SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY


1904

Park Pit. Photograph dated 12 January 1904.

12th January -
SKELTON RENT DINNER.
The half yearly Rent Dinner in connection with Mr W H A Wharton's Estate was held at Skelton yesterday. Mr T Tutin presided in the absence of Mr Wharton who is in Cairo.
The half years' Rent had been returned on all Corn land. A vote of condolence was passed with the widow of Mr Thomas Petch, who had attended these gatherings for 40 years.

January.
WAIFS AND STRAYS.
Parish Magazine -
Waifs and Strays Society. Miss Wharton wishes to thank the members of the Skelton Branch of the Northern Children's Union of the Waifs and Strays Society, who have sent gifts of needlework and toys. Also those who have collected money for the Home for Crippled Children.
Membership Card for the Children's Union, signed by Mrs [Bessie] Elizabeth SM Wharton [wife of W H A Wharton of Skelton Castle.]

PRIVATE SCHOOL |
A small Sale of Work has been arranged by the Misses Barrie and the pupils attending their School [private school on the Hills] in aid of a Child's Cot in the North Ormesby Hospital.

13th January -
CHURCH LADS' BRIGADE
"At Home". Arranged by Mrs Herring and her Teachers, together with the Officers of the Church Lads' Brigade, it was held in the Church Rooms to raise funds for the CLB.

22nd January -
FANCIERS SOCIETY.
On Monday night at the Royal George Hotel, Skelton, the annual general meeting of the Skelton Fanciers Society was held, a large number of members being present.

25th January -
NORTH SKELTON JUNIOR SCHOOL.
The Scholars gave a most interesting Concert. The proceeds were for the purchase of the attendance prizes at the school.

6th February -
COUNCIL MEETING.
Mr William Wilkinson was appointed Overseer for Skelton.
Plans for 2 houses for Mr Tate at Skelton Green were passed.
A suggestion to combine with the other authorities for a joint Hospital at Guisborough for Smallpox was adopted.

8th February -
INFANTS CONCERT -
A Concert was given by the children attending Skelton Infants School, the proceeds being devoted to the Band of Hope.
Miss Jessie Kingston contributed two pianoforte solos and Mr Fred Bell's Band also kindly gave their services.

9th February -
BAND OF HOPE CONCERT -
A Concert took place in connection with the Parish Band of Hope.
The programme was contributed to by several Band of Hope children, assisted by a number of scholars from Mrs Herring's Infant School.

20th Feb -
RUSHPOOL HALL FIRE.




Front of Rushpool before the Fire.


Rushpool Hall on Fire.

Rushpool Hall had been built in 1863 to 1865, at a cost of 100,000 by the late John Bell, who with his brother Sir Lowthian Bell [Bell Brothers] was one of the founders of the Cleveland Iron Industry and the first to work ironstone in Skelton.
See page 103 of Skelton Stories for a timeline and photographs of the Bell family Here.
A maid was blamed for having a candle too close to the curtains and leaving it unattended in the servants quarters in the West end of the buildings.
The fire started while Mrs Bell and her daughter Sybil, aged 20, were having dinner.

Shell of Rushpool Hall after the Fire.

A maid heard a crackling noise and efforts were made with buckets of water but with so much flammable material the fire was soon beyond control.
News of the fire reached the neighbouring residence of Rigwood, the home of Mr E Hamilton and from there aid was summoned by telephone.
The Hall bell was rung vigorously and the conflagration had already been spotted from the Halfpenny Bridge.
The Saltburn Fire Brigade was called on and the Captain Mr John Metcalfe and Sergeant Haw quickly attended.
The flames meantime had forced their way through the roof and it was too evident that the Hall was doomed.
The main consideration now, therefore was the safety of the inmates of the Hall and happily this was ensured.
Mrs Margaret Bell, an invalid, the 61 year old widow of John Bell, was wrapped in blankets, placed in a bath-chair and wheeled to Rigwood.
The Saltburn Brigade, assisted by a hundred willing workers, managed to attach a hose to the only hydrant available, but the appliance was incapable of subduing the flames.

Interior damage..


Skelton's Steam fire engine hosing down next day.

