Noticing changes from the top deck

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OCCASIONALLY, as I gaze down from the top deck of a bus during my frequent trips along Seamer Road, my thoughts turn to the vast changes which have taken place along this route during my lifetime. Most, of course, in the name of progress, but with one glaring exception, our Athletic football ground.

The deplorable condition of this site is, in my opinion, the result of years of disputes between our council and the Club’s various owners, most of which it seemed involved questionable motives regarding plans for the site’s future use.

As it stands, with the pitch itself looking more suited to a wildlife reserve, I regard it as yet another part of our heritage way beyond hope of renaissance.

It will be difficult for young people to visualise the days when this football ground was often filled with good-natured crowds, including families and lifelong fans equipped with hand-bells and rattles.

In total contrast, I find the hillside from Musham bank through to Olivers Mount, seasonally presents a glorious approach to town, and often think about the industrial site between road and rail which gave way to the retail park, garages and car salerooms

Gone are the Quartons fruit and veg. nurseries, under acres of glass, and Co-op dairy, along with Plaxtons factory and the sight of large numbers of their workforce cycling along Seamer Road (the days before cyclists decided that footpaths were a safer option).

There will be Scarborians who will also remember the weekly cattle drives down Seamer Road, with the beasts en route from Seamer market to their fate in Wrea Lane. Inevitably, the herdsmen were usually joined by a few young mischiefs with sticks, from the nearby council estate, all eager to practice what they had picked up from the Odeon cinema’s Saturday morning “cowboy” films !

While the changes on the residential side of this road would seem of less significance, I believe it is worth recalling events relating to that section of the Edgehill Road council estate demolished a few years ago and replaced with private sector housing opposite B & Q.

Before and during the 1940s, several of the families in that area existed at a level of poverty unimaginable to many of the later generations.

There were families on the top row as it was called that came awfully close to tragedy during one overnight bombing raid, and, I am told, there is still evidence of one of the nearby craters.

It’s perhaps fitting, therefore, that situated close by, at the junction of Seamer Road and Queen Margarets Road, there remains an original air-raid shelter.

Charles Braithwaite

Trinity Road, Scarborough