Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saltburn Gill iron ore pollution to be cleaned up.

The orange iron ore pollution flooding into Saltburn Gill beck is finally going to be cleaned up using a share of £9.3m awarded to the UK Coal Authority with remedial work due to start imminently.

Saltburn Gill is a 52 acre woodland nature reserve nestling in the shadow of Saltburn by the Sea, where drifts of Wild Garlic and Bluebells herald the arrival of Spring and where sightings of Roe deer are always a possibility. A designated Site of Special Scientific Interest it has a wealth of wildlife, including kingfishers and otters. However the nature reserve has been plagued for years by unsightly coloured water from a disused iron ore mine. In 1999 it's colour went bright orange - 35 years after a nearby mine closed.

There was no legal responsibility for the landowners or former operators to tackle the problem due to a loophole in the law as the mine was abandoned before January 1, 2000.

But in a breakthrough, Environment Agency improvements for the EU Water Framework Directive in England 2015 now includes all stretches including rivers, coasts, estuaries, lakes, man-made structures and groundwater.
John Delaney, from the UK Coal Authority, confirmed it is receiving an award of £9.3m for clean-up work at long-abandoned mine sites, including old metal ore mines.

He has praised progress at Saltburn 'thanks to the influence of the Saltburn Gill Action Group (SGAG) in obtaining early money for an initial investigation.'

SGAG chairman Jim Wingham said: 'Saltburn's share of the aid is £700,000.
'This will be spent this financial year drilling a large diameter additional bore hole.
"The idea is that water will be pumped out to lower the head of water near the source of the pollution, and by that time the Department for Food and Rural Affairs will be putting out to tender a water treatment facility which should filter the water and solve the problem.'

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop has hailed the news as a 'breakthrough.'
He said: 'We need to thank Saltburn Gill Action Group, Parish Councillor Jim Wingham, who led the battle and who originally asked me to become involved, and all the other local Saltburn councillors as well.
'We have come a long way - now we face the battle to complete the scheme, and bequeath clean water for local watercourses for future generations to come.'

Read more about Saltburn Gill

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dog walker attacked at Hazelgrove allotments.

A 40-year-old man was attacked whilst walking his dog along a path by Hazelgrove allotments in Saltburn on Monday evening,

As he bent down to remove his dog's lead, close to the children's wildlife garden area and the railway line, he was struck on the head with what is believed to be a large stick. He received three blows and was knocked to the ground.

It’s believed his attacker was with others. They rifled through his pockets as he lay on the ground and took his mobile phone. However, they discarded the phone on the ground before making off.

His attacker is described as male, 6ft 4ins to 6ft 5ins tall, thin build, wearing a dark coloured hooded top with the hood up and with the word 'Nike' across the chest, a baseball cap underneath the hood, dark adidas tracksuit bottoms tucked into his socks and white Nike Airmax trainers.

Police are appealing for information about the attempted robbery that took place at about 9.30pm on Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Andrew Simpson of Saltburn Police Station on 01642 302626 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Phantom of the Opera at Saltburn Community Arts

Saltburn Community and Arts Centre is staging a thrilling vintage film screening on Friday 30 September at 7.30pm.
The 1925 silent film version of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, directed by Rupert Julian, is a classic adaptation of the novel by Gaston Leroux. It stars Lon Chaney in the title role as the masked and facially disfigured ‘Phantom’. It is a masterpiece of horror that shocked cinema for decades.
The film is most famous for Lon Chaney’s intentionally horrific, self-applied make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere. The impressive sets of the Paris Opera House, the catacombs, the colour footage, and the lavish costuming, all add to the atmosphere of the film. This was truly the masterpiece of Chaney’s career and ranks as one of the greatest tour-de-force performances of the silent era. The grand atmospheric melodrama with its balance of terror and tragedy provides a perfect vehicle for the dark ambient jazz soundscapes of Cipher who provide the live score to the film.

Tickets cost £6.00 and are available from Saltburn Health Foods or by calling 01287 624622.

Steam journey keeps Saltburn celebrations on track.

Railway enthusiasts are being offered a unique opportunity to step back in time to the glory days of steam travel - when a long-forgotten passenger line is re-opened for one day only.

On Sunday October 2, a steam train will run from the city of York to Boulby, on the edge of the North York Moors, and make a special stop at Saltburn to mark the coastal town's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The one-off 'Saltburn 150' journey is designed to showcase some of the Redcar & Cleveland borough's most stunning scenery and give rail aficiandos the chance to travel on tracks which may never be opened to passengers again.

As a result of the 1963 Beeching review of the rail network, all passenger traffic past Saltburn was subsequently stopped, with only a service line to the steelworks at Skinningrove remaining in the area.

However, the discovery of potash - and the start of production at Boulby Mine in 1973 - led to a line servicing the facility being rebuilt.

