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South Gare breakwater and lighthouse

A Lighthouse 5 June 1883

A petition is being numerously signed in Middlesbrough~ today, by merchants and shippers praying the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House London, to erect a lighthouse on the eastern point of Salt Scar Rocks, at Redear. The petition sets forth that several wrecks have occured there, and that re­cently the- Stonewall Jackson, with her ‘cargo, valued at £30,000, was wrecked on this dangerous reef. Such a lighthouse could easily be erected, as the rOoks are bare at low water. MrT. R. Tay­lor had charge of the petition, and was very successful in obtaining signatures.

Teesmouth lifeboat early 1900s

The crew of the teesmouth life boat early 1900s.

3rd from left is Coxwain Jack Stonehouse

3rd from right back row Jim Thompson

North Eastern Weekly News Friday January 14 1949

SAVING lives is more in Jack Thompson’s line than saving dollars.
For sea-tanned Jack comes from a family of fisher men and notable lifeboat men,
At 66 he is still an active man of the sea, helping to supplement our meagre rations with fish lobster and crab.
Three years ago he retired from his position as coxswain of the Teesmouth Lifeboat, a position he held for 10 years.
He told me that his family are descendants of the great Captain Cook and how his father and grandfather were fishermen and lifeboat men before him.
Jack can still tell many a tale of the lifeboats---tales of courage,fortitude,and bravery.
One that stands out in his memory was the attempt to reach the Red Cross ship Rohilla which became a total wreck off Whitby with the loss of many lives during the early days of the first world war, this attempt almost ended her crew.
As the boat crossed the Tees bar in a fierce storm she was struck with such forse by heavy seas that she sprang a leak.
The engines stopped and they were helpless. The bottom of the boat was knocked out and the crew were waist deep in water
After five hours in this plight they were taken in tow by the tug Sir Joseph Pease, and brought back to the Tees.
one member of the crew broke his leg in boarding the tug.
Jack Thompson is proud of one thing in particular. He never missed a practice run or a servic call while he was a member of the lifeboat crew. I'd go out with the lifeboat even now if I was needed he said.
The other day when the coastguards fired rockets to warn a ship off the rocks, I was ready with my own boat but wasn’t needed.He has twice been swept over board in heavy seas and rescued on each occasion by line.
During the summer months Jack is a popular figure with holidaymakers. thousands of whom he has taken out to sea.
Born in Redcar Jack married a country girl from Thirsk, His three sons follow in his footsteps as fishermen.
Jack took to the sea when he was first able to crawl into a boat.
At sixteen he joined the Redcar lifeboat in the days when it was all pull,He became a bowman in 1922, In 1926 he was made second coxwain, and nine years later Coxwain

The sail bogey

After its Opening the Breakwater became a favourite place for visitors just like today.

Many look advantage of the sail bogey to travel out to the Gare to see the lighthouse,
The wildlife, and the boats, and ships using the busy river Tees, and the fortress were other attractions


To defend the river Tees against possible enemy attack, The South Gare Fortress was built and garrisoned by the North Riding Fortress Company, or Submarine Corps, between the late I880s and early 1920s. Mines. such as these on railway bogeys entering the fortress, were laid under water across the river Tees mouth and could be fired electronically in the event of an attack.

The South Gare pictured during the first world war

Paddy's Hole

David Van Oord Re - Ravnanger

you may like to know during my research I have
re-discovered Smiths Dock Shipyard Daily Log Books 1939/45 listing all ships being built and or Repaired with costings attached also Middlesbrough Mission to Seaman Daily Logs and photo album,I have had dive team down to the wreck also I believe I have located HE 115 aircraft that sunk my ship which leads to another story.
Bill Norman local aviation writer
John Knight local German Consul
and Koos Van Oord
founder chairman of
vanoord acz
all have supported my efforts in this local history venture
can I gain your support?
JIM WATTS ran or owned the bus service that collected / delivered the Tees Pilots to South Gare around November 1940,he lived I believe near the Police Station in North Ormesby.
JOHN FRANKLIN apprentice Tees Pilot was on gaurd duty on the H R Lister Pilot Cutter when Ravnanger survivors berthed along side and scrambled over her to the jetty.

click on the link below Ravnanger

Teesmouth Lifeboat 2002

Ships Sunk

1939 - 1945

The second world War Years.

