Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tsunami sensation...

Presenter Ben Fogle breezed into Saltburn this week to talk about a simulated tsunami hitting its shoreline for a forthcoming TV programme.

But Ben was blown away by the 50-metre scarf that mystery yarnbombers have attached to the pier to celebrate the summer Olympics.

Ben tweeted on his timeline: “Check out this amazing guerilla Yarnbombing in Saltburn where I’m filming.
Awesome! Anyone want to Yarn bomb me a jumper?”

But locals and tourists had nothing to fear.

Saltburn's “natural disaster” is a simulation and part of a new Sky TV and National Geographic Channel series showcasing the darker side of Mother Nature and how the weather affects the environment.

The four-part Storm City series, airing this summer, has been filmed on worldwide locations with Saltburn's coastline being the venue for filming on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Redcar and Cleveland Council closed the town’s historic pier to the public for the duration of the filming.

A giant water tank demonstrated how a tsunami is created and a car on the beach was washed away to reveal the ferocious impact of the natural phenomenon.

At the end of the day Ben tweeted: Thanks to everyone in Saltburn. Lovely people, beautiful beach. Thank you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saltburn braced for natural drama event...

Saltburn is bracing itself for the devastating impact of a tsunami hitting its shoreline - but residents and day-trippers have nothing to fear.

For the natural disaster set to hit Saltburn next week will only be a simulation as part of a stunning new Sky TV and National Geographic Channel series showcasing the darker side of Mother Nature.

The four-part Storm City series, which will air in the summer, has been filmed on locations throughout the world and sets in Canada and the UK.

And Saltburn's dramatic coastline will be the venue for a tsunami recreation on Monday, March 19, and Tuesday, March 20.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council today confirmed that the town's historic pier will be closed to the public throughout Monday and during the day on Tuesday to allow the filming to take place.

Presenter Ben Fogle will be in Saltburn on Tuesday as the Pioneer Productions team uses advanced engineering technology and science to recreate the impact of natural forces.

A giant water tank on the pier will demonstrate how a tsunami is created, while a car on the beach will be washed away to reveal the ferocious impact of the natural phenomenon when it hits land.

A crane, bowser and location vehicles will be on the promenade, while a safe footpath has been created to allow pedestrians' access to watch the filming take place.

Councillor George Dunning, Leader of the Council, said: "Our fantastic coastline makes for a great setting and we have many requests for filming along it.

"This is one of the biggest and most ambitious projects we have accommodated and we look forward to seeing the finished film."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Armed Police dealing with a Serious Incident at Saltburn Pier

Armed police are at the scene of a serious incident on Saltburn seafront.

It has been confirmed that the area has been cordoned off after concern for the welfare of a woman in what may be a suicide bomb threat incident.

A female is to be seen sitting on the ground near to the Pier on Saltburn's lower promenade, just to the right of the Cliff Lift. Next to her is a bag, described as a rucksack.

Officers, armed with rifles, are sitting behind protective shields and have surrounded her.

The Army has confirmed that bomb disposal experts are in attendance, with a duty officer in attendance to assist police.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: "Police are dealing with an ongoing incident on the seafront at

A number of officers are currently at the scene and a cordon has been put in place to prevent public access to an area close to the sands and to ensure public safety.

Officers have concerns for a female's welfare, however, no further details can be issued at this stage."

"Saltburn Bank has been closed to traffic, therefore there may be congestion on Marske Road and on the road between Saltburn and Brotton."
It is understood the police helicopter is also in the area.

photo (c) Phil Barnes

The woman is now said to be sat on a bench with her hands on her head, with a bag around ten feet away from her.

The bomb disposal experts have yet to confirm the contents of the bag.

It is thought that the bomb disposal experts are using a robot to investigate the bag and that it will be taken on to the beach to be dealt with.

Some residents have said they believe the white female dressed in a hijab is local to the area and that she had visited a local hardware store earlier in the day to purchase several items.

