Whitby on Film 
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'Full Steam Ahead' is a six-part documentary following historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn as they explore the golden age of steam and examine how Victorian railways shaped modern Britain.   In Episode 3, the team find out how the railways transformed the British diet, rescuing a nation that was struggling to feed itself.  Ruth follows in the footsteps of Britain's herring girls, revealing how the North Yorkshire Moors Railway revived the fortunes of Whitby, turning it into a thriving fishing town, supplying the country's kippers and is shown how to fillet some herrings by Barry Brown at the famous Fortune Kippers smokehouse. 
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British Film Institute Film focussing on Fortune Kippers 
 
This well-crafted film focuses on the famous Fortune family kipper business in Whitby, as told by a local fisherman. In a very personal film, our narrator recounts his own experience of life in the town and as a fisherman. We follow the journey of the Fortune family as they bring back their catch and prepare the herrings for smoking, while the women skein the mussels, feeding the leftovers to the ever hungry gulls. 
 
The Fortune family started smoking herring in 1872 at 20 Henrietta Street, in the historic east-side of Whitby, near the famous 199 steps which lead up to Whitby Abbey. We bought Haglathe house from the Fortune family in1993 when the aunt passed away.  
 
Six generations on, the family business is still going strong. The swing bridge in Whitby still has its “house”, and is still manned two hours either side of high water. 
 
The song at the end of the film, "The Shoals of Herring" was sung and written by Ewan MacColl for the BBC Radio ballads, ‘Singing the Fishing’, first broadcast in 1960. 
 
One of the filmmakers, Buff Kim, went on to have a career as a mixed media artist, photographer and printmaker. 
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Footage of Whitby showing Pannett Park, Whitby abbey, surrounding coast and countryside.  Silent. 
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Whitby story starts 40mins into the programme 
 
Coast newcomer, poet and storyteller Ian McMillan, uncovers the forgotten story of another shipwreck which held Britain transfixed at the outbreak of the First World War. For two terrible days in 1914 more than 200 victims aboard the hospital ship Rohilla fought for their lives within sight of the Yorkshire fishing port of Whitby. Mary Roberts, one of those rescued, had survived the sinking of the Titanic just two years earlier, but said her experience on the Rohilla was even worse. 
 
With historic lifeboats, relatives of the victims, and extraordinary 1914 newsreel footage, Ian McMillan relives the tragic events that changed our lifeboat services forever. 
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The best kept secret in Whitby is the unseen warren of back alleys and hidden gardens, known locally as the Whitby Yards. Ellie Harrison investigates how these former slums have now become highly sought after havens of peace. 
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Simon Calder explores Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay. He delves into Whitby's links to Dracula, takes a trip down memory lane in the beautiful Robin Hood's Bay and finds out what it takes to prepare the best kippers in England. 
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Planting of the Penny Hedge 
 
 
 
The planting of the Penny Hedge is a custom that dates back to 1159 and takes place in Whitby Harbour on the eve of Ascension Day annually.  It is a penance for some noblemen who attacked a monk.  A hedge (also called a hurdle), is made out of branches taken from a wood in the manor of Fyling.  This has to withstand three tides.  It takes place at 9am on Church Street, almost opposite the Middle Earth Tavern.  
 
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