Yorkshire Seaside Resorts and Harbours in old picture postcards

Yorkshire Seaside Resorts and Harbours in old picture postcards

:   Vera Chapman
:   Yorkshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6482-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Yorkshire Seaside Resorts and Harbours in old picture postcards'

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These pictures of resorts and harbours of the Yorkshire coast stir happy memaries of seaside holidays at their zenith such as our parents and grandparents used to enjoy and perhaps we ourselves as children. The pictures are arranged as a journey from Bridlington to Redcar, calling at places as they used to be, mainly between the 1880s and the 1930s. We shall find out a little of how each evolved and what life was like for residents and visitors in those busy times, when travel for most meant the train or bus.

The Yarkshire coast is beautiful, dramatic and varied. lts rocky diffs are aften sheer, and rise to over 600 feet in places. Even the day diffs at either end seem imposing as the relentless sea bites at their feet. Yet rocky headlands shelter winding creeks and sweeping bays as sandyas anyone could desire.

The qualities of the coast are recognised officially by its designations as National Park, Long Distance Footpath and Heritage Coast. They are recognised unofficially by the number ofhaunts which drew vi sitars in the days befare cars and planes tempted people to go farther afield, to sunnier dimes and to the ends of the earth.

The official designations have perhaps also changed our perceptions of what was at times and in places a warking industrial coast. Most coastal settlements were for fishing, and the harvest

of the sea induded shoals of herring and Arctic whales. But the rocks themselves provided the raw materials for local industry, mining and quarrying far alum, jet, ironstone, cement and building stone. At times parts of the coast were af1ame with kelp and heather burning, alum roasting, lime burning and iron smelting.

The Yorkshire coast was also a treacherous one. At one extreme beset by the 'haar', sea fret ar fog, at the other by vicious nartheast gales, and, with reefs awaiting, it was a graveyard for ships. Even the largest harbours were small and aften silted, unsuitable as harbours of refuge. Six Victarian piers succumbed to the waves, as did many houses, when the diffs beneath them crumbIed away.

The early villages were away from the share. Not untillater did fishing settlements emerge, but few had a farmal harbour, using a creek ar share to beach their boats. Those with a harbour ar quay remained of modest scale such that, untrammelled by train rails or trucks, the harbour could be one of the attractions far latter day visitars.

It was the railway that really opened up the resarts for a wider dienteIe. From the mid-19th century railways reached the Yarkshire coast from each end. Finally and as late as 1883, the chal-

lenging but highly scenic central stretch joined the two ends between Whitby and Loftus. Thus the Yorkshire seaside resorts became the mecca for mass tourism, serving the industrial towns of the West Riding, Teesside and Lancashire.

Yet the resorts emerged with their own characteristics. Some remained small and quieto Some lost out when the coastal railway closed. Some with perceived potential never achieved it. Others attacted huge crowds. Many had mineral springs, but only a few developed a spa. Spa and sea water for health soon evolved into bathing, the beach and entertainments for fun. The seaside holiday had arrived.

My thanks are due to all those previous writers, too numerous to name, who have extended my knowledge and love of the Yorkshire coast and to those who have allowed me to copy their postcards and answered my queries: Kenneth Chapman, Gordon Hollis, Alan Suddes, Pamela Thomas and Darlington Borough Museum.

Many of the postcards lack a producer's name. I have acknowledged those that have, and thank the firms who gave permission.

1 This picture of Princes Parade at Bridlington Quay shows the promenade and gardens north of the harbour. Five miles of firm, level sands provide safe bathing and views of Flamborough Head where the rocky cliffs ofYorkshire begin. Bridlington had a split personality. Old Bridlington (or Burlington), the Priory and market town, lies a mile inland; the harbour known as Bridlington Quay developed as a popular family seaside resort. From the

1 77 Os chalybeate waters emerging near the harbour gave rise to a spa around which lodgings grew up. The waters 'rescmblcd those of Scarborough' but were 'less purgative' . By the 1 82 Os 'great numbers of genteel people' resorted in summer for sea bathing. The coastal railway of 1 846 brought a wider clientele. The track sep-

arated old and new Bridlington until the gap was built over and the two merg ed. (Posted 1908.)

2 The harbour, the hub of Bridlington's sea front, divides the sands into north and south. North Pier, seen here about the turn of the century, made a pleasant promenade for viewing the bay and ships. The harbour dates back to the days of the Priory. After frequent rebuildings, the timber piers were replaced in stone in 1 81 2 under the direction of engineer [ohn Rennie. North Pier took its present form in 1843 and South Pier in 1850. Said to be ofPriory stones, they enclose a basin of 12 acres. The harbour dried out at low water, and a freshwater ebbing and flowing well appeared in its midst. The Gypsy Race stream helped to clear the silt. Ships were built until about 1840. Trade was mainly coastwise, in farm produce to London, cattle and hors es to the continent, coal

from the Tyne and timber from the Baltic. Fishing and general trade continu ed.

