What do I mean, Whitby?
1) A small seaside town and fishing port on the north east coast of Yorkshire, famous for it’s jet.
2) An important medieval abbey. See also St Hilda (Abbess)
Way back in 1994, a bunch of net-goths decided they’d get together, basically to see how many goths they could get in a seaside pub. The answer was about 250, so the next autumn they decided to actually organise things … bands, the bizarre bazaar, club nights, auxiliary extra club nights, fashion shows, sandcastle competitions, art exhibitions, photo dates with the local photography clubs, history walks, charity football matches against the local newspaper….
Add in personal rituals (for me, that includes at least one afternoon’s raid on the Shepherd’s Purse, buying chocolate coffins in Justin’s, catching up with a lot of people who I don’t otherwise get to see, Getting Ready Together, Sexbat’s 80’s night at Laughton’s, a massed cafe breakfast on the final day for the saying of goodbyes, and the totally unofficial not-quite-legal bonfire) and you have a recipe for a very fun, very full, very customisable long weekend.
It’s a gig-come-convention. It’s a festival. It’s a holiday with like minded friends. It’s an invasion (if you squint – local businesses love us, and the crime rate tends to droop when we’re in town), it’s a party, it’s an opportunity to dress up, it’s – it’s a twice-yearly celebration of community.
I’ve not been able to take time off from my day job to go up to Whitby for three years now, and I miss it. I spent one night this week doing a friend’s hair for him – wielding my latch hook to tidy, tighten and adorn the dreads that were barely to his shoulder blades when I first help make them, and are now past his waist – and I’m glad I got to do that, to be at least that little tiny bit involved in this season’s bi-annual migration to the North.
I could probably ramble on for a few thousand words about Whitby, but, in an attempt not to, I’ll stop now, and just ask this: What do you want to know?
I’d raise a pint of snakebite and black to the departed, but mine’s an absinthe and lemonade ;p