A 40 year old woman was detained in connection with the incident at approximately 7.30pm.

Police, who were alerted at 11.00am this morning, were in negotiations with the woman for almost eight hours.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: "Shortly after 11am today police received information that a woman in Saltburn may have suspicious items on her and became concerned for her welfare.

The woman was traced to the seafront and police began speaking to her.
Armed officers and trained negotiators were called to the scene as well as other emergency services."

Superintendent Ciaron Irvine said, "This was a fairly lengthy incident with a successful outcome."

It is not yet clear as to whether or not the bag contained any explosives.

Police confirmed today (14th March) that the woman has now been released into the care of her family and medical professionals after being assessed at Redcar police station. No further action will be taken.

Comment and photographs from local photographer, Ian Forsyth

Cuttings showing how the incident was represented in the national daily press.

Statement from Superintendant Irvine:
The stand-off involving a woman suspected of carrying explosives led to a major drama in Saltburn. Superintendent Ciaron Irvine, District Commander, Redcar and Cleveland explains the police’s approach to the incident.

This month saw a large scale police-led incident in Saltburn which naturally caused a great deal of interest from the local community and the media.

From the outset I would like to confirm that the woman involved in this matter was innocent of any wrongdoing and her detention under the Mental Health Act was a reflection of that.

While it is inappropriate for me to discuss personal matters of this nature in the public arena, we acknowledge that the events of the day must have been extremely stressful for her and we hope that with the support of her family and relevant professionals she will be able to move on positively. This will also take the wider support and understanding of the community in which she lives and I am sure that will be forthcoming.

I would like to take this opportunity to explain our actions on the day, why we acted as we did – and also to thank the community once again for their support and co-operation during the incident.

As you will know we were contacted by a member of the public shortly after 11am on Tuesday, March 13, reporting concerns about the demeanour of a woman in the local area.

Based on this call and other information available to us, it quickly became clear to police that she might have suspicious items in her possession.

Initially, the identity of the female was unknown and police commenced wide ranging inquiries to locate and identify her. I should stress here however that contrary to some media reports at the time, the woman concerned never herself intimated to police that she was in possession of explosive items.
Nor did she have suspicious items in her possession at the conclusion of the incident.

However police were receiving sufficient information from other sources to give us serious concern about what she might have in her possession and what her intentions might be.

When information is coming in piecemeal from various sources, it needs to be thoroughly checked and verified before action, if any, is taken.

You’ll appreciate that our main priority is always the safety of the public and that is at the heart of everything we do.

In addition to trying to establish the identity of the woman concerned, other background checks were being made at the same time so we could try to establish exactly what we were dealing with.

It is normal for the police to work alongside specialist colleagues from partner agencies in resolving incidents such as this one.

Given the information we had at the time, explosives experts as well as fire and ambulance service colleagues attended the scene – our joint priority still being to ensure the safety and welfare of the woman, of the wider community and of our officers.

Witnesses will also have seen negotiators who were brought in to engage and communicate with the woman while she was on the lower prom. Again this is usual practice.

Although the incident has been described as a “stand off”, there was a lot of activity taking place in the background and at the scene to bring the incident quickly to a safe and peaceful conclusion.

I would stand by my previous comment that given the information we had available to us at the time and what could potentially have happened we believe the incident was policed proportionately and effectively.

The main aim of securing a safe and peaceful outcome was achieved.

We are aware of a lot of speculation and discussion on this incident; however I reiterate that the woman concerned was innocent of any wrongdoing.

While I appreciate there was a degree of disruption in and around Saltburn that day, I would urge the community to allow the woman concerned to get on with her life and put all this behind her too.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Guerrilla knitters stitch up Saltburn Pier!

Saltburn has once again been the target for some serious yarn bombing as the Guerrilla knitters have struck again - and how!

If you strolled down the pier on Saturday you would have found it difficult not to notice pieces of brightly coloured knitting tied along the pier railing.

Welcome to guerrilla knitting.

