Friday, December 29, 2006

Rust-red rivers and iron ore

Saltburn photographer, Bob Mitchell, has captured the glory and decline of Cleveland's industrial heritage in a series of dramatic photographs. Scouring the East Cleveland hillsides for abandoned ironstone mines the 26 year old photographer found the crumbling remains of some of the 83 mines - including Brotton's Lumpsey Mine - which between them produced 360 tons of iron ore in their lifetime. Bob, who grew up in Brotton, said his work stood as a tribute to the men who toiled to dig iron ore by hand from the Cleveland Hills, from the mid nineteenth century until the last mine closed at North Skelton in 1964.
Little now remains of the industry other than a few buildings and the rust-red rivers which hint at the story behind the ironstone mines which once powered the nation's industrial might.
Bob's 'Iron and Steel' exhibition will be on show in Preston Hall Museum until January 27th

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cliff path re-opens

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has completed work to reopen the footpath which links Saltburn's Marine Parade to the lower promenade. The £30,000 scheme, undertaken by the Council's highways partner, Alfred McAlpine, has included replacing damaged steps, repairing the handrails and permanently closing off obsolete parts of the footpath. After violent storms in 2000 landslips forced the closure of the two footpaths from Marine Parade to the lower promenade, opposite Emerald Street and Pearl Street, to the general public. The Council commissioned geotechnical advice that recommended the footpath opposite Emerald Street could be re-opened following remedial works, but the footpath opposite Pearl Street should be permanently closed due to the continued danger from landslips. Work on the footpath opposite Emerald Street started in October and was completed last month, removing the landslip material from the existing steps, re-grading the slopes and removing the overgrown vegetation from the steps. Now more repairs on the steps have been carried out to allow the footpath to reopen. The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said:"Now I'm sure the restoration of the path will be appreciated by everyone and is also bound to be a real asset in the summer, adding another access route from Marine Parade to the prom."
Controversy over the Pearl Street access will continue as many residents believe that the landslip problems can be overcome in much the same way as they have been in nearby Whitby if the Council was prepared to recognise the need for continued support in developing the sea front as a major asset for the town rather than allow the years of neglect to continue.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Have your say...

The next round of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Area Environment Committees, part of the Council’s bid to make the Borough ‘cleaner, greener and safer’, include a Public Open Forum, an hour-long session set aside for question time, specific topics of discussion, and the submission of petitions and ideas for future decisions.

Written questions can be posted to the Council’s Community Development Manager Julian Feakes at Fairway House, Limerick Road, Dormanstown TS10 5JU or by e-mail to

Dates and venues, all with 6pm starts:
  • Redcar: Wednesday, January 10 at Redcar Education Development Centre, Corporation Road.
  • ONE (Ormesby, Normanby, Eston): Tuesday, January 16 at George Sickling Community Centre, Allendale Road, Ormesby.
  • East Cleveland (Marske, New Marske, Saltburn, Skelton): Wednesday, January 17 at Gleneagles Community Centre, New Marske.
  • GaTeS (Grangetown, Teesville, South Bank): Monday, January 22 at Grangetown Neighbourhood Centre.
  • Guisborough (including Charltons, Margrove Park, Boosbeck): Tuesday, January 23 at Stump Cross Community Centre.
  • Kilton (Loftus, Lockwood, Brotton): Wednesday, January 24 at Moordale Court Community Centre, Lingdale.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Have a go, sport

play the didgeridooDidgeridoo enthusiasts are inviting people wanting to learn more about the instrument to get involved in Saltburn Didge Club.The club, which has been running for three years, has around 30 members, ranging from teenagers to people in their mid-50s, but they have now launched a membership push.Christmas celebrations have also been planned by the group, with a party at 7.30pm on Friday, December 15, at Saltburn Community Hall.Musician Kevin Serginson, who is also a primary school teacher, said: "We teach people to play the instrument, give advice on buying didgeridoos and also have performances.The group meets on the third Friday of each month at Saltburn Community Hall. For details call 01287 205021, email or visit

Monday, December 11, 2006

Party Time at the new Children's Centre

Saltburn's new Children's Centre will be officially opened on Thursday, December 14 - the centre is already a success with families in the community. The afternoon celebrations will feature music from Huntcliff School woodwind band, Saltburn Primary School choir and a Christmas party in the centre, with Santa in his grotto, a disco, magician and storyteller.
The Centre, built on the Huntcliff site, began welcoming families in June and hosts a 45 place daycare setting, training room and adjacent children's room as well a three health clinics and two small meeting rooms. It offers family fun sessions, training courses and counselling services in an accessible one-stop shop for family services. The nursery for under-5s is run by Rosedene Nurseries, the Tees Valley’s longest-established pre-school care and learning provider. Staff include nursery nurses, health visitors, school nurses, a children’s physiotherapist, a podiatrist, Sure Start community workers and administration staff.Centre manager Linda Bulmer said: "The number of families registered with us from Saltburn alone is 154. We have nearly 600 altogether, which includes families from Guisborough, Skelton, Lingdale and Boosbeck. We wanted to make the official launch something really special. We knew a Christmas Party theme would be just what our children and families wanted and, after all, that is what Sure Start is all about."

Local radio personality Stewart McFarlane MBE and two-year-old Charriss Savory shared the ribbon-cutting duties with Santa at the offical opening of the Children's Centre.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saltburn lad space bound

A robotics expert from the North-East is about to realise the dream of a lifetime. Dr Nicholas Patrick, born in Saltburn, will become only the fourth Briton to go into outer space when he blasts off in the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida, next week. His mission is to rewire the electrical systems of the International Space Station.
The 42-year-old explained how the flight will be the realisation of a dream that was born as he watched the Apollo 11 moon landing on television as a child in Saltburn. Although there were many other things which caught his imagination as he was growing up - an archaeologist, a boat designer - Apollo 11 left a lasting impression and the one thing that really stuck with him throughout his childhood was the idea of becoming an astronaut.
Dr Patrick, who became a US citizen in 1994, was cleared for launch next week, as Nasa gave final approval for its most complex shuttle mission in years. The astronaut and his six crew mates are spending the days before the launch in quarantine to avoid illness.
His wife, Rossana, a doctor, and their children will be at the Cape Canaveral space centre to watch the launch, with Dr Patrick's parents, Stewart and Gillian who, like their son, now live in the US.
Dr Patrick was designing jet engines and cockpits in the United States, before being recruited by NASA. He started training as an astronaut in 1998. "The real key is to find the things you love and pursue those, and your interests will carry you," is his advice to any aspiring spacemen or women.

March of the Pigeons

Saltburn has for some time seen a great increase in the pigeon population and a number of areas including the town centre, Methodist Church and various private dwellings have suffered from the invasion and the scourge of droppings from the roosting birds. Several businesses in the town square are now taking action and are requesting people put their complaints into writing. The notice has been placed in the window of the tourist information office, located in the station precinct, and one of several businesses affected by the plethora of pigeon droppings splattered around the station portico. Mrs Judy Bullock, who runs the centre, has put up the notice following a number of complaints. She also commented that a lady had recently slipped on the mess, and although not hurt was very shaken. The notice, after apologising for the mess, points out that the land is privately owned and does not come under council control. It then asks customers to write a letter of complaint which will be sent to the relevant people and hopefully result in some action being taken.
The Methodist Church in Milton Street has also suffered for a number of years with pigeon droppings littering the steps to the main entrance which have to be cleaned daily to remove the mess. Complaints have also been made by individuals from a number of private residences along the 'Jewel Streets' but so far nothing seems to have been done.

