A look back at the news in 2011.

IT has been a busy year for Whitby and district.

Good, as well as bad, news has made the front page over the past 12 months.

Here, reporter Emma Robinson takes a look back at a 365 days which were covered in both Tuesday and Friday editions of your favourite newspaper.


WHITBY Abbey was unveiled as Britain’s most romantic ruin, according to a nationwide poll in a BBC Countryfile magazine.

The abbey came out on top, beating beautiful buildings such as Corfe Castle in Dorset and Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire.

TV presenter John Craven said: “It is a well-deserved winner.”

AN AWARD was launched in memory of a local man who died in the Brazilian Air France disaster.

Arthur ‘Art’ Coakley (61) from Sandsend was one of 228 people killed when the Air France flight from Rio de Janeiro heading for Paris, plunged into the Atlantic in June 2009 after getting caught in a freak storm. There were no survivors.

PD&MS Energy (Teesside LTD) announced that it will sponsor the award to encourage and reward young mechanical engineers in the north east.

THE Whitby Gazette’s Fight For Our Fleet campaign helped the town’s skippers gain £10,000 worth of funding.

The grant from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) was used to install a new heavy duty landing davit in the lower harbour, something the port had been without since 2010.


A CAR transporter smashed into a road bridge, cutting off an important route between villages in the Esk Valley for at least several weeks.

The lorry, which was believed to be carrying a consignment of LandRovers crashed into the left hand side of the Grade II listed in Grosmont, causing the brickwork to fall into the river.

WHITBY’S struggling fish industry was dealt a devastating blow, when the town’s sole remaining fishing vessel agency decided to scale back operations.

Alliance Fish Whitby Limited decided to close down its chandlery business, stop operating its ice plant which supplies ice to Whitby’s skippers and resign from its role in Whitby Shellfish Holding Facility.

Unrealistic EU expectations on the fishing industry hit the town particularly hard and saw the amount of fish sold fall dramatically.

AN aspiring councillor was shocked when he saw a picture of himself taken 10 years ago on the front of a birthday card in a town centre card shop.

Simon Parkes, of Prospect Hill, was out shopping with his wife when he spotted his own picture on the front of a novelty card.

Although Mr Parkes said he has a sense of humour, he said he was annoyed that whoever took the picture did not have his permission.


RAF Fylingdales welcomed a royal visitor to open the base’s new combined mess.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal formally opened the £12.5m mess, which had been built to the highest standards of energy conservation.

Princess Anne toured the station and met 100 of the station’s personnel.

A KNIFE-wielding man was arrested following an eight hour stand-off with 12 police officers.

Officers were called to a house on Landsdowne Road near Whitby Rugby Club after getting reports of a “domestic related incident”.

Police said the 29-year-old man was threatening to use the knife on himself.

There was also a woman and two-year-old child in the house.

The house was contained and police convinced the man to give himself up. No-one was harmed.

TWO Whitby men were trapped on board a ship for a week in Japan after the country’s biggest ever natural disaster.

Mick Naisbitt (58) and Peter Rees (31) were on board the Chikyu researching the causes of earthquakes when they were battered by one and a tsunami, that claimed more than 20,000 lives.

They both arrived home safely after given the clearance to escape the disaster-torn country.

continued over page