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09 December 2018
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Saltburn-by-sea is where I woz educated and spent my yuth.
This piece of work I have promised myself I would do for years but never actually got round to it. Now seems a good time.
I moved to Saltburn-by-sea from Cornwall when I was about 10 yrs of age, previously having lived in Middlesbrough (Brambles Farm) and other Boro areas, Billingham and Stockton and born in Thornaby. Never had lived in one place for more than 2 yrs so that explains a lot to me about the way I have been most of my life. I always have described myself as being from Yorkshire but being born as you can see in Thornaby I aren't, I am a Durhamite.
For those that don't know Saltburn-by-sea, it is a lovely Victorian picturesque town situated on the coast of North Yorkshire. It never seems to change it's character as so many towns do, it has remained the same since I first moved there over 55 years ago now. (Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?)
I made friends with Dave Burbidge and Michael Johnson from first moving to Saltburn-by-sea. We lived in a flat in Diamond Street but quickly moved on to another flat in Pearl Street a few doors away from Dave. Michael lived over on Coral Street, the other end of the 'Jewel Streets' as they were known. Ronald Stead became a mate who lived in between me and Dave in Pearl Street.
Dave had the biggest, broadest, flattest thumbs I have ever known anyone have. He must forgive me for mentioning them if he ever reads this but I do remember them although that was about 55 years ago since first setting eyes on them.
I taught myself to swim within 2 weeks of moving to Saltburn-by-sea as we arrived at the height of summer. Dave and I spent most of the summer in the sea as I remember, going down to the beach on a morning and only returning home at tea-time. In those days there was never any thoughts of danger or people wanting to harm you as there seems to be everywhere nowadays. No sun cream was needed in those days either - man hadn't quite destroyed the planet as he's trying so hard to do now. I always remember our science teacher a Mr. Saunders, if I remember correct, saying that if we didn't stop using aerosols we would destroy the ozone layer within 50 yrs, how right he was and that was back in the very early 60's. Goes to show, it was known back then but nothing was done.
One great memory I do have, is of the Miniature Railway that the holiday makers used to ride on, through the woods up to the Valley Gardens. We used to stick a line of 'Caps' using chewing gum, (the noisy little things we used to put in 'Cap Guns', they came in little rolls) on the line and when the train went over them it sounded like the Valentine Days Massacre all over again. Frightened the holiday makers to bits. The train driver (Jimmy his name was), always stopped and tried to chase and find us hiding in the undergrowth but never did. There was a metal linked fence set back from the railway line and we had bent one small section up, just enough to crawl through. We would then stand there taunting him through the fence, with him reaching through trying to grab us.
The passengers would be laughing their heads off watching him running about screaming about what he would do to us if he caught us. Probably about 11 at the time and nowadays of course, kids wouldn't know what 'caps' were. We used to do that regularly over the summer holidays from school. Still smile thinking about that!
Ended up working on the railway and the canoes down there when I was about 14, free rides of course. Jimmy was still there but of course never knew about our past goings-on.
There used to be a picture house at the top of Garnet Street with the old fashioned big screen and curtains which used to open and close after each showing. The highlight for me and a lot of others kids was the saturday 'matinee', which cost if I remember correctly 10d in 'old' money the equivalent of about 4p nowadays. For this we used to see two films and halfway through, after the first film, there used to be a draw for a selection of different sweets etc. Each entrance ticket had it's own individual number and if you were lucky enough to win something then it was quite a productive event!
The owners of the cinema owned the shop on the other corner of Garnet Street, I think their name was Shipley. A few years later a mate of mine worked in the projection room as his mother was the manageress and I got to work in there part time in the last couple of years at school for a bit of pocket money. It was quite good as I got to see all the films for nothing and that included all the 'X' rated ones as well which were mainly horror films.
Michael Johnson and I became very good friends over the following few years. In our early teens a few of us used to spent a lot of sunday nights round at Mike's playing cards and Antony Clifford was the guy that normally won, we used to play Solo and a few other games but I am sure Antony had a photographic memory as he could just about predict what card was coming out next! He used to smoke a bloody pipe that stunk, though I shouldn't complain because I smoked ciggies in those days. There used to be a small shop on the corner of the alley between Amber Street and Garnet Street and we sometimes popped in there for a couple of bottles of Jubilee Stout or Mackeson and some 'goodies', hardened drinkers we were! lol
I had the honour of being one of Mikes 'Ushers' at his wedding to 'Jan' in a small church in Loftus. One of the good guys you seldom meet in life but if you do you are privileged believe me. Michael wouldn't harm a fly - a real gentleman.
