Film ID: YFA 2642 Video of YFA 2642 Fylingdales (1954-5) FYLINGDALES 1954-1955 Visitor TabsDescription This excellent film chronicles Fylingdales on the East Coast of Yorkshire, especially Robin Hoods Bay and Ravenscar. It shows the coast and country as well as local life and leisure. Title – Between Whitby and Scarborough is Fylingdales This title opens the film over a map of east Yorkshire which homes in on Fylingdales. The film shows the coast and the rolling country hills. Title – To the South is Ravenscar The film shows views over Ravenscar, the bay, and coast. Title – The cliffs curve to the north There is a panoramic view of the bay. Title – The beach is unique The film shows the beach when the tide is out, from distance and up close. Title – A Rock Formation with pools A variety of different rock pools are shown up close. Title – And fossils A woman picks up several fossils to show to the camera. Title – And all Kinds of Sea Life There is a selection of the sea life including crabs, lobsters, starfish, and algae. Title – Inland are shady woods, valleys and streams A view over a valley is followed by a man and a woman emerging from a wood where a group of women are walking near a stream. Title – Wild flowers flourish Bluebells, holly and other wild flowers are shown. Title – All about are prosperous farms In the valley, there are several farms with goats and pigs. Title – Farm work is at hand Three men and a woman stack hay in a field, and the hay bundles are loaded onto small carts which are pulled by horses. Title – But there are relaxations There is a village cricket match at Fylingdales Cricket Club. Someone is out, and the score board is changed. During lunch, spectators have tea and sandwiches, and the action continues after lunch. A group of people on horseback ride down a country lane. A poster advertises ‘Thorpe Sports’ for Monday 1st August 1955, and then another one on Middlewood Lane, for Monday 2nd August, 1954. People buy their entrance ticket for the event. One woman looks through a programme, before we see a boy’s high jump. This is followed a wheel-barrow race, a boy’s sack race, and a women’s egg race. A sign shows teas for 1/6d, and people queue for tea and some have wafer ice creams. There follows a ‘terrier trap race’, although the terriers aren’t set off from traps, but from their owners. The dogs chase a soft toy which is pulled along the field using a bicycle wheel. Next is a competition with horses whereby four horses race to a central point, followed by a slalom on horseback. A close up of the programme for horse events shows a potato race, a bending race, a musical ride, a variety race and an open gallop. The potato race is shown whereby the horse rider has to put potatoes into a bucket whilst riding, and then the open gallop. Title – The railway chuffs round the bay On a sunny day a steam train sets off from Ravenscar Station and is shown along the journey until it reaches Fyling Hall Station which is covered in flowers. As the train pulls out of the station, the Station Master hands something to the guard. The train arrives at another station. Title – The station for the bay town A large group of people disembark from the train at Robin Hood’s Bay, and there is a sign pointing to the local YHA. The local village is shown with a truck passing through, and captured is a view over Robin Hood’s Bay. Title – Snuggling in a cleft in the cliffs Another view over the village shows Robin Hood’s Bay with both the sea and the surrounding countryside. People walk up and down the steep main street. There is a sign for the ‘Old forge Handicrafts’ shop. Lots of visitors wander around the shops including one called ‘Fielding’s.’ Title – Once a busy fishing village it now relies on visitors A large group of people, with boys carrying towels, make their way through the village. Title – The street names are quaint’ A sign for ‘Sunny Place’, ‘Tommy Baxter Street’, ‘Jim Bell’s Stile’, ‘Brig Garth’, ‘The stocks’’ Tyson’s Steps’, ‘The Openings’ Title – The streets even quainter A horse pulls a cart up a steep street, and some of the narrow back lanes and steps can be seen. A house on the cliff top has partly fallen due to erosion of the cliff, and other houses and cottages are shown. Title – Artists find much of interest Several people draw and paint local scenes. Title – The visitors too A man has a chuckle over some Bamforth post cards. People are gathered around a grocery shop, and a man lays out some items on the bonnet of his car. This is followed by two wall carvings, one of a woman knitting, another of a man with one hand. Down by the sea it is packed with visitors. One man has a stall by the sea with small potted plants that look like they are made out of shells. On the beach children have donkey rides, there are ices, tea, people playing cricket, children pushing out a boat, a man painting, and children with buckets and nets. Title – A lovely place. – Where tile roots rise to the hills – And where a little world is site in the silver sea The film closes with a trip to Robin Hood’s Bay, and the cameraman shows many views of the picturesque seaside village such as the many windy streets and little cottages which rise up above one another on the hilly coastline and the beach with its rock pools. Context This film was donated to the Yorkshire Film Archive by Robin Hood's Bay and Fylingdales Museum, together with another excellent film of Whitby from 1948. Unfortunately it isn’t known who made the films, but judging by the quality of the filming, editing and use of intertitles, it is probable that whoever it was was a keen amateur filmmaker. This film is one of many that highlight the beautiful scenery along the North East coast of Yorkshire, although most films tend to be of Whitby or Scarborough, or further south, rather than Fylingdales; an area that doesn’t go so far as the twenty miles or so from Whitby to Scarborough, as the opening title of the film suggests, but stops short at Ravenscar, with Scalby to the south. Fylingdales describes an area that is both an old parish and a moor; it has no local authority significance. In fact Fylingdales Moor encompasses several moors, includingStony