Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Damage Information and Plan of Repairs to Lower Prom

As reported by Councillor Stuart Smith

On Friday morning the 3 ward councillors Joan, Philip and I met with Council officers and the Cabinet member for Highways and Planning, to ascertain the extent of the damage and planned order of repair works to be undertaken due to the recent storm. I can report the following.

1. LOSS OF SLIP WAYS AND PART OF SEA WALL - A stonemason will undertake repair work starting in early January. The sandstone blocks will be stored on the lower prom next to the life guard station. The repair work will take up to 8 weeks and each stone will have to be reset in a similar way as a jig saw. The slip way will have a concrete base where prior to the storm it was compact shingle. Sea wall railings will be replaced.

2. DAMAGE TO ROAD SURFACE - Work underway to repair by Carillion.

3. DAMAGE TO PIER - The pier structure itself appears to be undamaged but will remain closed until access can be gained to the pier head from the beach when tidal flows allow. The main building amusements have suffered extensive damage to the interior due to sea water entering the building. We were told water damage had even occurred to the ceiling. Of concern are that two major supporting beams under the pier head have snapped however the engineer states they should be easily removed and replaced? Time scale on this is unknown but will be carried out a.s.a.p.

4. VICTORIAN SHELTER - The shelter supports were found to be rotten and this has been demolished. In relation to this there was some discussion as to whether it should be replaced. I got the feeling that there was a reluctance to do so due to financial implications, however all 3 councillors disagreed with this and stated it should be replaced. I suggested it could be a project for the local college or Kirklevington Prison if we funded the materials required.

5. STEPS FROM PIER CAR PARK TO BEACH CLOSE TO CCTV POLE - Will be reset this week by Carillion.

6. DAMAGED FOOTBRIDGE OVER BECK - Wooden boards to be repaired a.s.a.p. and none slip surface applied. Shingle under the road bridge over the weekend which was pushed in with the high tide was removed lowering the beck level from the bridge span. Further work to investigate the removal of the old sewer pipe underneath which acts as a barrier during flooding and high tides. Long term goal is to replace bridge and construct it closer to the height of the road bridge.

7. EROSION OF BANKSIDE OPPOSITE CAMFIELDS - Armour rock (Gabion baskets would not be permitted by environmental agency) to be placed in various sections to stabilise area. Long term goal is to stabilise whole area with concrete bankside similar to section at picnic area.

In addition we were informed that over the past year the sand level on the beach had dropped over one and half feet which if it had been in place would have had a dragging effect on the sea level and wave impact.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saltburn Ward Newsletter from Councillor Stuart Smith

stuart.smith@redcar-cleveland .gov.uk
Contact no. 07557540628

My nomination for the Mayors Community Achievement Award 2013 was Mr Trevor Cox who was presented with his award at a ceremony in Redcar on Wednesday 20th November. Trevor who is a resident at the Victoria Lodge Residential Home for adults in Saltburn has been street collecting for the charity Zoë’s Place, Normanby for the past 5 years and during this time his endless efforts have raised a staggering amount of well over 22,000 pounds for this charity. Trevor’s day is occupied collecting for this charity and he can be found throughout the year, in all weathers stood in the Station precinct collecting. He also holds a car boot stall every Sunday to raise funds.

2013 was a record year for passenger usage of the Saltburn Cliff Lift. The lift carried 167,000 passengers over the season an increase of 27,000 from 2012 a record year.

Shoppers and retailers are set to benefit from the introduction of free parking in the run up to Christmas and over the festive period.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will not charge after 1pm each day at any of the borough’s council managed car parks from November 29 to December 31.
Free parking is restricted to council-run pay and display locations which include on street pay and display bays and off street pay and display car parks.
Motorists are reminded that normal parking charges apply from 8am until 1pm and should check the pay and display notices at each site.

Saltburn Station toilets have been refurbished and are now open.

Saltburn Community Arts Association were successful in their lottery bid for £50,000 to refurbish the theatre and install modern sound and lighting equipment. The People’s Millions is a grants programme run by the Big Lottery Fund.

Saltburn Sales Rooms, which has a history going back at least 84 years has closed following the present owner John Simmons' retirement. The final sale was on Tuesday, November 26. John’s father began working for the previous owner, Mr Dickinson, after he came back from the war in 1946. He took over the business in 1966 and eventually it was passed on to his son. Mr Simmons’ own two daughters have careers in the NHS and both had babies in the last year and have no plans to take the business on.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Win, win, win...

Saltburn Theatre secures £50k in TV lottery fund giveaway.

The Saltburn Theatre Magical Transformation project can now go ahead with the refurbishment of the theatre and the installment of modern sound and lighting equipment after having secured a £50,000 Big Lottery Fund grant.

That means performers will no longer need to provide their own equipment - and will increase the range of productions the theatre can offer the community.

The project is one of four local groups celebrating a shared total of £192,128 this week after winning over the public with their inspirational ideas.

This is the eighth year that the Big Lottery Fund and ITV have given the public the chance to choose where the Lottery good cause cash goes in their region.

The People’s Millions public vote determines which deserving cause will win the contest and take the funding back to their community.

The competition first began in 2005 and has funded 596 diverse community projects UK-wide with more than £30 million in Big Lottery Fund cash.

The Royal Voluntary Service’s ‘RVS Men in the Workshop’ in Northumberland secured a £49,385 bonus award, as the runner-up with the most phone votes across the week.

The money will enable it to make a real difference bringing older men and young people together, to share skills and conversation through practical work and activities.

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This is a brilliant result for the people of Saltburn and Northumberland and shows what groups can achieve when they have the support of their community behind them."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Light Switch On

The Christmas tree at The Bandstand is now in situ and is lit up at 4:00pm.

The Christmas Lights Switch On in Saltburn is Saturday 30 November.
Activities in the town during the afternoon include circus skills, facepainting, craft activities, mulled wine and hot chocolate (with a kick for adults if you want it!)

There are activities in the library and the community theatre from early afternoon. Plus brass bands all afternoon!

Music & Fun by the Tree outside Chocolinis from 4.30pm.

Brass Neck Comedy are delighted to be supporting the event and can announce that MC and host for the Christmas countdown and arrival of Santa’s procession will be comedian Steffan Peddie – aka Hebburn star Big Keith. You can catch him at the Christmas Tree opposite Chocolinis from 4.15pm onwards.

Santa lands at 5pm. Don’t be late.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Gavel falls for the last time

John Simmons calculates he has sold an average of 400 items a week, 48 weeks of the year in his career - about 864,000 objects in total, but now the
Saltburn Salerooms auctioneer of 45 years will lower his gavel one last time tomorrow (Tuesday, November 26), and so close one of the region’s most famous auction rooms.

Saltburn Salerooms, officially known as JC Simmons & Son Ltd, has a history dating back at least 84 years and will also close with Mr Simmons' retirement.

Mr Simmons said the most memorable item he has sold was almost exactly one year ago. His team were cataloguing a house clearance, with nothing of particular value, when they noticed some old James Bond books by Ian Fleming.

Seven of them were first editions, but one, a copy of Live and Let Die, was even rarer.

After the first few copies of the book were printed, the press was stopped in order to make changes to information on the dust jacket in order give Ian Fleming credit for helping design the imagery.

The book in Mr Simmons' auction room was one of the very few printed with the original information and was eventually sold for £13,800.

“It could easily have been overlooked,” said Mr Simmons, “but after 45 years I suppose you start to get a little knowledge. Every now and again something crops up. It’s been a very interesting job, there’s something different all the time.

“I announced we were going to close several weeks ago in the auction room and everyone went silent but I had to explain 45 years is a long time. It’s not just me, other people are also retirement age."

“We’ve had a tremendous number of well-wishers. One lady who is 94 came in who said she first visited when she was ten years old, so it’s been going at least 84 years.”

Mr Simmons explained his father began working for the previous owner, Mr Dickinson, after he came back from the war in 1946. Mr Simmons’ father took over the business in 1966 and eventually it was passed on to his son.

Mr Simmons' two daughters have their own careers and family commitments so have no plans to take the business on.

“We plan to see our grandchildren a lot and I enjoy sea-fishing and walking,” said Mr Simmons, who went on to pay tribute to his wife, Victoria, company secretary, “who has been with me since day one.”

The final sale will be held at the Diamond Street auction room on Tuesday, November 26.

Britain's Oldest Fitness Instructor (probably)

The following article written by Helen Pidd appeared in this weekends Guardian

Not nearly enough exercise classes have a teabreak halfway through. But Margaret Allen's does. After a gentle warm-up and a few pulse-raising numbers, the 93-year-old great grandmother lets her charges rehydrate with a cuppa and a quick sit down.

