Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saltburn Billboard Art

Whenever I read phrases such as ‘urban art-scape’ or ‘guerilla advertising’ I instantly switch off, feeling that I’m being sold on the reflection of an idea rather than an actual concept, a tangible work of art that I can identify with. But recently I was somewhat inspired by the story of an Irish gentleman who, faced with unemployment, spent his savings on a giant billboard advertising that he was available to work. With the headline ‘Save me from emigration’ he stood out from all other potential candidates, received over 20 job interviews and even a couple of job offers. Now as bold as this man was in selling himself, this got me thinking what if billboards weren’t used solely for advertising. What if they were used for works of art? A sketch at a bus stop, a collage on a roundabout or even photography on a rubbish bin there’s so much advertising nowadays how could we, if not subvert, just change the dynamic of our local spaces? So, maybe after a little too much wine, I found a site where I subsequently booked the billboard on Marske Road train bridge. Now the first person I though of was local Saltburn artist Andy Broderick, his fantastic naturalistic work an excellent antidote to the stream of comparison websites and bargain airlines most of us trudge by every other week. With a very tight deadline Andy has made a beautiful work of art which will be up on the site from the 10th-24th of August. I hope you can take the time to enjoy it.


Andy Brodericks 'Nettle'

Local Author Spins Salty Yarn of Fighting Ships

Latest e-book title for Chris
On July 8th, 2011, Boson Books of Raleigh, North Carolina released the worldwide ebook Scarborough Fair by Saltburn author Chris Scott Wilson. Better known for his local history work and his gritty westerns, Scarborough Fair shows that when Wilson forsakes the land for the sea, he is still very much at home spinning yarns to make even salty sailors smile. In Scarborough Fair he tells the story of how John Paul Jones became America’s first great naval hero.

With the onset of the War of Independence in 1775, England found herself fighting to maintain a grip on her colonies in America. Meanwhile, the fledgling US Congress was desperate to break the mother country’s domination of the seas and cripple her trade routes. King Louis XVI of France, knowing any such disruption could only benefit French trade, was eager to help. In 1778 when John Paul Jones was ordered to Paris, Louis promised to furnish and arm a ship for him, and also grant free access to all French ports.

John Paul Jones, originally from Scotland, had served his apprenticeship on the high seas, working his way up to captain. His ambition was to own plantations in Virginia, but when war was declared against England, Paul Jones had immediately volunteered to serve his adopted nation. Three years later, he was ordered to France where the American founding father, Benjamin Franklin, became his greatest ally. Offering constant reassurance, Franklin guided Jones though the murky political waters of the French Marine Ministry in his quest to secure a ship to fight the English. When the task appeared hopeless, he eventually devised a plot to force the purchase of a suitable vessel.

In recognition of Franklin’s efforts, Jones renamed his new command Bonhomme Richard, Franklin’s pen name. Promoted to commodore, John Paul Jones began to harry the English in their own territorial waters while battling the treachery of insubordinate French officers who commanded the other ships in his small flotilla. A year later, just south of Scarborough, he tackled a brand new English frigate, HMS Serapis. They fought within sight of the very shores of England, the nation whose proud boast was its invincible navy. It was at that Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779, that John Paul Jones became a legend.

Saltburn author, Chris Scott Wilson, comments, “I was researching another novel when I discovered that Paul Jones’s ship had been sighted off Whitby and the local militia turned out to man the canon on the seafront battery. Although I didn’t use that incident in the story, I later found out Jones had captured a fishing boat called Speedwell just off Whitby when he was looking for a pilot who knew the waters near Scarborough. That gave me the link to use both Scarborough and Whitby as settings in the book. It was no hardship, I’ve always loved both towns – some years ago I wrote A Flavour of Whitby to give visitors a taste of the port’s rich seafaring history.”

The author continues, “Jones was an extraordinary man whose famous cry was, ‘Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight.’ And he never gave up. It seems astounding these days to think he was only 31 years old when he fought that great battle. Although the English press called him a pirate or lampooned him as a comic figure, the pen in this case wasn’t mightier than the sword. Paul Jones’s courage, grit and determination moulded him into a hero.”

The best-selling author Clive Cussler, himself fascinated in Paul Jones to the point of financing several expeditions to search the North Sea for the wreckage of Bonhomme Richard, wrote to Chris: “Scarborough Fair is a terrific story. Of course, you English always had a better command of the language than we colonists. The Serapis and Bonhomme Richard battle was always a great adventure tale and you did it proud.”

