The war is over in Whitby as event folds

Kym Kitching at Goathland station dressed as a land army girl''w124201e
Kym Kitching at Goathland station dressed as a land army girl''w124201e

The war is over in Whitby.

But there will be no street parties or dancing in the street - or at Dock End as there has been over the last couple of years to celebrate.

The popular Railway in Wartime weekend, which had been brought to Whitby for the last two years, will not be happening this year due to ‘lack of interest’ and money.

Welcome to Yorkshire, which partly funded the event last year because interest had already started to dwindle, said it had hoped for more input from businesses and shops but it hadn’t been forthcoming.

Instead of food and craft stalls, dancing next to the harbour, people dressed up and and music from the forties, there will be a small re-enactment at Whitby train station which has been hastily organised and paid for by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).

Meanwhile, as usual there will be re-enactments, entertainment, street parades and vehicle displays at Goathland and Grosmont stations while the main events take place further down the line in the village of Pickering where the war weekend started many years ago.

It had been hoped that events could be extended to Whitby to try and relieve the pressure on Pickering which has reached saturation point because of the numbers of visitors flocking for the weekend.

Janet Deacon, area director for Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We started with a huge group of people being interested but it dwindled away. With events like armed forces day and Seafest in Scarborough it is lots of different groups that get behind it and that is what we need for Whitby to make it work.

“We had done it with other partners and the Esk Valley Railway and in the second year that interest died so last year we had a small budget to put on the things that we did last year.

“We don’t have the resources to do it again. The whole idea was for groups to share the responsibility and resources but it was not ticking all the boxes. The objective was to drive people there but it was the people that were already in Whitby going around the event site.

“It didn’t deliver what we needed it to and we couldn’t get the re-enactors out of Pickering, but it was not for the want of trying.”

A spokesperson for NYMR added: “We have had to pay for it this year. Everybody else declined. It is massively disappointing but you never know what might happen in the future. Someone might come in and make Whitby a success.”