I have visited Whitby now for more than 50 years and have treasured it as a place of character and sensitive development amid so many soulless resorts that quite frankly blight the UK coasts and, more particularly, the Yorkshire coast.
Unlike those other resorts, Whitby benefits from the charm of its streets and harbour, the excellent shops and restaurants, the marvellous Whitby and Cook museums, the newly arrived Endeavour and many other things.
While I and other regular visitors have (often by pure chance) discovered the hidden location of your current Tourist Information Centre, many others wander the streets aimlessly because they never encounter it. A Tourist Information Centre’s users will, in the main, be ‘just passing by’, so it really ought to be in a central location (like it used to be) with a constant flow of potential users walking past the door, and not hidden away in a backwater where very few people will ever see it, like the current one is.
Coincidentally, I recently saw a copy of your excellent paper in a local (Wakefield) newsagent and, while browsing it, happened to notice an article saying that the very centrally positioned NatWest Bank building was to become another fish and chip restaurant, in competition with all the others in Whitby and whose local owners have earned Whitby an excellent gastronomic reputation.
Sadly, the many empty tables I saw in these restaurants during my visit to Whitby last week on a beautiful day were hardly indicative that there is room for an outsider trying to muscle in on the trade that they are currently finding so hard come by.
As a mere visitor, I can’t help but think that the answer to the problem of the badly sited Tourist Information Centre and the then unwanted NatWest Bank building was to have put the Tourist Information Centre in the NatWest building, with the rest of the building being used for a small shop(s), flats or offices.
I am aware that Whitby has suffered in recent times as a result of being ‘governed’ by and from its larger neighbour (and, to some extent, its competitor), Scarborough.
As someone who comes from Wakefield, which has suffered in recent times from its closeness to Leeds, Whitby has my sympathy but at least we have our own council and do not suffer the problems of being governed by (and outvoted by) our larger, more powerful neighbour.