Thursday, 24 February 2011

Down by the Sea

Went to Saltburn again today. Had to take the car to Middlesborough to be serviced. It's only a few miles further on to Saltburn, so it was a chance not to be missed. It was a bright, if a little crisp, afternoon. We bought ourselves a couple of baked potatoes and sat eating them in the car, overlooking the sea. Then we drove down to the front and went for a walk along the pier. There were a lot of people about, walking their dogs or eating fish and chips on the beach. One or two people were daring to paddle. Before we left I gave in to an urge to run down the beach, take my shoes and socks off and go for one myself. Very nice it was too.

While we were there I noticed a curiosity which I'd not noticed before. You find all sorts of things on the front in English seaside towns: amusement arcades, joke shops, whelk stalls, candy floss sellers; but how many English seaside fronts boast their own mortuary? It's there, beside a pub a few yards from the pier. The date on the plaque says 1881. I took a photo of it.

Back home, I googled it. Apparently it was in use right up to the sixties. Prevailing currents mean that bodies frequently wash up here, and they needed somewhere to put them. It's a Grade 2 listed building to boot.


Rachel Fenton said...

Wow - that's so cool!

The Weaver of Grass said...

How macabre - a mortuary.

Glad you only paddled in the sea. Nothing would have surprised me!

If this clear sky holds out tonight do look out for the Northern lights - I think there is still a possibility.

tony said...

a Beach Hut For Eternity!
Reminds me of The Old Brighouse Baths which had a sauna that was a converted mortuary.looked much the same only the bodies were warmer!

Anonymous said...

as it sounds, it was a very lovely day out.

Gwilym Williams said...

Ah Ha.
Already testing the water, eh? I recall last year's wild amazing swimming adventures!

Much good luck.

Rachel Fox said...

I used to go nightclubbing in Saltburn... about 30 years ago! The place burned down in the end...