Some of the eight-strong class look as if they need it more than others. Allen herself, wearing a thick turquoise shirt, navy knitted waistcoat, black slacks and sensible shoes, has not broken into a sweat. Despite an "excruciating" trapped nerve in one leg and a knee in need of replacement, she looks as though she could go on for hours.

The general rule is that eating directly before sport is not the best idea, let alone part way through. But on the afternoon I visit Allen's class at the methodist church hall in Saltburn-by-the-Sea near Middlesbrough, slices of rather dense fruitcake are being passed around during the break. The cake has been baked in honour of Allen's recent birthday by her 89-year-old sister, Joan, known locally as the "scone queen of Saltburn".

The ladies have barely swallowed their last crumb when Allen is up again, leading the group through a jaunty Scottish number involving lots of toe pointing and leg kicking. Forty-five minutes later the class is finally over.

Allen, a former volunteer with the Red Cross, has been leading classes in the north-east seaside town for 45 years. Not particularly sporty at school, she started playing the piano for a keep-fit class during the second world war – "just for something to do during the blackouts, really" – and eventually took over in her 40s when the previous instructor retired.

At its peak, Allen's class had more than 18 regulars, each paying £1 subs. But these days her flock is diminishing fast – during the teabreak, the ladies discuss a funeral that most of them had attended that week for one of the younger members of the group who had just died, aged 68, from motor neurone disease.

Allen is the oldest, followed by her sister. The baby of the group is 60-year-old Jean Cunion, who credits the group with supporting her through a difficult time when her mother died. She is somewhat embarrassed to admit that she is perhaps the least fit of the cohort. "I remember the first time I came, Margaret said: 'Who's that huffing and panting?' and I had to admit it was me."

Ruth Steere, 76, marvels at how Allen never misses a trick despite always having her back to the class: "She always shouts at us if we go wrong. She's remarkably good at knowing what we are doing."

Allen, a keen dancer, has never done any formal training to be a fitness instructor. Instead, she choreographs her own moves based on five cassette tapes from the BBC's first ever fitness guru Eileen Fowler – who died in 2000 when she was 93, Allen's age now.

Allen thinks her good health is largely down to keeping busy, especially since her husband Joe died in 1997. She took up writing poetry when she was 80. "I write poems about everything – some naughty ones, about boobs and bloomers – knickers to you," she says. "I'm a prolific writer. I just can't stop," she says, phoning me a few days after the interview to read out a ditty she has written about the joys of exercise.

One of the class, 84-year-old former teacher Winnie Robertson, thinks the secret to staying fit is never letting yourself go: "Use it or lose it, that's what I say."

Allen still plays the piano and gives speeches. She is president of the Women's Fellowship at the local methodist church, and is one of three 90-plus-year-olds at the Scrabble club of the University of the Third Age (U3A). She did a computer course when she was 88 and tried to get online, but it didn't work out.

Ageing is no fun, she admits, reading me a few lines from a poem she has written called That Beast Called Age. She happily recalls a doctor who saw her for the first time a few years back who said she couldn't possibly be more than 78: "I said, 'Thank you, doctor, you can go now.'"

She also has a no-nonsense attitude to weight gain: "I just think people shouldn't eat too much. Whenever I hear someone saying: 'Oh, I can't lose weight', I say: Sellotape." She mimes taping her mouth shut. "I said this just the other day to a big fat man. Everything in moderation is my motto."

Earlier this year, Allen was watching the news and saw a woman being given the British Empire Medal. I think she means Margaret Chartwood from Horley, who was given the honour in January this year, at the age of 77. "She was saying: 'I'm 80 and I'm the oldest fitness instructor in the country!' I was thinking: 'No you're not.' But I shan't be writing to Buckingham Palace."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Free parking across the borough

Shoppers and retailers are set to benefit from the introduction of free parking in the run up to Christmas and over the festive period.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will not charge after 1pm each day at any of the borough’s council managed car parks from November 29 to December 31.

Free parking is restricted to council-run pay and display locations which include on street pay and display bays and off street pay and display car parks.

Motorists are reminded that normal parking charges apply from 8am until 1pm and should check the pay and display notices at each site.

Steven Goldswain, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We realise that retailers in the borough are facing tough economic times and we want to help. By offering free parking we hope we can tempt people back to our high streets where they can see for themselves the wide range of retailers on offer.
High streets offer a mix of big name retailers and independent stores that you will not find anywhere else as well as a unique and enjoyable atmosphere. We also believe high street shopping is an opportunity to support the local economy as well as the jobs within the retail sector and we hope people in the borough will get behind us."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The future of Saltburn Arts hangs in the balance.

The future of Saltburn Arts, the charity which runs the Community Theatre and Hall and The Old School, hangs in the balance after it was revealed that it is now insolvent amid claims of financial mismanagement and irregularities.

Saltburn Community and Arts Association (SCAA) has made a loss of £60,000 over 12 months, which has completely cleaned out its cash reserves of more than £55,000.

At the annual general meeting it was revealed that the charity’s accounts were incomplete and the Charity Commission had warned one board member about making inappropriate payments to a company he owns.

Angry trustees called for a police investigation to be launched if there was any illegal activity connected to the charity’s financial crisis after it was revealed that it was board member Peter Neal’s company that was involved in a questionable £3,500 worth of payments.

A packed meeting, held at Saltburn Community Centre, voted to accept a decision for all of the board to resign and elect 12 members in an attempt to save the group from collapse.

Acting chairman Veronica Boland outlined the perilous state of the association when she gave the annual report, telling members that meeting notes and company records had been kept by a former secretary and it was proving difficult to retrieve them to compile an accurate record of the charity’s spending.

She said: “As a result of intensive investigation into the finances of SCAA it has become apparent that SCAA was insolvent. Strict control has been introduced and payment arrangements have been made with creditors.

"The Charity Commission have been consulted and written to. Advice has been taken from an insolvency practitioner and a recovery plan is under consideration and will shortly be promoted."

"During the financial investigations it became apparent that payments had been made to a company owned by a trustee. As these payments were apparently not authorised by the board, requests for repayment have been made. In addition, payments have been made to a company owned by a relation of a trustee and investigations continue in this respect.”

Acting treasurer Philip Thomson, who is also a Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillor, told members that he had spoken to several creditors in an attempt to keep the charity going and said they were going to have to close down the arts centre they opened at the former Saltburn Junior School.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman confirmed that it had been alerted to a concern about payments to board members.

She said: “At that time (July 2013), we wrote to the charity to remind the trustee body of the rules of their governing document which contains an express prohibition against any member of the trustee body being employed by the charity. We received an acknowledgement from a representative of the trustee body that they accepted our advice.”

Mr Neal has yet to comment.

Trevor's Big Night

Saltburn's Trevor Cox, of Victoria Lodge, had a fantastic time last night at Tuned In, Redcar where he received his Community Achievement Award from the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Vic Jeffries.

Trevor is 63 and has been street collecting for the charity Zoës Place, Normanby, one of three Baby Hospices in England, for the past 5 years. During this time his endless efforts have raised a staggering amount of well over £22,000 for the charity.

Trevor can be found throughout the year, in all weathers, standing in the Station Precinct collecting for the Charity. This daily occupation has ensured his recognition as part of the Saltburn street scene. He is supported in his efforts by local businesses who supply him with warm drinks. Trevor also holds a car boot stall every Sunday to raise funds.

"I do it because I enjoy it", he says. "I like to help the children and I like meeting the people of Saltburn."

Mark Guidery, General Manager of Zoë's Place says that, “Trevor is a one in a million. He is very special to everyone here at the hospice and for one man to raise so much money over the years is quite remarkable. Rain or shine you can find him out and about in Saltburn with his Zoë's Place collecting tin and he seems to be known to everyone. Trevor is very much part of Zoë's Place and we are all proud to have him as a member of the team.”

The money Trevor has raised for Zoë’s Place has been used to purchase specially adapted cots, mattresses and baby alarm systems.

One of three children, Trevor was born in South Bank. His dad worked at Dorman Longs and his mum worked as a cook at Red Barns, Redcar. "I was slow at learning," he explains, "so I went to Eston Lowfields Special School until I was sixteen when I left to work at the docks."

After four years as a general labourer Trevor left the docks to work for the Council as a road sweeper. It was during this time that his father died.

