REDCAR – Reggata

Accreditation Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette. 19/07/1872


     Redcar was the scene of great excitement yesterday and for days past the chief topic of conversation has been the projected regatta. The unsettled condition of the weather and the prevalence of north wind and high sea rendered it doubtful whether it would after all take place. The committee could not decide until the last moment, when the weather having abated, it was determined to have the Life Boat Race, the sea being still too high to permit the other races to take place. The shore was lined with a dense crowd of spectators, whilst a select number were admitted to the Redcar pier by ticket, many also availed themselves of the Coatham pier, near which was one of the turning points of the race. There were four Life Boats present, The “Zetland” (Redcar), Twenty-three men, W. Upton, cox,; The “Burton-on-Trent” (Redcar), R. Dobson, cox.; The “Foresters’ Pride” (West Hartlepool), Thirteen men; The “Fisherman’s Friend” (Whitby, Thirteen men. Before the race the boats were examined as to their equipment, &c., by Captain Prowse, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Inspecting Commander of Coast Guard, in the absence of admiral Chaloner; Mr. J. Livingston of Middlesbrough, judge and umpire, and Mr. J. Bates, Chief Officer of the Coastguard, Coatham, for the purpose of awarding a special prize, value 10 guineas, and a second prize, value £5, the gift of J. W. Pease, Esq., M.P. The first prize was adjudged to the “Foresters’ Pride,” West Hartlepool, and the second to the “Burton-on-Trent,” Redcar.

     The course rowed was from the Redcar Pier Head round a buoy stationed near Coatham Pier, round the Rock Buoy, and back to the Redcar Pier Head, a distance of over three miles. A very good start was effected at 3.36pm, but it was evident from the first that the Whitby boat had no chance, in fact it could not be considered to be in the race after the first hundred yards had been travelled. The “Zetland” took the lead from the first, and on rounding the buoy near Coatham pier was considerably in advance of the other boats, and it was apparently certain that she would win as her crew were rowing within themselves, and increasing the distance very much rounding the rock buoy fully a minute before the other boats. Meanwhile it was a great struggle between the “Burton-on-Trent” and the “Foresters’ Pride,” for second place they pulling closely together. After, however rounding the rock buoy the “Burton-on-Trent” shot ahead of her opponent and maintained that position to the finish. The “Zetland” passed the pier head three quarters of a minute before the “Burton-on-Trent,” and both the boats were greeted with lusty cheers. The race occupied 3 ½ minutes. The first prize was £15. The second prize £8. The third prize £4.

     Amongst the spectators present we were glad to see the two oldest patrons of the winning boat, the Earl of Zetland and his brother-in-law H. W. Yeoman, Esq., to whose liberality and good feeling the old boat owes its very existence. The “Zetland” is the traditional Life Boat of Redcar, built in 1802, and repaired so often that it is said no potion of the original boat remains. When deemed unseaworthy a few years ago the Royal Lifeboat Institution sent a new boat to Redcar, but the fishermen stuck to their old Lifeboat, and by the help of many friends – and foremost amongst them were Lord Zetland and Mr. Yeoman – she was thoroughly repaired, a house was built for her, and the old boat in which our fishermen and their fathers have saved so many lives, still glides like a bird o’er the stormy waters, and was the winning boat yesterday. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, when staying with Lord Zetland, wrote some spirited verses on the old boat, of which we give the last verse.

“Thine age shall be respected, thy youth perchance restored,
And sires and sons together shall press thy heaving  board;
No fear that storms be wanting; and call in old or new,
We’ll cheer the boat that’s foremost to save a sinking crew.”


dean July 26, 2011 Events