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Cat Nab and Saltburn

A tinted postcard of Cat Nab Saltburn, the farm and buildings prominent in the foreground, and in the distance, The Spa, and ”Teddy’s Nook,” Where King Edward the seventh was supposed to have stayed. The Pier appears to be at its full length on this card posted in1909. We are advised by Callum Duff: ”Regarding Teddy’s Nook (aka ‘The Cottage)’, Saltburn. I’m afraid that the stories relating to this building are mainly untrue. The name ‘Teddy’s Nook’ actually refers to a previous resident who collected teddy bears. When she wrote to her friends she would sign off as ‘Teddy’s Nook’ meaning the place populated by toy bears. Similarly the story about Teddy’s Nook which relates to two sisters owning a pet lion and exercising it on the beach is also steeped in legend. Most likely the ‘lion’ was a breed of dog previously unseen in this country. There are no photographs (press or otherwise) of wayward lions or royalty and in a town which grew simultaneously with the development of photography, there would be. These are just two of Saltburn’s ‘Tall Tales’ that have been embellished over the years despite there being no concrete proof of either. Unfortunately my attempts as a local historian to redress the balance will always be outweighed by the majority who prefer to believe the myth. I can’t see either story disappearing anytime soon!” He also advises: ”Just an amendment to your information, the pier seen here is the shortened version of 1250 feet. The original pier was 1500 feet long but had a short lifespan lasting from its opening in 1869 to the demise of the pierhead and landing stage in a storm in 1875.” Katharine Broome adds: “There is another story about Teddy’s Nook told by my mother – a German spy lived there during World War I. He was said to send morse code messages to German ships off-shore. My mother lived in one of the early houses in Exeter Street. At that time, there were fields behind the house. By co-incidence, we stayed in the same house, for a short time in World War II after our own in Victoria Road was destroyed by a bomb in 1942.”

Image courtesy of Ken Johnson and thanks to Callum Duff and Katharine Broome for the updates.

1 comment to Cat Nab and Saltburn

  • Paul Sanderson

    Just about every large, slightly isolated house on the coast owned by those deemed ‘well off’ by the locals – everywhere, not just Saltburn – has been the den of German spies signalling out to sea. Helpfully, a nearby beach is handy for rubber boats to land from a U-boat. This applies to both World Wars. If not that, then a large walled estate allows German light aeroplanes to land at night, so that secret meetings can be held between the warring governments. It’s no wonder Germany lost the war; the High Command spent most of it’s time over here with their golf cubs and chomping on roast beef instead of being back in Berlin getting on with business.

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