Thursday, August 30, 2012

Return of Saltburn's Hill Cimb

Saltburn's famous hill climb event is revving up for its popular social meet next month.

Middlesbrough and District Motor Club are preparing to stage its annual hill climb at Saltburn, on Sunday, September 16, from 10am to 4.30pm.

The start is from the bottom of the Cat Nab car park, which is reserved as a paddock on the day, and some 100 veteran cars and motorcycles will roar up Saltburn Lane as part of the event which features motorbikes made between 1918-1975. Cars will include an early Japanese model.

The event, which is currently not a competition of speed and is not timed, attracts interest from the general public as well as from both motor car and motorcycle buffs but patrons still have to wait until next year to see if it can become a speed trial once more.

The event had originally been run as a speed event for 12 years, but this was stopped in 2004, due to legal issues relating to the Road Traffic Act.

Ernie Crust, the club events secretary said: “We contacted Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop for support and when the Coalition Government was formed after the 2010 General Election, we were told that there should not be a problem as there was cross party agreement on reinstating the speed trial on a closed road.

The Motor Sport Association took it up nationally and have told us Saltburn is top of the list for getting its speed event back. Unfortunately we’ve been told it will be 2013 at the earliest. It's frustrating, as the Government has said the law should be changed, but it’s been put on the back burner. It's probably regarded as a small issue by the Government in the current recession but this would benefit tourism in Saltburn and also in the Teesside region fantastically.”

The event is sponsored by Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council and supported by Redcar and Cleveland Council, with help from local businesses.

A brief background to the Hill Climb can be read here.

A history to the sport of motor racing on Saltburn sands can be read here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vandalism in the Valley Gardens

Huge gaps in the fencing in Saltburn’s Valley Gardens have been torn out to burn at alcohol-fuelled night-time camp fire parties, community volunteers claim.

Much of the fencing has disappeared within the last few days from two sites at the tree-obscured beauty spot, leaving yawning gaps.

The thefts have infuriated locals and volunteers, like Friends of the Valley spokesman Philip Thomson who commented that the “senseless damage” runs into many hundreds of pounds and reinstatement will cost even more.

The vandalism comes at a time when volunteers are striving hard to improve the Redcar and Cleveland Council-owned Valley Gardens for the benefit of the public and the town’s thousands of visitors.

Mr Thomson said, "It’s a great disappointment that a fine community asset like this is being vandalised in this way."

Woodland volunteer Mr Thomson, who’s also a borough councillor, says the latest incident has seen about seven metres of six foot high fencing vanish at the currently closed Woodland Centre.

And, in an earlier theft, many more metres of fencing paid for by grant aid arranged by the Friends of the Valley was ripped from the edge of a meadow near the railway viaduct in the valley - leaving just a gate forlornly standing on its own.

The Woodland Centre, which the borough council plans to lease to a community interest concern, is currently still the responsibility of the council.

Cllr Thomson said: “We’ve reported both thefts to the police and the council.
At present, the Woodland Centre is not in use but is due to reopen and a community ranger visits. A large section of fencing has been stolen there, apparently to be used as firewood. Youths gather regularly in the woods to drink alcohol and set camp fires. But these fences are valued community resources put in place for the enjoyment of the community. They are worth several hundred pounds, but there’s also the cost of replacement which in this steep valley, is difficult.”

In a separate previous incident, fencing near the railway viaduct was taken.
Cllr Thomson said this was funded by Friends of the Valley with a grant.
Members are now discussing whether funds can be generated to replace this, or not.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Publish and be darned... the Prince and the Papers

The latest pictures of a naked Prince Harry are likely to cause less of a furore than those taken recently at a party in Las Vegas.

Just when you thought the yarn about his naked Vegas romp couldn't get any longer visitors to Saltburn this week-end were in for a surprise and this time the prince was really stitched up.

As Harry tries to distance himself from his partying antics a knitted figure, which models the pose of the now infamous photos, has mysteriously appeared on the upper prom near to the cliff lift and next to the Diamond Jubilee display left by the anonymous 'Saltburn Yarnbombers' earlier this year.

The consequences of his drunken week-end may not be a laughing matter for the prince but the knitted doll is thought to be amongst the more complimentary tributes to his antics.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Eggstra-ordinary opportunity to break a record.

This challenge in no yolk (pic courtesy of Colin Hurworth)..

Pssst! Enjoy a pickled egg and fancy having a go at setting a brand new world record? Egg eaters from around the region have been invited to try and poach a world record from New York.

At the next Saltburn Farmers' Market on Sat 8 September stallholder David Laing and market organiser Lorna Jackson are inviting people who fancy their chances of smashing the current world record for eating three pickled eggs in the fastest time to register for a new world record attempt.

The current world record stands at an impressive 58.16 seconds, and was set by American Ashrita Furman at the Panorama Café in New York on 12 July 2010. Beat that - and your new world record will be verifed by the Guinness World Records people within weeks. So, not only could you be bringing a new world record home to Saltburn - you'll also be nipping it away from the clutches of New York. Can't be bad.