3 Bridlington harbour is viewed here from the end of North Pier in the 1920s or 193 Os, the activities around it being a main attraction. Bridlington was by then a fully developed seaside resort catering for day-trippers and fortnightly holidaymakers. Pleasure craft took visitors on trips around the bay and Flamborough Head. Cobles provided line fishing. The fishing fleet came in and fisherman sold haddock, cod, plaice, mackerel and shellfish on stalls near the harbour. Bathing machines and warm and cold seawater baths had given way to beach chalets and donkey rides. Entertainment could be had at the Spa Theatre, the Grand Pavilion and the Floral Pavilion. In 1934 the Borough Council bought Sewerby Hall and grounds to the north for an art gallery, museum and park.

It was opened by Amy [ohnson, famous for her exploit in 1930 in a Gypsy Moth, the first solo flight to Australia by a woman.

4 The Priory and old town, formerly ruled from the Priory, were also attractions for discerning vi si tors. This picture of Bayle Gate, the gatehouse to Bridlington Priory from the town, was sent to Edward WaaIer, a Darlington solicitor and antiquarian. Bayle Gate, built in 1388, stands beside Quay Raad on the edge of Church Green close to Kirkgate. The west side has separate arches for carriages and pedestrians. The oak-beamed upper room served successively as the prior's court room, a prison under Cromwell, a non-conformist chapel after the Restoration, a soldiers' lodging in Napoleonic times, a 19th-century school and now a museum. From the gatehouse, the narrow High Street with its 16th-century Olde Star Inn leads to Market Place, where the stocks and pillory

have been rebuilt.

(Courtesy of Fine Art Developments plc, Posted 1905.)

5 of great appeal to vi si tors past and present, the Priory Church adjoining the old town dated from 1160 AD. The former nave and fragments of the cloister are the sole remnants of the 12thcentury Augustinian Priory. [ohn of Bridlington, Prior for seventeen years in the 14th century, was buried behind the high altar and later canonised as a saint. The last Prior resisted the Dissolution, joined the Pilgrimage of Grace and was executed at Tyburn in 1 537. The remnant of the monastic church became this splendid parish church of St. Mary, restored in mid- Victorian times by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

(Posted 1905.)

6 Bridlington made a convenient centre for exploring Flamborough Head, where the Yorkshire Wolds reach the sea. The chalk begins suddenly at Sewerby. The near vertical diffs have an unusual profile, being capped by gentIer slop es of boulder day. Viewed here across Selwicks Bay, the bedding and jointing encouraged erosion into caves, stacks, natural arches and blow-holes, curiosities to the holiday-maker. of interest to Edwardian geologists and naturalists were sponge fossils, contorted strata at Old Dor, and seabirds nesting in their thousands on Bempton diffs, where harder chalk rises to a sheer 300 feet. The Flamborough lighthouse of 1806 in the picture replaced the nearby light tower of 1674, which signalIed from a cresset or fire basket fuelled by coal. More recently,

refreshments became available at the chalk- and brickbuilt village.




7 North Landing and South Landing lie on either side of Flamborough Head. Coble fishermen could keep a baat at each to launch according to wind and weather. Traditional cobles were based on Viking longboats. Oflarch, with aak ribs, they were launched from the beach on runners or skids near the stern, and drawn back by horse or winch or simply manhandled. Stable in rough seas, they were wide, flat-bottomed and without a keel, the base being a solid baulk of timber. The dinkerbuilt sides formed a high pointed prowand a straight stern. Same villages, as at Filey, built a pointed stern for backward rowing through the surf of a gently sloping beach. Trips for fishing, scenery and birds went from North Landing, and a lifeboat station is seen here. Same caves around 1920 still contained boulder-

day, suggesting that this small cove had been formed before the IceAge.

::: .~

8 Old Filey village lay a little way inland. Craftsmen, traders and fishing families were centred at the north end around Queen Street, near Coble Landing where fish was brought in and sold. There is na harbour. Turnpike travellers used to visit the four inns and sample the chalybeate spring on Carr Naze, but na spa arose. New Filey emerged during the 19th century as a quiet seaside resort built on two levels. The imposing white Georgianstyle hotels and boarding houses ofThe Crescent fronted by Crescent Gardens began in the 183 Os. Down below, Victorian houses were built on Foreshore Raad with a promenade seen here in the Inas. Though boosted by the railway from 1857, the resort itself remained confined between Martins and Church Ravines. The open-top

tourer A]471 0 was perhaps a Model T or Chevrolet. (Kingsway. )

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