SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1874.

14th January - UNLICENSED BEER.
John Wear, a shoemaker of Skelton, was charged by Sergeant Haw with having on the 27th December unlawfully sold 2 quarts of beer to be consumed in his house, he not being licensed to do so. Sgt Haw in company with other constables was watching defendant's home on the night in question and from under the blind saw a number of men playing at cards, and heard one of them call for beer, 2 quarts of which were supplied to them by defendant's wife, who received pay for it. Fined 5 and costs 18s 6d and beer to be forfeited.
21st January. - BOOT AND SHOE DEALER BANKRUPT.
In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by John Shephard, of North Skelton, in the county of York, Boot and Shoe Dealer. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above-named person has-been summoned to he held at the offices of Mr. J. H. Draper, in Finkle-street, Stockton-on-Tees, on the 4th day ofFebruary, 1874. at three o'clock in the afternoon precisely....

21st January - DRUNKS.
PC Teesdale charged Henry Longdale and Henry Meldrum of Skelton for being drunk and riotous near Marske Police Station on the 10th. Meldrum was a mischievous kind of drunk and Longdale very drunk.
On the officer following defendants to get their names they set a pony kicking for 10 minutes. Fined 10s and costs or 14 days hard labour.

31st January - GENERAL ELECTION.
To 17th February. The 2 North Riding of Yorkshire seats were won by the Conservative, William Duncombe, Viscount Helmsley and Frederick Milbank, Liberal.
Nationally Benjamin Disraeli's Conservatives had a majority of seats due to some being uncontested while Gladstone's Liberals had most votes.

4th February. - WATER CARRIED UP TO SKELTON GREEN.
The Cleveland Water Company was bringing water from a tap on Cross Green to the houses at Skelton Green while pipes were laid from Boosbeck.

11 February - FEVER ON HIGH GREEN.
The Chairman of the Skelton Board of Health stated that he had written to Messrs Bell Brothers and T Vaughan and Co about the inefficient water supply to their houses on the High Green, but had got no reply.
The Board urged him to write again urging the imperative necessity for a liberal supply of water, owing to the continued prevalence of fevers on the High Green.
The supply by the companies carts would be required for a short time only.

25th February - PITCH AND TOSS ASSAULT.
Samuel Martin was charged with assaulting PC Calvert at Skelton on the 22nd. The officer said that on Sunday afternoon he saw a number of men playing pitch and toss upon the highway.
Being a dull day he endeavoured to get near enough to see the parties exchange money.
After that he went up and asked the prisononer his name. A blow in the chest was given, with the remark - "That is my name for you." Various men in the crowd ill-used him. Fined 20s and 9s costs or 14 days hard labour.

27th February - MINE DISPUTE NORTH SKELTON.
The miners were out on strike for seven weeks at Foggo Pit as a result of the Manager offering only 1s 2d per ton for winning and filling the ironstone.
Two arbitrators were appointed but could not agree, so the decision was passed to an Umpire, Mr Hood of Coxhoe, Co Durham. He decided in the miners favour that they should be paid 1s 3d per ton.
At the same time the miners at Carlin How had their rate reduced to 1s 1d.

5th March - FIRST SCHOOL BOARD MEETING. Five members were elected - Rev Dr Gardner, Squire Wharton, Atterton, Chisholm, Chief Engineer N Skelton Mine and Thomas Taylor, Shopkeeper.

19th March - SCHOOL BOARD.
The subject of purchasing a site for a School was discussed. The only schools in existence were the national and Infant Schools carried on at the squire's expense and the Wesleyan school.

To meet the immediate requirements of the district the Lingdale, Skelton and Boosbeck Wesleyan chapels were hired for school purposes.