Later, Trevor took a job at Lackenby BOS plant and worked on the lift. Having left home, he lived at a number of different places until he got his own bungalow. Eventually he was offered at place at Victoria Lodge, a Saltburn Residential home for adults, where he enjoys having his own room with TV and CD player. He has been living there for the past twenty two years and is the homes longest resident.

Trevor is full of praise for the staff: "They are very caring and can't do enough for you," he says.

When Zoë's place opened Trevor decided he would like to help and started collecting money. He says it keeps him busy. Last summer, he ran a Charity event at The Spa, raising £510 and plans another event to help finance the repairs after the recent flood damage at the hospice.

Trevor is no stranger to early morning starts as he has had a part-time job at The Spar for five years delivering newspapers. "I'm up at six and out at seven," he says.

The highlight of his year is a five day holiday to Scarborough, his favourite destination. He used to go with his family when he was a child when they rented a flat but Trevor has since managed to enjoy staying at The Grand Hotel.

Trevor is interested in history and loves watching history programmes on TV. One of his favourite programmes is "Time Team". He likes the old buildings at Preston Park and Kirkleatham Museum. He also likes old churches and enjoys learning more about Saltburn Methodist and Emmanuel Churches. He is not a great traveller but says he would like to see the pyramids.

Trevor is also fond of music, particularly Pavarotti, Mozart and Beethoven. When Victoria Lodge had a piano he used to enjoy playing. "I can't read music," he says, "but I can play a little by ear." His Granddad Davis, who lived in Grangetown, was in a harmonica band and would often play when Trevor visited.

If pets were allowed at Victoria Lodge Trevor would have a cat. But he has lots of friends at the Lodge and says he is very happy. He enjoys meeting people and would like to thank everyone who has supported him over the years.

This award is a fitting tribute to Trevor from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and recognition for his continued efforts.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Georgina hits iTunes Charts.

Teenager Georgina Anderson died on Thursday - just four months after being diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Georgina, who had a lifelong dream of having her music heard across the globe, was told that she had exhausted all treatment shortly before her 15th birthday last month.

And sadly, the young singer from Marske, who was wheeled onto the Riverside Stadium pitch last weekend while her song Two Thirds of a Piece was played to 14,000 fans, passed away at home.

Both Simon Cowell and Saltburn's own James Arthur have joined other celebrities in tweeting support for a song, sung by Georgina, which has just been released by Sony as a charity single.

Following news of her death, Cowell tweeted: "I just heard a very sad story about a brave girl called Georgina Anderson. You can buy her song on iTunes."

James dedicated his CiN performance to her.

Georgina's song, Two Thirds of a Piece, is currently number 24 in the iTunes chart.

And her version of Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me has had nearly 250,000 hits on YouTube after family and friends started a campaign to ensure it went viral.

Georgina previously said it was “amazing” that so many people had watched her video.

She told the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette: “Music is something I really enjoy, something that makes me a bit different.

"I’m so happy with how many people have already heard it."

Georgina was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in July this year after going to the doctors with stomach pains.

It was at first thought that she might have been suffering from gall stones, but after a scan revealed a growth in her liver, they found she had an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer which affects just 18 young people in the UK each year.

She underwent chemotherapy - bravely shaving her head when her hair began to fall out - but the disease spread to her lungs, and doctors later gave her and her family the devastating news that there was nothing more they could do.

Her dad Paul spoke of how cruel it was to have her chance at fame and stardom taken away, but said that she wanted to leave her song as a legacy.

He added the family received 'amazing' support after Georgina's diagnosis, and more than £7,000 had been raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust in her name.

You can listen to Georgina's version of I Can't Make You Love me here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saltburn Ward Newsletter from Councillor Stuart Smith

stuart.smith@redcar-cleveland .gov.uk
Contact no. 07557540628

Saltburn Community Theatre is through to the finals of the Peoples Millions Lottery Funding and there is the possibility of up to £50,000 available for full refurbishment of the theatre. THEY NEED YOUR VOTE. If successful improvements to the theatre will include the reupholstering of all the seating and installing a new lighting and sound system. At the moment both are very limited and some companies need to bring their own systems along. It will also provide valuable volunteer opportunities and training for younger people in theatre management. Something for all the community to enjoy.
Voting only takes place on one day which is Wednesday 27th November between 9am and midnight by either voting on line at the www.peoplesmillions.org.uk or via telephone number released on the day on this website.
The Saltburn Theatre bid is up against a proposed project in Wooler, Northumberland.

A major review of all services provided by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is now underway. The council needs to cut £19.4m from its budget over the next three years, and a total of £33.8m by 2020. It is proposed to save £4.4m in 2013-14, £10.1m in 2014-15 and £4.9m in 2015-16. But to reach the three year target, the authority admits it’s likely up to 150 redundancies of upper and middles management will have to be found.
The council has made £32m of savings in the past three financial years, with 600 posts shed. But to reach its saving targets for the next six years, a report to the council’s Cabinet regarding the 2014 budget options admits “a whole new approach is needed to be adopted.”
This approach begun two years ago and centres on the council’s “Shaping Our Future” programme, where “inter-dependent but separate” reviews are made into nine areas of the council’s services.

If you have a garden waste bin the collections as normal will stop for 3 months over the winter period, from the 1st December 2013 until February 2014.

Work is well under way for the refurbishment of the toilets In Station Street. Whilst this work is been undertaken the Café Destinations have come to an agreement with the Council to allow the public to use their toilet facilities in their premises.

The trustees of Brockley Hall which is a Christian Holiday Centre located on Glenside, Saltburn, will be closing the premises in January which will result in the loss of 11 jobs. They state it is not financially viable and has been making a loss for a number of years.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Support Saltburn Community Theatre with lottery fund bid

Saltburn Community Theatre has secured a place in the final of the People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund giveaway - with up to £50,000 up for grabs.

The theatre will feature on ITV news when viewers will be asked to vote for their favourite cause.

Arts development promoter for the theatre association Wilma Gardiner-Gill said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that all our hard work has paid off to get us through to the final. We have had a number of celebrities appearing on the stage over the years and this years X-Factor finalist Abi Alton has appeared several times in the past. We're all supporting her in her call for votes."

Please support us in a cause that will benefit the whole community.

The theatre will go head to head with Wooler Royal Voluntary Service.

Two projects will battle it out on November 25, 26 and 27. The three winners with most TV votes and a runner up will then receive funding for their various schemes.

If successful, Saltburn Arts will use the cash to refurbish the popular theatre which is situated on Albion Terrace - re-upholstering the theatre seats and replacing lighting and sound equipment.

There will also be opportunities created for volunteers and training.

Wilma said: “Saltburn Community and Arts Association caters for everyone from toddlers right through to silver surfers, holding numerous events.
We are the only project in East Cleveland entered, so please register your support on the People’s Millions website and cast your vote on the day.”

The theatre will be featured on Tyne Tees TV news on the evening of November 27.

Voting lines will be open from 9am until midnight on the day, with calls costing 11p from a BT landline.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UK Pro Surf Tour returns to Saltburn

Thousands of people from across the region are expected to flock to the East Cleveland coast this weekend for round three of the UK Professional Surf Tour. More than 100 professional surfers from all over the UK will wow the crowds when the tour visits Saltburn, on October 19 and 20.

The free to view event, sponsored by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, starts at 10am, on the Saturday, and runs through until 4pm the following day.

Olwyn Peters, the Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: "It's the third time we have hosted the tour and we're really looking forward to welcoming it back. Saltburn is one of the country's best surfing destinations and being a part of this exciting event just reaffirms that.

We have scores of passionate surfers within the borough, and many more from the wider region, who will be especially looking forward to the competition. But surfing is a wonderful spectator sport and one everyone can enjoy. We wish all the competitors the best of luck and we are very much looking forward to seeing them in action."

The Saltburn stage was last won in 2011 by current UK champion, Russell Winter, from Newquay, while this year Newcastle's Sandy Kerr is being tipped as the region's hope.

Organisers believe the event has the potential to boost the local economy by about £100,000 and chose Saltburn because of its relatively consistent surf.

Dave Reed, CEO of UK Pro Surf, said: "We are delighted to be working again with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to bring our National Pro Surfing Tour to Saltburn.
Our professional surfers are looking forward to showcasing their talents to the local community."

There will be five categories comprising of professional men, women, juniors as well as under 18's boys and girls.
Specific timing's will be dependent on the surf and weather. For more information about the event visit www.ukprosurf.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Record-breaking summer gives record-breaking Bloom results.

A record number of Northumbria in Bloom Gold medal certificates have been won by well over 100 communities and groups across the North East, involving the volunteers and council members dedicated to brightening up their areas.

The awards were presented on 17th September by popular writer and broadcaster John Grundy at the prestigious Northumbria in Bloom ceremony, held in the Sunderland Stadium of Light.

The historic small market town of Sedgefield won the Percy Boydell Trophy for Overall Best Entry for 2013. Along with the trophy for Best Small Town and their Gold medal certificate, Sedgefield is one of Northumbria in Bloom's outstanding entries in the national Britain in Bloom 2013 competition.

73 places were visited by Northumbria in Bloom judges in the spring and summer, and the overall results reflected steady improvement in the north east. 26 villages, towns and cities achieved Gold certificates, and over 100 special awards were awarded the Gold standard.

Chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, Mrs Eileen Burn, commented: “Despite the seemingly never-ending winter and spring, this has been a summer of triumph – not only the triumph of sunshine and warm temperatures, but the triumph of hardworking volunteers in communities in co-operation with their local councils. That well over half of our villages, towns and cities have achieved higher marks or stayed at the same level this year says it all. When economic gloom hangs over our heads we just get those heads down and produce fantastic results. Our judges this year have discovered countless examples of enterprise and initiative.”

Mrs Burn reminded the volunteers and guests at the Stadium of Light that the Northumbria in Bloom campaign isn't just about winning accolades. She continued, "Remember that above all you are doing this for yourselves. What you are doing in the way of gardening, reclaiming poor areas, conservation, keeping your community up to the mark is all about caring for where you live, being proud of where you are, and working together to achieve results not just for you today but for the next generation."

Saltburn Town won a Gold Award and was overall trophy winner for the best coastal town (pop. 35,000 or less).
Saltburn Library Garden won a Gold Award and was overall trophy winner for the best voluntary project category.
Laurieston Care home won a Gold Award in the Grounds for Care Homes, Residential and Convalescent Homes category.
Saltburn Railway Station won a Gold medal award and was overall trophy winner in the best Railway, Bus or Metro station category.
The Valley Gardens were awarded a Gold Medal Award in the Parks category.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Northumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom.

The Awards ceremony for RHS Britain in Bloom will be held in Cleethorpes on October 11. Northumbria in Bloom has six entries, Stanghow (Champion of Champions), Eston, Moorsholm*, Morpeth, Sedgefield, and Stockton on Tees. (*This is a first time national entry for Moorsholm, which comes in the Village category).

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Flooding chaos.

Hundreds of people were caught up in flash flooding yesterday with many roads closed and houses damaged by the deluge. Following continual heavy downpours, Teesside was at the mercy of rising floodwater and dangerous driving conditions with many roads still closed today.

Saltburn was badly affected with Saltburn Bank submerged in deep water when both Saltburn Gill and Skelton Beck overflowed causing Saltburn’s Cat Nab car park to become fully submerged. The miniature railway in the Valley Gardens and parts of the adventure playground were also badly affected.

Cleveland Fire crews responded to calls at 230 different locations between 3.50pm and 10.40pm predominantly across the East Cleveland and Hartlepool areas. They were assisted by crews across Teesside and from neighbouring Durham and Darlington Fire services Fire Brigade and North Yorkshire Fire Brigade.

Rescues were made from vehicles and houses and in some cases the brigade’s rescue boat was used.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police confirmed Redcar and Cleveland had been worst affected by the floods with many roads experiencing high levels of surface water, making driving conditions extremely difficult.

People were advised not to make journeys unless necessary and if they must travel, to avoid driving into deep standing water and to drive at an appropriate speed.

There are no reports of anyone unaccounted for or injured at this time.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Whale watching.

Scientists are using evidence of whale sightings off the North-East coast to help in their conservation.

The National Whale and Dolphin Watch took place around Britain from July 27 to August 4.

Of the more than 400 sightings, the North-East coast was the only place to record a Humpback whale, while the Yorkshire coast was the only site to spot a sei whale.

A minke whale and a Humpback were recorded off Whitburn Coastal Park, near Sunderland, while other Minkes were seen feeding for three consecutive days off Scarborough, including among them a group of three. A Minke was also spotted off the coast at Saltburn.

The Sei whale was seen near Whitby, along with white beaked dolphins and a harbour porpoise.

Harbour porpoises and Minke whales were also seen off Seahouses in Northumberland.

The results of the count, which is organised by the national marine research and conservation charity, the Sea Watch Foundation, will be analysed by the North-East Environmental Records Information Centre and the charity, Orca, and will be made public by the end of the month. It is expected that the number of sightings will rise considerably.

Sea Watch sightings officer, Danielle Gibas, said: "The event really captured the hearts and minds of members of the public. The good weather throughout much of the watch helped to engage people and we will be able to create a very clear picture of what species were around the coast."

A cetacean map will be drawn up plotting the sightings to give a picture of the distribution and numbers of the ten different species recorded across the UK.

While there was plenty of good news, there was also a potentially worrying development - a lack of reports of pilot and fin whales.

"We have had some very interesting sightings which we will now be analysing," said Ms Gibas. "The watch has confirmed, for instance, common dolphins now range to the north of Scotland and beyond - and the use of the North-East coast by significant numbers of minke whales."

"We know that pilot and fin whales are also regular visitors to our coastal waters. They have already been seen this year and we would expect them to be seen again during the summer."

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Food Festival in Full Swing

Michelin-starred chef and TV’s Great British Menu winner Kenny Atkinson was one of the star attractions at the first ever Saltburn Food Festival.

Mr Atkinson, who recently left the five-star Rockliffe Hall, near Darlington, took a break from his latest venture to entertain the crowds at the Milton Street event today.

The chef, who is due to open his own restaurant on Newcastle’s Quayside later this year, is also the patron of Saltburn Farmer’s Market.

Mr Atkinson gave cooking demonstrations at 11.30am and 1.30pm to the crowds who packed out the street festival.

For food lovers, North-East producers were selling cheese, wine, meat, baked goods and sweet treats at the event.

Other attractions included Saltburn’s own Greedy Bassets Kitchen and Nobia African cuisine, run by Ghana born Nobia Deprez, who lives in Middlesbrough.

There were also picnic tables and live music so that visitors could relax throughout the day at the street-party style event.

Trapped couple refuse rescue at cliffs

Reported by Dave Cocks
Deputy Launching Authority & Lifeboat Press Officer at Redcar.

A couple trapped by the rising tide at the base of cliffs at Saltburn declined to be rescued by RNLI lifeboats on Saturday 3 August 2013.

The man and woman were seen to be stranded at Penny Hole, a notorious cut-off point at the bottom of Huntcliff, by RNLI lifeguards based at Saltburn.

Both RNLI lifeboats from Redcar launched at 2pm, approximately half an hour before high tide, and quickly located the middle-age couple.

The smaller inshore lifeboat was taken into the cliff base near to the couple’s location in preparation for the rescue. However when a crew member went ashore, the man and woman declined to be rescued into the lifeboat.

It is believed that the couple were walking along the base of the cliffs and had misjudged the time needed to get clear of the incoming tide.

Dave Cocks from Redcar RNLI said: ‘Our crew were a little taken aback when the stranded pair declined our offer of rescue. The gentleman was confident of his own knowledge of tides and was quite happy to sit it out until the tide fell back again.

‘We gave the couple advice about the risks from falling rocks and, after consulting with the coastguards coordinating the rescue, the lifeboats were stood down.

‘They had a picnic with them, which was probably just as well bearing in mind it was going to be at least two hours before there was any chance of them getting to a place of safety.’

Dave Cocks added: ‘There are always two risks to consider when walking close to the bottom of any cliffs. The first is being cut off by the tide and the second is being injured by falling rocks. There have been incidents elsewhere in the country where a section of cliff has collapsed with fatal consequences.’

The lifeboats returned to Redcar while lifeguards continued to monitor the couple's safety.

image of the Redcar RNLI inshore lifeboat at Huntcliff. Credit: Dave Cocks

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802
Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Jacky Hunsley, paid from the legacy of the late Jacqueline Hunsley of Leeds.
For more news, information and images go to www.redcarlifeboat.org.uk
Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcarrnli
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RedcarRNLI
RNLI media contacts:
For more information please telephone Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07894 558 483, or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789; pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Food Festival Sunday

Final preparations are in full swing for Saltburn’s first Food Festival - which takes place on Sunday.

The event, which will be held on Milton Street, will be the first of its kind in the town.

