Thursday, 27 August 2009


The German U-boat UB41 was built in Hamburg at the shipyard of Blohm and Voss. She was launched on May 6th 1916, and sank 8 ships during her naval career. The last time she was seen above the waves was on October 5th 1917 by the SS Melbourne in the seas off Scarborough, under the command of Oberleutnant Max Ploen.

It was always assumed that she fell victim to a mine off Scarborough, but in 2003 she was found 30 miles away from where she was thought to lie. Nearby lies UB75. Both wrecks are considered war graves, as 58 submariners went down with the vessels.

They were discovered by divers Carl Racey and Andrew Jackson, who were unable to tell whether they'd struck mines or suffered internal explosions.

According to Andrew "The early submariners of WW1 were true pioneers of submarine warfare. These vessels were hard mistresses to crew and officers alike, often referred to as Iron Coffins or Sisters of Sorrow."

Here's a video of the wreck of UB41.

See more local wrecks at the Subseatv YouTube page.

Thanks to Mark Lines for information about this fascinating subject.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Here's an interesting one,because there is of course a village by this name up on the moors. Could this be a clue to the origin of that name?

Once again A Glossary of Yorkshire Words and Phrases Collected in Whitby and the Neighbourhood of 1855 was the source.

This is Stape Silver Band, formed in 1884 and still going strong. They entered local competitions in the early 1900s and won many prizes including the 'Jingling Johnny', presented to the band at the first Douthwaite Dale competition. This strange looking trophy now resides in the Castle Museum, York.

Friday, 21 August 2009


It's the peak of Whitby's summer season and the 169th historic Regatta starts tomorrow. For many local families the Regatta has always been a much anticipated and enjoyable event. The above photograph, from the turn of the last century, shows huge crowds of spectators watching the rowing events in the harbour. Sadly, some of the unique atmosphere has diminished in recent years, not helped by the loss of the Greasy Pole and the banning of large decorated Floats scattering 'dangerous' sweets into the crowds. However, enough still remains to make this a great 'carnival on land and sea'.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Many of the terms included in A Glossary of Yorkshire Words and Phrases Collected in Whitby and the Neighbourhood of 1855 have sadly become forgotten. In an attempt to reincarnate some of our local expressions, each week one of the juicier ones will be highlighted here on OUT ON YE!

Here's the first selection. I hope you'll attempt to use it in context at some time during the week. If you do, please leave a comment explaining how it went.

Monday, 10 August 2009


In the biggest influx for decades, millions of Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) have flown into Britain from the north African deserts.

The last major invasion was in 1996, but was nowhere near as large. It is thought that heavy winter rains in Morocco during February triggered the germination of the caterpillars' food plants. Large numbers were seen in Spain in April. A few weeks later they had made it to France.
By September they'll be gone back to the hot, distant land of their mothers.

Thanks to Barbara Godfrey for the photographs, which were taken on 09/08/09 near the Abbey.

Monday, 3 August 2009


Dr George Merryweather of Whitby exhibited his legendary Tempest Prognosticator at The Crystal Palace in The Great Exhibition of 1851. Consisting of twelve leeches in bottles within a structure resembling an indian temple, a replica is on show at Whitby Museum. There is a picture of it at the bottom of this page.

Although no pictures of it are available, apparently a fully working replica with live leeches exists at Barometer World in Devon.

The Tempest Prognosticator, or Leech Barometer as it is sometimes known, is athing of great beauty and strangeness. Here are two examples of imaginations that have been fired by this odd construction.

Honeypear is a cartoonist from Glasgow. This is her homage to Dr Merryweather.
(Click on the image to see the full cartoon)

Here are some Japanese youths in a car park dancing to If The Rock Don't Get You The Heavy Metal Will by a band called The Tempest Prognosticators.