In a letter to his brother Theo dated 19th February 1876 Vincent van Gogh writes “No answer yet from Scarborough.” This was at the time when he was about to resign from art dealers Goupils and so would have been looking for a new job. He was 23 years old. He had a variety of jobs in his youth and at one time even became a priest. I wonder who he wrote to here in Scarborough? In a letter dated 7th February, the only other reference to this job application is ”they asked whether I could teach French, German and drawing, and also requested a portrait.” Obviously he never got the job and it’s not mentioned again, although he had promised to tell Theo how he got on. So it was probably to a school that van Gogh applied. In 1871 Scarborough’s first school board was established to bring together many smaller schools and they proposed to build three new schools, one in the north west for around 800 pupils, one half the size in the south east and an infants school. The one in the north west sounds the most likely school needing a foreign languages and art teacher. This, the Central School (on Trafalgar Street West) opened in 1873 and “John Brown and his wife, joint heads of this school, were loved and honoured by generations of boys and girls.” (Arthur Rowntree, The History of Scarborough, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1931 p.363) So in all likelihood it was the Browns who either rejected van Gogh’s application, or perhaps never replied. Perhaps with Victorian punctiliousness, the latter possibility can be discounted. Whether Vincent told Theo of this rejection clearly is a moot point since not all his letters survive. There we have it. Had the Browns given Vincent the job, we would have had an abundance of sketches and paintings of Troutsdale, the harbour, castle and sea, and he would have settled down here providing us with yet another reason why Scarborough is the 2019 European Town of Culture.