Scarborough Fair by Chris Scott Wilson is now available in ebook format from all leading online retailers. For a sample read and purchasing details, visit and follow Fiction> Historical fiction, or visit the author’s website where Chris would be pleased to welcome you.

Read the opening chapter here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Saltburn Cliff Hoist Plaque unveiled.

A plaque to mark Saltburn's original cliff-hoist, forerunner of the now world-famous cliff-lift, was unveiled by Councillor Vera Rider, chairman of Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council today. (Thurs July 28).

Coun Vera Rider, of Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council, chats to retired
cliff-lift engineer Ken Fellows after officially unveiling a plaque to mark the cliff hoist's
life 1870-83. This was succeeded by the water-powered lift, which now carries over
 100,000 passengers a year up and down to the beach.

She told a crowd of councillors and onlookers that it was the third of four plaques to pinpoint historical areas of the parish.

The next one to be unveiled will be to remember car and motor-cycle speed records on Saltburn's sands in the early 20th century. This ceremony will take place at the top of the cliff lift on Saturday September 17th at 10.30am. Members of the public will be welcome.

Among the crowd - at the pier end of the cliff-lift - was Ken Fellows, 71, of Guisborough, who retired as lift engineer after 20 years in 2005. "The plaque is wonderful. I'm glad the hoist and lift are being recognised," he said.

The four plaques commissioned so far have cost a total of £1,000.

The other two plaques are at the town's bandstand - marking the site of the Halfpenny Bridge - and at Winkie's Castle museum, Marske.

Two others are planned for St Germain's church tower, Marske, and the site of the former water tower in Upleatham Street, Saltburn. Both are to be put up in 2012.

The four made so far were designed and made by Eddie Guy, of SignArt, Saltburn.

The plaque, sited on the wall of the cliff lift.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Croquet anyone?

Croquet players Saltburn's Geoff Watkins, Brockley Hall visitors Chris Kirkbride,
Nick Haigh and  Paul Prewett, pause during their practice game at Saltburn.
The game of croquet is being revived at Saltburn to mark the town's 150th birthday celebrations.
The game was first played in Saltburn's Pleasure Grounds (on the lawn in front of where the tea rooms are today) in the 1860s when the Zetland Hotel was opened, but in recent years its popularity has declined.

Visitors to Brockley Hall holiday centre have been virtually the only people in Saltburn to have played since the 1960s, but a match is to be held on Wednesday August 17th as part of the birthday celebrations.

A practice game was held on Sunday July 24th when a Brockley Hall team beat a Saltburn squad.

Geoff Watkins, of Saltburn, who is to play at the celebration match, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed playing again after a lapse of many years and am looking forward to the match."

Organiser Mike Morrissey, of Saltburn, said he would like to hear from any more potential Saltburn players. The match will take place on Marine Parade from 10.30am to 12 noon. Please phone 01287-622493 for details.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Building collapse on the Corner of Milton and Pearl Street

A structural problem in the brickwork above Trendz Hair and Beauty Salon on the corner of Milton and Pearl Street has resulted in the collapse of part ot the building just below the roofline.

Bricks close to a top-story window had fallen from the property smashing a glass covering and landing on the pavement below. Visible cracks in the walls could also be seen. Fortunately no-one was injured by the falling debris as the incident occurred late at night.

Richard Willis, who lives opposite the building and also owns Heatwave Solarium, one of the businesses affected, said: “I heard a noise at about 10.30pm. It was absolutely horrendous. The lads in the next street thought it was an explosion.”

Fire crews were immediately called out to the property to make the building safe. Occupants of the adjacent flats on the upper floor of the building were evacuated and affected business premises below were cordoned off to allow a council structural engineer to assess the building today. Water getting behind the brickwork has been muted as the probable cause of the damage.

It is understood that residents have been allowed to return to their flats but business premises have remained closed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sinfonia Chorus to sing in Saltburn

The 50-strong Northern Sinfonia Chorus is to stage a free hour-long concert at Emmanuel Church, off Windsor Road, at 6pm.

Organiser Peter Davison, of the Saltburn150 group, which is coordinating events to mark the town's 150th birthday, said: "This first visit of the chorus to Saltburn is generating a lot of excitement not only in the town, but within a 30-mile radius.

Organiser Peter Davison shows a poster of the Northern Sinfonia Chorus, which is making
 its first visit to Saltburn on Sunday. A one-hour concert, including early Church anthems
and folk songs, will be free of charge.
"Scores of people are interested in coming after learning of the concert, which will have a lot of variety in it. The church is an excellent venue with good acoustics. It can seat 500, including people on chairs at the back, " said Mr Davison, a teacher, of Guisborough.

"The programme will be a mix of choral music from across the centuries and across the world, from early church anthems by Tallis to arrangements of folk songs by Holst."

More information can be had from Mr Davison, who will introduce the programme, on 01287-635316.

Mike Morrisey

Members of the Northern Sinfonia Chorus rehearsing.
Picture by Dan Brady

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time for Tea at ArtsBank

Cafe au lait

Today saw the official launch of ArtsBank's cafe. Having had the pleasure of attending the opening we can confidently recommend Artsbank not only as a place to wander amongst a variety of works celebrating the talents of local artists but also as a perfect meeting place. The cafe will serve a choice selection of teas and coffees alongside a delicious range of light meals and snacks. As well as sandwiches and light lunches the menu also includes a selection of freshly made cakes and scones all baked on the premises by their own chef. During lunch, if you wish, you can relax over a glass of wine and afternoon teas are also on the menu.

Ben Nevis and Back

Councillor Philip Thompson at the unveiling of the second mosaic.
On Saturday July 16th Saltburn Councillor Philip Thomson braved torrential rain to climb Ben Nevis to raise funding to help offset the cost of the Saltburn150 Community Mosaic Panels.

“It was probably one of the biggest challenges I have ever taken on,” said Philip, chairman of the Saltburn 150 Group. “There was really poor visibility and it was extremely challenging. It took me about seven and a half hours to climb up and down. As soon as I started it started to rain. I was soaked right through.”

Philip’s climb of the 1,344m-high mountain has so far secured around £2,000 for this year’s mosaic project. Philip added: “The object is to have something which lasts. We want to have a reminder of the celebration.”

We are sharing this photo to raise awareness of Philips' sponsored climb. If anyone would like to make a donation towards the cost of the mosaics, no matter how small, please contact the Saltburn150 organisers. (Contact details at the top of the page.)

Helen and Derek are in Huntcliff school this week starting work on panel 3 which depicts a Steam Train and Henry Pease. There are more workshops outside Sainsburys too on the 23rd July, Saturday 6th August and Tueasday 9th August at 10.00am. The third panel will be unveiled by a descendant of Henry Pease on the 17th August at 11am.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Railway Exhibition

Saltburn Line Users Group Celebrate 150 years of the town with an exhibition of the N gauge model of Saltburn Station and railway photographs in the local area.

The Exhibition is being held in the upstairs hall of the Saltburn Milton Street Church on Saturday 27th August and Sunday 28th August 2011. Opening times Saturday 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon to 4.30 p.m. Admission free, donations welcome to defray SLUG costs. Disabled access by lift.

Model of Saltburn Station.
The superb working model layout of Saltburn Station is about 24 feet in length and depicts an interpretation of how Saltburn Station may have looked if missing buildings and track still existed. The rear of the Zetland Hotel, shops and buildings on Milton Street. Dundas Street West, properties on North Avenue, Irvine Avenue, Marton Gill, both signal cabins, Jubilee sidings are modelled. Motive power is drawn from members varied stock and do not necessarily represent the true picture of the past. The layout is the work of Paul Harrison and David Lethbridge.

The railway photographs on display will cover a wide local area including Darlington, Thornaby , Middlesbrough, and Loftus area. recalling the days of steam and many visiting locomotives to Saltburn Station.

If anyone has any photographs of unusual workings into Saltburn Station i.e. an A4 Pacific, The Nationwide Train or suchlike, we will be pleased to exhibit them during the weekend. We are also interested in any reminiscences regarding Saltburn Station. For more information please contact Tony Lynn 01287 622519.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Alpha Place Memorial Fund - your help needed!

To officially mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Saltburn's first passenger train, we had planned to unveil a plaque showing the site of Saltburns first houses, Alpha Place, on the 17th August 2011, Saltburn's official 150th birthday.

The Saltburn Galop
Alpha Place was situated on what is now a grass verge in Sainsburys car park opposite the ends of Ruby and Garnet Streets. In was demolished in 1901 because it encroached into the road and impeded further development of Milton St as a major thoroughfare. A decorative stone relief was saved and is incorporated into the wall of Marine Court built in 1961, the year of Saltburn's 100th year celebrations.

As part of the unveiling we will have a performance of 'The Saltburn-by-the-Sea Galop' by Marske Brass Band. This is a brand new arrangement of this tune and it will be the first time it has been performed for 135 years.

At this point time and a lack of resources mean that we have had to postpone this project but we hope to build and unveil the plaque in November 2011, the 100th anniversary of the demolition of Alpha Place.

It will cost over £2000 for the whole project and we are exploring raising the money by grant aid. However as a way of encouraging donations we would like to encourage you to buy pieces of the structure to enable us to pay the labour costs for building;

White Pease Bricks - £5
White Edging Tiles - £20
Blue Granite Setts - £20
Bag of Sand - £30 *
Bag of Cement - £30*
 * Donations Welcome

If you are interested in making a donation please message Callum Duff privately stating how much you wish to pledge and he will send you details. All those who donate will be issued with a certificate thanking them for their donation. (If you do not have a Facebook account and would like to donate please let know via email and we'll pass your information on).

For any donations over £200 we will have the individual or company's name carved into a stone on the rear of the structure.

This site is where Saltburn's first passenger train arrived and where the town was founded. It should be marked in some way and with your help it will be. Thank you for your time.

Callum Duff and Tony & Cath Lynn.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Saltburn Bank closure on Sunday 10th July

The local police have announced their intention to close Saltburn Bank this Sunday from 08:00 on the grounds of public safety due to the large numbers of people expected to attend both the Saltburn Extravaganza, organised by Glenn Pearson of the Seaview Restaurant and the Saltburn Victorian Footballers Annual Gala and Duck Derby Day held in the Valley Gardens.

There is expected to be a park and ride scheme operating all day.

Arriva have published the following announcement:

Service 789 will be diverted with journeys from Saltburn diverted via Apple Orchard, A174, Brotton Woodside, Coach Road to Laburnum Road. Buses heading to Saltburn will travel the opposite way on this diversion. We apologise for any inconvenience that this will cause.

This means that on the Boroughbus Service 789 between Saltburn and Brotton the bus stops at Saltburn Promenade, The Ship Inn, Riggs Farm, Coach Road (north end, near Saltburn Road), Coach Road/Marway Road and Coach Road/Play Area will not be served.
However, the stops in Laburnum Road and Linden Road, and also at Saltburn Dundas Street East (towards Brotton) and Saltburn Station Street (towards Marske & Redcar) will continue to be served.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

150 - The Restoration of Saltburn's Cliff Lift

‘150’ celebrates the care and craftsmanship that went into re-creating Britain’s oldest working water-balanced cliff-lift, and returning it, with its restored companion, in time for Saltburn’s 150th anniversary year.

Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films wanted 150 to convey the wonder of 19th century engineering while also focusing in on human skills. There’s some use of modern tools and machinery, but traditional tools and techniques do most of the work – mallet, clamps, wedges, sand-paper and, above all, human hand and effort, lifting, tapping, stirring paint, sanding and, for the other vital ingredient, holding mugs of coffee.

Stanegate Restorations of Haltwhistle carried out the work, led by Ian Yates, who also narrates the film. Scenes of his team are intercut with shots of the December sea-front, snow-covered rails waiting for their carriages to come back, and the expanse of beach, crossed by a few strollers and dogs.

‘150’ is a companion-piece for Jan’s film ’55 seconds’ - which is the journey time for the cliff-lift. It portrays a typical day on the vehicles through the images and voices of their passengers and crew. More information about the film-making process with images can be found at Tin Man Films blog.

Spanish pilgrimage stick at Saltburn for Cafod Walkers

A walking stick and seashell symbol from the famous Spanish pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela was presented to five North-east walkers, who were undertaking a more modest pilgrimage from Osmotherley to Whitby via Middlesbrough.

Walker Shirley Goacher, of Bridlington, holds a "Compostela" walking stick from Spain, before she and others set off from Our Lady of Lourdes church, Saltburn, for a trek from Saltburn to Runswick Bay. They were publicising the Catholic overseas aid charity Cafod. Spanish-born Monsignor Ricardo Morgan, parish priest, who gave the stick to the group, is at rear in front of the church grotto.

The stick has a compass in the handle. It will be used by one of the group, Mrs Shirley Goacher, of Bridlington, when she walks the 500-mile Compostela trail next year.

The walkers were publicising the Catholic overseas aid charity Cafod. They stayed with local families for each of the six nights of their mini pilgrimage in the North-east.

