AS well as providing maritime income, the sea was the basis for a tourist income for Redcar and Coatham. Coatham considered itself the more genteel resort – in 1800, it had four bathing machines and marketed itself as being beneficial for invalids – whereas Redcar was a little racier – it had 12 bathing machines.

In the 1870s, both resorts developed rival piers, which troubled shipping far more than they did whoever had to count the takings. Coatham’s pier fell down after 1898, and Redcar’s emerged from the Second World War just 15 yards long, although it survived in that shortened form until 1981.

In 1922, Redcar council spent £200 on its first promotional campaign – “Redcar for happy holidays”. Bathing was restricted to the 24 bathing tents pitched on the beach in which you had to pay 6d for adults and 3d for children to change for a swim, and to ensure decorum, the council refused to allow a hoop-la stall to be set up and also turned down an application for “housey-housey”, which was all the rage in the 1920s.

It did, though, in 1925 allow an amusement park to open which featured a Giant Racer rollercoaster, made of wood. From the top of the “scenic railway”, there was a panoramic view from the mouth of the Tees down to Huntcliff, but then there was the stomach churning drop to the bottom of the one minute ride.

The Giant Racer was dismantled in 1938 and taken to Sheerness in Kent, but at least Redcar can boast of having had a rollercoaster a full year before Seaton Carew, as Memories 514 told.