It seems our call for stories about Grandstand viewpoint has brought back some truly happy memories. Visitors have contacted us from far and wide recollecting happy moments on our most accessible cliff edge platform overlooking the North Sea.
Caroline from Suffolk told us she was thrilled at the prospect of seeing puffins off the Yorkshire coast but she arrived to find a sea-fret shrouding the cliffs. Fortunately this quickly dispersed and she was soon peering out over the edge of Grandstand, trying to spot a puffin on the sheer cliffs below. Her experience prompted her to write a poem, 'A Chink in the Sky', which was later published in an anthology, 'A Pocket Full of Spring Fever'. Here are the first couple of verses:
Flashes of amber appear in the spray:
puffins return through a chink in the sky,
flaunting their costumes like clowns in a play,
making a splash as they flutter and fly.
Guillemots gather and kittiwakes cry:
puffins are pairing and waiting to lay,
fanning their feathers as partners stand by.
Flashes of amber appear in the spray.
Another visitor, Alice, has visited the reserve on dozens of occasions over the years to see the amazing seabirds that make their home on the cliffs. However, her most enduring memory at Grandstand is not of of the wildlife but of the weather. On the last day of her honeymooon in 2011, she and her husband witnessed the most amazing sunset that seemed to feature every shade of red known to the world. Alice said It was the perfect end to a magical holiday!
There's still time to tell us your story - and be in with a chance of winning an original viewpoint name plaque.
Email your words and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or post them on our Facebook page - RSPB North Yorks and East Riding - where you'll also find full terms and conditions for the competition in the 'Notes' section.
For anyone who missed this story in the press, here's how you can own a little bit of Bempton Cliffs.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs is offering a little piece of history to anyone who’s ever visited the nature reserve, near Bridlington, and has an interesting story to share.
In advance of the major redevelopment project, which started in September, the sign from Grandstand viewpoint – one of five viewing platforms perched on top of the towering chalk cliffs - was replaced, and the original sign is now being offered to the visitor with the best memory of visiting the viewpoint.
The viewing platforms at the Yorkshire coast nature reserve provide visitors with fantastic vistas of the 250,000 seabirds, which make their home on the cliffs each year during breeding season. Grandstand is the most central of these viewpoints, and gives spectacular views towards Flamborough, looking south, and Filey in the north.
Maria Prchlik, RSPB Bempton Cliffs’ Marketing Officer, said: “We know the reserve is a very special place to many people. Visitors often return here with their children, and then grandchildren. They often reminisce with staff about the time they did this, or the day they saw that.
“We hope this unique prize will encourage visitors to tell us more about their particular magic moment at Bempton Cliffs. In return one lucky person will win their little bit of our own story. So if you first saw a puffin from this viewpoint, were transfixed by a sea storm, or if you proposed to your partner there, we’d like to hear from you.”
Anyone who has a tale to tell should email the reserve team at email@example.com, or post their story on Bempton Cliffs’ Facebook page: RSPB North Yorkshire and East Riding.
Please note, RSPB Bempton Cliffs’ visitor centre and car park are currently closed for redevelopment. The public footpaths along the clifftops remain open. For more information, visit www.rspb.org.uk/bemptoncliffs.
The weather doesn't always do what you want it to do at Bempton Cliffs. But recently it's been on its best behaviour which has allowed Kemp Developments, the building contractors working on the redevelopment programme, to really get stuck in. And as you can see, the new seabird heritage centre has really started to take shape.
From the slope down past the bird feeding garden you get the best view of the overall picture of the site. To the right you can see the area that will be the new interior space for educational activities and other events. We will have around double the space we currently have. And from here on in, the hundreds of school children who visit us each year will have an indoor classroom instead of an outdoor one.
This is the outer wall of the new extension. The interior walls are the start of the toilets. It's surprising how quickly the building is progressing and as the walls go up, the level of excitement rises too. The project is the culmination of a lot of hard work for a lot of people and to see it actually happening, bit by bit, little by little is incredible.
This is taken from inside what will be the new education space and it's definitely going to be a room with a view. There will be a huge picture window here so you are looking at the view that will be seen through it. The sweep of the land down to the cliffs and the sea beyond is breathtaking. I suspect we'll have to drag people away.
Despite the disruption, the tree sparrows are still around and, for the moment, enjoying the sunshine. We are taking special care to ensure that none of the wildlife around the centre is adversely affected by the building works. It's all about giving nature a better home.