Highlights included having their feet washed by members of different churches at Hutton Rudby and being soaked by a sudden rain squall on Saltburn beach.

The trek, which was led by David Cross, of Ingleby Barwick, who is Cafod's northern regional manager, ended with an outdoor Mass at Whitby abbey last Saturday (July 2) celebrated by Canon John Lumley, of St Augustine's, Redcar.

Brockley Hall extension opened.

About 80 people attended a thank-you celebration at Brockley Hall, Saltburn, on Saturday July 2, following a £500,000 development at the Christian holiday home overlooking the valley gardens.

Admiration for the new sun lounge, which has been added to Brockley Hall holiday centre,
Saltburn. From left manager David Brooking, trustees chairman Stuart Martin, singer
 Rebekah Hand, building designer Steve Hand, and local church member Ken Lightfoot.
It marked the completion of a scheme to add an 11-bedroomed wing and sun lounge, which visitors described as "great."

The charity running the Victorian house, which was taken over by it nearly 80 years ago, took the decision five years ago to invest the money by selling nearly half the garden to retirement specialists McCarthy Stone for a 22-apartment block to finance the new wing.

It contrasted, said longtime visitors, with the dormitories and bread and jam supplements to meals of the decades ago. Chairman Stuart Martin described the new bedrooms as of Travel Lodge standard.

He hoped people living in the retirement apartments across the croquet lawn would use the hall's facilities including bedrooms and dining-room, when available.

Hall manager David Brooking recalled that there had been some considerable opposition to the building programme, but many local residents had been very supportive.

"This is our way of saying `thank you' for that support."

Those taking part in the service included Ken Lightfoot, of Saltburn's evangelical church at Leven Street, hall assistant manager Angela Scott, and Steven Hand, building designer, of Chester.

One of his daughers, Rebekah, 20, sang a solo.

Regular visitor Christopher Kirkbride, a retired headteacher, of Stone, Staffordshire, said: "The new building is great."

The site manager said the first of the new McCarthy Stone retirement apartments would be occupied from late July, with more than half of them sold.

Mike Morrisey

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Saltburn Funicular Lift Challenge

In which Alex Lewczuk does some pre-lift show warm-up interviews with Town Crier Sharon Wilson, Marketing Assistant Linda Chilvers, Broadcast Assistant Jodie Orton, Head of Cultural Development Zohrah Zancudi and Ukelele playing engineer Paul.

Southside radio station hit the airwaves for eight hours on Friday 1st July - and made a new world record.

The station, which serves James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, took over Saltburn’s cliff lift to carry out the first interviews in history to be conducted in a water-powered funicular.

Residents, traders and visitors were invited to take part by talking to managing director and DJ at the station Alex Lewczuk while travelling in the famous carriages.

Hospital radio DJ Alex Lewczuk interviews members of Ee By Drum
The special show, which included a variety of musical entertainment - including the group Ee By Drum - was all transmitted back to the hospital and the proceedings were watched over by the Guinness World Record official for the day, Councillor George Dunning.

Alex, 50, who lives in Middlesbrough and is also a lecturer of media and journalism at the University of Lincoln, hailed the event on Friday as a huge success and thanked all those who offered help in organising and supporting the bid.

"We secured the record after just 10 minutes but decided to carry on non-stop for eight hours just to be sure we hold on to it for a while!" he said.

"As well as local people we also interviewed a number of people with connections to the area from as far away as Canada, Thailand, New Zealand and America.
We went up and down 114 times but the Victorians as engineers clearly knew their stuff as for most of the day it was a very smooth transition."

The cliff lift, which recently had a £30,000 refurbishment, is one of the oldest in the world, having opened in June 1884 to transport people from the beach to the cliff top above.

Councillor Sheelagh Clarke, cabinet member for culture, leisure, tourism and rural affairs, said it was "marvellous" that attention was focused on Saltburn, its lift and the community during the world record bid.

Part 1: The launch of the record-making non-stop radio show in the amazing Saltburn Funicular Lift with Alex Lewczuk.

Part 2: The record-making non-stop radio show in the amazing Saltburn Funicular Lift with Alex Lewczuk continues.

Part 3: The third part of the record-making non-stop radio show in the amazing Saltburn Funicular Lift with Alex Lewczuk continues.

Part 4: The fourth part of the record-making non-stop radio show in the amazing Saltburn Funicular Lift with Alex Lewczuk.