GRAPE Lane’s most famous apprentice has overlooked Whitby for a century and on Tuesday residents gathered on the West Cliff to recognise the Captain Cook statue’s 100th birthday.
In 1912 Glasgow sculptor John Tweed created the 7.5ft tall statue, which stands on a 12ft pedestal and looks towards the seaward horizon.
Pupils from West Cliff Primary School’s Turtle class sang shanties and were joined by Whitby Mayor John Freeman, Borough Mayor Helen Mallory, the Rev Canon David Smith and a number of local residents.
“It was a delight,” said Coun Freeman. “There was quite a nice attendance, even though the weather was nearly threatening to be as bad as it was a hundred years ago.”
At the statue’s original unveiling high winds meant it was revealed ahead of schedule as workmen fought in vain to keep the monument under wraps.
However this celebration, which took place after Whitby Civic Society member Parry Thornton alerted the town council to the anniversary, went much smoother. Coun Freeman added: “The simple ceremony was not really to mark the exploits of this great explorer but to celebrate the town’s recognition of a man who brought fame to our beloved town of Whitby.”
Prior to the ceremony Scarborough Borough Council undertook a minor cleaning of the statue.