Picture Post: A splash of neon lights up Scarborough at night

A figure looks towards the amusement arcades on Scarborough's South Bay.
A figure looks towards the amusement arcades on Scarborough's South Bay.
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Picture: Tony Johnson

Words: Chris Bond

A LONE silhouetted figure stands by the water’s edge washed in the glow of neon light spilling from the amusement arcades on Scarborough’s South Bay.

The sharp light is garish, some might say tacky-looking, but set against the cold winter darkness it offers a welcome, almost festive, splash of colour that sends a shimmer of light rippling across the tar-like water.

At this time of year many of our seaside towns, while not exactly in hibernation, tend to quieten down as the focus switches from outside to inside entertainment – and Scarborough is little different.

There’s the wonderful Victorian Spa Complex and Futurist theatres. As well as housing the renowned Spa Orchestra during the summer season the historic Spa regularly hosts conferences throughout the year and has become popular, along with the town itself, as a TV and film location.

The neon-lit scene in the photograph provides a stark contrast to the summer months when Scarborough comes alive. South Bay Beach, or South Beach as it’s sometimes called, is the busiest of the town’s beaches.

Not only is it blessed with fine, golden sand and calm water sheltered by the Castle Headland, but its crescent shape makes an effective sun trap (on those occasions when the sun comes out to play).

Its array of shops, cafés and amusement arcades make the beach a popular spot with both visitors and locals alike.

The long, sprawling beach is perfect for sports and sandcastles and at low tide the receding shoreline reveals a kingdom of rock pools, whose nooks and crannies are populated by crabs and starfish.

South Bay is also home to a working harbour with a small fishing fleet and a marina dotted with yachts and pleasure boats offering all kinds of trips around the bay and along the coast.

And let’s not forget the donkey rides, fish and chips, Scarborough rock, fudge and other traditional goodies available for our delectation that truly make this a seaside town for all seasons.

Technical details: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 18-55mm lens 1/30th @f4 1000ASA.