We love our history in Yorkshire, and rightly so. The county is rich in heritage and fruitful stories that make us proud to be from a unique place that holds so many memories. With this, it’s sad when we get news of traditions that have ended or things that we are used to changing (because Yorkshiremen don’t like change, obviously!).
Announcing the sad news today, it’s been confirmed that the Yorkshire Belle, a historic boat, is staying docked for the remainder of the summer – making it the first summer in 73 years.
Built-in 1947, the owners of this special boat have taken the decision to anchor her up for safety and social distancing measures as a result of COVID-19, which has blighted the whole world this year. The boat has been giving cruises since completion in 1947, so it’s a real shame, but we respect the decision.
The Richardsons family, who’ve owned the boat since 1982, took to Facebook to announce the news, saying: “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce we will not be sailing this season.
“After much careful consideration, we have decided that it would not be practical, safe or enjoyable for us to carry passengers.
“We feel that with the restrictions and measures we would have to put in place for the protection of our passengers and crew, the essence of our cruises and the enjoyment we wish to give our passengers would be lost.
“We also feel this is the best way to protect our historic vessel to try to ensure her future in Bridlington for years to come, and that we will one day still be here to offer our unique cruises when the world returns to some sort of normal state.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but one that we have made with the comfort and safety of our customers at the forefront of our minds.”
The Belle is used to display some of Yorkshire’s coast in all its glory, taking in some of the most unique and sought after destinations in the county – allowing guests to take it all in in a way like no other. Passengers would see Flamborough lighthouse, Bempton Cliffs seabird colony and Filey Bay.
Belle has a great old history behind her. For starters, the current Yorkshire Belle isn’t actually the original. The first was requested for use by the Royal Navy in World War II, and was used as a defence vessel in the Humber. It sank after hitting a mine in 1941, just three years after being built.
The Yorkshire Belle we know and love today was built six years later in Beverley shipyard and has capacity for 207 passengers. With 73 years behind the old boat, we hope she will be out with visitors as soon as possible.