Looking Back...at the pleasure boats

Fry's boat on the beach at Whitley Bay.
Fry's boat on the beach at Whitley Bay.

Under a magnifying glass it is possible to see that the Rex Hotel was still called the Waverley.

On the beach are some of the deck chairs and changing huts hired out by the local council. The wheeled platforms cluttering the sand are parts of the mobile jetties used by the pleasure boats.

One of them was the Empress, seen here flying William Hutson Fry’s flag. The Fry family had been boatmen and boat builders at Tynemouth since the 18th century. Miss Eva Fry’s reminiscences note that her father had his boatyard at Percy Square. The largest they built was 40ft long, and could seat 60 passengers. The Second World War closed down the beaches, and in any case there was no petrol for the boats. The Frys decided to sell up.

If anyone has further information, contact Discover@northtyneside.gov.uk