PEOPLE – CHARLTON. Alderman. Remenices of the late 1800’s

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 03/02/1934


1800’s One May Time

Alderman Charlton Reminisce

Fresco Entertainment. Groves’ Troupe of Pierrots went round the town giving performances with no definite pitch. At night time they arrived at the beach where large crowds gathered.

            Some moths saw a party of bell ringers from Australia arrive in the town and were popular.

            Katini the strong man gave a thrilling display.

            There was no New Pavilion then, but on the same site was the Cosy Corner, where a real old fashion minstrel troupe wiled away the hours.

Although there were many attractions there was no rivalry with all the groups taking their turn. There was always something going on. Days of the old fashioned bandstand, and rivalry between Redcar and Kirkleatham existed between the separate authorities. Each had their own band which caused further rivalry. Redcar Town Band owned the bandstand, which was supported by traders. When support was poor Councillor Batty went round the shops collecting. Eventually Kirkleatham dropped out and the Estates Company got an interest in Redcar Town Band. After that it played alternative days at Redcar and in the gardens at Saltburn.

            The conductor at one time was a Mr. Robinson, who became famous later as the conductor of the Bath Orchestra, and Margate Orchestra. He also had a band in the Music Hall known as Lieut. Insen’s Band. He used name Insen when he went on stage because it sounded foreign, and created a better impression!

            The band used to play at the end of the pier and it was fashionable on Sunday’s to go to the pier and listen to the band with between 700/800 people listening on some days. You had to pay 3d (three pence) old money) to go onto the pier. When bands visited from outside the area, they would get out of the train and play from the Railway Station all the way to through the town to the pier.

Groves Pierrots also performed on the pier.

In 1897 the pier burnt down. Fortunately a stiff breeze was blowing from the land, if it had been off the sea damage would have been greater.

There was great rivalry between the two piers, and Coatham Pier boasted a skating Rink half way out to sea.

One of the most exciting events ever staged was on Redcar Pier was a firework display.
“Hundreds gathered to see and gathered round the pier where all the fireworks were stored in a large box. I was standing within a few yards of it, and saw everything that happened. A well known Redcar Tradesman – we will let the past’ hold its secrets – lit the first firework. He dropped the match into the box, and they all went up together. What a stampede from the end of the pier. That was the only firework display on the pier I remember.”


“One Whitsuntide a gale sprung up and blew all the stalls and booths over. Nobody ventured into the town and caterers were left with stock on their hands. Many got over this by sending boys round hawking pies and pastries for a penny a piece door to door, but much had to be thrown away.”


Another exciting time was when Mrs Pankhurst and Sylvia Pankhurst arrived, the renowned suffragette workers harangued a large gathering on the beach. They were opposing Sir Herbert Samuel, who was against suffragettes.







dean February 26, 2010 People & Characters