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did the name Betty Moffat come from and why had the rocks got their name. There was no record of a family by that name in the 1850s,or from the area around Scarborough, this was the first puzzling factor, she must have come from somewhere. The sea was raging that spring afternoon, not as bad as in the autumn when this search started, the day was misting over as I looked to the sea for guidance, thinking as I had done before that maybe the sea spirits could guide my thought. Some might think me silly for doing this, but in the past, I had come to realise the elemental spirits can help if you let them, as a firm believer in spirituality I was hoping I might be able to see something, as the spirits found me last time. Sitting on the wall by the Sea life centre and watching the waves, my mind resting with the pleasant sounds of the sea rolling in from afar, and the smell and tastes of the seas all about me, it was easy to drift away and imagine things, that were not there I was in that semi-conscious area of the mind when I thought I saw something, just catching a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a boat heading towards the lighthouse and harbour, but how could I be sure, I hadn’t been fully concentrating on anything, that was the key. Trust your senses but let them tell you the story. I sat there for an hour or two, just wave watching and thinking of what I had witnessed, the ship was going to the harbour, and making good time, but there was something amiss about her, and at this time I couldn’t place what it was, and there the story starts Over the last few years my researches had ascertained one piece of information, of which I was 100% certain, nowhere in the records was a Betty Moffet mentioned, this was the reason for my fascination with this stretch of rocks, as they had to be named after someone or something but nobody had any ideas about whom That night I was out late having a nice stroll along the sea front, enjoying the spring salty air and feeling good about things, I was here in Scarborough a town I had loved since my childhood days Although the town centre had changed and was full of shops you can see anywhere, the old town by the harbour had changed very little with the passage of time, or maybe my mind wanted to remember the good old days Here I was wandering around the old winding streets, a far cry from last autumn when I almost got blown down one steep street, the wind and rain was driving so hard I could hardly see my hand to hold onto the railing, tonight I was walking with the moon glinting of the damp cobbles and reflecting of the fish market, closed for the day, but never out of business Sitting on the front looking out to sea, the only sounds registering were the waves rolling in across the harbour, as it jutted out, and the last of the gulls cawing for the chips, with the night light going and a chill spring breeze carrying the salty spray in off the sea, I decided to make my way back to the guest house for the evening, the walk would take on the path side of the harbour, during the day I would have gone via the harbour walls, but with the lessening light it was wiser to be safe Walking along the path I remembered in the autumn the motor trials that had been held along this roadway, and the rough seas breaking across the road, so violent they were that half of the road was awash I turned up the cliff path, and was heading across behind the vast rears of the hotels along the drive, when for some reason I stopped and looked out to sea, and then I saw it a ships lantern flickering past the point, but this wasn’t rocking gently to and fro, as it should have been, had it just been running the
tide, this lamp was waving in a frenzied sideways action, as though some human hand was trying to attract my attentions, I only saw it the once that night, and then it went out As always the mystery had roused curiosity now, to a fever pitch, my mind running with ideas of what might be there. But still at the front of my thoughts, was the fact that even in the records of the Maritime research project, there was no official record of a Betty Moffet, and here obviously in distress at the rocks of that name, was a boat or ship, could there be a link after all ? But why no records of her ? Questions, questions but no answers, even if I did find out what this is about, would it help solve the mystery of the rocks, or would it just solve the riddle of the lantern ? Time was getting on, and the night getting dark quickly, even though the path in daylight is perfectly safe, my eyesight in the dark isn’t too good, as the banks are steep I didn’t want to risk slipping, and ending up in hospital As I got back to the guest house, I was met by Andy the proprietor, back from taking his dog, a lovely collie cross, for her evening walk "Evening Al, been a lovely day again today hasn’t it." "It has Andy, and looking good for tomorrow as well, judging from the skies tonight." As we walked inside, talk was on what I planned for tomorrow, as he and his wife were knew to the area, I did not think they would know of anything to do with the mystery, so I let things ride for the night, as we climbed the steps to the door, and I went to my room But still my mind was racing, at the possibility of another mystery to solve In the morning, my fellow guests were all chatting about where to go and what to do, today’s venture appeared a trip to Whitby The town is lovely, situated on the Esk river, but what people forget is Whitby is, as Whitby was and will forever be, it is a working fishing port, Whitby is also known for its shipbuilding yards, which can be seen, if you walk back up the river half a mile, and look across at the sheds Not a seaside resort like Scarborough, and being honest, there isn’t much to keep you there more than a few hours, even with the new Dracula exhibits on the dock side, for the town of Whitby, look up river to the houses on the hills, I know, as I had an uncle who lived here, and was a fisherman for many years Further up the coast is a more interesting prospect in Saltburn-by-the-sea, the only problem is unless you have a car or go on an organised trip it involves a long train journey, of 2 - 3 hours, but is still worth a visit, unfortunately the towns pirate museum, is long closed now, but the links to history are still strong, as Edward is supposed to have met Lily Langtree here in one of the hotels on the promenade Saltburn’s history is steeped in piracy, and one of the most famous of her sons, ran the Ship inn on the sea front, a pub which still stands today Most visitors to this area, take the trip to Bridlington, as it the other end of the Whitby route, and only an hour by bus, well worth the trip My mind was running possibilities when my thoughts were disturbed by a guest "Alan, you are in deep thoughts, what is on your mind friend ?" "Oh just thinking of what to do, as I have a number of things planned, I wish to revisit St. Mary’s church and have a word with the vicar I met last year, visit a grave there as well, also I want to go to
the library, as I arranged to see some old maps with a curator." "Sounds like a full day ahead, what prompted all this activity then ?" "Last autumn I came for a visit, after losing a close friend in Canada. For many years now I have been trying to find out why the rocks out by Scalby mills are called Betty Moffet,there are no records to say why, maps going back as early as 1850s have them named, but nobody knows why, also last year I was contacted by the spirit of a lost soul, a little girl who lived a sad life, and even in death could not find peace, she has now, and hers is the grave I will visit today." "That is a lovely tale to tell, and so moving." "I have another mission as well as researching the rocks now, last night at the same spot, I saw a ships lantern swinging, and was wondering what I could find out about that." "All the best in your researches, have to go and get ready for the trip now" "Thanks, have a nice day" Two pots of coffee and some more toast later, I finally got up from the table, and went to the room, to think this through, the town centre is only a short walk from the guest house, once you get your bearings, so I decided to go to the library and have a chat with the curator, a lady called Cate, after about an hour we decided, that as helpful as maps could be, this was getting nowhere, as all the maps had the rocks named, but we needed to find out why, Cate said IF I did find something she would be extremely interested in the findings This was now becoming more of a quest than just trying to find some random bits of information about odd things happening, and this drove me on Anyone who knows me will tell you, I go through stages from mild curiosity, to great interest right into obsession and I had the feeling this was heading that way, as curiosity was giving way to a driven passion to finding out about these rocks, at the same time though I also had the feeling that I could run into a dead end, as information is so scant for the period, but I was determined to find something out Looking from the top of the cliffs up to the point, I was wondering what it must have been like to be that captain, and why had he run so close to the shore, surely he would have known the rocks ? Thinking back to last night and the light, why had I, of all the visitors to the town seen it, and what was its purpose ? A warning ? A sign of danger for the future mariners ? Or a desperate plea for help ? I was later to find out another reason, one equally as mysterious as it was perplexing
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