The efforts of the workers and the Hall servants were directed to saving as much of the valuable movable effects as possible and this they were successful, though the operations were conducted under circumstances of great peril.
A member of the Saltburn Brigade, William Spragg, a lifeboatman, had a very narrow escape. He was assisting to life a heavy carpet, when a charred beam from the roof fell upon his back and for a time he was incapacitated. He would not go home and pluckily returned to help his colleagues.
The horse-drawn fire brigades from Redcar, Brotton, Middlesbrough and Skelton attended and did all they could to prevent the fire spreading.
When the fire was at its height, during the midnight hours it could be seen for miles around and many hundreds of people from all parts of the district flocked to the Hall grounds to witness a sight such as had not before been seen in Cleveland.
The Hall was turned into a furnace which burned fiercely until 6 o'clock next morning and practically smouldered the rest of the day.
The roof of the main building collapsed and damage was estimated at 25,000. [estimated 1.5 million in 2000]

Rushpool Hall. Original built 1863 to 65. Restored 1905.


Most fire engines still drawn by horses.


Rear of Rushpool Hall after the fire. Postcards must have been quickly produced for sale, as this one was posted just 9 days later from Saltburn to Madame Pageot, 21 Rue de Lamorciere, Nantes, France.
The Skelton Doctor at the time was Dr W. W. Stainthorpe.


Rushpool after the fire. In the middle distance is Longacre Ironstone Mine and in the far distance North Skelton Mine.

The 1901 census gives the household servants as:-
Arthur Jennings of Sutton on Forest, the Butler, aged 28.
Catharine Williamson of Durham,the Cook, aged 38,
Eleanor Swalwell of Darlington, a maid, aged 30.
Elizabeth Porritt of Skelton,a housemaid, aged 24.
Annie Pattinson of Shipley, a maid, aged 22.
Evelyn Robinson of Skelton,a kitchenmaid, aged 18.

26th February -
MINES AMBULANCE COMPETITION.
The annual ambulance competition for the challenge trophy in connection with Messrs Bell Brothers Ironstone Mines was held in the Assembly Hall, Saltburn on Saturday, when 5 mines competed.
Results - 1. Lumpsey 90 out of 100. 2. Skelton Shaft, 60. 3. Park Pit, Skelton, 75. 4. Carlin How, 70. 5. Huntcliffe, 70.

29th March -
LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS.
Skelton North - Elected - R W Stevenson 288, W West 268, D Petch 246.
Not elected - R Cross 244, J Wood 119, R W Armstrong 104.
Skelton South - Elected - H T Allison 232, N Teasdale 122, J Marsay 47.
Not Elected - R P Pilkington 42.

5th April -
UN-BALANCED COALMAN.
John Husband, a coal hawker, was fined 10 shillings, including costs, at Guisborough Police Court for not carrying a machine and weights on his cart at Skelton Green on the 29th February.

YOUNG NORTH SKELTON POACHERS SNARED.
Tom Evans, Wilham Evans and William A Barnes were caught coming from land near Claphow Bridge while in possession of purse and gate nets.
The young defendants had 3 dogs with them when arrested by PC Stainthorpe and said that they had been told there were hares in an adjoining field.
Fined 20 shillings, including costs.

6th April -
SKELTON'S TWO CHURCHES. At the Vestry meeting last night, the Rector, R J Ellis presiding, the accounts showed a deficit for the New Church of 45 4s 4d. The Old Church showed a credit of 14 13s 9d.
The Rector appointed Mr W Brown as his Warden and the Parishioners, Mr Steavenson.

21st April-
MINE DEATH - MONTHS LATER.
Skelton Park Pit - Thomas Elcoate, a filler aged 38 died of injuries received on the 8th January.
"He was filling a tub of ironstone when a small piece burst suddenly off side and caused a slight wound on his head; little was thought of it, but he died on April 21st."


This smallholding was situated on the bank just below Skelton Green.
Old Park Street can be seen in the background.
Folk memory says it was called "Rotherham Castle" or "Rotherham Farm" .


Back of the Postcard dated 1904.


A later photograph of further weather wear.


Arthur J Balfour.
Prime Minister 1902 to1905.

