Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Thanks to Cait M for bringing The Times' trip to the Whitby Goth weekend to our attention, especially Richard Morrison's faux "tell me son, what is this strange event?" opening:

Then I saw them, looming out of the mist. Hundreds of ghoulish figures in black or funereal purple, their faces as fey as natural yoghurt, their hair as black as Whitby jet, their garb impeccably mid-Victorian but with transsexual embellishments. Fabulous creatures, of every shape and age, gliding through the streets as if summoned to some great vampire ball round the gravestones.

Curiosity overcame me. “What are you?” I asked one. “A Goth,” he replied with a twirl of his mail-order cane and a proud swish of his M&S cape. “But why are there so many of you?” I persisted. He looked stunned by my ignorance. “It’s Whitby Goth Weekend,” he said. “Check out the website.”

You didn't know, Richard? How fortunate you were able to fill two pages of Times2 - why, had it not been Whitby Goth weekend, what did you think you were going to file from there?

Of course, as soon as the obvious is pointed out you see clues all around. Twice a year Whitby goes Goth-mad. Shops, pubs and B&Bs put up “We Welcome Goths” signs. The Whitby Gazette organises a Journalists v Goths football match. Hotels host sales of Goth-gear: lashings of black eyeliner, fishnet stockings and silky corsets... and that’s just in menswear. Bands with names like Zombina and the Skeletones descend on every venue. There’s even a Goth Service in the parish church, with Goth music instead of hymns and a priest preaching a sermon on “self-harm”. I presume he was against it.

Thousands of goths pouring into town during a quiet early spring weekend? You bet your butts they welcome Goths...

1 comment:

ClaireFun said...

Awww, I miss it.

They used to *love* us, you know. One shopkeeper told me once 'it's them lot we don't like, them hen night parties comin over from Newcastle shoutin' n drinkin'. You goth lot don't give us any bother...'

Mind you, I did a fair amount of shoutin an drinkin myself while I was there...

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