Captain Cook, Britain’s greatest explorer, got his first taste of the sea at Staithes and the Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Museum (currently closed) is a treasure house of his achievements and village history. It is some history, too. Once England’s sixth biggest fishing port, the traditional wooden cobles still leave the little harbour for lobster and crab, cod and mackerel.
The local RNLI lifeboat has a proud record of rescues from what has always been a wrecking coast in North Sea storms, with much heroism and sacrifice. The dramatic local cliffs have a longer history that fascinates geologists and is still rich in 160 million year old fossils. There have been jet miners and ironstone miners and the mighty alum works.
Staithes unique past and its hardy fishing community have been richly caught on camera. Great Victorian photographers like Frank Meadow Sutcliffe and Tom Watson came regularly and the precious reservoir of historic images will always be part of the Festival.
Once again we will have a wide-ranging series of talks, walks and workshops over the Festival weekend.