This is graffiti, but with yarn. It's not something new - people have been doing it for years, all over the world - but Saturday's session in Saltburn was extra special.

Last October, we reported that a knitter, or knitters, had tried to pull the wool over the eyes of hundreds of visitors and residents by tying scarves and knitted figures to various parts of the town centre - to lamp-posts, railings, buildings and outside the library. Knitted teddy bears were also to be seen having a picnic on Marine Parade.

But now the latest 50-yard long Olympic-themed creation which has suddenly appeared on Saltburn Pier has stitched up the title as one of the longest scarves in the North-east.

Scores of people have been doing a double-take at the “marathon” scarf as they walk along the historic pier.

Every few metres a different Olympic sport has been portrayed - from synchronised swimming to a cycling velodrome - each with their own little group of knitted athletes.

What's the point, though? "It's about making people smile and bringing art out of the galleries so everyone can appreciate it," is the comment of Magda Sayeg, one of the world's most revered guerrilla knitters.

Although we are not able to reveal the identity of the Saltburn yarn bombers we can confirm from a reliable source that this particular piece is the work of more than one individual and it has captivated everyone who has seen it.

Kerry Paterson: "It's big! Whoever knitted this is very talented! Absolutely fab it is! Go see."

Louise Tierney: "This is brilliant. We were down on the pier on Saturday morning and saw it, a lot of time and effort has gone into this knitting, definitely worth a visit to see it."

Rachel Armstrong: "It's fab, I like it when something simple can put a smile on your face :)"

London 2012 - Saltburn Yarn bombing as reported in the Telegraph

London 2012 - BBC video of the mystery knitting on Saltburn Pier

It's a Stitch Up - The Sun

A yarn of Olympic Proportions - Daily Mail

Who Darn it? - Darlington and Stockton Times

Saltburn Pier - Debbie Stogden Photography

Saltburn Yarn Bomber - Evening Gazette

Saltburn Yarmbombers- Kate Burton

ps Early birds visiting the Pier this (Sunday) morning would have noticed three individuals busily making sure the marathon knitting masterpiece was all shipshape and Bristol fashion! :-)

Tuesday 13th: Saltburn Yarn bombers featured on Daybreak.

Here Comes the Sun - Northern Echo

Torville and Dean make an appearance:

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Italian Job Summer Extravaganza

Organisers hope to attract a crowd of around 35,000 people to an event in Saltburn this summer.

The lower promenade in Saltburn will play host to The Italian Job on July 1.
The free classic car and air show has been organised by Saltburn Events Committee.

Stunt driver Russ Swift will head up a cast of 120 classic Minis in a celebration of the classic British movie.

The day will also include a number of air displays and many food stalls - including an Italian wood burning oven providing pizza.

A “Banksy-style” street art mural dedicated to the movie will be on view, together with a cast of “mix and mingle” actors entertaining unsuspecting onlookers.

And it has been confirmed the original Minis from the film will be making a special appearance.

“As it’s free - and such a good event - we need to let everyone know about it” said organiser Glenn Pearson.

“Saltburn Events Committee was formed for the purpose and intention of organising free large-scale events in the stunning location of the resort. We want to create a positive effect on people’s lives.”

To enter a Mini, or to sponsor for the event, contact Mr Pearson at

Bee Aware in Saltburn

Saltburn Allotments Association is offering residents of Saltburn and the surrounding area an opportunity to learn about all things relating to bees in a two day course presented in conjunction with Cleveland Beekeeping Association. This accredited course offers the perfect introduction to the care and keeping of bees for everyone interested in these fascinating creatures.

Suitable for anyone over the age of 10, the course covers all aspects of bee keeping including the care of bees, legal issues and the history and mythology of bees. It is also an introduction to bees for anyone interested in helping to support and nurture them in a garden or allotment. Ideas on planting to attract bees to your garden, how to revive exhausted bees and how they make wax and honey are also covered.

