SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY


1880


Drilling machine in Skelton Shaft Mine

A drilling machine in Skelton Shaft mine. Prior to this holes 3 to 5 feet deep were made by hand in the face of the iron ore seam. These were then packed with gunpowder and fired with a fuse. The fuses were firstly a straw, then a squib and finally a safety fuse. Many deaths and injuries occurred as a result of accidental ignition. Note the wooden beams holding up the roof lodged in the sides of the 'bord'. Tunnels, called bords, about 14 feet wide were driven into the seam of ore and then other tunnels made to the sides every 30 to 40 yards, the 'bord and pillar' system, until a chess board effect was cut out everywhere under this area. pillars thus formed were finally removed and the roof allowed to collapse. Much subsidence damage occurred as a result on the surface.

EDUCATION MADE COMPULSORY.
In 1870 the Government had ordered each Parish to set up Elementary Schools for the teaching of the 3 Rs.
Now a new Education Act made it compulsory to send your child to School from the age of five to ten.
Education would not be free of small fees until the following year.

4th January - FRAUD.
John Allison, aged 36, a groom, pleaded guilty to obtaining by false pretences 5 shillings from George Mercer with intent to defraud him of the same at Skelton on the 3rd November. Prisoner had spent some weeks in gaol and was given 1 month's hard labour.

6th January - RIGHT OF WAY DISPUTE.
EMMERSONS AND SKELTONIANS VERSUS SKELTON CASTLE.
The Right of Way from North Skelton to Saltburn by the Sea was publicly claimed on Saturday last by the inhabitants of Skelton and neighbourhood.
The road in dispute has recently been stopped by John Thomas Wharton Esq of Skelton Castle, Lord of the Manor, and fences were put up entirely stopping the way.
On the 5th November Miss Hannah Emmerson of Holly Farm, assisted by her servant man, pulled the fence down, for which offence thay have been served with a writ.
The first meeting held was at North Skelton, where it was decided to assist in every possible way Miss Emmerson for having claimed the road.
The last meeting held was at the Free Gardeners' Hall, Skelton, where the following resolution was unanimously carried and ordered to be sent to E B Hamilton Esq, the Estate's Agent:-
"That this meeting, having considered the importance of retaining all public footpaths in the Parish of Skelton, deems it necessary to publicly claim, on Saturday next, at two o'clock in the afternoon, the footpath in dispute between J T Wharton and Miss Hannah Emmerson of Holly Farm and should there be any objection on the part of the said J T Wharton to the course the inhabitants intent to take - which is to walk over the road in dispute - he is kindly requested to be present and to take such steps as he may consider desirable to prevent the inhabitants walking ove the footpath."
This resolution was forwarded to Mr Hamilton. On Saturday a telegram was received from Mr Richards, the respected Manager of Messrs Bolckow, Vaughan and Co, to the effect that Mr Hamilton had telegraphed to Mr Richards that 200 miners would walk over land belonging to J T Wharton Esq, damaging fences and that Mr Richards and Mr Wharton would probably be able to come to a settlement on the subject.
To this a reply was sent to the effect that the question in dispute was not a miners' question, but was between Mr Wharton and Miss Emmerson and that it was not the miners who were going to walk over the road, but the inhabitants of Skelton and neighbourhood, as stated in the resolution.
The meeting on Saturday was some 100 yards from the Brotton side of North Skelton and by half past two some 800 people had assembled together.
The first business was to lay Mr Richards telegram before the people, which was done, and the two gentlemen who led the way were also informed of the same.
The names of the latter were Mr Timothy Nicholson, aged 60 years, a Skeltonian, and Mr John Baker, aged 74, at present residing at Ayton, but formerly of Skelton.
The following route was travelled:-
Starting from the Brotton road, down the horse pasture field into the Windwood fields, down across the beck, up the Wandels, across the paddock, through Stephen Emmerson's fields into the little lane and down to the point where Miss Emmerson pulled the fence down.
From this place they went along the Long Acres, down in front of the Selby Hagg Farm, across New Field, down the Mill Field, across Robinson's Inggs Valley and Great Inggs Field on to Saltburn Road.
Mr J T Wharton, Messrs Hamilton and Stubbs, agent and steward and a number of those employed by Mr Wharton were present besides several of the Police.
Mr Wharton was on horseback and protested that the road was not a public one, but no other steps were taken to prevent those who were on the road.
At the entrance of every field, on the getting through of every fence, the people loudly cheered their leaders and when they landed on the Saltburn Road three hearty cheers were given to them for having in their old age come forward and asserted their right of way.
A public meeting was afterwards held at the Free Gardeners Hall and it was unanimously agreed to support those who might be summoned for trespassing.
Much of the route taken is still a public footpath in 2012.