The pest team is now investigating a number of complaints from shop staff, members of the public and residents and is said to be carrying out a planned programme of works to control pigeons at a number of locations across the borough where a problem has been highlighted. A spokesman said the council was trying to contact the owners of Saltburn's portico area, a London company, to bring the matter to their attention so that action can be taken.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Behind the names

War memorials are a familiar sight in the landscape of the UK . According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a memorial, is “a sign of remembrance; preserving or intended to preserve the memory of a person or thing”. One can also say that it acts as an object “reuniting those who were separated by a conflict”. They also provide insight into not only the changing face of commemoration but also military, social and art history.

In 1919 Saltburn was a small town of about 3,000 people. Life was beginning to return to normal following the end of the 1914-18 war. Sixty-three local men had been killed in the conflict, and like many small towns across the country, Saltburn was struggling to raise the funds to pay for a suitable memorial in recognition of the sacrifice these men had made.
Lieutenant Wilfred Evelyn Littleboy, aged 21, killed in action at Ypres (now Ieper) on Tuesday 9th October 1917 was the youngest son of Charles William and Agnes Evelyn Littleboy, who lived at Woodlands, Victoria Road, Saltburn. Mr and Mrs Littleboy offered to commission and pay for a suitable memorial and present it to the town.
Sir WIlliam Reynolds-Stephens of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, was approached by the War Memorial committee to design the memorial and he visited the town to select the most suitable site specific position for the memorial. His design is one of a broad-armed cross with a short shaft of grey granite standing on top of a slightly tapering pedestal and base, also of granite. The relief sculpture on the cross depicts two angels praying at the head and foot of a recumbent Jesus Christ. Two relief laurel wreaths decorate each side of the pedestal. The wording on top of the Memorial is 'Sacrifice'. At the base we read ' We have no glory great enough for you.'
The unveiling and dedication of the memorial took place on 14th November 1920 by Major-General Sir Percy Wilkinson KCMG, CB. Archdeacon Lindsay repeated the Dedicatory Prayers and the Reverand A Antrobus led the congregational singing of 'Abide With Me'.
This Grade II listed structure stands today in its selected position on Camp Bank surrounded by a beautiful, well maintained garden. It bears the names of 63 soldiers who died in the first conflict and 20 names from the Second World War.

Walking past the cenotaph one morning in 2003 prompted Mr Ian Bedford into stopping and reading the names. Wondering about their lives and where in the town they had lived and worked he decided to research the names and find some answers to his questions. The result of this research is now available in a book which he has just published. Copies are available from Mr Bedford who can be contacted on 01287 623246 or by email

Countryside celebrations

Redcar and Cleveland Council's three countryside visitor centres are celebrating their best-ever visitor numbers – over 100,000 this year.Attendances were boosted by a host of special woodland events run by countryside rangers and volunteers at Guisborough Forest and Walkway, Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park and Saltburn Valley Woodlands Centre. These events attracted the public, schools and groups to a wide variety of events from recycling craft sessions to Hallowe'en parties.

The Saltburn Valley Woodlands Centre (01287) 622408 has thrived this summer and autumn, highlighted by 'The Pageant of Light'celebration, which attracted over 1,000 visitors. The 80-hectare site is just a five minute walk from Saltburn beach, making it an ideal and popular location to discover the countryside from spying woodland mini-beasts to rock-pooling on the beach. This year, Saltburn Valley was granted a Green Flag Award, the national standard for parks and green spaces, a first for the Council. The Valley boasts the spectacular Italian Gardens as well as informal parkland, ancient woodland, meadow and grass land and the Centre tells the story of the valley through various interpretations. The Centre holds a year round programme of events, including every Tuesday in school holidays family fun days for all ages from crafts to trails.Countryside Ranger, Neil Thirkell, joined the countryside team in 1995 and has been at Saltburn Valley for six years, offering expert insight to the woods and its inhabitants. Neil says he is still getting to know the Valley and its wildlife and what the public want from the site.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A sparkling start to Christmas

Father Christmas swapped his sleigh for a fire engine to arrive in style for the seasonal lights switch-on event. Despite the blustery, wet weather festivities began on Saturday morning when local bands took to the streets to perform Christmas carols.Youngsters enjoyed Punch and Judy shows in Station Square while shoppers were offered a variety of wares from a Christmas speciality market. Local primary schoolchildren gathered around the Christmas tree to perform carols before the lights were officially switched on. It was then up to Father Christmas to make his debut, as he travelled from the fire station in Leven Street, along Albion Terrace to the railway station.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Father and two children airlifted to safety from incoming tide.

A MAN and his two children were airlifted to safety after getting trapped on rocks by the rising tide. The family, from Saltburn, were winched to safety by an RAF rescue helicopter after they were trapped near Staithes. The father called in the emergency services after ringing the Humber Coastguard on his mobile phone. He told rescuers where he and his daughter, 13, and son eight, were on the foreshore between Staithes and Skinningrove. The trio had set off to walk to Staithes last Sunday afternoon and became trapped by the rapidly rising tide. The man's wife had rung the coastguard as she was worried about the tide and did not know where her family was. Staithes Lifeboat was launched at 12.50pm and was directed by the father who managed to reach it on his mobile. The crew were joined by the coastguard and an RAF Leconfield rescue helicopter. The three of them were found stranded on rocks above the rising waves half-a-mile south of Skinningrove at 1.05pm. Due to the closeness of the cliffs it was decided the safest option was to winch the three to safety. The family, who were not injured, were flown by the RAF helicopter to Skinningrove beach.
Lifeboat helmsman Paul Theaker said: "We would urge anyone intending to walk along the coast, beneath the cliffs, to check the time of high tide and to tell someone when they set off and expect to return."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


christmasA taste of Christmas is being laid on in Saltburn as the town enters the festive season. A full day of festivities will take place on Saturday from 10am-6pm to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas lights.Organisers Saltburn 500 club say the event will be bigger and better than ever. And a new focal point will be a Christmas speciality market, organised by the Real Meals delicatessen, with a wide range of seasonal food, gift and craft stalls. Real Meals will sell their produce and even cook Spanish paella for people to sample. Local chocolatiers will tempt chocoholics, and other traders will offer traditional Christmas produce and homemade organic food. There will also be trade, gift and charity stalls, plus a "secret garden" by the Friends of Saltburn Library. From 1pm there will be Christmas decoration making for children, organised by the Woodland Centre and Sure Start. But the day starts at 10am with bands playing carols in Station Square. There will also be clowns and Punch & Judy at 11am, noon, 1pm and 2pm, with the lights switch-on at 5pm. The revitalised programme is backed by the Agora project, a scheme part-funded by Euro cash to reverse economic decline in eight UK communities. Stephanie French, Agora's business development manager, said the Christmas market was "the first in a series of promotional initiatives intended to revitalise Saltburn." She added: "It will be a great opportunity for some local Christmas shopping and a chance to place orders for food and wine with local retailers."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Off the Shelf

offtheshelf &copy saltburnartistsprojectArtwork by over 40 artists, which can be bought straight off the shelf

Painting, photography, jewellery, printing, artists' books, ceramics, glass….

Preview: Friday 17 th November 2006 , 7 - 9 pm

Exhibition runs until 31st December 2006

From November 17 th , SALTBURN ARTISTS' PROJECTS will be holding a very different type of exhibition. Over 40 artists from all over the country will be showing a wide range of work, from jewellery to ceramics, from t-shirts to books. All the work displayed will be for sale, making it an ideal place to go to find that unusual Christmas present. Prices range from £2.50 - £500, so there's something for every budget. The exhibition will be constantly changing – as one piece sells, another will fill its place – all the more reason to visit more than once.