Whit Sunday -
VOLUNTEERS PARADE.
Parish Magazine - Our local company of the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment, Volunteer Brigade held their annual Church Parade.

27th April -
CHURCH LADS' BRIGADE CONCERT - NIGGER MINSTRELS.
The Church Lads Brigade held a concert in the Drill Hall.
The 'piece de resistance' came in the form of a Christy Minstrel performance by the Skelton CLB Nigger Minstrels, whose dark disguise effectually concealed the identity of Sgt Craven, Lance Sgt Gibson, Corporal Dawson, Lance Cpl Rooks, Privates Wood, Catton, Turnbull and Morgan.
The accompaniments were played by Band Sgt Bell.
Their second performance concluded the concert with an amusing farce entitled "De Haunted Hen Coop".

24th May -
POLICE ASSAULTS.
At the Guisborough Police Court several cases of asssault on Officers were heard.
At North Skelton, a miner, named John Pennock was taking part in a disturbance at North Skelton in Vaughan Street on Saturday night.

Advertisement in the Cleveland Methodist Magazine.

PC Hutchings arrived and found Pennock in a drunken condition. He took him into custody, but on the way the prisoner became violent.
He struck the Constable on the jaw and threw him to the ground. He hit him on the nose and damaged his watch.
For being drunk he was fined 20 shillings [1] and for the assault 2 or a month's imprisonment.

4th June -
RUSHPOOL FIRE - COUGH UP.
At the Skelton and Brotton Council meeting Mr West pointed out that the Skelton Fire Brigade had not yet been paid for the service they rendered at the the Rushpool Hall fire.
It was decided to write to Mrs Bell's Solicitors.

6th June -
MINE DEATH - LEG CUT OFF.
North Skelton Mine. George Ward, a driver aged 14, was killed when he fell before a set of full tubs which he was leading.
He had his leg cut off.
6th July -
YEOMAN ST HOUSES - 60 QUID EACH.
Instructed by the trustees of the late Mr T G Pearson, Saltburn, at the Wharton Arms, Skelton, last night 6 four room cottages were offered for sale last night.
Mr W H Hodage bought them for 60 each.

12th July -
RENT DINNER AT SKELTON.
Mr Wharton presided at the half yearly rent dinner of tenant farmers on his Skelton Estate held at the Wharton Arms Hotel. Over 30 sat down to an excellent repast provided by Mrs Pattison.
Mr Maughan, East Pastures, Mr Brown, Greenhills and Mr K Ross, Back Lane replied to the Chairmans toast to the Tenants.

SWEARING FINE - A DISGRACE TO HIS COUNTRY.
At the Guisborough Police Court William Harris, a North Skelton Miner appeared before Dr Stainthorpe, Colonel Locke, Mr Isaac Scarth and Mr E Hamilton.
He was ordered to pay 40 shillings and costs for using obscene language on Sunday the 30th June.
The Chairman pointed out that there were 15 previous convictions and such conduct was a disgrace to anyone living in England.

16th July -
VOLUNTEERS ANNUAL CAMP.
The Skelton, Carlin How, Guisborough and Redcar units of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment left for camp at Helmsley this afternoon.
19th July -
MINE DEATH - ROOF FALL.
An Inquest was held at the Green Inn, Skelton Green on the body of George Spurgeon, aged 42, a North Skelton Miner who died as a result of injuries received on 30th June in Long Acres Mine.
Charles Fawcett, who worked with the deceased stated that Spurgeon fired a shot about 3 p.m. and afterwards sounded the place with his stick. It appeared to be quite safe.
Five minutes later he was taking down a thin piece of the top when a quantity of stone burst away and hit him.
His head and back were injured and thigh fractured
He was taken to the Skelton Miners Hospital and survived there until the 19th July. George lived at 52 Harker St, Skelton Green with his wife Sabrina. They had no children and both had been born in Suffolk.

13th August -
MINER INJURED - ROOF FALL.
George Hogden, a North Skelton miner sustained injuries to his back in a roof fall in Long Acres Mine yesterday and was taken to the Skinningrove Miners Hospital.

