Saturday, July 29, 2006


Green-fingered female allotment holders are growing it for themselves in the traditionally male-dominated world of allotments. The top four places in the Saltburn category of the Joe Abraham Memorial Allotments Competition 2006 were scooped by women. The competition is organised by Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council. Saltburn winner was Dolly Clayton, 56, who has a plot at Hazelgrove. She said: "I moved to Saltburn five years ago and got the allotment as I live in a flat and don't have a garden. It took a lot of work to get it looking nice, but I really enjoy it as the allotment gives me something to do every day. My brother, Ian, helps with the veg and I look after the flowers."
Second place in Saltburn went to Hilary Jackson, who tends two plots at Zetland Terrace. Third was Sue Birley with two plots at Hazelgrove and fourth was Barbara Boffey, who also has a plot at Hazelgrove. Barbara got her allotment 18 months ago, when it was knee-deep in weeds and wanted to try growing organic produce without pesticides. Developing her plot has been trial and error, taking advice from other allotment holders as well as reading. Vegetables and fruits grown include cabbages, broccoli, potatoes, blackcurrants, rhubarb, tomatoes and peppers. She has even encouraged husband Tim to get involved. She said: "He wasn't that interested at first, but he put up a fence, then a shed and a greenhouse. He's become really involved in it all now."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Saltburn Valley can fly the Green Flag

Saltburn Valley has won a top award today. Parks Minister Baroness Andrews has announced the site has made a successful first application to be granted a Green Flag Award, the national standard for parks and green spaces, now in its tenth year. Saltburn Valley Gardens have been in existence since 1862 - when people had to pay to get in. Today the Council-run facility is free to enter. The Valley spreads over 80 hectares and currently includes a Visitor Centre and the Italian Gardens as well as informal parkland, mature woodland and meadow and grass land. The award has been made possible thanks to the Countryside Team, the Friends of the Valley and volunteers, who carry out a range of environmental tasks throughout the year. The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I'm delighted - it's yet another accolade for Saltburn and underlines what a marvellous visitor attraction the town has become. It also shows our commitment to delivering quality greenspace for both the residents and visitors to the area." Saltburn Valley countryside warden Neil Thirkell, who has welcomed over 500 children in school trips during the current summer term, said: "I want to pay tribute to all our volunteers, without them I don't think we'd have won this award."
The Valley will be part of the nationwide 'Take To Your Local Park Week', starting on Saturday, July 29 and plans are already being drawn up for ' the Pageant of Light' , a major event to mark the end of British Summer Time on Sunday, October 29
You might also like to read "Tea Time Dilema" and "Major Park overhaul celebrated"

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Seven-year-old Jessica Pinkney was just a fingertip away from drowning after a seaside outing turned into a nightmare. Jessica was hauled to safety by her brother Jason White, 21, after plunging to the bottom of a rock pool on a family trip to Saltburn. Moments earlier, she had been happily paddling in the stream and pools where Skelton beck reaches the sea. The spot was crowded with families enjoying Saltburn's Victorian Footballer's gala day on Sunday.
Horrified at seeing Jessica go under, 5ft 8ins tall Jason leapt in, expecting the water to come up to his waist. Instead, he was submerged and had to swim to save Jessica's life. He grabbed Jessica's finger just before she reached the bottom and hauled her to safety. Jason said: "Loads of kids were playing in the water - it wasn't even knee deep. My sister and her friend had been playing for about 20 minutes when I saw her go under and not come back up. I jumped in and went right under myself. I didn't expect it to be so deep. It looked completely safe." Jessica's shaken mum said: "I thought I was going to lose her - it's every parent's worst nightmare. If we hadn't been watching, she wouldn't be here today. Jason jumped in and he disappeared too - it seemed to take forever before they came up."
Julie said scores of children played in the water, oblivious to the potential danger. "I just feel there should be a warning sign," she said.
Redcar and Cleveland Council's community safety member, Cllr Joyce Benbow, said: "We are extremely concerned to hear about this incident. The council's resorts manager is investigating with a visit to the area and will consider what appropriate action needs to be taken. We are currently operating a beach patrol service, with bases at Saltburn and Redcar, which will offer seven-day-a-week coverage throughout the school holidays. Our safety advice is simple: anyone wanting to enter the water should do so in a lifeguard-patrolled area."
warning sign at Saltburn
21/07/06: After hearing Jessica's story and inspecting the scene, Redcar and Cleveland Council has decided to install two warning signs on the railings either side of the river, which runs into the sea at Saltburn.
The signs have been created in accordance with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute's beach signs guidelines. The signs - a yellow triangle - will say, Caution Deep Water, Please Bathe Between Flags. Councillor Joyce Benbow said, "We hope this will underline the possible dangers of using these waters, which can be five feet deep in some places and are outside the recommended bathing area, highlighted by the flag on either side of the beach patrol's base on the lower esplanade. We would also like to take this opportunity to warn all families that the sea and our rivers can be extremely dangerous places."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mercury's rising!