18th May - MINERS' STRIKE.
At the end of this, the first full week's loss of work which the Cleveland district has known for a long time - for the struggle last year was on the question of a mere restriction of the output - the prospect is more gloomy than at its commencement.
The ironstone miners contend that they should be put on the same footing as the colliers of Northumberland and Durham.
Their labour is just as severe and their hours are longer. The also say that they cannot afford the loss of about 5 shillings per week that a 12.5 percent reduction would mean, seeing that they pay more for rent and coal than the coal miners.
The ironstone mine owners contend that there is always a demand for coal, but not for iron and steel and the slackening of trade has reduced the selling price.

18th May - EMIGRATION.
Emigration still continues and emigration agents are busy in the district and find plenty of clients. Several families are expected to leave Brotton for Queensland on Monday.
At Bolckow's sinking pit at Foggo, North Skelton, about 60 to 70 men belonging to the Union are working as sinkers at the old rate of wages.

18th May - MINERS STRIKE - A POETIC VIEW.
"Skelton, from where this letter is dated, is a mining village, fast approaching the proportions of a town, most pleasantly situated about 2 miles south of Saltburn.
The approach to it from the last named town, and the entire of the surrounding scenery are of the most lovely description. In lieu of the pitilessly cold blast from the sea and the heavy showers of rain of the past day or two, the weather was delightfully fine and warm this morning and the picturesque hills of Cleveland in their most charming aspect were seen to great advantage in the pure clear spring air.
Nothing more naturally beautiful and tranquilly romantic than the walk to Skelton through the charming glen which lies almost hidden by the luxurious trees and wooded banks, could be desired by the lover of nature in her most enchanting aspect, for not a sound could be heard, save the warbling of the songsters of the grove, the musical cadences of the flowing beck in the centre of the glen rippling over its rocky bed, the murmur of the trees, the sweet fragrance of which was borne upon the breeze and the distant roar of the might ocean, reflecting like a mirror, the lovely blue of the clear sky.
Scarcely a person was to be seen, with the exception of a few of the miners on strike, who, wooed by the irresistible beauty of Spring, sauntered forth smoking the calumet of peace whilst at war with their masters and enjoyed the balmy air and verdant scene.
Arriving at the village, having passed en route the palatial residence of Mr Bell, built entirely of ironstone. The sequestered Marske Mill, nestling amid the overhanging rocks and by the side of the ceaseless brook whose waters are turned to so useful an account; and the lofty and stupendous viaduct of 11 arches, 160 feet in height, the quiet and hitherto prosperous town of Skelton is reached.
From being a comparatively insignificant country village, with but a sparse population, there is now a thriving community, the bulk of whom are miners, some five to six hundred of whom are employed in the adjacent mines of Messrs Bell Brothers.
From the high ground above the main street, where some hundreds of red bricked commodious 4 roomed cottages have been recently built for the workmen, a magnificent view of the surrounding country is obtained.
Immediately in front is "Shandy Mount" one of the local reminiscences of the immortal author of Tristram Shandy.
In such a favoured locality with so much that is beautiful and soul inspiring it was rather a gloomy contrast to turn to some of the miners, who, in holiday garb, were killing time and to hear their discourse on such topics as "arbitration on the green stone", the "compromise" voting, the disparity between the 3s 6d and 4s paid for house rent in that village and the cheaper rate in the two northern mining counties; the enhanced price of coal to that paid by the Northumberland miner etc.
I will conclude by saying that the men hereabouts seemed fully disposed to discuss both sides of the controversy and that if the other 19 lodges of the Union took as reasonable a view of the situation as do the miners of Skelton and Boosbeck, a basis for arbitration might perhaps sooner be adopted than unfortunately appears likely.
At the last mentioned village many cottages, in some instances several adjoining each other, can be seen to be empty, the miners, their late occupants, having gone elsewhere in quest of "fortune".

