Construction started 1897
Last stone laid 1904
Cost £124,700 to build
Open to public 1908
Pedestrian toll charged until WWII
Vehicle toll abolished 1950
The following extract has been taken from an article on the Scarborough News web site. The full article can be found by clicking here.
"SCARBOROUGH'S Marine Drive was the first ever marine carriage drive in the country and was arguably the final and most ambitious project in transforming the town into a modern seaside resort.
The Drive, which was constructed primarily as a sea defence works, took 10 years, 10 months and 10 days to complete and was fraught with danger and constant setbacks as the sea lashed the site.
Construction of the Drive tested the civil engineering technology of the time to its limits, as hundreds of men carried out back-breaking work by hand, assisted by steam-powered cranes.
Work began on March 30 1897, and when the foundation stone was laid by the mayor in the June, it was expected that the project would be finished in three years – when in fact it took nearly 11.
The sea continued to lash the building work relentlessly over the years, causing havoc with the work timetable and contractors' finances. The most vulnerable parts of the site were the gantries carrying rail trucks and steam cranes which were erected to put the stones and concrete blocks in position.
The "last" stone was laid by the mayoress on October 1 1904, but the following January much of the work was undone as a huge storm washed away most of the North Pier. The Drive was repaired by January 1908, but even then the sea did not give up its continuing attack.
During a storm on January 18, a 400ft section of the wall moved seaward by around 16in, leaving a huge crack in the surface of the Drive.
When the Drive was finally opened for public use in the April, the total costs were calculated at 124,700 which was nearly twice as much as the original tender.
A Royal opening ceremony was performed on August 5 1908, by one of Queen Victoria's sons – Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, who was accompanied by his wife and their daughter Princess Patricia.
MARINE DRIVE FACTFILE
The Marine Drive was built as a toll road and tolls for 1908 to 1909 totalled 1,892.
Tolls were one penny for each person walking, riding on horseback or bicycle, travelling in a carriage, motor car or bath-chair.
Motor cycle tolls were two pence, plus one penny for each person riding or wheeling the machine.
During the Second World War the Marine Drive's tolls were suspended. The pedestrian toll was never resumed and the vehicle toll was abolished on December 5 1950.
The first toll collectors were listed as Henry Bosomworth, 106 Longwestgate; James Carr, 12 Franklin Street; Robert Morrison, 29 St John's Road; Frederick Pitt, 75a Trafalgar Street.
The first toll payers: Carriage – Alderman John Watson Rowntree and his wife; Cyclist – Joseph Proctor; Pedestrians – John Gibson and George Pindar."
Article published 12th March 2008