Tynemouth's Longsands: Beach life then and now
- 23 August 2014
- From the section Tyne & Wear
Tynemouth's Longsands beach has been a popular visitor destination for more than 150 years.
In Victorian times local businesses hired out bathing machines and boats, and provided refreshments. These have been replaced by companies offering surf board and canoe hire.
A regular Blue Flag award winner, Longsands came sixth in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for best beaches in the UK.
Pete Warne, tourism manager at North Tyneside Council, said: "The boroughs' award-winning beaches contribute significantly to the £268m generated by tourism in North Tyneside annually, and the 5.9 million visitors it attracts."
Sea bathing was initially thought to have curative or therapeutic value, but later became a popular pastime. The introduction of railways also played a part in the rise of the seaside resort.
RNLI lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer season.
A spokesman said: "[They] are highly trained and are equipped to deal with everything from locating missing children and treating minor cuts and grazes, through to performing major first-aid and lifesaving rescues."
Throughout the decades August Bank Holiday has been a busy time - with crowds flocking there in 1938. The salt-water lido opened at the south end of the beach in 1925.
Tynemouth Outdoor Pool became derelict after closing in the 1990s. However, a campaign group has been set up and is attempting to raise funds to restore it to its former glory.
Newcastle United's first team uses the beach for training. There are also boot camps held regularly.
David Fairlamb, who runs year-round sessions, puts their popularity down to the fresh air and the "glorious location".