In honour of the UK Pro Surf Tour returning to Scarborough for the weekend of October 4-5 here’s some useless pub facts about one of England’s finest counties.
1. Yorkshire puddings
The classic recipe for Yorkshire Pud:
INGREDIENTS: Plain flour: one mug, Egg: 1, Milk: one mug and some beef fat.
- Pre-heat oven to 220C / 425F / Gas Mark 7.
- Put a little beef fat in 12 individual Yorkshire pudding tins or a single large tin and leave in the oven until the fat is very hot.
- Place the flour in a bowl, then make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Add half the milk and, using a wooden spoon, gradually work in the flour. Beat the mixture until it is smooth then add the remaining milk. Beat until well mixed and the surface is covered with tiny bubbles.
- Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 10 to 15 minutes for individual puddings, 30 to 40 minutes, if using a large tin, until risen and golden brown.
- Serve filled with thick, artery clogging gravy. Yerrrrm!
Lived in Whitby. No one knows if he slid out for a few sessions, he would of course have to drop a few coffin rides into the mix. More seriously Bram Stoker, him what wrote the book, hung in Whitby for a bit hence the inspiration. The whole coffins coming ashore from a shipwreck was based on an actual event when a ship named the Demetrius was wrecked and spilled its gory cargo. Locals were finding decomposed corpses all over the coast.
3. Captain Cook
Yorkshire’s most famous son didn’t technically discover surfing, officially one of his crew was the chap that noted it in his journal. He was, however, from Yorkshire, he did live by the surf, he did find most of the Pacific islands and he did become victim to the first recorded case of localism in Hawaii. For all you ship spotters out there his famous ship the Endeavour was originally a Whitby based coal-carrying ship called the Earl of Pembroke.
4. More Cookie business
The Ministry of Defence is responsible for the upkeep of the Captain Cook memorial in Hawaii. A local gardener is paid, via the British Defence Staff in Washington DC, to keep the memorial looking smart. It’s near Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. A more useless fact you’ll never hear.
5. You can go to Boggle Hole
A leafy valley that leads down to the sea, but you might not want to as it’s haunted. In case you were wondering a ‘Boggle’ is the Yorkshire term for a goblin. Who would win in a three-way punch up between a Boggle, a Cornish Piskey and an Irish Leprechaun is a moot point that has haunted academics for years.
6. It’s getting smaller
Home insurance in coastal Yorkshire must be sky high. In the 1680s the village of Runswick slipped into the sea over night, the next village south, Kettleness, followed suit in 1829 and in recent times the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough took the biggest drop of its life in 1993. So a nice gaff with a sea view is not necessarily the ideal bit of real estate to invest in; unless you’re really into living on the edge.
7. Have you been to Scarborough Fair?
Scarborough Fair was not a fair as we know it today, not much in the way of waltzers, goldfish-in-bags and suspect looking carnie types, but a huge 45 day trading event, starting August 15, which was exceptionally long for a fair in those days. People from all over England, and even some from the continent, came to do business. There is still a fair today, known as Luna Park, on the harbour side overlooking a mysto, rarely surfed, ridiculously dangerous left reef that breaks only on the biggest of big swells.
8. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Sea bathing and the whole concept of beach holidays is said to have started in Scarborough. Who invented the bucket & spade, Punch & Judy, fish & chips and English Lobster Tan is a matter open to debate. Some of the finest fish and chips in the whole country are found on the Yorkshire coast, particularly in Whitby, where award winning chip shops see long queues.
9. It’s all in the name
Robin Hood’s Bay has absolutely nothing to do with Robin Hood. It was however a den of smugglers back in the times when Smuggler was a legitimate career choice that’s sadly not so popular these days.
10. A wet what?
Probably one of the best names for a village in the whole of the UK, lagging only behind the perennial number one of Twatt in the Orkneys, is Yorkshires finest: Wetwang. The legendary, and sadly now departed, Richard Whitely of Countdown fame was the honorary mayor.