I am writing in relation to the BB2 TV documentary Town, which focused on Scarborough. I am a graduate who recently gained a first class honours degree from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. I was more than happy to come back and settle in my home town, instead of becoming a lost character in an overpowered city elsewhere in the country, where the sense of a close community would be somewhat missing.
I felt the documentary portrayed Scarborough’s strong community image really well and made good use of local projects and festivals that occur throughout the year. However, I do not think that the documentary showed how much new investment there has been in the town over the past couple of years.
For example, there was no mention of Europe’s largest Open Air Theatre, the new stylish looks of the North Bay with the Sands Apartments, and there was no mention of the future developments that Scarborough is intending, ie large indoor swimming complex.
For me as a younger person, that’s what I wanted to see in the documentary.
Instead, the focus was more on the Grand Hotel, which surprisingly escaped any negative comments, and the Spa Complex. Although I agree that the Spa Complex should have been discussed in detail, for many it will have looked like an old building site with no vision of the end product.
Why didn’t they return to film the finished result of the millions spent on the Spa? In my opinion there was too much focus on the old and not enough on the new, more balance was needed. That said, I think the landscape images were fantastic and really made you feel proud of Scarborough.
Also, the spotlight on the Stephen Joseph Theatre was a joy, and reminded viewers that Scarborough is a town that produces new, fresh and exciting work for the international and national theatres. As a Drama and Theatre graduate, it was a pleasure to view Alan Ayckbourn discussing his creative memories of Scarborough with regards to his own work.
I have been lucky in finding employment as a graduate in my home town and believe that Scarborough does have so much to offer to everyone.
Overall, the programme was positive of Scarborough and there was no negativity. Nevertheless, I still think it needed younger representation, more focus on the new investments in the town, and not so much on the old and somewhat boring unnecessary history at times.