SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY


1872.

27th March - OVERSEERS.
M Young and J Leng were appointed as the Overseers of Skelton for the year and J Andrew and William Wood as the Constables.

Railway Viaduct - opened 1872.

1st June VIADUCT OPENED
Designed by T E Harrison, it was 150ft high and 783 feet long, over the valley of Skelton beck .
The 11 redbrick arches carried a double track when opened.
Although passenger trains ran over it from 1875 to 1951, its main purpose was to carry ironstone from the newly opening mines to the ironworks at Middlesbrough, thereby saving a journey round by Guisborough and an awkward reversal in Middlesbrough.

NORTH SKELTON, SKELTON PARK AND SOUTH SKELTON IRONSTONE MINES OPENED.
North Skelton by Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan and Co. [720 ft deep], Skelton Park by Bell brothers [380 ft] and South Skelton by Vaughan Co [212 ft].
There was a continuous seam of iron ore, which varied in thickness from about 8 to 11 feet, running right across the East Cleveland area.
This was called the "main seam", as there were other thinner seams, and the ore contained about 30% iron. The depth of the seam at North Skelton had caused great problems, first in finding it and then dealing with flooding.

Some rocks are naturally more impervious to water than others and an underground lake had built up and filled the mine shaft as it was being dug. The shaft had to be lined with cast iron in parts. Water was at first lifted out in tubs and then pumps had to be installed. At its worst water was being removed at 3000 gallons per minute. The first stone was not taken out until 7 years after the mining rights had been bought.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1856 shows the present day North Skelton area as open fields with a place, possibly just a farm, called Old Fogga at the spot where the Mine shaft was excavated.

1872 was the wettest year on record For more information on N Skelton Mine, click here.


Simplified diagram showing how the Main Iron Ore Seam dipped in a saucer shape below East Cleveland.
The Gradient varied from area to area. North Skelton was only 1,200 metres from Longacre, but the mine shaft went over 100 metres deeper and tubs of ore were lowered to North Skelton pit bottom by cable.
Whereas the shaft at Skelton Park Pit which was about 2,400 metres from Longacre was of a similar depth.


Stephen Emmerson, The "Miners Friend".
1806 to 1887.
[Image kindly contributed by the owners of the painting, the Judson family, Norman, Anne and Neil, of Saltburn by Sea. Norman is the son of Stephen Emmerson's niece, Alice.]
1st May - MINERS' ASSOCIATION FORMED - SKELTON DEMONSTRATION.
The trade union 'The Cleveland Miners and Quarrymen's Association' was founded in Brotton.
Eston's 'Onward Lodge' walked over the hills with the New Marske miners to join in the first 'Demonstration' at Skelton.
Stephen Emmerson of Hollybush Farm allowed them to use one of his fields for the meeting, a generosity which was repeated over the following years.
He was presented with a painting of himself, the reverse of which says that on this day 6 to 7 thousand miners gathered. He became known as the "Miners' Friend".

24th July - POACHED HARE.
John Pennington, gamekeeper, summoned Robert Slater for trespassing in pursuit of game on land owned and occupied by Mr J T Wharton on the 15th.
He stated that he and another on the day in question watched a dead hare that had been concealed in a place near the railway.
Defendant came along at meal time and took the hare away. When stopped he said his son was ill and he thought the hare would make him some broth.
His defence said he found the hare on his way to work and he hid it to pick up on his return. He had no dog and there was no proof that the hare was alive. Case dismissed.

30th July - DRUNK AND "ROWCHES".
William Moore, Jane Moore and William Raynor denied being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 21st. The husband and wife were drunk and troubled with "effusing tongues".
They turned out into the street and then Rayner endeavoured to assist the woman in thrashing her husband. Moore was afterwards wheeled to the lock-up in a barrow, being unable to walk.
The female prisoner was now anxious to know where she got the beer from to make her "drunk and rowches."
PC Haw said that from 10 to 11 p.m on Sunday he found the men fighting.

The woman was "bleeding fearfully", then one of the defendants flourished a poker and the other lay down kicking his legs out.
He "then shouted, bawled and made a tremendous noise." The woman was the drunkest of the 3. The men were fighting and woman on the top of them, encouraging Rayner to thrash her husband.
Moore put his head through Haw's legs and tried to send him backwards over. The woman said that her husband had accused her of a man she nothing knew nothing about, and the man refused to go with her, as he should have done, to face it out.
In answer to Moore, PC Haw said he "never saw a more violent man nor a bigger brute in his life".
Jane was dismissed with costs, her husband fined 20s and costs and Raynor 10s and costs. All in default 14 days prison with hard labour.

