Discover the Yorkshire coast… in December

© Tony Bartholomew
07802 400651 /
26th December 2012
The Fishermen v Fireme

© Tony Bartholomew 07802 400651 / 26th December 2012 The Fishermen v Firemen football match in progress on a sunny Scarborough South Bay Beach. The traditional charity fund -raising game is played every Boxing day and is thought to be Scarborough's oldest tradtion dating back to the early 1890's. - Credit: Archant

A guide to events along our seashores chosen by Janet Deacon

Anyone who knows Scarborough knows that Boxing Day is a very special day in the town, with the not-to-be-missed raft race across the harbour and the Fishermen v Firemen fancy dress football match on South Bay beach.

The football match is great fun but also a major fundraiser for the Fishermen and Firemen’s Charity Fund which helps to support the elderly and infirm during the winter. It was first played in 1893 to raise money for the families of the five Scarborough fishermen working on the fishing smack Evelyn and Maud which was lost at sea with all hands, during a violent storm.

In Filey, on December 8th, there’s a festive fundraiser with a difference. The Santa Dash and Reindeer Run – the family fancy dress event takes place to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice, Scarborough.

Meeting Father Christmas is a must and in a slightly unusual setting this year, at the Rotunda Museum, just off Scarborough’s seafront, where a very traditional St Nicholas (dressed in green, not red) is in residence at a grotto designed by Rachel Boddington of Whitby’s Glittermoth Factory. Call in on December 7th and 14th and say hello to St Nicholas.

The Rotunda is also the start point for the annual festival walk (11am, December 27th) which explores the geology along the coast.

Santa can also be found on board the North Bay Miniature Railway in Scarborough. The popular Santa Specials run each Saturday and Sunday from November 30th to December 22nd.

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There’s a Dickensian-style Christmas at Robin Hood’s Bay over the weekend of December 6th to 8th. Brave the steep trek down to the sea (and back up again!) for another chance to meet Santa who is joined by no less than Queen Victoria herself and Dr Busker, Victorian entertainer, who promises bawdy songs and ballads.

There is plenty of drama at the coast this month too. Way along the coast at Saltburn, Earthbeat Theatre Company’s musical take on Scrooge – described as ‘touching, exhilarating and riotously funny’ – can be seen at the town’s Community Theatre on December 4th, 5th, 10th and 11th. This one always sells fast, so book a ticket while you can.

Scarborough’s Spa has a traditional Christmas panto, Cinderella from December 12th to January 1st. This Tony Peers production is the usual rags-to-riches fairytale but packed with magic, sparkle and plenty of laughs.

The YMCA Theatre at Scarborough stages a popular panto each year too – this year, from Boxing Day until January 4th it’s another much-loved fairytale Sleeping

Beauty. And at the town’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, there are two Christmas shows both full of sparkling festive fun including a determinedly non-traditional, extra-terrestrial version of Beauty and the Beast – A Space Adventure runs from November 29th November to December 28th while Arthur Wing Pinero’s Victorian farce The Schoolmistress – acknowledged as the inspiration for Ronald Searle’s much-loved St Trinian’s books – is on from December 14th December to January 4th.

Janet Deacon is the North Yorkshire area director, Welcome to Yorkshire