Sun worshippers were out in force on Saltburn beach as scorching temperatures looked set to break records. This week's temperatures could be the highest ever recorded for July and they say tomorrow could set a new all-time high for the UK - beating the current record of 38.5C set in Faversham in Kent on August 10, 2003. While Teesside is predicted to reach up to 31C, temperatures of 37C are expected across the South-east. The blazing sun and soaring temperatures saw many heading for the coast. Saltburn and Redcar beaches were packed with families eating ice creams and fish and chips. Pensioner John Laws, from Middlesbrough, visited Saltburn with his wife Celia. He said: "This area speaks for itself. The colour of the sky, the colour of the sea and the cleanliness of the beach. Who needs Spain? People will be packing up and coming to Saltburn instead."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sweet Memories

Newly opened Sweet Memories is capturing the taste buds of visitors to Saltburn - as well as locals - thanks to its vast array of sweet delights. With over 100 varieties of sweets on display in the shop, Sweet Memories hopes to re-create the atmosphere of the traditional sweet shop where children and grown ups go to treat themselves. Re-discover all your old childhood favourites. Buttered brazils and humbugs vie for space on the shelves with specially labelled jars of Saltburn Rock. Children can order penny mix-ups or lions mixtures and grown-ups can order kids party bags from just £1. Sweet memories also serves Trillos ice cream from their store in the Station Buildings.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Flight of Fear

A paraglider who injured his back when crashing into a Saltburn cliff side today told how he was just inches away from being impaled on railings. His wife looked on helplessly as John Hoggarth smashed into the bank near Saltburn's cliff lift on June 26, suffering serious injuries. He had to be airlifted to hospital by an RAF rescue helicopter and is now recuperating after keyhole surgery. While he's expected to make a full recovery, he could have been even more seriously hurt had he been snared on the cliff lift railings, or tried to walk away from the scene. John, 53, of Aske Road, Redcar, today offered heartfelt thanks to onlookers and mercy teams who came to his aid. He said: "We usually fly from Huntcliff but this time, I took off from near The Marine at Saltburn. I'd been in the air for about five minutes when the wind died and I didn't get the lift I anticipated. It was bad judgement on my part and by the time I got turned, I was right over the cliff lift and just managed to miss the railings by inches." As well as the official emergency crews, John, a Corus analyst, thanked those who raised the alarm and tended to him at the scene before medics and helicopter arrived. He said: "Everyone was amazing - the lads from the surf shop who first helped me, the emergency teams and everyone at James Cook Hospital. I want to thank them all. I'd have tried to get up and walk off, probably doing significant damage, but the surf shop lads held me in place and stopped me moving. I probably owe the fact I'm up and walking now to them. I was very lucky." John is secretary of the North Yorkshire Sailwing Club and his wife Sarah is the club treasurer. They began paragliding together six years ago on a family holiday to France and have since flown hundreds of time, without major mishap. John, who is now back at home, confirmed he aims to take to the skies again as soon as he is fit.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Chance to discuss coastline future

