SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY


1893.

9th January - CRUSHED AT MINE.
A "back-bye man", named Thomas Blenkin, residing at Skelton, was rather severely crushed on Saturday morning whilst working in the "sump" at the Park Mines, Skelton. The cage descended upon him. He was removed to the Miners' Hospital at Skelton Green.

12th January - PUPIL TEACHER HIT GIRL ?
At the meeting of the Skelton and Stanghow School Board a charge against a pupil teacher at the Stanghow Lane Girls School of striking a girl under her charge was investigated. The Clerk was instructed to inform the parent that there was no foundation for the charge.
The Warden reported a large amount of sickness prevailing amongst the smaller children at the Skelton Infants Schools.

February - WHERE IS OUR RAILWAY STATION ? Parish Magazine.
Two years ago the proposed Skelton railway station was "under consideration" and it is
apparently in much the same position still. The last report was that it was "in lawyers hands".
It is about time it was in the contractor's hands. It is curious what a long time is necessary for huge bodies like the North Eastern Railway Company to make arrangements for such a little undertaking as this.
Skelton may some day perhaps develop into a manufacturing town, or a place for the villas of Middlesboro merchants;
but we shall first want a station and some railway facilities.


13th February - MUSIC HONOURS.
Miss Isa Todd, a Teacher of Music of North Skelton has again been successful in gaining an Honours certificate, 92 per cent, in connection with the Theoretical Examination of the London College of Music. She studied by correspondence.

3rd March - LOCAL BOARD ENTERTAINMENT.
The Skelton and Stanghow School Board treated their employees to an excellent tea and entertainment which was held in the Infants' School, Skelton on Wednesday night.
75 persons did ample justice to an excellent spread provided by Mrs Ridsdale of Skelton, after which Mr Calvert of Middlesbrough gave an excellent address on "Hints etc to Teachers".
Board members, T Petch, J Milligan, Isaac Scarth and school managers T Shepherdson and Thomas Ranson also addressed the Company followed by dancing to 12 p.m to the strains of music provided by Mr Robert Bell.

3rd March - RUN OVER AND KILLED IN MINE.
North Skelton Mine. William Brown, a fitter, aged 22, died as a result of injuries received on 27 February.
He was walking down an incline, where waggons were running.
He stepped out of a refuge hole to throw 2 taps into the last empty waggon, but, quite forgot all about the full set which caught him and knocked him down.
He stated to a deputy, named West, that he was not much injured and afterwards walked home.
Dr Merryweather stated that he was suffering from shock and this accelerated and attack of scarlet fever of which he died.
William was the son of the master enginewright at the mine.

4th March - STEAM ROLLER AND SMALLPOX.
At the meeting of the local Board it was resolved to appoint a committee to consider the advisability of purchasing a steam roller.
The Medical Officer reported 18 cases of scarlet fever, influenza being also rather prevalent. He recommended the cottages at Groundhill as suitable premises for the isolation of any smallpox cases.
29th March - SERVANT THEFT FROM EMPLOYER.
At the Guisborough Police Court on Tuesday Frances Evans of North Skelton, a domestic servant, was charged with stealing articles to the value of 10 from her employer, Miss Marley of Boosbeck.
The mother of the prisoner, Jane Anne Evans, was charged with receiving the goods, knowing them to have been stolen. Both pleaded guilty and Frances was sent to prison for one month and her mother for two months.

30th March - RATCHET DISPUTE.

Ratchet Drill in use at the face.
Its introduction caused many disputes in the local ironstone mines.

A meeting of the Cleveland Miners' Executive Committee instructed Messrs Norman and Toyn to meet the men and manager at Skelton Shaft to try to come to an amicable arrangement about working the "ratchet machine", both as to system and rate.
The ratchet was used to drill a hole in the stone, into which the gunpowder was packed with an iron bar called a "stemmer".
Prior to the introduction of the ratchet the hole was made with an iron bar, a much longer process.

24th April - MINE ACCIDENT.
A miner named David Barnes of North Skelton was working in the Longacre Mines, when a quantity of stone fell from the roof injuring him. He was removed to the Miners' Hospital at Skelton Green.

5th May. London Gazette.
To be sold, pursuant to an Order of the High Court of Justice, made in the matter of the Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867, and in the matter of the Middlesborough, Redcar, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and,Cleveland District Permanent Benefit Building Society, with the approbation of Mr. Justice Stirling, by Mr. Charles Willinan, the person appointed by the.said Judge, at the Grand Hotel,


Richard Knaggs and family of 30 Cleveland St, Skelton Green. Accidentally killed June 1893.
[This photograph and the one below were kindly sent by Richard's Great Grandson, John Knaggs.]
Middlesborough, in the county of York, on Tuesday, the 16th day of May, 1893, at two for three o'clock in the afternoon, in one lot, certain freehold and long leasehold properties... In Skelton: Houses numbered 17 and 19, Thomas Street ; 2, 4, and 6, Charlotte Street; houses and house and shop numbered 17, 19, and 21, John-street; houses numbered 29 to 35, 45 to 55- (odd numbers inclusive), Boosbeck-road (Nos. 45 and 47 being shops); cottages numbered 12 to 22 (even numbers inclusive), Charlotte Street, New Skelton; houses Nos. 1, 3, and 5, Thomas Street, New Skelton; cottages numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 Shemeld's Yard; shops numbered 9, 11, and 13, High Street, Skelton.

15th May - FELL OFF LADDER AND KILLED.
Parish Magazine - Many were shocked to hear of the sad accident to a well-known townsman, Mr Richard Knaggs, of Cleveland Street, who fell from a ladder early on Monday morning.
He was buried at the Parish Church, where the deceased had from its opening acted as Captain of the bell ringers.
The procession was headed by the band of Free Gardeners and brethren of the Order, as he was a member of that club.

Richard was a Grocer and General Dealer at 30/32 Cleveland St. He owned other properties, which he rented out, and it is thought he was probably repairing one of these when he fell.
In the September, his widow Elizabeth, gave birth to their eighth surviving child, also called Richard.
He left an estate of 672 5s, the executor to the will being a Thomas Knaggs, joiner. This is equivalent to about 53,000 in 2007 using the retail price index.

15th May - BASEBALL.
English Cup qualifying competition, 1st round. Played at Skelton on Saturday. Skelton 20 - Stockton 69.

Elizabeth Knaggs, widow of Richard above, who was left to raise 8 children on her own. Here, standing outside 29 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green, where she lived and died in 1934 aged 78.

15th June. On Thursday the choirs of the Skelton Parish Church and of St Mary's Church, Moorsholm had a trip to York, the former starting from Boosbeck and the latter from Boosbeck.
A very pleasant day was spent, for besides the usual attractions of the place, the Floral Society was holding their annual Gala.
Skelton was reached shortly before midnight.


Whit Sunday - VOLUNTEERS CAMP.
The Skelton Volunteers were present at the Parish Church at the morning service in full force.
The corps has grown considerably in numbers since last year and the addition of the bicycle company adds considerably to its attractions.
The Volunteers are going into camp for their week's training on the 24th June.
The place fixed for this year's encampment is Helmsley near the famous ruin of Rievaulx Abbey and Duncombe Park, the seat of Lord Faversham.


21st June - CHILDREN'S TREAT.
On the following Tuesday, the children of the Sunday Schools at the Drill Hall [bottom of Green Road], Infant Schoolroom, Old Skelton, and North Skelton had their Treat on the Castle Lawns, which were kindly placed at the disposal of the Rector and Teachers for the occasion.
Meeting near the Drill Hall, the boys and girls formed in two processions, the former, with their teachers and the Rev Mr Walker, marching off by way of West End, past Bridge House and gate of the old churchyard, through the wood on the left to the north side of the Lawns.
Here several sets of cricket and rounders were formed, while other groups amused themselves in other ways.
The girls took the Marske road and entering by the Lodge gate, passed through the Castle grounds along the walks which reach to Marske Mill and passing the tennis courts entered the Lawns and proceeded across the West front of the Castle to the South side of the Lawns.
At 4 o'clock tea was served to the children, who were seated in two large circles on the ground.
After the tea they scattered about according to their various fancies, waiting for the races etc and distribution of toys.
A Magneto-electric machine worked by Mr Charles Ellis caused a great deal of amusement.
Both teachers and children tried hard to pick coins out of the water, their struggles, generally unsuccessful, being highly entertaining to the onlookers.
At 8 o'clock there was a move homewards and so terminated a very pleasant afternoon.


7th July - ROYAL WEDDING. Parish Magazine - The bells at the Parish Church rung at intervals during the day in honour of the royal marriage of the Duke of York [later George V] and the Princess May of Teck.

Several flags floated in the breeze, testifying loyalty and good wishes to the young pair, who if they live, are destined to be some day our King and Queen.
The day, however, was not observed as a general holiday, although several tradesmen closed their establishments at mid-day. The whole of the employees on the Skelton Estate were given a day's holiday.

25July - STRIKE BALLOT.
Ballot papers were issued respecting the working of hand ratchets in mines asking the question -
Are you in favour of the members who are working in those mines where the sweating system has been enforced being brought out ?
Well over the two thirds majority of bringing the men out and the Mineowners Secretary has been informed that unless the system complained of is abolished the men at Skelton, Slapewath, North Skelton and Longacres mines will cease work.

