So as I promised a few days ago, a few images from our wedding anniversary trip to North Yorkshire.

We stayed in Whitby, which as I’m sure you know, is where the worlds most famous Transylvanian Count first walked on English soil. Being a bit of a fan of all things ‘Nosferat-erish’ my first Whitby sunset consequently arrived with a delicious shiver, but with my film-stuffed archaic Pentax MX clutched ‘stake-like’ in my trembling fist, my thoughts quickly turned to matters more photographic.

VERY QUICKLY…The sun set at 9.15 and we had  a table booked at 9.30… A hungry Vampire is scary, a hungry Mrs Shpics is down right petrifying!

West side of Whitby harbour at dusk.

West side of Whitby harbour at dusk.

Anyway, 15 minutes gave me just enough time to drag a kicking and screaming wife the length of the west side harbour wall, passing the beach to the left, as far as the larger of the two piers. Even while suffering the barrage of abuse and spoiled shouts of ‘Where’s my dinner? I WANT my dinner!!’  I remembered to under expose between 1 and 2 stops, hand hold, and set the lens as wide as it would go at f1.7….Lots of grain ! Yes please!

Funny though…While Vampires and bad tempered hungry spouses may well set the nerves a jangle,  only if you’ve been to a North Yorkshire restaurant on a Saturday night will you ever know the true meaning of fear.


Whitby beach leading towards Sandsend.


Readers of a nervous disposition might want to avoid this next bit……

The Restaurant looked fine. We’d read some good reviews, and the Maitre D guided us to a lovely corner table on the first floor with splendid views across the harbour. Very Nice!…When I noticed that two tables in the centre of the room had been placed together, he muttered (in an accent placing him somewhere between Limoges and Knaresborough), that they were expecting ‘a party of ladies’………To my shame, I simply forgot that we were ‘In the North’…Stupid, stupid, stupid! There is a reason that they call it ‘Grim’ you know.

Our first inkling that things might be going to get sticky was an almost spectral hush….The soft murmur of contented downstairs diners simply faded to nought……Silence…..Then a single piercing screech of manic laughter followed by what sounded like a pair of schoolboys kicking  a suitcase full of seagulls down a metal staircase over and over again. The sheer ear-splitting sound of a group of Northern ‘Ladies’ out on the town !! Unbelievable!!

The Screeching ! The Squawking !…Then the Thundering !…Was a herd of buffalo climbing the stairs?

OH MY GOD!……They burst into the room like a coachload of  bricklayers in comedy wigs…

Riding a Tsunami of cheap perfume and cigarette breathe, clanking with costume jewellery,  blue-veined calves in stripper shoes, corn beef arms swinging faux-diamante clutch bags, spray tanned swollen midriffs ooozing out from static-crackling skins of day-glo polyester…

I felt like David Attenborough observing the feeding habits of a newly discovered species… Femalis  Humongous Vulgaris.

There were only nine of them, but it was like sharing a room with the massed hordes of Attila the Hun (only with worse language), and though it was probably less than an hour, it felt like an age……I honestly thought my ears might bleed!

Luckily the eating habits of the grouped Northern Lady, though exceedingly unattractive,  are swift and efficient…dispensing with knife and fork, they vacuumed anything calorific put in front of them without drawing breath, and (with gravy still on her chin) the cackling pack-leader finally lumbered onto her stilettos and charmingly bellowed… ‘I need a f**kin fag ! Come on you’se lot! You won’t get shit-faced or shagged sat ‘ere on yer arse in’t Bistro !’ and launched herself at the stairs.

Whitby and North Yorkshire…Beautiful by day, but take a sandwich and lock yourself in your room!


Whitby Pier.


All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde

  1. tanya

    well as a yorkshire girl born and bred i am very offended by your ramblings tonight.
    ok your assumptions and impressions were probably right and if i didn’t know my best mate was in greece it could have been her lol.
    there is only one place to eat proper in whitby and that is hadleighs fish n chip shop on the posh side of the bridge.
    and i love the pier photo,might even blow it up and have on my wall for nostalgias sake.


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      You!!! From Yorkshire!! ???
      Impossible !
      I’m sure I’ve heard you string a sentence together without swearing….. 🙂

      ( And I never ramble….My writing is always tightly and sensitively constructed….I’m a modern day cyber Shakespeare I’ll have you know).
      p.s There is NO posh side to Whitby!


      1. tanya

        yes york born and proud,left there 35yrs ago though.
        i’ll ring you at 7 tonight you’ll know what swearing is then.86 arrivals today lol

  2. corneliaweberphotography

    Love your images, all of them. I have some well-expired film rolls too, they aged well as a good wine. But didn’t have the guts yet to use them, what film are you using and how old is yours!!! So help me out here please.


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Hi Cornelia
      These three were shot on Agfa 200asa colour print film that expired in 2008. I’ve also used some fresh stock of the same film recently. The old ones were mixed in amongst a quantity of 50 something fresh rolls I bought from a discount shop… I found eight expired rolls, 2008 being the oldest.
      The newer stuff is far cooler in daylight but reasonably colour accurate, whereas the expired film seems generally warmer and all sorts of weirdness happens to the colour….I rather like the randomness.
      Between you and I, I rather wish there were more of the out of date rolls in my purchase.
      I’ve just purchased 5 rolls of 50 asa Fuji Velvia 120 roll film that expired in 2002 so I’m VERY much looking forward to trying that in my medium format camera…so far I’ve only shot 2 rolls of black and white through it so literally anything could happen…! 🙂
      Do try that film out…Its got to be worth an experiment!


  3. corneliaweberphotography

    Thank you so much for all your info’s, it really helps me a lot, actually it encourages me to shoot film again. It makes sense that the older films are more warm. My many old films are about the age of yours, for years I had kept them in the fridge, well living in South California. I even have some B&W slide film, so now I am really excited to try it out, I’ll let you know. Thanks a million. Cornelia


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