William Riley


Whitby To Scarborough Row

Gallery Four

Although probably not intentional the return to Whitby was in part a recreation of the journey undertaken by the Scarborough lifeboat "Queensbury" during the tragic loss of the Rohilla in 1914, although in that instance the lifeboat was towed to Whitby by a trawler.

Having seen the boat off from Scarborough we returned home a little damp but really satisfied. The boats were expected back in Whitby around 1830 hours giving us ample time to sort the equipment best suited to the job. During the day I used my 35 mm, digital and a few shots on medium format equipment. We made our way down to the lifeboat station, the William Riley's destination in what can only be described as gloomy conditions. As we set up our equipment the sun made some brief appearances and we hoped that it would be so when the boat arrived.

As the boat was heard on the VHF radio nearing the harbour approach our present lifeboat George & Mary Webb left to escort it in. Moments before the boats entered the harboured the clouds covered what sunlight there was and it became extremely dark and gloomy. Thankfully however, just in time the clouds parted enough to allow the light out and whilst not sunny it was enough to mark the occasion.

A Proud Escort Arrival

The William Riley follows the present lifeboat into the harbour.

A Short Distance To Go

A volunteer crew no doubt pleased to be almost home.

The Final Push

A very small but welcome pause in the proceedings.

The Boat & Its Escorts

The William Riley and its escorts.

Approaching The Pontoon

The boat finally approaches its destination.

Unshipping The Oars

Preparing to ship the oars.

Securing The Boat

The William Riley back in Whitby minutes before the rain came with a vengeance.

The final photograph above shows the William Riley at the visitors pontoon as preparations were being made to secure her. It was at this moment that the heavens let go all the rain it had been holding during the day. It was like a different day, I took the camera and binoculars from the the trust chairman so that he could help them secure the boat, something my mobility prevented me from doing. In no time at all the rain became really heavy with people scattering in all directions. Some made it to the station for a brief look round whilst others set off for the nearest watering hole. There was some confusion as to which public house was the chosen location with a few people going to the Fisherman's Club and others going to the Friendship Club (both being amateur rowing clubs). We sampled both but found the latter really busy with very little room to move. Prior to leaving the Fisherman's Club I had the opportunity of speaking to some of the rowers, members of Scarborough Diving Club and sharing experiences, it has been a number of years since I had last been to the club house and found the time quite enthralling. In some ways it was a sad reminder of how much I miss diving.

There is no doubt that Whitby to Scarborough fundraising event was well worth it. I hope to be able to update this page with information on what has been raised. But it is those actually involved in the row, whether as a volunteer rower or working away in the background that will savour the experience for many years to come.