Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alpha Place Memorial unveiled.

An historic memorial was unveiled in Saltburn this weekend to commemorate houses that marked the beginning of the town.

Alpha Place, a block of white bricked terraced houses, was situated alongside the railway with its front facing what became the railway excursion platform ( now part of Sainsbury's car park) and its rear across the ends of Ruby and Garnet Streets, and was erected by the S & D Railway to house their employees.

The Saltburn and Guisbro' Times (4th May 1901) states that William Peachy, architect, laid the first brick two months before the formal ceremony on 23rd January 1861, when Henry Pease layed the official foundation stone. As the town had neither a station nor Post Office when the street was complete the two houses at the east of Alpha Place were used until permanent buildings became available, Mr Arthur Brown being both Stationmaster and Postmaster.

The terrace was demolished in 1901, ironically due to the successful expansion of Saltburn. At the beginning of the 1900's the local council wished to purchase Alpha Place from the NE Railway Company for demolition as its situation prevented the development of Milton Street as a main thoroughfare.

Local historian Tony Lynn, along with Callum Duff and other supporters decided the time was right to create a special memorial to Alpha Place on the site of the former terrace.

The £3,500 cost has been raised by supporters donating £100 each to have their names recorded on the memorial and Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council has also given grant aid.

On Saturday at 1pm, the memorial - made of reclaimed Pease bricks from the same time period - was unveiled By Mr Lynn and Mr Duff.

Mr Lynn said: “It's meant to represent a section of brickwork torn from the original buildings. I had the original idea and Callum has been the main project manager. People think it looks great and it will now be a permanent reminder of the lost first homes of Saltburn which were built at the birth of the modern town."

As part of the ceremony Marske Brass Band played a specially adapted version of the Saltburn Galop, a dance tune which is believed to have not been played since 1880.

Many local people were involved in the creation of the memorial, which has been superbly built by Saltburn bricklayer Phil Slater, assisted by Jason Upton.

Read about the history of Alpha Place here.

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