Disappointing turnout for 40s weekend

Whitby forties weekend''Betty Salmon, Eunice Bird and Kitty Handley taking part in an afternoon tea dance at Whitby Pavillion''w111501b    Picture: Ceri Oakes
Whitby forties weekend''Betty Salmon, Eunice Bird and Kitty Handley taking part in an afternoon tea dance at Whitby Pavillion''w111501b Picture: Ceri Oakes

NUMBERS at this year’s 40s weekend were “not quite what we had hoped” according to the new organisers who say Whitby was “apathetic” towards the event.

Despite assurances that businesses would join in the ‘blitz spirit’ and create 1940s style window displays only the town’s charity shops and a few businesses on Church Street joined in on the act.

Whitby forties weekend''Evacuee brothers Elliot (8) and Leo (6) Beale who came all the way from Staffordshire to enjoy the Whitby 40s weekend''w111501a    Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''Evacuee brothers Elliot (8) and Leo (6) Beale who came all the way from Staffordshire to enjoy the Whitby 40s weekend''w111501a Picture: Ceri Oakes

Sam Hoyle said “everybody was a bit apathetic” and also believes some people were under the impression the event had been cancelled while posters put up around town advertising it had been taken down.

He told the Gazette: “The turn out was not quite what we had hoped. I can’t put a figure on it because I know how many people entered the night dos but that does not give a good impression.

“There were hundreds rather than tens but not thousands. Everyone we spoke to seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves so the fact there weren’t as many as we hoped didn’t put a dampener on it.”

Mr Hoyle and his events company Dark Daisy took on the running of the 40s weekend from Whitby and District Tourism Association (WDTA) earlier this year.

Whitby forties weekend''Jennifer Emmerson tries a peacock feather hat on for size at the Pavillions forties market stalls''w111501c    Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''Jennifer Emmerson tries a peacock feather hat on for size at the Pavillions forties market stalls''w111501c Picture: Ceri Oakes

He is keen to turn the poor attendance into a positive because he says the organising team know what they have got to do in order to improve the event for next year.

Suggestions include having a battle re-enactment and a display of military vehicles like in previous years.

Mr Hoyle added: “We would advertise it more widely, we took it on at fairly short notice but didn’t have the budget for advertising but now we know what we are up against.

“We are trying to build on it and know where we want to be in five years time - and that is a whole town event attracting thousands of people.

Whitby forties weekend''Amy Perez from York hunts for a bargain at the forties stalls at Whitby Pavillion''w111501 d    Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''Amy Perez from York hunts for a bargain at the forties stalls at Whitby Pavillion''w111501 d Picture: Ceri Oakes

“In order to do that we need to be positive all the way if we want people to get involved rather than them think why should we bother?”

Whitby forties weekend''Melanie Brownover of Velevet Brown Vinatge from Marske''w11150h    Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''Melanie Brownover of Velevet Brown Vinatge from Marske''w11150h Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''John and Denise Taylor from Hartlepool''w111501f    Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby forties weekend''John and Denise Taylor from Hartlepool''w111501f Picture: Ceri Oakes