Talking of 'gentlemen', one guy who quickly became a friend as he was close to Dave Burbidge and lived in Emerald Street as I remember, was Peter Bliwert. The term gentleman is often used to describe somebody but Peter was a true Gentle Man. I never saw him lose his temper which is surprising as he was brought up in a house of 3 females, his mother and 2 sisters! He always seemed calm and at peace with the world. A lovely, lovely man who married a great girl called Joan. It was such a shock and a loss when he sadly passed away through illness around the age of 60. We had only just got back in touch with each other after years of me being away from the area and he arranged a bit of a reunion with Dave and Michael Johnson being there with their wives and also a guy from my past called Rob Hutchinson who I had bumped into when visiting my own mother when she was in hospital a few months before. I hadn't seen Rob since I was about 18 - 19.
It really upset me when Peter passed away, I hadn't realised just how ill he was at the time. He phoned me not long before when he was on his own and my wife had gone out and we chatted for about 2 hrs about everything from school, through teenage years, our families, our work, he was a plumber and I was a plasterer so we sometimes got each other work when we were young. The reminiscing was good for both of us as each of us brought back memories for each other. His mum was born German and always pronounced her w's as v's and as I have a 'w' in my name it often led to a few laughs. When meeting her she would often say "Hello Stanvay, how are you?" I used to always reply "But my name is Stanway not Stanvay" and of course back came the reply "That's what I said, StanVAY!"
A lovely lady. I had the pleasure of doing a bit of plastering at her new home when she moved from Emerald Street.
She did at one time work at the fish shop in the top back street in Amber Street opposite Maidens the plumbers. That was the best fish shop in Saltburn at the time. If you bought fish and chips then you normally got an extra piece of fish free! Another good one that disappeared was halfway down Ruby Street on the left. Always full when the British Legion kicked out.
I don't know if anyone remembers the Red Lion in Redcar High Street, they used to have a disco in the back room with a jukebox in the corner and the old blue fluorescent lighting that turned anything white into a guiding light for any UFO's that happened to be passing by. If anyone had dandruff then it was a disaster area to be in, it was really dark in there apart from anyone wearing any white at all. We used to have a laugh at some of the girls, who you knew had never been there before, walking in with their nice black skirt and matching black blouse and also their nice white BRA argggghhhh lol! Brings back thoughts of Madonna with her 'cones' stuck out. We were young so had an excuse for looking. We were about 14, all tall lads at the time and still at school and we used to get the last train back to Saltburn, arriving in at 11.45pm and then dash home to get some sleep and be up for school the next day, often going with a bit of a hangover and the smell of Black Velvet still on our breathe. Black Velvet (Cider and Mackeson or Jubilee) was were most of us started I think, it was a quite sweet drink and wasn't as harsh as that stuff called 'beer' that most adults drank. God, beer was awful to drink until you reached the age of about 17 then suddenly it became more pleasant the more you drank! lol
Of course I have always brought my own children up to understand the evils of drink and it's consequences, regretting every minute of it myself, oh yes don't you know! I have often wondered what our parents would have said if they had had any inkling at what we were getting up to lol.
A few of the lads about town and from school were, forgive me if the names aren't spelt quite right, Dave Lannen, Martin Bazanek, Mike Gorski, Ian Steele, Ian McClucas, Dave Foggin, Mike Spence, Pete Johnson, Thomas Archbold, Dave Coverdale, Peter Elliott, Anthony Clifford (a great harmonica player who also smoked a pipe!), Rob Forbes, John Harris (Haggis), Ian & John Savin, Brian Stewart, Ian Gibson, John Cunningham, Mike Hutchinson, Steve Conway, John Harker, Doug Maidens, John Pawson, Dave Carter, Paul Dean, Tinker Dick - (the one and only!) Chris Hibbett, Danny Powell (who incidentally went on to marry my cousin Jennifer), Mike Burgin, Bruce Cruden, David Shearer, Andrew Morley, and others.
I'll leave out the girls names unless relevant so as to protect the innocent. Well, we were all young lol!
