Marsden Grotto bosses ask people to join them in beach clean-up

Marsden Grotto staff have organised a monthly beach clean.
 Front from left, Tanya O'Hagan, Jade Sutherland and Leah Porter.
 Back from left, Peter Wilson, Alex Longstaff and Derek Crookston.
Marsden Grotto staff have organised a monthly beach clean. Front from left, Tanya O'Hagan, Jade Sutherland and Leah Porter. Back from left, Peter Wilson, Alex Longstaff and Derek Crookston.
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Bosses at a seaside bar are organising a monthly spruce-up to help keep the beach clean and tidy.

Managers at the Marsden Grotto, which sits on the beach near Marsden Rock, in South Shields, are hoping members of the public will help them keep the beach in top condition for everyone who uses it.

Marsden Grotto staff have organised a monthly beach clean.

Marsden Grotto staff have organised a monthly beach clean.

Staff are inviting people to join them on the first Sunday of every month, kicking off on October 2, to clear Marsden Beach of litter.

General manager Derek Crookston said: “This is a lovely area and it’s got a lot of history behind it.

“So many people use the beach every day, so we thought it would be a nice idea to do our bit to keep it nice for everyone.

“We’re hoping that people will come down and join us on the first Sunday of every month, because it’s a very popular spot.

“People should wear comfortable clothing and the right sort of footwear to walk over all the stones, but we’ll provide all the equipment they’ll need.

“We’re inviting everyone who helps into the pub afterwards for some food and drinks to say ‘thank you’.”

The litter pick will take place between 9am and 11am on the first Sunday of every month and anyone wanting to join in can just turn up.

Derek added: “The beach is popular with families, dog walkers and all sorts of people, and we just want to make sure it’s as nice as it can be for everyone who uses it.”

The Grotto is one of very few cave bars in Europe.

The pub, in Coast Road, is partly dug into the cliff face and fronted with a more conventional building that opens onto the beach. It features a bar and restaurant, named Changing Tides.

The pub was first opened by lead miner Jack Bates in 1782.

Jack moved from Allendale with his wife Jessie to the area and allegedly set up home in a small cave at Marsden Rock either after refusing to pay rent on his home in Allendale or because he had nowhere to live.

Using explosives from a local quarry, he blasted the small cave into a much larger one, earning the nickname Jack the Blaster.

The eccentric dwelling attracted many visitors, who Jack and Jessie would supply with refreshments at a cost.

It is suggested he later became involved in smuggling activities.

For more information on the litter picks, call the bar on 0191 455 8877 and speak to the duty manager.