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Redcar through the years; In the latest of a series of Remember When pull-outs focusing on parts of our region, we take a look at Redcar.

ITS seafront has altered dramatically in the last couple of years - but Redcar has never been averse to change.

The multi-million pound redevelopment of the seafront, with its new sea defences and, of course, the infamous Redcar Beacon, means a trip to the seaside for a lemontop and a play on the sands is a very different experience to the one enjoyed by our ancestors.

But as this fascinating collection of pictures from the Gazette's more recent archives shows, Redcar has always tried to change with the times while retaining the traditions of a town steeped in the sea.

Since October 7, 1802, seafarers have been comforted by the existence of a Redcar lifeboat. The first, the Zetland, enjoyed a remarkable career, saving many lives, and can now be seen in the fascinating Zetland Lifeboat Museum on the Esplanade. In 1972, a new lifeboat house was completed and the Sir James Knott arrived to give - like others before and since - years of valiant service.

But while the impressive, new look seafront has been welcomed by most, there will always be a nostalgia for the past, and the buildings and landmarks which no longer grace the town's shoreline.

Take Redcar Pier, for example. Opened in 1873, it somehow survived the ravages of time, storms and even stray shipping for decades until, by 1980, only the Pier Ballroom remained - and escalating costs meant that went too.

The beach, of course, has always been a natural magnet for daytrippers, hosting all manner of activities. But behind the seafront, there have been changes too. Remember, for example, when the high street wasn't pedestrianised? The paving only came in the mid-1990s but somehow, it seems a very long time ago.

Another big recent change has been the opening of the PS31m Redcar Leisure and Community Heart, complete with its swish new swimming pool. But for years, Redcar Baths could be found on Majuba Road, until a campaign to save the building was sunk in 1997.

The changes will no doubt continue - the old Coatham Bowl's days are numbered, for example. But Redcar's sweeping sands will always be there: a golden cloak for a proud town with its own distinct sense of identity.


Redcar's new life-boat being put to the test through a series of exercises in January 1989 under the watchful eye of RNLI experts, including Institute inspector Dick Perks. This is the Atlantic 21 semiinflatable boat

Redcar Lifeboat towing the coble, The Five Brothers, into Redcar, in February 1978

Ron Dixon brought the town's latest lifeboat, the Sir James Knott, into the bay of its new home at Redcar to be greeted by a crowd of about 100 people. With a skeleton crew, Mr Dixon brought the new lifeboat to Redcar from the Thames, spending three and a half days at sea in November 1972

Christ Church, Coatham, in April 1994

Below - a helicoper flies over the seafront in 1986

Right - Redcar clock tower in April 1994

Above - Station Road, Redcar, in November 1977
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 27, 2014
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