Whitby is of course a town familiar to pretty much every Goth everywhere in the world, being as the town is good enough to host the famous Whitby Goth Weekends twice a year. This tiny, otherwise sleepy seaside town tolerates a mass influx of Goths and alt folk twice a year, and it is also fair to say that the town is also popular with Goths the rest of the year as well.
I always try to keep a finger on the Whitby pulse when it comes to what’s happening for-or has happened to-Goths in the town, and there are a couple of updates about the town and recent happenings that I think are worthy of bringing to people’s attention. This post will essentially be a split between two very different, but both Goth-relevant pieces of news from the town.
April 2015 Goth Weekend arsonist given discretionary life sentence
During the April 2015 Goth weekend, one Barry Carter 45, necked 20 Diazepam (Valium) tablets, before deciding to go on a fire-raising rampage during the night. Carter, who has previous arson convictions, set fire to a guesthouse on Pier Lane and two other houses in Cliff Street, using-no joke-a pair of his own Superman pyjamas pushed through a letterbox.
Fortunately (and miraculously) no one was killed, with one family escaping after being woken by their dog, but lots of money’s worth of damage was caused, as well as of course stress and upset.
Anyway, Superman Numbnuts has now been convicted of arson, and sentenced to a discretionary life sentence, which I am sure will make the locals and Goths of Whitby sleep a little more soundly in their beds this year.
Petition to close the graveyard during Goth weekends
Whitby’s famous Gothic graveyard is one of the most distinctive elements of the town, and every Goth weekend, thousands of Gothlings are apt to take a wander around it as part of their full Whitby experience.
However, graveyard-bothering can be problematic at the best of times-and now a woman who has taken exception to gangs of goths posing for selfies on graves has started a petition to have the graveyard closed to the public during the town’s two annual Goth weekends.
Said petition now has over 900 signatures, and even the organisers of the weekender have distanced themselves from the behaviour of some of the Goth visitors with the following statement:
“We think that the behaviour displayed in the churchyard is disrespectful and offensive, and despite the fact that this is not something we have anything to do with or any control over, we have made several announcements over the past few years through our website and social media requesting that people respect the churchyard.”
So to be fair, if we cannot as a group be respectful about people’s local ‘hood, we maybe don’t get to play in it any more, k?
In an interesting twist, the organisers of the film festival part of the Goth weekends have floated the idea of staging a mock-graveyard to allow people to get their tombstone selfie fixes, which may be the best solution for all involved. Find out more here.