Saturday, November 30, 2013

Win, win, win...

Saltburn Theatre secures £50k in TV lottery fund giveaway.

The Saltburn Theatre Magical Transformation project can now go ahead with the refurbishment of the theatre and the installment of modern sound and lighting equipment after having secured a £50,000 Big Lottery Fund grant.

That means performers will no longer need to provide their own equipment - and will increase the range of productions the theatre can offer the community.

The project is one of four local groups celebrating a shared total of £192,128 this week after winning over the public with their inspirational ideas.

This is the eighth year that the Big Lottery Fund and ITV have given the public the chance to choose where the Lottery good cause cash goes in their region.

The People’s Millions public vote determines which deserving cause will win the contest and take the funding back to their community.

The competition first began in 2005 and has funded 596 diverse community projects UK-wide with more than £30 million in Big Lottery Fund cash.

The Royal Voluntary Service’s ‘RVS Men in the Workshop’ in Northumberland secured a £49,385 bonus award, as the runner-up with the most phone votes across the week.

The money will enable it to make a real difference bringing older men and young people together, to share skills and conversation through practical work and activities.

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This is a brilliant result for the people of Saltburn and Northumberland and shows what groups can achieve when they have the support of their community behind them."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Light Switch On

The Christmas tree at The Bandstand is now in situ and is lit up at 4:00pm.

The Christmas Lights Switch On in Saltburn is Saturday 30 November.
Activities in the town during the afternoon include circus skills, facepainting, craft activities, mulled wine and hot chocolate (with a kick for adults if you want it!)

There are activities in the library and the community theatre from early afternoon. Plus brass bands all afternoon!

Music & Fun by the Tree outside Chocolinis from 4.30pm.

Brass Neck Comedy are delighted to be supporting the event and can announce that MC and host for the Christmas countdown and arrival of Santa’s procession will be comedian Steffan Peddie – aka Hebburn star Big Keith. You can catch him at the Christmas Tree opposite Chocolinis from 4.15pm onwards.

Santa lands at 5pm. Don’t be late.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Gavel falls for the last time

John Simmons calculates he has sold an average of 400 items a week, 48 weeks of the year in his career - about 864,000 objects in total, but now the
Saltburn Salerooms auctioneer of 45 years will lower his gavel one last time tomorrow (Tuesday, November 26), and so close one of the region’s most famous auction rooms.

Saltburn Salerooms, officially known as JC Simmons & Son Ltd, has a history dating back at least 84 years and will also close with Mr Simmons' retirement.

Mr Simmons said the most memorable item he has sold was almost exactly one year ago. His team were cataloguing a house clearance, with nothing of particular value, when they noticed some old James Bond books by Ian Fleming.

Seven of them were first editions, but one, a copy of Live and Let Die, was even rarer.

After the first few copies of the book were printed, the press was stopped in order to make changes to information on the dust jacket in order give Ian Fleming credit for helping design the imagery.

The book in Mr Simmons' auction room was one of the very few printed with the original information and was eventually sold for £13,800.

“It could easily have been overlooked,” said Mr Simmons, “but after 45 years I suppose you start to get a little knowledge. Every now and again something crops up. It’s been a very interesting job, there’s something different all the time.

“I announced we were going to close several weeks ago in the auction room and everyone went silent but I had to explain 45 years is a long time. It’s not just me, other people are also retirement age."

“We’ve had a tremendous number of well-wishers. One lady who is 94 came in who said she first visited when she was ten years old, so it’s been going at least 84 years.”

Mr Simmons explained his father began working for the previous owner, Mr Dickinson, after he came back from the war in 1946. Mr Simmons’ father took over the business in 1966 and eventually it was passed on to his son.

Mr Simmons' two daughters have their own careers and family commitments so have no plans to take the business on.

“We plan to see our grandchildren a lot and I enjoy sea-fishing and walking,” said Mr Simmons, who went on to pay tribute to his wife, Victoria, company secretary, “who has been with me since day one.”

