Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay have played a part in making sure a terminally ill man could spend his last few days doing what he enjoyed the most.
That included fish and chips in Whitby, and, even while in an ambulance, enjoying a pint and the view in Robin Hood’s Bay.
Steve Brocklesby, from Scunthorpe, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October last year.
A few weeks ago, when he realised he only had a short time left to live, the 63-year-old expressed to his family his wish to spend his last few days “in his favourite place in the world”: Robin Hood’s Bay.
As his precarious physical condition wouldn’t allow him to stay at Bay, he, his wife Diane and his brother-in-law Michael Pogson booked a cottage off Whitby so that Steve could visit his beloved place as part of the trip.
In the few days spent in Whitby, Steve admired some of the landmarks he’d visited many times before, but, most importantly, he had a taste of Whitby fish and chips, which, his family say, he was very, very fond of.
However, as Steve’s condition started to deteriorate, the trip had to be cut short.
Michael explained: “Steve was very, very poorly but we were still determined to take him to Robin Hood’s Bay.
“Then on Wednesday we were told that if we’d stayed another day, Steve might not be strong enough to make the journey home on Thursday so, with heavy hearts, we had to arrange an ambulance to take him back to the hospice before we could fulfill his last wish.”
Although the decision was made to take him back, his family didn’t give up hope for Steve to pay one last visit to Robin Hood’s Bay and when paramedics arrived they shared his story with them.
“Initially they said no,” said Michael, “because they are monitored.
“But then they asked the control room if they could make an exception and eventually they were given the go ahead to stop very quickly at Robin Hood’s Bay on their way to Scunthorpe.”
As permission was granted, his family rushed to Bay to meet the ambulance and when Steve arrived they all stopped to enjoy a pint served by The Bay Hotel.
“We opened the back doors of the ambulance so that Steve could look at the sea while holding a pint of Wainwright, his favourite beer.
“He had a big smile and a tear, he was happy. The night before he had some fish and chips, his favourite meal, and now he managed to visit his favourite place.
“It was everything he wanted.”
A few hours after arriving back at Lindsey Lodge Hospice, Steve passed away.
“We want to thank everyone in Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay who helped us make sure Steve had a memorable last few days.
“Thank you in particular to the ambulance service who bent the rules out of compassion, and to The Bay Hotel.”
After Steve’s funeral, which will be held on 8 March, his family will return to Robin Hood’s Bay one more time to scatter Steve’s ashes on the sea.