Pyjamas and parades at Staithes and Runswick

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409a
Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409a

AS well as the fishing traditions, spectacular views and historic coastal cottages there is something else that is bringing people back to Staithes year after year - the chance to walk up and down the cobbled streets wearing pyjamas.

The annual nightgown parade has been going on for as long as people living in the village can remember but is now the event that kick starts the Staithes and Runswick RNLI weekend.

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409e

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409e

Originally the start to the long gone Staithes Carnival, the night-gown procession starts from the bottom of the village and winds its way along the cobbles to the ‘top’ of Staithes.

For the first time all year children are ready for bed on time as they don pyjamas, slippers and dressing gowns for the walk which is led by the Coastguard and members of the Staithes RNLI crew who turn up wearing women’s nighties.

Parents get in on the act too and although modern nightclothes have given way to traditional bonnets and bloomers there are still stalwarts who opt for the traditional Victorian style nightgowns.

Jackie Roe-Lawton said her family had been in the village for over 400 years and the nightgown parade had taken place for as long as she could remember.

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409f

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend ''w123409f

She added: “I have done it with my children, nieces and nephews, visitors’ kids and now my grandchildren. Time was there were hundreds and it was not that long ago and they were carrying a lantern or a candle stick.

“I think it has dropped off, there aren’t as many full-timers in the village and when visitors come they don’t know about it but lots come back and do it again.”

Dolores Sharrock is originally from Staithes but now lives in Marske, returns every year and has done for over 25 years.

She added: “We are the stalwarts of this thing but nobody know how it started.”

On Saturday morning the lifeboat weekend was officially started with an exercise at Runswick Bay from the Staithes and Runswick boat, Pride of Leicester, along with boats from Whitby and Redcar.

Back in Staithes there were displays featuring the lifeguards, Redcar and Hartlepool sea cadets, a raft race, fancy dress parade and fireworks.

On Sunday Staithes Beck was rammed to the rafters as hundreds of ducks made their way down the river for the Great Duck Race and the proceedings were finished off with a Sunday service of Thanksgiving in both villages.