Off the Shelf workshops: Let your children create something inspirational, while you finish the Christmas shopping. Artists' based at the Saltburn Studios will be running a day of exciting workshops, introducing children to techniques of bookmaking, stencilling and collage. This will result in an exhibition in the Saltburn Gallery Window Space.

Saturday 9 th December, 10am – 3pm
Open to children aged 8 upwards. Free.

Spaces are limited, so contact SALTBURN ARTISTS' PROJECTS to reserve your child's place.
Saltburn Gallery, 30-32 Marske Road, Saltburn by the Sea, TS12 1QG 01287 626060

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Library advice sessions to be warm and well

Libraries across Redcar and Cleveland are hosting information sessions to offer help and advice for keeping warm this winter.
The Borough's Warm and Well initiative can undertake benefit checks and home energy efficiency surveys, with the chance of accessing grants for energy efficiency measures and discount insulation schemes.
The Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal, Councillor Chris Abbott, said: "We want to ensure that people who might struggle with their heating bills this winter get all the help and advice available to help them cope."

Library dates and times are:
  • Wednesday, November 22 - Marske, 12.30pm-2pm.
  • Thursday, November 23 - Loftus, 2pm-5pm.
  • Friday, November 24 - Saltburn, 2pm–4pm.
  • Thursday, December 7 - Brotton, 1.30pm–4pm.
  • Tuesday, December 12 - Grangetown, 10am–1pm.
  • Friday, December 15 - Guisborough, 10am–1pm.
  • Monday, December 18 - South Bank, 10am–1pm.
  • Wednesday, December 20 - Redcar Central, 10am–1pm.

For more information about the Warm and Well scheme, call 01642 777976 or e-mail,

Friday, November 10, 2006


Armistice Day, Saturday November 11 will be marked by two minutes' silence in Saltburn town centre. A whistle will be blown just before the hour by Ned Atkinson, of Saltburn and District Royal British Legion, to invite passers-by to pause for the traditional two minutes.

Service Details

Box of Delights

Saltburn is to celebrate its Christmas lights switch-on with a day of festive activities. Organised by the Saltburn 500 club, the events take place in the town on Saturday, November 25. Local bands performing Christmas carols in Station Square at 10.00 am will begin the festivities, followed by clowns and Punch and Judy shows each hour until 2pm. A Christmas speciality market, offering seasonal food, gift and craft stalls, will be open outside from 10am until 6pm. On offer will be a selection of traditional Christmas produce and a variety of home-made organic food from local producers. Real Meals will be offering a large variety of its award-winning traditional produce, and cooking speciality foods for visitors to sample. Chocolini's will also be tempting chocoholics everywhere with their Christmas specialities. Also From 1pm, children can make Christmas decorations, in an event organised by the Saltburn Woodland Centre. At 4.45pm, local schoolchildren will gather round the Christmas tree to sing carols. The lights will be switched on at 5pm, just before Father Christmas arrives at 5.15pm.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

National award for newsagent

A local newsagent has beaten off thousands of hopefuls to win a national award. Saltburn Spar owner Mike Gosnay was awarded the accolade of Independent Newsagent of the Year from the Retail Industry Awards. The award pinpoints newsagents with traditional values and those who support their local community. Judges thought an in-store butcher and hot-food counter made Mr Gosnay's store particularly impressive and a hub of the community, offering quality services to customers and supporting local producers. But it was the extensive news section - and the only home delivery service in Saltburn - which was the clincher for the award. Mr Gosnay said: "We are delighted about winning this award. This is a real honour, and I want to especially thank the staff, without whom this would not have been possible, the Saltburn community for their loyal custom and James Hall and Co retail distribution centre for its support." John Hodgson, from James Hall and Co, said: "It is fantastic that Spar stores such as Mike's get the recognition they deserve from the Retail Industry Awards for responding to the community's needs and supplying its quality news service. Spar Saltburn delivers to people across the town, from young families to OAPs, providing an invaluable link to the news, whether it be local stories or international events. "Mike strives for excellence within his store, and it is marvellous to see this rewarded."

Watching the grass grow...

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's countryside wardens have been watching the grass grow in Saltburn Valley Garden - to encourage new habitats. Regular visitors to the Gardens could be forgiven for thinking that the grass cutting has not been up to its usual high standards, but it's a deliberate policy on sections of Camp Bank, near to the Woodland Centre and the beck-sides through the Valley. The Council's Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs Councillor Graham Jeffery explained: "The cutting has not been done very well in places and areas have been left to grow wild, but it has been part of a long-term plan to create new habitats. This is a long-term plan and will take a few years to have any positive effect but creating new habitats is always a good thing for wildlife." Camp Bank has been left to grow all summer with the hope of creating a new wildflower meadow. Now it has been cut by the Valley Garden volunteers and all the plants have seeded. All the cuttings were raked from the area to prevent enrichment of the soil, which would prove less favourable for the wild flowers. A survey of the vegetation was carried out prior to strimming and will be carried out over the next few years to see if the new cutting regime has had any effect on the species present. The beck sides have been left to encourage water voles back into the area – they favour the extra cover that unmown areas provide.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Sparkling Display

Fans of bright lights, loud bangs and the smell of gunpowder have been spoilt for choice at this years bonfire celebrations.
A giant, tiered birthday cake featuring themes from past years including Dracula, Vikings, Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz was the central feature of Skinningrove village's spectacular 25th anniversary bonfire celebrations which took place on Saturday 4th November.
Following on from Skinningrove's annual firework display, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s annual Fireworks Night switched on for a sparkling display on Sunday, November 5th on Redcar Stray.
Starting at 6.30pm the 30-minute extravaganza, between Redcar and Marske, meant that the Coast Road was closed to traffic from 5.30pm until about half an hour after the spectacular display. Organisers set off the fireworks from the grassed area on the Stray, firing over the sea. The finale saw fireworks rising up to 1,500 feet in the air and spreading 1,200 feet wide.
Meanwhile Saltburn's own event, held at the Cricket Club, continued to be a major attraction for the town, with the addition of a fair on the car park in front of the leisure centre.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hummersea steps back...

STEPS are now back in place for walkers to go down the long steep descent to the beach at Hummersea, near Loftus, from the clifftop thanks to a £31,000 restoration scheme. Hinderwell-based contractors DM and JM Barker Construction Limited have carried out the work, funded by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Countryside Section and the Impetus Environmental Trust. It has involved the installation of dozens of steps, including a metal section at the base of the climb, providing necessary protection from the sea. The Council's Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs Councillor Graham Jeffery said:"The steps are a unique feature of the coastline. The Countryside Section recognises their importance, the restoration of the access will give the area a boost, positively impacting on visitor numbers." Hummersea Beach has been used by families on day visits to the coast and for mineral extraction and export. Following closure of the alum mines, the beach became a tranquil spot for local people. Use was so frequent that over time a public right of way was claimed. The Cleveland Way National Trail runs along the clifftop and the access down to the beach creates an interesting stop-off for visitors from far and wide. In 2004, during a violent storm, the steps were ripped from the cliff side and were unable to be repaired, so replacement was the only option.
Work has also begun on one of the cliff paths at Saltburn. The access to the lower promenade from the upper promenade at the bottom of Emerald street has seen the pathway cleared and a re-distribution and levellling of the clay banks along the side of the steps. As yet this work appears to be still 'under construction' and the way has not yet been opened up to the public. However it does seem to be a 'step in the right direction' after such a long time waiting.