Voting by secret ballot was introduced.

28th August - ASSAULT ON PC.
PC Coates charged George Herbert Gidding with assaulting him in the execution of his duty near the Royal George Inn, Skelton on the 24th. Prisoner said he only resisted when the officer put the handcuffs on. Officer swore Gidding struck him beforehand. Fined 21s or 21 days hard labour.

3rd September - MINES REGULATION ACT.
In response to the many lives still being lost in mining accidents each year the Government passed this Act.
It required pit managers to have state certification of their training. Miners were also given the right to appoint inspectors from among themselves.
The employment of boys under the age of 16 for more the 54 hours per week was prohibited. Attendance at school for at least 24 hours in every 2 weeks, during which children under the age of 12 are employed about the mines.
The payment of wages in public houses was banned. Single shafts were outlawed. Accidents and the abandonment of mines to be officially notified. Restrictions were made on the use of gunpowder.

North Skelton Ironstone Mine - opened 1872.
4th September - PRIZE SHOOTING.
The prize shooting of the Skelton Company of the North York Rifle Volunteers took place at their shooting range - the Carrs - near Messrs Vaughan and Cos mines on Saturday last.
Good shooting was made at some of the distances. Besides several money prizes the challenge cup was won by Private J J Wood and as this was the third time he won it, it becomes his property.
It is hoped they will endeavour to become as efficient in drill as they evince a desire to become marksmen.
The cup is the gift of their gallant Captain T L Yeoman, who was present. The shooting for the money prizes took place at 200, 400, 500 and 600 yards.
In 1908 the Volunteers nationwide were linked to their local Regular Army Regiments by Haldane's Act of Parliament which created the Territorial Force.
The North York Rifle Volunteers became the 4th Battalion of Alexandra, Princess of Wales' Own, Yorkshire Regiment. The story of their battles in the First World Ward during which over 1,000 Battalion men were killed can be read on my website :- here.
After the First War they were re-formed in February 1920 and became part of the new Territorial Army in October of that year.
Now better known as the Green Howards they had another proud history in the Second World War and still exist today in a much re-organised form.

8th September - WIFE BEATING.
Thomas Stanway of Skelton was charged with assaulting his wife. Fined 20s and costs.

9th October - PC RESCUED BY WIFE.
Samuel Bagnall admitted being drunk and riotous and rolling about near the Royal George and Duke William Inns at Skelton on Sunday afternoon last.
PC Haw told a terrible tale of the Sunday conduct of Bagnall, who was also charge with assaulting him in the lock-up at Skelton.
Defendant refused to empty his pockets and when the officer tried to search him, he threw him down, pulled his whiskers and threw his legs round his back.
It was necessary for Mrs Haw to go into the cell to rescue her husband. Fined 28s 6d including costs.

18th December - BASTARDY.
Elizabeth Pearey, singlewoman, of Skelton, charged William Jackson, joiner with being the father of her son, on the 14th of November.
Defendant admitted the offence and was ordered to pay 2s 6d per week towards its maintenance, with double payment for the first 6 weeks and the doctor's fee.

25th September - ASSAULT.
Everyone had to wait 3 hours for the arrival of the magistrates, J W Pease MP. W H F Bolckow MP and A H T Newcomen.
M A Shepherd, Skelton, a sinker charged Thomas Wallis, Skeltn with an assault on the 22nd Fined 6s with 19s 6d costs.

21st September - INDECENT ASSAULT.
E Johnson of Skelton charged John W Dearden and George Thorpe of Brotton with indecent assault. One month's imprisonment each.

23rd October - DRUNKS.
Henry Johnson admitted a charge of drunkenness at Skelton brought by PC Haw. Fined 10s and 7s 6d costs.
John McLaren of Skelton did not appear to a charge of being drunk and riotous at Guisborough on the 19th.

20th November - STAGGERING DRUNKS.
John Longston, miner of Skelton, did not appear to a chareg of being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 2nd. A/Sgt Haw proved the case. Fined 11s and costs or 1 months hard labour.
Richard Corner was charged with being drunk and rolling to and fro about the streets of Skelton with a bottle of whisky on the 3rd. Fined 14s 6d including costs or 14 days hard labour.
James Malloy admitted being drunk and staggering about the streets of Skelton from one side to the other on the 2nd. Fined 14s 6d or 14 days hard.

4th December - LOVE AND MARRIAGE.
At the Wesleyan day school in Skelton, in connection with the Good Templars lodge there, a lecture was delivered on "love, courtship and marriage" by Mr J W Kirton, the author of "Buy Your Own Cherries.".


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