On Monday I am off to Bridlington to ask some people what they think of there town, and video their responses. It got me thinking, what would I say if someone asked me about Withernsea.
Well when I came up here 6 years ago I really did not know what to expect. I had never heard of the place and knew nothing about it. I had a friend who had just moved here and stayed with her till I sorted myself out. Quite a scary prospect. Luckily I got into voluntary work and started making friends. These friends helped me when I moved into my first rented house, cleaning and providing the essentials of life- tv, kitchen equipment curtains and furniture.
Never having lived by the sea before, it was amazing to go to the beach every day and see the sea in all its moods. In fact I used to go each day just to see if it was still there:) Of course it always was, and I don't go so often now even though its only a couple of hundred yards up the road. But I trust that no one has pulled the plug and it will still be there waiting when I go back.
A lot of people who have lived here all their lives say there is nothing to do. I however found plenty to do. I joined a craft club, enrolled at adult education, did courses and joined committees. It was hard at first doing this alone, but my circle of friends was increasing all the time.
Its true that there are things that can be improved here, and there is a regeneration plan for the town in place. Though progress seems slow and since the recession it has become a shadow of its former self. Actually the beginning of the end for poor old Withernsea seems to date from the closing of the railway long before I came up here. What was Mr Beeching thinking of?
There is a lot of apathy here and many of the school children seem to have no hopes or ambitions for the future. Something I find very sad and difficult to understand. As a parent I always wanted my children to have better than I did, and education was the way forward. Here a lot of the parents seem to have little regard for education or the future of their children. Though I understand this is now a countrywide problem as people see nothing getting better.
Despite all this, I love Withernsea. I love the majority of the people and the way they welcome strangers - even people like me from that strange country called "down south". The Yorkshire countryside is beautiful and the history is amazing. The pace of life is slower and a traffic jam might consist of 5 cars:) It may not be for everyone, but to me it has been an experience I would not have missed. I may have to be here for another 20 years to be considered local, but to walk down the main street saying hello to everyone you meet, is a joy and a pleasure.