See previous posts: Cliff top access blocked. and Harry speaks out ...again!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Saltburn TIC gets a gold Sea Safety award

Saltburn's Tourist Information Centre is one of the best in the country when it comes to offering advice and information about sea safety. The centre in the town's Station Square has been awarded the Coastguard's Sea Smart Safety gold award, one of only nine awarded nationwide, recognition of 'going beyond the call of duty.' Safety posters, leaflets and children's name tags are all part of the Centre's service, operated by Redcar and Cleveland Council, which passed scrutiny on a 'secret shopper' visit during the summer. The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said:"We're delighted that the work of our staff has been recognised nationally. It's a deserved honour for them and another accolade for the Council's services in Saltburn." Centre manager Judith Bullock said:"We've had a really busy summer, with hundreds of people through the door, many asking for advice and information about the beach, which we're only too happy to provide." Volunteer coastguard Paul Waugh, the deputy station officer at Skinningrove, who presented the certificate to the Centre manager, was the Coastguard's undercover man. He said:"The staff are always friendly and helpful, it's a smashing facility, well-used and very well run." Chief Coastguard Peter Dymond commented:"These awards really demonstrate the great work that Tourist Information Centres do. They are a vital source of coastal safety information."

Business Regeneration Appointment

Saltburn Agora Parnership has announced the appointment of a Business Development Manager for Saltburn. Stephanie French, a Saltburn Resident, has been appointed to the post that is funded by the Tees Valley Partnership and based at the Groundwork office in Saltburn. She said, " I am delighted to be appointed to this post and make a contribution to my local community. Saltburn is a very special place with enormous potential." Saltburn is one of eight pilot communities selected by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Association of Town Centre Management as part of the Agora project, which is part funded by the European Social Fund Programme. This project aims to reverse economic decline on the high street by ensuring town centres are run to serve the needs of their local communities. Stephanie's role will be to co-ordinate and promote retailers, community groups and local publicity material to attract visitors and shoppers to Saltburn. This will help to fulfil the aim of Agora, which is to create a booming vibrant town that is attractive to both local people and tourists, where tourists shop and locals enjoy the facilities of the town. She said: "Saltburn is full of hidden treasure, it's time to rediscover it and for all to enjoy it." The first Agora activity will be the Christmas speciality market, organised by Real Meals, on Saturday 25th November at the Station Square in Saltburn, starting at 10a.m. and continuing throughout the day and early evening as the town prepares to switch on the Christmas lights. To date the Agora committee has formed a partnership with 40 local businesses to promote Saltburn and it's business community. The number of businesses in the partnership will expand over the coming months. Saltburn is looking forward to an exciting new future.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Remembrance Service

Saltburn's centotaphThe annual Remembrance Day parade and service at Saltburn Cenotaph on Sunday November 12 will be changed a little this year to reflect the age of ex-servicemen and women taking part. Instead of marching from Somerfield's car park to Emmanuel Church and then on to the cenotaph in Glenside, the parade will march from the church after a service there. As well as ex-service members, many of whom are now in their eighties, the marchers include Army cadets, members of the local Scout and Guide groups and community members. The parade will assemble outside Emmanuel Church at 9.45am. The 10.00 am service will then be followed by the 300yd march to the War Memorial for the wreath laying ceremony. The parade will disperse after the open-air service at the cenotaph.
Armistice Day itself on Saturday November 11 will be marked by two minutes' silence in Saltburn town centre. A whistle will be blown just before the hour by Ned Atkinson, of Saltburn and District Royal British Legion, to invite passers-by to pause for the traditional two minutes.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Redcar's Day of Atonement

© Dennis Weller
The summer of 2006 will long be remembered as a time when Redcar returned to the 1940's and turned into Hollywood by the Sea. It is anticipated that 12 minutes of stunning wartime action will be included when the blockbuster film 'Atonement' hits the screens next year following weeks of preparation and three hectic days of filming.
© Dennis Weller The Regent Cinema is planning to order a red carpet of a regional premier and the prospect of the movie's stars - Keira Knightly and James McAvoy - coming to town.

The scale of the set took everyone's breath away and the preparation work to turn Redcar into 1940s Dunkirk involved the removal of street lighting, street furniture, litter bins, road signs, and the Esplanades famous penguins. It is estimated that 70,000 visitors came to view the set.
There were 300 crew, 1000 extras, all recruited locally and earning £50 a day and 40 assorted vehicles, a bandstand, a carousel, and a massive boat.
Location manager Adam Richards was full of praise for the help and support from everyone, including Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, which ensured that filming was a positive experience.(Photos © Dennis Weller)

An Epic Read. You've seen the film set now read the book! On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, 13 year old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.
By the end of the day the lives of all three of them will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start and will have become the victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

Reserve a copy of Ian McKewan's 'Atonement' in the library or buy a copy from Amazon.

Pageant of Light

moth &copy Ella Towers Hundreds of school children took part in craft workshops organised by Saltburn Valley during half Term bafore taking part in it's procession of music and light to mark the end of British Summer Time. Work began with the creation of banners for the Pageant of Light, followed by workshops on making mini-beast lanterns, percussion instruments and bee head-dresses. Neil Thirkell, Countryside Ranger, said: "The workshops have been successful and proved very popular as we have had around 200 children per day making it worthwhile." All proceeds from the donation boxes on the night have been given to the Friends of the Valley

Friday, October 27, 2006

Photo Competition for Pageant of Light

Amatuer photographers are invited to submit entries to a competition to find the best images of Saltburn’s ‘Pageant of Light’, which will be held this Sunday (29 October). All entries will be displayed in Saltburn Library. The winner will receive a large framed print of their winning entry and the picture will be published on the front page of the next edition of the Council’s magazine for residents ‘River Coast and Country’.The event is being organised in conjunction with Friends of the Valley Community Group who will also judge the competition. Entries should be submitted to: Dawn Raw, Countryside Section, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Fairway House, Limerick Road, Redcar, TS10 5JU, by Friday 10 November, please include name and address. The competition is open to all ages, entries cannot be returned. The ‘Pageant of Light’ marks the end of British Summer Time with a procession of music and light. The procession will start at 5.30pm from Cat Nab car park and finish at Saltburn Woodland Centre. (In taking photographs, the Council would request that you respect the privacy of individuals, families and/ or children and do not take photographs identifying these persons or gain written permission. By sending photographs of yourself/ your child(ren) into the Council, you give consent to the Council to the free use of these photographs in various publications and promotional material.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pool - ing of resources?

Residents were today preparing to fight to save three East Cleveland swimming pools amid fears they could be replaced with a single super-pool. The controversial proposals, which could see the closure of pools at Guisborough, Loftus and Saltburn, could also see the amalgamation of some leisure centres across Redcar and East Cleveland. They form part of a new tendering process to find the firm to run the borough's leisure centres. But Peter Clifford, a founder of Loftus Athletic Club, who has been involved in local sport for 30 years, said: "This is a public outrage. Thousands of people use the pools at Loftus, Saltburn and Guisborough. It appears that consideration is being made to close these baths and put a super-pool in their place. The obvious place to put that would be Redcar. It seems the only way the borough council has of dealing with public services is to close them. Amalgamation, in users' eyes, will mean closure. This could mean the number of baths in the borough being reduced from five down to two. I will be lobbying for all-party support against this and to bring it further out into the open. All users will be horrified by these proposals. Dave Fitzpatrick, Redcar and Cleveland Council's lead member for culture, leisure and tourism, confirmed that suggestions had been put forward but said further details could not be disclosed for legal reasons. He said: "Currently, these centres are run by Tees Valley Leisure, but their contract is coming to an end. Four companies, including TVL, are in the running. Some have suggested that some leisure centres be amalgamated. But amalgamation doesn't necessarily mean closure - it could mean relocation of resources. There is also a suggestion for a big swimming pool for East Cleveland, instead of having three others at Guisborough, Loftus and Saltburn." He added, "There has been a series of suggestions and a lot of these firms are looking at East Cleveland where some of the facilities are dilapidated. They want to improve services to the public and the structures of the buildings. The council will consider all options and there will be a two-year period before a final decision is made."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Helping out in Harmony

