Esk Valley Theatre

Glaisdale, near Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK

Glaisdale Village

Glaisdale is the proud winner of Village of the Year for the north of England 2002.
It's not only a beautiful place to live, it's friendly too so there was a warm welcome for the visit of the Discovery bus.


Not only is Glaisdale an incredibly picturesque place, nestled in the Esk Valley, but the sense of community is very strong as well.

This was very apparent at the Discovery Bus, where "standing room only" was the order of the day.

While eager computer learners surfed the world wide web, a string of fascinating local guests joined us at various venues around Glaisdale for our live broadcast on the Jerry Scott Show.

Tony Swift in his museum

We kicked off in the wonderful Museum of Victorian Science, run by local man Tony Swift from a 10-foot square building in his garden. The museum traces the history of electromagnetism. Visitors liken it to Frankenstein's laboratory, with old Van der Graaf generators, ticker tape machines and even a model of Marconi's first radio transmitter.

Afterwards it was time to brave the October elements with a visit to the romantically named Beggar's Bridge. And, sure enough, there is a very romantic story attached to it.

Beggars Bridge
Glaisdale's Beggars Bridge

The bridge was built in 1619 by Thomas Ferries, the son of a local moorland farmer. Margaret Hutchinson told the story of the bridge.

While courting, Thomas had to swim the River Esk to see Agnes, his intended. But her father was a well-to-do landowner who thought the poor boy was beneath his daughter. So Thomas decided to go to sea to seek his fortune. The night before his departure the river was so high he couldn't say goodbye to Agnes. He swore that on his return he would build a bridge on that very spot and he was true to his pledge.

Later on the Discovery Bus team met another local man who's used to telling stories of his own - very popular ones. Nicholas Rhea, known locally as Peter Walker, is the author of the Constable books which inspired the successful TV series "Heartbeat".

Nicholas Rhea
Colin Hazelden talks to Nicholas Rhea

Peter talked about his life as a world-renowned author and explained that it was TV bosses who chose the nearby village of Goathland to be the fictitious Aidensfield. Glaisdale, however, is more relevant to Peter's life as he was born and raised there.