Oxgang Bridge, Redcar

Oxgang Bridge was on what is now Plantation Road and is marked on every Ordnance Survey map since the first edition, it is where Roger Dyke / West Dyke passes under the road between Marske and Kirkleatham.

I took these photos on an evening in 2007 in poor light and always intended to get better photo and find out something more about the bridge, at this point just the sides of the bridge were visible.Lost Bridge, Redcar
Lost Bridge, Redcar
Since that time the side have also been removed leaving no trace of the bridge, although presumably the rest of the structure is still buried under the road.

Also of interest is the Fever Hospital and mortuary just upstream which is now the site of the Grewgrass Lodges

Grave of Thomas Carlton, Blast Furnacemens Secretary

While walking in Linthorpe Cemetary I noticed this large obelisk erected to commemorate Thomas Carlton.
Thomas Carlton - Blast Furnacemens Secretary
It includes the interesting inscription ‘Erected by the blast furnacemen in recognition of deceased in the service as their secretary, more especially in assiting to secure shorter hours of toil’
Thomas Carlton - Blast Furnacemens Secretary
A little digging in the newspaper archives uncovered these details from his obituary on January 6th 1899.
Thomas Carlton - Blast Furnacemens Secretary

Thomas Carlton was the Secretary of the Cleveland and South Durham Branch of the National Federation of Blast-furnacemen. Originally from Lincolnshire he moved to Cleveland in 1871 and worked in the ironstone mines, presumably at Upleatham Mine as he was president of the Marske Institute when it opened in 1875.

He helped secure an 8 hour working day for blast furnacemen at Ormesby, Seaton Carew and Carlton Ironworks (reduced from 12 hours) around 1894.

The picture from the Flickr Photostream of Bolckow shows a banner featuring the same portrait.

Cleveland and Durham Blastfurnacemens Association

The Garden City of ‘Dormanton’ (Dormanstown)

The plan below dates from 1917 and shows the proposed layout of the new garden city of Dormanton (known to us now as Dormanstown)

Although the basic layout of crescents around the green and shops around Ennis Square is correct, there are a lot of differences to how it actually turned out. A major one being at road to a proposed new railway station which was never built and direct footpaths across the marsh to Warrenby and the Redcar Ironworks. Also locations marked such as a hospital, chapel, library and technical school that I don’t think ever existed.

The first wave of building actually took place between 1917 and 1920, a light railway existed direct from the works to bring in materials, which can still be seen on earlier OS maps.


Loftus’ Adopted Motor Torpedo Boat

These two plaques in Loftus Town Hall records that the town adopted Motor Torpedo Boat 57 during Warship Week from Novenber 29th to December 6th 1941.
Loftus Warship Week 1941
Loftus Warship Week 1941
Motor Torpedo Boat was the name given to fast torpedo boats by the Royal Navy, MTB 57 was a Vosper 70 ft, with Hall Scott engines, armaments were two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one 0.50-inch machine guns and two 0.303-inch machine guns.

Fortunately this excellent photograph of MTB57 in action exists which I was kindly allowed to re-use thanks to http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/
Loftus Warship Week 1941
Also in the town hall is a letter of thanks from the Commanding Officer of the Coastal Force Base in Maddalena, Sardinia

Loftus War Savings 1943 – 1944

The town hall holds a pair of plaques recognising the contribution of Loftus to the war.
Loftus War Savings 1943
The 1943 plaque was presented by the Air Ministry for ‘Wings For Victory’ week which was 1st – 8th May 1943 when civilians would have been asked to save their money in Government accounts, such as War Bonds, Savings Bonds, Defence Bonds and Savings Certificates.
Loftus War Savings 1944
‘Salute the Soldier’ week was a similar fund raising campaign 17th – 24th June 1944 and presented by the War Office.

Loftus First World War Memorial

The Zetland family originally erected this wooden memorial outside the Town Hall in 1919 where it remained until 1949.

Loftus First World War Memorial
The memorial was then misplaced, Councillor Eric Jackson began looking for it in 1982, but it wasn’t until  2001 it was finally rediscovered in the Cemetary Chapel in East Loftus. The restored memorial was unveiled by Mayor Gerry Dickinson in August 2008.

It carries the words “‘Is it nothing to you, all ye who pass by”

Ancient Order of Foresters, Death Boards, Loftus

These two boards list the deceased members of Court Dundas 747 of the Ancient Order of Foresters in Loftus, they cover the years from 1880 until around the First World War in 1914
Ancient Order of Foresters, Loftus
The Ancient Order of Foresters was formed in 1834 and the Loftus Lodge was formed in 1839, members would pay weekly into a fund, which provided sick pay and funeral grants when needed.
Ancient Order of Foresters, Loftus
The boards were recovered from the clock tower and restored in 2001, the society still exists as the Foresters Friendly Society although its local role would have diminished with the formation of the national health service and the welfare state.

Navigation Lights, Redcar

There are two sets of navigation lights in Redcar that are used to guide boats through the rocks.

The first set are on the Esplanade opposite the new Hub building and above Marks and Spencer. Knows as the Lade Lights, when aligned these mark the safe path between ‘High Stones’ and ‘The Flashes’

The second set are at either end of King Street, one on the Esplanade and one in the High Street. When aligned these mark the ‘Luffway’ a gap between the ‘West Scar’ and ‘Salt Scar’ rocks.

Navigation Light, Redcar
Navigation Light, Redcar

Many thanks to Ray at Redcar Coastwatch for the information.