Long Acres Ironstone Mine in 1893.

28th July - MINERS STRIKE.
The Cleveland Miners Executive waited upon the mineowners at their offices today. Mr T H Bell presiding.
The Men's representatives explained that they had balloted the members and four fifths of them had decided that, except some arrangement was made to settle the matter on a satisfactory basis, the men will put their notices in on August 5th to terminate their engagements at Skelton, Slapewath, North Skelton and Longacres Mines.
After a long discussion no settlement was arrived at. Therefore notices will be tendered on the date named.

29th July - NORTH SKELTON SHOW. Parish Magazine:-
North Skelton - A very successful Show was held this year on Saturday.
In all departments there was an increase both in numbers and quality of exhibits,
The trotting and leaping was a new feature of the show and gave great satisfaction.
The energetic Secretary and Committee are to be congratulated upon the success which has crowned their efforts to push their show into the front rank in the district.


4th August - THE RATCHET QUESTION.
A large meeting was held last night at the Market Cross, Guisborough when Messrs Norman, Strong and Toyn put the whole situation before the men.


Wedding of George V and Queen Mary.

The meeting unanimously agreed with the steps taken by the Association to put the sweating principle down.
It is expected that all the men getting and filling ironstone will hand in their notices tomorrow at Skelton, Slapewath, Longacres and North Skelton mines.

9th August - CHILDREN'S PICNIC TO ROSEBERRY.
Parish Magazine:- The teachers of the Parish Church Sunday Schools had a picnic to Rosebery Topping.
Wednesday was extremely fine and the drive to Newton and the climb up the hill-side were thoroughly enjoyed.
The view from the top was very extensive, though a slight haze obscured the distance.
After tea a move was made to Ayton, where the church was visited and the village explored.
The party then returned to Newton, where the wagonettes were awaiting them for the journey home.

School leaving age raised to eleven in this year.

14th August - HOSPITAL SUNDAY.
This annual event took place yesterday in beautiful weather at Saltburn. The Free Gardeners and Juveniles, headed by the local military and Skelton and Brotton bands paraded through the principal streets. A goodly sum was realised from the collections on the route and at the Church.

21st August - RATCHET PROBLEM.
A mass meeting of Cleveland miners was held yesterday in Mrs Tate's field on Skelton Green. Resolutions were carried pledging the miners support for the men who had been working the ratchets until the sweating system is abolished.

September - Magazine- Our Agricultural Society made a new departure this year by having a garden party in Rushpool grounds, kindly lent to them for the occasion by A J Dorman Esq, instead of the usual concert.

September - WHERE IS OUR RAILWAY STATION ? Parish Magazine:-
The Directors of the North Eastern Railway Company are still pursuing a policy of "masterly inactivity" with regard to the promised railway station at Holly Bush.
A letter once a month to our Local Board, containing statements or promises of a putting-off or dragging-on nature, seems about the amount of what they can accomplish in the time.
The fact is they are not made to feel that the town is in earnest in the matter.
They do not see a prospect of an immediate large increase of revenue to accrue from the proposal, and therefore leave us to bear the inconvenience and loss entailed by conveyance from the existing stations in the neighbourhood as best we may.
The large revenue drawn by the Company from the parish for the conveyance of ironstone to the furnaces, as well as goods and coals to the place, surely is a strong reason why our people should receive more generous treatment at their hands.


12th September - PINCHED BRAN.
3 lads named Flowers, Cole and Archer were charged with stealing bran from the farm of Mr Thomas Petch at Skelton on the 24th. The farmer said he had suffered considerable loss by the thefts by boys from his farm buildings, but did not want to press the case heavily. Fined 5s and Flowers 2s 6d.

22nd September - GREAT SKELTON FIRE CAUSED BY BOYS.
A fire of an alarming nature occurred last night at Green Farm which is occupied by Mr R W Stevenson.
It is supposed two little boys about 6 years old were playing in the granary with matches.
The fire quickly spread to other outbuildings. The Skelton fire brigade were soon on the scene but owing to an insufficient water supply was of little use
A number of men formed a chain of buckets to the main some 100 yards away. After 3 hours the Guisborough fire engine arrived and by this time the hydrants at Saltburn and Coatham had been turned off and a good supply of water was obtained.
The fire raged for 8 hours and destroyed the straw house, the barn,the granary, the chaff house and about 20 tons of straw.
The estimated 400 of damage is covered by insurance.