7th January - POST OFFICE LICENSES.
The Postmaster General having consented to the Postmaster at Skelton in Cleveland acting as "distributor of revenue stamps", all kinds of bill and agreement stamps may now be had at this office.
We would remind the public that the dog, carriage and other licences expired on the 31st December 1879. Early application should be made at the Stamp Offices for their renewal, to prevent unpleasantness in the shape of prosecution by the Officers of the Inland Revenue.

10th January - EDUCATION - PAY UP OR ELSE - ANGER AT SCHOOL FEES.
On Tuesday, the 16th ult, the School Board of Skelton and Stanghow brought a test case before the Guisborough Bench of Magistrates, in order to obtain a decision on the question whether a parent could be convicted under byelaws for the non-attendance of his child at school, when admission to the school had been refused by the schoolmaster in consequence of the non-payment of the usual school fee.
Mr Arthur Buchannan, solicitor, of Guisborough, appeared on behalf of the School Board and stated that in consequence of the difficulty which attended the collection of school fees when they had been allowed to get into arrear, the Board had resolved to insist on their pre-payment, a rule which had resulted in the present proceedings, in which George Baldwin, a miner, was charged with having neglected to send his son, aged 8, to school.
The facts of the case were very simple. The boy having, on the 17th November, presented himself at the Lingdale Board School, unprepared with the usual fee, the master, Mr John Douglas, acting on the Board's instructions, sent him home for it, intimating that until it was paid he would not be received into the School.
The lad did not return and absented himself for several days, during which the School Board and their officer inquired into the case and caused the parent to be served with the usual notice as to attendance, but this proving ineffectual an information was laid against the father.
Mr Buchanan contended that although the Eduction Acts, by a somewhat singular omission, did not contain any simple and positive enactment that a parent should pay the school fees of his child, yet the fair conclusion to be derived from Sec 17 of the Act of 1870, which provides that children attending Board Schools shall pay weekly fees - and from Sec 4 of the Act of 1876, which declares it to be the duty of parents to cause their children to be educated, was the Legislature intended the parent to pay such fees and that the payment should be a necessary condition of the child's attendance at school.
He referred to a statement of the Education Department on the subject and a recent letter from their Lordships affirming the principle of pre-payment.
In the case before the justices, due inquiry had been made by the School Board as to the circumstances of the defendant and the Board were satisfied that it was not a case for remission of the fees, while on the other hand, no application had been made to the Guardians through their inquiry officer for payment on the ground of poverty.
Adverting to the recent decision, rendering it doubtful whether fees in arrear could be recovered in the County Court, Mr Buchanan pressed for a conviction on the ground that, failing this, this the Board would practically be at the mercy of any parent who did not choos to pay his child's fees and the provision as to the payment of fees would be entirely nugatory.
The facts having been proved the magistrates, Canon Yeoman, R C Yeoman and James Merryweather, retired to consider their decision and on returning into Court announced their determination to convict and considered the School Board justified in requiring the fees to be prepaid.
It is understood that Canon Yeoman dissented from this decision, which caused much anger and concern and the local press gave voice to it:-
"We believe the great deal owing in fees was not because people would not pay, but because of their inability to do so, owing to the unparalleled depression in trade through which the district has recently passed.
It may so reduce the number of school attendances that the requisite proportion to obtain the Government grant may be affected.
Already we are informed a good many children have been sent back and so eager are the teachers to carry out the law that in one case two poor fatherless children both of whom are in receipt of Parish pay, were sent home to a widowed mother for their school pence. "


