Scarborough Civic Society
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Shelter 3 in Spa Gardens
2012 was the 150th anniversary of shelter 3.
We believe this is an important part of our heritage and thought to be the work of Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) and it would be wonderful if it could be restored to its former glory.  In “Scarborough’s Floral Heritage” by Genevieve Lord MBE, published in 1984 a photograph is captioned: “Sir Joseph Paxton’s Italian staircase, and the summer-house which appeared in 1862.”

The picture left shows the shelter in 1969 before it was converted into an electricity sub-station.  The electrical equipment which was in shelter 3 has been relocated into the Spa buildings. It has now been possible to restore the shelter. When we met with Dale Electrics Apprentices in December 2014 and explained how for three years we have been trying to get shelter 3 returned to its former glory. They immediately understood the value of such a project and have won the regional finals in the 2015 Brathay Apprentice Challenge so now go into the national finals.
The shelter is near the top of the Paxton Staircase at the rear of The Spa.  The timber detailing on this shelter seems to be the most elaborate of any of the shelters in the garden. It has a ceramic tiled floor and a sound modern roof and guttering. Pictured right; it has been restored to its original function as a large shelter. (February 2016)
In 2005 a sub-group was set up as the Civic Society shelters group to take a special interest in the preservation of shelters within the town.  Click here to see the result of the work done in South Cliff Gardens with the society working closely with the council.

Richard Blades a local artist was commissioned to paint a panorama of the South Bay featuring the wonderful Sun Court at the Spa as a part of the Civic Society's 50th year celebrations.The Civic Society committee wished ensure that the painting would be on public view and are pleased that Sheffield International Venues, who operate the Spa Complex in cooperation with Scarborough  Council, kindly agreed to hang the painting in Farrer's Bar. The painting "Belief" was handed over to Steve Brailly, Chief Executive of Sheffield International Venues at the Gala Concert at the Spa on Thursday the 11th of September. To see the painting process and the picture developing click on this link

Water Trough

In 2014 as part of the 50 years anniversary Scarborough & District Civic Society has funded repairs to the water trough on Sandside. This very fine water trough is on the opposite side of the road from the Newcastle Packet public house and was erected in 1908. The trough was in need of some “TLC” and in order to complete the project first contact was made with SBC and the necessary permissions were gained plus an agreement for the planting of the trough.

The water trough was erected at a time when it was common to provide such memorials and they were intended not merely for the comfort of hardworking horses, but also to keep draymen, cabdrivers and trippers out of public houses

Paint the Town

The Civic Society had been working to develop a significant heritage project to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. With the award of £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we now have an exciting project, “Paint the Town”.

With the support of Scarborough Museums Trust and Scarborough Borough Council, high quality replicas of some of the Scarborough Art Gallery collection are displayed in outdoor spaces. Artists such as John Atkinson Grimshaw who lived and worked in Scarborough feature in the heritage art trail. The Scarborough Art Gallery collection contains a wealth of information about Scarborough's heritage both in terms of places and people. However only a limited number of the population visit the Scarborough Art Gallery. This project presents our heritage to a wider audience with Scarborough a huge outdoor art gallery.

We highlight some of Scarborough’s most interesting and breathtaking views, using artistic gems on display out in the streets in settings which proved so inspirational to the artists.
We received many letters of support for the project and we were specially pleased by a letter from a local school in which they said: "The trail will be a fantastic opportunity for getting out and about in the local community, as well as provide a fabulous vehicle for further teaching within the classroom."

The Mary Fountain
The society has funding repairs to the Mary Fountain which is on the pavement at Ramshill. The work started in November and got off to a good start; however the very cold frosty weather slowed things down as the stonemasons had wait for a break in the wintry weather before they could finish off repairing the stonework. While the stonemason was undertaking the work passers-by commented on how the memorial was coming back to life. Shelter-coat has been applied and finally 16 new stone spindles fixed which are from a quarry in Cumbria.The work was completed on 23rd December 2011. We are grateful to Scarborough Borough Council Central Urban Area Committee for their contribution of £1500 towards the costs of this project. 
Shuttleworth Shelter
A project recently realized is the restoration of the English oak
shelter in Shuttleworth Gardens.  We believe the shelter is around 100 years old.
The gardens and shelter were given to the town by Alfred Shuttleworth of Red Court in 1917. Click here for more information.

Many members commented that some of the large “Welcome to Scarborough” maps were out of date and gave an unfavourable impression of the town. The maps which needed to be replaced were in the following locations: Queens Parade, Castle Road (below the castle), at the side of the Town Hall and near the Grand Hotel. SBC had been working on the project for some time but run out of funds.
At a meeting of the Executive it was agreed that the society would fund this important project so look out for the new maps have been printed by a local company and installed by Civic Society Volunteers.
The Ramshill Water Fountain was looking very tired and dirty but on further examination the structure was at great risk and needed
the attention of a qualified stonemason who dismantled parts of the structure, cleaned and re-assembled the fountain. This work will ensure that the memorial will last for many years.





It’s hard to understand how we have not previously recognised the significance of the Spa Cliff Lift with a Blue Plaque but we have corrected that oversight. The lift was the first passenger cliff tramway in Europe (possibly the world) and it set an example to be followed by a large number of holiday resorts. The tramway opened on 6th July 1875, having cost £8,000. This system of conveying passengers from cliff top esplanades to the undercliff below was extremely influential in the way a number of resorts developed in the late 19th century; many other resorts followed Scarborough's lead. The lift still has a vital role to play in Scarborough's continued success by making the Spa accessible to everyone and in 2008, over 230,000 journeys were made.

We have found a new home for the Weather Station on Sandside close to the ‘Tardis’ Police Box. The Harbour Master, Captain Willis and his team will ensure that the board is up-dated and people will be able to get meteorological observations about the tides, sunny hours, temperature and barometric pressure.






The Diving Belle which is on Vincent's Pier has a stunning location just next to the Lighthouse, represents  the energy of Scarborough driving forward her future in the twenty-first century.

The Bathing Belle (below) brings the history of Scarborough as the first sea-bathing resort in the UK into the town centre's main shopping street, Westborough, outside the Brunswick Centre.












Shelters Working Group                                                            

We are greatly indebted to Andy Whitelaw of Andy Whitelaw Joinery
who has donated the materials to refurbish the Peasholm Driveshelter,
and also given generously of his time in training the volunteers for the work.
For information about South Cliff Gardens Shelters click here.  

Valley Road Gates

The new Valley Road Gates have now been hung on the restored pillars; we have now reached the end of this project to restore this important feature of the Valley Gardens.  The Civic Society has been able to provide the gates following a fundraising campaign, led by Linda Faunt, and the award of a £500 grant towards the cost by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust.  As part of the first ever Civic Societies Week, a team of enthusiasts from the Society painted the gates, and on Saturday 27th June the Mayor of Scarborough, Councillor Eileen Vickers, accepted the gates on behalf of the town. The gates were made by blacksmith James Godbold and the pillars restored by Scarborough Borough Council.

Leaflet developed to assist visitors to Scarborough arriving at the Railway Station