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Andrew Liddle
Guest Writer
12:00 AM 18th May 2024
arts

Beverley Senturk Lights Up The North

Scarborough Calling: Part 5
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
“I’d already gone to bed,” says Beverley Senturk, locally famous for getting up early to photograph the Scarborough sunrise, “but when the lights came through the window, I got up and rushed out to capture them.”

We’re discussing the fabled phenomenon of the aurora borealis which recently lit up the night sky of much of the northern coast (and elsewhere throughout northern Europe), treating the heavens to multi-coloured bursts and swirls and swathes of blues, greens, yellows and livid reds, suffused with weird purples, violets and cerises.

She got back home at around 5.30, just about the time she normally rises and sets off, camera in hand, to feast on the morning glories. “Apparently this was the best in this country since 1932,” she beams. “They may never come again like this in our lifetime.” I nod in assent. “They were absolutely stunning and I’m so glad I saw them and was able to record it all.”

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Her full night’s work provided her with a veritable gallery of images, many of which she will sell at craft fairs in the area. Undoubtedly, the wonderful appeal of her pictures is their spontaneous freshness. She has become famous for breathtakingly beautiful sunrises over Scarborough’s harbour and bays, the sky on fire against the Castle Hill skyline, burning like molten lava on the water.

This time of day is when so many of her much admired photographs are captured but she almost always has a camera with her, wherever she goes. “You never know what you’re going to see,” she says, enthusiastically. “The best pictures are those that can never be repeated and owe everything to the moment.” Her Canon R6 Mirrorless camera is always set to manual. “It means I have to adjust it for every shot but it’s more personal and I’m in control of the camera not the other way round.”

Perhaps her most iconic image, captured frequently, is Freddie Gilroy sitting alone, oblivious to the glorious sunrise or the spray washing over him, so deep in thought must he be of the horrors of Belsen, the concentration camp he helped to liberate in 1945. Ray Lonsdale’s sculpture has been captured times without number by so many admirers since first arriving in 2011 but never with more emotional awareness than Beverley brings to her studies.

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
She does not neglect other times of day, moods and seasons, however, and her winter-white views of Scarborough Mere have many admirers and are among her best sellers. A speciality is crystal-clear close-ups of rarely seen seabirds, puffins, gannets, razorbills, waxwings and Kingfishers, to name but a few. One of her frequent visits to Tophill Low Nature Reserve, near Driffield, yielded priceless images of a male Kingfisher feeding a female. “It took a lot of patience, hours in fact, to catch the images I wanted,” she adds, “but I like to think I’m as much a wildlife photographer as a landscape portraitist. I enjoy photographing all things that are beautiful and precious and fleeting.”

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
A recent visit to Charm Park, near Wykeham, allowed her to capture the colourfully glorious spectacle presented by a Point-to-point meeting of the Yorkshire Jockeys’ Club. Her pictures reveal the pageantry of these occasions, the magnificent horses, immaculately groomed, being put through their paces by jockeys sporting the bright silks of their owners, and we begin to appreciate the sheer excitement of the jumps.

“My father, Jack Clark, was an artist working in acrylics,” she reveals, when it’s put to her that her photographs have all the compositional balance and bright edge of an oil painting. “Perhaps I’ve inherited some of his flair.”

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Born and bred in Scarborough, she works as an Outpatient Services’ Administrator in Scarborough Hospital, across the road from Graham School where she was educated. In 2021 the NHS Trust were so impressed with the uplifting nature of her scenes, they commissioned an exhibition to brighten the main corridor.

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©
She has a dedicated television audience who send screenshots of her work they’ve admired on both the BBC and ITV local news programmes. “Being selected on such a regular basis, bearing in mind the strength of competition, is very flattering,” she admits, “but I’m generally at work so I seldom get to see them myself.”

To fully appreciate her work you need to attend one of Scarborough’s craft fairs where her stall, Photography by Beverley, always attracts a crowd, many from her large Facebook following. On sale are mounted prints and canvases in various sizes, handmade cards, glass coasters, framed Heart of Scarborough collages and other photography-based items.

Her work is more than a panorama of landscapes and a panoply of wild-life studies but a glorious celebrations of life’s special moments, local occasions and events - firework displays, as you might say, either man-made or sent from the aurora borealis!

Beverley Senturk Photos ©
Beverley Senturk Photos ©