Chairman of the Saltburn 150 group, Philip Thomson, is hoping that next month's steam journey will give passengers lucky enough to secure a seat the chance to savour the area's proud rail heritage.

The service will leave York at 10am and arrive in Boulby about 12.15pm, before heading onto Saltburn for 1.15pm.

It will be greeted by brass bands upon arrival in Saltburn, home of the Zetland building which was once one of the world's earliest purpose-built railway hotels, with first-class passengers enjoying their own private platform.

Mr Thomson said: "There have been many popular events throughout the year to commemorate this landmark anniversary of the founding of Saltburn-by-the-Sea by Henry Pease.

"But the steam train journey is one of the most eagerly-anticipated yet and offers a magnificent opportunity for both local people and railway enthusiasts from across the country to be part of an historic occasion."

Tickets cost £45 and are available in person from Saltburn Library, from the 'This is Redcar & Cleveland' tourist information office on Redcar High Street, or via telephone on 01642 471921.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Celebrating Saltburn's Speed Events

The miles of flat sands at Saltburn have provided the visitor with a number of different pastimes - cricket, sand sculptures and donkey riding have all played their part. In the early 1900's the more adventurous looked upon the beach with a different perspective with the pursuit of excitement and speed as their goal.

At 10:30 on the morning of Saturday 17th September councillors and members of the public met at the top of Saltburn's Cliff Lift, near the Fossil garden, to unveil a plaque celebrating those early car and motor-cycle speed races and the records they set on Saltburn’s sands in the early 20th century.

Saltburn Speed Trials plaque.

Read more about Saltburn's Speed Trials.

On the following day an assortment of classic vehicles - some more than 100 years old - vintage cars and motorcycles dating from 1903 up until 1975 turned out in force to participate in the Saltburn Historic Gathering.

And those who thought their vehicles were up to the challenge went on to climb Saltburn Lane.

The event, which was organised by the Middlesbrough and District Motor Club, had been run as a speed event for 12 years but this was stopped in 2004 due to legal issues concerning the Road Traffic Act.

Currently the club, along with Tom Blenkinsop MP and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council are trying to get the law changed to allow motorsports on closed roads.

Despite the legal wranglings, the club has been determined to “retain” the event and so organised the historical gathering.

As well as a number of cars and bikes climbing the hill one by one, there were also a variety of classic vehicles on display in the car park at the bottom of Saltburn Bank.

Ernie Crust, secretary for the hill climb, said: “It’s a social gathering and it keeps our presence known in Saltburn. The support has been fantastic with 50 cars and 50 bikes taking part. It’s still very popular and we’ve been over-subscribed with entries.”

Read more about the Saltburn Hill Climb event.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Mines' walk round East Cleveland

Sea, Cliffs and Ironstone sponsored walk, Sunday Sept 11.

Redcar Rotary Club runs its 23rd annual sponsored walk on Sunday September 11 with a local history angle - and separate routes for family groups and serious trekkers.

"For the first time we'll explore the remains of local ironstone mines under the title of the Sea, Cliffs and Ironstone walk," said John Finlay, of Redcar, who has taken over from Peter Gleghorn, of Marske, as the main organiser.

John Finlay at the shaft.
"We promise an enjoyable as well as interesting day. The sites of 11 mines can be seen from one of the two routes offered, although only four have visible remains - so the walks could be called `spot the former mine' trek. One of them, Loftus mine, is now the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum.

For the first time the walks start from Saltburn - at the Conservative Club, next to the Zetland Hotel. Walkers start between 9.30 and 11 am. We go along the Cleveland Way cliff-top path, Saltburn, round the base of Warsett Hill. We pass Huntcliff mine's Guibal Fan House.

Shortly before Skinningrove, the two walks divide with the seven-mile family walk turning inland past the Cattersty Nature Reserve to reach Brotton. It continues past Hunley Hall Golf Club, up to the top of Warsett Hill and then back to the start.

The Long Walk (14 miles) descends to Skinningrove and then via Carlin How, Lumpsey mine and North Skelton mine to Slapewath. We return to Saltburn along the Cleveland Way."

John Finlay, new organiser of Redcar Rotary Club's walks, at the site of the Lumpsey
ironstone mine, Brotton, winding house, which is just off the path of a 14-mile "long
walk" to be held on Sunday Sept 11. It will be the club's first walk to start from Saltburn.
A seven-mile family walk is also to be held.
Walkers can keep half of the sponsorship they collect to donate to their chosen charity with the other half going to the Rotary Club for the Redcar Lifeboat.

There is an entrance fee of £6 (no charge to 16 and under) and £1.50 if people want to stay for the barbeque at the Conservative Club after the walk.

Contact John Finlay ( or 01642-484214) or Peter Gleghorn ( or 01642-484710) to get entry and sponsorship forms.

 Footnote: Laden blackberry bushes line several of the paths picked for the walks.