The Iron Coast feels different from anywhere else. There is a hard, quiet unhappiness about it, and the plain and seaboard tend to be avoided rather than explored. The young do their best to get away. Even a century ago Dickens, who was usually ready for anything and a good east-coast man, was too impatient here. he got out of the train at Redcar station with his carpet bag, looked quickly north and south, walked back to the platform and caught the next train on to Scarborough. Yet this small rag of the country has bred international heroes, saints, scientists and geniuses. It has twice raised armies that came within a thread of changing a dynasty and once ordered a clipping and reshaping of the powers of the monarchy that has survived nearly 800 years.
The Iron Coast. Jane Gardam 1994