27th May - STRIKING IN PUB OVER THE STRIKE.
Joseph Shepherd, and ironstone miner and sometime Secretary to the Cleveland Miners' Association was charged with assaulting John Cunion at Skelton on Tuesday week.
A large number of miners assembled in court and its vicinity as a result of the considerable interest the case caused.
Cunion said that a dispute had existed between himself and Shepherd for the past 2 years and the defendant had of late been threatening him in various ways whenever the opportunity occurred.
Cunion stated that on the day in question he and a miner named Smith were having a glas of ale at Skelton Green. Shepherd came in the pub with another person and no sooner sat down than he interfered with their discussion and then charged Cunion and five of six others of being the cause of the present strike.
Cunion denied this and said that he had written to the papers and spoken in public against it.
He told Shepherd that men like him should come out and lead the men right, instead of going into public houses and provoking quarrels about it.
This irritated the defendant, who immediately jumped up and offered to bet a sovereign that he could do it. Cunion answered that he had no sovereigns to bet and Shepherd then said he had a good mind to knock his ******* old head off.
Cunion retorted "I will try and stop you" and the defendant then came across towards him and knocked him over the form on the floor and kicked him.
Shepherd denied the assault, but a witness called Wilson was called to corroborate and the defendant was fined 1 including costs.

3rd June. - TRESPASSING.
William and Elizabeth Eyington were charged with trespassing at Skelton and ordered to pay 5s 4d damages and 11s 6d costs. Josua Dale and James Adaris for similar offences at the same place paid 6s 6d each and costs. Edward Sheherd also charged paid 6d damage and 8s 6d costs.

5th June - MINERS STRIKE.
A speedy settlement to the strike is not expected. The Skelton men have recommended conditional arbitration on the terms suggested by the masters although they were against it only a week ago.
At North Skelton a number of men have returned to work on the masters' terms and have been shut out of the union. They have not however been molested in any other way.

6th June - DRUNKS.
Guisborough Petty Sessions. William Lewis, shoemaker and Thomas Ayre, tailor were charged with being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 29th. Fined 10s and expenses or 14 days hard labour.
Thomas Latimer, brakesman, Skelton was charged with the same and fined 10s and costs.
William Adkins was fined 10s and 9s costs for the same offence.

24th June - STRIKING MINERS STRIKE.
Robert White and Joseph Churchill, 2 miners residing at Brotton, were charged with violently assaulting Mr William Wood of Trout Hall Farm, Skelton last Monday night. The miners had been on strike and distress was widespread at the time.
White and another man who was not in custody went to the house of Mr Wood's hind between 9 and 10 at night and begged for something to eat. William Bell, the hind, said that he at first he refused to give them anything, but, when they would not go away, he brought them some bread.
The 2 men asked if that was all they were going to get, as they expected some milk and ham or similar. The hind was about to close the door when White threw the bread in his face and the other threw his at the window in an attempt to break it.
They then went and overturned a grindstone, smashing it in two. After breaking a fence, they ran across a wheat field in the direction of the main road.
The hind followed them and sent his son to tell Farmer Wood what had occurred. Mr Wood took a short cut to the road and came up with the men as they were leaving the field.
He demanded to know their names and White replied with an oath that he would not get them and that they would kill the hind, his son and Mr Wood as well if they offered to touch them.
White and his companion then put themselves in a fighting attitude and threw the hind to the ground. Mr Wood came to his assistance and they all ended up on the ground where White kicked and struck in all directions causing injuries.
Thomas Bell, the hind's son, said he was beginning to get the better of his antagonist when Churchill, who had been standing a little further down the road with 2 others, came up and threw him into the hedge side. The whole of the men then ran away.
Mr Wood said that his doctor had informed him that one of the kicks he had received in the lower part of his body was a very serious one.
White was fined 40 shillings and told that he had cast a great stain on the striking miners, who had behaved well in hard times. A summons was issued against Churchill for assaulting the hind's son.

24th June. - MINE DEATH.
Skelton Park Pit. Thomas Wright, aged 27, was killed by a fall of stone.

24th June - DRUNK AND WILL NOT PAY. Edward Murray and John Lee failed to answer a charge of being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 13th. The Officer who served the summons said defendants sent a message that they would neither answer the summons nor pay. Fined 10s each and costs.

