Friday, December 26, 2008

Halcyon Days

The Halcyon Singers were formed in 2003 under the leadership of outgoing conductor Rose Bottomley, pictured above. Now the gran-of-three is determined to find a replacement so that she can return to the ranks as a soprano. Rose, who teaches piano and singing, said: "I really don't want to see the Singers fold, but I can't carry on running it. I want to spend more time with my family and on my other hobbies, like painting and travelling."

The successful candidate will have to have exemplary organisational skills, and naturally, an interest in music and singing. They will be responsible for organising rehearsals, choosing the programme and arranging performances. And the new conductor should be willing to accommodate the occasional big name from the world of music. In 2006, the Halcyon Singers performed with Guisborough lass and international opera star Sarah Sweeting.

The 30 members perform concerts singing a variety of popular hits from the musicals and, as well as a new conductor, they are looking for more members to join their ranks.
Rose said: "We'd really like some more younger members to come and join us, with lots of energy and ideas."

Brenda Marquis is in charge of publicity for the Singers, and was first in a long line to pay tribute to the director. She said: "Rose started this group with just eight people, and now we have more than 30 members. She has made an enjoyable hobby popular for so many people, and it will be great to still have her around."

If anyone is interested in leading the Halcyon singers, or joining as a singer, they can contact Rose on 01287 209123.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tea time all year round.

The newly refurbished Valley gardens tea-rooms opened for business this summer, and now, for the first time, thanks to the building being fully insulated, the Tea Rooms can offer year-round opening. The café will open remain open from 10am - 3pm offering teas, coffees, delicious scones and cakes.
You will receive a warm welcome from the staff, some of whom are currently attending Redcar and Cleveland Council's Learning Disability Day Service. Their voluntary work will not only
provide them with additional training but also enable them to be supported into paid employment in the catering field in future.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The rise and fall of a Cliff Lift engineer.

After eleven years of working as an engineer carrying the responsibility of ensuring that more than a million visitors were transported safely between the lower and upper promenades Alan Ismay drove Saltburn's Victorian Cliff lift for the last time this Sunday.
The trip marked the last summertime run for the lift and Alan's retirement. This season a total of 99,904 passengers have experienced the 55 second journey on the cliff lift's rare water powered system which dates from 1884.
A former customs and excise officer, Mr Ismay commented that many of his passengers did not understand why they sometimes had to sit and wait for the lift's water balanced mechanism to work and were baffled by the system.
Alan will be staying on to welcome his successor as Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will be interviewing applicants later this month and he will be helping the annual winter maintenance programme. Its attraction is also strong enough to make Alan think twice when reopening time comes round on Good Friday, April 9. "I might be back to do a bit of relief work," he admitted.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pageant of Light 2008 - a breeze.

Sunday. Celebrating the passing of British summertime this year saw the Valley Gardens lit up once again with a procession of music and light following Mr Toad and his friends from The Wind in the Willows. Refreshments were available from the Tea Rooms courtesy of the Saltburn WI.
In times past the Pleasure Grounds were illuminated with lights and concerts were performed at the garden bandstand with the NER providing special late night trains for the occasion.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fireworks! A license to thrill...

