financial ruin in the late 1800s. Notice the little jibe against the ratepayers at the end.

You can read more about Floral Hall via the links below, and I am currently using new online sources to compile a more comprehensive list of shows that took place there – watch this space!

Floral Hall: An Introduction

Floral Hall’s Former Stars

Millennium on the Internet Archive

In the previous post, I explored Kinderland’s website via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I also found another attraction from the 1990s/2000s – Millennium. Originally billed as ‘a time travel experience’, the attraction was located close to Scarborough Harbour and operated between 1993 and 2001. It was the brainchild of local entrepreneur Henry Marshall, and you can read more about him via the screenshots below, which show the website.

Millennium website, c.2001 via the Internet Archive

Text reads:

From the moment you enter the 1930s railway station the time clock is racing backwards. Alight from the train and you’ll begin by discovering the ancient Viking settlement of SKARTHABORG and the legend that gave it a name.

You’ll pass on through the mists of time to the Norman Castle. Eavesdrop on Edward I as he schemes with James of St. George, his Master Mason, to rebuild the ruins of Scarborough castle into one of the most impregnable fortresses in his kingdom.

You’ll witness the growth of Scarborough as a medieval port. Learn the secrets of the Spa, whose healing powers enticed the rich from far and wide.

Next you’ll be plunged into conflict. 1645. Civil War. Scarborough is under siege as the Roundheads bombard the beleaguered castle garrison with the largest cannon in the kingdom.

Exhausted? Don’t worry, you’ve still 300 years to catch your breath. Ahead of you lies the coming of rail, the Victorian Promenade and the shocking practice of sea bathing!! Scarborough was the UK’s first seaside resort.

But watch out, there’s the awesome destruction of the German naval bombardment of 1914 before you can savour all the traditional magic of the Great British seaside.

Inspired by the concept, leading playwright and local figure Alan Ayckbourn contributed to the colourful scripts that imbue the storytelling with conviction and character, bringing you closer to history than you’d ever imagined.

Millennium website, c.2001 via the Internet Archive
Millennium website, c.2001 via the Internet Archive
Millennium website, c.2001 via the Internet Archive

Text reads:

The experience

By employing an innovative mix of sound, smell, vision and the modelmaker’s art, Millennium brings local history alive in a refreshing new way that both children and adults can enjoy. This is history as it happened, warts and all!

Far from being a sleepy seaside resort, you’re about to discover that Scarborough has lived in the shadow of momentous events that shaped our nation. Events that took their toll of ordinary people. Farmers. Merchants. Craftsmen. Fishermen.

Life was short, uncompromising and at times, downright bloody (it’s the only place in England ravaged and obliterated from the Domesday Book and laid siege twice during the Civil War). This is one journey on which you’ll come face to face with more than you ever imagined. Perhaps your trip to the seaside will never be the same again!

The Dream

Henry Marshall is one of those showmen in the ‘Barnum’ mould. An energetic entrepreneur whose roots span over five generations of entertainers.

Here’s a man whose great aunt was a sword swallower, his great grandfather a circus traveller who first brought the wonder of bioscope ‘moving pictures’ to the people of Yorkshire. And true to form, Henry has ideas too. But one would niggle at the back of his mind for over twenty years. After making his fortune from the traditional seafront amusement arcades, Henry acquired some disused seafront buildings. Former sail lofts for the fleets of Victorian lighters that once maintained Scarborough’s thriving fishing industry.

Then he began to plan. A trip to the States fired his zeal for historical interpretation. Back home came a chance encounter with Alan Robertson, whose award winning work on the Churchill War Rooms and the Grimsby Fishing Experience enthralled him. Both were keen historians and Alan had written a book on the town they both loved, the Scarborough Millennium. Together they set out to create history.

With the aid of an army of craftsmen, film set designers, local teachers and the acclaimed playwright Alan Ayckbourn, Henry’s derelict warehouse was reborn in less than a year. And his dream came true.

You can read more about Millennium here:

The Mysterious Millennium Museum

A Viking House in the Millennium Museum: Fact or Fiction?

Inside The Millennium Experience

Holbeck Hall And Scarborough Millennium

Kinderland on the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is a fantastic resource. It enables users to browse historic websites and content, which have been archived since the initiative’s inception in 1996. Many of these sites would be lost forever otherwise, and I was thrilled to find Kinderland on there.

Kinderland was an adventure playground for children which operated on Burniston Road in Scarborough between 1985 and 2007.

Kinderland website c.2002, via the Internet Archive

With its distinctive rainbow branding and bright text, the site provides a wonderful insight into the attraction, including images. As far as I know, these images and this content is not preserved anywhere else.

Kinderland website c.2002, via the Internet Archive
Kinderland website c.2002, via the Internet Archive

The site not only provides details of the rides and park attractions, but also an insight into pricing and opening times, for example winter closure and the incredible value for money.

Kinderland website c.2002, via the Internet Archive

The map also documents other long gone attractions including Marvel’s, Atlantis and the Corner Cafe. Other local tourism sites of the time also carried features, such as a website containing a guide to the Yorkshire Coast (below):

Kinderland feature in the Yorkshire Coast Guide, c.2002, Internet Archive

It is fortunate that Kinderland’s website and other local sites were picked up by the Internet Archive, otherwise this valuable information might have been lost forever.

