2003. A time before parenting. A happy dreaming couple. A time when digital photography was still seen as the work of the devil by many. When a mobile phone was just that – a mobile phone – nothing else. My football team was still playing in the European Champions League.
31st May 2003. As the local paper described it. A once in a lifetime opportunity. The chance to see a 90% solar eclipse. Two problems
- The peak eclipse would happen dead on sunrise. Best viewed from the East Coast.
- This is Yorkshire.
Yorkshire does many things well. Cricket, Rhubard, Beer, Ferrets, Terriers, Chocolate, Moody Moors. We also do lots of cloud and rain. We don’t really do sun – bit of a bugger when your looking forward to a solar eclipse.
With a wing and a prayer we set off for the coast at 3am. Arriving at Scarborough an hour later. People looking out across the sea. Just before sunrise it’s hard to tell if the clouds have formed.
The first signs of morning and we wait with baited breath. Will the Sun appear.
As the sunrise time came still no sign of the sun. Maybe too much sea mist.
Then at 4.36am a thin red strip of sun appears. The crowd let’s out a huge cheer. Some hardy folk jump into the sea for a swim.
Unbelievably the infamous Yorkshire weather was playing ball today. Not a cloud in the sky.
As the Sun continued to rise a beautiful red then orange water path virtually led the way to the eclipse. Someone had brought a ghetto blaster and almost hypnotic music drifted across the morning air. The dreaming couple talked about an adventure to a far off land to see a full eclipse one day. One day.
17 years later. The Yorkshire weather is certainly not playing ball. I came across these photos looking for my birth certificate. They instantly took me back to that time of dreams and a truly magical partial eclipse.
One more little miracle. A photo involving me. A photo I can sign up to. So to those who have asked for a picture. Ok here it is.. Me back in 2003.