Skip Navigation Links

Barkers holiday camp

Many families spent happy holidays at the camp on Warrenby road,there were chalets and caravans.
the holiday makers were well catered for with the camp shop, and fish shop and two very good shops
on York road most of the families came every year a lot of people from the Durham area.
Dennis Wardles late parents, Doris and Billy Hunter owned a hut beside the Saltburn to Darlington railway line, at Barkers holiday camp, which meant being awakened by the first train every morning, at around 5am.
I do remember one year says Dennis being at the camp and met a family from Boston arriving at the gate, they looked bemused, I think they thought they had arrived at a prisoner of war camp,
There was a corrugated iron dwelling named Suitsus, a name that stuck in my memory, and also a gypsy's caravan on the site for hire. .and at tea time each day an old boy came around selling paraffin.
But Dennis also remembers the laughs and great times he had with his parents and their friends.
Then in the late 40s and being of drinking age (just said Dennis)! I had some great times at the camp and each evening we would walk back from the town via the beach, paddling in the sea ,I never ever had warm feet on holiday !

Ptotgraph and information
courtesy of Dennis Wardle (Angus)

Joyce Taylor remembers

We had many happy holidays in a hut at Barker's Field. We had a family friend Martha Hopson, who owned a lovely caravan there , one of those with lots of shiny brass. The caravans were usually more per week to rent so we stayed in the huts, which were nice and clean but always over run with earwigs.. My brother being a couple of years older than me , used to scare the life out of me by telling me that they would crawl in my ears while I was sleeping , so I slept with my fingers in my ears.. There was a little tuck shop on the field that sold a bit of everything , and of course buckets and spades !!!!!! Also I think on the main road outside some kind of cafeteria that we ate at as a special treat , but a bit hazy on that..
We spent hours and hours on the sands at Coatham which was just a short walk away, in those days in the early 50s the sands would be packed with day trippers and holiday makers ..
We always went to Barkers field with some family friends The Wilkinson's like us they were from Middlesbrough, Dad and Albert used to spend every lunchtime and most evenings in a pub called " The Lobster Pot " I think its still there isn't it ???????
Ah happy days :)

My parents were , Mary and Joe Elwick , my dad drove for Lowcocks lemonade for years but did most of his deliveries in the country villages around Middlesbrough..cheers Joyce

The photo is my mother and I, and sisters Sheila, and Mary about 1953

thank you

----- Thank you for sharing those lovely old memories Dennis, and Joyce, I remember a lot of the people who like you came year after year from all over the north.I worked in the wine lodge & newsagents on Coatham road from 1964 until 1975 and at the wine & general dealers on York road from the mid 70s until 1992 so you can imagine how familiar we in the shops became with the holiday makers, as some used to stay for the season.and in the spring would come to get their holiday home ready to move into at easter and they would call in the shops to say hello and place their regular orders
it was always a pleasant time to see them arriving.
I think the tuck shop you refer to Joyce
may have been the shop and fish shop on the camp on York terrace.and the pub the Lobster Inn which is still there.

Here I am working with my colleague Maureen who is on the right at the York road shop. The photo was taken about 1989 by one of the camp regulars

Lance Barker

One of my sons Paul used to do little jobs for Mr Lance Barker. one of his duties was to show people round the caravans, and collect the money for the use of the showers.It cost half a crown and when they brought the key back Paul gave them 2 shillings in return.
Paul told me he used to link Mr Barkers arm as he walked through the camp site, Mr Barker would then hang up his coat and cap , then give Paul sixpence for helping him.
I personaly remember Lance Barker (Mayor of Redcar) as a tall smart and extremely pleasant and well respected gentleman,who was blind from being a young man following a riding accident.
I have a vivid recollection of him walking down Marina avenue with his cane, feeling the level of the pavements as he went along, and if he found one to be unlevel you could gaurantee the council workers would be round the next morning to put it right.and of course, this was in the days when the pavements on Coatham road where hosed clean every morning.
Sheila Barker

And below is a photo of the reverse side of the old camp picture which was contributed by by Mr Wardle

Office attendant

Jack Ward of Warrenby was site office attendant
welcoming visitors and booking them into the camp
in the 1950s

West View

A photo of my grandma and grandad Todd on the steps of uncle Frank's caravan in Barkers Field. I believe the caravan was called "West View".

Photograph and information
courtesy of Jim Mantle


My family along with my mams sister's family stayed at Barkers every year in the sixty's.
I remember Mr Barker as a kind man being escorted around the site. My sister and I often talk with fond memories about the long hot summers at Redcar.
I remember my brother and I got into a lot of trouble with my Dad when we sneaked into what I think was a disused military building up towards the river mouth, and still remember the little chip shop next to the camp shop. fish and chips now are Alas not the same.
It was always a great adventure and seemed a long way from home then, (it takes me 75 mins from Newcastle now). I often enjoy a walk along the front when I'm working there, looking at the fishing boats, and the lost children centre under the cinema, It still sends a shiver down my spine, I was taken there when I was about 4 and still remember 37 years later. I was scared stiff although the staff were rally nice. I enjoyed looking at all the old photos, and if we still have any interesting photos i will email them to you later.
Kind Regards Robin from Newcastle


A picture taken at Barkers Holiday camp
approx. 1950.
John Law is on the left and his brother Tony is on the right. But who is the girl in the middle?

I lived for the entire summer on the camp then moved to 7, the Esplanade, Redcar. That is right next to Kings cafe.

photograph and information courtesy of John Law