Marsden Grotto’s re-opening, and the Italian Connection

According to the South Shields Gazette, the Grotto re-opened this weekend. I hope everything went smoothly.

A bit more digging reveals that Peter Allan’s successor was Sidney Hawkes, brother-in-law of social reformer, advocate of Italian independence and supporter of women’s rights, Sir James Stansfeld:

(That’s the ODNB link for those with a subscription. Wikipedia here for those without)

For more on Hawkes see Memoirs of a social atom by the radical journalist, William Edwin Adams, another English supporter of Mazzini, Garibaldi and Italian nationalist republicanism.

Hawkes appears to have kept a good table at the Grotto, offering ‘devilled kidneys for breakfast, champagne for luncheon, fowls and roast beef for dinner, and cigars and soda water on a limestone balcony for the rest of the evening.’

Ref. ‘Marsden Rocks’,  The Graphic, London, Oct 7 1882.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I was in the Marsden Grotto yesterday and it was surprisingly busy down in those old caves. I’m sure Hawkes would have enjoyed the selection of North Sea fish and lobsters available for lunch.


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