PEOPLE – CHARLTON, William. Alderman and Mayor

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 30/01/1933



   ” A splendid record of honourable service in the interest of the community,” is my humble comment on the work of Alderman W. Charlton, Mayor of Redcar.
The worthy Mayor has, unfortunately not been at all well for some weeks, but when I called upon him a few days ago I found him improving in health.
Alderman Charlton, who in November last was elected Mayor of Redcar, is a man of many parts and during his long years of residence amongst us has done work for the welfare of the town.
A native of Middlesbrough, Mr. W. Charlton, in his younger days emigrated to Australia with his family, “It was Palm Sunday, 1887, we sailed,” Alderman Charlton relates “but as matters out there were not quite equal’ to what my father estimated, we all returned to England in September of the same year.
“When we arrived in London, we missed the train to the North, which under the circumstances was fortunate for us, as the train we should have gone by came into a collision near Doncaster, and several people were killed and injured.”
Commencing in his young days as a pupil teacher under the Middlesbrough School Board, Alderman Charlton came to Redcar about 43 years ago, and as it was his father’s wish for him to enter business he quitted the scholastic profession, and joined his father.
“We had the only shop then standing on Redcar Esplanade. At that time all other places were houses and cottages,” he recalled.

Redcar’s Assets

   During our conversation the Mayor told me that he thought Redcar as a seaside resort was unique, as it not only had the finest stretches of firm sands in the country (absolutely safe to the youngest children), but the place is flat, and does not necessitate climbing like Whitby or Scarborough. That, as the Mayor points out is a great advantage to elderly people.
However I must that the earlier part of the season – June for instance – is not such a busy time for Redcar as it used to be years ago. Thirty or forty years back for more well-known people used to patronise Redcar.” said Mr. Charlton.

A Good Resolution

   I worked hard and stuck to business very keenly in my younger days, and I made a resolution that I would divide my life to public service, “Redcar’s chief citizen confided.
He kept his word in every way. He retired eight years ago, but he did not wait for retirement to commence the good work. On the contrary he did a great deal for the benefit of his town many years ago as we shall see.

The Mayor’s Many Offices

   For twelve years he held the position of Superintendent to the Redcar Wesley Band of Hope, and for over 10 years has been associated with the Wesleyan Church (now the Trinity Methodist Church) and for 36 years was one of the local preachers. During that long period of faithful service he preached in some of the largest chapels in the country under the Methodist Mutual and Local Preacher’s Association.
During his long connection with the Order of Good Templars he founded there lodges. As president of the Redcar Chamber of Trade for six years, the Mayor has seen this society increase in membership from 40 to 189, and it has met with much success during the last few years. For two years Alderman Charlton has been president of the Durham and North Yorkshire Federation of the Chamber of Trade, and six years Chairman of the Sands and Entertainment Committee of the Corporation, and for two years was the Chairman of the Finance Committee when it was first formed. Alderman Charlton was a member of the old Redcar Urban District Council, and he prides himself on the fact that he never had a single vote given for him. How was that? The Mayor explained after his first unopposed election under the Urban District Council when the Esplanade Ward was created.
Redcar’s Mayor is ably assisted by his good wife, the Mayoress, who has done much for the town in a quiet, and unassuming manner. Mrs. Charlton is a native of Redcar, her father being Mr. R. Sheildon who was a member of the old Local Board, on the record of which his name appears as a member as far back as 1867. The popular Mayoress has seen the place of her birth increase in leaps and bounds, from a fishing village to one of the chief seaside resorts on the North-East coast.

To Increase Redcar’s popularity

   In commenting upon the wonderful improvement schemes which have been carried out in Redcar during the past few years the Mayor emphasised the necessity for a Floral Hall or a Winter Garden for the Borough. There people could congregate in inclement weather as they do in the up-to-date buildings in Scarborough and Bridlington. “This should be carried out in the near future,” declared Alderman Charlton, “and it will cater for the class of visitor we lack in Redcar.
“Moreover we sadly require a large suitable hall in which conferences could be held. If we had such a building we could invite more conferences to the town, and I am such a firm believer in these schemes that I shall certainly do all I can to encourage them.”
So sincere was Alderman Charlton in his assertion – and I know for a fact that he has been strongly in favour of these schemes for some years past, that I feel quite certain his plans will soon bear fruit..
The good feeling displayed on all sides last November when Alderman and Mrs. Charlton were duly elected Mayor and Mayoress was evident and sincere.
In common with the rest of the town, I hope Mr. and Mrs. William Charlton may be long spared to carry on their good work to the young Borough of Redcar.” I have known them for over thirty years, and can thoroughly testify that their aim has been public interest and public service in the welfare of the public.



dean May 21, 2010 People & Characters