Opinion: A sense of community in the Whitby area I never felt in the city

Robin Hoods Bay. Pic: Richard Ponter, 175234a
Robin Hoods Bay. Pic: Richard Ponter, 175234a

As the newly appointed receptionist at Dunsley Hall Hotel I am currently in the process of settling into a new job, but more than that.

I have recently relocated to the area from a large town just outside of Birmingham.

Lizzie Peate

Lizzie Peate

A land where shops are open 24 hours a day, light pollution means that you can’t see the stars and looking someone directly in the eye is widely frowned upon.

I moved mostly for love after meeting a local man outside his chip shop in Robin Hood’s Bay nearly two years ago, however I must admit that the prospect of moving was made much more attractive due to the beauty of the local area.

The north/south divide is and always has been a big stereotypical talking point for most Brits, but when you are from the Midlands, it’s a difficult one to get involved in.

To anyone from London you are northern but to anyone north of Sheffield you are very much southern. I like to think I have cultural traits of both. Yes, I like my coffee in a paper cup with my name on adorned with a famous green logo, but I also like talking to strangers, however much my mum told me not to, and growing up with a northern father I understand that tea means dinner.

Moving here has highlighted some of the stereotypes.

I was talking just the other day about how many hugs I have had since I was up here, the local people are so friendly. Jjust today I was walking through Whitby and a gentleman said “hello” – I’m still in the stage where this makes me jump, but it makes me feel happy and included in something special.

I have also had some lovely conversations with taxi drivers, different to the mute tones of city drivers.

There are however some practical cons to the countryside, non-more felt than the urge for a nice bottle of wine after a long Sunday shift to find that the nearest open shop is 30+ miles away, but I have quickly learnt to be more prepared and this seems a small price to pay for waking up each day to a lovely view, oh and regular access to chips and gravy.

I am, however, unable to order any bread with it yet as I am unsure on the correct variation of bread bun to use.

I also recently discovered the term stottie which has confused things even more on that subject. One thing that does need updating pretty promptly is my wardrobe, noticed predominantly as I walked through Whitby in the snow in a short leather jacket. My next purchases will be a fleece, sensible coat, hat and walking boots - a set of winter tyres may also be in order.

All in all, Whitby and the surrounding countryside has much to be proud of.

A real sense of pride and community that I have personally never felt in the city, wonderful scenery and I am sure I will get used to the cold.