A CONCEPT to have jets of water spouting off the ends of the piers in the shape of a whale bone arch has sparked a row in Whitby.
Local campaigner Nigel Ward came up with the idea while taking in the view from the east side – his inspiration coming from a similar stunt he had seen while living in Geneva in the seventies and early nineties.
His vision is for two marble statues of whales to be situated at the end of each pier.
They would spout water and at night the feature would be lit up by a spotlight with a rotating coloured lens.
But Mike McCarthy, of the Bram Stoker International Film Festival claims to have already pitched the idea to Welcome to Yorkshire earlier this year but was told it wasn’t possible.
Mr Ward said: “I stood on the East Cliff, contemplating Whitby’s whaling heritage and recalling the majestic ‘Jet d’Eau’ in Geneva.
“Then came my moment of inspiration.
“I came home, got Photoshop up and running and made a couple of pictures and floated the idea around.
“Local councillor Sandra Turner said it would be more spectacular than the Angel of the North.
“I just thought ‘why not?’.
“It wouldn’t be expensive and is a tremendous way to welcome tall ships.
“People would come to see it, they certainly go to Geneva to see theirs and I see this as being more appropriate with the jets of water and Whitby jet and the whales.”
But Mr McCarthy said people would find the reference to whale hunting distasteful and would put off potential investors in the project.
His version features an image of Dracula being lasered into the sky and an image of the Demeter ship which sailed through the harbour with Bram Stoker, the author of the infamous novel Dracula, onboard.
It was put to officials at Welcome to Yorkshire as a way of marking the 100th anniversary since Stoker’s death which falls next year.
Mr McCarthy added: “Our meeting ended on what we thought was a positive note, but we were informed later that it would be a no-go proposal.
“Latterly our concept has been seized on from a “water spout” near the bridge in Whitby to a complete replication of our idea, that is a water arc in the harbour entrance to Whitby, but now celebrating whaling.
“We feel that public opinion, activists and save the whale members might look upon the memorial with disdain and may have a negative effect on what we want to achieve for Whitby.”
Both concepts involve using tidal power as a way of generating the electricity to power the pumps which would fire the jets of water.