Life in the Yorkshire coastal village that has been named as one of the most isolated communities in England

People living in one of the most isolated parts of the UK have spoken about life in a coastal village where many essential services are hours away.

Villagers in Easington, on the south Holderness coast near Withernsea, spoke about relying on buses for their shopping, worrying about needing an ambulance and having as many graveyards as pubs.

Some said a lack of things to do and long journeys to schools, hospitals and other services made life difficult left them wondering why newcomers were still moving in.

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But one said she loved the tranquillity after leaving behind life in a southern town and all said they were staying put despite being cut off.

Easington has lost many of its local businesses over the years

It comes as an Office for National Statistics (ONS) study which looked at 32,844 communities found that Easington was among the most isolated.

Locals face a two-hour walk or 50-minute bus or bike ride to get to the nearest secondary school, with the closest shop an hour and a half on foot.

The nearest GP practice is a two-hour walk away, or half an hour on public transport.

Hull Paragon Interchange, the nearest train station, is an hour and 20 minutes’ bus ride away and 50 minutes by car.

The village shop, pictured in 2006, has since closed

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‘There’s not a lot for people to do here’

Carol Newsam, 77, lived in Hull until she met her husband who is from Easington.

She said she had lived in the village for more than 40 years and in that time had seen pubs close and the local shop shut down.

The church remains a community hub

The 77-year-old said: “I met my husband in Withernsea, we’ve been married for 57 years and we’ve lived in our house here for more than 40 years.

“Easington seems to be getting busier now, we seem to be getting more visitors coming from other areas, birdwatchers and walkers and people like that.

“It used to be a really nice village, but we don’t even have a shop now, we have to go to Withernsea and Patrington for our shopping.

“That’s the only thing we miss, we’ve still got two pubs but there used to be three here, there’s a house next to some bungalows which used to be the Sun Inn.

“Transport can be difficult, if you’ve got a particular train to catch from Hull then you have to get the bus to Patrington then the next one to Hull, so it’s difficult if you don’t have a car.

“I go to Castle Hill Hospital, I have to go there quite often because I’ve got eye problems.

“Luckily for me there’s a medical bus which comes and picks me up and takes me back, it costs £5.

“My husband also drives so it doesn’t bother us personally, but he’s getting old so if we had to give the car up we’d have to rely on the bus which comes about once every hour or so.

“At the moment I’ve noticed a few people are moving out but we’re getting people moving in too.

“I know a few of the houses down from me have had people move in recently, it seems like people are coming and going all the time.

“I’ve noticed some young families moving in, I’m really surprised because there’s not a lot for people to do here.

“There’s a youth club for the youngsters and there’s coffee mornings on Saturdays in the Community Hall, they put on raffles and things like that.

“I can’t fault the schools, my son went to the one near the gas works site, he did all right there but he had to go to Withernsea for secondary school.

“But there’s only one play park for the kids, otherwise you have to go to places like Hornsea and Spurn for things to do.

“Overall we’re happy here though, we like it here, one of our sons still lives here too.”

‘I feel sorry for the young ones’

Elizabeth Leigh, 68, was waiting to catch the bus to get her weekly shop.

She said she relied on her niece for years to go to Castle Hill Hospital for cancer treatment and she did not know what she would have done without her.

Mrs Leigh said: “I’ve lived in Easington all my life, I was born here.

“Right now I’m waiting for the 12pm bus to go and get my weekly shop in, but I won’t get back here until about 2pm.

“The only other option I have to get around is to rely on other people for lifts.

“It’s very quiet in the village, I think it’s a bit boring but I haven’t really considered leaving.

“As far as the age of people living here goes, it seems a bit half and half, there’s a few young families here but I don’t see why.

“My grandkids live here, they live two doors down from me.

“There’s the village school around the corner but both my grandkids go to one in Withernsea, my daughter has to drive there and back every day.

“It’s not convenient, it’s ridiculous really.

“We used to have one shop in the centre of the village but that closed, years ago we had three.

“Now there’s two pubs and that’s it, there used to be a bingo night on but that’s finished as well.

“I’ve had to use the buses a lot because I had cancer, I was going to Hull and back to go to hospital regularly for four years.

“My niece used to take me to Castle Hill Hospital for the treatment, I couldn’t have done it on my own I’d have had no chance.

“I used to drive but after everything I’ve been through I don’t fancy doing it anymore.

“Because I shop weekly the bags I’m taking back are always heavy, but that’s just something I have to do, I don’t have a choice.

“I know some people who get supermarket deliveries online because the shops are so far away.

“I feel sorry for the young ones here most of all, I see them walking around and they just seem bored.

“We have two pubs and two graveyards, so if you want to drink yourself to death here you’re sorted.”

‘I love living here’

Linda Callan moved to Easington from Stevenage with her husband 17 years ago following his retirement.

She said that while she loved the peace and quiet, she felt the coronavirus pandemic left some locals feeling more alone.

The 68-year-old, said: “Me and my husband are originally from Stevenage, we moved here 17 years ago after he retired.

“We had a five bedroom house down there so we were able to sell that, pay our mortgage off and we had enough left over to buy a property here.

“I don’t mind too much that we’re far away from things her, me and my husband both drive but I couldn’t abide having to use public transport if we didn’t have our cars.

“The buses are hopeless, to get to Hull you have to go to Patrington first.

“There’s no shop here, a mobile Post Office comes to the village hall for half a day on Thursdays.

“Sometimes the lady who runs that can’t come, so you’re never sure if it’s going to be here.

“If you wanted to go to a cafe you’d have to drive to Withernsea.

“I remember we used to have a shop here but that closed about seven or eight years ago now, I used to go down for my paper in the morning and chat to people there.

“The people who ran the shop didn’t want to open on Sundays or sell alcohol.

“I love living here, we get peace and quiet and we have the beach just at the end of our road.

“I’ve found a lot of the people here have lived here all their lives, I think that’s really nice.

“One thing that worries me now I’m getting older though is if I ever needed to get to the doctors or to get an ambulance out quickly.

“There’s an ambulance station not far away so I’ve heard they usually come in about 10 minutes, I think they come from Withernsea.

“We had to get one out once because my daughter was staying with us and she had a bad reaction to the AstraZenica vaccine.

“The ambulance picked her up from here and took her to Hull Royal Infirmary, but it’s such a long way away.

“You wouldn’t want to have a heart attack or a stroke.

“We’ve got the pubs here as well, I don’t go so much but my husband does frequent them, he spends his time between the two of them.

“I think coronavirus has had an effect on a lot of people here because it made them feel even more isolated than they already do.

“But for me it was fine, I could get everything I needed delivered and I liked having the time to myself.”