I’ve been digging through some of my old images of the South Bank Coke Ovens. I took these around 2015. At the time it barely crossed my mind that within a decade the whole industry would be reduced to rubble.
The conservative government had an opportunity to save the industry and made the deliberate decision not to do so. The conservative mayor who vowed to bring steelmaking back to Teesside has also informed us that ‘a Tsunami’ of jobs are on the way.
Published in 1926 by photographer and commercial printer, Harold Hood, Middlesbrough Pictorial & Industrial is Hoods love letter to Middlesbrough. Hood photographed the town, its people, buildings and industry. He quotes one critic as saying, If they felt about it as I do they would make a bonfire of the place tomorrow, and pitch the statues of its creators head-most into the flames..
Escaping the crowds of Saltburn we headed to Cattersty Sands. Skinningrove has none of the seaside amusements of it’s neighbour so sees far less visitors, what it does have is a beautiful beach and a very good fish and chip shop which sadly was closed today.
Iron was mined here before the discovery of the main seams in the hills at Eston and prior to mining, iron-rich stone was collected from the beaches at Hummersea. An ironworks was established above the town in the late nineteenth century to process the local iron ore with coal and limestone imported from County Durham. The slag from the furnaces was poured onto the cliffs and also used as a building material in and around the village. The cliffs are an impressive site and are now home to nesting Fulmars and Jackdaws.
The names Cattersty, Hummersea and Skinningrove are all Scandinavian in origin. The cliffs to the south of the village are the highest on the east coast. Archaeologist Dr. Steve Sherlock’s work at nearby Street House has revealed evidence of occupation since at least 3900BC.
The Skinningrove/Loftus area does not see a great many visitors compared to other parts of our district but it has a fascinating landscape and rich history, all well worth seeking out. If none of this interests you and you just fancy a walk on a mile of so of beautiful uncluttered beach I’d recommend a trip to Cattersty.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Sherlock’s work at Street House there is a video here of him giving an online lecture at the Royal Archaeological Institute.
I’m selling some original Cyanotypes of the Dorman Long Tower. Cyanotype is a photographic printing process where the paper is coated with light sensitive iron salts and then exposed to UV light. Once exposed, the image is washed and then left to dry for 24 hours.
Each cyanotype is completely original, due to the vagaries of coating, exposure and washing, no two cyanotypes are the same. The image is made onto A4 330gsm acid-free paper. I may need to trim the edges slightly so the final image may be slightly smaller than A4.
Posting framed images would be rather costly so I’m selling them unframed. I’ve added a picture of a framed print below just to give you an idea of how they look. The prints are £15 plus £2 p&p each, with all profits going to the Trussell Trust. If you’d like to buy one send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Unlike many industrial relics, the Redcar Blast Furnace has a positive association with the local population, and stands as a monument to industrial Teesside which should not be lost following closure and decommissioning.
By repurposing the site through the provision of a climbing hub and offshore survival training facility, the Blast Furnace presents exciting opportunities to develop the offshore industry sector emerging in the area and to celebrate local heritage.