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Pier Towers, Withernsea
Withernsea is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
 Withernsea shown within the East Riding of Yorkshire
Population 6,159 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference
   – London 150 mi (240 km)  S
Civil parish Withernsea
Unitary authority East Riding of Yorkshire
Ceremonial county East Riding of Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HU19
Dialling code 01964
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Beverley and Holderness
List of places

Withernsea is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, and forms the focal point for a wider community of small villages in Holderness. Its most famous landmark is the white inland lighthouse, rising around 127 feet (39 m) above Hull Road. The lighthouse – no longer active – now houses a museum to 1950s actress Kay Kendall, who was born in the town.

The Prime Meridian crosses the coast to the north-west of Withernsea.

According to the 2011 UK census, Withernsea parish had a population of 6,159,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 5,980.[2]


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Landmarks 3
  • Media 4
  • Education 5
  • Public services 6
  • Notable people 7
  • Withernsea Town Council 8
  • Gallery 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


St Nicholas' Church

Like many seaside resorts, Withernsea has a wide promenade which reaches north and south from Pier Towers, the historic entrance to the pier, built in 1877 at a cost of £12,000. The pier was originally 399 yards (365 metres) long, but was gradually reduced in length through several impacts by local ships, starting with the Saffron in 1880 before the collision by an unnamed ship in 1888, again by a Grimsby fishing boat and again by the Henry Parr in 1893, leaving the once grand pier with a mere 50 feet (15 metres) of damaged wood and steel, which was removed in 1903. The Pier Towers have been refurbished.[3]

During the mid-19th century the Hull and Holderness Railway was constructed, connecting the nearby city of Hull with Withernsea (via Keyingham and Patrington) and making possible cheap and convenient holidays for Victorian workers and their families, as well as boosting Withernsea's economy. It closed in 1964 and all that remains of it is an overgrown footpath where the track used to be.[4][5]

Withernsea, like many British resorts, has suffered from a decline in the number of visiting holidaymakers.[6]

Withernsea sea front


Following an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Proudfoot Supermarket, Tesco opened a competing store which originally struggled to attract sales. Tesco resorted to a campaign of price flexing, offering customers £8 off for every £20 spent in their Withernsea branch.[7] This led to an investigation by the Competition Commission.[8][9] After their market share increased, Tesco prices returned to a level closer to the national average. Subsequently Aldi took over the former Proudfoot supermarket, and are now offering very competitive opposition to Tesco. Meanwhile, the Withernsea Town Council has bought a former pub and nightclub, centrally located opposite Aldi, and has renamed it the Meridian Centre. A lottery bid for over £400,000 - Reaching Communities building fund - has been successful, and the building is now being refurbished to provide a community centre, including a cinema and performing arts venue.

There is a 9-hole golf course and leisure centre complex (with a gym and indoor pool) and a variety of pubs and restaurants are situated around the centre of the town.[10]


Some of the town's better-known tourist attractions and landmarks include:


The area is served by BBC Radio Humberside, Viking FM, Seaside FM, Capital Yorkshire, KCFM & Magic 1161 although these radio stations rarely report any local news or events. Ofcom awarded Seaside FM a community radio licence to broadcast to the town on 105.3 MHz and the station launched on 5 October 2007 from studios at 27 Seaside Road. Weekly newspaper The Holderness Gazette also has offices on Seaside Road.


There are a number of primary school located in Withernsea which serve the surrounding area. Withernsea High School is the main secondary provider and also includes a sixth form. There is also a technology college there. The high school known as "Withernsea High school and Technology College" has been refurbished in 2015.

Public services

Withernsea has its own hospital owned by the NHS which was subject to services cuts and lost its Accident and Emergency Department facility,[12] it is now a community hospital. Withernsea has five emergency service stations located within the town, Yorkshire Ambulance Service; Humberside Fire and Rescue Service; Humberside Police; Her Majesty's Coastguard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution station.

Notable people

  • Birthplace of jazz musician Kenny Baker (1921–1999).[13]
  • Actress Kay Kendall was born in Withernsea in 1926[14]

Withernsea Town Council

Withernsea Town Council has been in existence since 1986 and contains 11 councillors; 5 from the North Ward and 6 from the South. Preceding the Town Council was the Withernsea Parish Council which existed from 1984-1986 and preceding that was the Withernsea Urban District Council which existed from 1898-1974.

