I interviewed singer and guitarist Mark Goodall one night in the appropriate surroundings of The Black Horse to delve into his relationship with the folklore and history of the district that informs the songwriting. A quick glance at the track listing shows the subject matter we're dealing with here. Some of the songs are unashamedly boisterous knees-ups, but the ones I'm interested in have a haunting, arcane quality to them.
During our conversation, which was recorded for presentation on this blog, the pub gradually filled up with drinkers, so there is a bit of incidental conversation. Also fans of the glam rock outfit The Sweet will notice their hit tune Ballroom Blitz forming a slightly incongruous backdrop to our talk of ancient artifacts. Postmodernism of the highest order.
I must apologise for the occasional rumbling sound picked up by the microphone. I suspect its caused by a slightly unsteady table. In these extracts we discuss four of the thirteen tracks. To my mind these are the amongst most interesting.
SHOWERBATH OF THE PATRIARCHS
I knew nothing of this, but apparently around 1934 a local man had the idea of building a swimming pool and a boating pond in Litllebeck. By 1945 due to disuse it became silted up and was populated only by hundreds of frogs. A film exists in the Yorkshire Film Archives showing boys bathing in the pool.
In Old St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales hang four maiden's garlands. They were made to commemorate the tragic death of a young girl, and would be carried along at the funeral procession.
The wreck of this concrete ship stands forlorn on Whitby Scar. The subject of these strange vessels was covered more extensively on OUT ON YE! here.
HAND OF GLORY
The mummified, severed hand kept in a cabinet in Whitby Museum is purportedly the only surviving Hand of Glory. It was found hidden in the wall of a thatched cottage in Castleton.
To listen to the tracks Showerbath of the Patriarchs, Hand of Glory and Hole of Horcum, and for more information visit Rudolf Rocker's website here.
|Maiden's Garlands, Old St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales|