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Staithes, TS13 5DF
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James Cook arrived in Staithes in 1745, aged 16 to work for William Sanderson as an apprentice grocer. His apprenticeship was short-lived as he fell in love with the sea!. Photo: Portrait by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, c. 1775,
It is claimed that Dog Loup is the narrowest street in the UK measuring only eighteen inches wide. Rumours tell that once upon a time local children would use it as an escape route from the portly village policeman.
A photo of Staithes taken in the 1940's from the top of Cow Bar Bank taken by William F. Taylor
Believed originally to be a Viking settlement. Staithes in old English means ‘A Landing Place’. Staithes is known by locals as ‘Steers’.
By the 19th century the Staithes fishing industry was the largest on the North East Coast and involved the whole community. Photo date and credits unknown.
In January 1978 an Atlantic 21 Class lifeboat was sent to Staithes for evaluation trials, which were successful and an inshore lifeboat station was established in March 1978. Photo: Staithes Harbour c1940.
Because of the treacherous coast a high level of seamanship was needed, this made the local men targets for press-ganging (forcably enlisted into service the the navy). Many Staithes ‘pressed’ men weresadly killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. Image: 1780 caricature of a press gang.
Close to some of the the highest cliffs in England, the old village is tucked between two headlands (nabs) Penny Nab and Cowbar Nab. Photo: Peter Church / Wikipedia 2006
Staithes Bonnets were the traditional headwear worn by the women to protect them as they carried heavy baskets laden with fish on their heads – you can see some of the bonnets in the Heritage Centre. Photo: Gazette Live
Staithes has long been popular with artists. In the late 19th century several artists came to Staithes to paint and became known as the Staithes Group of Artists. And today staithes is still magnet for artists.
Staithes was a favoured smuggler’s landing spot. Tea was a favourite item, but there was rum and brandy, too. There were secret signs and tunnels, hiding places under flagstones, and a myriad of tricks and ruses to avoid authorities.
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