WATCH: New coastal telescopes are unveiled by local pupils

Two large telescopes are helping give a new view of Whitley Bay and its dramatic coastline.

The new additions to the promenade have been introduced thanks to Whitley Bay Big Local and North Tyneside Council.

North Tyneside elected mayor Norma Redfearn, together with school children from Rockliffe and Marine Park first Schools unveiled  new telescopes on Whitley Bay seafront. Seen with their posters are: Finn Smithson, Isabelle Robinson, Sophia Jeffrey and Charlie Reed.
Picture by Jane Coltman

North Tyneside elected mayor Norma Redfearn, together with school children from Rockliffe and Marine Park first Schools unveiled new telescopes on Whitley Bay seafront. Seen with their posters are: Finn Smithson, Isabelle Robinson, Sophia Jeffrey and Charlie Reed. Picture by Jane Coltman

Officials are hoping the new features will encourage residents and visitors to take a closer look beyond the shore and admire the coastal views.

Whitley Bay Big Local – the Big Lottery funded ten year community-led programme – paid for the two high quality, free to use, tourist telescopes and worked with the council to install them on the promenade, one at the Spanish City Plaza and the other further south at the end of Victoria Avenue.

The telescopes are the first new additions along the coastline to exhibit the new Whitley Bay colour palette.

They have already captured the imagination of local school children from Rockcliffe and Marine Park First Schools who have been drawing pictures as part of a competition imagining what people might see when they take a look through the magnifying lenses.

Isabelle Robinson tries out a new telescope
Picture by Jane Coltman

Isabelle Robinson tries out a new telescope Picture by Jane Coltman

Big Local volunteers and council officials are confident that people will be overwhelmed by just what is visible through the telescopes and how the coast changes daily.

Helen Frankenburg, local resident and Big Local board member who has been instrumental in bringing the telescopes to the town, said: “We are blessed with an abundance of seabirds living just off the coast which we can’t always see with the naked eye but can be seen very clearly through the telescopes.

“Seals and dolphins are common visitors to our shoreline too and the telescopes, which all have children’s viewing platforms, will allow us to take a closer look at them.

“We want the seafront to be a place we can enjoy all year round and the telescopes will certainly enhance its appeal.

Orange beach, by Finn Henry Smithson.

Orange beach, by Finn Henry Smithson.

“Working in partnership with North Tyneside Council we are confident that the seafront will once again be a place we will be proud to call our own.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn helped the children to officially unveil the telescopes.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled about these fantastic new additions to the seafront, which really complement the many other improvements taking place as part of our Seafront Master Plan for Whitley Bay.

“The children have shown great imagination in their ideas for the competition and I’m really impressed by all of their wonderful efforts.

Sea Monster by Isabella Robinson, part of the design competition for local schools.

Sea Monster by Isabella Robinson, part of the design competition for local schools.

“We are delighted to be working with Big Local and these free-to-use telescopes will be a real feature for families to enjoy and are just another example of our commitment to making the town a place we can all be proud to live, work and visit.”

A collection of the children’s art work will be on display at Whitley Bay Library.