Approaching my seventieth birthday; not long to go now…


A small town on the Yorkshire coast and at the heart of this blog – but its history and the genealogical connections of its people will occasionally prompt attention shifts to other communities – and even to other continents. (Filonians were, and still are, a restless breed.)

My main purpose is to encourage anyone interested in their forebears to consider putting their folk on the FamilySearch Tree. I hope to achieve this by offering stories about people already on that Wiki – and many that are not but perhaps ought to be. My choices of people to research will be prompted first by time – I am a slave to anniversaries – and then by a very particular place. I expect to find the majority of my subjects sleeping in St Oswald’s churchyard. I will probably give some of my own family walk on parts and I imagine a few unexpected guests will appear out of left field. The more the merrier.


All photographs that are posted without a credit have been taken by me. These are mostly landscapes, seascapes and details of ‘things’ that have caught my eye in the nine years I have lived on this coast. They will usually be posted on the date they were taken (with the year imprinted in one corner). My imagination will not stretch to giving each image a unique title – they will be given a sequentially numbered category and tagged by geographical location of either viewpoint or focus of gaze.

The initial categories are Abstract, Beach, Bird, Dog, Flower, Insect, Landscape, Mammal, Mark of Man, Measure of Man, Mud, Nature Morte, Rock, Sand,  Sea, Sky, Tree, Town, Water and Wave.

I retain the copyright on the images but you are free to appropriate and use them without restriction – though I trust you will acknowledge my “authorship” if you share them around.

Hundreds of photographs relating to Filey’s past were donated to the first Looking at Filey blog and every donor was gracious in allowing the images to be archived at The British Library. These photographs are therefore effectively in the public domain and I may post some of them again on Redux and/or as Memories on FamilySearch Tree with a donor acknowledgment and an author credit where the photographer is known.

I will only post historical photographs from other sources if I am sure they are in the public domain or for which permission to share has been given. Brief quotations from recently published material will occasionally be offered (with full attribution) and perhaps longer extracts from books, magazines and newspapers over a hundred years old.

If I infringe YOUR copyright or if you object to your family photographs being put on FamilySearch Tree please let me know and I will remove the item immediately.


I have been keeping an eye on this since coming to Filey. My rudimentary “weather station” broke not long after my arrival so I turned to the nearest place that had both a significant run of historical data and currently operating weather stations that are accessible online. I downloaded (from the Met Office) Whitby Coastguard Maximum and Minimum Monthly Average Temperatures and Precipitation for 1962 to early 2014 from which I calculated “baseline” figures that could be compared to Weather Underground station data for the last seven or eight years.

I am constantly entertained by the opposing forces arguing about climate change and anthropogenic global warming and will offer a short report each month for you to decide which group is making more sense. Weather is not, of course, climate and Whitby isn’t the globe but fifty years of data is enough to detect local trends that are going only one way (up, down or nowhere obvious).

Other stuff

I really don’t want this blog to be about me but should I run out of ideas for blog posts I may turn to my Journals for inspiration. The first person I met in Filey who enquired about my past listened politely and at the end of my account declared, “You’ve had a miserable life.” I don’t agree but you should perhaps take this observation as a warning…