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Bayfair - serving Robin Hood's Bay since 1975

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View from Old St Stephen's Old St Stephen's Church, Robin Hoods Bay

“CHAMPING” at Old St Stephen’s Church run by the Churches Conservation Trust has caused a great deal of controversy, but following their Open Meeting in July the old church has been re-opened to the public and “Champing” has been suspended.

PROPAGANSEY: The popular annual Exhibition of Fishermen’s Ganseys was NOT held at Old St Stephen’s this year, but at Fylingthorpe Methodist Church, from September 9th to 17th. It was a big success.

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The Sustrans proposals for “improving” the old railway line were on the agenda for SBC’s Overview and Scrutiny Board on 13th September, and local objectors were able to speak. The Board gave them a good hearing and seemed to recognise the strength of the objections. They have set up a Councillors Working Group to review the proposals, which will report back to the O & S Board on 1st November and/or 30th December. The Board’s final recommendation will then go to forward to Cabinet and possibly full Council for a final decision. Clearly the Cinder Track proposals will not now be on the Cabinet’s Agenda for 17th October.

Officer’s Report

The full Officer’s report to the O&S Board on SBC’s website makes interesting reading. It can be found HERE

Here are some highlights:

5.5 The proposed Restoration Plan has also courted considerable opposition as

outlined in paragraph 4.5 of this report. The primary concerns raised relate to

the proposed track surface; the potential damage to local wildlife and

biodiversity; the potential for conflict between track users; the potential speed

of cyclists using the track together with a general response that the track

should be left as it is. These are important issues which the Borough Council

would need to address should it wish to take this project forwards and

appropriate measures which recognise these concerns would need to be

included in any planning submission for work on the track.

5.6 The North York Moors National Park has also been consulted on the

Restoration Plan and the points below summarise the Parks position:

 The National Park wholeheartedly support the need to improve the surface and

drainage of the route, to provide a more easily managed multi user, off road

recreational route and a safe place for local people to commute to school or work.


 The Park could only support a project which saw the value of the route as a

wildlife habitat and corridor enhanced and we would expect that a thorough and

detailed analysis of the environmental impact of the proposal should be carried

out prior to any work taking place.

 The Park believes that where the route passes through the National Park, a

sealed surface is not suitable or necessary unless the route is shared with

vehicular traffic.

 The Park does not believe that it is necessary or desirable to construct a 3m

surfaced width for the whole length. This would exacerbate issues of user conflict

rather than ease them. It would also negatively impact on visual amenity.

Likewise, the need for a 1m margin of managed vegetation on either side of the

track for its whole length is considered unnecessary. Passing places at regular

intervals should be sufficient so long as user speeds are reasonable.


The online petition objecting to Sustrans plans for the old railway line numbered over 4000 signatures by late August. It can be found by clicking the following link: change cinder track petition

This, and the paper petitions in local shops and pubs, clearly shows the strength of local and visitors feelings against the proposals.

Sustrans Revised Proposals were published on 21st June. They can be found at (password cindertrack): https://share.sustrans.org.uk/share/Handlers/AnonymousDownload.ashx?folder=68fde0ca

Scarborough Borough Council issued a statement on 15th August which many locals regard as a “whitewash”. Read it yourself at


His final corners (and collecting boxes) were in the Grosvenor and the Flask, after many years at the Victoria.

He was well known for his grumpy manner, but the heart of gold shone through occasionally, despite his best efforts to hide it. Tributes include “The grumpiest customer we've ever served but great with it” and “He was the most miserable and cantankerous old sod I've ever met but I loved him for it!!” He had an aversion to loud music and even louder misbehaving children, but he had a deep love for dogs, and he always carried dog treats in his pocket.


Those who knew Bill well were not surprised to learn that his funeral arrangements were less than conventional. He left strict instructions for a private funeral with four nominated mourners only, no flowers and only enough music to get him through the curtain. A short death notice was placed in the Daily Telegraph  as he wouldn’t  believe he was gone until he had read it. He did provide a monetary contribution behind the bar at the Grosvenor to provide drinks for the friends and sparring partners that he has known in his 41 years living in Bay. His stipulation for the wake was: " Drinks only, no food and no PBE! (Professional Buffet Eaters)".

He was seen off in some style on the 21st September.


Bill Sykes RIP

John Vincent Sykes 1935 - 2017

Bill, as he was customarily known, resident of Mt Pleasant North, R H Bay since the mid 70’s, passed away peacefully in Scarborough Hospital on the 9th September following a short illness. A very well know character in and around the village, mainly by his patronage of all the local hostelries (he has had a corner in every local hostelry over his lifetime, he even had a reserved sign in his favourite place in the Fylingdales Inn). Bill was also known for his unstinting work in counting and receipting the contents of the numerous RNLI collecting boxes in the parish. A lifelong supporter of the Lifeboat Charity, Bill was awarded a Gold Badge, one of the highest accolades the RNLI bestow, for his dedication and service.