First school was Upleatham Street Juniors for a year before moving up the road to the Old Secondary School on the corner of Marske Rd and Marske Mill Lane. I don't remember much about being at Upleatham Street Juniors apart from one of the teachers there, Fanny Harbourne (hope that is spelt correct). To think it was near enough 55yrs ago now and still remember her name speaks volumes about the impression she left on me. A very kindly and pleasant teacher who lived, I think, just up the road from the school.
Moving up to the 'seniors' when I was 11 was when I suppose I got used to Saltburn-by-sea and it's surroundings. Playing down the woods in the Italian Gardens and and making tree houses with the likes of David Moore, a good mate at the time, he sadly passed away due to a motor bike accident when he was only 16 yrs old.
We had moved along to Emerald Street by now, never did stay in any place long! It was the top flat at number 36, owned by the Brottons who's son Jimmy about a year or two older than me used to be into photography and developed his own photo's in his own little dark room
We had a Mr Smith who taught English at the school but who loved anything French and often tried to get us to speak it. A lot reckoned he was strict, well he was, but if you did as you were told he was OK. My favourite teacher at the time, I thought he was very good, you learnt with him. A new secondary school was being built just up the road on Marske Mill Lane and after year two we moved into that. A friend of mines' father was groundsman at the school and we used to sneak into his shed for a crafty fag at play times. Really stupid thing to do considering the effect it had on my health years later! But in those days fags were advertised everywhere and it seemed the 'grown-up' thing to do.
Most of my close mates like Dave Burbidge, Mike Johnson and Pete Bliwert were into football and we formed the basis of the school 'Intermediates' and then the 'Senior' school football teams. As 'Seniors' we won the Redcar & District League as well as the District Cup - The Double!! (an achievement that hadn't been done before by any school). You can look here to see a picture of the football team as it was when we were 'seniors' but there is one missing and that was Ian McGuiness if my memory serves me well.
After leaving school a few of the lads went on to play for local teams but it never interested me as I was well into my music by then.
I used to spend some weekends fishing from Friday through to Sunday evening on the pier and my mom used to bring a flask and sandwiches down on a Saturday and on the Sunday. I used get my head down under the seats during the night sometimes. Started fishing on there when I was about 11 and made some good mates from all over the area. Fishing does cross class barriers and brings folk together. It's such a pity the council of the time let it rot enough for the sea to dispose of it and save them money keeping it in good order. The same they did with the Halfpenny Bridge. They should all be turning in their graves for what they did to Saltburn, a bunch of self interested greedy Tories.
Funny how nothing changes over the years isn't it? My love of fishing still carries on today, it's so relaxing and enjoyable.
Over the last couple of years at school I got myself a few jobs for pocket money, I don't suppose kids know what 'pocket money' is now as most parents just throw as much as they can at them which I think is a shame as many I know don't know the value of money or how to save a few bob up. I had a 'paper round' for a while at the paper shop in the Station and then a couple of delivery jobs using the old 'butcher' type bikes with the carrier on the front. One job was at a green grocers on Milton Street and then I moved on to a little shop and cafe in Ruby Street, I used to deliver groceries for them. Think it was owned by people called Wood and I believe they had a daughter called Jackie.
I bought a couple of drums off one of the teachers at school, Mr. Reg Blacklock, at the age of 14 not knowing what a difference that would make to my teenage years and beyond, I finally stopped playing at about 30yrs of age. Couldn't keep up the pace. There used to be a dance on a Tuesday night at the British Legion in Ruby Street for those under 18 but older folk did get in as well to see the groups. I used to go every week and sit sideways on to the drummer and try to work out how the hell he played the things. Gradually I started to get the hang of it and was on my way to a great few years. I was in there one night with my cousin watching a local group and we decided to go in to the other bar selling alcohol. He was 21 yrs and I was 15 yrs old. We were discussing what we would drink and had our heads down. The next thing I heard the Landlord saying "Is he 18?" Looking up expecting him to be kicking me out, he was actually talking to me asking if my cousin was 18, like I said we were all big lads back in the day!
I started with just about my first proper group. practicing in the 2 prefab rooms attached to the 'Old School' on the corner of Marske Road and Marske Mill Lane. Before that a few mates and me had tried to put a band together and practiced at the Scout Hut down near Hazelgrove, but as I remember that never got off the ground. Anthony Clifford on Harmonica, Dave Foggin on guitar, me on drums who else I can't remember.
