REDCAR – Whit 1935 Weekend

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 15/06/1935

Redcar’s Whitsun Week-End 1935.



   Last Saturday a miraculous transformation took place in Redcar. At twelve o’clock in the morning all was silent and strolling through the High Street, the usual quietness of a peaceful little seaside town could be observed. But it was the calm before the storm.
When I strolled through the High Street three hours later (writes a “Standard” reporter) I could hardly believe my own eyes. I could not believe that I was in sleepy, tranquil Redcar. Our little coastal town had changed into a surging metropolis; buses, crowded with passengers dashed through the streets in mad haste and there were crowds of strange faces everywhere,

   I pushed my way down the road I knew as High Street but I could not recognise it. It was more like Bond Street. I saw a well known Redcar terrier crouching shyly in a corner gazing with astonishment at the crowds. I felt just like a little terrier, I was a stranger in a strange town.
The Whitsuntide has indeed been a record one. On Saturday seven thousand came to Redcar by rail alone and greater numbers came by road. Five special excursion trains were run as well as the ordinary ones. The public houses have been crowded all Whitsuntide, the cafes have done record trade. During some parts of this short opening season it was impossible to get into any cafe. Everything and everybody seemed to have patrons in abundance.
Local fryers have used tons of potatoes and fish, bakers and confectioners ran short of bread, etc., and many other shops thinned down their stocks. And the little man has also had a harvest.


   Did you see the “smudge” man? Or maybe you do not know him by this common term. You can recognise the crude instrument he carries as a camera and that is what it is. In fact it is one of the most interesting types of camera to be seen anywhere, an Aptus ferrotype camera and the man is technically known as an itinerant photographer.
“Just stand where you are sir, Keep steady sir,” and he maneuvered his little machine deftly in front of me.
“That’s right sir, 30 seconds and I’ll show you the finest picture you’ve ever had taken in your life.”
I had no time to speak or say anything.
True to his word, in less than a minute, he showed me a picture of my friend and I, on a tiny steel negative plate. He took out a couple, charged me sixpence each and two pence each for a little card frame. And I’m not grumbling, it was worth the money to listen to his amazing “patter.” He had a record time in Redcar, used all his material, and his pockets are full.
Tipsters crowding the streets have earned their keep for many days to come. Street musicians, many of whom had walked from far distant inland towns were well patronised and some of these men had their first square meal for weeks in Redcar.
Extra local buses were brought out and there were not enough to cater for the ceaseless stream of passengers. Crowds waited at bus stands.
Thirty thousand travelled to Redcar by rail on Monday and about twenty five thousand and twenty five thousand on to the Racecourse. It is estimated that 80,000 people came to Redcar on the first race day, by road and rail. Visitors were drawn from Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, and all parts of South Yorkshire. The pit folk were here, crowds coming from South Durham and Tyne side. On Monday 7,000 travelled by rail and the bright sunshine brought crowds to the seafront and the shops did a roaring trade. The railway total from Friday to Tuesday was 45,258, an increase of five thousand on last year’s figures. Sunday’s railway were up on last year but Monday’s figures decreased by 5,000. “But it works out the same” the station master told a “Standard” reporter”. “What we lose on the roundabout’s we make up on the swings.”
“I do not think it has been a record Whitsuntide,” said Mr. Anderson, manager of the Redcar Amusement Park. “Here we had just an average crowd and we can’t grumble. If the weather had had held out it would have been much better. All the amusements were well patronised. The Giant Racer was fairly busy and good crowds were in the Rink. But there have been better Whitsuntides.” 


   Nearly two hundred buses were parked in the enclosure of the Amusement Park. This number is high but in past years there have been greater numbers.
“We have had a greater crowds in Redcar than last year,” said Mr. J. Vickers (Entertainments and Publicity Manager) when interviewed. “but they have not been spending money. Financially we are well down on last year. For instance, last year we rented out over 6,000 deck chairs. This year only 2,000 were borrowed.”
Fifty new sun tents have been purchased this season. Over Whitsuntide these tents did not seem in great demand because of the cool weather.


dean May 3, 2010 Redcar