Memories of Seaton Carew c1965

We would like to thank Bruce Coleman who very kindly sent us the following in response to some of the comments on an earlier post ‘Memories of days out at Seaton Carew

t14498When I was a child in the early 1950s my Father was a member of the Haverton Hill Working mens Club, every year we had a trip from Billingham to Seaton Carew organised by the club, there were about 5 or six double decker buses full of parents and children each year, we received a packet of sandwiches and two half crowns in a brown envelope, the envelopes had holes in the front and were suspiciously like the Furness Shipyard pay packets, but that was possibly coincidental!, of course the sun always shone and my father and his cronies always disappeared into the Seaton Hotel at the first opportunity, my mother would sit on the beach all day only occasionally popping to the wooden hut to get a jug of boiling water to make a cup of tea, on one occasion a newspaper had a competition, they roped off a section of the beach and buried 5 “Gold” coins in the area, all of the kids were invited to dig for the coins, there were prizes for the finders but as is usual I didn’t win one and I never did find out what the prizes were, this is a bit like Willy Wonka, if anybody remembers this occasion and knows either who won or what they won I would be interested, I should imagine there are still a number of people that went on these trips who visit this site and can enlighten me.

16 thoughts on “Memories of Seaton Carew c1965

  1. Dereck Graham was lucky in having a train to get to Seaton. I would guess that up to the age of 11 or so, he would have been on steam train. By the way, does anyone remember when diesel multiple units were introduced on the Teesside routes?

    For us to get to Seaton meant catching the hourly No 1 bus that ran from Stockton High Street down Garbutt Street, over the North Shore railway crossing and then along Portrack Lane to the terminus at the Transporter Bridge in Haverton Hill. There was a brief stretch of countryside after Portrack, but once over Billingham Beck, the road plunged through the massed towers and factories of ICI and the stink. A highlight of my journey was to see the cable-way carrying buckets of something or other, high across the road.

    At Bank Holidays, up to the middle fifties, there was always a mass of crowds waiting to get on the United Buses to Seaton and Hartlepool. Everyone waited patiently.

    The bus journey to Seaton was boring. The Tees estuary was being reclaimed and seemed flat and lifeless. Who was to know it was to become yet another huge development?

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    • We were there again yesterday Fred, it was wet and blowy but the fish chips and mushy peas were still a feast. We took the two Grandchildren into the Arcade and watched them thoroughly enjoy themselves, all the machines now cost fifty pence or a pound and all appear to make them work. They danced on one machine feet going like pistons, shoved falling balls into a hole at a rapid rate then played a sort of multiple table tennis with discs by the dozen that kept flying down chutes, I was tired watching them.
      Big change from the days we went in with a handful of penny’s and pulled handles or worked cranes trying for a prize. The sun came out and it was ice cream time, well for them I was full, plenty of people and children about the last day before school, Seaton still has its magic.
      We always got a train from Norton Station which had several stops before Seaton Station and puffed our way through countryside quite slowly if I remember rightly then the long walk to the beach or so it seemed to us kids with short legs, good preparation for walking from Norton to Middlesbrough to catch a bus to North Ormesby, South Road Lamberts Farm, Newport Bridge not opened long and then the bus.
      The rope ways carried waste from the Ammonia and Plaster board plants to the Cement factory, my father in law Tommy Wiley had to ride a bucket round the system on a regular basis to check for wear and tear.
      Those works provided a living for half of the population plus ancillary works with services, where there’s muck there is money.
      Frank.

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      • My wife who is a Hartlepool girl remembers walking all the way to what they called the “Blue Lagoon” near the North Gare where her extended family played games, ate the sandwiches they had brought with them and then wearily made their way home to West Hartlepool as it was then.
        In the winter she and her dad would cycle to Seaton Baths, alas no longer there where she taught her parents how to swim. She said they were happy times, no clamour for money to go on the fair rides, all the parents “mucking in” to provide the food and drink.

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  2. On Monday my daughter Pamela and husband David took me to Seaton Carew, it was heaving and we ended up in a disabled park at the bridge into Hartlepool.
    Pam and Dave enjoy walking and I had my boot scooter, loaded with a picnic and water, sun bloc, hat and dark glasses we headed down the Esplanade into town. Half way we sat and had the sandwiches knowing that the queue’s for fish and chips would be out of the door, sitting looking out across the bay hearing the cries of children in the water and on the beach although there is not much beach along that end brought back memories.
    My first trip was with the Sunday School from Norton St Mary’s, a walk to Norton Station by rail to Seaton then the long walk to the beach. We all got a bag of sandwiches and some pocket money for ice cream and the Arcade or Amusement Park, our Parents were with us it was a grand day out.
    Sitting thinking that was 85 years ago and my Family and I have been many times usually on a New Years Day with the dogs and Grandchildren on the beach.
    Half way into the centre we had pots of tea in a cafe it was packed with children playing on a bouncy castle and slide. On again into the centre and a crowded beach. We met people we knew stopped to talk even spoke to strangers and I offered to race a Lady on another boot scooter, it was a joy to see people enjoying themselves with their children on the same beach I played on all those years ago.
    I got my big ice cream, sitting looking out to sea with a nice breeze taking some of the heat out of the air, saw a blue light incident on the beach though could not see what caused it, the shops were busy selling the things we got, buckets and spades, kites, balls, nothing much changes.
    We set off back enjoying the sound of the sea and the smell of ozone, there are some lovely grassy areas with adventure play sections the children loving it and so back to the car. I had not realised the Promenade is two and a half miles long we had done five miles.
    There were many Scooters and bikes plus people just walking, some may say Seaton has gone down hill though having been several times this year it gets plenty of visitors and on that hot holiday Monday was packed.
    It cannot be bad when it can still give you a feeling of happiness from 1934 to 2019, and still enjoyable simple pleasures are the best long may it be so.
    Frank.

