Hotel slide show entertains: Sightseers queue to catch the last hours of crumbling landmark

THE PRAGMATIC policeman stationed near Scarborough's crumbling clifftop must have been the only person in the country yesterday hoping for heavy rain.

'That way the whole lot would be washed away in one go,' he said - not making a clear distinction between the collapsing Holbeck Hall Hotel and the hundreds of sightseers who had turned out to see its demise.

People converged on the roads leading to the stricken hotel on the south shore cliff with a rare enthusiasm to witness the final hours of the old hotel.

They arrived, much to the displeasure of the police, in their droves with video cameras, picnics and binoculars.

One sightseer at the front of the queue said curiously: 'What's he want to get involved for,' as she spotted the Labour MP David Blunkett being guided towards the hotel. He was in the area for the Nupe conference in Scarborough and has his own fond memories of the hotel.

The more enterprising spectators flew overhead in light aircraft, hang gliders or by microlight machines hanging vulture-like over the clifftop.

It is perfectly possible, however to have a genuine affection for old buildings - particularly rather grand hotels. Many people there yesterday had spent happy days and nights in the Holbeck Hall and simply wanted to turn up and see the place again before it disappeared for ever.

Bert Morse, who celebrated his wife's 80th birthday there last year said simply: 'It's a very sad day. It was a marvellous hotel and we have very fond memories of the place.'

An elderly couple who had honeymooned there stood adrift from the crowds, lost in their own thoughts, and one woman said tearfully: 'I've had many happy birthdays and treats there. It's just awful. A real tragedy.'

The owners of the hotel, Barry and Joan Turner, stood with other members of their family a safe distance from the hotel as it cracked and groaned and the old stone walls gave way.

They had many of their own personal items in the hotel and know they will be unable to retrieve them.

David Turner, one of their two sons, who run the chain of eight local hotels the family owns, said: 'All the fine pieces of furniture, the antiques and paintings were in the public rooms in the east wing and they have all gone. Obviously the hotel has gone forever. We are not going to be able to reclaim the land and it looks as if the whole building will be

swallowed.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction