Pictures from the Past

East Street landslip, Tynemouth 1913-14.
East Street landslip, Tynemouth 1913-14.

ON New Year’s Eve 2012, a large section of the cliffs beside Tynemouth Priory fell following a landslide.

In 1986 there was a landslip below the Gibraltar Rock and the threat of coastal erosion during bad weather is a constant worry as it is always so unexpected.

Prior to the building of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool in the 1920s, the cliff banks had to be shored up as a preventative measure against such an occurrence.

Boulder clay cliffs collapsing onto the Black Middens below Percy Square claimed the south side of the square, which was eventually demolished and Knott’s Memorial Flats sited there in 1938.

The mid 1950s saw remodelling of the banks below the flats to prevent repeated landslips and erosion, and a toe wall was constructed prior to the addition of the promenade in the 1970s.

King Edward’s Bay seems to have borne the brunt of such landslides.

A major landslip in 1913 was photographed by Burton Graham, of Whitley Bay, and sent in March as a postcard by John Wilson to Miss P Griffiths, of County Durham, where he wrote his message backwards to tell her his knee problem and his cold prevented him from coming to visit her.

The road was closed at Percy Gardens and the extent of the damage to the road is shown in another postcard photographed by Johnston & Son, of Gateshead.

This one of East Street, pictured, was taken for the borough surveyor’s office in 1914 to assess the damage and enable remedial work.

If anyone has further information please ask for Local Studies at North Shields Library on (0191) 643 5270 or e-mail