2014 – Redcar today

I have fond memories of visiting Redcar as a child. In those days Redcar was a vibrant and exciting seaside holiday town with arcades along the esplanade, donkey rides and, of course, the sand and the sea.  So it was a must to revisit the area.

We could have walked but decided to take the car so we could include the Breakwater in our travels. With the ease of travel, Redcar is no longer the mecca it used to be, but I was very happy to see that it is still a popular spot to visit. The sea wall and esplanade have been rebuilt, along with  a vertical pier. The original pier was built in 1871 and was 396 metres long, with three kiosks.

The pier was dismantled in stages. In 1880, the brig Luna was driven ashore in a storm and later when re-floated, the remains of the Luna crashed through a section of pier.  In 1885, the paddle steamer SS Cochrane damaged and carried away the pier’s landing stage. The landing stage was never rebuilt. In 1897, the pier was damaged by the abandoned Norwegian schooner Amarant, causing a 18 metre breach which was repaired. During the war, some of the pier was dismantled in fear of a German invasion and the final straw was a rogue exploding mine.

Eating a generous serving of fish and chips, we hung over the rail on the Esplanade and took in the view. The sea was glass flat. A Yorkshire coble1 was returning from an early morning trip out, and a few people waited patiently on the sand to purchase a cod or two. Further out to sea, the giant pylons of three rows of wind turbines could be seen, their blades turning lazily in the light breeze. Children were fossicking for crabs and starfish out on the Scar at low tide. We laughed as we recalled the times we got caught by the incoming tide and had to walk the old concrete pipeline to get back safely to the beach.

Next: Promenade 1953

Previous: Air raid shelters 1946

  1. A coble is an open traditional fishing boat common in the north.