10th July - SKELTON CASTLE'S UNEARNED INCOME.
From the Newcastle Chronicle.
"The royalty here belongs to Mr Wharton of Skelton Castle. It is interesting to record the fact that the projected development of the mineral resources on that Gentleman's estates by Bolckow Vaughan & Co, T Vaughan & Co, Bell Bros & Co and one or two other firms, will, within the next 5 years, represent a total annual yield of nearly 4.5 million tons of ironstone, yielding at the average price of 6d per ton and annual royalty payment of over 100,000.
Of all the silver spoons that were ever put into men's mouths, this is surely one of the most silvery. Because a gentleman happens to inherit a few thousand acres of land in Cleveland, he draws in addition to its agricultural rental [which is comparatively a bagatelle] an annual income of 100,000 without any risk or effort."

18th July - 13 YEAR OLD GIRL KILLED HIS DOG.
At Stokesley County Court Alfred Large, a miner at Skelton, sued Sarah Ann Turner, a girl aged 13, for 30 shillings, the value of a dog, which she was alleged to have killed on the 27th of June.
Both parties resided in Yeoman Street, Skelton and on the day named the girl finding the dog on her mother's step, gave the animal a kick in the head, from the effects of which it shortly died.
The girl said the dog attempted to bite her, but the evidence went to show that she had wantonly injured it and hence the present proceedings. Alfred said the dog was 3 months old and that when it was 2 months he had 15s offered for it.
The Judge, Mr Turner, said that supposing he gave a verdict in his favour, from whom did he expect to get the money.
Alf replied that he expected to get it from the girl's parents.

His Honour:- "But suppose her parents refuse to pay it. I cannot send them to prison. It is no earthly use your bringing such a case against a girl like that. She has no goods of her own and I could not send one like her to prison.
Alf:- "It's a strange thing if people who keep dogs for their "fancy" have to have them killed in this way without any remedy."
His Honour:- "You should have taken the girl before the magistrates."
Alf:- "I did, Sir, and they told me it was a case for the County Court."
His Honour:- "Well, I can do no otherwise than find a verdict for you for 1 penny, but you will have to pay the costs."

21st July. - MARSKE BAND CONTEST.
The 8th annual brass band contest was held in a field a short distance from the cliffs. All the inhabitants regard the day as a holiday.
Shops were closed and all work suspended. The main street was lively with shows, galvanic batteries, nut stalls and all the usual complements of a fair.
Several doubtful characters had been drawn together in the hope of making money out of the credulous, but there was little rowdyism.
The North Riding Cricketers Band and the Saltaire did not turn up, leaving the field to Buttershaw Mills, who came first for the 20 prize, Wyke Old Brass, Guisborough 1st North Yorkshire Volunteers and Skelton Lower Edge Band, with 14 performers and conducted by Mr William Richardson.

5th August. - MINE ACCIDENT.

On Tuesday morning at Skelton Shaft mine a Horse Driver, named Henry Wright fell over as he was running along the mine with his wagon and was thrown under the wheels. One leg was broken and the other severely injured.

15th August - DOG FIGHT.
An action to recover 5 10s, the value of a dog killed in a dog fight at Skelton in Cleveland on the 20 June last, was heard yesterday at the Stokesley County Court, before Mr Turner, judge.
The plaintiff was one William Pratt, a miner, living at Skelton, and he summoned one John Lawson, of the same place, whose dog, a St Bernard, was alleged to have worried the other in a fight. The case was proved and a verdict was given for the plaintiff for 2.

8th September - DRUNK.
William Knaggs admitted being drunk at Skelton on the 1st. Fined 8 shillings and costs.

