I WAS delighted to read your editorial comment relating to the memories and traditions of Scarborough's marine heritage.
This coastline and Scarborough in particular has created, over the centuries, a maritime history almost second to none. Sadly, due to the decline of both the shipbuilding and the fishing industry, much of our known heritage could so easily be lost forever.
There are, thankfully, many still living with a wealth of knowledge and expertise of the traditions which are now passing us by and it would be almost criminal not to make a concerted effort to record in some way their memories and to offer a home to material archives and artefacts which may be in fear of being lost, destroyed or forgotten.
We owe it to the generations whose hard work and lifetime labours have helped Scarborough to achieve its status as one of the historically important ancient ports of England’s eastern seaboard.
Thankfully, a group have been toiling over the past few years to ensure that our history does not fade with time and have endeavoured to collect photographs, recorded stories and memories and many gifted artefacts too, only storage is now becoming a major problem, not to mention the long term view of our wish that the public will be able to have access to all of this information.
So, to this end, the recently formed Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre has taken to the task of bringing together all that is necessary to seek suitable accommodation for their ‘treasures’. Scarborough has, unbelievably, never had a museum dedicated to its seafaring traditions, as has been the case in most neighbouring towns both up and down the coast.
The committee are aware that many artefacts have already been lost forever, material which could have been destined for inspection and display but succumbed to the ravages of time and poor storage. It is the committee’s intention to stem this state of affairs and to work with all interested parties in bringing together our marine heritable past for the benefit of all.
Why not consider becoming a Member of our group and thereby assist in ensuring that Scarborough’s maritime heritage does not merely become consigned to history? Single membership is 15 per annum, with couples only 20. There is a reduced fee for students and senior citizens (10 single and 15 couples) with corporate membership at 100pa.
You could also make a voluntary donation of any amount if you so wish. Membership forms will be available at this year’s Seafest, which is to be held on the West Pier on July 18-20, where the Maritime Heritage Centre will have a presence.Come and meet us!
J Martin Johnson
Chairman, Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre committee