The final sale will be held at the Diamond Street auction room on Tuesday, November 26.

Britain's Oldest Fitness Instructor (probably)

The following article written by Helen Pidd appeared in this weekends Guardian

Not nearly enough exercise classes have a teabreak halfway through. But Margaret Allen's does. After a gentle warm-up and a few pulse-raising numbers, the 93-year-old great grandmother lets her charges rehydrate with a cuppa and a quick sit down.

Some of the eight-strong class look as if they need it more than others. Allen herself, wearing a thick turquoise shirt, navy knitted waistcoat, black slacks and sensible shoes, has not broken into a sweat. Despite an "excruciating" trapped nerve in one leg and a knee in need of replacement, she looks as though she could go on for hours.

The general rule is that eating directly before sport is not the best idea, let alone part way through. But on the afternoon I visit Allen's class at the methodist church hall in Saltburn-by-the-Sea near Middlesbrough, slices of rather dense fruitcake are being passed around during the break. The cake has been baked in honour of Allen's recent birthday by her 89-year-old sister, Joan, known locally as the "scone queen of Saltburn".

The ladies have barely swallowed their last crumb when Allen is up again, leading the group through a jaunty Scottish number involving lots of toe pointing and leg kicking. Forty-five minutes later the class is finally over.

Allen, a former volunteer with the Red Cross, has been leading classes in the north-east seaside town for 45 years. Not particularly sporty at school, she started playing the piano for a keep-fit class during the second world war – "just for something to do during the blackouts, really" – and eventually took over in her 40s when the previous instructor retired.

At its peak, Allen's class had more than 18 regulars, each paying £1 subs. But these days her flock is diminishing fast – during the teabreak, the ladies discuss a funeral that most of them had attended that week for one of the younger members of the group who had just died, aged 68, from motor neurone disease.

Allen is the oldest, followed by her sister. The baby of the group is 60-year-old Jean Cunion, who credits the group with supporting her through a difficult time when her mother died. She is somewhat embarrassed to admit that she is perhaps the least fit of the cohort. "I remember the first time I came, Margaret said: 'Who's that huffing and panting?' and I had to admit it was me."

Ruth Steere, 76, marvels at how Allen never misses a trick despite always having her back to the class: "She always shouts at us if we go wrong. She's remarkably good at knowing what we are doing."

Allen, a keen dancer, has never done any formal training to be a fitness instructor. Instead, she choreographs her own moves based on five cassette tapes from the BBC's first ever fitness guru Eileen Fowler – who died in 2000 when she was 93, Allen's age now.

Allen thinks her good health is largely down to keeping busy, especially since her husband Joe died in 1997. She took up writing poetry when she was 80. "I write poems about everything – some naughty ones, about boobs and bloomers – knickers to you," she says. "I'm a prolific writer. I just can't stop," she says, phoning me a few days after the interview to read out a ditty she has written about the joys of exercise.

One of the class, 84-year-old former teacher Winnie Robertson, thinks the secret to staying fit is never letting yourself go: "Use it or lose it, that's what I say."

Allen still plays the piano and gives speeches. She is president of the Women's Fellowship at the local methodist church, and is one of three 90-plus-year-olds at the Scrabble club of the University of the Third Age (U3A). She did a computer course when she was 88 and tried to get online, but it didn't work out.

Ageing is no fun, she admits, reading me a few lines from a poem she has written called That Beast Called Age. She happily recalls a doctor who saw her for the first time a few years back who said she couldn't possibly be more than 78: "I said, 'Thank you, doctor, you can go now.'"

She also has a no-nonsense attitude to weight gain: "I just think people shouldn't eat too much. Whenever I hear someone saying: 'Oh, I can't lose weight', I say: Sellotape." She mimes taping her mouth shut. "I said this just the other day to a big fat man. Everything in moderation is my motto."