10th January - THE 18TH COMPANY [SKELTON] NORTH YORKSHIRE RIFLE VOLUNTEERS DINNER.
On Monday evening the members sat down to a very substantial dinner provided at the Wharton Arms Hotel [Mr Maughans] by the officers for those men who had made themselves efficient during the past year and still remained in the Corps.
Unfortunately the Captain [T L Yeoman, Esq] could not attend and his place at the head of the table had to be occupied by the senior Lieut Wharton, who cammanded the Corps while in Camp at York in a very efficient and creditable manner.
The Vice-chair was filled by Lieut Hamilton who is daily gaining the esteem and respect of the men by his open-hearted goodness manifested on several occasions.
It would be difficult to detail the various joints and toasts that occupied the evening, but great credit is due and was given to Mr and Mrs Maughan for thier excellent virtue as caterers.
On the cloth being removed, Lieut W H Wharton proposed the "Queen and Royal Family", which was received with a loyalty that made the room ring again and is seldom equalled in regular service.
This was followed by a song from Sgt Harrison, "On the Banks of the Beautiful Severn", who called up Mr Maughan with "The Englishman". Next followed Sgt Instructor Treen's masterpiece, "Wait till you get it", when Sgt Hutton [20th company] gave "Mistaken Brothers".
The next toast was "The Army and Navy", by Lieut E Hamilton, who referred to the action of the force in Afghanistan and Zululand and said that the old heroism and pluck of the British soldier was not lost, as the endurance and privation born in those unfortunate combats clearly proved and if called upon, the Volunteers would be found quite ready and willing to stand up for their country's honour.
He concluded by singing the "Noble 24th" and called upon Cpl Morris, who gave "Who will care for Mother now".
Pte M Wilson next gave "My Mother in Law" very well, but a little nervousness seemed to affect him.
He was followed by Pte Bousfield with "Teddy O'Neil" and the "20th" from Lieut Wharton was proposed, who hoped to meet them in a more successful match at cricket this year and also a rifle competition.
This was drunk with musical honours and responded to by Sgt Hutton in a very neat little speech.
Sgt Treen then sang "The Man of Honest Heart" and proposed "The absent Captain and Officers present", which he pointed out might be envied by any other Company in the Battalion.
Sgt Harrison gave a recitation "The Execution of Charles I by Oliver Cromwell", in a masterly manner, depicting the scene with great skill and judgment.
The "health of the Sgt Instructor" was then given by Sgt Wray, who mentioned the difficulties cast in his way through the effect of his predecessors, but believed the more he was tried the better liked.
Sgt Treen thanked the Company for their kindness and said he hoped to be spared to prove himself worth of the esteem in which he is held and also to bring the Corps to an efficiency second to none in the Battalion, as his only interest is to do good in every possible way.
Pte Ward gave a song, "Poor old Jeff", followed by one from Lieut Wharton, "We'll all go a hunting to-day", which was well sung.
Sgt Treen gave "The health of J T Wharton Esq and Mrs Wharton" to which Lieut Wharton responded and said he regretted his father could not be present, but had a great interest in the welfare of the Corps, having been formerly a Captain.
A song from Sgt Treen, "Though I'm Poor, I'm a Gentleman Still", was highly appreciated.
A compliment for the decorations, which consisted of various devices in arms, banners and evergreens brought a pleasant evening to a close harmoniously with "God Save the Queen".

16th January - SCHOOL FEES OWED.
At the next School Board meeting, Mr Rippon said 270 was owing in Fees. He wanted to remit them and the Education Department had said 3 months could be remitted, but the Board preferred to pauperise people by sending them to the Guardians of the Poor.

17th Jan. HORSE CRUELTY.
North Skelton Mine. Stevenson Ward and Henry Dale, drivers, were each fined 20s for beating a horse unmercifully with a piece of timber.

22nd January - SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION. The following were nominated for the 7 seats on the board -
Edward Bell Hamilton, land agent, Rigwood, Skelton -
Christopher Heslop, Stanghow, mining engineer -
Thomas Petch, Skelton, Farmer -
William Dixon Petch, Skelton, Farmer -
Charles Rippon, Lingdale, accountant -
George Robinson, manager North Skelton and Long Acre mines -
Isaac Scarth, Stanghow House, -
Stanghow Lane School.

Gentleman - Thomas Taylor, Skelton, merchant -
John Thompson, manager South Skelton Mines -
Charlotte Wharton, Skelton Castle.

