‘Outsiders’ deserve credit for contribution to town

Oh dear - I must have really rattled Susan Barlow’s cage. I have just read her letter and it has given me a good laugh, although I suppose that I should feel insulted.

I cannot quite see how a complaint about the ever increasing seagull population has lead to a very personal attack making various assumptions about our motives for continuing to live in Whitby.

The simple truth is that despite everything, we do actually love the place, even though there is much room for improvement as to how the town services are managed by SBC.

There is even more room for improvement in the behaviour of some unthinking people who continue to feed the gulls. Only the other day I saw a family dump the remains of their fish and chip supper on top of someone’s car in the reserve car park for the gulls to feed off! O tempora o mores!

As for exploiting Whitby’s heritage - Ok, hands up, it’s a fair cop, guilty as charged. If moving into town as outsiders, buying and renovating run down properties, as well as making a living from a small business for over 30 years is such exploitation, then yes, we are guilty.

I might point out that it was the indigenous, now allegedly, endangered species, “The Locals” who were all too happy to sell their properties to us outsiders.

Properties, I might add, that were on the open market, available to everyone, including “The locals”.

In the early days Whitby was not yet the must see trendy destination it is now, and moving here and starting a business was a big gamble.

Although now retired, I would like to think that in a small way we have contributed to preserving and adding to the unique character of the East Side which now attracts visitors from round the globe all year round. Also, Whitby is very fortunate in that it has managed, so far, to avoid the depressing sight of boarded up empty shops, an all too common sight in many seaside towns.

All of this hasn’t happened by accident, it has been the result of hard work by many other outsiders who also took risks investing in the town in the past who are now providing visitors a welcome change from the usual “anyplace” high street by selling a variety of interesting and unique products, many only available here in Whitby.

J Wood, Sandgate, Whitby by email