Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saltburn coach helps surfers capture the perfect wave.

A local surfing instructor is giving surfers a unique opportunity to benefit through video coaching. Richie Mitchell, 38, of Saltburn, has bought a video camera and editing software to provide a service that is normally only available to professional surfers.
The British Surf Association coach is thought to be the only instructor outside Cornwall offering video coaching.
It allows him to film his students in action and analyse their performance together on screen.
Mr Mitchell said,"I had the idea for the service when I had my own surfing filmed and it proved to be a big breakthrough in terms of my performance.
Surfing is incredibly popular in the region and I realised that everyone deserves the opportunity to improve in this way not just professionals.
Video coaching allows you to see mistakes that you don't know you're making when you're out on the water and I'm very excited to be the only surf coach offering this service in the North-East."
A low-cost loan from UK Steel Enterprise has also allowed him to develop a website at to promote the new service.
Mr Mitchell will offer video coaching as part of his normal service, but also plans to offer special birthday and Christmas packages as the ideal gift for surf enthusiasts.
Nick Johnson, of UKSE, said, "We're always keen to support new businesses that are a little bit different or offer the North-East something new. Richie is doing something that doesn't seem to exist anywhere closer than Cornwall which is more than 400 miles away."
Mr Mitchell turned to UKSE when a promised grant fell through at the last moment.
He said, "They really saved my bacon because they stepped in and the process of securing the funding was fast and simple". The low-cost loan is terrific value and makes a big difference financially. Mr Mitchell can be contacted on 07816-194969 or at

Burton's Bangers - Old Fashioned Taste and Quality

A Redcar and Cleveland Planning Officer has helped "duck" the trend and provided a way forward for an enterprising "Southern Immigrant" to provide himself with an income and locals with a taste from the past.

Robert Duckworth, Planning Officer at Redcar and Cleveland Council's Guisborough offices, was able to assist former London City worker David Burton with a solution to his Sausage and Bacon making problem by thinking "Outside the Box". Mr Burton moved to Brotton, close to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, about eight years ago having walked out on the rat race of London City life. He said, "My wife and I moved here with our daughter in 2002 and I wouldn't go back to London for all the tea in China, but it has been a struggle trying to find a way to make a living." Mr Burton was formerly a Pensions Specialist working in expensive Mayfair and Old Bailey before turning his back on that life, becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses, selling up and moving to Brotton. "It was quite a culture shock," he said. "I used to get on the same train everyday. For thirteen years, I saw the same faces day in, day out, week after week but I never spoke to a single person, nor they to me. Ten minutes in Brotton and everyone knows your life story," he joked with us.
He and his wife Jackie have founded Burton's Bangers under the slogan "An Old Fashioned Taste of Quality and Value." They supply a superb range of homemade sausages and traditional bacon direct to customers' homes, via their trusty Landrover (serviced and maintained by friendly local firm PVH Landrovers).
It has taken them around two years to get the venture off the ground and Mr Burton was at pains to stress how instrumental various people had been, including Mr Duckworth. "The first person we spoke to was Senior Enforcement Officer Derek McGurl," explained Mr Burton. "He was very keen to see us succeed, but knew that in order to meet current EU regulations, we would need to convert and fully equip our former workshop at the back of our house into a modern food preparation area. However, being in a residential area, we would need to somehow obtain change of use planning permission, which obviously would be hard to achieve."
After much communication and a very open minded approach by Mr Duckworth, Planning Permission was eventually granted, subject to a long string of restrictions put in place to avoid undue interference or loss of amenity to local residents. These have included a stringent restriction on the processing capacity of the venture, the hours of operation and very strict rules on the treatment and removal of any waste.
Mr Burton explained, "So many people complain about the quality and price of food from supermarkets. Having learnt the skills of sausage and bacon making from practise, experimentation and remembering how my Grandad did things (a butcher all his life), we have come up with a range of products which will hopefully really please the very small number of customers we will be able to provide for."
Dave and Jackie are able to offer a free home delivery service of home cured bacon from £5.00 per kilo and five flavours of sausages in various forms, from patties to fit into breakfast buns, through breakfast sausages and on to full size bangers, all at just at £2.20lb delivered. They also offer a selection of both homemade vegetarian and gluten free sausages. To order, call them on 01287 678141 and they will be happy to send you a full menu.
"There are so many people to thank for helping getting us started" said Mr Burton, "Not least Robert and Tim Wessenfelder of Wessenfelders in Middlesborogh who have always treated us with such kindness and respect, right from our first sausage. Also David Hitchens from LEGI and our Bank Manager Mike Pearce at Nat West who have helped us fund the project, but most of all, without Derek McGurl and Robert Duckworth we would not be able to get off the ground legally. We are an unusual project in that we are going back to a time where profit isn't the main aim, having a quiet little business providing a really good local product we can be proud off is the real satisfaction."
We wish them well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ideas sought for Saltburn’s 150th birthday

Ideas are being sought from the public on how Saltburn should mark next year’s 150th anniversary of its birth in the Victorian era. Members of the Saltburn Community and Arts Association are planning events to mark the arrival of the first steam train in Saltburn, so opening the town for development.
Organisers are asking anyone interested to email ideas to Wilma Gardiner-Gill at the community association office to be ready for the group’s next meeting on Wednesday at 7.30pm.
Association chairman, Councillor Philip Thomson, said ideas already include a photographic booklet, films and photos from the past, lighting Huntcliff, a steam train visit, a firework display and competitions.
Cllr Thomson said: “We want to encourage more involvement by individuals and groups. The community association has not set itself up to be the lead organisation. There needs to be one in place to access funding.
“We have started to put together a bid to go to the EC-funded Leader project to co-ordinate and plan activities.” One idea was to improve Hazelgrove - “putting the hazel back into Hazelgrove,” said Cllr Thomson.
Possible problems raised included the lack of parking space in town and health and safety restrictions affecting events like a carnival.
The anniversary of the first steam train arriving from Darlington was August 17, 1861. Building of the first houses followed quickly.
Contact the association at, call 01287 624997, or drop in at the Albion Terrace any weekday morning.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Methodist Church receives English Heritage Award

Saltburn's determined methodist congregation has been dubbed the best in the North-east at caring for their place of worship.
Saltburn’s Milton Street Methodist Church has been presented with the title by English Heritage as part of their latest campaign. And the church’s membership, some of whom have been associated with the church for more than 50 years, are delighted.
Carol Pyrah, English Heritage regional director, visited the church last week to officially make the presentation.
In 2007, English Heritage granted the church £63,000, which members used to repair the church tower.
Now the regional award means they have donated a set of postcards of the church, which can be sold to raise cash locally.
Expert photos have also been taken which can be used to publicise the church and its fundraising activities.
Carol said: “What strikes you immediately when you visit this church and its church hall is that something positive is happening everywhere. Its buildings are used seven days a week for many community activities and age groups. This church is a very vibrant part of the community and very involved in local fundraising. This award is part of our Caring For Places of Worship scheme.”
The original chapel was built on Milton Street in 1865 and the present attached church was added in 1905.
Alan Richmond, church treasurer, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award - it’s a feather in our cap for all the hard fundraising work we’ve done. We’re currently trying to obtain grants from other sources for better heating for the church and church hall and to lower the ceiling in the upper hall to help reduce our carbon footprint.”
The church hall hosts coffee mornings, bazaars, a photography club, choirs and a variety of meetings.