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has invested in a licence to thrill for its spectacular Fireworks Night display on The Stray at Redcar on Wednesday, November 5.
The display, featuring 15,000 aerial fireworks, will be fired off in a secure area on The Stray car park, starting at 7.30pm, against a background of eight James Bond film music scores.
Organiser Steve Illidge, director of Highlight Pyrotechnics, explained: "In the opening sequence, we've got several litres of petrol ejected into the air on fire, creating large rolling balls of flame fired in time to the 007 theme. When we play From Russia With Love, there will be huge red hearts appearing in the sky whilst thousands of pink comets are fired over 30 metres into the night sky it fits beautifully with the tempo of the track. The final flourish is Live and Let Die one of the best tracks for fireworks - and the final salvo is made up from hundreds of brocade shells which will turn the entire sky to silver!"
Other featured soundtracks in the 25-minute display are On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger, Casino Royale and the latest Bond, Quantum of Solace.
A stretch of the Coast Road will be closed to traffic from 5pm, reopening at approximately 9pm. The Council is organising a free park and ride bus service from the Majuba Road car park, with four 26-seater minibuses starting a shuttle service from 6pm.
This years Skinningrove Bonfire will celebrate the Mining Museums 25th anniversary, the mines closure 50 years ago and its opening 125 years ago. Organisers plan to build a bonfire that depicts a pony coming out of the mine, pulling trucks. And there are plans for a brass band and a folk group, singing traditional mining songs. The celebrations will start at 6.30pm on Wednesday, November 5. The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Sheelagh Clarke said: "Every year the Fireworks Display on The Stray at Redcar gets better and more and more people choose to enjoy this spectacular event rather than have their own bonfire parties. Skinningrove's Bonfire in the Mining Museums 25th anniversary year will be very special, providing family entertainment alongside the firework celebrations. Parents appreciate this is the safest way to enjoy Guy Fawkes night and this year promises to be the best ever for both events."
Saltburn Cricket Club holds it's own event on the cricket club grounds.

Pageant of Light 2008

Saltburn is ready to celebrate the end of British Summer Time with its annual Pageant of Light, themed this year to the classic children's tale of Wind In The Willows, through Saltburn Valley on Sunday, October 26.
Hundreds of people are expected to join the procession of music and light, through the Valley, which will set off from the Cat Nab car park at 5.30pm, reaching the Woodland Centre at about 7.30pm.
There will be some spectacular sights along the way, including fire sculptures and juggling and scenes from Wind in the Willows, acted out by members of Saltburn 53 Society - look out for Mr Toad in his car, riding along the miniature railway track.
The Council's Leader Councillor George Dunning, with the Cabinet portfolio for Rural Affairs, said: "The Pageant has become a marvellous community event for all the family and I'm sure this year's procession will be a wonderful evening out for young and old. When the public arrive at the car park, they will be guided to the start of the procession. Entry will be £1 - or three tickets for £2, with under fives free. Tickets will be available from the Woodland Centre until 4pm on Sunday, October 26, then can be purchased at the start. All the proceeds go to the Friends of Saltburn Valley to fund next year's Pageant.
Everyone is urged to bring a torch - or they can make a lantern at a special craft session in the Valley's Woodland Centre before the event on Sunday, from 1pm-3pm. Booking is essential. The fee is £1.50.Children have already been busy at a Mask and Willow workshop in the Woodland Centre, making colourful masks and lanterns and there is another craft session on Sunday, October 19, from 2pm-4pm. Booking is essential. The fee is £1.50.
The recently-refurbished Tea Rooms will be open from 10am and there will be a special offer of a cup of tea and a cake for 50p from 6pm provided by the Saltburn Women's Institute.For more details, contact Saltburn Valley Woodland Centre on 01287 622408.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New Huntcliff School building opens.

500 pupils were making themselves at home in Saltburn's new Huntcliff School, which opened today.
Head Teacher, Ruth Headdon said, "We've got excellent facilities for our students and the wider community. We asked the students what they would like and they're going to be delighted. All their major requests have been met - wide corridors, light, airy classrooms, all equipped with interactive white boards and computers.There is a superb atrium with a massive exhibition space, leading to a sports hall and a main hall, plus a resource centre as well as external seating areas, some sheltered."
Ms Headdon added: "We're thrilled with our drama and music facilities which include an outdoor amphitheatre and we're looking forward to developing performing arts within the school."
The return of the 500 pupils represents the first part of creating the Government-funded £16million Saltburn Learning Campus, which will also see the relocation of Saltburn Primary School, with its new build ready for opening next September.
Huntcliff students will get a new look, too, with new sweatshirts - the old ones are going to The Smiles Foundation, a charity which support orphanages in Romania.
Parents will be given a special Huntcliff bookmark, with contact information and term dates.
The Campus will also open the Saltburn Youth Club later this month and there will be a series of adult education classes, with courses in cake decorating for beginners, pilates, crystal therapy, card-making and free adult literacy and numeracy classes. Call community co-ordinator Heather Ollerenshaw on 01287 621010 for details.An open evening for prospective parents and children has been arranged for Tuesday, September 30, from 6pm-8pm.

