COATHAM – Hotel 1870
The former Coatham Hotel is still situated at the West end of Redcar being built in 1870, known then as the Coatham Hydro (underground stream) The builder certainly knew how to build impressive buildings. Its not know n by many people, but the hotel was never finished, with cash supposedly running short before one of the two wings could be built. (To look at the former hotel from the front it does look a little odd). The hotel had its own water supply from an underground stream. At the rear it had numerous stabling facilities. The impressive entrance to the hotel, with its large doors and entrance, matched the spacious interior with its entrance foyer; open flowing staircases, ballroom, dining room, and beautiful decor, with furnishings to match. Everything about the hotel seemed large and spacious, as though expense did not matter. The addition of the flat building to the East came later, and introduced another ballroom called the Windsor Ballroom. The then owner Charles Amer built this. It was a spacious building with dance floor, stage area, and complete with bar facilities.
Beneath the Windsor ballroom he also built a bar, which was called ‘The Grotto’. The land on which it stood was formerly a Palais de Dance Tea Room, and then became an O Kay Automatics Amusement Arcade. Charles Amer managed them both, but in the early days he would leave the hotel, and take his band, to be resident orchestra at Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Filey during summer months. The Windsor Ballroom in the late 1950’s became the centre of Redcar with its Saturday dances, where people came from all over the area. Many buses were waiting outside at midnight to get the patrons home. The same ballroom became the home of the world renown Redcar Jazz Club held on a Sunday evening.
The Jazz Club became the focal point for the visits of world jazz musicians, bands, singers, such as Ronnie Scott, Cleo Laine, Johnny Dankworth, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, Rod Stewart, Chris Rea, Eric Clapton, Mark Bolan, Zoots Money, Long John Baldry, Roger Daltry, Keith Moon, Pete Townsend, Georgie Fame, The Settlers, Alan Price, Swinging Blue Jeans, Joe Cocker, Eric Delaney, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and hundreds more…
Remember, were you there? Happy days.
Initially The Jazz Club moved from the Royal Hotel, Redcar, and opened in the Windsor Ballroom November 13th.1960. Following the demise of the Jazz Club, the hotel seemed to lose its popularity, with the hotel struggling like other North East Seaside towns. The hotel eventually closed, and was sold to the British Steel Corporation, which in turn sold the building on. It passed through two other companies until eventually the hotel was converted to private flats and called Regency Mansions. The more expensive flats facing the magnificent Tees Bay to the front were much sought after, with the hotel soon selling all the flats. The Windsor Ballroom eventually was taken over by a Health Club. That has now closed and this part Windsor Ballroom is now empty.
Here at Redcar Past and Present it’s true when we say,
“The Coatham Hotel and the Windsor Ballroom hold a great deal of happy and nostalgic memories” to a lot of people around the world.
July 10, 2011 Buildings