Redcar in old picture postcards

Redcar in old picture postcards

:   Peter Sotheran
:   Yorkshire, North
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5599-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Redcar in old picture postcards'

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At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Redcar and Coatham were two quite separate villages a mi Ie apart. Coatham was in the parish of Kirkleatham and Redcar was mainly in the parish of Marske. Coatham was also part of the Kirkleatham Estate and, as such, it belonged to the Turner family, who had purchased the land in 1623. The estate later passed to the Newcomen family. Redcar was part of the Marske Estate, owned by the Dundas family, having been purchased by Sir Lawrence Dundas in 1762. His grandson, also called Lawrence, was created Earl of Zetland in 1838 and the title is perpetuated by the family, who still maintain many interests in the area.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the population of Coatham and Kirkleatham was about 600 and Redcar had about 500 inhabitants. One hundred years later, the Census of 1901 showed that the combined population had risen to 7,675.

A visitor to the town in 1808 described Redcar as a 'considerabie fishing town close to the be ach which has become a fashionable resort for sea-bathing'. Coatham was described as being similar and 'more suited to catering for invalids seeking to benefit from the bracing air' than was Redcar, which he rated as the poorer community.

W. Hutton, a distinguished antiquarian, visited Coatham in 1810. He described Redcar and Coatham as 'two hamlets

which an age back could have been no more than small fishing places, which, instead of being known one hundred miles off, were scarcely known by their neighbours'. The two communities were separated by an open green, roughly from West Terrace to Lobster Road.

Although wind-blown sand was frequently piled high at the sea front cottages, Hutton described the villages as clean and well-ordered. Neither village had a police constabie and according to Hutton, none was needed. The people we re clean and well-mannered and the children well-kept. He did not see a single 'ragged person'.

The postcards and photographs piek up the story of Redcar and Coatham at the end of the nineteenth century. AIthough different in their styles, both had become fashionable seaside resorts catering for the late Victorian and the Edwardian eras.


Peter Sotheran was bom and brought up in Redcar. Through his family printing business he has come into contact with many of the facets of the business, social and cuJtural activities in Redcar.

The Sotheran Archive of some 2,700 old pictures of East Cleveland has developed during the last twenty years in parallel with the author's interest in local history.

1. Redear. This early etching of Redcar shows several of the town 's principal features. At the extreme lef! of the skyline is the spire of Christchurch Coatham. Between Coatham Church and St. Peter's Church Redcar stands Coatham windmill. Redcar windmill towers over the roofline of the High Street. When it was built in 1854, Christchurch stood to the south of the fishing village of Coatham and was sometimes referred to as 'the church in the fields'. Portions of the ground floor of Coatham windmill survivcd, forming a staircase in the old Labour Exchange in Station Raad for decades after the demolition of the main structure. The final tra ces were lost when the site was devcloped in the 1960's and the church and hall of the newly created United Reformed Church taak its place.

F1R ? COU 'CIL, 1922.

T,;') l~~'.v: öecnetne-s J. W. S. Lumtë y. J. E. Bau.y. J.P .. J. H. R. Tomlinson. Dr. Ä. S. Robinson. T. W. Middleditch. A. Luck, J. A. 0 Brien. W. Wa.lton

,.lnldle Row Coun~i1tors C. Harrls. F'. Senior. W. Cha.rJton. V. Morris. C. Wiggins. J.P .. A. W3.~k~r. Vl. L. Spenee. ~. fabre. J. auuers.

Po.v Ald~r·ncn~. Spettma n. W. Me:.c .?. lf. J.P .. W. Vardman. J.P .. B. O. Da v iès , J.? Ma.yor. T. Phtl!lpS;)~. J.P .. W. S. HIlI. J.P .. ëeu n f. Lonsd Ie

2. The first Borough Council. The Borough of Redcar grew out of the amalgamation of the two separate villa ges of Coatham and Redcar. Both had originally been fishing villages. The development of Coatham was carefully controlled by the Newcomen family, who owned the land. The side streets off Queen Street are named after Mr. Arthur Henry Turner Newcomen. In contrast, Redcar had developed piecemeal. When the merger of the two communities was first proposed, the people of Coatham wanted nothing to do with Redcar. Eventually the amalgamation took place and the Borough of Redcar was incorporated in 1922.

3. Redcar Council Offices. Until 1920, Redcar and Coatham had been administered separately. At times there had been serious rivalry between the two comrnunities. In 1920, the two civil parishes were united. A year later, a public meeting was held to gauge public support for incorporation as aBorough Council. About three hundred people attended and a resolution was passed in favour of seeking incorporation. Nearly two thousand signatures were collected on an official petition which was lodged in February 1921. In June, the Official Inquiry was held in Redcar's Court House which still stands in France Street, behind the Police Station. Eleven months later, on 24th May 1922, the town was granted its Charter of Incorporation .

4. A large double villa called Seafield was bought and converted into the Council Offices. The picture opposite shows an unusual view ofthe pre mises from the re ar gardens at the south ofthe building. Later, a War Memorial was erected in the front garden, facing Coatham Road. Shortly after Redcar Borough Council was absorbed into Teesside County Borough Council in 1974, the old offices were demolished and the site redeveloped and is now known as Cherry Trees.

5. Stead Memorial Hospital. MI. F. Arnold Stead lived in a large villa in Kirkleatham Street. In 1929 he gave his home to the people of Redcar to be used as a Cottage Hospital. The gift was a memorial to his fat her , the late DI. J .E. Stcad, a distinguished metallurgist, who had been one of the town's most prominent citizens. The Local Hospital Charities Committee gave ;[500 for furnishing the hospital and f105 for sun-ray equipment. All the doctors in the town offered their services free during the first year. Since then the hospital has expanded to neighbouring villas and now provides a radiography service, a small accident unit, a physiotherapy unit and a geriatrie unit.

6. Kirkleatham. John Turner, Serjeant-at-Law, bought the estate lands of Kirkleatham from the Belasis family of Billingham in 1623. The estate covered the area of Kirkleatham, Coatham and Dormanstown. Plans were drawn up and the first Hall at Kirkleatham was built within the year. The building was extensively remodelled by Charles Turner in the first half of the eighteenth century and would have appeared very much as in the above picture taken in 1909.

7. Kirkleatharn Hall stood opposite St. Cuthberts Church and was demolislied in 1954. Kirkleatham Hall Special School stands on the site of the Hall, facing the original Stabie Block. The Hall was built on a grand scale. It was described in 1769 as having a large dining room, a billiard room, a drawing room, four principal bedrooms, each with a dressing room, and fifteen other bedrooms.

8. Some of the original17th century oak panelling was retained when Charles Turner remodelled the building. The plasterwork was of the fine st quality. When the building was disposed of, all the fittings, from the fireplaces to the doors and window frames, were sold offby auction. The remaining shell ofthe on ce rnagnificent hall was demolisbed soon afterwards. The 18th century gateway still stands facing the parish church. The avenue through the gateway leads to the Stabie Block , which once contained a brewery, bakery and coach house in addition to the living quarters for the stabie lads, ostlers and coachmen. Beyond the stables. the carriage drive passes under a 'ruined gateway', built as a ruin, and on to the East Lodge entrance.

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