The current Mayor of Withernsea is Cllr. Anne Blake and her consort is Cllr. Gordon Hodgson, she has been Mayor since May 2014 and her current term ends in May 2015. The Deputy Mayor is Cllr. Graham Gibson and the Deputy Mayoress is Janet Gibson.

The next full council election is due to take place on 7 May 2015 when all councillors will be up for election. Here are the results of the last full council election and the subsequent by-elections:[16]

Withernsea Town Council election 5 May 2011 North Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Anne Blake 254
James Arthur Blake 140
Loraine Francis Clark 133
Gordon Mervyn Hodgson 300
Terry Render 307
Independent John Windas 467
Married father of one daughter Stewart Winters 186

For the North Ward the following were elected: Anne Blake, Gordon Mervyn Hodgson, Terry Render, John Windas, and Stewart Winters.

Withernsea Town Council election 5 May 2011 South Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Brian Michael Cloke 307
Graham John Gibson 216
Keith Hardcastle 474
Heather Jean Hilton 172
Michael Kevan Hough 360
Georgie Owens 324
Patrick Michael Spicer 335
Sandra White 191
Independent Stuart Woodruff 470

For the South Ward the following were elected: Brian Michael Cloke, Keith Hardcastle, Michael Kevan Hough, Georgie Owens, Patrick Michael Spicer, and Stuart Woodruff.

A by-election for the North ward was called following the resignation of Terry Render.

Withernsea Town Council by-election 20 December 2012 North Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Fiona Edgington 64 48.48%
Callum Hollingworth 67 50.76%
Majority 3 2.28%
Turnout 132 5.4%

The following was elected for the North Ward: Callum Hollingworth.

A by-election was called for the South Ward following the resignation of Stuart Woodruff.

Withernsea Town Council by-election 21 February 2013 South Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Fiona Edgington Uncontested

The following was elected in the South Ward by-election: Fiona Edgington.

A by-election was called for the South Ward following the resignation of Michael Kevan Hough.

Withernsea Town Council by-election 24 July 2014 South Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Dave Edwards 67 28.76%
Matthew Lloyd 99 42.49%
Alisdair James Watson 67 28.76%
Majority 32 13.73%
Turnout 233 8.92%

The following was elected for the South Ward: Matthew Lloyd.

A by-election for the North Ward was called following the resignation of John Windas

Withernsea Town Council by-election 21 August 2014 North Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Dave Edwards Uncontested

The following was elected for the North Ward: Dave Edwards.

A by-election for the South Ward was called following the resignation of Fiona Garnett (née Edgington)

Withernsea Town Council election 21 August 2014 South Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Peter David Millard 72 34.95%
John Michael Tasker 79 38.35%
Alisdair James Watson 55 26.7% -2.6%
Majority 7 3.4%
Turnout 207 7.9% -1.02%

The following was elected for the South Ward: John Michael Tasker.



  1. ^ a b "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Area: Withernsea CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics.  
  2. ^ "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Withernsea CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics.  
  3. ^ "BBC Bus – Withernsea". BBC Humber. BBC. 22 August 2003. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  4. ^ Price, Peter (1 January 1989). Lost Railways of Holderness, The Hull Withernsea and Hull Hornsea Lines. Hutton Press Ltd.  
  5. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd.  
  6. ^ "Reinventing the seaside". BBC News Online (BBC). 19 August 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  7. ^ Pratley, Nils (6 January 2005). "Shop tactics". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "main party responses emerging thinking no 3" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Groceries Market inquiry: Main party submission" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "Withernsea Town Council – home page". Withernsea Town Council. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  11. ^  
  12. ^ "Hospital – Withernsea Community Hospital Managing Trust Information". National Health Service. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  13. ^ "Jazz great Baker dies".  
  14. ^ "Kay Kendall". Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  15. ^ You make us proud to be women': Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon praise dance group Ruby Red Performers as they strip off during body-confident routine on BGT"'". Mail Online,. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  16. ^ East Riding Council parish and town council elections, Withernsea
  • Gazetteer – A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 12. 
  • "Parish and Town Council elections". East Riding Council. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Withernsea in the Domesday Book
  • Seaside FM 105.3
  • Withernsea In Pictures
  • Withernsea High School
  • Withernsea High School Humanities Faculty
  • Withernsea Lighthouse
  • – St Nicholas' Church  
  • Local information sheet
  • Withernsea High School
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