26th August -
NEW RECHABITES AT NORTH SKELTON.
A new Juvenile Tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites was instituted on Saturday afternoon in the Primitive Methodist Chapel at North Skelton.
The new Tent was named "Prosperity" and commences with over 50 members.
[Dry camping - The Order of Rechabites were a Friendly Society, the members of which swore to abstain from alcohol in any form.
Groups of them were called "Tents", as the Lord supposedly commanded the sons of the Biblical figure Rechab to live in tents and drink no wine.]
30th August -
SEAGULL PIE - OUT OF DATE.
Herbert Crane, a Skelton Miner, was charged with a breach of the Wild Birds Protection Act on the 20th August, which date was in the close season.
Crane was seen on the sands at Saltburn with a gun. Six shots were fired and one gull was killed.
He was fined 10 shillings and said he thought the close season had ended.

9th October -
COUNCIL - MEASLES AND OVERCROWDING.
At the meeting of Skelton and Brotton Council Dr Stainthorpe reported many cases of Measles in all the Skelton villages and he may have to close Stanghow Lane and both Infant Schools.
In the next month there were no fewer than 8 deaths from Measles.
He had visited 94 houses with the Inspector of Nuisances in North Skelton and found a number of cases of over-crowding in Richard and Wharton Streets.
The Council asked him to select the worst cases and Notice would be served on the occupiers.

11th October -
ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL BURGLED.
At the Guisborough Police Court William Robert Pattison was charged with burgling the Royal George Hotel at Skelton, the premises of Alfred Bunn.
It was alleged that he stole 13 in silver and copper and two boxes of cigars.
He was committed to stand trial at the next Quarter Sessions at Northallerton.

26th October -
MINE DEATH.
Longacres Mine. John Ingleden, a miner aged 53 was killed, "He was drilling a hole when a large piece of stone suddenly burst away off the corner of his place and killed him instantly."

HELP THE POLICE IS THE LAW.
Certain young men of North Skelton must have felt ashamed when they read in their local newspaper of the presentation to Mr Fred Winter, a New Skelton Mine Deputy.
A powerful Miner attacked the local Constable, who did more than hold his own. Two young men observed the scene and walked away, "conduct that can only be described as unworthy of their class", while Fred received a testimonial for going to his aid.
To refuse a Constable assistance when called for is a punishable offence and they should consider themselves lucky not to be charged.

4th November -
MINE INJURY.
A Skelton Miner, named Williams sustained a fracture of his leg whilst working in Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan's Long Acre Mines this morning.

21st November -
SUPPORTER SUPPORTED.
The North Skelton Football Club held a successful Social in the Miners' Institute on Saturday night.
The proceeds were in aid of one of their supporters, who has been off work for a lengthy period through illness.

22nd November -
LIGHTLESS TRAP TRAPPED.
Henry Skipper, a Labourer of Skelton was ordered to pay the Costs when he was charged with driving a horse and trap without a light at Skelton.
The Chairman said it made no difference whether he was driving the trap or leading the horse it was still and offence not to have a light.

9th December -
WORKERS UNITE - AND A WIND UP.
Mr Joseph Toyn, the Agent for the Cleveland Miners' Association addressed a meeting of the Miners of Skelton Green last night on the need for organisation. He also entertained the meeting with gramophone selections.

25th December -
MERRY CHRISTMAS KICKS.
James Armstrong was charged with being drunk and disorderly at North Skelton and assaulting PC Stainthorpe.
PC Stainthorpe gave evidence that Armstrong was heard near Wharton Street using bad language.
He was extremely inebriated and on seeing the police went into a house. He came out again and used more bad language.
After PC Stainthorpe warned him to stop, he took a running kick at him and caught him on the shin. The Constable attempted to arrest him, but Armstrong dragged him into a yard and continued to resist.
PC Hutchings joined the struggle and eventually the defendant was brought to Skelton Police Station.
PC Hutchings gave evidence to the same effect and both policemen said that PC Stainthorpe did not use his Truncheon.
Armstrong denied the charge and alleged that it was the police who were the aggressors.
He had previous convictions in 1888 and 1900 as recorded in this website.
The Bench convicted him and he was sent to Northallerton Gaol for a month with hard labour, which at that time was the Treadmill.

Skelton West End in 1904 Postcard. The message on the back is - "What a tale this street could tell !".

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