Residents in Redcar & Cleveland are being given two chances to hear about and discuss the future of the 45 miles of coastline from the River Tyne to Flamborough Head at a public meeting in Redcar's Coatham Memorial Hall on Tuesday, July 18.
The meeting starts at 4pm with a half-hour public presentation on the review of the existing Shoreline Management Plan followed by 90 minutes to look at an exhibition and discussion. Then at 6pm, the two-hour process will be repeated.
For more information, contact the Council on (01287) 612574 or log on to

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Harry speaks out...again

The Local Authority has declared it's intention, and indeed won awards for 'raising the area's profile,' thanks largely to external regeneration funding. It seems a pity that the motivation for the perceived 'improvements' seems to be driven by a 'get it while you can or someone else will have it' policy.
Has the geology of our coastline changed over the last 100 or even 500 years? I think not. The Local Authority signage indicates that 'until the land settles, there is nothing to be done.' (see clifftop access blocked ) Call me a cynic, but I would suggest that however much the constant surveying is costing us, the answer will always be "nope, not settled enough yet." Maybe when the tectonic plates all fuse together it'll be safe to start work. It also occurs to me to ask why such an unstable, dangerous bankside should be chosen to pour hundreds of tons of concrete on to build a fossil garden? Or could it be that R&CBC have declared their intention to do nothing and more importantly absolved themselves of liability on the footpath rights of access problem, or at least reduced it's responsibility by half.
I could continue about how angry it makes me to see the loss of the Blue Flag Seaside Award Zone, and still no dog waste bins. The apalling temporary/permanent galvanised zinc barriers that are placed in front of other barriers on the pretext of safety. Or I could get involved and try to restore some common sense, or at least have an input into the policy makers decision making process.
If you feel like I do, and many of you have already told me so, then come to my shop: Charlie Don't Surf or e-mail me
The residents, businesses and visitors that fuel the local economy and make Saltburn a unique place, deserve to enjoy it, and the Local Authority has a duty to maintain its prime asset and the undoubted focus that has always been its main selling point: THE SEA FRONT.
(adapted from an article in 'Talk of the Town)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A blooming good chance...

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Area Management teams have planted thousands of new plants across the Borough to give five communities a blooming good chance of success when judges from Northumbria In Bloom arrive this month. There are five contenders for honours - Saltburn in the coastal resort category, Eston and Grangetown in the urban community, Stanghow in the small village and Moorsholm in the village. The Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Improvement Councillor Bob Stanway said: "I am absolutely delighted at the efforts that each of these communities has put into this year's competition and I hope it brings success. They certainly deserve it." Saltburn, which won the coastal resort last year, will be the first to be judged by Northumbria In Bloom on Tuesday, July 11 starting at 9.30am, then the town welcomes Britain In Bloom judges on Friday afternoon, August 4. Each area has been helped by the Clean and Green teams in consultation with community groups, residents associations and Coast & Country Housing. At Saltburn, work has involved planting 15,200 summer bedding plants in and around the town.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Swashbuckle axed!

Summer fun is lined up and Redcar & Cleveland borough council are supporting several events in Saltburn this summer, but Saltburn Swashbuckle, the pirate themed day of fun and activities on the beach and promenade, is being axed. Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick, member for culture leisure and tourism, said that after five years 'The Swashbuckle' had enjoyed a good run but it was time for a change. He added that the council's programme for this summer would provide lots of event entertainment which would be popular with both residents and visitors. In Saltburn itself the council will be supporting the 21st Gala weekend organised by the Victorian Football Society in July and the annual American Classic Car Show on the lower promenade in September. The Bandstand summer afternoon concert events would also be given funding from the council's events team. One of the main events in Saltburn this summer will be the 9th folk festival in August, featuring musicians, singers, dancers and plenty of street entertainment.