De­scen­dant of Stoker adds bite to tourism bid in visit to N-east

Evening Express (City Final) - - Uk & Abroad - By Dale Haslam

A COASTAL vil­lage in the North-east could get a tourism boost thanks to a 19th cen­tury vam­pire.

That is the view of Dacre Stoker, the great­grand­nephew of Bram Stoker who wrote the Gothic drama Drac­ula, partly in­spired by Cru­den Bay.

Dacre was in Cru­den Bay last night to give a talk about his fa­mous rel­a­tive, who would en­joy vis­its to the North-east coast in the late 19th and early 20th Cen­tury to es­cape the hus­tle and bus­tle of life in Lon­don, where he man­aged the Lyceum Theatre.

Bram’s vis­its to Cru­den Bay in­spired Drac­ula – Slains Cas­tle was used as a blue­print for Cas­tle Drac­ula – and Dacre said more could be done to help Cru­den Bay busi­nesses cap­i­talise on its as­so­ci­a­tion with the great writer.

“There is real liv­ing his­tory in Cru­den Bay – his­tory that can be told through sto­ries – and, if there can be an ef­fort to per­suade coun­cil mem­bers to recog­nise that, the whole vil­lage will ben­e­fit,” said Dacre.

He added: “It would be nice to see some­thing more per­ma­nent of Bram Stoker here and it would be good for tourism. We have a plaque in mem­ory of Bram at Dublin Cas­tle and here in Cru­den Bay there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to mark cer­tain spots – where he walked, Slains Cas­tle and the dif­fer­ent rocks on the coast that Bram used to de­scribe in dif­fer­ent sto­ries.

“This area is very fer­tile for tourist de­vel­op­ment that isn’t go­ing to re­quite mess­ing up the en­vi­ron­ment. It would re­quire a lit­tle bit of in­vest­ment.”

Dacre said a tourist trail web­site or phone app could be de­vel­oped along­side one or two plaques.

T h e Cana­dian said the high­light of his two-day trip to Cru­den Bay was see­ing Bram’s name in the vis­i­tors’ book at the Kil­marnock Arms. He added: “I feel Cru­den Bay ticked all the boxes for Bram as a place to spend time as he could spend time by the ocean, which he loved, and to chat with coast­guards and lo­cal fish­er­men to lis­ten to some of their sto­ries about folk­lore, which we know he put into his books.”

Cru­den Bay ticked all the boxes for Bram Stoker

An­ces­tor: Bram Stoker’s great­grand­nephew Dacre.

in­spi­ra­tion: Slains Cas­tle near Cru­den Bay.

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