Friday, September 05, 2008

PC stays put.

Saltburn residents are celebrating following the news that their favourite community policeman - who was due to move at the end of August - is no longer being transferred.
PC Smith was placed in Saltburn five years ago and developed close links with local people and businesses, including Scott Hill, owner of Windsor's Bar - who along with his manager Doreen Hawkins - formed petitions requesting PC Smith be allowed to continue to serve the local community.
Reactions were so strong in the community that police bosses have allowed him to stay.
Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Sean Price said: "I fully understand the reasoning behind the proposed move and desire to spread his expertise and skills to other parts of the Cleveland Police area. However, having balanced this against his contribution in Saltburn, and the high regard in which he is held by so many of its residents, I felt he should stay. If we are serious about neighbourhood policing, we have to listen to our communities. I look forward to seeing him continue to do an excellent job in Saltburn."
PC Smith said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be staying in Saltburn and am grateful to the local community for all their support. I feel privileged to be able to continue serving such a great town."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Storms close Smugglers Centre

Recent bad weather and heavy rainfall has forced the closure of Saltburn's popular Smugglers attraction.
Heavy rainfall over the past week led to water flooding the centre causing internal damage to the building, its interior and some of the artefacts.
The damage caused by the flooding and the associated repair costs are still being investigated and the centre has been closed for the rest of this year's season. It is hoped that the attraction will reopen in time for the start of next year's season on 10th April 2009.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Folk Festival

THE folk world descended on Saltburn over the weekend for the town's 11th international festival of music, dance and song.
Folk fans enjoyed morris dancing displays, song-writing workshops and singing while youngsters were treated to Punch and Judy and story telling. Paul Lucas co-organiser of the event said: "People seem to have been enjoying themselves. We have had some good feedback already.
We have a hardcore of people who always come to Saltburn but we have people here for the first time as well."
The speciality market also attracted huge crowds with its contributions of good foods and crafts.
Mike Morrissey of Saltburn said that the festival, with its free entertainment and good atmosphere, usually brings about 3,000 people into the town.
The weekend featured well-known folk star Vin Garbutt and performances from Marske Fisherman's Choir and the Darlington Mummers.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tea Rooms re-open

THE train leaving Saltburn's Valley Gardens at 9.40am on Tuesday, June 17 took passengers to the official opening of the Tea Rooms. The Council's Mayor, Councillor Mike Findley, led guests from the steam train, run by the Saltburn Miniature Railway Society, to the refurbished facility, which will also provide a unique training scheme. Under the watchful eye of catering supervisor Joyce Hitchen, the tea rooms will be staffed by people currently attending Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Learning Disability Day Service. This voluntary work will not only provide them with additional training but also enable them to be supported into paid employment in the catering field in future.The Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Well Being Councillor Helen McLuckie said: "This is a tremendous opportunity to enable people with a disability to consolidate the skills they have acquired working in Upsall Hall farm kitchen and to move into paid employment. We anticipate that the catering service in the tea rooms could be developed as a small social enterprise and is part of the Council's plans to develop more paid work opportunities for people with disabilities across the Borough."
The cafe has undergone a real facelift, with a joint £100,000 investment by the Council and the regional development agency, One NorthEast that provides modern catering facilities, a completely refurbished cafe area and a new extension with an accessible toilet. Now, for the first time, thanks to the building being fully insulated, the Tea Rooms can offer year-round opening. The plan is to open the cafe weekdays from 10am-3pm, offering teas, coffees, scones and cakes, plus ice cream, with an aim to be open Saturdays by July and seven days a week later in the year. Council Leader Councillor George Dunning, also the Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs, said: "We are delighted with the completed Tea Rooms and I'm sure it's going to make a visit to the Valley Gardens an even more enjoyable experience."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Food Festival

