Monday, 25 October 2010

Bleed it dry

With all the hype, with all the mentions, with all the themed shops, restaurants and museums you would have thought that Bram Stoker had set the whole of Dracula in Whitby.

Instead it’s just three chapters, three important chapters, but still just three chapters.

I dread to thin what the hype would be like if the whole book had been set here.

And yet, there’s no need for the hype (down to only offering “blood” rather than strawberry sauce as an ice-cream topping – it should be noted that “blood” is in fact strawberry sauce!)

The town has more history and fame oozing from its little lanes than many places several times its size.

Ignoring the whole “StokerWorld “theme, it’s home to a stunning set of ruins in the Abbey, an Abbey which, when it was in full working order before Henry VIII had his little falling out with the pope, boasted nine saints from it’s ranks.

Its literary links go beyond Vampires to Walruses and Carpenters, it was in Whitby that it is believed Lewis Carol wrote one of the most famous poems for “Through the Looking-Glass”

But perhaps more importantly, it’s from this small Yorkshire port that a ship called the Earl of Pembroke was launched in 1764. In 1768 it was renamed the Endeavour. Its captain had done most of his training from the same port and so the Endeavour and Captain James Cook helped to create the map of the world as we know it.

Yet there is only one small museum to the Captain, and no real monument to one of the most important ships in history.

Vampires on the other hand, you can have dozens.

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