The meeting was opened at 1030 a.m. with Chairman Michael Cochrane advising of two apologies. Richard Wright’s apology was accompanied by news that he was out of hospital and making good progress which we were pleased to hear. Chairman Mike also advised that the places for Member’s Morning were now filled with thanks to those that had come forward.
Today’s Speaker was our very own Member Edward Rowe with his topic being “Bye Bye The Neighbourhood”. He started by advising of him observing a citizenship ceremony and testing this morning’s audience with three of the questions participants were expected to know.
Edward comes from Scarborough and out of a fishing family background. The first part of his talk focussed on the town’s origins visited in around 966 A.D. by Skarthi ,a Viking raider with the settlement being called Skaroaborg. There had been briefly a Roman Signal Station on the headland in the 4th century and possibly earlier Stone and Bronze Age settlements. The new settlement was burned to the ground by a rival band of Vikings under Tostig who subsequently was defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. The destruction meant very little remained to be recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1085.
Edward then moved on to the second part of his talk by advancing to the outbreak of the First World War at which time his grandfather was a freelance skipper of a fishing trawler. We heard about the decimation of the Scarborough Fishing Fleet and the role of U Boat 57 which sank eleven Scarborough trawlers (and eight from other ports!) in September 1916. The U Boat Commander Ritter Karl Siegfried Von George ensured there was no loss of life, transporting crew off the various trawlers, before their sinking mainly by artillery fire. Edward commented on the amount of submarine activity off the Yorkshire coast and the bombardment of locations like Scarborough.
On May 15 1917 a Filey Coble “The Edith Cavell” was also sunk by a German U Boat with the crew having again being removed before the sinking. The talk concluded with mention of the landslip which caused the loss of Holbeck Hall Hotel.
A number of questions and comments were fielded and the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the thirty seven attendees was given by Vincent Naylor.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY