Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Death of a Whale

The adult male spem whale died after being beached on Redcar sands.
A 20-tonne sperm whale has tragically died after becoming beached on Redcar sands. The stricken mammal, which is reported to be 40ft long, was first spotted on the beach by a local dog walker as the tide went out in the early hours of the morning. It was partially submerged and in distress. Despite firefighters keeping it wet with a jet of water the whale was pronounced dead shortly after 9am.

Once alerted Cleveland Police the RNLI and marine experts rushed to the scene to try and help the creature. The coastguard put up a cordon as officials from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity battled to save the whale.

Experts believe that the whale became beached because it had probably got lost. A spokesman from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue reported that the whale had stopped breathing at 9am but because they can hold their breath for about an hour they had to wait to make sure it was dead. "While we have whales in the North Sea, it is not a suitable environment for a sperm whale because the food supply is not there. It doesn't eat, it becomes malnourished, it becomes dehydrated because whales do not drink - they get their liquid from their food. It can cause all sorts of health problems and ultimately results in something like this happening."

The whale will remain on the beach overnight, watched by security guards, before a post-mortem examination is carried out by zoologists tomorrow. Then it will be up to the local authority to dispose of it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Valley Gardens Tea Room may return to private ownership.

One possibility being explored concerning the future of Saltburn’s popular tearooms in the Valley Gardens is that it returns to private ownership. Redcar and Cleveland Council, which runs it with employees from the Upsall Hall learning disability centre, Ormesby, explained that it was looking at a number of options on how to run the tearooms, Woodlands Centre and other services in the valley. Volunteers and the private sector were being consulted in the reviews.

The tearooms, which employ a dozen people seven days a week, was rented by a Saltburn café until about four years ago. Then the council refurbished it and, following the demolition of the only public conveniences in the valley, added public toilets.

Geoff Watkins, of Saltburn, who was among many people writing comments about the tearooms’ future in a visitors’ book, said he was concerned that if a private firm took it over prices might rise. He said modest prices and the all-week opening were among the attractions plus good quality food and attentive staff.

Other comments in the book included a plea for the "excellent" tearooms to be kept open as it was a "lovely family place" and a "useful feature of the Valley Gardens."

Sitting in the sun, enjoying the tearooms. Redcar and Cleveland Council
are considering its future and a return to private ownership is one possibility.

Several comments were from visitors from all over the north as well as those closer to home. A Redcar visitor wrote: "Please don’t close our café. It is the best thing in Saltburn and has brought in a lot of trade."
An elderly couple from Eston also visit regularly and look forward to their days out, often taking home some of the produce on offer.

A council spokesman said the Woodlands Centre was being run by other staff from the ranger and neighbourhood management teams following the decision of the remaining ranger there to take voluntary redundancy.
He said the council was making a £75,000-a-year saving through its review of services at the three woodland centres - Saltburn, Guisborough and Flatts Lane.

A petition calling for the Saltburn centre to remain open attracted more than 1,000 signatures in April. Meanwhile the council is continuing its review of staff costs across its services. "So far this year we’ve had no compulsory redundancies and 87 early retirement/voluntary redundancies," said the spokesman.

The Valley Garden's Tea Lawns in the 1930's

Saltburn 150 Anniversary Ale

Special brew
At the beginning of this year the Saltburn 150 committee, made up of various organisations and individuals, started to look at ideas to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Peter Nixon proposed the idea of a celebration real ale and, along with 3 Saltburn members from Cleveland Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), commissioned  Wainstones Brewery at Stokesley to produce it.

The first tasting of the beer at the brewery was enthusiastically reviewed. Stuart and John Toovey, the brewers, describe the beer as being chestnut coloured, 4.1% in strength and designed especially for the 150th celebrations along the lines of a steam beer (to link in with the Boughton steam engine which first arrived in Saltburn on 17th August 1861). It is based on a traditional English ale with the use of USA Challenger and Cascade hops to give a full, fresh flavour.

The beer will be launched at 8pm on Monday, 6th June at the Saltburn Conservative Club where there will also be an opportunity to talk to the brewer. Representatives will be present from the 150 committee, Cleveland Camra and, hopefully, all the real ale outlets in Saltburn, where it is hoped that the 150 Anniversary Ale will be available during the year. It has been agreed with the brewer that they will donate a percentage of the cost price of the beer towards the 150 celebrations.

Stuart and John Toovey reviewing the special brew.

Diary Date
Cleveland CAMRA will feature this beer at a real beer festival to be held on 11th and 12th November at the Saltburn Community Centre. Please note that these are the correct dates and not those published in the Welcome to Saltburn leaflet. Due to the overwhelming success of the beer festival held at Emmanuel Church Hall in 2009, there will be 35 beers, with 9 ciders and perries on offer, an increase of 50%, as well as local fruit wine, soft drinks and snacks.
There will be entertainment during the evenings and commemorative glasses for sale featuring the 150 logo. Opening hours will be 11:15am – 5pm and 6pm - 10:30pm and advance tickets will be on sale nearer the time. If any local businesses or individuals would like to sponsor a cask of ale of their choice, or if you would like any more information, please contact Jill Day on 01287 622444.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Commendation for ArtsBank stand at Chelsea Flower Show.

Saltburn's ArtsBank gallery has won a Royal Horticultural Society commendation for its stand at the Chelsea Flower Show. Believed to be the only gallery at the show from the North-east this year it's stand features the work of resident steel sculptor Ray Lonsdale and resident steel painter Russell Hatton. Described by the Guardian as 'a brilliant local initiative in a town full of artists' the stand has been 'deservedly popular' as hundreds have been attracted to the Milton Street-based ArtsBank’s exhibit, which has flower beds cleverly sited to emphasise the artists’ work.

The ArtsBank stand at the Chelsea Flower Show 2011

Owner Bryan Goodall, 61, of Nunthorpe, said, “This is the first time any gallery from our area has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show as far as we’re aware. The stand has already attracted thousands of showgoers and we have £100,000 of locally-based work on show. We have already had £10,000 of commissions for Russell Hatton’s paintings from a UK customer.

Ray Lonsdale’s steel sculptures were the central subject of the successful 'Death of Steel' exhibition at the ArtsBank last year, and can now be viewed at Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum. Russell Hatton’s paintings, on steel and aluminium, are also widely known.

Mr Goodall said, “We were invited to take part at Chelsea because of the outstanding work of these two artists, who exclusively exhibit at ArtsBank.
Our stand was designed and built by our production manager Glen Robson with the help of assistant John Bowerbank. The concept was put together by gallery mananger Debbie Cockerill. The success has been beyond our expectations and we’ll be invited back again next year because of our commendation. It just shows the talent that’s available on Teesside and we’re really flying the flag for Saltburn!”

The sculpture at the centre of the ArtsBank Chelsea
Flower Show stand as it was originally featured in the
 'Death of Steel' exhibition in Saltburn in April 2010.

The Guardian's report can be read here.

Christian Aid nets £1,233

Cluny Blenkey, right,  holds up an old 6p piece found in a Christian Aid
envelope. But Annette Adams, left, and the Rev Chris Eddy are happy
with the £1,233 sterling total raised in Saltburn
A dozen foreign coins were included in the £1,233 given during a house-to-house collection in Saltburn for the Christian Aid overseas development charity.

"All donations are welcome," said Annette Adams, one of a group of volunteers counting the money on Wednesday May 25th. We are very grateful to all who contributed, including the donor of a Euro, an old British tanner and an old 20 lire Italian coin. This coin had us puzzled before we found an Italian restaurant to help us identify it. The number of foreign coins is about usual for our house-to-house collections."

Mrs Adams said the amount raised was down on the near £2,000 given in 2009, but the organisrs were happy with the total, particularly since the number of collectors were fewer than the last time aid was collected in 2009.

