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United Bus at Redcar 1920s

Eamann O Ruairc tells us: “The man standing in front of it is my grandfather, Michael (Mick) Magee. He began working as a driver, but since he was a very skilled mechanic (he had served his time as a motor mechanic and had spent World War I as a driver in the Army Service Corps on the Western Front) he was soon put to work as a mechanic in the depot in Dormanstown. During his stay in Redcar; Mike became deeply involved in trade unionism and in socialist politics. At some point he became the chauffeur of a Fabian MP. Whether this was a full-time job or a part-time one I do not know. Mike may have worked for the Transport Workers Union and was also very active in the organisation of the 1926 general strike. In 1930 he emigrated to Detroit where he became a key figure in the trade unions in the Ford factories.”

Image and information courtesy of Eamann O Ruairc; Eamann is also seeking further information about United Bus Company in Redcar in the early 1920s.

Tivoli Cinema at Carlin How – 4th December 1914

A postcard view of the Tivoli Cinema at Carlin How; the day after the fire! It obviously collected a number of sightseers and mostly young people judging by this view of the day after; the Archive has been advised by Bill Kitching “the Tivoli was left derelict after it burned down and was actually still in use before the fire; it was effectively the community centre and had theatre productions as well. He and other kids would later play football in the space it used to  occupy. In this photograph there is a small group of three men in the foreground on the left in front of a post. The slightly shorter man on the right with his hand in his pocket is my fathers’ father Joe Kitching who worked at the pit  and the man to the left of him with his hands together was a Mr Bayfield who was the horse-keeper at the pit.”

Image and information courtesy of Bill Kitching via Geoff Kitching.

Mr French’s House after Fire January 11th 1908

Callum Duff has advised the Archive: “The house in your photo is in fact, ‘Manesty’ on Marske Mill Lane. Building commenced on this house in 1905 and was originally called ‘The Homestead’ but was damaged by fire during its construction in 1906. Partly rebuilt in 1907 by Cackett and Burns Dick of Newcastle upon Tyne for Major HR French. The house was bought in 1919 by a Mr Hutchinson who lived in the adjacent house then called Manesty; he changed name of this house from Homestead to Manesty. ‘Manesty’ is a vernacular revival house of sandstone with ashlar dressing and is one of Saltburn’s listed buildings.

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka and many thanks to Callum Duff for the update.

Toll Bar Cottage, Saltburn

This undated postcard view of what is nowadays called Toll Bar Cottage on Saltburn Lane Lodge on the Skelton side of the Halfpenny Bridge. The booth from which the Gate Keeper collected the toll for crossing the bridge was at the Saltburn side and so must have involved a possibly windy and wet walk to work every day!

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka.

Ship Inn at Saltburn with Chalets

This Valentine’s Postcard view of the Ship Inn at Saltburn, shows just some of the chalets built around the building during the early 20th century by Robert (Boss) Welch who with his wife Ellen ran the Ship for many years. At that time the Ship had chalets to both the front and rear of the building, the four cottages beyond the Ship are clearly visible.

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka, information regarding the Ship Inn courtesy of Jean Wiggins “Saltburn-By-The-Sea – The Archive Photographs Series”.

St Anthony’s RC Church, Brotton

This postcard view from the Phoenix Series (Brittain & Wright of Stockton) shows the High Street, Brotton and the Roman Catholic Church of St Anthony of Padua, to give it the full and correct title; dates from 1915. Described as ” a modest structure built at the start of the 20th century. The exterior is plain and simple and has not been enhanced by the rebuilding and enlargement of the western porch. The chief interest lies inside in what is a very elaborate decorative scheme for a small wayside church. The church was built in 1905 (foundation stone was laid on 16th August) to serve the local Catholic community and was officially opened in 1907. The decoration of the ceiling panels was carried out by a Belgian painter Felix Beryngier and his workmen, probably brought across by the first parish priest, Father Gryspeert, one of many French and Belgian priests who sought sanctuary in England in the wake of early 20th century anti-clerical legislation. According to Minskip, the paintings in the sanctuary and on the chancel arch were added later, possibly during the time of Father Patrick Macken (1916-27). The church was enlarged slightly in 1979 with the rebuilding of the western porch.”