You'll need to register before Wednesday 29 August to book a time slot for your record attempt - and there's a £5 fee to cover admin costs. (It's all done under Guinness World Record rules - official timekeepers, the lot).
Drop an email at to apply, and you'll be allocated a timeslot and provided with the specific rules & info you'll need for your record attempt.

Lorna, of Farmers Market organisers Food First said, "We've just enjoyed a fantastic Olympics so wouldn't it be great to set a new world record of our own right here at Saltburn market in September?"

The event is the brainchild of stallholder David Laing - and eggs will be provided by his 170 free-range chickens wandering around the woods happy as Larry over at Grewgrass Lodge in Marske. If those chickens were any more free-range they'd need their own motorbikes!

Postscript: 31st August:
GREAT NEWS! We've already had a cracking response to this, but we've managed to ditch the £5 admin fee. So, anyone who fancies trying to smash the Guinness World Record for 'Eating 3 pickled eggs in the fastest ever time' can now have a go ...absolutely 100% FREE!
You can just turn up on the day if you like (Sat 8 Sept), but it would be miles better to register in advance and save waiting around on the day.
Drop us and email at, or leave us a private message thingy on our facebook page at Saltburn Farmers' Market and we'll give you all the info you'll need.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alpha Place Memorial unveiled.

An historic memorial was unveiled in Saltburn this weekend to commemorate houses that marked the beginning of the town.

Alpha Place, a block of white bricked terraced houses, was situated alongside the railway with its front facing what became the railway excursion platform ( now part of Sainsbury's car park) and its rear across the ends of Ruby and Garnet Streets, and was erected by the S & D Railway to house their employees.

The Saltburn and Guisbro' Times (4th May 1901) states that William Peachy, architect, laid the first brick two months before the formal ceremony on 23rd January 1861, when Henry Pease layed the official foundation stone. As the town had neither a station nor Post Office when the street was complete the two houses at the east of Alpha Place were used until permanent buildings became available, Mr Arthur Brown being both Stationmaster and Postmaster.

The terrace was demolished in 1901, ironically due to the successful expansion of Saltburn. At the beginning of the 1900's the local council wished to purchase Alpha Place from the NE Railway Company for demolition as its situation prevented the development of Milton Street as a main thoroughfare.

Local historian Tony Lynn, along with Callum Duff and other supporters decided the time was right to create a special memorial to Alpha Place on the site of the former terrace.

The £3,500 cost has been raised by supporters donating £100 each to have their names recorded on the memorial and Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council has also given grant aid.

On Saturday at 1pm, the memorial - made of reclaimed Pease bricks from the same time period - was unveiled By Mr Lynn and Mr Duff.

Mr Lynn said: “It's meant to represent a section of brickwork torn from the original buildings. I had the original idea and Callum has been the main project manager. People think it looks great and it will now be a permanent reminder of the lost first homes of Saltburn which were built at the birth of the modern town."

As part of the ceremony Marske Brass Band played a specially adapted version of the Saltburn Galop, a dance tune which is believed to have not been played since 1880.

Many local people were involved in the creation of the memorial, which has been superbly built by Saltburn bricklayer Phil Slater, assisted by Jason Upton.

Read about the history of Alpha Place here.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Owl Centre visitors spot something creepy...

An invasion of creepy crawlers has been welcomed at Kirkleatham Owl Centre, returning after a successful visit last year.

Mega bugs have taken up residency at the centre for the summer inviting brave youngsters to go along and discover more about the world of creepy crawlies.

From massive millipedes to the menacing mantis, from beautiful beetles to scary spiders, people will be able to get their hands on a variety of bugs.

Craig Wesson of the centre said, "We've got lots of new species for people to meet, plus some of the biggest bugs you're ever going to meet. We were overwhelmed by how popular last summers sessions proved to be, but thanks to TV series like Deadly 60, children are utterly fascinated by creatures like theses."

The mega bug sessions are running daily until the end of the summer holidays and are just part of a packed schedule of activities and events including a 2:00-3:00pm daily flying display; 3:00pm Meerkat feed and talk on mega bugs at 3:15pm.

For more information call 01642 480512

Saltburn Arts Fair

The summer of 2012 will see the first major Arts fair in Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

The fair will be held over the weekend of 3rd, 4th, 5th August on the streets, in the galleries and in the community spaces around the town.

Saltburn’s very first curated Arts Fair aims to delight the crowds with a major show of work by International, National and Regional artists. Over 60 artists will be exhibiting everything from paintings to installation work to film and photography.

The organisers are also very excited to announce that internationally renowned artist Julian Germain will be taking part in the event. Julian will be speaking and working with artists over the course of the weekend as well as exhibiting work at the fair. In addition international curator and editor Cherie Frederico of Aesthetica Magazine has assisted the curatorial team.

