Favourite Things: Lesley Newton

Lesley Newton
Lesley Newton

Lesley retired in 2013 after 19 years as PA to the headteacher of Scalby School. She is a Trustee of Newby & Scalby Community Library. She and husband Howard have two sons and are proud new grandparents to Hazel, aged five months.

I’m one of those people who enjoys exploring graveyards. It’s not at all ghoulish: I’ve come across some interesting and lovely people there, both alive and dead! Graveyards are full of social history and when I retired I was able to research the lives of the men on the First World War section of the memorial in St Laurence’s Churchyard, Scalby, where I belong to the church family. I do this with two friends, and we feel we’ve come to know them and their families. Along the way we’ve made new friends who’ve helped us, such as the lovely folk at the Scarborough branch of the East Yorkshire Family History Society. We meet in St Andrew’s Church Hall on Ramshill Road at 2pm on the last Tuesday of the month.

Cloughton Tea Rooms

Cloughton Tea Rooms

Another fascinating local graveyard is Manor Road/Dean Road where the Cemetery Friends have done such a wonderful job of making this repository of so much local history a delightful place in which to wander.

Other favourite places are libraries, where you can spend time browsing books that open up new worlds, do research, attend a course, find out what’s on in the area or simply have a coffee and read the paper. I particularly enjoy visiting the Scarborough Room at Scarborough Central Library to read old copies of the Scarborough Mercury. Another favourite is Newby & Scalby Library. I’m one of the six Trustees who run it along with a large group of committed volunteers. We have a lot of fun whilst planning events and keeping this vital community resource going.

You don’t have to leave town to see premier-class enter-tainment in Scarbor-ough. We are so lucky to have the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where we’ve been vastly entertained by the genius that is Sir Alan Ayckbourn, attending world premieres by this internationally famous playwright, music ranging from string quartets to brass bands, and films. Scarborough also hosts an annual book festival in April: Books by the Beach. It attracts big-name authors including politicians, crime writers, TV personalities, historians and poets. This year Ruth Jones, Jeremy Vine and Stella Rimington headline and I plan to attend lunch with a Suffragette expert, hear about the science of food with BBC One Show’s Marty Jopson and attend a talk by Yorkshire vet Julian Norton. All in Scarborough!

Favourite days out include Helmsley Walled Garden, run by green-fingered volunteers, which has a café that offers tasty vegetarian lunches. We love Malton Food Festival, Sewerby Hall near Bridlington with its little zoo, and Goddards, in York. This small National Trust property was the home of chocolate manufacturer Noel Terry. We’ve recently discovered the joys of York’s Rowntree Park with its gardens and brilliant Reading Café.

Helmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley Walled Garden

You can’t beat the Yew Tree Café in Scalby for a great all-day breakfast or tasty lunch, and for an evening meal The Bryherstones at Cloughton Newlands is tops. Sally’s steak pie with its rich gravy and loads of veg is the pie against which all others are judged!

In Whitby we always eat at Trenchers for its first-class fish and chips or huge fresh crab salad. Other favourite places to eat are the Foulsyke Bistro in Scalby, the Grainary at Harwood Dale and The Seafood Social in Scarborough’s Market Vaults. When at the library I often visit Mad Hatties’ tea rooms in Newby for one of their generous bacon rolls or have lunch at Seven Coffee Shop on York Place which does the fluffiest, lightest quiche ever!

I’m fortunate to live in Newby where most of my shopping needs are met by Proudfoots, though I do have to go over the road to Laura’s to have my hair done! I buy cakes, greetings cards and bird seed from Scalby Stores: use it or lose it, I say. Burniston Garden Centre is another great local store.

The seasons bring special delights in Scarborough. An early morning drive along the seafront before it gets busy always lifts the heart. Our New Year’s Day ritual is a walk with friends from the North Bay to the Harbour Bar via the Tea Pot Café. Then there are walks along the cinder track, with summer lunches in the beautiful garden at Cloughton Station Tea Rooms. The snowdrops are coming out in St Laurence’s churchyard and promise to be followed by the usual glorious display of daffodils and narcissi.

Malton Food Festival

Malton Food Festival

I’m truly blessed to live in this special part of God’s Own County!

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Rowntree Park, York

Rowntree Park, York

St Laurence's Church, Scalby

St Laurence's Church, Scalby