Ukrainian children still living under the cloud of Chernobyl are being invited to Saltburn. Funds are being raised to organise a visit by a group of 20 youngsters whose lives remain blighted by the nuclear power accident of August, 1986. Martin Bell, of Saltburn, is helping to organise the trip through his links with Ukraine charity The Leleka Fund. Martin has regularly played host to two Ukrainian children with leukaemia. He has now joined forces with Saltburn scout group to invite a group to the town next summer. All aged 11 to 17, they will stay with families of Saltburn scouts, beavers and cubs - and a week-long campsite trip is planned. A classical concert featuring harpist Sarah Paterson will be held at Saltburn Community Theatre on October 27 to raise funds. "We've raised around £2,000 so far, but we need to raise a total of around £5,000," said Martin. To help the fundraising, call 01287 623673.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Saltburn Valley prepares for Pageant of Light

Saltburn Valley has begun preparations to celebrate the end of British Summer Time with a spectacular Pageant of Light on Sunday, October 29. The first in a series of workshops will take place at the Valley's Woodland Centre on Sunday, October 15, from noon til 3pm to make the pageant's illuminated banners. Countryside warden Neil Thirkell explained, "In conjunction with the Friends of the Valley, we're hoping to build on the success of last year's Pageant, which was a real spectacular, with over 600 people joining in the procession creating a wonderful atmosphere. We're planning to produce some banners for the procession with a 'minibeast' theme as part of the National Big Draw event, so come along and discover your creative side." There will be more workshops planned during the schools' half term holiday week, with a minibeasts theme, building up to the procession of music and light on Sunday, October 29, starting at 5.30pm from the Cat Nab car park to the Woodland Centre. The night’s entertainment is free, but a donations box will give proceeds to the Friends of the Valley.
Workshop times:
  • Tuesday, October 24, 10am-noon, 1pm-3pm: Making minibeast lanterns.
  • Wednesday, October 25, 1pm-3pm: Making percussion instruments.
  • Thursday, October 26, 1pm-3pm: Making a bee headdress. £1.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Walking to America?

Students in Saltburn are walking to America.... without even leaving the seaside. The pupils, from Huntcliffe School, have been set the challenge of walking the 3,000 miles they would need to cover to reach a school in Maine. The miles are being clocked up during International Walk To School Month. Head of Year 7, Peter Wright explained, "We are being linked with a school in Maine. We're still waiting to find out the name of the school , but it's sure to be at least 3,000 miles away. We've got 104 students in Year 7 and I'm expecting half to be walking to school. Maybe more when they realise what we're doing, so I'm confident we'll get to 3,000 miles." Redcar and Cleveland Council is co-ordinating work among the borough's primary and secondary schools, linked to individual School Travel Plans, which are geared to reducing car use on the school journey. Councillor Eric Empson, commented, "We're delighted that for the first time all our 11 secondary schools are taking part in the campaign and also pleased that seven of those schools now have Travel Plans in place."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Litter fine dodge proves costly.

A Saltburn woman, who refused to pay fixed penalty fines for dumping black rubbish bags in a back alley in Saltburn, has now been ordered to pay four times the original fine after being taken to court by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council. The woman was prosecuted for leaving black rubbish bags in the alley at the back of her flat in the town's Pearl Street, an area that has recently suffered problems with fly tipping. She was offered the opportunity to pay the £50 fine, accepted it at the time, but never paid. Now Langbaurgh East Magistrates Court in Guisborough has ordered her to pay a £100 fine and £100 costs. The Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Councillor Joyce Benbow, said: "These are strict laws which we are determined to enforce whenever we can. We have given these powers, and our responsibilities, extensive publicity, and no-one can have any excuse for not being aware of the consequences if they choose to drop any form of litter." The Council's Community Safety Warden Service Manager Van Niekerk underlined the determination of the service to fine people under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or Section 3 (1) of the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. He explained, "Depending on the severity of the offence, our Community Safety Wardens will take action, either by offering a fixed penalty notice or the person could be taken straight to court and prosecuted. And if people do not accept the fixed penalty, we will also prosecute to enforce our powers."

The future is bright

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is organising an ambitious multi-thousand pound programme of work to light up Saltburn. The work is in addition to a major lighting and illumination project which resulted in spotlighting the pier, the amusement arcade, the cliff lift – lighting the track and the cars – and the chalets from dusk to midnight. Following the success of this phase of the sceme the council is now looking at lighting features in the town centre. Planning permission is being sought to light up the 130 year old station portico and town clock, which is fifty years old. In addition the council is aiming to light steps leading from the top of the cliff-lift to the lower promenade, as well as lighting along the prom itself - at a suggestion from seafront traders.
The eventual aim of the council is to install lighting schemes across the borough but initial concentration is on Saltburn. A council spokesman said funding agencies wanted to see the benefit of lighting features being concentrated in one area and the focus was on Saltburn because of it's architecture. Other parts of Saltburn being looked at for inclusion in the scheme are the Zetland (former hotel and now apartments) and the Community Theatre.

The proposal for the foreshore building opposite the pier is to have white, green and blue lighting to represent waves. The lighting columns proposed for the Lower Promenade would be six metres high to provide a 'dramatic' effect with a minimum of lighting intensity rather than floodlighting. The Smuggler's Centre would feature a lit-up mermaid at the Ship Inn. At the Community Theatre, the effect would include a "gentle colour change". The Station portico scheme would offer an "attractive and safe environment for people entering the area" and there would be anti-pigeon spikes to avoid problems.

previous articles:- 'Illuminating' and 'Lighting our Culture -Phase 2'

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fresh Appeal by S.A.R.A charity

Saltburn Animal Rescue Association (Sara), is making a fresh appeal for financial help to bring their hopes of building an animal sanctuary to fruition. The charity has raised £407,000 towards establishing a home for strays, since it first launched it's sanctuary appeal in August 1999. While that money means the charity will be able to buy a site, volunteers now face the daunting task of raising a further £100,000 a year, to pay for the sanctuary's running costs. Feeding and maintaining between 50 and 60 abandoned dogs already costs Sara between £2,000 and £3,000 a month. The charity has just printed fresh appeal posters to be displayed in shop windows and veterinary surgeries appealing for help with running costs. Anne Prosser, Sara's chairwoman, said, "We are now seriously looking for a site and hope to find one before the end of this year, but with it being public money we have to make sure we find the right place. It is essential money is raised to help with anticipated running costs. Being able to raise £400,000, in the face of other demands on people's money, demonstrates backing for a sanctuary. However, we need to raise funds for running costs quickly, so the sanctuary can be set up quickly." The charity's second hand shop, which opened in Guisborough just over a year ago, has raised £29,000. "Everything is a step out in faith and we are just waiting to make the last jump," said Mrs Prosser.

Pet dog in 400ft cliff fall!

