BEACH – Swingboat nuisance

Accreditation The Redcar & Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 12/09/1879


            A case, in which the question of the sands at Redcar and Coatham being a highway was raised, was on Tuesday before the magistrates at the Guisborough petty sessions. The defendant, Thos. Hartgrove is a swing boat proprietor living at Coatham, and he was summoned at the instance of the Kirkleatham Local Board of Health for causing an obstruction on the sands on the 23rd ult, by erecting swing boats thereon. It will be remembered that the case was before the magistrates a fortnight ago, when it fell through in consequence of the two magistrates who were then sitting being unable to come to a decision. Mr. Smith (from the office of Messrs. Dodds and Co., Stockton), who again appeared to prosecute, said that owing to the important points in the case, it had been considered desirable that another summons should be issued against the defendant, not from any vindictive feeling on the part of the Local Board against him, but in order to show the public that they had control of the beach. He then pointed out the constitution of the Board, and showed that their authority extended over the beach to the sea shore. – Mr. James Howcroft (surveyor) was then called, and deposed that the defendant had erected the swing boats in question, and had declined to remove them from the sands notwithstanding that due notice had been given to him to do so. In answer to a question by the defendant, witness stated that the swing boats were originally put up near the promenade, and on giving him notice to take them away he had moved them a little further off, to a point below the high water mark. – The defendant submitted that the Board of Health had no authority over the beach below high water mark, also that the sands were not a highway, but the prosecuting solicitor contended that the Board’s jurisdiction extended over the whole of the beach to the water’s edge. – The magistrates (Admiral Chaloner, the Rev. H. W. Yeoman, and Mr. James Merryweather), after private consultation, agreed that the sands were a highway over which the Local Board had control, and that no person could cause an obstruction upon them. The defendant was then fined 2s.6d, and costs, and was ordered to remove the swing boats forthwith.


Lol Hansom May 14, 2013 Beach, Redcar