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Kettleness, On the Rocks

Low tide in Runswick Bay, looking eastwards, beyond Claymoor Beck, with the headland of Kettle Ness in the background; the cliffs and headland have been shaped by the alum  quarries.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris (from a Tom Watson postcard).

Kettleness Station

Kettleness Station, as it was early last century.  It dates back to the 1880s, was intended principally for tourists and visitors, and had passing loops with two platforms so that passenger trains could pass here.  The line closed in 1958. The building and grounds are a Scout Activity Centre, leased from the Marquis of Normanby, and opened in 1964.

Image (from a Tom Watson postcard) courtesy of Beryl Morris.


On 17th December, 1829, the village and alum works were destroyed by subsidence of the cliff after torrential rain.  The villagers were rescued and taken aboard an alum ship, ’Little Henry’, that was anchored in the bay.  The alum works resumed production two years later.

This view, dating from the early 1900s from a postcard by Tom Watson, is taken from the footpath at Scratch Alley and looks north east, over the old chapel (originally the mission church of St John the Baptist, built in 1872) and railway station.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris for the image.  

Old Village, Runswick

The writer of this card started by asking, ”Don’t you think this a lovely view of Runswick Bay?”  The card was posted on February 1st, 1905.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris.

Rough Sea at Runswick

This stormy view of Runswick Bay is an ”Oilette” regd. postcard.  Unfortunately I can’t make out the name of the publishers because it has been written over, but they were ”Publishers to their majesties The King and Queen.”  It was posted on March 20th, 1905.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris.

Runswick Bay

The old road into the village can be seen in this postcard view of Runswick Bay, posted in April, 1905.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris.

Runswick – The Lifeboat

In this painting of the lifeboat at Runswick Bay by W. Gibson we can see the new lifeboat house that was built in 1910, on the beach. 

On October 29th, 1910, a new lifeboat was sent to Runswick.  She was a 35ft self-righter and was named the ’Hester Rothschild’ and served at Runswick until 1933, being involved in 31 services and saving 114 lives.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris, information from ”The Story of The Staithes and Runswick Lifeboats” by Jeff Morris.


This more intimate view of Runswick and some of the villagers comes from a postcard posted on 5th August, 1919, to wish ”Many Happy Returns” to a Mrs. Morris at East Loftus.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris.

The Oldest House in Runswick

In 1682 the whole village, except one house, dropped into the sea.  I don’t know if this was it.  Fortunately the villagers were roused and managed to evacuate their homes before they slid into the sea.

Image courtesy of Beryl Morris, published by George Trueman, Whitby.

Runswick Bay

A view of Runswick Bay, nestled under it’s cliffs, photographed by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.  A popular place – like Staithes, with artists; a school of artists used to live and work here in Victorian times.

Image from ”Photographic View Album of Whitby” – photographed for and printed by Valentine & Sons Ltd., Dundee.