The band we put together at the prefab huts consisted of members: Dave Coverdale (Cover) on Vocals; Martin Bazanek (Baza) on Lead Guitar; Ian Steele (Steely) on Rhythm Guitar; Alan McClucas (Jock) on Bass Guitar; and me (Stan) on Drums/Percussion. We called ourselves Vintage 67, (circa 1967 lol) and seeing as it was really our first band we didn't do too bad. We had a residency at the Top Hat Club which is now the Marine on the top prom, the other end of the block from the Red Lodge and we actually got a mention on the local ITV news about it. There is a picture here of 3 of us in the band performing at the Top Hat Club, (Dave, Baz and myself).
Dave's parents were the steward and stewardess at the Red Lodge so we used to leave our gear set up in the upstairs music room and practice there as much as we liked, often our mates popping into to have a listen and critisise! It was a good period which of course you never appreciate at the time until it is all over. We played our first ever gig in The Red Lodge downstairs music room and Dave did a poster for it. I Photoshopped it to make it look a bit better and put a frame round it. It's in a bit of a sorry state but I still have it now! The date on the poster did become very significant for me five years later but that's another story!!
We stayed together for about 2 years and played a few places around the town and local area. I left the band and moved on to other groups as did Dave. I believe Alan played with a few bands and did quite well locally. I played with various groups all over the N/east and I don't think there is probably a club I haven't played at.
One group I did play with was a band called New Morning, a mixture of soul & jazz was the order of the day. The lead guitarist Lee Vasey became a very good mate at the time and we said we would stick together whatever happened to the band. We did a couple of things together after the band folded, various gigs etc until Lee got a call from the Baileys Nightclub in Hull, it was a top venue with really top acts on of the time. It was a job he couldn't turn down, a really good opportunity. he then moved on to Norwich after some time and is still there today. He now performs with his own band and also performs solo. To be honest I personally think he was one of the best guitarists in the area, a shame he left and never came back. He was without doubt the best lead guitarist I ever played with.
I spoke to him on the phone at the end of 2015 and he's still as happy as ever.
Lee was one of the nicest guys I ever met and a great guitarist. I have one memory of him when we were on our way home after a gig and called in at a local chippy in the Boro, There was a guy in there who was obviously on his uppers and most were taking the micky out of him. Not Lee, he put his hand in his pocket and took out all his change and gave it to the guy for some fish & chips. That was Lee though, a very mild mannered, generous guy to say the least.
After 45years I did have the great pleasure of finally catching up with him in December 2018 at a gig he does every Thursday in Norfolk. It was a great night and we did have a chance to do a bit of reminiscing about the old times. Still a quiet guy with no pretentions and still a wonderful guitarist.
I think this video shows off some of his skill as a guitarist. Just YouTube his name to see more.
We did as teenagers, go out most weekends but if we didn't we often used to hang around the Station Square waiting for the bus to come in from the Coatham Hotel dance on a Saturday night, meet up with our mates and then pile into the Chinese in Amber Street run by Tony and his mum. he was still there the last time I visited. The food was always 'iffy' but we didn't know anything else in those days and it was always packed out. The last time I was in there in 2013 with Martin Bazanek I think it was still the same carpet that he had down since 1965. I remember getting my first ever taste of a 'curried egg and rice' followed by a 'pineapple fritter' in there and my god was it nice!
Mike Gorski used to have a 7cwt van that he kitted out a bit and we used to go down to Scarborough on some weekends over the summers, sleeping in the van and getting washed and shaved in the toilets on the sea-front at Scarborough in the mornings. It was amazing how many holiday makers would be doing the same thing, I suppose most of them had Caravanette type things that they stayed in. We used to go to the big 'disco's or night clubs that were there in those days, we were probably about 17 / 18 / 19yrs old. I remember we saw Tyrannosaurus Rex as they were called then before changing their name to just T.Rex. They had a big 'hippie' folk following in those days with Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took I believe it was. Another group we saw down there but very different to T.Rex was Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. The Legend of Xanado was probably the most well known recording they made. One thing we used to do most Friday or Saturday nights was meet up in the town square around 10.30pm and go through to Sloopy's disco in Middlesbrough were they used to have groups playing on a Saturday night as well as the disco. Many, many a great night was had in there - nuff said.