31st January - POLICE STATION A COURT HOUSE.
At a special session of the Justices on Tuesday Redcar, Skelton and Saltburn Police stations were appointed occasional Court Houses under the provisions of the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879, section 20.

3rd February - SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION - BAN FLOGGING.
Candidates with their various supporters and canvassers were astir at an early hour visiting the polling booths at Old Skelton, Lingdale and North Skelton.
Cabs were brought into requisition to convey voters to the booths. During the day a number of youngsters paraded the streets lustily shouting for their favourites.
One band from Lingdale carrying small flags with the words "Vote for Heslop and the abolition of flogging".
Those elected were Robinson 1579, Thomas Taylor 1075, Thompson 1,002, Scarth 984, Edward Hamilton 893,Heslop 629 and William Petch 611.

11th February - BIG SIDE OF BACON.
A stout, good looking woman named Margaret Bacon was yesterday fined 5 shillings and costs for being drunk and disorderly at Skelton.

14th February - IRON TRADE IMPROVED.
Trade continues to improve in most of the villages in the Cleveland Ironstone district. The Skelton and Brotton principal mines are fully employed.

18th February - POACHER.
On Tuesday John Varley, a miner of Skelton, was charged with trespassing in pursuit of game on land in the occupation of Ralph Lynas and belonging to Mr J T Wharton. Fined 2s 6d and 14s 6d costs.

21st Feb. - WIFE NEGLECT.
Robert Bean, miner, of N Skelton, charged with neglecting his wife whereby she became a charge to Guisborough Union. He was unable to live with her due to her drunken conduct. Allowed her 4s per week as maintenance.

8th March - NEW DUKE WILLIAM.
At a meeting of the Skelton Board of Health a plan of the new Duke William Inn was submitted and approved.

23rd March - CRICKET CONCERT.
An excellent concert was given in the large room belonging to the Bull's Head Hotel in aid of North Skelton Cricket Club. The programme consisted of glees, songs etc which were well rendered by amateurs from Skelton and the neighbourhood. Mr Robert Bell presided at the piano.

23rd March - FEVER.
The whole of the schools under the supervision of the Skelton and Stanghow-Lane School Board have been closed for an indefinite period owing to scarlet fever being prevalent in the district.

3rd April - RATES.
The Local Board adopted the following rates for the year. Houses 8d in the pound and land 1d. Burial Board, three halfpence.
3rd April - 18th NORTH YORKSHIRE RIFLE VOLUNTEERS, SKELTON.
On Monday the members of the Corps held their annual Easter prize shooting competition on the Park Pit range.
Refreshments were provided on the range by Mr Maughan, New Wharton Arms Hotel.
Lt Wharton presented the prizes in the Drill Hall to First L/Cpl Johnson, Second Sgt Wray and third Sgt Instr Treen.

27th April - DRUNK AND RIOTOUS.
Joseph Godfrey and William Bentley were charged with being drunk and riotous at North Skelton on the 17th. Both had their coats off fighting. Fined 2s 6d each and costs.

3rd May - IRONSTONE OUTPUT.
The total output of the Cleveland mines for the past year was reported as 4,750,000 tons, which was 850,000 less than the previous year, mainly due to Rosedale not producing.
The principal mines were in descending order of output:-
Upleatham
Eston
Brotton
Skelton Park Pit
Lofthouse
Chaloner
714,075
540,749
416,334
338,731
280,819
261,095
Normanby
Huntcliffe
North Skelton
Longacres
Cragshall
Ormesby
239,098
198,895
197,965
195,847
167,675
139,819
Lingdale
Kirkleatham
Spa
Belmont
Slapewath
Skelton Shaft
65,190
65,003
64,556
34,352
26,236
10,029

5th May - SMASHED DOOR.
Joseph Robinson, a miner residing at Skelton was ordered to pay 6s damage and fined 10s and the costs for smashing the door of the house occupied by William Burns another miner of Skelton High Green.

6th May - RARE DIVORCE CASE.
In the Divorce Division of the High Court of Justice Mr George Sharpe petitioned for divorce by reason of his wife's adultery with the co-respondent, a working miner of Skelton, Yorks.
They were married at York in 1867 and after he got an appointment in India she returned to her occupation of housekeeper.
She came out to India, but he found she had contracted habits of intemperance.
She returned to England and never wrote. On his return he found she was living with the co-respondent at Skelton as his housekeeper and that they later married.
Mr Linsey, Curate in charge at Skelton produced the register book. His Lordship granted a decree nisi, but no costs as there was no evidence to show co-respondent knew of previous marriage. [no mention of charge of bigamy].