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka, additional information courtesy of “Taking Stock – Catholic Churches of England and Wales”


The Literary Institute on Skelton High Street

Originally known as the Skelton Literary Institute, this building stood on the corner across from what used to be Kingston’s Chemists and is the area currently being refurbished from the rough car park that has occupied the site for many years.  Opened on 4th November 1899; Bill Danby in ‘History of Skelton In Cleveland’ tells us: “The £2,000 cost was paid for by the Whartons of Skelton Castle.”; as well as much interesting information about the management committee and the control of the building. The building was demolished in January 1994. Judy Last tells us: “My grandfather, Albert Tuck, was Postmaster and ran the General Stores in Vaughan Street, North Skelton in the late 1890s after taking over the family business from his father, Edwin Tuck (who had been running the Grocers shop in Boosbeck since the late 1870s). At one time Albert was in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Thompson and the Stores was called Tuck & Thompson at that time. My father, Alexander Tuck, who was born above the Stores in 1897 often told me of watching the Magic Lantern slide shows at I believe the Institute in Skelton, and I would think that the Literary Institute would be the place he was talking about.”

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka, additional information courtesy of Bill Danby and the Skelton In History Website. Thanks to Peter Appleton for the correct demolition date and to Judy Last for her update.

The Brine and Swimming Baths at Saltburn

A Friths postcard view of the original Victorian Baths beside the Square in Saltburn; opened officially by Arthur Pease Esq., on Monday 11th May 1891. The building faced (across Dundas Street West) towards the railway station, featured a central swimming pool which was filled with seawater from an inlet offshore close to the pier. The extensive facilities included; massage facilities, private brine, douche, and electric baths. The baths were demolished in July 1976 by Blair and Co. of Stockton and the present day swimming pool is part of the Leisure Centre on Marske Mill Lane. Callum Duff tells us: ”In relation to swimming pool facilities in the town, Saltburn Leisure Centre was never seen as a replacement for the demolished Brine Baths. The baths had been damaged by a bomb in WWII, this also destroyed a row of adjacent shops and the baths had been closed for some time before they were bought by Keith Watson in 1956. The building remained empty and was heavily vandalised until the site was bought by Tarmac Ltd in 1976 when the baths building demolished. Saltburn Leisure Centre actually opened in 1974 with the building being finally completed in 1975. As a young boy I remember visiting the soon to be opened building with my parents. Once during the day with my Mum where we stood in the cafe and watched the 25 metre pool being filled (perhaps for the first time) and another time with my Dad, Grandad and Brother where we had a look at the indoor bowling green and squash courts. I remember being in the 25 metre pool and looking out through the window to see workmen cladding the rest of the roof.”

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka and additional information courtesy of ’Saltburn-By-The-Sea Revisited’; thanks also to Callum Duff for the additional information.

The Giant Racer, Redcar

Sandringham and Buckingham Road in Redcar occupy the site of a Pleasure Park in Redcar; this amusement park which opened in 1924 included rides such as  ‘River Caves’, ‘The Whirlpool’, ‘The Scenic Motors’, ‘The Autocars’, as well as a skating rink, ‘Hilarity Hut’ and ‘Noahs Ark’. The main ‘event’ was the wooden roller coaster known as the ‘Giant Racer’ which is shown on this postcard by A. E. Graham of Redcar and dates from 1930s. The park closed in 1938 when the 15 year lease lapsed, the Racer was dismantled and moved to at Sheerness; but its life was short-lived owing to the outbreak of war.

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka.

St Aidan’s Church, Boosbeck

This hand-tinted postcard from the Phoenix Series showing St Aidan’s church, Boosbeck (and the vicarage beyond) can be dated to post 1904; researches provide the following description: St Aidan’s Church is a cruciform building of stone in the Norman style, erected in 1900; from designs by Messrs. Hicks and Charlwood, architects, at a cost of £4,000 and consists of a chancel, nave, transepts, west porch and a turret containing one bell: there being seating for 410. The site for the church and church yard was given by W.H.A. Wharton esq. of Skelton Castle, and the site for the vicarage by the late R.P. Petch esq., the vicarage house was erected in 1904, at a cost of £1,900. The separate ecclesiastical parish of Boosbeck was formed 13th December, 1901, the church was consecrated 29th October 1901; today the parish of Boosbeck retains the church which with Lingdale is part of the parish of Skelton.

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka.

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