This is the fourth year in succession that Chris as led the Yorkshire Day celebrations at Redcar. Last year he was Charles Dickens, and this year it is the famous Yorkshire navigator and explorer, Captain James Cook.
“Research at the family history centre in Whitby shows that I am very distantly related to Captain Cook,” said Mr Foote Wood, “Cook, who was born in Marton, Middlesbrough, has no direct descendants as all his children died without issue.
“I am doubly pleased to be playing Capt Cook, who learned his trade at Whitby, as two of my direct ancestors, my great great and great great great grandfathers were both Whitby sea captains, a very prestigious position in the town. Each commanded a three-masted bark, exactly like HM Bark Endeavour in which Cook made the first of his round the world voyages.
“These ships, known as Whitby Cats, were originally built for the coal trade. They were strong and wide with a shallow draught, and ideal for close inshore work as well as sailing the oceans. I am so pleased a full-size replica of the Endeavour is berthed at Stockton.
“My only problem is that I am shortly to play Charles Dickens in my one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe with a beard, so Capt Cook, who is usually depicted as clean shaven, will have to be bearded on this occasion.”
6’8” John Curr of Redcar will appear as a mighty Viking and will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Old Norse. Silk white roses will be on sale at £1 and all proceeds go to Redcar Lifeboat. This year the event will also be attended by the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms. There will be stalls and attractions for all.
As a tribute to the Tour de France people will be cycling in from neighbouring towns carrying the Yorkshire flag.