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    • Lovely to read your account Frank. I remember going to Seaton in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Mr. Brown the stationmaster at Norton seeing that we all got on the train safely. Spent many happy hours on the beach.

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  3. My earliest memories of Seaton Carew were of getting a double decker bus at the Mayfair cinema (Now the site of the Youthy) on the corner of Thornaby Road and Lanehouse Road, Thornaby. A highlight on the way was catching a glimpse of an old lady that lived in a tar paper shack that would be located near the Seal Sands Road roundabout. Arriving at Seaton and seeing the tower made me think of Butlins holiday camp.
    Two questions, does anyone have information about the old lady and which bus company ran the service?

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    • My recollection of the buses from Stockton are a United 69 to the Transporter bridge then a Hartlepool Corporation (plum and cream coloured?) to Seaton. In later years there was a United 70 through service.

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  4. I remember as a kid going to Seaton Carew on the bus. From Norton to Haverton Hill I think. Getting the 2nd bus from near the Transporter Bridge. The best thing ever was coming up the road near where the Majestic is now ( think its called the majestic club) and the first time you got a glimpse of the top of the Mad Mouse. was always so excited. Getting a jug of tea for the mams and dads from Nottorianians. Sitting on a towel on the sand while the adults got deck chairs there was always sand in your egg sarnies wishing you were like the rich families because they could afford to hire a chalet getting your cossie on and going in the sea no matter how cold it was ….. Happy Days I loved it life was so much simpler then. Going back home on the 2 buses with the smell of the sea and sand in your shoes making your feet sore lolxxxxx I wish I could go back to those times .

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  5. Seaton Carew a derelict seaside Town that has had no improvement to the front since I recall late 1945, not like Redcar a lovely example of what a front should look like, if only they could get rid of the Fun palaces as they call them, and put them out of site in some back street area. Nothing changes in Seaton Carew. I also remember the long walk from the Train Station, and the longer it seemed walk back to the Station..I remember the story of my Grandma Lakey of Tilery taking a Party of seven Kids to Seaton Carew and sick of waiting for the train told them to board the next train which they all did and finished up in Sunderland.. They had to sleep in the Police Station until rescued the next day and taken home to Stockton. May be derelict but still happy memories of the seaside at Seaton Carew, and going on the once a year trip from the Workmens Club, and my father leading the singing on the way home, only problem was my father only knew old World War One songs, like Roll out the Barrel and, Mademoiselle from Armentieres Parlez vous etc. lovely memories..

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  6. Most of my trips to Seaton were by train from Billingham. The station at Seaton Carew is about a mile from the beach yet going it seemed to take only 5 minutes to walk and coming back was more like half an hour.

    This is a triumph for expectation over reality I think.

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    • Maybe I didn’t know what to expect, but my memory of the walk from the station and back are that it seemed a long way in both directions. What a slog… might as well have walked from Stockton!…Having been that way since, and realising how short a distance it is, I’m putting this down to having much shorter legs at the time. 🙂

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  7. I remember the trips we did think its was the best ever me and my brothers getting a bag of food and half a crowns. We get a tent from the man in the hut mam sit in they all day on the beach. yes my dad would go off to the Seaton hotel till home time. This would be about 1960

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  8. We used to go from Norton, Stockton to Seaton Carew by bus all carrying a back pack (haversack more like), filled with spare clothes and food, mam always made us walk the length of the beach so we could breathe in the sea air. She would make sandwiches and buy bags of chips, sandy sandwiches!!
    Before we came home,for a treat, she let us go on a amusement ride. I don’t know how she managed to keep us all well fed she did look after us well bless her.
    This would be late 1950s early 1960s.

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  9. I’m sure this is before Bruce’s visits to Seaton, but shows it’s been a popular spot for quite a while. (1924) http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw009974

    Watch this film from a young Ridley Scott, “Boy and Bicycle” (1965, PG), to see his brother Tony visit various places including glimpses of the fun fair & roller coaster shown in this photo (about half way through). http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-boy-and-bicycle-1965/

    Lets hope Seaton gets rid of that monstrosity of a derelict building on the front soon. Don’t suppose there’s any chance of the roller coaster coming back 😦

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    • Hello Jonathan, you are right, 1924 is at least a couple of weeks before my first visit to Seaton Carew, my first visit would be about 1947/8 I have a family photo of me and my Mother and Grandmother on the sea front, I also have quite a few Seaton photos dating from the mid 1880s to the mid 1960s, if you are interested ask Picture Stockton to put you in touch with me.

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  10. Happy memories of being there on a Sunday afternoon. Now living in Cheshire I still visit and so sad there is nothing there. Glenice (nee Park) Ainscough

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