The a gap in Christian Aid week activities held in Saltburn last year was due to the organiser being unable to continue and a new organiser is still being sought for 2012.

The 2011 week fund-raising, which was run by Saltburn Churches Together, was boosted by a coffee morning held at the Methodist hall and a collection at Emmanuel. A Sunday bun-and-soup lunch is to be held at Emmanuel soon.

More information can be had by phoning 01287-624674.

Cash note: The foreign coins include American and Canadian cents and several Euro cents.

Mike Morissey

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mosaic Magic

People of all ages flocked to Saltburn on Saturday May 21st to participate in the making of a mosaic jigsaw which will be hung on a supermarket wall.
Families, as well as youngsters, pasted tiny pieces of coloured glass on to a 14ft by 4ft panel during a three-hour outdoor workshop.

"It's been fantastic," said Christine Shelley, of Brotton, who visited with daughter Joanne Simpson and granddaughter Kennedy, 11, plus her friend Paige Ditchburn, 10. "We've spent 20 minutes on the work, longer than expected because we've been so engrossed."

BEACH SCENE: Joanne Simpson and mother Christine Shelley with Kennedy Simpson,
11, and Paige Ditchburn, 10, spent 20 minutes fixing tiny pieces in place on a beach scene.
The panel will be unveiled on June 8.

Debbie Hermon, of Saltburn, who joined in with daughter Jenni Wright, said: "It's addictive work. We've helped to put green glass in the hills' part of a scene from the pier. It's been brilliant fun."

Helen Jane Gaunt, who designed the mosaic panels with Derek Mosey, said: "We want as many people as possible to have a go. The next workshop will be held tomorrow (Sat May 28) at the artists' gallery, Marske Road, during an exhibition. Further workshops will take place each month until August."

Councillor Philip Thomson, chairman of Saltburn's 150 anniversary coordinating group, who was urging passers by to have a go, said: "The idea is for a permanent exhibition to mark the town's 150th anniversry.

"The first panel will be completed and put up on Wednesday June 8th at 2.30. The centre- piece will be unveiled on August 17th.

"Each panel will be unveiled by a different members of the community, whose identity will not be revealed until the day. A very special person will perform the ceremony in August."

Coun Thomson said money to pay for the work would come from grants and donations.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saltburn Seaside Extravaganza - Vintage Car and Air Show

The Saltburn Seaside Extravaganza - Sunday 10th July 2011
Details have been released about a large-scale car and air show, which is to be held on Saltburn's promenade in July.

Organiser Glenn Pearson, of the Seaview Restaurant, which opened near the pier last year, expects 80 veteran cars and an air event to attract several thousand people on Sunday July 10.

"The Saltburn Seaside Extravaganza will help the town to celebrate its 150th birthday. Attractions will include the cars and air show plus stalls all along the prom. The vehicles will include a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car in a static display," he said.

"Stalls will range from those selling locally-made cup cakes and traditional candy to a Victorian-style barbecue with wild boar and vension.

"Traditional games like coconut shies and hoop-la will be available and Marske Brass Band will play. Actors from Saltburn's 53 Drama group will mix and mingle with crowds. There will be face-painting, balloon-making and trade stalls. The event, which will be free of charge, will run from 10am-4.30pm."

Mr Pearson, 41, a family man himself, is aiming the day at families. He is forming a committee to help to run the event and others in the future.

"It would be good for the atmosphere if a lot of people will come dessed up in Victorian clothes. A local Victorian group will be there to lead the way. And a man will be dressed up as Henry Pease, founder of Saltburn. I hope Saltburn's town crier Sharon Wilson will come."

Mr Pearson said Redcar and Cleveland Council was cooperating along with support from the Saltburn 150 group, which is coordinating events. He appealed for townsfolk to be tolerant of visitors parking their cars in the town. The car park immediately next to the pier will be closed for parking as vintage cars will be displayed there, but the Cat Nab car park would remain available.