I still think though that 'Redcar Jazz Club' was probably THEE place for bands in the 60's and 70's. I was there most Sunday nights and saw some incredible bands of that era, bands like Joe Cocker who said on stage that Dave Coverdale needed to get down to the 'smoke' to make his name, also The Who, Cream, Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, the ORIGINAL Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, Jethro Tull, The Flirtations, Free, The Peddlers, Georgie Fame, John Mayall Blues Breakers, Alan Bown Set, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Alan Price, The Foundations. The list could go on for ever but my favourite band at the time and I have queued for 4 hours to be the first in line, was Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds. he had a fantastic drummer by the name of Carl Palmer who actually celebrated his 18th birthday at one of the gigs they played there. He went on to be part of
Emerson, Lake & Palmer. A great time was had most Sunday nights there along with some good friends of the day.
By this time we as a family had moved on to living in Garnet Street, my parents buying a big four storey place at the bottom of the street.
Dave (cover) and I used to spend a lot of our evenings listening to the juke box in the little cafe situated in between Watson's garage and Watson's shop on Milton Street, I believe it was called the Mayfair Cafe if my memory serves me well, but it made way for a block of flats some years later. The juke box always had a good selection of the latest songs on it and I always remember hearing Otis Redding's Sitting On The Dock of The Bay in there for the first time. The place was run by Dot and Pat who both lived with their families along the 'jewel' streets, and I often walked them or their staff safely home after the cafe shut anywhere between 11pm and midnight. I suppose I was about 17/18 at the time.
I remember seeing Pat , one of the owners of the cafe, when she worked at the Queens Hotel as a barmaid when I was home from London one time, I was about mid 20's and she took great delight in embarrassing me by telling everyone in ear-shot how I used to 'walk' her home when she had the cafe. A lovely women.
One memory I have is of Alan Ward or as we called him Copper Ward, he was a local bobby. Dave and myself were sat in the cafe with two local lasses, can't for the life of me remember who they were now but who comes walking in but none other than 'Copper Ward' and his mate for a quick cuppa. As he walks past our table he throws his car keys onto the table and says "Don't be too long with it and don't abuse it". of course the two girls were thinking he was serious and kept asking if we could all go for a ride in it. On reflection we should have and put the blue lights on and to be honest I don't think he would have been too bothered! A lot of the local villains didn't like him but I always got on with him OK, if you were straight then so was he.
Another memory I have of Alan (Copper Ward) was when I was walking down Saltburn Bank nearing the Spa, it was in the summer and there were loads of people walking down and up, I was on my own. Who should be coming up in a police car as a passenger but none other than 'Copper Ward', being the passenger he was on my side. As they passed by he dropped his window down, stuck his head out still wearing his flat hat, doft his hat to me and said "Good afternoon Mr Stanway"! Of course everyone then is looking at me obviously wondering who the heck is he? I was still laughing when I got to the bottom of the bank. He was one the 'old brigade'.
I played with one group from Middlesbrough for about 2 years and we were out playing or rehearsing every night of the week for those 2 years, our agent being the lead guitarists father! We got every 'plum' job going. I finally had to leave when I was about 19 because it was that or lose my apprenticeship, I was training to be a plasterer and I was having too much time off. I chose my job. My music career did carry on until I was about 30, that was on and off because I worked in London when ever it was needed, work being short in the N/east! I did eventually land my dream drumming job in London with an all black band playing Soul, Funk and Reggae which I still love today. I never wanted to be a 'pop' star unlike some who thought they were the bees knees but never would make it to the top. Only one guy did from our town and he never (thankfully) knew what was said behind his back before he did make it and then suddenly the 'wannabes' all wanted to be his best mate. Saddened me that did. We shared a flat together in our late teens at the back of Pearl Street for some time before he moved to Redcar into a flat above the night club that his manager owned.
The Marine Hotel was our 'local' and I spent most nights of the week in there. I used to take a ten bob note with me, to those not in the know ten bob was the equivalent to 50p nowadays. For that I paid two bob a pint and two bob for a packet of ten ciggies. To save you working it out that is - wait for it - 10p a pint and 10p for 10 fags! 4 pints and a pack of fags for 50p now that is what you call a deal! The dart board was just on the left as you entered the bar and from about 7.30pm until closing time at 10.30pm, yes that's when pubs closed then, that's where I stood! It was always a good atmosphere in there as most of us had grown up together and got along fine. It was owned and run by the Davis family and a good family they were. The Marine was the first place I visited when coming home from working in London, often going in there with my case! lol. A lot of the guys couldn't believe it.