Over 45 stalls from North-east food producers – many based within half an hour of Saltburn - will be selling cheese, chocolate, wine, meat, baked goods and sweet treats.

A favourite of Saltburn Farmers’ Market – Skinningrove Wines will be there, with owner Ian Coles on hand to give his hints and tips on how he produces his lovely fruit wines.

Also there will be Nobia African cuisine, run by Ghanian born Nobia Deprez, who now lives in Middlesbrough, and Saltburn’s very own trendy street food business The Greedy Bassets Kitchen.

A large section of Milton Street, in central Saltburn, will be closed for the food festival and the road will turn into a street party – with picnic tables in a central spot and live music throughout the day.

The highlight of the event will be the appearance of TV celebrity chef Kenny Atkinson, who has appeared on the BBC hit cooking show Great British Menu.

Kenny, who is patron of Saltburn Farmers’ Market, has taken time out of his hectic schedule - his new restaurant in Newcastle is due to open in the next few months - to give a cooking demonstration at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Members of the general public are being encouraged to take part in the food making workshops, such as sausage making with Gosnay’s Butchers on Milton Street and decorating gingergread houses with Egton based business The Gingerbread House.

Parking for the free event is available in Huntcliff School and the council owned car park opposite the golf club and a Park and Ride Scheme will be provided.

Visitiors are also encouraged to catch the train to the event – the station platform is in front of the food festival.

Saltburn Food Festival runs from 10am to 4pm.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nothing bog standard here.

Completion of a £140,000 project to improve visitor facilities at Saltburn has set the standard for future development.

The new and modern toilets at Saltburn's lower promenade include indoor and outdoor showers and are part of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s £1.3m Improving our Visitor Facilities programme.

Now Saltburn Railway Station facilities will be refurbished in the same distinctive Victorian-style used for the new facilities on Saltburn Promenade.

Other work in the programme includes improvements to signage and car parks as well as a drive to encourage the private creation of chalets and beach huts.

The scheme, which is expected to be complete by 2014, compliments other programmes such as the Guisborough Forest and Walkway and Redcar Seafront.

In addition, it brings the number of refurbished public toilets in the borough to eight, with plans to build a ninth in Skinningrove, at a total cost of £325,000.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Olwyn Peters, said: “Saltburn is looking fantastic and we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the region. Work to refurbish our public toilets ensures that the borough remains accessible to elderly people, families with young children and other visitors. Many of us take these kinds of facilities for granted but for others they really are essential.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pete Firman Conjuring up a Few Tricks at Saltburn

Magician Pete Firman, described as the poster boy of British comedy magic, will conjure up a preview of his Edinburgh Festival when he returns to his Teesside roots.

He is perfoming his new show at Saltburn Community Theatre on Sunday, July 14.

As one of the stars of BBC1’s The Magicians, the Middlesbrough-born illusionist and comedian has also written and appeared in shows including Derren Brown’s 3D Magic Spectacular and Dirty Tricks.

He is now gearing up for his seventh Edinburgh Festival with a brand new act, Scoundrel. He said: “Working on a new show like this is just like starting again. I love creating new material and I always look forward to Edinburgh.”

Growing up around Linthorpe and Acklam, Mr Firman has happy memories of visiting Saltburn.

“I used to love Saturday mornings walking on the pier and beach at Saltburn with the family when I was growing up. I genuinely love the place, so I’m really looking forward to coming back for this gig.”

He added: "Expect the unexpected," he added. "I try and present the most impossible things that people have ever seen in the funniest way possible. Let's see what happens."

Doors open at 7pm on Sunday, July 14, for Pete Firman’s Scoundrel show which starts at 8pm at Saltburn Community Theatre.

Tickets costing £10 can be bought from Saltburn Health Foods on Station Square or by visiting www.saltburnarts.co.uk

Pete Firman plays the Edinburgh Festival at The Pleasance Courtyard between July 31 and August 25. For more details visit www.petefirman.co.uk

Monday, June 10, 2013

Saltburn Artists Project ready to re-open

Thanks to a £70,000 grant Saltburn Artist's Project has been saved.

The building which housed the Saltburn Studios and Gallery was crumbling and the future looked uncertain after annual funding from the Arts Council was stopped.

However, the Arts Council did grant a one-off £70,000 payment towards refurbishment and to help the Saltburn Artists Project charity to continue to run the studio and gallery themselves.

Helen Gaunt, development manager at the Marske Road building, said: “The whole of the front of the building was leaning to the side, the wood was rotten and the roof was leaking. Thanks to the grant the frontage has now been rebuilt and clad in cedar and all the studios have been dry lined and the roof fixed. We’ve also maximised space and created four new studios and the flat above the gallery has been renovated. We’re hoping to use the flat for artists in residence.”

Major building work was completed in the Spring.

The artists themselves then spent many hours fixing up the interior and the building will be finished just in time for the launch weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16.

Miss Gaunt said: “The exterior is so much better than before and I think it’s improved the environment for our community as well enhancing the space for the artists.”

There are 16 studio artists including fine artists, a silversmith, a photographer, a graphic designer, a ceramicist, and a dressmaker.

Saltburn Studios and Gallery will be open from 12pm until 4pm every weekend from this weekend. An exhibition of work will be on show in the exhibition space as well as demonstrations by artists in their studios.

The event is part of the Festival of the North-East which is a series of events held in June across the region. For more information visit www.saltburnartistsprojects.org.uk

Friday, June 07, 2013

N.E.R. Not Easily Rivalled

A handful of railway stations in the north of England still display a large, strikingly beautiful wall mounted map made of coloured, glazed, tiles. These are the survivors of several put up by the North Eastern Railway company at the turn of the twentieth century.

The directors of the North Eastern Railway, meeting in 1900, authorised their General Manager, George Stegmann Gibb, to erect large maps of the company’s passenger network at several of their stations. They were to be constructed of sixty four 8” x 8” glazed tiles, with a further eight 8” x 4” ones spelling out the company name at the top. Lines over which they had running rights were included, as were large scale map tiles showing the docks owned by the NER.

The result was a very beautiful tile map, which showed the entire NER passenger system. The tiles were made at Jackfield tile works – now part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum – by Craven Dunnill and Company Limited.

As well as a few lines belonging to other companies most of the NER's own passenger lines were shown, and the map also includes some nearby features such as lakes, lochs, country houses and their parkland, battlefields, castles, abbeys, monasteries and cathedrals. Very attractive, but simple, colouring was used. What is immediately apparent when first looking at an NER tiled map is the sheer size of the Company’s network. Stretching from Berwick to almost Rotherham, and Carlisle to Withernsea, it is easy to see why this was once the world’s largest railway company.

Very little is really known about these tile maps but at least 25 of them were displayed at various stations, the last, it is believed, by 1910. A contemporary author, G.W.J. Potter, wrote that they were a “striking improvement” and that the idea had “attracted considerable attention, and its adoption has much to recommend it – being easily cleaned, very legible, practically everlasting...” Quite prophetic stuff, because a century later 12 tile maps still exist, 9 of them at their original stations - those at Beverley, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Morpeth, Saltburn, Scarborough, Tynemouth, York and Whitby.

The map at Saltburn, previously 'hidden' behind a very worn, scratched Perspex covering, was given a facelift yesterday when the old protective covering was removed and replaced with a new one. The tiles continue to look striking and attract as much attention now as they did when the map was first installed.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another fine yarn...

Once again that mysterious group of knitters known as Saltburn Yarn Stormers have been working their magic and have produced another amazing display created out of wool and attached to the Victorian Pier in Saltburn by the Sea. Just in time for a sunny bank holiday weekend!


The following article, written by Julia Breen, was published in the Northern Echo this morning (Monday 26th May).

"It's Bank Holiday weekend in Saltburn and the sun is shining. There isn’t a breath of wind and the tide is out, leaving a wide, sandy expanse to be explored. The North-East coast doesn’t get any more perfect than this.

Families pitch little tents along the beach and toddlers clutching buckets and spades in their tiny fists waddle towards the water. Surfers pull on their wetsuits and stroll down to the sea, surfboards wedged under their arms. Other visitors enjoy a promenade along one of the coastal town’s best assets: the pier.

Take a closer look, and there are crowds of people stopping, touching, gazing at something colourful on the railings. The famous Saltburn Yarn Stormers, as they call themselves – that elusive group of knitters who distribute intricate woollen figures around the town in the dead of night - have struck yet again.

This knitting hasn’t been here long. The wool is still fluffy and unstained. It hasn’t even been rained on. Last year’s fantastic Olympic-themed scarf, which stretched along the pier, was half drowned by the summer’s awful weather. Locals think the latest offering appeared overnight between Friday and Saturday.