26th September - DEATH ON LEVEL CROSSING.
On Monday a fatal accident befell a woman named Mrs Collingwood, residing at Lingdale, and the wife of George Collingwood of Skelton. The poor woman, who was on the Slapewath crossing was knocked down by a train which leaves Boosbeck at 12 noon for Guisborough. She was killed instantly and her body removed to the Fox and Hounds Inn, which is close by to await an inquest.

4th November - MANUAL FIRE ENGINE.
The Skelton and Brotton Board instructed the Clerk to advertise for tenders to supply a manual fire engine capable of pumping 120 gallons per minute with the necessary hose and all other appliances.

13th November - SHORT TIME AND NOTICES.
Nearly all the mines in Cleveland are now working short time and 20 miners at Park Mine have received notice.

21st November - TERRIFIC STORM.
Great damage has been done throughout the district. In Skelton the roof of the Drill Hall has been stripped. On Skelton High Green hardly a house has escaped.

2nd December - SKELTON BRANCH CLEVELAND WOMEN'S LIBERAL ASSOCIATION.
The first meeting of the newly organised branch was held in the Drill Hall, Skelton last night. Mr Whitwell, who presided, said the legislation they were to have in Skelton and other parts of Cleveland - namely the Parish Councils - would give them something to think about, some object in life when they had done their daily duties.
He asked the women of Skelton to put their shoulder to the wheel and carry forward the same great Liberal principles which their fathers had beld before them.
Mr Henry F Pease, MP said that in these days of education women thouroughly understood current politics and now under the new Parish Councils they would have more active power and would be able to take more part in the work than previously.....
He understood that a club was to be established in Skelton and with the assistance of the club on the one hand and of the Womens Liberal Association on the other, he thought in future no Tory need apply [Applause].
The evening was of a social as well as a policical character and was varied by songs, readings and recitations.

NORTH SKELTON ROVERS. The "Football Club History Database" records North Skelton
Rovers joining the Northern League by topping the Cleveland Amateur League.
A big step for a small village to play the bigger towns.
In 1893-94 season there were 8 teams and they finished seventh with 7 points having won 3 drawn 1 and lost 10 with 25 goals for and 52 against.
The following season was too much with 10 teams they finished bottom and were relegated back with a record of 1 win, 1 draw and 16 defeats. 16 goals scored and 117 against.

A dry Spring and early Summer brought drought and some crop failure.

November - We have to congratulate the Local Board on the improvement effected by asphalting the footpath from Mr Wilson's shop, in front of the Infant School in South Terrace.
We hope the path in front of the Wharton Arms and Mr Wharton's Cottages is also included in their plan of operations, for it is generally dangerous to travellers who object to walk through pools of water, or to people who like to go to Church with clean boots.


New Clothing Shop Opens in Skelton High Street.
12/11 was 12 shillings and 11 pence.
[12 pence = 1 shilling. 20 shillings = 1 Pound.]

While we are about it, we might express our wonder that the ratepayers who live on the North side High Street, westwards. do not ask for a footpath in front of their houses, to reach from Mr Dunning's shop on the East side to Mr Kidd's on the West.
Perhaps they are waiting till the flagging in front of the Royal George is carried through, past the Duke William, or until the people living on the west side of Boosbeck Road ask for a similar favour.
It is said that the authorities want to do away with gardens in front of the houses in question and run the footpath close up to the windows.

8th December - RATCHET WAGES.
North Skelton Mine. Miners who operated the Ratchet [drill for making holes in which to place explosive] had put in a claim for an advance in wages of 2d per ton.
Messrs Walker and Charlton for the mineowners and Strong and Norman for the miners effected a settlement to increase the rate by one farthing [a quarter of a penny].

THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
A 'rosy picture' of local life at this time from "New Marske Looking Back": -

"The Miner's family had an average wage of 30 shillings a week by the end of the 19th century, [1.50 decimal]
Rent would take 3s 6d [17 1/2p] and milk delivered fresh from the cow to the door cost less than 1p per pint.
With no electricity, gas or telephone bills to contend with the only fuel costs were coal and paraffin for lamps.
The wife was usually given around 27s and 6d for this housekeeping whilst the miner kept 2s 6d to himself for 'pocket money'.
By comparison, a rail journey from the north to relatives in the South could cost as much as one and a half weeks gross wage.
Unlike today poultry was a treat reserved for Christmas, chickens costing 2s 6d (12 1/2p), ducks 4s 6d (22 1/2p) and a goose 7 6d (37 1/2p) a large slice of a weekly pay packet.
2d bought a packet of woodbine cigarettes.
1d a bag of fish and chips and a night out at the local Saturday Hop in the Parish Hall cost 3d."


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