SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1903


Piles of iron ore and limestone.

IRONSTONE.
From the mines of East Cleveland the greyish green iron ore was taken by rail to the iron works near Middlesbrough.
About this time it had cost between 5 and 7 shillings per ton to hew it from the ground.
It was roasted in steel kilns to remove the moisture and carbonic acid content and thereby 100 tons was reduced to about 70.
The blast furnace process, which once started had to run non-stop for 8 to 10 years, produced one ton of pig-iron for every 3 tons of ore. But the pig iron was now worth around 50 shillings per ton.
The steel making process converted the pig iron into rails, ship and boiler plates etc, which had a value of 120 to 150 shillings per ton.
And when these became part of a fine vessel in one of the ship yards the worth doubled and trebled yet again.
For years iron was the staple product of Cleveland and the area produced more than the whole of Scotland and over one quarter of the whole nation's output.

Building of the Castle lodge on Marske Lane.

Blast Furnace.

Wright brothers made first powered flight in USA.

16th January. TELEGRAPH.
The scheme for affording special telegraph facilities to about 100 villages and rural localities in North Eastern England came into operation this week.
Villages having telegraphic communication with certain head offices will be able to call up after hours in case of emergency. If a telegram is handed in at a remote village, the sub-postmaster may ring up his head office and secure the delivery of a telegram for, say, a doctor or a fire engine in need, or in any like case of emergency.
In larger offices a bell will ring in the sorting rooms or some part of the office where there are clerks on duty.
The Head Office at Middlesbrough will be connected to - Brotton, Eston, Guisborough, Loftus, Lazenby, Littley Ayton, Marske, Skelton, South Bank, Staithes, Stokesley and Yarm.

3rd March. NO PUB AT THE STATION.
Stephen Emmerson, farmer, of Faugh Field Farm,Skelton, which was 250 yards from the new North Skelton railway station, applied for a full license for his house.
It was refused. [Bookings at North Skelton exceeded 2000 per month at this time.]

6th March - NO COMPENSATION.
Mrs Elizabeth Rice of North Skelton claimed for the loss of her husband, John, who fell with a metal rail on his back in N Skelton mine in 1902 and injured himself.
The mine owners proved he died of natural causes and case dismissed.
At the 1901 census the Rices lived at 46 Wharton St with their three sons and the wife of the eldest son. John was aged 55 and Elizabeth 56. They had both been born in Devon.

9th March - MINE DEATH.
Skelton Old Shaft Mine. Edward Rix a driver, aged 21, who resided at Guisborough was killed.
"When coupling his horse to a full tub, some distance from the face, about a ton stone fell away at a place end and caused instant death."




Skelton High Street in the Early 1900s. Postcard dated 10th May 1906. Sent from Skelton Green and restamped at Skelton.


Pig iron, the staple product of Cleveland.

April - Easter Monday - CHURCH LADS BRIGADE.
On Easter Monday there was a "field day" at the Castle of the Companies of the Church Lads' Brigade that make up the Cleveland Battalion.
The day was bright but very cold. Some 100 lads of the Skelton,Saltburn, Guisborough and Redcar Companies fell in at the Drill Hall and marched down to the Castle led by the massed bands.
They were inspected by Lieut Col Wharton and after going through various drills and manoeuvres had a substantial tea in a marquee kindly provided by the Squire and Mrs Wharton.


23rd May - YET ANOTHER MINE DEATH.
North Skelton Mine. Edward Kirk, a horsekeeper aged 16, was killed. "He was assisting to give a horse some medicine when the twitch slipped off the horse's nose. He fell back on to the tramway and his spine was injured."
Edward was the eldest son of Henry and Mary Kirk of 14 Richard St, North Skelton.
They had 8 children at the census of 1901. Edward's father, had come from Hutton le Hole to work in the ironstone mines and was also a horse driver.
29th May - SERIOUS BIKE ACCIDENT.
Miss Ellen Clark, a school teacher at Saltburn, is lying in a precarious condition as the result of a cycle accident. She was descending a steep incline at Skelton Ellars when she was thrown from her machine. The base of her skull was fractured.

Hollybush Farm, Skelton. Home of the Emmerson family.
May 31st - END OF LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS.
An Education Act abolished the School Boards and made local authorities responsible for education and started State Grammar Schools.

Parish Magazine The Skelton and Stanghow School Board will cease to exist and the North Riding County Council Education Committee will take over their buildings, powers, and responsibilities
They have appointed as Managers of the Skelton Schools - The Rev R J Ellis, Messrs T Ranson, W Kingston and W Carter.
The Urban Council will add two representatives to these.