A pet Labrador had a lucky escape when it fell 400ft from the cliffs on Monday. The owners were walking the animal, called Jake, along the cliff top paths at Saltburn when he lost his footing and fell 400ft, sparking a rescue operation involving the coastguard and police. Skinningrove and Staithes Coastguard rescue teams were sent to the scene, as well as an emergency vet. The dog was found on the beach at the foot of the cliffs relatively safe and well. However, on the walk back up to the cliff top, his owner experienced severe pain in his chest and plans had to be put into place to airlift him to hospital. This very unusual state of events meant that the rescue team had to ensure the owner of the dog received appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible, while the dog received attention from the vet.

addendum: Sadly Jake, a collie cross, who initially appeared to have only minor injuries when he was recovered from the bottom of HuntCliff, by the coastguards and emergency vet James Haddow, has died. Mr Haddow said, "I carried the dog all the way back. It had chest injuries and was having breathing difficulties." At the surgery Jake was put on a drip and a duty vet kept a check on it. Mr Haddow added: "His clot must have moved, he had problems breathing and he slipped away about 11pm. We were all very sorry." The dog's owner was airlifted by an RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter from Leconfield to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and is said to be recovering today and is in a "comfortable" condition.

A Humber coastguard spokesperson said: "We would like to remind the public when walking their dogs along a cliff to always put their animals on a lead and if they do find themselves in any difficulty with the dog having gone over the cliff to ring 999 and ask for the coastguard."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fossil Garden Project completed

Work on Saltburn's Top Promenade was celebrated yesterday as organisers cut the ribbon to mark the completion of the environmental improvements at the site. The project, headed by community group Saltburn Forward, has increased access to the Cliff Lift for users with mobility difficulties. The top prom now has an access ramp to the lift, an improved flight of steps, railings and benches. Two sculptures, two telescopes and lighting are still to come. Saltburn Forward was set up in partnership with Groundwork South Tees, which secured funding over a number of years to improve the area. And with funds provided by Impetus Waste Management, a fossil garden has also been created. Local artist Andrew McKeown worked with pupils from Huntcliff School to design the garden, in a new landscaped area on the site. Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "I am really pleased to see the plans have become a reality. In the past, I have had a lot of representation about the need for disabled access in Saltburn. This project will provide full mobility to residents and visitors to the area and is a great example of partnership working."
Many local residents remain skeptical about the development of the site as other access pathways to the Lower Promenade remain closed and continue to deteriorate. The Cliff Lift has seen an increase in usage and council revenue following the closure of cliff paths following storm damage and landslip and the local authority continues to come under criticism about the apparent neglect of Saltburn's prime assest - the sea front.

Previous articles - Harry speaks out... and Clifftop access blocked.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Raising Funds for a Quiet Room

A book sale and coffee morning at Saltburn library raised £335 for a £15,000 quiet room project in the library's garden. The sale, which was held outside the library, attracted large crowds on Saturday. Sandra Hall, committee member, said the money would go towards money needed to rent and fit out a portable building for three years. Public liability insurance would also be needed. An application has been made to the Big Lottery Fund. Mrs Hall said a quiet room was planned so groups or a few friends could hold meetings away from computers in the main library. "We welcome people suggesting uses to either the library staff or the Friends, who number more than 30." Plans include meetings to organise flower and produce shows, chess, meetings for Agora, the new community and business marketing project, and an art group. Mrs Hall said among events already held at the library were regular exhibitions, computer classes, surgeries for the MP and local councillors, a borough council advice-drop-in facility, a homework club, computer club and a toy library. More information can be obtained from Mrs Hall on 01287-623895.

It's a blooming success!

Two proud Teesside towns are today toasting success in the finals of Britain in Bloom 2006. Stockton and Saltburn both scooped silver achievement awards at a prestigious ceremony in Scotland last night for their dazzling floral displays. For Saltburn it was a silver hat-trick, having won the award three years running, but for Stockton it was a first. The 65 finalists were judged by RHS judges who looked at floral displays, permanent landscaping, sustainable development, local environmental quality and public awareness. Few communities can have achieved such sustained Britain in Bloom success as Saltburn over the years and this year the town was praised for its "Victorian charm" when awarded the coastal town category in its eighth appearance in the national finals. RHS Judge Carolyn Wilson said: "Saltburn-by-the-Sea still retains much of its Victorian charm. The railway still remains at the heart of this resort, adorned in floral displays and baskets that are replicated throughout the town." Aberdeen was the overall winner for the city category, with Scarborough overall coastal winner at last night's ceremony in Perth. Earlier this month Stockton and Saltburn were both honoured in the Northumbria in Bloom's 2006 Awards.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Plans are afoot!

Beach Cafe below Cat NabMajor overhauls and improvements to Saltburn's environment are to be celebrated with the granting of planning permission for the following developments :

Saltburn's seafront is to be given a much needed facelift - the demolition of the beach cafe at Cat Nab and permission for rebuilding has been granted. The exisiting buiding is in a poor state of repair (think '1950's seaside town in the rain?!') and it's air of neglect has done little to enhance the prominent position it enjoys on the seafront. (View Plan-1 & Plan-2 here.)

Part of the Valley Gardens are also to enjoy refurbishment and restoration work which will help restore some of their former glory including some landscaping and the introduction of new facilities. The demolition of the bungalow and victorian greenhouses in the Valley Gardens to be replaced with picnic area, amphitheatre and hedge maze has also been approved. (View Before & After plans here.)

Planning permission for the demolition of the old miniature railway shed in the Valley Gardens is pending approval, and discussions are underway regarding the tea rooms in the Valley Gardens in conjunction with Upsall Hall, including the provision of a disabled toilet.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blooming Great!

Saltburn and Stockton were both honoured today in a prestigious regional floral competition. In Northumbria in Bloom's 2006 Awards, Stockton has won a silver gilt medal - and the title of best city. Saltburn, which also won a silver gilt medal, was named best coastal resort. A Stockton school and shopping centre were also honoured, along with Saltburn's railway station. The awards were announced today in Alnwick, where the Duchess of Northumberland welcomed more than 200 representatives from communities across the region, from Teesside to the Scottish borders. For the first time, contestants were awarded gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medals in recognition of the horticultural standard they achieved. The best in each class won a trophy. Earsdon village in North Tyneside was named overall competition winner and the only entrant to be awarded gold medal standard. A number of awards were also given to smaller groups and individuals. Among them was Hartburn Primary School in Stockton, which earned the title of best school horticulture project, while Saltburn Railway Station was named best rail bus or metro station. Best shopping precinct or retail park was named as Wellington Square Centre in Stockton. Other major winners were Durham as best small city and Sunderland as best large city. Best small town was won by Prudhoe, best town was Morpeth and best large town was Whickham. For the first time, Northumbria in Bloom also this year awarded Certificates of Improvement, Merit or Achievement to small groups of beginners starting new projects. Nineteen local groups who pioneered schemes received awards. Eileen Burn, Northumbria in Bloom chairman, said: "The rewards for participating in the competition reach far beyond the awards themselves. Out of all that hard work, communities benefit from improving the local environment, strengthening community spirit, developing local pride, encouraging tourism and business and have a lot of fun in the process." Northumbria in Bloom started 40 years ago with the aim of encouraging people to take care of their local environment by brightening it up with trees, shrubs and flowers.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tennis Ace Opens Refurbished Courts

Saturday saw Wimbledon contender Sarah Borwell return to her roots to promote tennis in the region. Curently ranked third in the UK, Middlesbrough-born Sarah opened Saltburn Tennis Club's newly refurbished courts. Giving up time between international competitions, Sarah also passed on skills to junior members at the club, in Marske Mill Lane. Project manager Jon Garvey said: "It was a real honour to have Sarah come back to Teesside and open the new courts. A lot of time and effort has gone into providing these courts, which also has disabled access. We would like to see more disabled players progress in the sport and use our facitlites." After the ribbon-cutting the day's activities included an exhibition wheelchair match by local players.The club provides junior and senior coaching, with sessions for all levels and ages of players. New members are welcome.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Agora Partnership - Business Development Manager Needed

A business development manager is being sought to help Saltburn to become a 'booming, vibrant town'. That's the aim of the newly-formed business and community marketing group Agora, which has received funding for a Saltburn-based manager. The post is to be advertised both locally and on the internet in order to recruit the right person to drive the Saltburn Agora partnership forward to create a thriving town which is attractive to both local people and visitors. Saltburn is one of the eight towns in England which have won places on the Agora project. It is being funded by the European Social Fund and run by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Association of Town Centre Managers. The Saltburn group is to host a national meeting of Agora towns in Saltburn on September 11th and 12th.

