Friday, 17 July 2009

Having had some time at my disposal I had made a brief search about Whitstable on the internet. Its history as an Oyster fishery and film set for Dr Who was most prominent on line. I had also discussed the matter of the upcoming Biennale with some of my colleagues and gleaned some interesting information from them. One of them had stated, with some certainty, that Whitstable was the site of Dracula’s first landing in the British Isles. This fact had caused me some excitement as I have long held an interest in the tradition of the Vampire film. I had always been drawn to the certainties in its format: the mysterious aristocrat, the woman in danger, the dangerous woman (often the same woman), the persistent sunset anxiety and the final battle. Unfortunately in soon transpired that the Count had in fact alighted in Whitby a completely different kettle of fish.

I had written to Sue regarding the Whitstable – Whitby confusion and had jokingly suggested I go to Whitby instead; her reply tactfully ignored this suggestion.

Email from Sue Jones, 23rd June 2009

I’m not around on the 26th, or I’d suggest coming over to Whitstable to meet you. But you probably want to get to know Whitstable on your own anyway.

Yes, unfortunately Whitstable is not where Dracula landed, but fortunately it is where Peter Cushing lived who played Dracula’s arch-enemy Dr Van Helsing. Clearly Whitby and Whitstable are some weird mirror image of each other.....

I was extremely excited that Whitstable had this, albeit tenuous, Dracula connection and looked forward to finding more evidence of Van Helsing.

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