COATHAM PIER – Coatham Pier Head and Lighthouse washed away – damage to Redcar pier

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 22/12/1876


            Since an early hour on Wednesday morning (20/12), a terrific storm has been raging on the North East coast. Nothing like it has been experienced since 9th December, 1874, when seven vessels were stranded on this coast between the mouth of the Tees and Saltburn-by-the-Sea. This time the absence of shipping casualties in our neighbourhood may be attributed to the different direction of the wind, which has veered between South-East and East -South East; then it was due North-East. Coatham Pier, however, has again suffered extensive damage. In the storm above referred to, it will be remembered that to vessels were driven completely through the Pier in separate places, with the brig “Griffin” – the remains of which still lying on the beach opposite the Coatham Hotel – carrying away about sixty yards between the entrance to the Pier and the saloon, and the schooner “Corrymbus” making a gap forty or fifty yards wide near the entrance of the Pier. The damage which amounted to about £1500, was not fully made good until last autumn, when the whole of the Pier was again thrown open. Much more serious is the present disaster, as over 200 yards at the Pier-head is washed away. This occurred early yesterday morning, when the storm was at its height, and immense seas broke heavily over the structure. The head of the Pier was of course much wider than the promenade, the massive timbers consequently offering greater resistance to the advancing tide, and at daybreak it was found that the whole of the upper part of the Pier-head, including the landing-stage, and the lighthouse added in April last, had entirely disappeared. The part of the promenade which has come to grief includes the whole of that portion which was destroyed by the “Corrymbus,” already referred to, and which was last repaired, at the very lowest estimate the damage will amount to £3000, and will probably greatly exceed this sum. During yesterday the Pier was visited by large numbers of persons, but the portion wrecked appears to have been completely carried away, and there is nothing to be seen from the deck save a single solitary pile, the column fitting into which has been lifted out as neatly as though the ball’s had been unscrewed and the column taken out of the socket. It may be added that the portion of the Pier remaining – about three-quarters of the original length-does not seem to be at all damaged, so that this will still be available for promenade in purposes. The sounds West of the Coatham Convalescent Home are thickly strewn with debris is from the Pier. Redcar Pier has also sustained slight damage, part of one of the girders at the North-West corner, next to the landing stage, have been broken off. Considering the violence of the storm, it seems almost incredible that the structure has come off so well. Between three and four o’clock yesterday afternoon (21/12), a two masted schooner was descried in the vicinity of the volunteer battery. The waves broke over her half-mast high, and she was momentarily expected to strike. The dual lifeboat “Burton-on-Trent” was got out, and taken to near the spot, and the crew of the old lifeboat also held themselves in readiness, but contrary to all expectations, the schooner managed to get clear of the rocks, and disappeared as night closed in. The wind after wards moderated, but there is still a tremendous sea running.

The storm has been accompanied by a heavy downpour of rain, which has descended literally in torrents, and in consequence the lowly-lying agricultural land in the neighbourhood of Redcar and Coatham is extensively flooded, and much damage will be done to the autumn-sown crops. A considerable portion of the race-course is also flooded, and the road leading to it from West Dyke is impossible.


Lol Hansom October 16, 2014 Coatham, Coatham Pier, Redcar Pier