In The Hotseat with Lord Normanby

Lord Normanby
Lord Normanby

In the Hotseat with Lord Normanby

Lord Normanby’s family inherited the Mulgrave Estate, near Whitby, in the 18th Century, and have remained ever since.

Con, short for Constantine, divides his time between Yorkshire and London, and has property interests in Vancouver, Canada.

He is also a published novelist, under the name Constantine Phipps.

He enjoys walking and fishing and is a fan of Middlesbrough FC and Yorkshire cricket.

He has four children and is married to the author and journalist Nicola Shulman.

Lord Normanby

Lord Normanby

Whitby Gazette editor Jon Stokoe put this week’s 20 questions to him ...

1. What are your first memories of Whitby?

Being taken as a child to the dentist and to buy shoes.

Things only got better.

2 What makes Whitby special to you?

The architecture and the harbour setting.

3 Life’s highlight?

Getting married in the register office in Upgang Lane.

4 Biggest regret?

WB Yeats once said: “Who am I that I should not make a fool of myself?

Je ne regrette rien.

5 What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Porridge and mango.

6 What is your favourite eating place?

Woodlands Eat, Sandsend.

7 What is your favourite pub?

The Birch Hall Inn, in Beck Hole

8 Where are the best fish and chips?

I’m not particularly a fan of fish and chips but most of the Whitby ones are good.

9 What is your worst habit?

I’m badly addicted to Diet Coke.

10 Where was your last holiday?

A walk in Majorca.

I love walking and do a lot of it round Whitby and on the moors. I’m a keen Lyke Wake walker.

About two weekends a year I go walking somewhere else with a group of friends and this March it was Majorca.

Stunning – and nobody there!

11 When was the last time you cried?

My daughter Sibylla was in India and my wife and I Skyped her.

We had a long chat with her, then when it was over we both burst into tears.

12 What would be your ideal day in Whitby?

Because I love walking, I would start by walking there along the beach from Sandsend.

Then lunch at the Moon and Sixpence.

In the afternoon a stroll up the 199 Steps to look in at St Mary’s, my favourite church.

After that, I’d wander back down Church Street and visit the Captain Cook Museum in Grape Lane.

They usually have a special exhibition but really I just love that house and its atmosphere.

Then a wander across the bridge to Whitby Museum – always a delight.

After a cup of tea in the cafe, I make my way home – with dinner at The Estbek Hotel in Sandsend.

13 What was your first job?

Probably helping on the farm at Mulgrave as a teenager.

But that would certainly have been unpaid!

14 What is your favourite film?

Apocalypse Now.

The best opening sequence ever made, with The End by The Doors on the soundtrack.

15 What is your favourite book?

Troilus and Criseyde by Chaucer.

The first great work of narrative poetry in English and never surpassed.

16 If you won the Lottery, what would you do with it?

Buy a house in Mexico and go there for January every year.

17 Dracula or Captain Cook?

Fiction or reality?

Both so enjoyable but even an author has to choose reality.

18 What is your signature dish?

Persian rice.

19 Favourite Drink? Draught Guinness, preferably in Ireland.

My cousin was a director of the company at one time and he used to swear there was no difference between English and Irish Guinness.

I have never believed it.

20 What would be your epitaph?

Glad did I live and gladly die.