Food, drink, shopping and fun for all the family make Saltburn the place to be on Saturday 28th June. The Tees Valley Food Festivals’ main food and shopping site will be in front of Somerfield supermarket, Saltburn between 10.00 am and 4.00pm.
The stalls will be showcasing fine local food, artisan crafts and drink. Several stall holders will be cooking foods to eat hot off the stall, as well as stalls offering organic meats, plants and herbs galore, creative house ware, beautiful jewellery, and local brewers – Pinchinthorpe Hall and of course one of our most popular stalls, Skinningrove wines with their fabulous English country wines - to try before you buy!
For inspiration (and a little relaxation) Northumbrian Larder and Food First are providing a demonstration Kitchen Theatre in the market arena. Chefs will be demonstrating cooking techniques and giving you their top tips all day long. Kicking off at 10.00am we have butchery and BBQ cooking/ a quick course on filleting fish /Traditional English cooking with a twist/Thai and Laos fragrant salads and soups. Finishing the day will be food writer and local deli owner Sheila Beswick cooking with shellfish and simple suppers.
If you have children follow the balloons to the Marquees at the bottom of Diamond Street. Waiting here will be The Community Animators in the story tent and Melanie Postill in the Arts and Crafts Tent. There will be plenty of hands on activities to get involved with or you can just chill out in the story tent and let your imagination run wild.
In addition to the festival Saltburn itself proudly boasts its great array of independent shops selling everything from fishing rods to surfboards, Barbour jackets to diamond rings. Plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs are on hand to fuel your soul and help make your day a relaxing one.
Food First is the new social enterprise which held its first Saltburn market this year. It is supported by about 20 East Cleveland and North Yorkshire based retailers, producers, gardeners and cooks. They aim to encourage and promote the benefits of locally grown food, and show that the North East can join in with the rest of the country when it comes to celebrating what’s grown locally.
Their first Easter Food Market withstood gales that cancelled other food events across the country and so now they say that nothing can stop them – although they are hoping for bright sunshine and blue skies!
The Food Festival will see a mix of game products including wild boar, venison and rabbit. Organic meat will be big on the market with Low Lease Farm pork producers and Emma Padmores’ organic beef and lamb. Ledston Game will be making dozens of game and wild boar sausages and burgers ready for early barbeques.
To help the celebrations along organic wines from Skinningrove and locally brewed beer from Pinchinthorpe will be available for sale alongside vegetables, free range chicken, hand-made chocolate, pickled pink preserves, locally baked museli, hot- water- pastry pies with fifteen different fillings, natural and home-made skincare products, and plants and seeds for gardeners all aim to tempt local shoppers. In addition Real Meals will be cooking up treats to eat – Paella, spicy meatballs, vegetarian curries and a handful of salads, Ledston estate will be BBQ’ing there game sausages and burgers and Low Lease Organic Farm will be roasting organic pork joints ready for lovely pork sandwiches.
The market has been co-ordinated by Lorna Jackson from Food First. Lorna said: “We’re looking forward to a really good turn out, the festival has been supported by Tees Valley Tourist Board, Redcar and Clevelands Legi team and Northern Rail. So with all the lovely food, music from local bands , games for families, and a kitchen theatre there will be loads on offer for everyone. We’ve had speciality markets in Saltburn before, at Christmas and during the folk festival, so everyone who’s been to those knows how much Saltburn comes alive and just how good the atmosphere is.”
So, whether you’re a gourmet cook or just simply enjoy the atmosphere of markets, Saltburn will have something special to offer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wildlife Garden takes root.

Ladies from Saltburn Women’s Institute lent a hand to improve the environment by planting several native orchard trees in Saltburn Allotments Association’s new wildlife garden.
The activity was part of the Action Earth campaign, organised by Community Service Volunteers - the UK’s largest volunteering and training organisation, pictured Maureen Potter, Ann Cowie and Judith Strong of Satburn WI Sue Featherstone from Saltburn Allotments Association.
Action Earth aims to get people taking part in practical environmental projects which help improve the quality of life for now, and for future generations.
And luckily for all concerned, the sun shone down on Saltburn as the trees went in at the allotments off Hazelgrove Road.
Participant Maureen Potter said: “The wildlife garden is a lovely idea and the Action Earth campaign enables local people to become involved in improving their environment.”