Marl, Howdale and Brow Moors. Historically it was part of the wapentake and liberty of Whitby Strand, consisting of seven hamlets: Hawsker Bottoms, Bay Ness, Row, Thorpe, Stoupe Brow, Park Gate, and Robin Hood's Bay. The area has a long history, predating even the Saxons, and later the Norwegians (Vikings), who settled here. The six days fire that swept uncontrollably over Fylindales Moor in 2003, to devastating effect, revealed a lost landscape dating back 3,000 years, although the area was unaccountably abandoned by farmers around 1,000BC. Among the interesting discoveries this unearthed (literally) relating to more recent times were drainage runnels and track ways from the 18th century alum industry. Apparently this imported urine from London by ship, which was used to break down shale and produce chemicals for dyes and other uses in the Industrial Revolution. For more on the history of Fylingdales see especially Fylingdales: Geographical and Historical Information (References); or better still, visit the Robin Hood's Bay and Fylingdales Museum. Most people now in hearing the name ‘Fylingdales’ will probably associate this with the controversial RAF radar station which is located on the extreme west of the moor at Snod Hill near the A169. This Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (and general space surveillance) was built after this film was made in 1962. Although run by the RAF it is funded by the US, who of course have access to the information it gathers. It used to be famous for its eye catching three giant ‘golf balls’ (radomes) which were replaced in 1992 by a larger, and more sophisticated, tracking device in a pyramid structure, a solid-state phased-array radar (SSPAR). The area is renowned for its beauty, and this film brings this out. John Cuming Walters in his book The Spell of Yorkshire, provides a nice poetic description: “The coast is dented with delicious little bays behind which lie grey and red clusters of fishers’ huts in streets crookedly winding hillwards.” (p 126) Although much of the moor is grass and course heather (now re-planted after the fire), as the films shows there is also plenty of farming land. The wood seen in the film may well be Carr Wood and the stream Ramsdale Beck, although there are several others to choose from. There is quite a good description of some of the area as it has recovered after the fire, in 2009, on the Yorkshire Walking website; and an older description, taken from A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, from 1923, on British History Online (References). The film also shows the old Whitby to Scarborough railway line before it closed in 1965, and especially the steep incline to Ravenscar. This 1 in 39 incline was one of the steepest in the country, which required two steam locomotives to pull the eight coach excursion trains. But the film focuses on the annual sports day at Thorpe and the village Robin Hood’s Bay. The sports day at Thorpe is still going, although now catering more specifically for children, without the horse riding events seen in the film – similar horse riding events from nearby and around the same time can be seen in Coxwold Gymkhana (1951), the Context of which having more on gymkhanas. Just before this film was made, in 1952, for purposes of the post, Thorpe became Fylingthorpe. Legend has it that Robin Hood and his band of merry men made haste to Robin Hood’s Bay and to sea when on the run, and that is how the village got its name. But the local website states that there is no evidence for this connection (see Robin Hood’s Bay - Its History and Origins, References). This article points out that the name Robin Hood, like that of Robin Goodfellow, and similar names, were given for elfs or spirits, and were widespread in the country; hence they passed into folk legend (The Readers Digest, Folkore, Myths and Legends of Britain, also recounts stories of Robin Hood at Whitby, pp 503/4). The village became more famous in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for smuggling, with fierce fights between the smugglers and the excise men. Apparently goods could be smuggled the entire length of the village from house to house without ever seeing the light of day. Similar battles accompanied the arrival of the press gangs around the same time, and here too tunnels or ginnels were made to enable escape from a fate that all would want to avoid. In these clashes with authority the villagers could take advantage of the narrow alleyways seen in the film. Today of course Robin Hood’s Bay is more famous as a popular place to visit, something that goes back to Victorian times, hence the Victoria Hotel, constructed in 1892 and still popular. In the 1950s however visitors would be much fewer and more regular, known by name to the villagers. Yet the unspoilt nature of the village can be seen by the fact that the ‘Old Forge Handicrafts’ shop is still going strong, as too is the shop in the film called ‘Fielding’s’, albeit now with a different name. (Many thanks to Margaret Pennock, the Chairman of the Robin Hood’s Bay Museum Trust, for her information and recollections) References K. Hoole, Railways in Yorkshire: North Riding, Dalesman Books, 1977. John Cuming Walters, The Spell of Yorkshire, Methuen, London, 1931. Readers Digest, Folkore, Myths and Legends of Britain, The Readers Digest, 2003. GENUKI Fylingdales Whitby Gazette Fylingdales Fire Julian Cope's The Modern Antiquarian Fylingdales Fylingdales: Geographical and Historical Information  Places to visit in Fylingdales Fylingdales Local History Group Robin Hood’s Bay - Its History and Origins Robin Hood's Bay and Fylingdales Museum Yorkshire Walking British History Online Further Information Barrie Farnhill, A History of Robin Hood’s Bay, North York Moors National Park Authority, 2nd edition, 1990. Richard Pennock, Robin Hood's Bay as I Have Known It, Caedmon of Whitby, 2002. Patricia Labistour, Mary Patrick Neads (eds), Lady Mary's Journal: Victorian Lady on Holiday in Robin Hoods Bay, July-August 1895, Marine Arts Publications, 1997. Robin Lidster, Yorkshire Coast Lines a Historical Record of Railway Tourism on the Yorkshire Coast, Hendon Publishing, 1983.