24th September - DRUNK ASSAULT ON POLICE.
A miner named Nathaniel Martin was charged with being drunk and assaulting PC Brough at Skelton on Saturday. The Officer found the defendant in the street with his coat and waistcoat off wanting to fight and whilst begging him to quietly go away the defendant caught hold of him by the whiskers and in the struggle which ensued they both went down.
Whilst they were on the ground the defendant kicked him in a violent manner. He also kicked some other persons who interfered.
Fined 5 shillings and costs for being drunk and committed to Northallerton gaol for 1 month with hard labour for the assault.


North Skelton Ironstone Mine as it was in 1960.
[Photograph kindly contributed by Brian Hudson, Professor of Urban Development, Brisbane, Australia, and a native of Skelton.]

September. - FATAL NORTH SKELTON MINE ACCIDENT.
William Roll, a miner aged 33, was killed. The 'Redcar and Saltburn News wrote - "Last week three mining accidents of a shocking character occurred in Cleveland.
The most serious took place at North Skelton, at an early hour on Friday morning, and resulted in one man being killed and another so seriously injured that he now lies in a precarious state.
The unfortunate men were William Roll and Edward Headlam. They appear to have been working together as mates in the east drift of Messrs Bolckow, Vaughan and Co's mine where, between one and two o'clock, they were heard blasting stone,
One of the shots seemed to give them some trouble, inasmuch as they had tried it with a good fuse and it failed to go off.
As they were going forward to ascertain the cause the charge exploded and the poor fellows were blown some distance along the drift. Roll came in contact with one side of the mine and besides being burnt, he was sorely mangled and bruised.
Indeed on being brought to the bank it was evident he could not live and he only survived the accident about a quarter of an hour.
Headlam was likewise much burnt and injured and was removed as soon afterwards as he conveniently could be to his residence where he was visited by Dr McCutcheon of Skelton."

7th October - NEGLECTED PRIVIES.
At the meeting of the Skelton Local Board there was a complaint about the dangerous state of the well on the Cross Green by Messrs Taylor and Son, who had a drapers shop close by.
Fever had broken out in Robinson St and Dixon St where the drainage was unsatisfactory and the privies in a neglected state.
Also a nuisance arose from the urinal of the Duke William Inn.

19th October. - DIED AT QUOITS.
An inquest was held at Skelton in Cleveland by the coroner Mr A Buchanan on the body of John Skin, a miner, aged 30, who expired suddenly on Friday evening.
The deceased was witnessing a game of quoits on Skelton Green, when he was observed to fall, apparently in a fit. On being removed home it found that he was dead. The jury, having heard the evidence returned a verdict to the effect that he had died by the 'visitation of God'. [Northern Echo.]

22nd October - TERRIFIC STORM.
A terrific storm swept over the district all Tuesday night and yesterday morning. Trees have been uprooted and gates blown down.

In Skelton considerable damage was done to property etc. A chimney fell from a house in the High Street and went through the roof of a cottage next door, on to a bed where two children were lying. But, fortunately, they were not hurt in the least. Every part of the bed except where the children were lying, was iterally covered with bricks etc. Considerable damage was done to the premises of Messrs Thomas Taylor and Sons, West-end.

2nd November. - MINE DEATH, CRUSHED.
Joseph Senior, aged 18, a miner but working as a horse driver on the day, was found dead and presumed to have been crushed between the wagons and the pit side.
His father who worked in the same mine is said to have heard his voice a few minutes before.

The miners in this area went on strike over a reduction in pay rates, but eventually had to go back to work for the lesser amount.

4th November - VOLUNTEERS SHOOTING.
Corporal Wood proved the winner at the shooting for the Challenge Cup at the Wharton Range. Private Jonathan Ridsdale, the late winner and Private Smith shared second place.

11th November - DRUNK.
Henry Ward, hairdresser and shaver of Skelton did not appear to a charge of being drunk and riotous on the 4th. Fined 10s and 8s 6d costs or 14 days hard labour.
PC Brough charged William Miles with being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 9th. Fined 9s and costs or 14 days hard.

