Monday, July 23, 2012

A Rough Night At Whitby


Time for an old postcard and it is an odd little number called "A Rough Night At Whitby". WE, who sent it in 1903, wanted to tell Miss E L Bull of Bignor Place, Newport, Isle of Wight that "absence makes the heart grow fonder". Did it? Did WE board a tramp ship once the Whitby waves had died down and sail south to the Isle of Wight to reclaim his Bullish love? Or did the heart grow less fond and did WE remain in Whitby all his life, gorging on their famous fish and chips and carving trinkets out of funeral jet? I have had a quick look at census records and can't find any mention of Miss Bull, which is perhaps a good thing. Better not to know. Better that the story is lost forever under those stormy North Sea waves.

15 comments:

  1. Hello Alan:
    It is absolutely decades since we were last in Whitby. Such an enchanting place. The Whitby jet is justifiably world famous....oh to have a necklace or two!!

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  2. Was WE a code word for a certain Count Dracula? One he'd bounded ashore from the Demeter, he perhaps decided to stay...

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  3. Does that upturned sentence say, 'absolutely run dry'? If so, Chairman Bill could be right, and Dracula was experiencing a terrible thirst.

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  4. I thought it said that too. Perhaps it wasn’t the absence of Miss Bull but of a decent pub nearby that he was bemoaning.

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  5. This looks like a wild night, very scary to be out there. Well I guess a postcard is a sign of life or love, the story will stay an enigma like many do.

    (Alan, what about Teddy bears or bicycles for SepiaSaturday? If they have not already been on Sepia S.. Teddy has been and still is a loved Toy! Bicycles what would we have done without them?)

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  6. It is a wonderful old postcard. I am intrigued by the handwriting and the story too.

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  7. Okay, let's see a bullish love would be far better than no love at all! But would I want to be standing out in the middle of this stormy weather?! No way!

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  8. Ah, the story one could weave about WE and Miss Bull. Alas, by the time WE's card reached the Isle of Wight, Miss Bull had decamped with a curate who had embezzled the parish funds and the larcenous couple lived out their lives on the Riviera, bilking their unsuspecting countrymen...

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  9. Only a few weeks ago we had fish & chips in Whitby overlooking this very vantage point. While we waited for some classier chips, several small dorys pulled by 4 oarsmen kept going in and out of this narrow harbor. Though there was no storm like this, a squall of rain still made it a most dramatic evening. When we commented on it to the waitress, she said that many were actually young kids, as she had two granddaughters age 14 who practiced at the oars. And all without life vests she said!

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  10. Hi Alan, Could you look at this old photo for me? Thanks!
    http://forgottenoldphotos.blogspot.com/2012/07/photo-number-944.html

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  11. It's a good thing I just ordered new eye glasses. I could have sworn the writing said "Abuse makes the heart grow fonder!"

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  12. A dramatic picture. I guess it was a painting and not a photo, but I think it conveys the atmosphere better than a photo would.

    Events have always conspired to stop me reaching Whitby. I have tried several times. I'll have to put it on one of those lists of "Places to see Before...."

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  13. Funnily enough, I've just returned from Whitby today, having been on a boat-trip (there's loads of boats there, along the quay, trying to sell you trips!) We sailed round for 20 minutes in exactly the bit of sea you can see on the postcard!

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  14. The stormy night doesn't look as romantic as the words sound. When we were at Whitby, a few years back, it was a public holiday and there was nowhere to park and the streets or should I say the kerbs were full of people sitting and eating fish and chips.

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  15. 'A rough night at Whitby..' sounds like he was trying to tell Miss Bull something. Had he been on the beer the night before? If so, it might well then say 'Abuse makes the heart grow fonder' as Christine suggests.

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