Crab pots at Whitby Quay, North Yorkshire, England

Whitby Folk – manager of Whitby Mission and Seafarers Centre

Whitby is full of interesting people. Through their daily work they help keep the town ticking and help make it a great town to visit.

Shoreline Cottages has interviewed a number of these ‘Whitby folk’ to find out why they love the town so much and how they think it’s changed. Today we meet Simon Smith, the manager of Whitby Mission and Seafarers Centre. Originally a centre to support seamen and their families, the Whitby Mission is a community resource for all Whitby inhabitants as well as seafarers. It houses a cafe which serves delicious homemade food and runs events throughout the year.

What is your name?

Simon Smith

What is you job title?

Manager of The Mission. I’ve worked here for 16 years and the job is easy going. I met all types of people here. We have a fishing school upstairs, we help homeless people and people with mental health problems. We have a cafe, we hold prayer events and we also hold table top sales to help raise funds.

Do you mind telling us how old you are?


Have you lived in Whitby all your life?

Yes, my family have lived here for 2 generations. My father is from Scotland and was a trawler fisherman. My Mum was from Whitby. Both of my Grandparents were fishermen in Scotland.

What do you love most about Whitby?

The nice surroundings. There are nice people here and most people get along. Everyone knows one another.

What do you like least about Whitby?

There are far too many fish and chip shops. We could do with some different types of shops and create new job opportunties.

What has changed in the town over the past 10 years or so?

More and more food shops have opened. The amount of people coming to Whitby has tripled in the last 15 years.

Do you have any children?

Yes, I have 4 children. They’re 28 yrs, 26 yrs, 21 yrs and 9 yrs old.

Do you think they will stay in Whitby or move away?

No, my children will not stay in Whitby – there’s not enough jobs in Whitby with good pay. 2 of them have left already.

In your spare time what do you like to do?

I like to buy and sell antiques

Will you ever leave Whitby?

No, I’m too old now.