The Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Whitby's Captain Cook Museum recalled

The time the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Captain Cook Museum in Whitby, as well as the HM Bark Endeavour which was in town at the time, has been recalled.

By Duncan Atkins
Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 10:16 am

Thanks to Ian Sutherland, who was then chairman of the Ocean Youth Trust, the Captain Cook Museum on Grape Lane was included in the Duke of Edinburgh s visit on March 31, 2004, alongside the replica of the Captain Cook ship.

Sophie Forgan, the museum's chairman of trustees, said: "Everything was naturally organised down to the last detail, though there were rumours that the Duke had wanted to arrive by helicopter and to be lowered by harness onto the deck of Endeavour!

"However, the royal helicopter was unaccountably out of action that day and one suspects that aides had their own methods of preserving the health and safety of their enthusiastic

Prince Philip meets guests in the grounds of the Captain Cook Museum.

charge, then already over 80 years old.

"The Duke arrived by car, walked down Grape Lane and was greeted by a group of Volunteers in the courtyard.

"As always, he chatted to everyone which was enormously appreciated.

"The founder of the Museum, the late Dowager Lady Normanby, and members of the Management Committee were then presented to him.

Prince Philip looks at the Mai painting at Captain Cook Museum.

"Lunch was served in the Orientation Room, where the Parry painting had just arrived on its first tour, and was filled to capacity with civic dignitaries, Ocean Youth Trust members and the RNLI. It had been arranged that I took him round the museum, which was a pleasant interlude as there were no other people or photographers present.

"As the tour progressed however, it became apparent that the Duke was far more familiar with the Pacific than I was.

"He had been to all the islands and remembered Queen Salote Tupou III of Tonga with affection.

"He took a very detailed interest in all the exhibits.

Prince Philip meets Capt Chris Blake on board HM Bark Endeavour in Whitby.

"We finally made it to the Attic where the special exhibition was the first showing of Curiosities from the Endeavour from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

"The late Dr David Thomas, our Exhibitions Officer, was waiting there to talk about it and once again the Duke was happy for his photo to be taken."

Prince Philip then signed the visitors' book before his departure.

He was especially grateful, during his visit, to be given a glass of his favourite beer, Double Diamond.

Sophie added: "As always, the Duke did everything with genuine interest. Unfailingly courteous, he refused to have a chair during lunch because everyone else was standing, and made sure that he had a word with everyone present.

"It was a splendid occasion, a gathering of many people who were seafarers in one way or another and an appreciation of the long history of the town’s association with shipbuilding and ocean voyaging."

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