Bridlington ~my place of birth
Bridlington is the place my birthplace and the place I spent most of the first 18 years of my life before migrating to Australia. Bridlington is a holiday resort and fishing port located on the East coast of England. It is close to Scenic Flamboro Head which juts out into the North Sea.) During the winter not much happens people tend to hibernate, as it is cold damn cold. The wind sleight and rain are blown in from the North Sea. Most people rarely go out in winter, they take the necessary precaution of hibernating.
In summer though it is a different story. During these months, Bridlington and its surroundingshave long been a Mecca for tourists, and a retirement haven.
Fishing and light industry are the principal activities for the town. Shipbuilding was apparently carried out here in the 13th century; In1401 Henry IV ordered the Bailiffs of Bridlington to build a barge by Easter to convey men and stores to his army in Scotland.
A Dundee smuggler from Bridlington Bay in 1731 let it be known that he was afraid of none of the King's sloops except the "Salamander"; the Admiralty took him at his word and ordered Captain Hutchinson of the Salamander to go on patrol in Bridlington Bay.
Captain Cook the man credited with finding and surveying much of the Australian coastline came from a village not far from Bridlington.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Bridlington Harbour was at its busiest. In 1816, there were almost 80 grain ships in the year. As well there was a weekly ship to London. There were 145 Bridlington owned ships in 1820. Between 1829 & 1841 the number of voyages rose from 104 to 158. After the railway appeared in Bridlington the boat trade diminished rapidly. and though the new stone piers were built steamships appeared, the Harbour trade dwindled.
At the turn of the 19th Century Bridlington became easily accessible by train and people were able to take a trip on a Sunday and return to work back in the mines and factories in West Yorkshire. A Spa built at both Bridlington, and Scarborough, a town some 70 miles north allowed people to recover from the unhealthy environments The Smoke filled towns of the industrial coal mines, steel and cotton mills environment of West Yorkshire played havoc with peoples health.
The pleasure boats in Bridlington became popular. Notable the MV Yorkshire man, Thornwick, Yorkshire Belle, Boys Own, Flamborian, Bridlington Queen. These boats used to do an hourly or two hourly trips to the chalk cliffs off Sewerby where a vast array of seabirds nest, cormorants, guillemots and seagulls as well as other varieties of seabirds. In my early- teens I got a job on the boat helping with maintenance when I say the boat I mean the Flamborian. The Flamborian was the Boat called the 'Boys Own' which was refitted and renamed. As well a upper deck added to the boat in the late 1960's. My job included chipping off old paint and swabbing the patches with red lead until it could be repainted. Then I used to wash cups & plates in the Cafeteria. Occasionally I would help with tying the boat up in the Harbour.
My father was a musician and played the Piano Accordian from the 1940’s on various boats until 1972.
What I remember most about Bridlington was the Harbour where I used to spend most of my time either on the pleasure Boats The Bridlington Queen the Yorkshire Belle, The Thornwick or the Boys Own. My father was a musician and he used to play the piano accordion on these vessels. In fact he spent twenty or so years 5 months of the year on the pleasure boats after the war. During the war my dad was a Rations Clerk as he had T.B. earler. I used to love going on the boats going down the harbour and going on pleasure trips to Scarborough and Whitby.
The beaches in Bridlington and quite good by British standards. The beaches consist of mostly fine white sand which makes sitting and walking on them pleasurable. Parts of the beaches though have lots of pebbles.
All year around lots of people go fishing on the cobbles and other fishing vessels. During the sixties when I lived there there was fish in abundance But regretfully I guess the North Sea's now have been over-fished.