Filey Archive - Exploring Filey's Past
Exploring Filey's Past
The Social History of Filey
From Stage Coach to Scarborough and District
John Paul Jones
The Fashion of Filey
Crimlisk Fisher Archive
c/o Council Offices
North Yorkshire
YO14 9HE

Tel: (01723) 514498

The Social History of Filey

Described as a small fishing village in the year 1801 with a population of 505 people, Filey village nestled on the cliffs ninety-three feet above high water spring tides.

Fishing was at the very heart of the economy. Men were fisherman or they worked in associated industries, such as boat building to rope and twine making. Historical documentation indicates a strong compact infra-structure developed over the years, and, by 1851 Filey village, had become a self contained town, Filey had changed dramatically by 1856 no longer a tiny fishing Village, now a Town it had become a famous watering place, reaching celebrity status for bathing and for the beautiful firm golden sands. Large handsome houses were built for wealthy families, to use as a summer retreat. Thus the economic picture changed from a fishing based, to a commercial economy.

During the nineteenth and twentieth century Filey continued to grow, with several large private housing estates. The town became well known to a wider public in 1948 with the opening of one of the first Butlin holiday camps in the country.

Despite the extensive development of the town, Filey remains an unspoilt holiday destination. The town and the bay remain quaint and genteel, a jewel in the crown of the east coast. Filey people are friendly, kind and helpful, and justly proud of their heritage.

By Lilian Whiteley