Earlier this year, Allen was watching the news and saw a woman being given the British Empire Medal. I think she means Margaret Chartwood from Horley, who was given the honour in January this year, at the age of 77. "She was saying: 'I'm 80 and I'm the oldest fitness instructor in the country!' I was thinking: 'No you're not.' But I shan't be writing to Buckingham Palace."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Free parking across the borough

Shoppers and retailers are set to benefit from the introduction of free parking in the run up to Christmas and over the festive period.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will not charge after 1pm each day at any of the borough’s council managed car parks from November 29 to December 31.

Free parking is restricted to council-run pay and display locations which include on street pay and display bays and off street pay and display car parks.

Motorists are reminded that normal parking charges apply from 8am until 1pm and should check the pay and display notices at each site.

Steven Goldswain, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We realise that retailers in the borough are facing tough economic times and we want to help. By offering free parking we hope we can tempt people back to our high streets where they can see for themselves the wide range of retailers on offer.
High streets offer a mix of big name retailers and independent stores that you will not find anywhere else as well as a unique and enjoyable atmosphere. We also believe high street shopping is an opportunity to support the local economy as well as the jobs within the retail sector and we hope people in the borough will get behind us."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The future of Saltburn Arts hangs in the balance.

The future of Saltburn Arts, the charity which runs the Community Theatre and Hall and The Old School, hangs in the balance after it was revealed that it is now insolvent amid claims of financial mismanagement and irregularities.

Saltburn Community and Arts Association (SCAA) has made a loss of £60,000 over 12 months, which has completely cleaned out its cash reserves of more than £55,000.

At the annual general meeting it was revealed that the charity’s accounts were incomplete and the Charity Commission had warned one board member about making inappropriate payments to a company he owns.

Angry trustees called for a police investigation to be launched if there was any illegal activity connected to the charity’s financial crisis after it was revealed that it was board member Peter Neal’s company that was involved in a questionable £3,500 worth of payments.

A packed meeting, held at Saltburn Community Centre, voted to accept a decision for all of the board to resign and elect 12 members in an attempt to save the group from collapse.

Acting chairman Veronica Boland outlined the perilous state of the association when she gave the annual report, telling members that meeting notes and company records had been kept by a former secretary and it was proving difficult to retrieve them to compile an accurate record of the charity’s spending.

She said: “As a result of intensive investigation into the finances of SCAA it has become apparent that SCAA was insolvent. Strict control has been introduced and payment arrangements have been made with creditors.

"The Charity Commission have been consulted and written to. Advice has been taken from an insolvency practitioner and a recovery plan is under consideration and will shortly be promoted."

"During the financial investigations it became apparent that payments had been made to a company owned by a trustee. As these payments were apparently not authorised by the board, requests for repayment have been made. In addition, payments have been made to a company owned by a relation of a trustee and investigations continue in this respect.”

Acting treasurer Philip Thomson, who is also a Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillor, told members that he had spoken to several creditors in an attempt to keep the charity going and said they were going to have to close down the arts centre they opened at the former Saltburn Junior School.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman confirmed that it had been alerted to a concern about payments to board members.

She said: “At that time (July 2013), we wrote to the charity to remind the trustee body of the rules of their governing document which contains an express prohibition against any member of the trustee body being employed by the charity. We received an acknowledgement from a representative of the trustee body that they accepted our advice.”

Mr Neal has yet to comment.

Trevor's Big Night

Saltburn's Trevor Cox, of Victoria Lodge, had a fantastic time last night at Tuned In, Redcar where he received his Community Achievement Award from the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Vic Jeffries.

Trevor is 63 and has been street collecting for the charity Zoës Place, Normanby, one of three Baby Hospices in England, for the past 5 years. During this time his endless efforts have raised a staggering amount of well over £22,000 for the charity.

Trevor can be found throughout the year, in all weathers, standing in the Station Precinct collecting for the Charity. This daily occupation has ensured his recognition as part of the Saltburn street scene. He is supported in his efforts by local businesses who supply him with warm drinks. Trevor also holds a car boot stall every Sunday to raise funds.

