This is the sands at Redcar.
A few years after the turn of the 19th-century Redcar, with the exception of Scarborough, was described as “the most extensively patronised seaside resort on the N.E. coast.“1Cook, Hugh W. ‘History Of Redcar — A Resort Of Smugglers | Cleveland Standard | Friday 25 February 1949 | British Newspaper Archive. [online] Available at: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003490/19490225/026/0002 [Accessed 12 Apr. 2022].
An old Redcar woman, Mrs. Diana Carter, had begun providing the first bathing machines at Redcar in about 1802. Six years later, there were twelve bathing machines and 28 fishing cobbles2Ibid..
It had grown within a few decades from small fishing village that had a reputation for smuggling.
On December 23, 1769, a report in a Northern newspaper had stated: “Accounts from Redcare, Saltburne and other places on the Clevelande coast mention that the smuggling trade never was carried to so great a height as at present.“3Ibid.
And in 1783, Thomas Pierson, a local antiquarian, wrote a poem entitled ‘Roseberry Topping: or The Prospect of a Summer’s Day‘ which contains the lines:
Let now description mark that trackless shore,
From Huntley-nab to Saltburn, thence to Marsk,
Thence run to Redcar, Coatham, Dab-holm point,
Tell how they live, and what those people do!
To say they’re honest, is to say again
What others said, and many thought before.
They practise fishing, killing cods and crabs,
A preccious Lobster is their Idol vain;
For gain they swear, they lie, and vilely cheat,
As Giants rise, or pygmies, as they will:
By turns their trades are Fishers, Merchants, Boors,
Swindlers, or Smugglers, then turn round again.
But it was the coming of the railway that really boosted Redcar’s popularity. In 1848, the railway to Redcar from Middlesbrough opened on June 4 when George Stephenson’s old engine “Locomotion No. 1,” built in 1825, drew into Redcar, covering the 7½ miles in 25 minutes4Ibid..
- 1Cook, Hugh W. ‘History Of Redcar — A Resort Of Smugglers | Cleveland Standard | Friday 25 February 1949 | British Newspaper Archive. [online] Available at: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003490/19490225/026/0002 [Accessed 12 Apr. 2022].