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Why I Love Scarborough

Written by Glenda Young.

Scarborough holds a special place in my heart. It's where my parents took my two younger brothers and I as a family for years and years and years… for the same two weeks during Shipyard Fortnight in the middle of August in the 70s.

York.Scarborough Pleasure Park Artist Brian Gerald 3022 yor062

We'd stay in the same guest house – the Iona Hotel in Trafalgar Square on the North Bay - and spend as much time as we could on the beach. The most vivid, happy memories of those days with my mam, dad and brothers are of happy pub lunches in beer gardens, eating scampi and chips in a basket under a pub umbrella in the sun. Very special memories. I thought there was no more magical place in the world than the Tree Walk in Peasholm Park, twinkling with fairy lights. Happy days indeed. We all loved going to Scarborough.

But when we grew up and left home, Scarborough was forgotten as holidays were spent more than 200 miles from our own front door. And then one of my brothers had two lovely little babies and as a family they'd go to Scarborough too, carrying on the tradition of a family seaside holiday into a new generation with fish and chips, ice-cream, donkey rides on the beach, the cliff lifts, little steam train in the park..

Anyway, time passed, as it does. My parents started to take their growing grandkids to Scarborough whenever they could. Everyone was happy. More time passed. And then something happened that rocked out world with grief.

In the weeks that followed, we were lost, trying to cope, until one of my brothers said: "You know what we should do?" We looked, we waited, we had to know what it was he was going to say. "We should all go to Scarborough." And so we did. We all went, grandkids included, but we were missing the one person who couldn't be there with us any more.

We played bingo, Frisbee on the beach, sang karaoke, ate ice cream and chips, and all the time, did all the things he used to love doing, all the things we did when we were there with him as kids. And although he wasn't there, he was with us all, in our own way. And he'll always be in Scarborough because he loved it more than any of us. His love for the place carries on in all of us, his kids and his grandkids, their friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, our own partners and mates.

And after that weekend when we went to celebrate dad's life with a weekend as a family in his favourite place, we started going at least once a year, for a weekend, for a day. We'd rediscovered the joy, the childlike enthusiasm that Scarborough brings out in you, it's a seaside town with bells on, it doesn't pretend to be anything else.

Scarborough remains so special to me that I was married there last year. The wedding was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre with the knees-up and the party at the Scarborough Arms. The only way it could have been more special would have been if dad could have been there too. But do you know what? I think he was, in his own way.

Why I Love Scarborough Reviewed by Editor on 15:39:00 Rating: 5


  1. We had very much the same family hoidays when I was a kid, and my children too have spent happy times there. This is a beautiful trip down memory lane, and the mixture of sadness and happiness towards the end was very moving - my own father passed away eight years ago now, and it was one of his favourite places too. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. We spent out summer holidays in the Iona hotel. Playing bar billiards on the table in the downstairs dinning room if I helped to clear the tables. Terry was the owner, can't remember his surname but a good bloke. We would have been there around the same time. Still get back to Scarborough now and again, seems so much smaller these days.

  2. Amazing write up - sums up how i feel about the place 100% !!!!

    ' The days may of gone but the memorys live on strong '


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