8th May. North Skelton got a post office at Mr William Stokoe's, grocer and draper. "The nearest one had been one mile away."

26th May - ASSAULTS.
Jane Entwhistle charged Daniel Collingwood with assaulting her on the 22nd at New Skelton. Defendant did not appear and was fined 1 and costs.
Maria Woadget was fined 10s and costs and William Wright 1 and costs for assaulting Sarah Futter at Skelton on the 14th. Defendants did not appear.

31st May - 3 DAY WEEK.
The low prices in the iron market has reduced production and the miners at North Skelton are working only 3 days a week.
2nd June - MINERS AT UNIVERSITY.
Mr Thomas Dunn, secretary to the Cleveland Miners Association has been hard at work explaining the University Extension Scheme and encouraging men to take advantage of it. The members of the Skelton Lodge have petitioned the Executive for an allowance of 20 from the Consolidated Fund in aid of a couse of lectures such as Mr Moorsom delivered last winter.

5th June. MOTHER ASSAULT. Anne Barron of Skelton was fined 2s 6d for assaulting her mother, Jane Burdon.

19th June. Guisborough Petty Sessions. James Baldwin, miner, of Skelton fined 5s for failing to send his child to school.

15th June. The Local Volunteers name was changed to the 1st Yorkshire North Riding Rifle Volunteer Corps

19th June. - DECAPITATION THREAT.
Joseph Gillimore, miner of Park Pit, was assaulted between 4 and 5 in the morning by Samuel Loftus, who threatened to knock his head off.

22nd June - THE SKELTON VOLUNTEERS.
The 1st North York Rifle Volunteers, G Company [Skelton] after their usual week's training with the rest of the Battalion at Redcar were marched by their Captain Yeoman to his residence at Marske Hall and after partaking of substantial refreshment at his expense

they were photographed on the lawn the old Hall in the background forming an interesting picture.
They had hardly left Marske when the rain began to fall and by the time Skelton was reached the men were literally drenched. Through the liberality of Mrs Wharton of Skelton Castle they were supplied with hot coffee and sandwiches. On Sunday they turned out for Church parade, headed by their splendid band and considering the soaking they had the night before they were remarkably smart and clean. Present on parade were Lt Wharton, 5 Sergeants, 22 Bandsmen and 40 rank and file.

23rd June - OBTAINING GOODS BY FRAUD.
Elizabeth Ann Beard, a married woman, residing at Skelton, was charged "that on or about May 27th she did unlawfully and knowingly by certain false pretences cause and procure certain goods to be delivered by Richard Knaggs to one John Henry Atkinson for the use and benefit of herself, with intent to defraud, and so did unlawfully obtain of and from the said Richard Knaggs the said goods with intent to cheat and defraud the aforesaid James Henry Atkinson."
Atkinson stated that for some considerable time past he, together with his son, 8 years of age, had been lodging with the defendant, whom he had authorised to obtain from Knaggs groceries and provisions sufficient for his own eating. However he had now found out that she had been in the habit of getting what she wanted for her own use without acquainting him.
The Chairman said he did not see how the Bench could deal with the case, as on the Atkinson's own showing he had authorised the defendant to procure provisions in his name.
Atkinson:- "But not colouring and whiting. I couldn't eat that." [Laughter in court.] "and here they are down in my book."
The Bench dismissed the case which was one more of simple debt than anything else.

11th July - HALF WITTED DRUNK.
At the Guisborough Police Court yesterday a half-witted man named Robert Thompson of Skelton was charged with being drunk and incapable at Guisborough.
His solicitor said he had a small private income and when he drew the same he got under the influence of drink and became unmanageable. Fined 10s and costs.

17th July. - KILLED BY FALL AT SKELTON SHAFT.
Joshua Dale, aged 21, Joiner, killed in a fall from a staging 30 feet high ; he stepped onto a plank that was sawn through during repairs.
'He was severely injured and was taken to Guisborough Miners Hospital, where he died the same evening.'
Foreman alleged he had been warned not to mount the scaffolding as it was unsafe.
His father had been killed near the same spot about 1st February 1872.