The event will take place across four venues including a street art-fair on Sunday and is launching with a ticketed music gig on Friday evening at Saltburn Theatre. On Saturday mima will host a symposium, taking the theme of ‘People and society’. The symposium will bring together top named speakers from the arts world and will be followed an ‘evening social’ at Profile Gallery including an exhibition launch and live entertainment.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea and the immediate coastline has a long standing reputation as a melting pot for creative endeavour and the setting of a beautiful Victorian seaside resort will ensure a great weekend for all the family.

A brochure detailing the artists and events can be downloaded here.

Saltburn Artists' Project Open Exhibition

Studio Artists' Exhibition
On show in Saltburn Gallery during Saltburn Arts Fair is an exciting collection of artwork from our studio artists.

Paintings, Mosaics, Jewellery, Prints,Photography, Ceramics.
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August
10:00am - 5:00pm

On Sunday we also have Open Studios with live performances in the gallery from Andy Broderick and local musicians.

30-32 Marske Road 01287 626080

The Unveiling of the Alpha Place Memorial

Unveiling the Alpha Place Memorial on Saturday, 11th August 2012
Meet at the Anchor Garden at the top of Saltburn Bank at 12 noon for a gentle perambulation with historic comments along Marine Parade. Join Saltburn historians, Cath & Tony Lynn MBE on a guided walk exploring the history of Saltburn's Top Promenade. Hear about the history of The Zetland Hotel, The Spa, Teddy's Nook and other less well known buildings. Come and join us as Cath & Tony seperate fact from fiction while informing & entertaining you with the rich delights of Saltburn's history. Ask questions en-route if you are interested in a particular building and please feel free to dress up (optional) if you wish from any era of Saltburn's history (prizes for best dressed will be given at the unveiling). We hope to see you there!

The unveiling of the Alpha Place Memorial on Sainsbury’s car park will take place at 1.00 pm. by Callum Duff, Cath Lynn and Tony Lynn - a formal unveiling of a permanent memorial to the birth of Saltburn on the site of the town's first houses, Alpha Place. The memorial will feature an information plaque detailing the history of the site and we hope it will become a focal point for those wishing to discover more about Saltburn's unique history. We will also be joined by Marske Brass Band who will debut their arrangement of 'The Saltburn-By-The-Sea Galop', written in 1876 and unheard publicly since 1880. We hope that you can join us as we try to re-connect with Saltburn's forgotten history.

The Saltburn Garden Party is a live music event taking place at 2:30pm and has been organised as part of the Alpha Place Memorial Celebrations. The datestone of Alpha Place was salvaged when the row of cottages was demolished in 1901. It was incorporated into the building of Marine Court in 1961, Saltburn's 100th year. The residents have kindly allowed us to use their communal front garden to host this unique event featuring local rock band 'ALPHA PLACE' who will perform next to the datestone, re-inforcing the importance of Alpha Place in the history of Saltburn. We hope you enjoy this event but please remember to treat the residents and their property with the respect it deserves. Admission free. CallumDuff

The image shows the original cover of the printed edition of the Saltburn Galop, kindly lent for the occasion by the Kennedy Family.

Herr Franz Groenings was the owner of music shops in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the 1870s. He was also the principal of the Cleveland Academy of Music, Modern languages etc in Middlesbrough.

Herr Groenings principal links to Saltburn were through his conducting of bands playing in the Pleasure Grounds and on the Pier. In 1870 adverts carried in the local newspaper The Evening Gazette stated "Saltburn-by-the-Sea until further notice an excellent Band of Music (under the direction of Mr F Groenings of Middlesbrough) will perform in the pleasure grounds of the Saltburn Improvement Company on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.”

On 27th June 1870 Mr Groenings conducted the Saltburn Brass Band at the tapping of two new furnaces at Lloyds and Co’s Linthorpe Ironworks; it is recorded that the Band played the National Anthem after the loyal toast following a remarkable luncheon held in the Joiners shop at the works. The band continued playing throughout the afternoon until 6.00 pm.

In April 1877 he was appointed as organist at the Church of Emmanuel.

Franz Groenings business world collapsed in 1879. His business was liquidated and all his stock and assets were sold by auction. This was not the end of Franz Groenings on the music scene. In 1890 he was reported to be at West Brighton Pier as conductor, at Princes Theatre Glasgow in 1884, Blackpool Winter Gardens in 1892, and judging Hawes Band and Choral Contest at Hardraw Force in 1886.

Other newspaper reports refer to court appearances both as a defendant and plaintiff. One notable case referred to a shop lifter who stole a Letts diary from the shop of Mr Franz Groenings Music dealer, the thief was committed to jail for one month with hard labour in November 1877. As a defendant in 1890 he appeared in court contesting the French copyright laws, causing an outburst of readers’ letters to the editors of various newspapers.
Cath and Tony Lynn