Business Development Manager £27,000 pro-rata, part-time 3 days per week.
Saltburn Agora Partnership's vision is to create a 'booming, vibrant town which is attractive to both local people and visitors'. Saltburn is planning investment in the future of it's town centre. The Partnership is now recruiting a Business Development Manager to deliver this exciting and innovative project. This role will allow you to be part of the partnership exploring new opportunities to achieve the vision. Delivering fresh, exciting projects that will bring clear, measurable benefits and pioneering a new wave of business development and activity within the town are all key responsibilities in this role.
You will bring a successful track record in building and developing partnerships, have proven leadership qualities and excellent communication and presentation skills alongside experience in project management. You will be an enthusiastic professional who will play a key role in promoting and developing the town centre for the benefit of it's employers, residents, visitors, shoppers and employees.
In return Agora offers a generous contributory pension, attractive working environment, performance development and flexible working arrangements. The full support of the Agora partnership is determined to bring about sustained improvement. For an application pack please telephone 01642 815663 or e-mail A pdf version of the application pack can be downloaded from here.

For an informal discussion please contact Diana Parker (Chairwoman of the Saltburn Agora Partnership) on 01287 626997/203155 Closing date: 12th September 2006

Coastal Forum

The fifth annual meeting of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Coastal Forum will take place on Wednesday, September 20, at Rushpool Hall, Saltburn.
The forum, which is open to anyone with an interest in coastal issues, has a number of key organisations involved, including the Yorkshire Tourist Board, National Farmers' Union, fisheries, parish, town, borough and county councils, North Yorkshire Moors National Park Association, and others.
The meeting, which begins at 10am, will hear from speakers on a range of subjects, including integrated coastal zone management, the natural coastline, and the Defence of Britain project.
Forum officer Stewart Rowe said: "The talks will be followed by a thought-provoking "what if" scenario session, for example, "what if wind farms were to be proposed off the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Coast'."
The meeting includes lunch and is expected to last until about 3pm. More details are available at

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Historic landmarks

Plaques are to be put up to mark historic buildings and sites in Saltburn, Marske and New Marske. Three sites have already been identified but the parish council welcomes input from the local communities for additional ideas and suggestions for a further seven sites. The first three sites selected are:

  • The site of Saltburn's Halfpenny Bridge, where it is said the first telephone call in the UK is reputed to have been made across the valley.

  • Saltburn Beach to mark the fact that the world land speed record was broken on the sands here.

  • Winkies Castle, marske, said to be the oldest building still in use in Marske.

Each plaque will be made of specially treated steel measuring 10" in diameter. The idea of putting up plaques came from a local resident at the Council's annual parish assembly meeting in Marske last year, after small plaques were put up by a builder in New Marske a few years ago identifying historic happenings in the village over the last century. Suggestions should be sent to Mrs S Preston, Clerk to the council, Saltburn, marske and New Marske Parish Council, Leisure Centre, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn by the Sea. TS12 1HJ

Monday, August 21, 2006

Top Cop

PC Stuart Smith, community officer for Saltburn, has been named Cleveland Police's community officer of the year 2006, an accolade which has earned him a place alongside community police officers from 43 forces in England and Wales now in with a chance of being named overall winner in November. PC Smith has 26 years service with Cleveland Police and has been based in Saltburn for eight years - three of them in his current role. He said: "People in Saltburn nominated me because of my involvement in the community." PC Smith is involved in Saltburn in Bloom, Saltburn Forward which aims to improve the town, and is a school governor at Saltburn Primary. He said: "It is really important to get involved with the local community both during and outside of my working hours. You get to know people through involvement in local organisations and it helps them to get to know me too. If I can give something back to the community that I work in, then that is great." He added: "Saltburn is a really lovely place, it's a great place to work and the involvement I have is really rewarding. I enjoy my job and also being so closely involved in the community. It was an honour for Saltburn people to nominate me and an honour to be chosen as the force's community police officer of the year. It's also great for the town too, as it's helping to put Saltburn on the map."

Rhythm or Blues

The Arrhythmia Alliance (Heart Rhythm) Charity are organising their annual Arrhythmia Awareness Week (AAAW) 12 - 19th September 2006. An arrhythmia is a medical term used to describe a heart that beats too fast or too slow or irregularly. Did you know that:

  • cardiac arrhythmias affect more than 1 million people in the UK and is consistently in the top ten reasons for admission to hospitals.

  • 1 in 85 people have experienced an arrhythmia.

  • up to 1/3 of patients diagnosed with epilepsy may be misdiagnosed and many of these may be suffering from cardiac arrhythmias.

  • cardiac arrhythmia is the number 1 killer, more so than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Do you have the rhythm or the blues? Does your heart beat in rhythm or are you suffereing from the blues that an abnormal heartbeat brings because you, or someone you know, awaits treatment?
Rebecca's personal mission is to improve awareness, diagnosis and treatment leading to a better quality of life for those people suffering with cardiac arrhythmias in our local area. At the age of 45, after years of misdiagnosis and (mis)treatment which totally changed the course and quality of her life, she was diagnosed as having a fast, irregular heart beat. In January 2005 she underwent five hours of heart surgery at the James Cook University Hospital which was completely successful in returning her heart back to it's normal rhythm. She no longer suffers from 'the blues' and can now lead a completely normal life. She has, however, recently lost her father who was unaware that he suffered from the same condition.
Rebecca is supporting Arrhythmia Alliance during this important week by raising awareness in our local community. The local primary school have offered unconditional support with the offer of a non-uniform day. The Rotary Club and other businesses have invited Rebecca to talk to them about her experiences to help promote awareness of this debilitating condition.
Rebecca is keen to stress that the week is about awareness raising rather than fund raising although any donations would be more than welcome in the efforts to help the early diagnosis and treatment of what can be a life threatening condition. If you can offer support in any way or would simply like to talk to Rebecca she can be contacted though our website. Please use our contact form or e-mail

Monday, August 14, 2006

Flower power - roundabout row continues

Hundreds of people have backed a campaign to keep adverts off Saltburn's town centre roundabout. Redcar and Cleveland Council runs a scheme for firms to sponsor signs on roundabouts, with the sponsorship helping to fund aesthetic improvements. But local residents are calling for the council not to place such adverts on the roundabout near Saltburn station. Campaigner Marjorie Wieland, who organised a 1,350-name petition which has been handed over to the council, said: "We feel it would be a traffic hazard as it would distract motorists. We also feel visitors would rather see the colourful flowers on the roundabout, not advertisements. I don't think the area should be commercialised in this way, we are bombarded with advertisements as it is already." Councillor Eric Empson, cabinet member for strategic planning and development, said there were no adverts on the Saltburn roundabout at present and no immediate plans to install any. He said: "There are none there. If anyone asks to have one, we would look into it. When we heard of the concerns about this particular roundabout, we spoke to a former Northumbria In Bloom judge who was of the opinion they were a good thing as the sponsorship generates money towards improving the area."