If you live out of the area and hadn’t heard of Saltburn a year ago, you have now. The notorious “guerrilla knitters” have made national headlines over, and over, with their topical scenes – the Olympics, the Jubilee, a naked Prince Harry.

This time the theme is more low-key, but the work no less astonishing. Beautiful seaside scenes adorn most of the length of the pier. There are donkeys, with “knit and purl” stitched on to their nosebands. An RNLI volunteer is performing a daring rescue. A mermaid, shells protecting her modesty, reclines on the railing, looking over the sea to the new windfarm off the Redcar coast. Little pink jellyfish with sequins sewn on top glint in the sunlight. An elderly man with patchy sunburn lies back on a wooden and wool deckchair, his feet resting on a little knitted blue and white coolbox. Could this be based on one of the yarnstormers, or their husband?

Three woollen beach huts are halfway down the pier, knitted flags on top spelling out “SYS” – which can only stand for Saltburn Yarn Stormers.

There are little clues, if you look for them. But do we really want to know who they are – or is the mystery part of the charm?

One visitor to the pier, who lives in Saltburn but did not want to be named, says the anonymity of the knitters is almost as important as the scenes themselves.

“I think a lot of people have a very good idea,” she says. “But no-one in Saltburn will ever give the game away.”

Elaine Corner, a knitter from Lincolnshire, was visiting family in the area and, during a stroll along the seafront, decided to come and see the yarnstorming for herself.

“A lot of it is simple knitting,” she says. “But it’s beautifully done and the way it is all stitched together must have taken a long time. I can only think there is more than one of them doing it. I think it is fabulous. It draws people to the pier because it is cheerful and colourful. We didn’t come to the seafront just to see the knitting but once we saw it on the pier we had to take a look.”

Lottie Allpress, originally from New Zealand but living in Oxford, said: “It is really nice. I’ve never seen anything like it before but we’re enjoying looking at all the scenes. It’s something a bit different to look at.”

While there’s no doubt that many visitors enjoy the woollen creations, it’s not enough in itself to bring visitors in, thinks Edna Vernon, who runs the beach shop and cafe at Cat Nab, Saltburn.

And she would know more than most. Seventy-eight year-old Mrs Vernon has run the cafe for generations and was born just metres away in a caravan at Cat Nab.

“What fetches people to Saltburn is the sunshine,” she says. “When it is raining, nobody comes.

“I do think the first time the knitting was up it did fetch a lot of people down. But I don’t think most of the time it brings anyone else in. They come to Saltburn because it is a beautiful place and the knitting is just a bonus.

“I can serve 5-6000 people here in a day and I wouldn’t say that’ll be any more than normal just because there is some new knitting on the pier. It has let people know about us though, and that can’t be bad.”

Does Mrs Vernon knit? “Do I knit? Yes I do,” she says. Does Mrs Vernon know who the mystery knitters are? “No, I don’t,” she says. There’s a twinkle in her eye. “That’s part of the thing, isn’t it, that no-one knows who it is,” she says. And that is the end of the subject. Most locals know, but no-one is telling."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cat Nab safety fears.

Cat Nab Hill is a favourite place for hundreds of families to visit each year, but fears have now emerged that the hill may be becoming unsafe.

Redcar and Cleveland Council and Saltburn Parish Council are now set to hold talks to discuss possible safety improvements.

John Clark is among those who have visited the site recently and raised concerns over its safety.

Mr Clark, of Willow Drive, Normanby said: “The summit of the hill is very eroded and worn, resulting in a very steep drop.

As children may be seen regularly playing there, it would seem advisable for the top third of the hill to be permanently fenced off for their protection, allowing the rest of the hill to be used as a viewing and picnic area. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Saltburn parish councillor Jim Wingham, 72, has lived in Saltburn for 42 years and knows the hill well.

He will now raise the issue at the parish council, with a view to asking Redcar and Cleveland Council to take remedial action.

This could include planting Siberian grasses to stabilise the hill top.

However, Cllr Wingham would oppose any move to permanently fence off the summit of the hill, which he says is a “local icon”, enjoyed by hundreds of people every year.

He said: “I have taken my children and grandchild up there, but Mr Clark’s photos show the erosion is very bad now.
It’s a local landmark and a great vantage point. There are some steps, but they were never completed. It’s a great natural viewing point.
Local folklore says it was named after wild cats which used to live there many years ago. There are also ancient burials on the south side which have been investigated by archaeologists.
It’s very popular and a lot of people go up there, but I would like to see it protected rather than isolated by fencing. Children need to climb hills and trees and learn about life.
But it’s going to be a problem if it gets worse.”

Helen McLuckie, Cabinet member for highways and planning said the authority would liaise with the parish council to identify what and where the problem is and continue to work with them in finding a solution once the problem areas have been identified.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Easterly

A "love story to the North-east coast" will be told in Saltburn next month (June).

And anyone interested in taking part in an 'acting and singing walk' from the town centre to the pier is invited to a weekend of workshops on Saturday and Sunday May 18-19.

"'The Easterly' will be a rich tapestry of stories and songs shared on a walk from Saltburn's community theatre in Albion Terrace to the pier," said co-director Phil Ormrod, of the Stockton-based performance company Switchback.

"It'll talk about living by the sea. It's a love song to the North-east coast and the people who live there."

'The Easterly.' A figure stands above the water, listening to the easterly wind. Around you, the choir sing shanties and songs to the loved and the dear and departed. How many people have stood on this pier, and longed to be past the horizon? How many homecomings happened just here, and who didn’t find what they wished for?

The Easterly is a vivid explosion of stories and songs, told on a walk from Saltburn Arts Centre to the edge of the sea. Made with storytellers and a community choir, it celebrates the spirit of the North East coast, and holds out a hand to anyone who’s ever wished for something as they looked at the sea.

Open workshops for young people aged 16-18 and anyone interested in singing will be held at the Saltburn School project in the former Marske Mill Lane old junior school on May 18th-19th

The walk will take place on Sunday June 30, starting at 6:30pm. If wet, umbrellas will be provided. The show is suitable for all ages, and the Theatre and walking route is wheelchair accessible.

The production is being produced with Saltburn Community and Arts Association and is part of the Festival of the North-east. Details from www.switchbackproductions.org and http://www.festivalne.com
Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/5847852083

Saltburn Viaduct to get a facelift.

Network Rail has applied to Redcar and Cleveland Council for listed building consent to repair the 19th century Victorian viaduct off Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn.

Sections of brickwork on the 11-span, Grade II Listed structure are showing signs of wear and tear.

The application is for brickwork replacement to the viaduct, including the repair of open joints, spandrel wall fractures on two spans and on three of the pier legs. Permission is also being sought for additional repointing and brickwork replacement as identified during the work.

The imposing, 180ft-high viaduct - the same height as Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge - is used daily by heavy goods trains travelling across it on their way to and from Cleveland Potash at Boulby.

A report with the planning application states the viaduct was probably designed by Harrison, the company engineer who built a number of structures for the North Eastern Company.

The authorisation for the line was granted in 1865, and the line was opened on June 1, 1872.

The report states: “The viaduct is of historic significance to the area as it was built to serve the Skinningrove ironstone mines.

No archaeological significance has been assessed as part of this application as the works proposed shall not impact on this area.

The asset is of local significance as several similar examples of this type of viaduct exist on the railway network.

The proposed works are sympathetic to the asset and are designed to improve its viability and future maintenance.

If the proposed works are not considered the detrimental impact could be that the structure fails, leading to significant disruption.

The viaduct’s most recent detailed structural examination highlighted several areas with “open mortar joints, spalling brickwork and fracturing”.

Top chef to cook up a feast at Saltburn's first food festival.

One of Britain's leading gourmet chefs has been announced as the top attraction at Saltburn's first food festival.

Double Michelin-starred Kenny Atkinson, who left his position as director of food at Rockliffe Hall near Darlington last month will be cooking up locally sourced dishes in the cooking demonstration area at Saltburn Food Festival on Sunday, August 4.

Mr Atkinson, born and bred in Newcastle, shot to fame in 2009 when his beef salad starter was voted the best on BBC Two’s The Great British Menu. He is currently searching for a restaurant venture in the Newcastle area but has said he would also consider sites in key areas outside the city such as Yarm.

He has agreed to become patron of Saltburn Farmers’ Market, which he visited for the first time on Saturday.