The sessions will be led by Sue Greenacre, an experienced bee keeper from the Allotment Association.
“We hope people who care about bees or want to know more about these fascinating and important creatures will come along and learn how to encourage them and support the bee population,” she said. “Bees can help gardeners in many ways, especially by increasing yields of fruit and vegetables”.

The course will run on the weekend March 3rd and 4th. Sessions will be at the TocH in Albion Terrace, Saltburn and run for Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm and on Sunday afternoon, 1pm to 4.30pm. The course costs just £40 and includes light refreshments (with honey cake!) but participants should bring their own lunch for the Saturday session. Unwaged participants can attend the course free.

Contact Sue on 01387 624169 or email to book a place or for more information.

Raising a Glass to Mother Nature.

It may not be the South of France, but a Skinningrove winemaker has proved that you can make some great wines from the best that mother nature can provide right here on our own doorsteps.

And, in a sure sign that spring has definitely arrived, Saltburn Farmers Market will be celebrating its first Market of the year on Saturday 10 March with a clutch of brand new bottles especially for the day.

Skinningrove Country Wines are one of the Market’s original and favourite stallholders – becoming familiar faces at every Market since its launch at Easter in 2008.

Former Eston Grammar School pupil Ian Coles, 57, settled in Skinningrove in 1998 after 25 years as a builder in London.

He made his first batch of wine as a hobby in 1999 and hasn’t looked back since – producing a range of over 50 wines from locally sourced ingredients including Elderberry, Peach, Cherry, Dandelion, Gorse, Oak Leaf, Raspberry, Gooseberry, Carrot, Apple, Lemon Balm and Strawberry.

Tucked away on a Skinningrove hillside cottage garden overlooking the sea, Ian said: “I make around 50 different types of wine every year, depending on what’s in season.

“Most ingredients are organic, grown by us, sourced locally from allotments and organic farms, or even gathered from the wild.

“All the wine is hand-made using recipes based on traditional methods, and we try to use recycled bottles wherever possible.

“We don’t use animal products, and we don’t add artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.

“So it’s a very patient and natural way for the wine to mature compared to a heavily commercialised process, and most of our wine has been in the making for around 12-18 months before its ready for the Market.”

A regular stallholder at Whitby Market, his wines are also on the menu at Eaglescliffe’s award winning vegetarian restaurant The Waiting Room. He also has a growing list of wine buffs who buy his wines by the caseload online – but it’s at Saltburn Farmers’ Market that Ian has found one of his warmest welcomes.

Ian said: “Saltburn is pretty much one of the best Markets around. There’s always a great atmosphere amongst the shoppers and the stallholders, and I seem to have a lot of great regular customers there.

“I’m really looking forward to the first Market of the year, and will be bringing some new season Beetroot, Parsnip and Nettle wines along for the first time.

“The Nettle is a nice dry white, great chilled with pasta. The Parsnip is a full bodied white, great with a Sunday roast, and the Beetroot is a strong red - perfect with a hearty stew.”

Saltburn Farmers’ Market will also welcome a series of special guests this year after finding room for a small handful of new stallholders.

Market organiser Lorna Jackson said: “We mentioned a few weeks ago that we had space for an extra stallholder - and we’ve had a fantastic response with more than 20 great people getting in touch. So, rather than offer a place to just one stallholder, we’re going to have a sprinkling of special guests throughout the year to help keep everything fresh and in season.

“We can’t wait to get cracking again after our winter break – and we’re really looking forward to sampling the new wines that Ian will be bringing along on Saturday.

“It’s exactly the type of thing you can’t really get on the High Street every day, and really helps the Market stand out from the crowd.”

• Saltburn Farmers’ Market returns after a winter break for its first event of the year on Saturday 10 March. Over 25 stalls will feature a great mix of locally produced food and artworks. Based in the centre of town, just outside Sainsbury’s, near the Railway Station, between 9am-3pm.

• Further Markets will take place on the second Saturday of the month; April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, September 8, October 13, November 10 and December 8.