Schoolfrenz - Photos (Marsden)


Published Novels

Nearest FarAway Place

Chapter 1

Reader Reviews

Prototype Covers

Location Photos


Prologue/Chapter 1

Golgonooza Review

Reader Reviews

Cover Photo Shoot



The Shields Gazette

Readers' Review

Evening Gazette

Prologue/Chapter 1

Photos (Marsden)
Photos (Bill Quay)

Geograph (Marsden)

Geograph (Bill Quay)
Chapter 0/Chapter 1
Photos (Aoraki)
Photos (Tekapo)

Buy on the Internet

Novels In-Progress

Odd Jobs

Downfall or Destiny?

Panglossian Books

Contact Details

Magazine Articles

Author Reference Links

Tangled Web

Marsden Grotto

Bill Quay


Geograph (Marsden)
Geograph (Bricklayers)

Author Maintained  Sites

Barclay Reunions

Cathy Logan

Caroline Crowther


Rebecca Crowther

Table-Top Rallying

Tom Hood Reunions

West Essex Car Club

The Marsden Grotto in South Shields in mentioned several times in Schoolfrenz and is the location for the climax of the book.
(See also the Wikipedia entry on Marsden Grotto)

This is how Marsden Grotto is described at the beginning of Chapter 43

The Marsden Grotto is a popular beachfront bar and restaurant in a unique isolated trading position on the Coast Road in South Shields. It lies at the base of a cliff, over 100 feet below the wide swath of National Trust green belt known as the Leas, which extends from the road to the cliff edge.
Access to the beach is by a narrow zigzagging staircase of wooden steps and white railings hewn into the cliff face. When the Grotto is open, a single lift is available which transports visitors to the ground-floor bar and restaurant area.
The Grotto attracts various types of clientele. During the summer it is a popular catering halt for holidaymakers, lured by the secluded stony beach of Marsden Bay. Throughout the year, it is a haunt for those wanting an unusual social venue, with fine eating at the seafood and oyster restaurant on the first floor. And, by virtue of being opposite the huge stone obelisk, which is home for the Marsden Rock Wildlife Sanctuary, the Grotto appeals to binocular- touting ornithologists spying upon the habitats of the thousands of cormorants, kittiwakes and fulmars that live on the rock and cliff face.
The history of the Marsden Grotto began in 1782, when an Allendale lead miner nicknamed “Jack the Blaster” came to work in the limestone quarries at Marsden and blasted a home for himself and his family out of one of the caves of Marsden Bay. Jack became known for his hospitality and his home developed into the Grotto Inn, which is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a smuggler. 
Trevor Underwood had just relayed these facts to an attentive Shirley Bonnett on the ground-floor terrace.
The tide was in and the North Sea was gently lapping the shore no more than 40 metres away. The clear evening had left a pale grey backdrop to the sky and the darker mass of Marsden Rock was eerily silent, the birds having retired for the night.

 Page References in Schoolfrenz with accompanying photographs
(June 13, 2004)

p264 - The Leas  M01 M02 M03 M04 M05 M06
p264 - Marsden Rock  M07 M08 M09
p264 - Rock/Cliff Bird Life  M10 M11 M12
p264 - GrottoTerrace  M13 M14
p264 - Grotto Caved Bar  M15 M16 M17 M18  
p265 - Staircase of 132 steps  M19
p271 - Lift Entrance  M20 M21
p272 - Leas Signs  M22 M23 M24
p272 - Leas Public Loos  M25 M26

p279 - Entranceway CCTV  M27
p285 - Low wall  M28
p285 - Cave  M29
p286 - Pebbles/Stones  M30
p286 - Foreshore  M31 M32 M33
p287 - Zigzag Staircase - M34
p288 - Hatchway  M35
p289 - Brick Tower  M36 M37
p289 - Flat Roof M38