Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alpha Place Memorial

Subject to final approval, plans are being made for the unveiling of a permanent memorial to Saltburn's first houses at Alpha Place, together with an information plaque.

Saltburn resident Tony Lynn MBE, a former draughtsman from ICI, who, together with his wife Cath, has devoted much of his time to recording and promoting Saltburn's history, has designed the memorial and will unveil it on Saturday August 11th 2012.

The memorial is designed not only as a symbol of the Victorian vision that built Saltburn but also to the craftsmanship of those who constructed the buildings that remain today. This is reflected in the high specifications of the structure which will hopefully become an attractive local landmark.

Alpha Place also marks the site of the platform where the first fare-paying passengers disembarked on 17th August 1861 and this date is credited as the founding of Saltburn-by-the-Sea as a resort.

Although historically significant, the sight of Alpha Place (demolished in 1901)
had never been marked and the memorial is designed to act as a starting point for those interested in finding out more about the town.

The memorial and plaque will use reclaimed materials and the structure will be faced with the white Pease bricks that are characteristic of the early growth of Saltburn and will resemble a section of walling from the original building. It will also feature a carved sandstone facsimile of the original datestone.

The cost of the build has been met by grant funding from Saltburn, Marske & New Marske Parish Council, local businesses and individuals. Their contributions will be recognised on a carved 'roll of honour' on the rear of the structure. The memorial will also feature an information plaque charting the history of the site and the subsequent demise of Alpha Place.

Many people are involved in the project, including Callum Duff, who has been the chief fundraiser despite now living in Edinburgh.

Keith Murray, a respected sculptor, originally from Middlesbrough and now working in the Lockwood area, has carved the facsimile of the original Alpha Place date stone.

Jason Upton and Phil Slater will undertake the build, which will take place in two stages to accommodate any potential problems on site. The land has not been developed since the building of Alpha Place so they will be working in uncharted territory.

Eddie Guy of Sign Art will produce the information plaque for the top of the structure which will detail the history of the site.

Mike Wetherill, a stonemason from Danby, will carve the rear stone of the memorial containing the names of those who have contributed to the project.

The project has the full co-operation of Sainsbury's PLC whose supermarket occupies the current site and Ilcrest Properties Ltd who own and manage the land.

On the day of the unveiling, which takes place during Saltburn Folk Festival week, a town promenade is planned to encourage both residents and visitors to join in a pleasant stroll along the top promenade where features of interest will be pointed out along the route.

This part of the unveiling ceremony is scheduled to start at noon at the top of Saltburn Bank. As Saltburn is now 150 years old everyone is encouraged to dress up in costume from any era of the town's history. Prizes are planned for the 'best dressed adults and children'.

The unveiling will take place at 1pm accompanied by Marske Brass Band who will present the first performance since 1880 of 'The Saltburn by the Sea Galop' which has been specially arranged for the event.

Read the history of Alpha Place here.

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