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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69. Following the opening up of a one hundred yard wide gap in the North Pier, in January 1897, a contract was let to Sir J ohn J ackson in October 1898, to build a new, straight pier. The new section was to be added from approximately half-way along the old curved pier. Concrete blocks, faced with stone, were constructed in Prior's Haven and carried out along the pier to be set in place by giant cranes. In the photograpfh a Titan crane is erecting a Goliath crane on gantries. It was decided to leave the old pier in position for as long as possible, in order to provide a breakwater whilst building the new pier.

70. Taken shortly after it was completed, the photograph shows the new North Pier, as seen from Prior's Haven. With modern techniques, and the shelter provided by the ruins of the old pier, it was possible to effect the junction of the old and new piers by the summer of 1906. The ruins were Iargely cleared away during 1907. The end of the new pier was finished earIy in 1907, but the old lighthouse was allowed to stand until the new one was built. It was commissioned in 1908, and the old light was demolisbed by the end of the year. Swelling of the mortar canted the upper works, and delayed completion of the pier untill909.

71. The Tyne has seen many hundreds of ships pass through the piers, but one ofthe most famous and best loved was the Cunard liner 'Mauretania'. She was laid down at the Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson shipyard, Wallsend, in 1905, and launched in September 1906. At the time she was the biggest ship ever built, and one of the fastest. 'Mauretania' went into service in 1907, and for twentytwo years held the speed record for Atlantic crossings, only losing it to the new German liner 'Bremen' in 1929. Here she is seen returning from her trials, passing the North Pier in the short period when it had two lighthouses.

72. Early in the afternoon of 5th September 1903, thirteen lifeboats were towed into Prior's Haven. They were watched by thick crowds on the North Pier, and many others on the beach and at the Spanish Battery. The occasion was Lifeboat Saturday, a fund-raising event for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Amongst the boats present was the 'Willie Wouldhave', from South Shields, which commemorated the North Shields native who invented the first self-righting lifeboat, in 1789. The organisers must have been sadly disappointed, as the estimated 100,000 spectators contributed just f89 13s. 6d.

73. At the beginning of the nineteenth century Tynemouth's principal bathing beach was at Prior's Haven. It was particularly attractive to those who spent most of the year in the smoke and grime of the Tyneside towns. In his description of northem spas, published in 1841, Doctor A.B. Granville stated that he had never seen anything less inviting, it being a confined space, fuIl of sharp rocks, with a few straggling bathing-machines and a small old bath house. Many, however, preferred the shelter offered by the cliffs, even before the pier was built. Even the years of disturbance caused by the pier did not deter visitors. The railway from Tynemouth goods yard continued long after the pier was completed.



74. Away down yonder on the beach, The village boatman stands; The boatman a jokey man is he, With lots of curious yams; For such like stories suit the folk That loiter on the sands. Week in, week out, from mom till night, He paces to and fro; You can hear him ask the trippers, Ifthey'll kindly take a row. 'The Village Boatman' was dedicated to Thomas Ferguson, pictured in 1896, in Prior's Haven. He was a dredger master for the Tyne Improvement Commission, but gave up the work for pleasure boating. Mister Ferguson was well-known on the sands as a teller of sea stories, and was greatly missed after his death in 1901.

75. In the 18908 Prior's Haven had taken on a crowded look. The building with the tall chimney was the Sea Water Bath, which existed from 1807 to about 1894, to provide visitors with hot, cold, and shower baths, without the necessity of entering the sea. Originally water was drawn from the bay by means of a horse-mill. For rnany years it was associated with the Bath Hotel, Front Streel. The building with a flagstaff was the boathouse of the Tynemouth Rowing Club, established in 1867. The slipway leads to the lifeboat house, to which a small rnortuary for those found drowned, was added in 1864. The first National Lifeboat Institution craft arrived there in 1862. In the background is a gantry for the pier works blockyard.

76. lts sheltered position between the castle and the Spanish Battery has always made Prior's Haven a favoured pleasure beach. The lawns in the background held the Sea Water Baths until the 18908, and for those who preferred the water in its natural state, there were bathing-machines and covered boats. For many years the Fry family dominated the sea-bathing and pleasure boat trade in the Haven, but in the mid-1860s a group of local gentlemen decided to provide their own craft. The Tynemouth Rowing Club was formed, and held its first competitions in August 1867. At the time the boathouse, a cruciform building to the left, was still being built.

77. Tynemouth Amateur Swimming Club had their photograph taken during the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, on 22nd June 1897. The club was formed in 1875 to promote the 'science and art of natation', It was claimed that they had an advantage over other swimming clubs, in the membership of P.J. Messent, the Engineer to the Tyne Improvement Commission. At first they were allowed to change in one of the North Pier arches, and later their hut was built on the pier, giving easy access to safe water. Over the years the Club's swimming masters taught many hundreds of Tyneside children.

78. The winning water polo teams of the Tynemouth Amateur Swimming Club sat amongst the seaweed and posed for W.W. Fry on 27th August 1895. John William Moore, seated at the back, wearing a dark moustache, was one ofthe Club's earliest swimming masters. He had a large printing works in North Shields, but in his spare time he was tireless in bis efforts to encourage young people to learn how to swim. At first, lessons were held from the dressing rooms at the foot of the North Pier, far enough down Prior's Haven to have shallow water outside the door. In 1907 the Club took over a salt water reservoir in North Shields, and Mister Moore transferred the lessons there.

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