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 beccy@saltburnbysea.com

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 >

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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.