19 July. - FATAL ACCIDENT SKELTON PARK PIT.
William Ord a shifter aged 41, was killed. "in main return; while removing some stone another fall took place from the roof which had been previously examined."
Ord was completely buried. It was some time before he could be dug out and he was dead when extricated.
George Harrison was severely injured in the same incident, reported by local paper as 'shocking' and conveyed to Guisborough Miners' Hospital.
William Ord resided in Skelton and leaves a widow.

24th July - SKELTON AGRICULTURAL SHOW.
This was held on Thursday and look forward to with great interest in the District. The weather was beautifully fine and though hay-making was general, visitors attended in thousands, making the show the most successful that has ever been held at Skelton.
The classes were fairly filled with an increase of 80 on the previous year, the improvement being chiefly in the horse department.
There was a luncheon during the afternoon presided over by Mr J Wharton jun.

31st July - FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT.
On Monday an inquest was held at the Wharton Arms Hotel, Skelton on the body of Edward Wotton, who died from injuries received on the Saltburn railway on the 26th of June.
The deceased was a platelayer and was going to his work in company with G Hall about 1 p.m. While walking down the railway a mineral train came past, running at a rate of 8 miles per hour.
The deceased attempted to get on the van as it was passing, but missed his hold and fell on the rails. The last wheel of the van passing over his right foot. He was attended by Dr M'Vie but died of his injury.

2nd October - POSTAL SERVICE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
The Skelton Board had written to the postal authorities regarding delivery of letters and had had no reply.
The Chairman remarked that it was not a matter to be passed over. He had made enquiries and found that letters arrived at Skelton from Marske at 8.20 a.m. on weekdays and 9.20 a.m on Sundays. If, however, the mail were forwarded to Saltburn by train and from thence by mailcart to Skelton the letters would arrive at 7.30 a.m, as it would save the time which was taken up by sorting the letters at Marske. Mr Calow stated that letters as a general rule, were not delivered in "Moorsholme" until after noon. The Clerk was instructed to write to the postal authorities once again.

9th Oct. - OBSCENE LANGUAGE.
John Mason of Skelton was fined 20 shillings and costs for using obscene language at Skelton Green.

Isobel Mohun, 1860 - 1949.
In this photograph, taken with her sisters about 1880, Isobel is seated second from the right.
She married George H Mohun, a local ironstone mine platelayer.
They had 11 children, two of whom lost their lives in the First World War.
The family lived at 9 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green.

'The inhabitants of Skelton had experienced great annoyance from numbers of men who congregated at the sides of the highway and used language of a profane and vile character.'

30 Oct. Joseph Dixon, miner, assaulted a gamekeeper of Mr Wharton's as he walked between Boosbeck and Skelton on the highway. Fined 40s and costs.

30th Oct. - ASSAULT OF BOBBIES.
William Jones taken into custody for shouting and being abusive in Boosbeck Rd by PC Brough and PC Edwards, who was assaulted.

6th Nov. - POACHING.
John Osborne and William Scott of Skelton were fined30s and costs for poaching on Mr J T Wharton's land. They were caught by a gamekeeper, called Baker, loitering suspiciously with two dogs at Upleatham.

8th November - TALLY YOICKS.
The Cleveland Hunt met at Skelton and in Fanny Bank found one of the good old sort. He ran as if for Skelton Ellers, doubled back through Skelton Castle shrubberies, through Mount Shandy, along the top of Hob Hill to the right of the Viaduct, through Saltburn Gill, as if for Brotton, turned to the right and along below Morrison's pit, past Millholme, doubled short back to Skelton Cemetery and into Saltburn Gill. Nearly to the bottom of it, crossed over to the left of Rushpool Hall and was killed in the open after a gallant run at a break neck pace over the roughest of the Cleveland district.
3rd December - SALE OF OLD MAWERS CHARITY SCHOOL.
At the monthly meeting of the Skelton and Stanghow School Board the Deputy Clerk, Mr T Bradley, laid before the members a copy of an agreement by which the trustees and managers of the Skelton Mawers Charity School transferred all their property to the Board.


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