As a “Boro lass”1 I have been interested in James Cook since my childhood, going to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum with school groups, and doing projects about him. At Stewart Park a “Parky” once told me that the large tree next to the commemorative vase in the grounds at the back of the museum is the one that Cook used to climb on as a boy. I have always imagined him climbing the tree, but have no proof. Still, it’s nice to dream.
In 2014 I took up the interest again as a personal project, and studied further into how the young boy developed into a man. I wanted to know more about his personality, but also realised how lucky I am to have all of his young life’s history within the area where I live: birthplace in Marton, the church where he was christened, Aireyholme Farm, his school, the place where his parents’ home once stood, Ayton Hall, Staithes, Whitby, and his family’s graves in Marske and Great Ayton. After a while I came to a stand-still at getting more information about him, so my sister suggested I search for a group or society that follows him. I wasn’t building my hopes when I started to look on the internet but then, to my surprise, I came across the Captain Cook Society. I joined immediately, wishing I had done so sooner.
After receiving my first copy of Cook’s Log, I already felt part of a group, even though I had not met anybody. However, I had received valuable information and was very surprised to see there is a large number of members WORLDWIDE!!
I spotted details of a meeting at Marton in Middlesbrough in October 2015, and the date was put into my diary immediately. I was adamant that nothing was going to hinder me attending.