While slightly outside of our normal area of interest , we thought we would make an exception with this photograph which may stir a chord with all of those good folk of Stockton who spent many a happy day at the seaside in Redcar. The photograph was submitted by Fred Starr who wrote….
I would guess that this picture of Redcar is based on a photograph, possibly taken in the early 1900s. It is interesting that the plate was a “foreign” import. Before WWI, Britain had very few trade barriers and many industries were suffering from cheap, but good quality imports. It would be slightly tricky to make a plate with such a relatively complex border. When we used to visit Redcar in the 1940s and 50s, most of the pier had been demolished.
As well as the train, I recall from my time in Stockton (1955 to 1958) that there was a (red?) bus from the bottom end of the High Street (number 21?) to Redcar. Is my recollection correct?
The stops after Thornaby were Middlesbrough, South Bank, Grangetown, Warrenby Halt and then Redcar.
Whilst staying at Redcar with friends in the 1950s, my abiding memory is of helping them collect sea-coal from the black drifts that were left along the shore by the tide. The thin layer of sea-coal was scraped up and put into an empty blue sugar bag. When the bag was full, it was put to one side and left to dry. The block of dried coal was a welcome addition to the coal fire on a cold day like today!
As a family we were lucky enough to have an aunt and uncle living there (near where a tank had been located as a reminder of WW I.) and their home was large enough to house four children with Mom for a week of heaven. Still have a picture or two in the family collection. Pacitos Ice-cream parlor), Sunshine Corner, The Pierrots, the Stray, the lifeboat, the pier, Redcar Rock, the amusement arcades, the naval battles at Peasholme Park, I learned to swim at age twelve during that week-long vacation.
Many other visits can be recalled – just for a day – Sunday School trips on the train from Thornaby Station – and then with an infant daughter years later from Yarm.
I think Peasholm Park was in Scarborough, Ron.
Nevertheless, I too, remember all the items you mention with great nostalgia.
When you haven’t known any different, anything over 65 degrees was “red-hot”. Mums would sit with their canvas windbreakers pegged in the sand around them drinking flasks of tea while the Dads walked barefoot along the shore, trousers rolled up to the knee, and a knotted handkerchief over the head.(Wouldn’t want to get sunstroke!).
Locke Park was in Redcar. I remember we used to hire a rowing boat as 12/13 year olds after cycling there from Stockton. I wonder if young boys ever stray that far from home these days without parents and mobile phones etc, (not that a phone would have been useful as nobody had a house phone where I lived.) I remember all the things that have been mentioned and had great times there on Bank Holidays with my parents going either on the train from Thornby or the United bus which we caught on Yarm Rd near Queen Vic School and tried to sit in the front seat upstairs.
I have a lot of good memories of going to Redcar, first the Sunday morning dash to Thornaby railway station then; buying those stiff green cardboard tickets at the booking office and waiting on Platform One for the steam train arriving from Darlington. All aboard for the first stop Middlesbrough, Dormanstown then Redcar, alighting from the train we then had the short walk to the beach. By then: All I wanted to see was: “Were Redcar rocks out”, meaning was the tide out exposing Redcar rocks for us to play on. On the beach we always sat in the same spot opposite the bandstand, except there was no bandstand? (It had Gone with the Wind)
On the beach there was Council changing tents for hire and deckchairs not that we had money for those frivolities, and, on the shoreline fishermen giving rides out to sea on their fishing cobles. There was a paddling pool and a boating lake and the Lifeboat Station. I can remember only one ship coming aground there, this being a Greek ship that hit the rocks in 1952, which afterwards had to be dismantled for scrap on the beach. I’d say three things ruined the popularity of Britains beaches, cheap holidays to Spain, the arrival in 1952 of televison broadcasting, and the weather. Redcar was the windeist place in Britain when the wind blew, and the wettest when it rained, and we loved it, and we sat there happily singing:
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Oh I do like to be beside the sea
Oh I do like to walk along the prom prom prom
Where the brass band plays tiddly-om-pom-pom
Just let me be beside the seaside
I’ll be beside myself with glee
There are lots of girls beside
That I’d like to be besides
Beside the seaside, beside the sea