"This event should benefit Saltburn. Henry Pease's vision created it in 1861 and it's now well on the way to becoming a popular tourist resort."

Details of the extravangaza can be found here.

Footnote: The event is separate from the annual Saltburn Hill Climb vintage car rally, which will be held on Sunday September 18.

Mike Morrisey

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Local store raises £1000 for charity.

Sainsbury's store manager smiles at the busy scene on a Saturday at the
Saltburn supermarket. It has raised over £1,000 for a local charity
 Sainsburys, which opened at Saltburn nearly a year ago, has raised more than £1,000 for its charity of the year campaign, the Holistic Centre at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.

This is in addition to supporting other fund-raising like Comic Relief.

Sainsbury’s store manager Ian Wassall said the year-long campaign would end later this month when another charity would be chosen for 2011-2012.

“We shall be inviting customers to nominate a charity. Then I and a panel of colleagues will invite people from the top three voted charities to make a ‘pitch’ or presentation to us. We shall announce the chosen charity,” said Mr Wassall

He added that he hoped charities nominated would have a strong Saltburn and district connection, ideally based in Saltburn or East Cleveland. Only registered charities would be considered.

Sainsbury’s opened on June 30, 2010, after a six-month refit following its takeover of the former Somerfield supermarket. It plans to increase its workforce to above the present 85 figure.
Michael Morrisey

Christian Aid Week events

A coffee morning will be held in Saltburn's Methodist hall, Milton Street, today (Saturday May 14) from 10am-12 noon.

This will start a revived Christian Aid Week in the town, after the annual event was postponed last year due to a lack of organisers.

Methodist minister the Rev Chris Eddy is leading a team of volunteers, which is running the week through Saltburn Churches Together.

Offers to help with the house-to-house collecting would be welcome on 01287-623245.

It is hoped a lunch and informal service will be held in a few weeks time.
Michael Morrisey

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Exhibitionists

A celebration of the creative talent in Redcar and Cleveland
Spring Bank Holiday 27, 28, 29, 30 May 2011

The Exhibitionists artist open studios event presents a tantalising opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes of artists at work. The cream of local creative professionals will be participating in a number of events at a variety of venues throughout Redcar and Cleveland, revealing the quality and diversity of their work and making this a true celebration of the arts in the area.

The launch of the event will take place at Saltburn's 'Profile' Gallery. Late opening of local shops, as well as artists stalls in the town centre will add to the party feeling.

The Main Event starts at 6pm in Profile’s ‘Sitting Room’ with a plethora of local artists taking to the stage for their “15 Minutes of Fame”. A wide mix of classic folk, spoken word and the occasional bit of Didgeridoo!
Later in the evening Profile welcomes local singer/songwriter Elaine Palmer and 'The Bronze Medal'. Admission to the Sitting Room is free all evening but the headline event is ticket only, £5, available in advance from the gallery and strictly limited so grab one now if you can!

Further details of what will be on offer in the gallery can be found here.

Artsbank will feature the work Emily Hesse, a sculptor who's organically formed, sculptural works are created in driftwood. Emily describes her work as an intuitive response to the way in which she views the world. Inspiration comes from everywhere,form, texture, nature, thought and accident. Current works include abstract oil paintings on wood panels and found object collagraph prints.
"I was never really sure who I was, or my purpose in life.. I have no formal art training, although I consider myself to have always been an artist. In a moment of creative desperation I noticed the amazing beauty in a small piece of driftwood, collected a pile from a beach and formed it around a piece of old mirror. That was seven years ago. Now this wood is my life, my total obsession."

Emily's work can be viewed here.

Ten artist studio holders at Saltburn Artists' Projects will exhibit their work in the main gallery, as well as opening up their studios across the weekend. More details can be dicovered here.

