1 April 2014
I chose Scarborough because the Association of Veterinary Teachers and Research Workers (AVTRW) met there annually a week before Easter week and I attended regularly towards the end of my career as a veterinary microbiologist. The town held pleasant memories for me. However, when I got there the campsite I had picked from my guidebook which it said would be open turned out to be closed. Fortunately, I remembered that there were a number of other sites on the coast road between Scarborough and Bridlington. So it was with great relieve that I pulled into Brown’s Caravan Park next to The Tow Bar pub. The people were brilliant and so was the beer so I decided to stay an extra night.
The morning of 1st April I forsook Daisy and caught the local bus into Scarborough to revisit my old haunts. Before leaving I checked the AVTRW website as by rights they should be holding their annual meeting about now. However, it appeared that they had abandoned this historic Yorkshire town for a high tech conference centre at Nottingham University. I saw the striking Grand Hotel where I stayed when attending earlier conferences and the Royal Hotel where I stayed in later years. I walked on the beach, watched donkey rides and ate some of the town’s renowned fish and chips.
I visited Bonnets chocolate shop where I used to buy my children some of their homemade Easter eggs with their names inscribed on them. Even though they are now adults, I purchased two more.
I was dismayed to find that there was a For Sale sign outside one of the old conference drinking haunts, The Hole In The Wall. I called in for a beer and asked the barmaid what draught ales she had on sale. She told me that as trade was always slack at that time of day it was not worth having any on tap but she had bottled beer. The bottled beer they had could be bought anywhere, even from Supermarkets, so I declined her offer. The landlord told me that the brewery was selling the pub as it no longer paid and they did not care if its future was to be as a pub, offices or dwellings as long as the premises were sold for the best possible price. Saddened by the news I caught the bus back to the Caravan site for an afternoon nap.