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cut off by the Tide

Lifeboats were launched in darkness last night to save a family who waited more than six hours before raising the alarm. The frightened family became increasingly cut off by the incoming tide at 4pm at the foot of Huntcliff, Saltburn, but they did not raise the alarm until darkness fell, making a frantic 999 mobile phone call to police.
Police officers, the force helicopter and both Redcar RNLI’s lifeboats were called at about 10.40pm to assist.
Guided by the helicopter’s searchlight, the lifeboat was run in towards the water’s edge and two crew members put ashore, who helped the family into life jackets. The family, who were of Polish origin and from Darlington, were then taken to Saltburn beach, where an ambulance was standing by.
Dave Cocks, Redcar RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “We’re a bit puzzled why they waited so long before calling for help. They were rescued from is a notorious cut-off point. We would urge people to make careful note of the time of high tide before attempting to walk round the bottom of Huntcliff. They were lucky they were able to get a mobile phone signal so close to the cliffs, otherwise their predicament could have been much worse. They were suffering from mild hypothermia. If they had waited until daylight, they may well have been severely affected by the cold.”
Mr Cocks explained that as a general rule of thumb, people will be cut off at Huntcliff at least two hours before high tide and two hours after, and sometimes even longer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Methodist Church repair work begins.

Work to restore Saltburn Methodist Church’s distinctive eight-sided tower and spire is now underway. Built in 1905 at a cost of £6,600 an inspection of the landmark building in 2005 revealed serious brickwork and metal corrosion.
The 85 church members immediately set themselves the task of raising money to carry out work on the spire, as well as pointing and guttering repairs.
The lowest tender for the repair work came in recently at £167,000 and as all but a few thousand pounds is in place the work has finally begun. Most of the funding is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Impetus Landfill Trust and the Methodist Church’s property fund.
During the work, which is due to take about five months, the public can continue to use the main door in Diamond Street for access to the church.
Thought was originally given to removing the spire, but the building is listed by English Heritage as being of specific historic and architectural interest. Instead the top third of the tower and spire will be removed and rebuilt, largely with refurbished stone.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Saltburn Bank closed.

Saltburn Bank will be closed for £50,000 essential maintenance work for five days from Monday, March 3. The road is having to be closed for health and safety reasons as there would not be enough space for safety zones to allow vehicles to pass the workmen if there were temporary traffic lights in place. The Council will undertake specialist work to replace the storm water drain which runs from the top of the Bank to the first bend, which has become damaged with age. To maximise the closure the Council will also carry out major resurfacing works on a badly damaged stretch of carriageway to tie in with the work that was done in 2004.

Road closure signs will be placed at Quarry Lane roundabout notifying drivers heading towards Brotton, Loftus and the bottom of Saltburn Bank to follow the signed diversion route along the A174. Drivers heading towards Redcar, Marske and the top of Saltburn Bank are to follow a signed diversion route again along the A174.
Access to the Spa Hotel and Teddy's Nook will be maintained where possible from the top of Saltburn Bank. The car park and businesses at the bottom of Saltburn Bank will be accessed via the signed diversion route along the A174 and Saltburn Road.

R&C Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Planning, Councillor Mary Lanigan, said: "We apologise for the inconvenience that we know this closure will cause many drivers but it is absolutely essential that the repairs are carried out to this stretch of road, particularly for cyclists, before the busy Easter and Summer seasons."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Riftswood Footpaths Closed

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have closed two footpaths this afternoon in Riftswood in Saltburn's Valley Gardens after two people needed hospital treatment. The incident happened in the early afternoon when a tree was blown down in the fierce winds. One person was taken to hospital by ambulance and a second needed to be freed by the fire and rescue service and paramedics before being flown to hospital by the air ambulance.