I have more saltburn-by-sea-memories than I first thought and I can see this being an ongoing project for some time. I'll update when ever I have time which won't be much over the summer months but please keep checking back.
Living in Saltburn-by-sea gave us all access to the biggest playing field that one could wish for, the beach! After school we were down there most evenings and also down there all day on Sundays. Many a time the lads from the villages would come down and we would have about 20 / 30 odd players per side. The game would last for hours until we all finally gave up and went home for tea. It kept us fit and when you think about most of the youngsters nowadays and their computers, well I know which I prefer. We used to go for runs along the beach sometimes to Marske and then run back along the cliff tops, down into Hazel Grove and then up the steps to the top promenade and finally stop at the top and sit on the bench at the bottom of Garnet Street (knackered). How many kids do anything like that now? I remember playing football on the bottom prom near the chalets at the end of Hazelgrove that aren't there anymore. We were kicking various balls about and one of the lads shouted to another (who shall remain anonymous for his own sake, so as not to get ridiculed), "Here, on your head". Well give him his due, he rose into the air like a ballerina and proceeded to put the ball in the back of the net as good as Bobby Charlton or 'Besty' himself, the only problem being that he had been thrown a CRICKET ball never expecting him to actually head it! I don't think the poor chap has recovered even today!
School days were great and as most appreciate AFTER they leave, it is true what parents say, the best days of your life. No worries, clothes on your back, dinner on the table, a bed, a hot bath and best of all, NO bills! We often went to the Youth Club at the 'Old School' on the corner of Marske Mill Lane in the two prefab rooms on the side. The youth club was run by a great bloke called Ray Robinson who sadly passed away just a few years ago. We never realised at the time but we owed that man some debt, he helped us all grow up in a safe environment and gave us somewhere to go and enjoy ourselves, playing games on the field or listening to music, dancing to groups he used to get now and again or just generally socialising. He used to organise a bus to take us to Whitby Pavillion to the dances that were run on a Saturday night, and many a good time was had by all down there. Myself and Mike Johnson used to go regularly.
When I found out from Martin Bazanek that Ray had suffered a stroke and was in a care home I went along whenever I was in the north east to see him. Sometimes with Martin if he was over here from Norway or on my own. He was always as cheery as ever and gave the nurses a bit of a time believe me. I met some of his family one visit and told them how much we all owed him and that he should have been rewarded for his time and efforts and they said that his efforts were appreciated by the local council and he did get some sort of recognition which was only right and proper. The man was a legend in my eyes.
One thing I have noticed is that the amusements on the sea front near the cafe have gone. They played a big part in our early years with the Waltzers being the place a lot of friendships and relationships began on a weekend. There wasn't a lot there but it did bring in people from other towns and villages and brought the place alive. I visited Saltburn-by-sea one August Bank holiday and went down onto the bottom prom for a stroll and actually went in the cafe, there were four staff and nobody else. There were four of us so we had one staff member each, it was unbelievable to me and the weather was good. The bottom prom was deserted and that never happened when we were young. I think doing away with the amusements had a lot to do with people finding other places to visit. In those gone-by days the promenade was always packed as was the beach, at times you could hardly find a place to sit. I suppose now they sit on the beach in Benidorm or some far flung place over the summer sipping their Tequila's.
It's strange how time and events go when you are young, one period passing into another, never really remembering how things started and then when they actually finished and why. It's like the cafe me and Dave used nearly every night in Milton Street, can't remember how long we used it for and when our last visit occurred. Did we just decide one night, well that is that and then moved on, I don't recall. It was like the Youth Club, we used it on the nights it was open and then one night we must have decided that we weren't going back again, wonder why?
Quite a few of us stuck together for one reason or another after leaving school, and we went to each others 18th and 21st birthdays, bachelor nights, weddings, engagements and any other do's for whatever reason. We probably had a nucleus of about 10 - 15 with others popping in and out of the group along with girlfriends and boyfriends making up the numbers. I say boyfriends because we did have some great girls in the circle that we went to school with or met at the youth club or local pubs. As I said earlier I wouldn't mention any girls names because of relationships, or marriage etc. The internet is a big place and some of what happened might not be appropriate now.
