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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.” Richard Gowing has written: “I remember while a pupil at Glenhow learning to swim in this saltwater pool circa 1947 then it closed and we had to go to the baths at Redcar.”

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

The Giant Racer, Redcar

Sandringham and Buckingham Road in Redcar occupy the site of the once famous 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 ‘Noah’s 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.

Margrove Park

More familiarly known as “Magra” this Frith postcard is believed to date from the 1950s and is the best image as yet available to the Archive. This small community developed as a result of South Skelton ironstone mine being built in the 1850s and originally consisted of the two terraces of houses forming an L-shape on the hillside; between 1928 and 1933 Margrove and other local communities was closely linked to the Heartbreak Hill initiative by the Pennyman family of Ormesby Hall. The aim being to assist the residents whose lives had been devastated during the Depression; more recently this believed good works may have been had links to Nazi ideals and is still open for debate.

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka.