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Looking Back


Sports being held to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.


How did journalists view the developing town of Saltburn- by-the-Sea in the past? Part of an article published in the Leeds Mercury June 1887 gives us an insight into their world of words. The following was also published in the Saltburn Times. SALT BURN AS A HEALTH RESORT


Saltburn-by-the-Sea is the most beautiful daughter of a most unattractive parent. Created by the railway and nourished by the railway, the child has grown in strength with the rolling years, and still bears no blemish to betray its origin. Naturally charming even as Saltburn, the smuggling lair, long before its birth as Saltburn-by-the-Sea, it is now invested with more than one additional grace. Social life has acquired new comforts, poverty-stricken huts have been replaced by pleasant cottages or princely mansions, and while antiquity and solitude have not been banished, the locomotive, kindlier here than in less favoured, spots, has brought with its steam and its whistle the benefits of improved architecture, greater animation, and more trade. As a community, in short, Saltburn-by-the -Sea is distinctly modern. And yet, with all its latter-day newness, the town is within a stone’s-throw of the wildest and most primitively picturesque district in Yorkshire. The town, indeed, is but an incident in the jumble of hills, vales, crags, and rushing streams of which the landscape is composed. It is the one sign of civilisation, without which the infinite variety of Saltburn would be incomplete. Forsaking the streets, bright and pleasant as they always are, the visitor can penetrate almost immediately to scenes of lonely grandeur and sylvan beauty, which poets have not sung because they have not seen. An ocean that recalls in its wilder moods the rhapsodies of Byron, and a ruggedness of inland scenery that might almost vie with the subjects of Scott’s muse, are combined with natural advantages sufficiently pastoral to have inspired the verse of Wordsworth. English scenery is epitomised. Should the seashore be desired, here is perhaps the finest stretch of sand in England, and an expanse of salt water which is only bounded by the horizon; if hill-climbing be more congenial, there you have Brotton Warsett, with its old Danish encampments; and if the seclusion of a romantic glen is sought, nature and man conspire to gratify the wish. Fertilising water-courses intersect the ground in every


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direction, producing eccentric conformations and burrowing out strange, irregular clefts for the delight of all who care to explore them. Hills rear their scathed heads to the sky, and the streams that wind up the shadowy vales lead at every turn to yet more inviting recesses. Sunshine and shower affect the scene differently, but neither has power to diminish its beauty. Against a clear background of blue old Huntcliff looks cruel and jagged, but always grand; and when the sky is lowering, his jutting rocks are the first to catch the clouds of heaven. It is to this variety of aspect that the valleys of Saltburn owe their most powerful attraction.. At one moment the picture has all the wildness of Salvator; a few paces, and the eye rests upon a dainty medley of greenwood colouring, such as Watteau loved to paint. Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a model town. Provided with


perfect sanitary arrangements, well lighted, neatly paved, and splendidly built, its principal care during the last few years has been the selection of suitable forms of adornment. Excelling most seaside resorts in point of scenery, it has striven to equal all in means of amusement. The hand of man has rarely been exerted to improve the face of Nature with such skill and discrimination as have been displayed at Saltburn. Art has been employed in preference to artificiality, with the result that there is no jarring feature in the scene, even where the builder or the gardener has been busiest. The pier, which has been partly reconstructed, shoots far out into the sea, and has recently been rendered more attractive by the provision at its extremity of a new bandstand, and luxurious accommodation for the lounger. On the shore, for the comfort of bathers, neatly furnished refreshment rooms and lavatories have been erected, while the promenade has been considerably extended. During the long nights of summer there is little need of illumination, but as the season at Saltburn begins late it has been deemed advisable to install the electric light on the pier and in the pleasure gardens. The gardens have not been furnished with illuminant, but in the course of next month, if not sooner, the work will be completed. It is in this locality of Saltburn that the effect of judicious cultivation, aided in some degree by innovation, is seen at its best.


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