Goth photographers in a row over graves


THE BANNING of taking pictures near gravestones could ruin Goth weekend according to photographers that flock to the town.

Goth weekend attracts hundreds of professional and amateur snappers all looking to get the perfect shot of the weird and wonderful outfits on display in a dramatic setting.

It has long been a tradition that Goths visit the grounds of St Mary’s Church where there are legions of photographers looking for pictures for their own portfolios or to sell on.

But since the last Goth weekend back in April, signs have appeared in the grounds of St Mary’s Church saying photography on and near gravestones is prohibited.

Chris Oakes is an amateur photographer from York and is concerned that this combined with the fall out of the Goth weekend split could spell the end of the weekend altogether.

He said: “It needs to be said Whitby is on the verge of losing its weekend soon. What with the split and this, I think that will be the end.

“What’s wrong with the church for two days. Everyone is enjoying themselves. If anything the families of the deceased should be the ones to complain, what do they say?

“It’s like Whitby is on self destruct. Ruin the goth weekend, all the arguments over regatta and folk weekend, what’s up with everyone?”

Lynn Lawrence added: “Restricting photography is a false economy. The more photographs there are to “share” the more publicity is generated therefore more revenue.

“I think “keep off the daffs” and “it is an offence to touch the gravestones” would be more effective in that case.”

John Hemson, St Mary’s churchwarden, said: “The reason the rector did it was it had become unbearable. I sat there one day and in half an hour nine photographers walked past me.

“The Goths stand, sit or even lie on the table graves. There are people in Whitby who have families in there even though it closed in 1861 and they object to it very much.

“The rector is very strong on this. It is a mark of respect, it is a holy place like all cemeteries and it could be very dangerous as some of the grave stones we have had to lay on the ground.”