Monday 25 January 2016
From the Archive (2)
Chess on Saltburn beach, 1992. An early foray into introducing chess into the community. Simply set up the pieces and play all-comers. This photograph was taken by artist Martin Smith, with whom I collaborated (along with a couple of others) on the local history book, In Days of Poss Tubs and Pigs back in 1986.
The famous Zetland Hotel - centrepiece of Henry Pease's new vision of Saltburn and completed in 1863 - can be seen in the background. It has since been converted to luxury apartments.
Howard Staunton, the (unofficial) English World Chess Champion, visited the Redcar chess tournament of 1866 and had a day trip to Saltburn. He was, however, unimpressed, and wrote:
''The excursions promised to places of interest in the neighbourhood, consisted of a trip to Saltburn, where everybody paid for himself, and could hardly get anything worth having even upon those independent terms.''
''The shortcomings in question we are willing to believe the result of inexperience on the part of the Managing Committee, and we are quite sure they will not occur at any future Meeting of the Association.''
If Staunton had returned a mere four years later he could have had a go on the first version of the famous cliff lift.