"I do it because I enjoy it", he says. "I like to help the children and I like meeting the people of Saltburn."

Mark Guidery, General Manager of Zoë's Place says that, “Trevor is a one in a million. He is very special to everyone here at the hospice and for one man to raise so much money over the years is quite remarkable. Rain or shine you can find him out and about in Saltburn with his Zoë's Place collecting tin and he seems to be known to everyone. Trevor is very much part of Zoë's Place and we are all proud to have him as a member of the team.”

The money Trevor has raised for Zoë’s Place has been used to purchase specially adapted cots, mattresses and baby alarm systems.

One of three children, Trevor was born in South Bank. His dad worked at Dorman Longs and his mum worked as a cook at Red Barns, Redcar. "I was slow at learning," he explains, "so I went to Eston Lowfields Special School until I was sixteen when I left to work at the docks."

After four years as a general labourer Trevor left the docks to work for the Council as a road sweeper. It was during this time that his father died.

Later, Trevor took a job at Lackenby BOS plant and worked on the lift. Having left home, he lived at a number of different places until he got his own bungalow. Eventually he was offered at place at Victoria Lodge, a Saltburn Residential home for adults, where he enjoys having his own room with TV and CD player. He has been living there for the past twenty two years and is the homes longest resident.

Trevor is full of praise for the staff: "They are very caring and can't do enough for you," he says.

When Zoë's place opened Trevor decided he would like to help and started collecting money. He says it keeps him busy. Last summer, he ran a Charity event at The Spa, raising £510 and plans another event to help finance the repairs after the recent flood damage at the hospice.

Trevor is no stranger to early morning starts as he has had a part-time job at The Spar for five years delivering newspapers. "I'm up at six and out at seven," he says.

The highlight of his year is a five day holiday to Scarborough, his favourite destination. He used to go with his family when he was a child when they rented a flat but Trevor has since managed to enjoy staying at The Grand Hotel.

Trevor is interested in history and loves watching history programmes on TV. One of his favourite programmes is "Time Team". He likes the old buildings at Preston Park and Kirkleatham Museum. He also likes old churches and enjoys learning more about Saltburn Methodist and Emmanuel Churches. He is not a great traveller but says he would like to see the pyramids.

Trevor is also fond of music, particularly Pavarotti, Mozart and Beethoven. When Victoria Lodge had a piano he used to enjoy playing. "I can't read music," he says, "but I can play a little by ear." His Granddad Davis, who lived in Grangetown, was in a harmonica band and would often play when Trevor visited.

If pets were allowed at Victoria Lodge Trevor would have a cat. But he has lots of friends at the Lodge and says he is very happy. He enjoys meeting people and would like to thank everyone who has supported him over the years.

This award is a fitting tribute to Trevor from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and recognition for his continued efforts.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Georgina hits iTunes Charts.

Teenager Georgina Anderson died on Thursday - just four months after being diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Georgina, who had a lifelong dream of having her music heard across the globe, was told that she had exhausted all treatment shortly before her 15th birthday last month.

And sadly, the young singer from Marske, who was wheeled onto the Riverside Stadium pitch last weekend while her song Two Thirds of a Piece was played to 14,000 fans, passed away at home.

Both Simon Cowell and Saltburn's own James Arthur have joined other celebrities in tweeting support for a song, sung by Georgina, which has just been released by Sony as a charity single.

Following news of her death, Cowell tweeted: "I just heard a very sad story about a brave girl called Georgina Anderson. You can buy her song on iTunes."

James dedicated his CiN performance to her.

Georgina's song, Two Thirds of a Piece, is currently number 24 in the iTunes chart.

And her version of Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me has had nearly 250,000 hits on YouTube after family and friends started a campaign to ensure it went viral.

Georgina previously said it was “amazing” that so many people had watched her video.

She told the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette: “Music is something I really enjoy, something that makes me a bit different.

"I’m so happy with how many people have already heard it."

Georgina was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in July this year after going to the doctors with stomach pains.

