BY DOMINIQUE SHAW
I grew up by the sea around Scarborough and was a little surprised to read recently that the ageing Victorian seaside resort remains the UK’s most visited tourist spot outside of London. As you enter the town huge signs advertise the availability of free parking after 6pm on the seafront and (whilst I always feel that surely the town has more to offer than the absence of late-night traffic wardens) it’s fair to say that in the summer months every space is filled, every arcade becomes a cacophony of jangling coins clattering through the penny slots and the sands and promenade are brimming with visitors munching on ice cream and fish & chips as they walk with opportunistic seagulls circling overhead well into the evening.
But it’s no longer summer in Scarborough.
The Autumn contrast is stark - the bright, colourful lights of the arcades illuminate an empty promenade, the sounds of 100 ageing computer games and one particularly haunting Mario-esque theme tune ringing on loop incessantly across the beach, no longer muffled by the cries of happy children or the hundreds of beachgoers from every walk of life. The bright lights here have always fascinated me, but in the encroaching darkness of an approaching winter they serve to bring not excitement but a sense of loneliness to this place, this 3 month mecca now forgotten for another year.