He said: “I’m very excited to be involved with the food festival and the farmers’ market because I’ve got a real passion for supporting local producers. Farmers’ markets are essential in improving the accessibility of good food.”

The food festival, run by market organiser Lorna Jackson, will feature a bigger than usual Saltburn Farmers Market, live music, children’s cookery area, farm yard petting zoo, and cookery workshops.

A large section of Milton Street in the town centre will be closed for the event and several local businesses will be involved in the food craft workshops.

Ms Jackson said: “We’re all thrilled to be hosting a food festival for the first time.

“We’re so glad Kenny is involved because he is a big advocate of local produce and also a really exciting chef to watch working.”

For more information on the food festival check out the Saltburn Farmer’s Market facebook page and also on twitter @saltyfarmmarket.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gently on the seashore...

Chart-topping star Pixie Lott joined the cast of the BBC1 drama Inspector George Gently today as they filmed on Saltburn beach.

The singer plays a holiday camp entertainer in a feature-length episode for the detective drama series, which stars Martin Shaw as the title character.

For her appearance in the show, set in 1969, she plays Megan, a worker at the Blue Bird holiday camp.

Producer Matthew Bird said: "Pixie is very excited about joining the cast and we are delighted that she is making her TV acting debut in Inspector George Gently - we know she will bring something very special to the role."

Written by Jess Williams, this feature-length episode takes Gently and Bacchus to a family holiday camp to investigate staff and holidaymakers when the body of one of the entertainers is washed up nearby. The colourful inmates of the holiday camp, from the flamboyant owner and his sister, to the chalet girls, performers, lifeguards and guests, throw the investigation sideways as Gently and Bacchus uncover a story of jealousy, ambition and the dark underbelly of the permissive society.

Pixie Lott said: "I love the fact that Inspector George Gently is a period drama set in the Sixties. It is great to be filming in the North East, and playing a role that gives me a real feel for the period."

During today's filming, when asked what she thought about Saltburn, her response was simply, "Wet, sandy and cold," - hardly surprising when the series kicks off with a dead body washed up on the beach and you're it!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

£6million scheme to help clean up Saltburn beach

A £6million scheme to help clean up the water at Saltburn beach has been announced today (Wednesday, March 27) after a dramatic drop from the highest to the lowest category in the Good Beach Guide.

Northumbria Water has announced the project after heavy rain last year meant pesticide, storm runoff and dog mess was washed into the water off Saltburn.

Graham Neave, Northumbrian Water’s operations director, said: “We are committed to playing our part to help the bathing water at Saltburn meet the new standards for visitors to enjoy."

Tough new regulations coming into force in 2015 mean that if nothing is done to improve, the beach may have to display a sign stating it has poor water quality which will put visitors off and damage the local economy.

Nick Noble, owner Saltburn Surf Hire and Surf School, said: “It comes as no surprise to us. Of course we’re worried about the signs going up because people tend to react badly to that sort of thing but until there is an improvement in infrastructure there is always going to be a problem."

Beaches' water quality hit by disastrous summer

Last year’s disastrous summer – one of the wettest on record – has led to a significant drop in the quality of bathing water of Britain’s beaches.

The relentless rain and flooding led to an increase in the amount of bacteria and viruses ending up in the country’s bathing waters.

And the North-East, including North Yorkshire, was particularly hard-hit according to the Marine Conservation Society’s annual Good Beach Guide.

Eight of the region’s breaches failed to meet the minimum standard – compared to none last year.

And after being the best performing region in last year’s guide, this year only 31 out of 64 beaches are recommended by MCS for excellent water quality - 22 less than before.

Nationally 42 beaches failed to meet a minimum standard – 17 more than last year – and only 403 of the 754 UK bathing beaches tested as having excellent water quality - 113 fewer than the previous year.

The pollution found can originate from a variety of sources such as agricultural and urban run-off, storm waters, misconnected plumbing, septic tanks and dog faeces.

MCS coastal pollution officer Rachel Wyatt said improved monitoring of combined sewer overflows and action to reduce pollution from farms and populated areas was urgently needed.

She said: “Action must be taken now. With stricter bathing water standards from 2015 and summers that appear to be getting wetter, the iconic image of people bathing off golden beaches could be at serious risk."

Beaches that failed in the North-East and North Yorkshire included: Sandsend, Staithes, Saltburn, Seaton Carew North, Seaham, Seaton Sluice and Spittal.

Saltburn's annual Spring beach clean, scheduled for last Sunday, has had to be postponed due to continued bad weather.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saltburn Drama Festival

Next week’s Saltburn Drama Festival is the perfect opportunity for new directors to stage their first plays.

And this year, the Saltburn ‘53 Drama Group Youth is presenting A Year And A Day, directed by Stephanie Lightwing, who is a member of the youth group.

At just 17, Stephanie is directing a large group of young actors in this complex and challenging play.

Set in a beautiful garden, it tells the story of two warring tribes and the consequences of their antagonism through the ages.

The play is very visual with a strong emphasis on dance and physical action, and music is a recurring theme. There is also a supernatural element.

“Two people, one from each tribe, fall in love and are killed,” says Stephanie. “The play is about how they come back together to seek revenge.”

The play, by Christina Reid, was written specifically for young actors and first presented as part of the National Theatre’s Connections Festival.

Stephanie says she was attracted to the play when she read the script and found she could visualise the staging.

“And the ’53 Drama Group has the people to do it,” she adds.

Stephanie has been a member of the drama group for several years and has performed in many productions, most recently playing Belle in Beauty And The Beast the pantomime, and Feste in Twelfth Night.

She would like to work in theatre professionally.

“I would like to be an actress and then go into directing when I have more experience,” she says.

The Saltburn Drama Festival runs from Monday, March 18 to Saturday, March 23.

Shows are at 7.30pm Monday to Friday and 7pm on Saturday.

A Year And A Day will take to the stage on the Wednesday.

Tickets are £6, concessions £5 and a weekly ticket is £15.

All tickets are available from Saltburn Health Food Shop, the Theatre Box Office and online at www.saltburnarts.co.uk

Friday, March 15, 2013

James Arthur comes home for Comic Relief to support STAMP Revisited.

Ahead of Red Nose Day Saltburn's X Factor winner James Arthur has been back on home ground to lend support to the Comic Relief cause.

After visiting CRISIS earlier in the week in support of homeless single people and helping them run a songwriting workshop James was back on Teesside.
Yesterday he visited a mental health charity in Middlesbrough, which is partly funded by Comic Relief, and he also called in on his old school in Redcar.

James was diagnosed with depression before he was persuaded by friends and family to audition for The X Factor, and he revealed that he still suffers similar symptoms.

As reported in the Sun, James said: "Sometimes I can't sleep, I've got so many creative ideas going round my head. I get the guitar out and start singing at the top of my voice until I feel any anxiety draining away."

"Music is my coping mechanism. Singing something passionately releases that energy."

Speaking about meeting people with similar issues, he said: "In my life I've had some low points, so now it's really important to give something back because I'm really passionate about changing people's perceptions about mental health.

"This project is doing amazing work and the men and women it supports are inspirational."

The group specialises in providing an advocacy service for people affected by mental health issues across Teesside, County Durham & Darlington.

The vice-chairman of STAMP Revisited, Ralph Hagan, said: "You can have all the money in the world but it's not important if you're suffering. James will be a big role model in making more people aware of mental health issues."

James also returned to visit his old school.

He told his Twitter followers that he was "Really looking forward to going back to my old school to see what they are doing for @rednoseday. Lets hope they don’t kick me out this time”

It turns out that he had little to worry about, posting: “Had a great time visiting my old school today and seeing some old faces. Thanks for everyone who was there!”

James finished his stint on The X Factor live tour two weeks ago and for the last week he has been working on his debut album. He revealed he's been hard at work in the studio with Graham Stack who has previously worked with Kylie, Girls Aloud and JLS.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dementia Cafe opens in Saltburn

As the diagnosis and treatment of dementia continues to dominate the media landscape and government healthcare discussions, Four Seasons Care Centre in Saltburn-by-the Sea has launched a specialist dementia café.

The Herb Garden Dementia Café will be open to residents and the public every Wednesday, enabling people who are living and caring with someone with dementia to share their experiences and offer support to one another under the guidance of a fully qualified member of the Four Seasons team.

