Pirates playground at the smugglers’ bay

The new pirate ship at Bank Top play area  Picture: Gary Simpson
The new pirate ship at Bank Top play area Picture: Gary Simpson

Youngsters in Robin Hood’s Bay will be able to sail the seven seas and walk the plank aboard a new pirate ship installation at the village’s Bank Top play area.

More than 100 people were in attendance as Fylingdales Parish Council unveiled the new equipment, which cost £32,000, on Saturday afternoon.

Graham Irving, chairman of the parish council, said: “The new installation is absolutely fantastic.

“This is something that will really benefit the local community.

“With us being on the coast, and due to our smuggling heritage, we felt that a pirate theme was a very fitting idea.”

The pirate ship has replaced a former fishing vessel, Joshann, that was donated to the playground in 1982 when it was dedicated to the memory of local girl Tracey Hutchinson, who tragically died in a road accident.

After more than 30 years in situ, the coble had begun to fall into a state of disrepair, and in December 2012, parish councillors began raising funds with the aim of improving the play area.

Cameron Kenneally, who would have been Tracey’s nephew, cut the ribbon to officially open the pirate ship, which was designed and constructed by York-based company Playscheme.

Mr Irving added: “John Danby from Playscheme initially came down and had a look at the coble and the playground to see what they could do for us.

“The finished article is a real credit to the designers and also to the village.”

The installation is the first in a series of improvements that the parish council have lined up for the play area.

A target of £4,500 has almost been met to fund new swings, and wheelchair and pram access is the next modification on councillors’ agenda.

Over £250 towards further developments was raised at the unveiling of the pirate ship, which was attended by Whitby Pirate Society.

“It was great to have some pirates along for the opening, it really added to the occasion,” added Mr Irving.

“The money raised through a collection that we held and donations received on the day will go a long way to helping us reach our other targets.

“I would like to thank all those who have given up their time to help with this project, particularly Sue and Martin Hutton.”