Adventures in Deltiology

Do people still send postcards these days…?

Botham’s of Whitby (2020)

Hey Craig!
we’re continuing our tour of the east coast, visiting Whitby over half term. Writing this card in Saltburn, home of England’s northernmost pier, I believe. There are a few surfers braving the steady drizzle. Wonder if the goths will still gather in Whitby this weekend? [pumpkin illustration]
Love, Tom, Arthur, Grace, Claire x x

Botham’s of Whitby
Elizabeth Botham & Sons
35/39 Skinner Street, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3AH
Tel: 01947 602823

‘Where friends meet for cosy meals’
Photo: A. Volkart, West Cliff Studio

Postmark: Royal Mail Tyneside NE/SR Mail Centre 29/10/2020 19:4? 1044084481
Special Postmark: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 1 – 31 October +ChangeCHECK
Stamp: Machin definitive 2nd Class
Received: 31 October 2020

Arriving on 31 October, this postcard might not initially appear particularly spooky (even with Tom & Co’s splendid pumpkin emoji) but it’s my Halloween post for this year nonetheless… coming from the coastal town of Whitby which has a special place in the history of horror.

Whilst he was manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London (1879 – 1898), Bram Stoker supplemented his income by writing stories. By far his most successful novel was Dracula, first published in 1897. Stoker was a regular visitor to Whitby on holiday and it was in the public library here that he found the name for his most famous character whilst researching eastern European folklore and history. It was in this small north-east town that Count Dracula came ashore when the Demeter, the Russian ship he is aboard, runs aground, cementing Whitby’s place in literary history, and creating a whole subgenre of tourism for the town. In answer to Tom’s question about the gathering of goths though… it looks like Covid-19 has put a stop to the annual Halloween celebration of all things grisly and ghoulish this year.

Photographer A. Volkart has captured some of Stoker’s gothic mystery in this atmospheric pic of Botham’s tea room which exudes Victorian charm. And it’s the real deal too – Botham’s started out in 1865 and is still run by direct descendants of the founder, Elizabeth. One can just imagine Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra here, discussing Lucy’s various proposals of marriage over a pot of tea and a cucumber sandwich.

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