9th December - BEANS MEANS FINES.
Robert Dobson, William Ingledew, Benjamin Ridley and Timothy Fincham were summoned for wilfully damaging a stack of beans, belonging to Thomas Vaughan and Co at Skelton on the 27th. Those defendants who were present admitted taking the beans and eating them. All were miners at the firm. Ordered to pay 3s 2d each.

16th December - DRUNK AND INDECENT.
Samuel Hogg denied being drunk and indecent at Skelton on the 4th. He very virtuously denied the accusation, but had stated to the Constable that he was so drunk that he knew nothing about it. Fined 10s and 7s costs or 14 days hard labour.
Henry Sanders did not appear to a charge of being drunk and riotous at Skelton, near the Duke William public house on the 5th. Fined 10s and costs or 14 days hard.
William Moore on a similar charge was fined 10s and 9s costs or 14 days hard.

23rd December - RACING DOGS ON THE HIGHWAY.
Two miners, William Coulson of Guisborough and John Wilshaw of Skelton were charged with obstructing the highway at Hutton, Guisborough by running off a dog race on Saturday week. PC Boanness stated that on the afternoon of the day named his attention was drawn to a large number of people proceeding from Guisborough in the direction of Hutton.
He followed them and finding that a dog race was about to take place for 5 aside, he cautioned the defendants, who were the owners of the contending dogs and threatened to summon them if they permitted the race to be run.
His warning was ignored and the defendants claimed in court that he had told that them that they could hold the race if no betting took place and there was no betting whatsoever.
The officer denied this and saw a good deal of money change hands amongs the 200 to 300 persons congregated to witnes the race.
Superintendent Prest said that dog racing and foot racing on the highway had become a great nuisance in the district and had great difficulty in putting it down. The Bench inflicted a fine of 10 shilling each and costs.

29th December - GAS COMPANY FORMED.
A bill was presented to incorporate the Cleveland Gas Company and enable them to construct gas works and light with gas Skelton and other places in the North Riding.
The Company wanted to take over the powers granted to the Lofthouse Gas Co but on which nothing had been done.
The capital is to be 50,000 in 10 shares and the first directors will be J T Wharton, Francis Fox, William Cockburn, John George Swan, and Edward Bell Hamilton.

30th December - SNOWBALLING FINED.
Between 20 and 30 men and boys were before the magistrates at the Guisborough Petty Sessions yesterday on charges of snowballing at Guisbrough, Skelton, Brotton and Lofthouse. Those who appeared to the summons were reprimanded and discharged on paying the costs and those who failed to put in an appearance were ordered to pay a fine of 2s 6d and costs.

30th December - PC ASSAULT.
John Gunstead was summoned by PC Cook for being drunk and riotous and for assaulting him in the execution of his duty at Skelton on the 27th.
The Officer saw a disturbance created by Gunstead attempting to enter Noah House's public house whilst drunk.
On going to the place the defendant refused to go away and when an attempt was made to lock him up he struck the constable on the mouth, which knocked him backwards.
A desperate struggle was made on the road to the lock up in which several blows were struck by Gunstead who said that the officer assaulted him. Fined 5s and 7s 6d costs for drunk and riotous and 10s with 10s 6d costs for assault or 1 months hard labour.

30th December - NOW THE HOLLY BEARS A FINE.
James Richards admitted having done damage to the amount of 5s in the woods of Skelton on the 19th. He had gone on the private railway line through the woods to Bell Bros mines. Fined 6d, 1s damage and 9s 6d costs.


Chapel, North Skelton.
A Factory Act limited the working day to 10 hours.

Births and Deaths Registration Act introduced a penalty for failure to register and for first time required a medical certificate for cause of death

It appears to have been built as a Wesleyan Chapel, around 1873/4 as a temporary measure, during the rapid expansion of North Skelton at this time.

There was an entrance, with porch, from the rear of the building as shown on the photograph.

From this entrance there was access to a cellar which was, reportedly, used by the Home Guard during the Second World War.


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