Holidaymakers at sea-side resort gather together to watch live coverage of The Queen's funeral

Holidaymakers at a Yorkshire sea-side resort came together and joined strangers they had never met from around the country to watch coverage of The Queen's state funeral.

A public showing of the build up and service was held in the Grand Hall at Scarborough Spa and was attended by just short of 250 people.

Some had extended planned holidays so they didn't miss the coverage, some didn't want to watch at home alone and others felt they wanted to share what was "the end of an era and the start of a new one".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Scarborough Borough Council opened up the building primarily for people who live alone and wanted to watch the historic occasion with others – in a move that was welcomed by many.

The Queen's Funeral Service being shown at Scarborough Spa...pic Richard PonterThe Queen's Funeral Service being shown at Scarborough Spa...pic Richard Ponter
The Queen's Funeral Service being shown at Scarborough Spa...pic Richard Ponter

As Scarborough enjoys late season sunshine and is still busy with people making the most of this year’s holidays it was a sombre start to the day.

Read More
Queen Elizabeth II's funeral: What people from Yorkshire thought about the funer...

In complete contrast to a usual Bank Holiday by the sea, traffic was light, streets seemed deserted and sea-side attractions such as amusement arcades, gift shops and cafes were closed.

It seemed fitting as people trickled into the historic building on Scarborough’s sea front more than an hour before the service was set to start already looking lost in reflection.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Brian Haywood had walked from Peasholm Park across town to share the emotion with others.

He said: “It makes you feel part of the community rather than watching it on your own. It is very moving and something that everybody is sharing.

"The town is so quiet, I walked through and have never seen it like that. You can hear the sea from the middle of town. It is sombre, peaceful and spiritual.”

Keith and Karen Stringer, aged 68 and 66, were due to arrive in Scarborough on the same day of the funeral for a pre-planned holiday but didn’t want to be travelling while it was taking place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They booked an extra night at the Crown Spa Hotel and arrived on Sunday so they could watch the occasion on television.

The couple who had travelled from North Wales said: “We came on Sunday because we didn’t want to travel while it was on. We wanted to be with other people and to share our respects.”

Kirsty May, of Sheffield, was staying in a campervan in Filey and ran across the headland to join others at The Spa to witness “the end of an era and the start of a new one”.

Also on holiday were Angela Chapman and Chris Woods, of Preston, who were set to travel back home but delayed the journey home to watch the funeral first.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Observers sat in near silence for almost two hours but the emotion was tangible especially as The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, repeated words sung by Vera Lynn during the Second World War and used by The Queen herself during an address to the nation at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

He said: “All who follow the Queen's example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say ‘We will meet again’.”

All eyes were forward for the sounding of The Last Post and following the two minute silence, Scarborough rose to its feet in what could easily have been perceived to have been a well practiced unison as the National Anthem was played.

Afterwards, spectators said the service had been “beautiful”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mandy and Karl Hague of Scarborough said: “The service was beautiful and everything you would expect for a Royal service. You are hanging on every word and watching the splendour but at the same time I thought it was humble. A moment in time to remember.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​