Previous posting: Roundabout Row

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Catch a wave.

surfing in SaltburnHawaii and California may be places more closely associated with surfing but here on the North East Coast we have some of Europe's best and most challenging waves. Until recently it's only been a small band of exteme surfers who've braved the harsh conditions of the North Sea. Those waves are now attracting increasing numbers of surfers - there are half a million surfers in Britain today ... fifty thousand of them on the North East Coast. Some of the North East surfers fear that the area's increasing popularity will ruin what they have with too many people chasing too few waves. Even Gary Rogers, who runs The Saltburn Surf Shop feels popularity is a mixed blessing. He likes to go surfing in quiet places and says,"The new people coming into surfing, they won't know of all that unless they find somewhere where they can go and sit on their own and ride a few waves of their own". Will the North East Coast's increasing popularity with surfers ruin things for the hard core locals? ( BBC North East - 'Working the Sea')

Video: Surfing brothers

video Working The Sea: Surfing brothers >

Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Video: Surfers in action

video Working The Sea: Surfers in action >

Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hill Climb - end of the road.

The endeavours of the Middlesbrough and District Motor Club to save the popular 'Hill Climb' motorsport event have finally come to an end. Club members have conceded that their efforts to save the Saltburn Hill Climb, which attracts thousands of people, have failed. Last years proposed 13th Vintage Hill Climb was cancelled because complex traffic regulations outlaw such events on public roads. Despite high-level talks, a 1,000 name petition and a delegation to plead the event's case to transport minister Stephen Ladyman at Westminster, club members now admit that the 'Hill Climb' must be consigned to the history books. Club secretary Ernie Crust, who helped dream up and stage the first Hill Climb in 1993, said, "It's sad but, legally, we just can't go any further. " The issue is that Saltburn Bank has 'adopted' status and even if it were to be bought privately, it would not have any rights over the legislation affecting adopted highways. Similar existing events of this nature in the UK are operated on privately owned or unadopted land. Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said the council had tried to keep the Hill Climb going but had been advised by both the Auto Cycle Union and the Motor Sports Association that, in their opinion, there is no legitimate way to stage a motorsports event. Both the ACU and MSA have attempted to seek discussions with appropriate Government departments but have been categorically advised there are no plans to alter current legislation. Councilor Fitzpatrick concluded by saying, "It is extremely disappointing such a well-managed and popular event is unable to continue, but there genuinely seems to be no alternative."

The Hill Climb event was a contest of speed and time for vintage and
drawing from the programme of the first hill climb by Peter Parker classic motor cycles and attracted up to 85 solo bikes and motor cycle combinations every year. The race was the inheritor of a 100-year proud motor racing tradition in Saltburn. The first Saltburn motor race took place on the town beach. It was sponsored by a local garage owner, and attracted crowds of thousands from the nearby Teesside towns. Saltburn sands - along with the Pendine sands in south Wales - were reckoned by the great racing drivers of the day to be the best surface for displays of speed in the entire UK. This history of motor racing developed under the wing of the Yorkshire Automobile Club from 1906 onwards. In the inter-war years, some of the greatest names in British motor sport raced on Saltburn sands. The Guinness family and the Younger family—both brewing dynasties—had young sons who loved fast cars and the thrill of speed. They were joined at Saltburn by the famous competition drivers of the day, such as Malcolm Campbell and Parry Thomas. It was at this time that the first motor cycle races took place. It is even said that T. E. Lawrence—otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia—who was a keen motor cyclist, once took part in a local event. Following the end of the second world war, and the development of purpose-built racing circuits like Silverstone and Brands Hatch, racing on the sands ceased, but motor cycle hill scrambles from Saltburn up into to the hills continued. These events were sponsored throughout the '50s by the then Saltburn urban district council and with the backing of local landowners such as Lord Zetland and his family. The hill climb remained a proud tradition and was recreated in 1993 when the Middlesbrough and District motor club approached the local authorities to see whether it could relaunch an annual vintage and classic motor cycle hill climb. It was planned to hold it at the same time as the town's Victorian week, a celebration of the resort's Victorian heritage as a planned seaside town. The hill climb took place along the length of Saltburn bank and Saltburn lane, a steep route climbing at an almost one-in-seven gradient from Saltburn's beach up to the Victorian gardens of the Rushpool Hall hotel. The local police, the local authorities and the local community gave solid backing to the new hill race series as it was seen as important to the town's tourist economy. Over the years, the race grew in popularity, and it is estimated that there were between 4,000 and 5,000 spectators at both the start and finish of the hill climb. That meant that the town virtually doubled in size on hill climb days, and those people were spending money in the town. The hill climb became the Middlesbrough and District motor club's big annual event and quickly became fixed in the Teesside sporting and tourist calendar until earlier in 2005 when it was found out that due to the existence of a little known piece of legislation the race was illegal and, in fact, had been illegal from the first day that it was run. A fact that was as much of a shock to the Cleveland police and the Redcar and Cleveland borough council as it was to the hill climb organisers.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Green-fingered female allotment holders are growing it for themselves in the traditionally male-dominated world of allotments. The top four places in the Saltburn category of the Joe Abraham Memorial Allotments Competition 2006 were scooped by women. The competition is organised by Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council. Saltburn winner was Dolly Clayton, 56, who has a plot at Hazelgrove. She said: "I moved to Saltburn five years ago and got the allotment as I live in a flat and don't have a garden. It took a lot of work to get it looking nice, but I really enjoy it as the allotment gives me something to do every day. My brother, Ian, helps with the veg and I look after the flowers."
Second place in Saltburn went to Hilary Jackson, who tends two plots at Zetland Terrace. Third was Sue Birley with two plots at Hazelgrove and fourth was Barbara Boffey, who also has a plot at Hazelgrove. Barbara got her allotment 18 months ago, when it was knee-deep in weeds and wanted to try growing organic produce without pesticides. Developing her plot has been trial and error, taking advice from other allotment holders as well as reading. Vegetables and fruits grown include cabbages, broccoli, potatoes, blackcurrants, rhubarb, tomatoes and peppers. She has even encouraged husband Tim to get involved. She said: "He wasn't that interested at first, but he put up a fence, then a shed and a greenhouse. He's become really involved in it all now."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Saltburn Valley can fly the Green Flag

Saltburn Valley has won a top award today. Parks Minister Baroness Andrews has announced the site has made a successful first application to be granted a Green Flag Award, the national standard for parks and green spaces, now in its tenth year. Saltburn Valley Gardens have been in existence since 1862 - when people had to pay to get in. Today the Council-run facility is free to enter. The Valley spreads over 80 hectares and currently includes a Visitor Centre and the Italian Gardens as well as informal parkland, mature woodland and meadow and grass land. The award has been made possible thanks to the Countryside Team, the Friends of the Valley and volunteers, who carry out a range of environmental tasks throughout the year. The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I'm delighted - it's yet another accolade for Saltburn and underlines what a marvellous visitor attraction the town has become. It also shows our commitment to delivering quality greenspace for both the residents and visitors to the area." Saltburn Valley countryside warden Neil Thirkell, who has welcomed over 500 children in school trips during the current summer term, said: "I want to pay tribute to all our volunteers, without them I don't think we'd have won this award."
The Valley will be part of the nationwide 'Take To Your Local Park Week', starting on Saturday, July 29 and plans are already being drawn up for ' the Pageant of Light' , a major event to mark the end of British Summer Time on Sunday, October 29
You might also like to read "Tea Time Dilema" and "Major Park overhaul celebrated"