Saltburn by the Sea is a lovely seaside town that is meant for strolling around. It is within the unitary authority of Redcar and Cleveland and was developed as a resort by the local Pease family. This same family were behind the Stockton and Darlington railway, which was the line used for the first public passenger train pulled by Locomotion No 1 in 1825.
The Pease family had lots of plans to make the town a success; in 1869 Saltburn Pier was opened and a few years later the water powered Saltburn Cliff Lift began operating taking visitors up and down the cliff; these were both renovated in the early 21st century. I was disappointed that the cliff lift was closed for the winter when we visited, not because I couldn’t manage the steep slope but just for the sheer enjoyment of travelling on the old and elegant lift. The pier was open and I was able to join the crowds walking along the wooden boards to the end to watch the surfers out catching the waves.
The memorial bench to John ‘Fred’ Pugmire is above the beach and pier and provides a wonderful viewpoint for anyone who stops to rest on their way up or down. John Frederick Pugmire’s obituary and the bench inscription both tell me some of the story of the man. John Fred Pugmire was a fine Saltburn man who had been loved through his 81 years and is missed by his family and friends.
This bench got me thinking about the family name Pugmire; this is an unusual name that I haven’t come across before. The internet suggests that it originates from the West Midlands and a farm belonging to the Pugg family, mire being middle English for bog. By the late 19th century family members had moved from the West Midlands to the north of England, including the North Riding of Yorkshire.