Men at work

Happy Days

Happy Days at the breakwater

On the left are Mr & Mrs Hall,on the right is Audrey Lambert and daughters Linda and Kath.
photo and information from Kath

Engine 1800s

A railway line ran from Warrenby Iron works, to The South Gare when work was carried out to reinforce the breakwater.

Redcar Lifeboats

This is a site worth looking at regarding wrecks on the Redcar/Coatham sands.

Redcar life boat1914 - 18

A First World War picture,showing Redcar life boat

Lifeboat crew 1960

The Zetland


The Zetland Lifeboat which is kept at the Zetland Museum at Redcar has been added to the National Historic Ships Core collection [NHSC]. The criterion for entry to this section is that the vessel must be of EXTRAORDINARY MARITIME IMPORTANCE.

The 11th lifeboat built by HENRY GREATHEAD at South Shields at a cost of £200, she is the only surviving lifeboat out of a total of 31 lifeboats he built and is the oldest lifeboat in the world. Arriving at Redcar on 6th October 1802 the Zetland is currently celebrating her Bi-centenary year. She served Redcar and passing seafarers from 1802 to 1880 [78 years] and is credited with saving over 500 lives. Zetland was the forerunner of today's R.N.L.I. To mark this historic event, a painting has been commissioned from Whitby artist JOHN FREEMAN and copies are on sale at the main boathouse and the museum at a cost of £25. Housed on the seafront at Redcar where her life's work was so courageously performed, the Zetland lifeboat takes pride of place in Redcar's history. The treacherous North East coast needed a reliable boat for stormy weather and welcomed the arrival of the Zetland. Although Redcar was only a small village there was never a shortage of volunteers to man her. Following her years of service she travelled to inland towns as an ambassador for the RNLI. A poem records "thine age shall be respected, thy youth perchance restored" and these words are inscribed on the boat. Since 1980 the museum has been manned by volunteers, whose aim is to preserve the boat and let the public have access, admission is free.

In addition to this honour, Roy Barker chairman of the 200 committee (which was formed to mark this event) has been awarded the RNLI silver medal for services to the lifeboats and the Zetland in particular. Roy joined Redcar lifeboat crew in 1953 and is still serving the RNLI as vice chairman of the Zetland lifeboat museum. Roy stated that it is a great honour to receive this medal not only for myself but all members of RNLI Redcar and the Zetland in particular. It is a great honour to have in our keeping this wonderful boat, she is a tribute to the builder, and a lasting memorial to those who manned her. It is vital that the memory of the Zetland and life-saving at sea are continued into the next 100 years.

The picture shows Roy being presented with the R N L I silver medal by Gilbert Gray QC vice chairman RNLI at a ceremony at York racecourse.

Infomation and photograph courtesy of Roy Barker

Santa at the Boat House

While Chrismas shopping with two of my grandchildren in 1992,we called in at a coffee morning at the Lifeboat Station,and we were most surprised to find Father Christmas there too.

Sheila Barker


A plan of the South Gare Battery
contributed by Joe Foster

25 September 1873

The Cleveland Journal and South Durham Advertiser
Tuesday 25 September 1873.

Redcar and Coatham
Mr William Thompson of Whitby,has challenged the Redcar men to find a crew of four Staiths men to row them in cobbles for a £100 to £500 aside,the race to take place in the first or second week in December.


Colin Barker with his daughter Ann & dog Nicky

The Teesmouth Lifeboat

Rocket Brigade

My Grand-dad Henry Guy ( top row Left ) with the Rocket Brigade Mr Johnson was one of them,
the Coast Guards station was at the top of Rocket Terrace.

photo and information
courtesy of Charlie Brown.