An article entitled "THE DASH ON SCARBORO: As witnessed from Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke. New facts disclosed." from 24th December, edition of the Scarborough Mercury
A remarkable fact which was elicited by our representative on Wednesday morning in the course of inquiries amongst the people of the cliff villages to the north of the town was that the German bombarding ships started in the dash on Scarborough from a stationary position off Hayburn Wyke. Here they had been hiding in the darkness - how long cannot of course be said - before starting off on the bombardment at daybreak.
They were seen still and stationary by three workmen, Tom Nellist, son of the landlady at the Blacksmith Arms, Cloughton, and his two workmates, David Coultas and Thomas Coultas, the latter two brothers.
These three men were engaged on building work at a cottage on the cliffs at Hayburn Wyke. Leaving Burniston about seven o'clock on the eventful Wednesday morning, they reached the cliff at Hayburn Wyke about half past seven. Daylight was then breaking, and they were at once attracted by the sight of three warships, two of an extraordinarily large build, and one a much smaller vessel.
The three men were struck by the closeness of the vessels to the shore. They thought it very remarkable for vessels of that type to be so close in. They were at rest, and no smoke could be seen emerging from their funnels.
Some minutes later, the light having improved, they slowly moved away in the direction of Scarborough, the smaller vessel leading. The speed increased gradually and smoke began to emerge from the funnels. Within a few minutes their speed had increased enormously, huge volumes of dense black smoke were pouring out of their funnels, and they were tearing through the water at the speed of an express train, leaving a heavy bank of smoke in their wake.
Mr W Lee, chairman of the Burniston Parish Council, witnessed the return of the vessels. He says only the two larger ones returned. The smaller one was not to be seen. They were pouring out tremendous volumes of black smoke. Their speed was terrific. He witnessed many flashes from the guns, and said that the bombardment sounded at Burniston like heavy thunder, but the bombardment of Whitby about nine of o'clock sounded even worse at Burniston owing to the direction of the wind. Mr Lee added that he had never seen any of our warships so close inshore.
Mr A. Bell, of Burniston, road foreman, was engaged on the road between Burniston and Scalby on the forenoon of the Tuesday preceding the bombardment when an erect gentleman about six feet in height, with white hair and moustache, stopped beside him.
That was almost exactly at the point of the four milestone. He said, looking towards the sea,
"you will be safe here behind that rising ground when the Germans come." "The Germans will never come here," Mr Bell replied. The stranger remarked "But they will, and quickly, too, you'll see."
They did come the next morning.
Mr Bell says the gentleman who spoke very confidently, was an entire stranger to him, that he was not quite English appearance and that his accent was not that of an Englishman. Mr Bell put him down as a Scotchman.
The stranger also remarked, looking at the milestone, "I have walked out four miles" He then returned in the direction of Scalby and Scarborough.