>> 2008/09 >> Rough
Guide > Whitby
hate mail to:
Town Football Club
The Turnbull Ground
Telephone - 01947 604847 (office) / 01947 603193 (club house)
ups - £7.50
Dead-soon-anyway-so-let'em-have-it-cheap - £4.50
ASBOs U16 - £2.00
the hell are Whitby Streaneshalch
Bored of ‘United’? Tired of ‘FC’?
‘Diamonds’ just not doing it for you? Then perhaps you
should take a leaf out of Whitby’s book, jump into football’s
time machine, head back to the 1880s and call your team something
like ‘Streaneshalch Football Club’. Or if that’s
just not what you’re looking for, perhaps we can interest you
in ‘[INSERT TOWN HERE] Church Temperance’? Hell, yeah!
That’s the stuff.
not. A flick through the dusty archives (Wikipedia) reveals Whitby’s
founding fathers certainly had an eye for the unusual and the original
when if came to naming their team, but disappointingly they clearly
didn’t have the courage to stand by their convictions, for
Whitby Church Temperance eventually became plain old Whitby FC.
a spell of playing friendly games, Whitby dallied with competitive
football in various leagues, including the Northern League, and
a somewhat tense rivalry with the scoundrels from Scarborough swiftly
developed – and escalated. Fans of the respective clubs would
taunt each other over the perceived deficiencies in their opponents’
Victorian spas, sea defences and brass band orchestras, with the
bad feeling and burning local pride often leading to the sort of
violent conflict one normally associates with Hull city centre on
a Friday night.
a number of off-pitch skirmishes (see Claims to Fame) the rivalry
evaporated when Whitby FC reverted to playing head-and-volleys on
park pitches, the cost of travelling eventually proving too much
for their fragile finances. Their withdrawal from the Big Football
scene allowed other club, Whitby Whitehall Swifts, to step up and
try their hand at singing songs denigrating Scarborough’s
arcades. However, by 1926 the folly of having two clubs in Whitby
became evident and the two clubs decided to merge. Rather than keep
another great team name in Swifts, the newly formed club opted for
another dull cop-out in ‘United’. This name lasted a
few years before the current ‘Whitby Town’ was finally
adopted after the Second World War.
the club’s history, very little of note appears to happen
for several decades, with the exception of the odd cup run, so we
can safely skip forward to Whitby’s remarkable 1996/1997 season
without missing too much. In a year remembered by Boston fans for
THAT Greg Fee penalty miss, Whitby fans lapped up a cracking League
and Vase double triumph and a high profile FA Cup tie against Hull
FA cup tie was certainly dramatic. Whitby managed to scrape a 0-0
draw at Scarborough’s Theatre of Chips – to where the
game had been switched on police advice- and, thrillingly, very
nearly beat Hull at Boothferry Park in the replay, blowing a 4-3
lead with less than a minute to go. They eventually lost 8-4 in
a game even we recall from a FA Cup Match of the Day. There was
to be no such drama in the FA Vase final at Wembley, however, as
Whitby won claimed their prize at a canter with a 3-0 thumping of
North Ferriby, topping off their Northern League title win and promotion
to the dizzy heights of the Northern Premier League.
momentum was such that they steamrollered the NPL Division One the
following season, winning their second successive title with seven
points to spare. Whitby were promoted to the Northern Premier League
and they have remained there ever since, flirting with the playoffs
twice (2003/2004 and 2004/2005) and enjoying more than their fair
share of cup success.
club was infamously home to one of the first recorded full-on football
rucks when Whitby players were attacked by a bunch of furious Scarborough
fans and almost literally run out of town.
is probably best explained by the fact that the two clubs were huge
rivals in the early part of the 20th century. Worryingly for a local
constabulary more accustomed to dealing with lost ice creams and
seagulls trapped in shop windows, circumstances (such as insolvency)
dictate that this rivalry may well be renewed sooner rather than
– 13th in Northern Premier
– 11th in Northern Premier
– 6th in Northern Premier
Where do they keep getting caught offside?
Turnbull Ground has recently been improved with the addition of
a sparkling new main stand and, from the images we’ve seen,
it looks like a decent enough place to watch a football match.
Having yet to visit the ground, we’ve little constructive
to say about it, so again we’ll leave you with a fuzzy aerial
world is broadly divided into two types of seaside town. At one end
of the spectrum you have places like Skegness. Riddled with crime
(of the organised and unorganised variety), they are the sort of towns
that exist purely to strip the cash from your pocket while offering
absolutely nothing in return, except the opportunity to find yourself
cornered by feral vermin taking offence at your accent, accidental
execution by gangsters as turf-wars spill over from the nearest Midlands
city and perhaps the odd back-street brothel masquerading as a Chinese
At the other end of the spectrum you find places like Robin Hoods
Bay, Filey and Whitby.
better to huddle in a tea-house with the wind and rain battering the
windows and the River Esk churning towards the harbour? Not in Ilkeston,
that’s for sure.
to Whitby, unlike Skeggy, won’t leave you feeling as
though you need a chemical bath and exfoliation by a combine
harvester, principally because as a working port, oozing charm,
atmosphere and history, the town is capable of supporting
itself without encouraging visits from groups of people on
day release from the local prison/mental institution/provincial
Midlands city (delete as applicable).
the distance from Boston nor the fact that we’re set
for a winter visit should dissuade you from making the trip
to Whitby this season. Indeed, we’d contend that Whitby
is actually best enjoyed in the bitter winter months we enjoy
in this blasted country (August-July).
For a town of
its size, there is a huge amount to see and do. Whitby has a thriving
creative community and hosts a number of music, arts, sports and,
um, gothic festivals. Of course, we’ll miss all those, but
you can still fill a day wandering about the fishing port, the Dracula
museum, the harbour and the ruined abbey. And a trip isn’t
complete unless you’ve visited the Captain Cook statue and
had your photo taken under the famous whalebone.
charms make it a tourist hotspot even in winter, so attractions such
as the Magpie (supposedly the finest fish and chips in England, although
some folk in Guiseley may dispute that) are often horrendously busy.
Boston fans will no doubt contribute to the congestion, but nevertheless
our advice is to muck in and make a weekend of it.
There's loads more useful information about Whitby available on the
club's official website. Clickity-click HERE.
Site - In our humble opinion, the finest official site
in the division by some considerable distance. It appears to have
been designed with the away fan in mind and the pub
guide, in particular, is inspired. Brilliant stuff.
us more about Whitby, recommend a pub or try and obtain our bank details