The old fishing village of Runswick Bay with its red-roofed cottages clings perilously to the surrounding North Yorkshire cliffs and the way to the bottom and the beach below is steep.
But near to the village lies a cave formed by the action of the waves, and completely submerged at high water. Within this ‘hob hole’ it is said, lives a ‘Hob’, a hog goblin with the power to cure whooping cough. Afflicted children would be carried into the cave and their parents would invoke the spirit of the Hob for its cure and shout “Hob-hole Hob! my bairn’s got kink-cough; take’t off, take’t off.”
The practise has now ceased and people come to Runswick Bay to enjoy the narrow winding paths and alleyways between the cottages, a walk along the beach and to search for fossils in the rocks.
I was there yesterday and it was a glorious sunny day and not a hob goblin in sight!