The Artists Gallery will also be running workshops on the Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday why not take advantage of the chance to learn more about mosaics whilst helping to create a lasting piece of public art for Saltburn? This community mosaic workshop with Helen Jane Gaunt and Derek Mosey forms part of Saltburns’ 150 Celebrations. The 5 panel mosaic will depict various aspects of Saltburn-by-the-Sea and will be completed by local people, schools and community groups working alongside Helen and Derek. The panels will each feature a different area of the town, the finished mosaic will be located near the Station in Saltburn. There’s no need to book for this workshop, just drop in.

Saltburn's own Northern Lights Interiors is a beautiful emporium of objects spanning the whole of the 20th century, supplying interiors with items from the stylishly iconic to the utterly bizarre as well as a collection of chandeliers lovingly restored by the owners. Ted and Shirley have always been keen to promote local artists and designers, and will be exhibiting a collection of works by the talented Saltburn artist Andy Hawkins for the open studios weekend. Local Design Student NJL has been captivating and stirring the imagination of minds all around the northeast and will be proudly exhibiting a collection of work in another stunning window display for Northern Light Interiors.

A brochure detailing all events, venues, times and participating artists is available at a variety of places including those mentioned here. Alternatively you can download a copy here.

This promises to be a truly memorable event so grab the opportunity to experience the creation of new work in action, and importantly, a chance to meet and talk to participating artists and creative professionals about their critical thought processes and making techniques.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

1861 - a Year to Remember

Geoff Watkins mugs up some facts in the garden
of his Saltburn home ready for his historic lecture.
Geoff Watkins, of Teesside University, is to give a lecture on the year 1861 when Saltburn was founded.
It will be held at the town's community theatre on Tuesday May 3 at 7.30pm with free admission.
First, Mr Watkins apologised for nearly 50 people turning up for the lecture on April 12, a month early.
"I put up a poster on the theatre notice board apologising after I learned the lecture had been fixed on out of date information," he said.
"The lecture will be about the world in 1861 when a lot happened. Events included the founding of Saltburn by Darlington industrialist Henry Pease when the railway line was extended from Redcar to Saltburn.
The British Empire was in its heyday and Prince Albert died, causing Queen Victoria to go into mourning."
The hour-long lecture, which will be free of charge, will be called 1861, The Big Picture. Quesions are welcome. Mr Watkins has been a history lecturer since1973.

A Right Royal Do - and rain doesn't stop play!

After early showers, the sun shone for Saltburn's royal garden party at the town's cricket club last Friday (Apr 29).

Sharon Wilson, Saltburn's newly annointed town crier alerts the 400strong crowd to the raffle draw.
"I burst into tears at 10 o'clock when it started to rain an hour before we were starting," said organiser Kerry Paterson.
Alan Wiley of Saltburn Victorian Footballers and organiser Kerry Patterson wave as the under-fives fancy dress competition is judged.
"But then it stopped and people started to come along. Some 400, mostly families, attended during the four hours of the event. It was brilliant."

Kerry, of Irvin Avenue, Saltburn, who has a 10-year-old son, thanked all who had helped. They included Saltburn Victorian Footballers and Friends, the Scouts and Beavers, members of Saltburn 150 group, which is coordinatig events for this year's town birthday celebrations, and sponsors. They included Sainsburys and Sainsbury's Local, and Coop Esso garage, and local businesses, which gave raffle prizes, plus individuals.
Raffle time at the party as Lorna Atkinson and daughter Shona fold up tickets.
 Lorna Atkinson, of Brotton, who went with 11-year-old daughter Shona, a member of Saltburn Scouts, said it was a "really special" day for the children to remember. Lorna said she had had a motif put on to her hand by the face-painter.

David Baines, of the Ee By Drum drummers' group, which performed, said: "The party went extremely well after starting quietly because of the early rain."

The event was held to mark the royal wedding, centenary of Saltburn Scouts and the town's 150th anniversary. A dozen stalls were manned by local firms, organisations and entertainers like a bouncy castle and bucking bronco.

Mike Morrisey