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Silcoates School, Saltburn

When first viewed this ‘Gem’ postcard image entitled as “Silcoates School Saltburn” caused great discussion at the Archive, but after careful study and some research discovered that the building is the former Convalescent Home on the end of Marine Parade. Saltburn House as it is now known was opened in 1872 at a cost of £12,000 by Messrs Pease as a Convalescent Home for their workers. The home became a temporary base for Silcoates School in Wakefield after it burnt down in 1904. The rebuilt school, still open at the time of writing, offers assisted aid to pupils with what is known as the ‘Saltburn Bursary’ in memory of the link with the town. The house was later sold to the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union (“the CIU”), which converted it into a convalescent home for club members, one of several around the country. Its “residents” usually came, from all the major working-class areas of the UK, for subsidised two-week breaks. They were easy to recognise from the yellow button badges they were issued by the “Superintendent” on arrival. Subsequently bought by Hayes Working Men’s Club it has since been renamed “Saltburn House” in 2014. Tony Nicholson tells us: “W.T. Stead, the great Victorian journalist, attended Silcoates School in Wakefield between 1862 and 1864 and wrote about his time there. He was still alive in 1904 and may well have written about the school moving to Saltburn. His brother was a chemist based on Teesside and the Stead Memorial Hospital was named after him, so the family had connections with the area.” Further information courtesy of Callum Duff: “William Thomas Stead died on 15th April 1912; he was a passenger on RMS Titanic.”

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka, thanks to Tony Nicholson and Callum Duff for the updates.

4 comments to Silcoates School, Saltburn

  • Tony Nicholson

    Fascinating. I didn’t know the school was based in Saltburn for some time. W.T. Stead, the great Victorian journalist, attended Silcoates School in Wakefield between 1862 and 1864 and wrote about his time there. He was still alive in 1904 and may well have written about the school moving to Saltburn. His brother was a chemist based on Teesside and the Stead Memorial Hospital was named after him, so the family had connections with the area.

  • Callum Duff

    W.T Stead died on 15 April 1912 as a passenger of RMS Titanic.

  • 117 years ago today 13/4/21 that Silcoates School burnt to the ground before moving to Saltburn while the school was re built…during this time pupils played sport locally and played cricket versus the Staithes Gentlemen…The School is pleased to support the RNLI at Staithes and Runswick…crew members in this far off days probably made up part of the cricket team !

  • David Parry

    What a great photograph. Although I knew about Silcoates’ ‘exile’ to Saltburn I’d never seen a photograph of the building used by the school at that time. Does the Saltburn Bursary still exist?
    I visited Silcoates a couple of weeks ago having been a pupil there between 1957 and 1965. Good to see the main buildings still there including the chapel, hall and (now former) HM’s house. Very sad to see that the rugby fields are now a housing development and the fives courts have disappeared. The centre of Wakefield looked pretty down at heel. I was delighted, however, to see a memorial plaque in the Cathedral to Dr Percy George Saunders, Cathedral Organist from 1946 to 1970 and the school’s music master while I was in Silcoates.

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