It was at first thought that she might have been suffering from gall stones, but after a scan revealed a growth in her liver, they found she had an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer which affects just 18 young people in the UK each year.

She underwent chemotherapy - bravely shaving her head when her hair began to fall out - but the disease spread to her lungs, and doctors later gave her and her family the devastating news that there was nothing more they could do.

Her dad Paul spoke of how cruel it was to have her chance at fame and stardom taken away, but said that she wanted to leave her song as a legacy.

He added the family received 'amazing' support after Georgina's diagnosis, and more than £7,000 had been raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust in her name.

You can listen to Georgina's version of I Can't Make You Love me here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saltburn Ward Newsletter from Councillor Stuart Smith

Contact no. 07557540628

Saltburn Community Theatre is through to the finals of the Peoples Millions Lottery Funding and there is the possibility of up to £50,000 available for full refurbishment of the theatre. THEY NEED YOUR VOTE. If successful improvements to the theatre will include the reupholstering of all the seating and installing a new lighting and sound system. At the moment both are very limited and some companies need to bring their own systems along. It will also provide valuable volunteer opportunities and training for younger people in theatre management. Something for all the community to enjoy.
Voting only takes place on one day which is Wednesday 27th November between 9am and midnight by either voting on line at the or via telephone number released on the day on this website.
The Saltburn Theatre bid is up against a proposed project in Wooler, Northumberland.

A major review of all services provided by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is now underway. The council needs to cut £19.4m from its budget over the next three years, and a total of £33.8m by 2020. It is proposed to save £4.4m in 2013-14, £10.1m in 2014-15 and £4.9m in 2015-16. But to reach the three year target, the authority admits it’s likely up to 150 redundancies of upper and middles management will have to be found.
The council has made £32m of savings in the past three financial years, with 600 posts shed. But to reach its saving targets for the next six years, a report to the council’s Cabinet regarding the 2014 budget options admits “a whole new approach is needed to be adopted.”
This approach begun two years ago and centres on the council’s “Shaping Our Future” programme, where “inter-dependent but separate” reviews are made into nine areas of the council’s services.

If you have a garden waste bin the collections as normal will stop for 3 months over the winter period, from the 1st December 2013 until February 2014.

Work is well under way for the refurbishment of the toilets In Station Street. Whilst this work is been undertaken the Café Destinations have come to an agreement with the Council to allow the public to use their toilet facilities in their premises.

The trustees of Brockley Hall which is a Christian Holiday Centre located on Glenside, Saltburn, will be closing the premises in January which will result in the loss of 11 jobs. They state it is not financially viable and has been making a loss for a number of years.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Support Saltburn Community Theatre with lottery fund bid

Saltburn Community Theatre has secured a place in the final of the People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund giveaway - with up to £50,000 up for grabs.

The theatre will feature on ITV news when viewers will be asked to vote for their favourite cause.

Arts development promoter for the theatre association Wilma Gardiner-Gill said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that all our hard work has paid off to get us through to the final. We have had a number of celebrities appearing on the stage over the years and this years X-Factor finalist Abi Alton has appeared several times in the past. We're all supporting her in her call for votes."

Please support us in a cause that will benefit the whole community.

The theatre will go head to head with Wooler Royal Voluntary Service.

Two projects will battle it out on November 25, 26 and 27. The three winners with most TV votes and a runner up will then receive funding for their various schemes.

If successful, Saltburn Arts will use the cash to refurbish the popular theatre which is situated on Albion Terrace - re-upholstering the theatre seats and replacing lighting and sound equipment.

There will also be opportunities created for volunteers and training.

Wilma said: “Saltburn Community and Arts Association caters for everyone from toddlers right through to silver surfers, holding numerous events.
We are the only project in East Cleveland entered, so please register your support on the People’s Millions website and cast your vote on the day.”

The theatre will be featured on Tyne Tees TV news on the evening of November 27.

Voting lines will be open from 9am until midnight on the day, with calls costing 11p from a BT landline.