George Crooks, Redcar Fire Station manager, said: “The two ladies were walking a dog together in the park at Saltburn and a fairly substantial tree came down and hit both of them. The tree had broken into a number of parts. We believe an older tree had fallen and hit it. It broke some three to four metres up the trunk and fell right across the public walkway on to the ladies.” The firefighters involved included the retained crew from Saltburn. Mr Crooks commended the team. “The fire crews raised the tree sufficiently using manpower and levers. It was a very protracted and time-consuming incident, but had to be that way to ensure safety. The partnership approach was a huge success and will hopefully lead to the full recovery of both ladies."

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Leader Councillor George Dunning said: "This has been an extremely unfortunate accident due to the fierce swirling winds in the area. Our thoughts are with the two people who have been injured and we wish them a speedy recovery.We have evaluated the situation and taken the decision to close the two main paths, which both lead parallel from the Saltburn Woodland Centre to Marske Mill Lane because of the high winds and the forecast of more to come this weekend."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Surviving the fall! 200ft from the viaduct!

A man plunged nearly 200ft from a Teesside landmark - and survived. The 35-year-old was seen to fall from the Saltburn viaduct on Saturday. Witnesses reported seeing his fall broken by trees - after which he hit the ground and rolled down into the water. A major rescue operation involving police, fire crews and road and air ambulance followed soon after 2.45pm.
Paul Thompson, Cleveland Fire Brigade Watch Manager at Saltburn station, whose crews were first on the scene, said: “It looks like he’s come off the viaduct, about 180ft, hit tree branches and rolled down a steep embankment. We rescued him from the water. He was conscious. He should count himself a lucky man.”
He said the plan for such an incident had been worked out by himself and colleagues a year ago.
He added: “The plan worked well. We had two appliances and the rope rescue team from Coulby Newham station along with police and ambulances.”
He said witnesses had reported hearing a rush of air and the crashing of tree branches prior to the man - believed to be from East Cleveland - hitting the ground.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said a man was “poorly but stable” in James Cook University Hospital.
Saltburn Viaduct is the same height as the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, which is also 180ft.

Friday, January 04, 2008

R&C Strategic Housing Land Assessment Consultation

The presentation of early plans for new houses in and around Saltburn has caused concern and confusion amongst many local residents. A number of residents attended a meeting of the Parish Council in December to listen to a short presentation given by a Redcar and Cleveland planner. However, as this was not a public meeting no input from the public was allowed. A spokesperson from Redcar and Cleveland council stressed that there were "currently no plans" to allocate any land between Saltburn and Marske for housing and that a public meeting would be held at some stage in the consultation process.
What is it all about?
A Strategic Housing Land Assessment has recently been completed by R&C Council and has been issued for consultation. The documentation provides a summary of an assessment of potential housing sites which has been undertaken as part of the preparation of the LDF Communities DPD (A Local Development Document in the Local Development Framework which forms part of the statutory Development Plan for the area). The Assessment comprises two documents – a main Report which sets out the purpose of the assessment and a summary of the findings, and supporting Site Assessment Tables. Both documents can be downloaded from the link below. Hardcopies of the Assessment are being made available to view at Belmont House, Guisborough and in public libraries.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years Honours - MBE for Local Historian.

Salturn's local historian Tony Lynn, 77, was stunned to receive a letter from the Prime Minister’s office informing him he had been awarded an MBE for services to the community.
Mr Lynn, who has lived in Saltburn for 57 years, is chair of Saltburn Pier and Cliff Lift, a member of Saltburn 500 Club, president of the photographic society, chair of the Friends of Saltburn Library, and chair of the Friends of Hazel Grove.
He said his honour was recognition for all voluntary workers and he paid tribute to his wife Cath.
“I have a terrific amount of support and help from my best friend, my wife. It’s team work whatever we’re doing,” he said.
“I think Saltburn people are absolutely wonderful and I think that living here has given me a style of life I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.I never anticipated anything like this happening to me in my life time, I’ve never even thought of it.”