Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Coastal Icon Is Our Jewel; Families Flock to Top Pier

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Coastal Icon Is Our Jewel; Families Flock to Top Pier

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK WELFORD

STANDING on Saltburn Pier, it's clear to see why this jewel in the crown of East Cleveland has won national acclaim.

The weather is cool and misty and unfortunately the views provided on a clear day, out to the flare-stacks and cooling towers of South Gare and even sometimes Hartlepool, are masked.

But, looking the other way, Huntcliff, with its smuggling heritage, is still clear as day, rising magnificently out of the water.

These aren't the best of British holiday conditions, yet it hasn't kept folk away.

Children and dogs play in the sand and couples walk arm in arm along the decked award-winning pier.

This is on the day that Teesside's Victorian pier - the last remaining pleasure pier on the North-east coast - beat off tough competition to be hailed Britain's best.

So what is it that attracts people from all over the country to the pier? Colin Marsh, 54, a health care scientist from Whitley Bay, was visiting Saltburn with his wife Julie and seven-year-old daughter Lucy.

The family are staying in a holiday cottage in Staithes.

Colin said: "I used to come here as a small boy for my annual holiday in the late 50s, early 60s from County Durham.

"I've been here once since I stopped coming as a small child. The pier is nostalgic for me because it was a must-do.

"Now I'm just trying to share my youth with Lucy..

"I didn't even know that it was still here but when we parked up and I saw it, I was delighted that it has been preserved because I thought it might have been allowed to dilapidate.

"I live in Whitley Bay now, which is in a shocking state and there are parallels that can be made.

"There the place has been allowed to go and it hasn't got a sense of identity.

"First impressions here are that the pier looks neat and smart, as though it's trying to be something. …

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