Twenty five years of Whitby’s open top tours

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of a popular attraction for Whitby – the open top tour bus.

Over that period, the service has operated in a number of different guises and ownerships, helping to showcase Whitby to tourists from all over the world.

Eric Jackson, who contacted us about the landmark, successfully applied for a courier’s (tour guide) job on board and his mother spotted an advert in the Whitby Gazette – he was one of seven couriers in total back in 1993, plus one relief, and two drivers. T

he company Viking Tours had operations in York but had decided to run an extra service in Whitby .

Tours were half hourly from Langbourne Road with the blue double deckers going up to Whitby Abbey via the new bridge, then down along Church Street, across the swing bridge, and along the harbourside to the bandstand.

Then it was up to the West Cliff and back to the town centre.

Eric said: “Those early weeks in 1993 were difficult with passenger numbers low but things did improve and as we got into the main season, it was busy.

“Things didn’t always go to plan; one day, a bus broke down on Bagdale and the vehicle had to be pushed into Station Square, with help from the police.

“Besides the normal daytime tour, there were evening tours to the abbey and St Mary’s with Dracula (Rex Greenwood) on board.

“Another occasion we had a bus load of town criers with their bells ringing.

“At the season end, we had a farewell do at Bagdale Hall – great fun and very enjoyable.”