The success of Seaton Snook

The zinc works at Seaton Snook
The zinc works at Seaton Snook

“THIS little forgotten village had for a while an interesting history.”

A short sentence from Arthur Glendenning to sum up his excellent research into the background of Seaton Snook, the tiny village lying just south of Seaton Carew.

In the third part of his story, Arthur looks at the heyday of this coastal community and its development.

Every thriving community needs good transport links and Seaton Snook’s came in the early 1900s.

A branch line was constructed from the docks at Hartlepool to the Snook End to transport zinc ore, the main product of this tiny community.

“The main inducement would have been that this was one of the most up-to-date smelting plants involving the latest and highest technology of the day, this attracting a highly skilled workforce,” said Arthur.

Seaton Snook was “off the beaten track” but it had its attractions.

And once the zinc industry flourished, the Snook soon had community and family facilities such as a school, community hall, and transport which did come about slightly later.”

Plus there was one added attraction which any seaside community had. “The freshness of the air,” said Arthur. “This was and is still very much in evidence, particularly with an easterly wind.”

And yet, it seemed, the children always had a rough ride.

We told last week how they had to be let out of school in Seaton Carew early to walk home before the tide came in.

For those who went to a different school in Graythorp, there were just as many perils. Although there was public transport to Graythorp, the distance from Seaton Snook was one furlong short of a mile - and that meant it was just too short for the youngsters to get transport concessions.

By the height of Seaton Snook’s days, 47 children were living in the village and by around 1908, they had a village school - no need for the pupils to get to Seaton Carew any more.

Next week - last days of Seaton Snook.