Richard Whiteley is famous for hosting the television show Countdown for 23 years but he was a reporter once. Once he was doing a piece-to-camera on live television when the chimney stack of The Holbeck Hall Hotel collapsed. More of the hotel soon followed so while in Scarborough I thought Iíd stand on the hill where the debris flowed down toward the sea.
The building was a private house with cliff-top views when it was built in 1879 however it was converted to The Holbeck Hall Hotel when English Rose Hotels bought it. On 3rd June 1993 soil below the building started turning into sludge and on 5th June 1993 (after a day of rain) large parts of the building started flowing down to the sea. The soil beneath the hotel turned to sludge. Though sections of the cliffs between Filey and Whitby are known to crumble the collapsing hotel made news around the world. What remained was demolished later on for safety reasons. About protruded 100 metres of sludge pushed larva-like out into the sea.
In 1997 a bitter court case ensued between Holbeck Hall Hotel Ltd and Scarborough Borough Council, the former wanting buckets of cash for negligence. However the latter won as it not liable for the causes of the slip itself due to the fact it was not reasonably foreseeable.
Bit of footage hereÖ
Iím glad the debris didnít reach down hereÖ