My late Father, Commodore Chief Engineer Philip Granger Hoggarth, Shell Tankers, frequently recounted the circumstances that preceded the closure of the Whitby to Scarborough railway as announced in the Beeching Report...
Beginning in 1964, rail services were successively scaled back with useful trains that could, for example, get you to work before 9am, or back home after the cinemas and pubs closed, being altered to those which, marginally, could not and were therefore effectively useless.
Passenger numbers fell hugely and the whole line was declared uneconomic soon thereafter and slated for the axe.
This is precisely what is happening to Whitby Hospital with ward closures, facility ‘rationalisation’ and suchlike. We are being lined up for second string medical status and Whitby will lose its hospital to property developers.
I urge all readers to rise to the challenge of retaining our most excellent hospital, which is a defining institution that marks out our town as an individual entity, and not just a satellite of Scarborough.
Each of us must write to our councillors and MPs - forget demonstrations and petitions, once seen, thereafter, forgotten. Our representatives have a legal responsibility to read letters to them.
If we can muster sufficient paperwork and launch it in their direction, they will take notice (particularly if we each of us point out that we won’t be voting for them next time around if they don’t sort this out).
Mr Editor, I urge you to produce a pro forma letter that readers of the Whitby Gazette can use, as the basis for their own, personalised, message, so as to convey their feelings to our elected representatives.
Chris Hoggarth, Robin Hoods Bay by email