COATHAM – Pier (editorial)
Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 31/03/1871.
In the leading columns our contemporary, the Redcar and Saltburn News, of the 11th ult., the following sentence occurred in an article on the proposed Piers: “We hail with the heartiest satisfaction the announcement that an order is to be proceeded with for a Pier at the east end of Redcar, for the benefit of the Redcar fishermen, who are to have the free use of it at all times and for all purposes.” In our impression of the 18th ult., we corrected this erroneous statement, giving at the same time the authority on which our collection was based, viz stop, two clauses of the Redcar Pier Order. This brief statement of facts has upset the equilibrium of our contemporary, and last week he falls foul of us for daring to call in question what he had advanced, facts notwithstanding; those strangely enough, in the latter portion of his article he fully admits the facts themselves.
The tone and style of our contemporary’s lucubration’s carrying as they do there own condemnation, and recoiling on the writer, who mistakes vituperation for argument, and assertions for facts. Suffice it to say that by dint of stultifying himself he has endorsed our conclusions, and demonstrated the folly of attempting to prove that black is white, or that two and two make five.
The facts are very plain, and our deductions equally plain. Our contemporary is very angry because we showed that if, as he said, the fishermen had the use of the Pier “for all purposes,” they might and probably would use it for landing fish; and he roundly asserts that he never mentioned a word about fish, which latter may be true; but to the common mind the idea was compared that if the Pier could be used for all purposes it could be used for landing fish. Yet our contemporary says “we never for a moment thought they would be allowed to land fish, for the idea is an absurdity. We are glad our contemporary sees this; but notwithstanding his clear-sightedness and the absurdity of the idea, it had obtained a certain hold on the public mind. We deemed it necessary to explode it, and our contemporary, whilst allowing the fact, is angry. Furthermore, he charges the promoters with double-dealing, and says, having got all they wanted from the fishermen, they now turn round and tell them they have been sold; that the promoters held out (unreadable) promises to the fishermen, have hoodwinked them, and “treated them in anything but a proper spirit.” We have good reason to believe that the promoters did not think of the kind, for the fishermen never demanded any unreasonable use of the Pier, and are perfectly well aware of their interests are cared for; and they perfectly understand their own position in this matter, if others do not. The fishermen have no grievances whatsoever, and they are the last men in Redcar who would willingly interfere with the pleasure of visitors, for they have substantial reasons for promoting whatever will conduce to their pleasure and recreation stop the precarious livelihood of the fishermen’s materially increased in summer by the numerous boating parties formed by the visitors who annually crowd to the seaside. The existence of the Pier will bring more visitors and the more visitors the more boating. Hence the benefit of the Pier to the fishermen will arise from the increased use of their boats, and other collateral advantages, and not from any actual use of the Pier, except under stress of weather or other occasional circum-stances, when it is fully understood that they will have the free use of the Pier.