24 August, 2013


Redcar is a fading seaside town with the major hotel (the Coatham) transformed into flats. Never built for high-class visitors it was the resort for the steel workers and miners of Middlesbrough and Northern North Yorkshire. The resort may well have had a steady and slow death had the council not thought to actually spend some money on it. The day I visited was foggy and damp but there were some new things going for the town. The lovely sandy beaches are not really enough for today's tourist: there must be something else. And here we have it: the Redcar Vertical Pier.  This is really a 25m observation platform.
I couldn't see much from it the day I called but on a clear day it must be an impressive view. The colours are bold using purples and yellows (ticks all the boxes in my view) and has space for micro businesses in the craft industry. There is a stained glass workshop in one of the rooms. This observation platform is complemented by...
The Hub which is a place for creative and digital industry replacing a disused cinema. All that was in there when I called was an art gallery, and although there were some interesting pieces there was nothing to induce me to buy. Backing up this stuff is also Tuned in! Redcar's centre for young people which has facilities to develop their musical and dramatic talents.
Alas the vertical pier has generated controversy and has even been put up for a carbuncle award. I think they should ignore the knockers and give themselves a pat on the back for embracing the future and actually spending some money on a very run down and tatty resort. Redcar also has it's history. The world's oldest lifeboat is in the town. The Zetland lifeboat saved lives at sea and is preserved in the old lifeboat station. There is also an exhibition about lifeboats and the sea generally with some goss ware with the Redcar arms collected by a lady.

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