Much has been written over the years about deaths and rescue on the sea at Redcar, but this one from 1824 seems to have been forgotten perhaps, despite seven men being killed in one day and a major public appeal for their families. With the deaths being in 1824 before the completion of St Peters in Redcar, they were buried in St Germains at Marske rather than Redcar.
Those killed were George Robinson and his two sons Christopher and Thomas Robinson. Thomas Hall and his two sons George and Richard Hall. William Guy (but not the same one who was killed in a rescue on 25 December 1836, nearly 12 years to the day later)
£1000 in 1824 is roughly the equivalent of £100,000 today so the public appeal had a high profile with donations from various Earls and Knights
The recent uncovering of the petrified forest at Redcar has been the subject of much media attention, with news crews and visitors swarming over the beach taking photos.
The last time I remember seeing it, was back in the early days of this website in 2007 when there was only me taking photos, although to be honest it was nowhere near as spectacular as this time around.
The biggest difference this time is the uncovering of a wreck that i’ve never seen before
The Waldridge was a British steamship, built in Sunderland in 1868. She was owned by Edwin Robert Dix, of Sunderland.
Many thanks to Wayne Martin for the photos.
Wreck Report for ‘Waldridge’
This vessel left the Tyne about 4 p.m. on the 30th January 1895 with a crew of fifteen hands all told and a cargo of about 900 tons, of which 180 tons were bricks and the remainder coal, bound for Boulogne.
At about 2 a.m. on the 31st January, the vessel then being about six or seven miles from Whitby, the second engineer, who had had charge of the engines since midnight, finding that the ship was making water, put on the donkey-engine and called the chief engineer, who on going down into the engine-room and seeing the condition of things at once put on the bilge injection, but notwithstanding these efforts he failed to reduce the water and it gained on him; he then sent for the captain, who immediately came down into the engine-room, the water at this time washing up the stoke-hole plates and threatening to extinguish the fires. After consultation with the chief officer and chief engineer the master determined to put back to Hartlepool, and with that view put the helm hard-a-port and wore the ship round.
Shortly after this the lower fire was extinguished, and the water continuing to gain. the steam went back and the engines finally stopped at about 5 a.m. Attempts had been made to light the fire of the donkey-boiler on deck, but the constant washing of the seas prevented this being done. in the meantime signals of distress were made and the port lifeboat cleared away, but in consequence of the breaking of a belaying pin to which the after fall was attached the boat fell into the water and was smashed. The ship at this time was perfectly helpless, the wind having backed to the E.N.E., with heavy seas constantly breaking over her. The stay sails were set with a view to help her on to the shore, the master fearing the vessel would founder.
At about 8 a.m. the vessel took the ground about 200 yards north of Port Mulgrave, a mile and a half to the southward of Staithes, it being then about an hour after high water and daylight coming on. The ship swung round with her head to the southward, whereupon the starboard lifeboat was cleared away; two men got into her, but none of the others would follow, the master stating that it was his intention to stay by the ship for the present. The men in the lifeboat then cut the painter, and the boat drifted ashore and the men were saved.
Shortly after this the carpenter, Peter Haysom, who was a good swimmer and had a lifebelt on, determined (against the advice of the master) to attempt to swim ashore, but he was drowned when 40 or 50 yards from the ship.
After the ship had been on shore about half an hour the rocket apparatus from Staithes arrived at the top of the cliff, which is 350 ft. high. Two rockets and the breeches buoy were taken down to the beach, and the first rocket fired fell across the quarter, but the line caught in a rock and broke; the second rocket fell short. A third rocket was sent for and fired, which fell right across the vessel’s bows. She had then parted amidships, and it was decided to attempt to land the crew with the whip alone, as it was thought the hawser would not reach the vessel, and there being no place at that time on which the triangle could be fixed. The first man to leave the ship in the breeches buoy was James Clarke, A.B., who was unfortunately drowned before reaching the shore in consequence of a piece of canvas getting into the block and the rope having fouled a rock. In the meantime, the body of the carpenter had washed ashore, and efforts were made by Dr. Laverick, the local secretary of the Staithes Lifeboat Institution, to restore animation, but without success.
The tide having by this time receded considerably, it was found that the triangle could be fixed, and, the hawser would reach the ship; this was successfully accomplished, and the remainder of the crew were landed in safety, the last man to leave the ship being the master.
The Admiral Van Tromp was a Scarborough trawler that ran aground on 30/09/1976.
The exact circumstance of the accident remain a mystery as the boat was on completely the wrong course and a senior nautical surveyor at the inquest stated it appeared it was driven onto the rocks deliberately.
No-one will ever know the real reasons as the man at the wheel John ‘Scotch Jack’ Addison was killed, along with one other crew member.
The details of the accident are covered in much greater detail on the website of the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre
Again, check the tide tables before visiting wreck sites and needing a rescue yourself.
The Rohilla was launched by Harland and Wolff in Belfast on the 6th September 1906. On 6th August 1914 she became a hospital ship.
At 4am on 29th October 1914 the Rohilla struck rocks at Saltwick Nab near Whitby with 229 people on board. A huge rescue attempt was mounted that lasted several days due to the terrible weather conditions, however over 80 people perished. A huge amount of details on the disaster can be found on this website
A few fragments of the ship can be found to the west of Saltwick Nab, although care should be taken to check tide tables before visiting. Much more of the wreck remain still under the water.
The MV Creteblock was constructed in Shoreham around 1919/20 from reinforced concrete rather than steel which was in short supply during World War 1 (although it was completed too late to see active service)
Smiths Dock used the vessel as a tug until 1934/1935 when she was brought to Whitby to be scrapped, the ship deteriorated there until 1947 when she was finally to be scuttled in deep water, however the boat sank in shallow water just outside the harbour and was later blown up
Care should be taken to check the tides before visiting this location
Firstly if you intend to visit this site double check the tide tables before setting off, to give yourself enough time to get there are back and avoid an air-sea rescue. The cliffs are also very unstable we heard numerous small rock falls and you don’t want to be underneath one.
There are numerous caves and what looks like the remains of a ships boiler on the the way around from Cowbar.
The remains of the 17th Century Alum Tunnel were revealed by coastal erosion in the 1990s. Subsequent landslips and erosion are rapidly removing the tunnel at a rate of several feet per year, and its only a matter of time before a further landslips buries it, or its completely lost to the sea.
The left-hand tunnel is now eroded nearly all the way back to what looks like a wall, it appear to be built against this wall, rather than actually being a blocked entrance although I cannot be certain if there is another tunnel behind or not. The outside edge of the inner course of bricks has been recently exposed to reveal symbols (perhaps masons marks, or maybe even something to indicate the order of construction ?) A row of bricks is also visible under the tunnel base.
The right-hand tunnel is open and contains the remains of sleepers and rails as well as a large pile of washed in stones and debris.
Shortly after the pile of debris the tunnel opens into a slightly wider area with a large room off to the right hand side.
At this point there is a very large roof collapse with a chasm open in the cliff above, knowing the instability of the cliffs I though it wise not to progress any further, despite the tunnel looking in good condition further on.
Tracks can be seen leading off into the distance after the collapse, they would presumably at some point connect with a shaft from the Alum Works at the cliff top.
For anyone intending visiting I cannot say enough times, always remember this site is extremely dangerous.