In the early 1990s the local pub landlords, led by the late Norman Hill of the Archives in Valley Road, took a petition to Downing Street in an attempt to clear our streets of drinking.
After a well-fought campaign they were successful, and other towns and resorts in England took note of this and did the same thing for themselves, following Scarborough’s lead.
The “no-drinking zones” applied not only to the town centre but much wider afield – Seamer Road, Edgehill, the North and South Sides and other places.
On each street corner were metal notices giving warning that the area concerned was such a zone, that to drink there constituted a criminal offence, the threat of police action and a possible fine of £500. On September 22, 2006, this hard-earned bye-law was softly done away with and Scarborough made a Designated Public Place Order under Section 13 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
In theory, now, a police officer or PCSO can ask a person not to drink, and surrender the alcohol container.
The threat of a fine of £500 still applies.
Those metal street signs were silently spirited away – all but one which must have slid under the radar and remains in situ to this day, eminently legible.
Councillor Fox said at the time: “I hope these new powers will have the effect of reducing anti-social drinking .... and will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to the Borough.
This demonstrates once again the close working relationship we have with our colleagues in North Yorkshire Police....”
As a final footnote to this farce, a quote from Scarborough Borough Council: “The old No-Alcohol Zone signs have been replaced with new signs designed by Electric Angel Design of Scarborough, and are the first of their kind to be used in England. The council believe the signs make clear the consequences of anti-social drinking within the designated areas.“
Has any reader spotted these signs? Me neither.