Spain, Italy and Africa were great - but nothing beat Seaton Carew
The Hartlepools really do seem to have attracted their fair share of holidaymakers down the years.
Recently, we told the story of Leonard Ambler, who visited the towns for 55 years as his annual summer break.
But he was not the only one who had particular reason for loving Hartlepool. One couple rated its beaches as being above the best that Spain, Italy and large parts of Africa had to offer.
Today, we turn the clock back to 1957 when Mr and Mrs George Baldwin chose Seaton Carew as their destination for their summer break – and that was not a one-off visit either.
Among the many plus points for choosing Seaton was one which put it ahead of Spain, Italy and resorts in Africa, said the couple. Its outstanding beach.
Mr Baldwin told the Northern Daily Mail at the time: “In all our travels – and we have been to Italy, Spain and almost all the way round the African coast – we have never seen a better beach than the one at Seaton.”
Mr Baldwin was a native of West Hartlepool who first emigrated to southern Rhodesia in 1927 where he entered municipal engineering. He met his wife while he was in Rhodesia.
During the Second World War he served with the Royal Air Force as a field technical officer in Rhodesia and also saw service in Egypt.
And once the war was over, he entered the Colonial Engineering Service in northern Rhodesia.
He became assistant director of works for the Northern Rhodesia Government and it meant he got to do a lot of travelling across the vast country.
Their lives were becoming filled with many memorable moments.
In 1956, Mr Baldwin was awarded the OBE for public service and in 1957 Mrs Baldwin was invited to a presentation party at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Baldwin was elected as deputy mayor of Livingstone in northern Rhodesia from 1960 to 1963 and his wife was deputy mayoress.
The couple did keep Hartlepool in their hearts and paid a visit to Teesside in 1951.
They were back again within six years and were clearly impressed by much of what they saw.
Our report in 1957 said: “Since their last visit in 1951, the couple have seen many changes in the town.”
And Mrs Baldwin had her own clear view on one very attractive part of Hartlepool’s offering.
“One thing which impressed me immediately on our arrival was that the people are much happier than they were last time we were here,” said Mrs Baldwin.
After spending time in Hartlepool, the couple planned to tour Scotland before returning home.
What are your memories of holidays and days out in the Hartlepools and east Durham in times gone by. What were the highlights? Was it the golden beaches, perhaps the local attractions?
Or perhaps you’re still visiting Hartlepool to enjoy its attractions and would like to praise the town.
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