There is only one who I will mention and that was Marysia sister of Martin Bazanek, we went to school together and she did marry a local lad, Bob. Probably because of my involvement with Martin and the groups we became very good friends. I remember on many an occasion walking home from school and badgering, nay begging her, to give us one of the pasties or whatever it was she had made in Cookery class, they were always delicious! We lost touch for quite a few years but are now communicating again and have chats on the phone now and then but not very often and we have met up in Saltburn-by-sea when we have both been visiting with our own families at the same time. We hopefully plan to meet up again soon. She's a great lady who has never changed and as she says, neither have I, well to be honest, looking at the pair of us I think we probably have ! lol. What hasn't changed is her attitude and her being down to earth, I like to think I have stayed the same unlike some of the 'old crowd' who are so far up their own rectums they can't see the outside world anymore. Marysia's brother Martin is the same and is still as crazy as ever he was, if not worse now! We are in touch quite a lot and see each other on a regular basis when we are both in the area. He still owes me for a bumper bar he knocked off the back of a mini I once owned but that is another story! lol He'll love me mentioning that.
I remember around the age of 17 going to one or two 'beach parties' and dancing around those little transistor radios quite a few people had in those days listening to Radio Caroline or Luxemburg. Can you imagine what would happen now if folk were doing that, they would get locked up for their own safety lol. A lot of folk were off the caravan site that turned up, again, a great way to make friends from outside the area. I don't really know but I don't think there are youth clubs and dances or the likes of disco's anymore were everyone could meet up. Philmore's on Saltburn Bank started out when we were all in our 20's, before that it was called the Spa if my memory serves me right. I only ever visited Philmore's once or twice, time was passing and disco's and similar I was leaving behind for next generation coming along.
We practiced in there with a group which I was a member of now and again when it was still The Spa. There used to be the occasional dance in there, again if my memory serves me well. I remember one night one of my favourite bands of the time was supposed to play there. Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band but unfortunately Geno never turned up but the band did. Don't think that would have been the same somehow!
One guy who must get a special mention is Tinker Dick, I do believe he is now a local celebrity playing round the folk clubs in the area in his own imitable style. I was about 23 / 24 at the time and there was a house warming party going on in Coral Street at Brian Hudson and Cheryl Dixons place and I had to go out playing with a band but promised I would call in on my way home and see if it was still going. If so I had said I would fetch my first wife round as we only lived in the next street. I rang the bell a few times and then the front door is proudly opened by Tinker Dick who immediately threw his arms around me and gave me a full on bear hug saying "Come on in Stan, come on in". The only problem being that Tinker Dick was stood there stark bollock naked! Needless to say I stayed a while, made my excuses, went home and told the wife that the party had finished early! I have only recently found out that Tinker Dick sadly passed away a few months ago so I thought I would put this video of him up as a bit of a tribute to the man. This is one of the funniest and best video's of him on YouTube
Saltburn-by-sea is and always will be a great place with loads of fond memories for me and I am sure lots of others too. It's a place that has retained it's character and charm. I wouldn't want to live there again, I don't want any good memories to be broken but I do like to visit as often as possible because I still have daughters living in the area.
An old saying, "There is nothing like returning to a place to see how you yourself have changed".
It does seem strange when visiting the area because I don't often see anyone I know or so I think until someone like Tom Archbold points out someone from our past. I know this is supposed to be about my youth but Tom and I have shared houses or accommodation in London over the years and worked in Bognor Regis, not together but in the same town. We have shared places at Hamstead Heath (ducky), Dollis Hill, and out near the airport. Always had a laugh, saw some great musicians in London and stayed friends ever since. I used to disappear into the woodwork and then make an appearance after a while, all due to family and work commitments. I owe Tom a debt of gratitude for helping me when I needed it but Tom being Tom, he would have done the same for anyone, especially if they were pretty! And I did get told by Tom that Pete Johnson after all these years, finally did get his round in! See, everything comes to him that waits! lol I haven't seen a lot of Pete over the years to be honest but when we do meet up we always have a good laugh about the past and some of the events that happened. A great guy.
As I said earlier, I will be updating this and adding more as the memories return or I get prompted so please keep looking back. You'll see if it's been updated by the date at the top left hand side. It's been a stroll down 'Memory Lane' has this, I started with a few thoughts and gradually it has brought more and more memories back as one kicks off another, some I have never thought of or recalled since they first happened.
To anyone reading this that knows me from the past I hope you have had a good life and things have gone your way, it so often doesn't. For those that don't know me then I hope if you have read this far you have enjoyed my saltburn-by-sea-memories.
This website is