Tynemouth in old picture postcards

Tynemouth in old picture postcards

:   Eric Hollerton
:   Tyne & Wear
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3496-5
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Tynemouth in old picture postcards'

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19. The distinctive strata of the cliffs identify them as Sharpness Point, even without the presence, on the horizon, of the Tynemouth Priory ruins, and the lighthouse at the end of the Tyne North Pier. The trippers are strolling the beach in the 'liberated' twentieth century. When the Tynemouth Corporation leased the Long Sands from the Duke of Northumberland in 1862, they divided the beach up with marker posts, in the interests of public decency. This southem section was allocated to female bathers only. There was a stretch of beach 100 yards wide, between them and the portion of sand to be used by males, to be kept free of all bathers.

20. Towards the turn of the century mass-produced, reliable bicycles introduced many thousands to a new form of reereatien. The 'scorching' cyclist became a terror to other road users. The habit of furious riding was loudly deplored by a growing number of cycle clubs, which favoured massed runs in the countryside, as weIl as individual pleasure in the sport. Cycle clubs became an important part of the sociallife of most towns. The Borough of Tynemouth supported a number of clubs, including one for tricycles. From time to time they held parades, like the one seen on the Grand Parade at Tynemouth, during which charitable collections were taken.

21. A perennial question asked by visitors to Tynemoutb relates to the large iron structure on the Long Sands. It is, in fact, the boiler of the Swedish vessel, 'Sjovik' , which came ashore in bad weather during the Great War, and stuck fast on the beach. The inhabitants of Tynemouth, and the neighbouring village of Cullercoats, which can be seen in the background, are said to have hurried away with the cargo of timber. It kept many a home warm that winter. The wreck was broken up on the beach, and most of the salvage was taken away. The boiler, however, had filled with sand and proved impossible to lift.

22. When the local Council permitted bathing-machines and a few refreshment booths on the beach, other recreations followed. The photograph, which probably dates from the 1890s, shows the beach black with tourists, and there is plenty to occupy them. Dominating the scene, as always, is the Plaza. Clustered on the beach are ranks of bathingmachines, fronted by a number of booths selling teas and souvenirs. There are several rows of swing-beats, or 'Shuggy-shoes', as they are known locally. The wooden horses on the cart perhaps belong to the roundabout, which is described as the latest novelty. A large placard advertises the Switchback. which stood in front of the Plaza.

23. Early in the nineteenth century the Fry and Linkleter families were involved in the provision of bathing facilities, lodgings and refreshments. The Frys were already established in Prior's Haven when James Linkleter married their daughter, Sarah, in 1841. She had her own fleet of bathing-machines, which her husband, an active inventor, redesigned when they moved to the Long Sands in the 1850s. The North Pier works must have affected their trade there. Both families had stalls in the line of refreshment booths, to the left, and shared responsibility for the safety of bathers. In the foreground is the Aerial Flight, a Linkleter venture. One small boy can be seen sliding down the steel cables, and another is about to launch himself from the platform.



24. From the southern tower ofthe Plaza it was possible to see one of Tynemouth's open-air theatres. Sadly for the cast, none of the seats seem to be occupied. The audience are massed at the back, possibly to get away before the advent of the collecting-box, which was so necessary to the old pierrots, or concert parties. There used to be a number of these theatres. One was in Tynemouth Park, where a minstrel troupe was found to be charging for Corporation seats. At least one was built to the north of the Plaza, and to the south was the stage in this picture. Another, less permanent, was on the grass banks in the centre.




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25. In 1907, Mister Graham, owner ofthe struggling Tynemouth Palace, attempted to control his competition by offering to take over the concert party theatre, and move it to the north. He intended that it be re-erected between the Public Shelter, which had been the skating rink, and the Palace. The Council, however, refused, and leased the stage to another concert party manager. Local residents remember that in later years this stage was erected on Mister Graham's site. In this show two women are giving an exhibition of boxing. The theatre was only short-lived, being blown down in a gale.

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26. William Hunter, having had a successful season with his pierrot troupe at Tynemouth in 1905, sought to return in the following year. At first the Council tried to take a lease on the field at the south of Tynemouth Park, to house his show, but the Duke of Northumberland's agent refused to allow the tenant to sub-let. Accordingly the Borough Surveyor had a small, but sturdy, stage put up, just to the south of the Palace, much to the chagrin of its owner. There were also complaints that members of the cast were pursuing visitors into the nearby shelter, seeking contributions. The following seasons were disastrous, and the stage was demolished at the end of 1910.

27. At the turn of the century the local Council decided that there should be no pierrots on the seabanks, but minstrel troupes were encouraged to play in Tynemouth Park bandstand. Later a platform was built for them in an enclosed tennis court. This stage was demolished at the end of 1904, and in the summer of 1905 William Hunter's Pierrots had a stand on the sea-banks, at the bottom ofPercy Park Road. He must have impressed the Councillors, because for the 1906 season they built the stage for him next to the Plaza. Following a bad season in 1908, Will Hunter refused to lease the stage again, unless the Council provided a canvas cover. His successor lost heavily on the 1909 season.

28. From Sharpness Point the photographer has captured many of the sea-side amusements available at Tynemouth in the mid-1920s. As ever, the Plaza dominates the sky-line. The picture would have been taken at about the time its name was changed from Tynemouth Palace. On the bankside to the left is the wood and canvas theatre which stood at the bottom of Percy Park Road. A number of troupes played there, perhaps the best remembered locaUy being that of Victor Merrow, in 1933. Brown and Merrow were the proprietors of the Howard Hall cinema in nearby North Shields. In the foreground is the Open Air Pool, seen not long after it opened in 1925.

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