Just along the coast they have modernised Redcar. They have built sea defences that mean that you cannot view the sea easily. They have created urban seating, which means you end up on your back-side having tripped over an obscure step. Worse of all they have created a vertical pier that looks from a distance like a helter skelter but has none of the joy that the traditional fairground provides. Many locals call it a carbuncle.
So what a pleasure to find Saltburn so unspoilt by modern design and regeneration.
It has Edwardian houses and shops galore.
It has trees, flowers and grass.
It has a beach with sand and donkeys.
It has stalls selling ice-cream, coffee, tea, buckets and spades.
It has a fantastic fish and chip shop that always has a queue of happy people outside.
And it has its pier, jutting proudly out into the North Sea.
The pier is not long, it does not have ‘amusement’ arcades full of noise and angst, and it does not even have an entrance charge.
All you can do at this pier is stroll along it, listening to the seagulls, watching the waves rolling into the beach, enjoying the surfers and the jet-skiers, and chatting with the fishermen gathered at the pier-end and silently contemplating their rods and lines.
And as you stroll you revel in the delightful creations of the ‘yarn-bombers’ – a mysterious group who from time to time invade the pier under cover of darkness and install their latest knitted creations. After the Olympic dolls and those to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee some new ones to celebrate the Football World Cup. Clever, witty, colourful – they delight young and old alike.
What a simple, but wonderful, pleasure.
Thank you, Saltburn!
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