You can read more about Kinderland’s history via the following links:

Remembering Kinderland 

The Kinderland Protest

The Historic Water Chute

Kinderland Memories

Kinderland: Did You Know…?

The Kinderland Controversy

Kinderland Opens!

As Seen on TV: Part II

In As Seen on TV: Part I, you can read about Scarborough’s attractions in Last of the Summer Wine and A Touch of Frost. This post introduces another example – ITV’s Strangers, a TV series broadcast in the UK between 1978 and 1982). The premise of this police drama was a group of detectives, brought together to solve crimes that other police officers could not.

Series 3 was broadcast in 1980, and Episode 3, ‘Armed and Dangerous’ was filmed in Scarborough.

Thanks once again to Neil for highlighting this one and showing me the episode.

Luna Park, screenshot from ITV’s Strangers (1980), Series 3, Episode 3 ‘Armed and Dangerous’

One of the actors in this episode was Ken Kitson, who coincidentally was also in Last of the Summer Wine and later returned to Scarborough for another reason, as Neil explains:

Funnily enough, the actor Ken Kitson is in that episode and he also played one of the policemen in later series of Last of the Summer Wine. Weirdly, during one of my birthday weekends to Scarborough, he had set up outside the complex that replaced the Corner Cafe, selling copies of what I guess was his autobiography….

….after a quick Google search, it turns out that the book Ken Kitson was selling outside the Sands complex that day in May was of his poetry.


The book in question is called Moods, Moments & Memories:

In response to As Seen on TV: Part I, Garry shared a link to this Facebook Group, which features stills from lots of different productions made in Scarborough.

I’ve started compiling some lists from YouTube here.

There are many recent examples (for example the 2019 series titled Scarborough and set in the town, The Royal, and other features in the 2000s), but I’m particularly interested in hearing from anyone who knows about any older examples which feature historic attractions (i.e. 1990s and earlier), so please get in touch via email or in the comments below.

As Seen On TV: Part I

A fun way to research Scarborough’s attraction history is to explore old UK TV shows. Thanks to suggestions from readers, and in particular from Neil, it’s been possible to start putting together a list for Stories From Scarborough

1. Last of the Summer Wine

Last of the Summer Wine, for those who are unfamiliar with it, was a long running BBC sitcom, first broadcast in 1973. The final episodes were broadcast in 2010. Mainly set in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, it featured a group of old friends and their various misadventures, which occasionally took them further afield, including to Scarborough.

In two episodes from the third series (which ran between October and December, 1976) , the main characters take a trip to Scarborough, and the programmes feature some lovely shots of Scarborough, including some of the historic attractions featured on this site. The first, ‘The Great Boarding House Bathroom Caper’ was aired on November 10, 1976, followed by ‘Cheering Up Gordon’ on November 17. Both episodes were directed by Ray Butt, better known for his work directing another famous UK sitcom – Only Fools and Horses, and the storyline featured Bill Owen as Compo, Peter Sallis as Clegg, and Brian Wilde as Foggy.

The attractions featured include Scalby Mills Amusements, The Futurist, Cliff Lifts, Scarborough Zoo, North Bay Pool and the Miniature Railway.

Scalby Mills Amusements, screenshot from a postcard featured in BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Series 3, Episode 3, first aired 1976
Foreshore and Futurist, screenshot from BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Series 3, Episode 3, first aired 1976
South Bay Cliff Lifts – screenshot from BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Season 3, Episode 4, 1976
Dolphin at Scarborough Zoo, BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Series 3, Episode 4, 1976
Dolphin display at Scarborough Zoo, BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Series 3, Episode 4, 1976
North Bay Bathing Pool, screenshot from BBC Last of the Summer Wine, Season 3, Episode 4, 1976

2. A Touch of Frost

Another long running television show to feature Scarborough, was A Touch of Frost. It starred David Jason as detective Jack Frost, produced first by Yorkshire Television (then later by ITV) and based on novels by R.D. Wingfield. It ran from 1992 until 2010. ‘Deep Waters’, the fifth and final episode in Series 4, was first aired February 4, 1996 and featured a visit to the fictional town of Boxborough, aka Scarborough. A highlight of this episode were the shots of the then derelict South Bay Pool.

South Bay Pool, screenshot from Yorkshire Television/ITV A Touch of Frost, Series 4, Episode 5, 1996
South Bay Pool, screenshot from Yorkshire Television/ITV A Touch of Frost, Series 4, Episode 5, 1996
South Bay Pool, screenshot from Yorkshire Television/ITV A Touch of Frost, Series 4, Episode 5, 1996

I would like to compile a list of TV features for the new website, so if anyone knows of any other examples, please post them in the comments below – it’d be great to have some more suggestions!

Please check back soon for As Seen on TV Part II, when I’ll be sharing another TV feature.

Stories From Scarborough: Updates

Currently in development: a brand new website, book and set of songs about the attractions and their histories.

The book and new website will be available in 2022 and will include research, memories and pictures from the project. I’m also looking for a choir or group of singers to record the songs for the site, and for performances in Scarborough next year. Please get in touch if you know anyone who might be interested.

More updates to come…