New heritage trail will tell the story of Whitby's fishing past

Work is set to begin on a new heritage trail telling the story of Whitby’s fishing heritage.

Scarborough Council has today commissioned local sculptor Emma Stothard to create the seven wireframe models for a project that will also see visitors use a companion app to scan QR codes at the seven sites to find out more about the works of art and their links to the town’s history.

The scheme was granted planning permission last year and today the borough council signed off on the budget for the project and licence agreements with North Yorkshire County Council to place sculptures on its land.

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The hope is that the trail will guide visitors to areas of the town that they might otherwise miss.

A sculpture will be placed at each of the following locations: the west side of the Swing Bridge, the bottom of Flowergate, in front of Church House, the junction of John Street and Skinner Street, the Old Wishing Well, grass at Whitby Pavilion and the Khyber Pass bandstand.

Mrs Stothard will create seven individual sculptures to tell the story of the fishing industry.

These will include a fisherwife, a man mending a net, a woman knitting a gansey, photographer and artist Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, a crow’s nest with a lookout, Dora Walker (the only woman to hold a skipper’s licence in the North Sea during World War One) and a herring lassie.

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Scarborough Council cabinet member Cllr Liz Colling (Lab) today approved the funding for the project and the legal agreements to go along with it.

A report prepared for Cllr Colling noted: “The Walk With Heritage Project presents the Council with a unique opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of the West Side of Whitby whilst at the same time celebrating and showcasing the fishing heritage and history of the town.

“Failure to deliver the project could result in reputational damage and a loss of investment for the council as well as providing a missed opportunity to regenerate a much-needed area of the town.”