Located on Ox Close, the Four Seasons dementia café will also host an interactive musical session, called Musical Minds, which offers vital interaction for those with dementia through music. Sharon Lewis, Head of Activities at Four Seasons, comments: "Most people with dementia feel enriched by the interaction and sense of connection that music can offer, so we were keen to provide our residents and the local community with the opportunity to come together regularly to benefit from music therapy.As we have opened up the café to the public, it also enables residents in our local community to seek advice and support on dementia, from our qualified and experienced staff as well as others who are living with and caring for someone with dementia, providing a full network of support."

Part of the Key Healthcare group, Four Seasons will open its Herb Garden Dementia Café every Wednesday between 1.30pm and 3pm. It is hoped that the café will expand its activities schedule to include pet therapy, reminiscence therapy, arts and crafts, and a small fee will be charged for each session.

For more information on Four Seasons, please call 01287 624516 or visit www.keyhealthcare.co.uk / Twitter: @KeyHealthcare

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Saltburn Athletic Under 10’s plea to 'Save Our Pitch'

Saltburn's footballing youngsters are facing eviction after the sale of their pitch to make way for new housing.

Saltburn Athletic Football Club’s under-10s are on the lookout for a new home after Redcar and Cleveland Council agreed to sell playing fields at the old Saltburn School, on the corner of Marske Mill Lane, to developers.

Coach Cathal Carey said the decision left players devastated and could lead to the club’s closure. He said: “Our pitch is being sold for housing and we’re being evicted.

We have used this field for more than five years for our under-eights and under-10s teams to play their matches. It’s the only seven-a-side pitch in town.

This decision will have a terrible impact on the club as without a seven-a-side pitch we can’t start new teams. This could mean the end of our club which is run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of children in the town.”

Mr Carey said the club was given three weeks’ notice that the council was selling the field in September. It sought to take ownership of the site via a community asset transfer fund but was unsuccessful.

Mr Carey added: “Then we were notified that the land is to be developed for housing. This is despite the council’s own playing field strategy recommending the field be used as a playing field.”

The playing fields had been part of Saltburn Junior School, which closed three years ago. The sale of school playing fields has been a major national issue, with the Government facing calls to protect playing areas.

Redcar and Cleveland Council confirmed it has accepted a bid but refused to say how much it is for.

Norman Pickthall, Cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “We’ve allowed the club temporary use of the land free while we address drainage issues at pitches rented from Saltburn Learning Campus. This has been extended pending disposal of the site.

Bids to secure the site were discussed at Cabinet in January. Discussions with the proposed purchaser are at an early stage and notice will need to be served on the club in due course.”

The club has started a petition to save the site and it is available at http://www.petition.co.uk/save-our-pitch-at-the-old-saltburn-junior-school/

Saltburn Schools leading the way with solar energy.

Saltburn schools are harnessing the power of the sun after 140 solar panels have been fixed to the sports hall roof.

Saltburn Learning Campus - incorporating Huntcliff School and Saltburn Primary School - has just had the panels installed, making Huntcliff the first secondary school in the area to have so many.

The panels form part of a solar power project in conjunction with Redcar and Cleveland Council’s renewables programme, which has been running since April 2010.

The programme, which aims to be completed this month, has involved a total capital investment of £700,000 in clean green energy technologies.

Other projects have been based at local primary schools, as well as care homes, visitor centres and museums.

Installations have also taken place in new Redcar buildings including The Hub and My Place, as well as the new Civic Heart, still under construction.

The Saltburn campus’s scheme is worth £44,000 and should provide power to the schools for 20 to 30 years, generated by the panels.

Heather Ollerenshaw, the school’s community and marketing co-ordinator, said: “The newly installed panels convert the sun’s energy into direct current electricity that’s then converted to useable power via an inverter unit.

Power feeds directly into the schools and means less electricity has to be imported from the national grid. It’s expected the system will deliver enough power to save the campus more than £2,000 each year and reduce its carbon footprint.

The borough council will recoup the initial investment via the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme.

An energy display will be visible in the main atrium area of the campus so students, staff and visitors can see how much power’s being used at that exact moment. It will also show the total used since installation and the amount of carbon dioxide saved.

The panels will offer financial advantage, and will also be beneficial to students, providing a unique method of educating them on the issue of renewable energy and sustainability.”

Pupil Erin Hannaway, nine, of Saltburn Primary School, said: “It’s a good idea and will teach children about a natural lifestyle and help Saltburn become cleaner.”

Huntcliff student Luke Plumpton, 16, of Saltburn, said: “It will promote the use of clean energy, create more awareness - and save money.”

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Another yarn...

Another addition to Saltburn's yarn bombing appeared yesterday. Perched proudly on her throne, complete with corgis, HRH Elizabeth sits knitting an outfit for William and Kate's baby. This new addition can be seen on the railings outside the Community Theatre.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Return of Saltburn Farmers Markets

Local food fans have a tasty springtime treat to look forward too, with Saltburn Farmers’ Market back after a winter break with its first event of the year on Saturday 9 March.

The brand new season follows hot on the heels of the popular monthly Market’s glowing annual survey results and, according to Market organisers, there’s never been a better time to buy local!

Market organiser Lorna Jackson said: “The first Farmers’ Market of the year is a sure sign that spring is in the air, and we can’t wait to get started again.

It’s a perfect time to come to Saltburn and stay all day. Wander round the Market, the shops, the cafes, the art galleries, the salesrooms, the pier, and maybe even the beach and the woods. That’s what Saltburn’s all about.”

It all began one cold wintry Saturday in 2008. Frozen to the spot and at the mercy of an Arctic blast's icy grip, Lorna Jackson could have been forgiven for regretting her latest venture.

Huddling for warmth while a blizzard angrily swirled past, she had just launched the first Saltburn Farmer's Market amid bone-chilling Easter temperatures.

It may have been a slightly inauspicious start with some customers put off by the cold, but Lorna is made of sterner stuff and shrugged off those dark clouds, worked hard, and six years on has catapulted the farmers' market into a glowing beacon of locally-sourced food in the North-East.

From its humble beginnings, the monthly market, in Saltburn, east Cleveland, now attracts nearly 10,000 people, with mother-of-two Lorna hoping for continued success.

Lorna, who is a partner in her family-run business, Real Meals Deli, in Saltburn, said: “It was so cold back in 2008, we thought we would freeze if we didn’t keep moving, but we thought we had something special, and were determined to make it work.

We could feel in our bones that last year was just getting busier and busier as it went along, and we are confident we helped about 100,000 people come into the town last year.

Such is the market's success, traders now have to sign up to a waiting list before they can show off their produce to customers.

Lorna studied ecology at university before working as a farm manager in White Waltham, near Maidenhead.

But she is a North-East girl and knows all about a seaside town's unique fabric after picking up pocket money in her younger days by helping to run beach donkey rides.

She said the market was catering for consumers' precise needs, but revealed its origins were not so straightforward.

She said: “The organisers of a folk festival approached us and asked if we would mind if there was a market.

We had no problem at all, because, if anything, it was only going to increase awareness of good food.

We were then approached about a month later and asked if we wanted to run the market for them as a one-off.

It was extremely successful and someone who runs a Christmas celebration then approached us to do a market for that.

From that point, the market has grown and grown, and it creates such a nice feeling and liveliness in the town.

People have an appetite for how their food is produced and who is producing it, and those queries are answered instantly by the farmers' market.

It is like a theatre on the High Street, it is an exciting and vibrant place to be and people are swept up by that.”

Lorna said there has been a spiked increase after the horsemeat scandal, with customers more eager than ever to find out about their food.

She said: “The markets could not be more topical at the moment because of people's desire and need to know where their food is coming from but also exactly what it is.

That is part of the reason the markets have grown, and that point is made even more clearer when you see how television chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have brought important food issues, such as pig rearing and chicken farming into focus.

The market is great for giving people the information they want and that has been reflected in its success.”

The market returns on Saturday, March 9, and organisers also hope to stage a food festival in August, with Lorna excitedly looking to the future.

She said: “I love the markets and the deli, there is such a good mix of work, but one of the best parts is choosing the products, we taste test our meats, cheeses and salamis, which is fantastic.

But I also enjoy the customer relationship side of the business, engaging with people and talking to them because we have such a great mix of customers.

We wanted to get the appetite for food, rather than squash it, and we have.
Once you get people trying and liking something, they never go back.”

Saltburn Farmers’ Market returns for a brand new season on Saturday 9 March at 9am, just outside Sainsbury’s, near the Railway Station. A popular mix of favourite stalls and special guests sell a mix of fresh seasonal fruit & veg, meat & game, free-range eggs, honey & jams, cakes & fudge, wild mushrooms, fresh herbs & chillies, wine & cheese, plus a range of local art & crafts.