June 13th - VOLUNTEERS CAMP.
Our Volunteers joined the rest of the Battalion for their annual week's training under canvas at Scarborough.
The exposed position of their camp on the race course and the inclement weather gave them an experience of the hardships rather than the pleasures of military life.


Parish magazine -
"The year 1903 has established a record for rain and stormy weather. The harvest everywhere was seriously hindered and late, and many crops were of little value when gathered."

10th July - UFO SCARES LOCALS.
On Friday night a strange novel sight came across the North York Moors and nearly went out to sea.
It originated in York and passed over Westerdale and Castleton and continued its course to Skelton.
It finally alighted in a field before it reached Saltburn.
There were 3 occupants in it who had a narrow escape from coming down in the sea.
Nothing of the sort had been seen in the district before, which may account for the somewhat curious actions of some of the residents on seeing it.
A correspondent states that one farmer went into his house for a gun, and the consequences may have been serious, only it had disappeared when he emerged with the weapon.
A lady, not caring for the sight of it, went into her house and sought to make her possessions safe by locking the door.
It was a balloon that had taken off at the Gala in York.
Frank and Mary Ward in 1903, with their children left to right,
Gordon, Andrew and Frank.
Mary was a direct descendant of John Andrew, of smuggling and hunting fame. Frank senior was an ironstone miner and the family lived at 26 Yeoman St. William Ward, the old gentleman pictured on Chemists Corner on the page for 1901 was Frank's father. The baby, Andrew, is the ironstone miner pictured on the page for 1922 - 1926. Frank is the footballer for Skelton Celtic, pictured on the page for 1919 to 1920.
[Photograph kindly contributed by Alan Ward, son of Frank, junior.]
September - SKELTON STATION - The following items, the result of the first year's working of our railway station shew that though little in buildings it is by no means little in usefulness.
Many much more pretentious stations and commodious cover to shelter passengers from the weather bring much less revenue to the North Eatern Railway Company.
The passenger traffic shews 9,000 passengers booked from Saltburn, 1700 from Brotton, while Skelton has booked 17,000 to different stations.
The goods department has dealt with 7,000 tons of coal and merchandise and 3,500 parcels.
We think the management are convinced now that they were wrong in their ideas and that Skelton Station has come to stay.


TELEPHONES COMING - We have been informed by an Agent of the National Telephone Company that they intend extending their system to Skelton and Guisboro.
Connections are already being established at Guisbro and we understand that the trunk line will be brought through Skelton and Saltburn and that a public call office and central station will be established in Skelton from which wires will be run to subscribers at Boosbeck, North Skelton, Skelton Green and Skelton.
From this public call office the general public will be enabled at the modest outlay of a penny or twopence to hold conversation with any subscriber at Saltburn, Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Yarm, Guisborough and the district between these places and at a further charge, graduated according to distance, with any subscriber in England or Scotland.

New Skelton Cemetery.

No doubt many will make this use of the system who do not at present see sufficient reason for having an instrument in their own house or place of business. In village districts like our own we are far behind countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Japan, where a full service is supplied at half the cost that we are required to pay.

30th October - VOLUNTEERS ANNUAL DINNER.
On Saturday night the "G" Company of the Skelton Volunteers, 1st Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment held their annual dinner at the Wharton Arms Hotel, Skelton, when some 100 men [including the 4 soldiers at the Convalescent Home, kindly invited by Lt Col Wharton] sat down to an excellent spread provided by the hostess, Mrs Pattinson, to which ample justice was done.

North Skelton "Hope to Prosper" Band, 1903
behind the "Trust House" [Bulls Head Hotel]

15th December. WHARTONS OFF TO EGYPT - Mr W H A Wharton of Skelton Castle, accompanied by Mrs Wharton, left Saltburn yesterday for London, en route for Cairo, for the benefit of his health. He will probably return home about the end of April next.

17th Dec. Parish Magazine - THOMAS PETCH DEAD.
On Thursday morning there passed away from us one widely identified with public life in Skelton, after a lingering illness of over a year.
As Chairman of the Skelton and Stanghow School Board for over 20 years, as a Guardian and lately Chairman of that body, as member of the Urban Council and as a conspicuous figure in the hunting field, he has occupied a very prominent position in the district. In agricultural matters as farmer and valuer he was widely known.
He was buried on the 19th at Liverton, where other members of his family are interred.


24th Dec - MINE DEATH. South Skelton Mine.
George Smith, a deputy aged 32 was killed. "Thigh fractured and back injured by a fall of stone from face. Died the same day."
South Skelton Miners, 8 October 1903.

South Skelton Miners, 3 December 1903.


Next Page - 1904
Previous Page - 1902
Contents Page