SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1911


Skelton High Street in 1911.

6th January - YOUTHFUL GAMBLERS.
Frank Jacques, Thomas H Johns, William Harrison, Aflred Cheshire, William Templeman, George Cheshire, George Smith, Frank Parker and Ernest Heckles, all youths hailing from North Skelton, were charged with playing pitch and toss on the public footpath, leading from North Skelton to Lumpsey Mine.
They were all fined amounts from 5s 6d to 15s.

January - GIFT TO THE CHURCH.
Parish Magazine -
A very handsome frontal for the Holy Table, to be used on the High Festivals and other special services of the Church, has been presented to the Parish Church by Mrs amd Miss Wharton.
The material used is very rich white brocade, heavily embroided with gold.
A pulpit fall and book markers to match are also included in the gift, which was used for the first time on Christmas Day.
13th January - GET 'IM FIDO, DOG RETRIEVES BIG CHUNK OF BOBBY'S COAT.
William Harrison, a miner of North Skelton, was charged with keeping a dangerous dog.
PC Thomas Hutchings deposed that on New Year's Eve the dog rushed at him from behind and seizing his coat tore away about 18 inches of cloth.
He said that he had previously cautioned Harrison about the dangerous condition of the dog, which was a black retriever.
Ordered to pay the costs and keep the animal under control.

23 January - MINE DEATH.
North Skelton Mine. John Chapman, a miner aged 45 was killed. "Along with another miner he was engaged in filling ironstone at the corner of a pillar in order to make room for the rails to be laid;
while his "marrow" [North East dialect for mate pronounced marra] was a dozen yards distant a slab of stone 4.5 feet square and 15 inches thick near the roof suddenly burst off the side and killed him;
the stone was slightly overhanging and the deputy had warned them to be careful;
they had unsuccessfully tried to get it down, but did not consider it dangerous."

28th February - ANOTHER TRAMP IN THE NICK.
James Hunter, a tramp, was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment for begging at Trout Hall Lane, Skelton on the previous day.

1st March - MINE DEATH.
South Skelton Mine. William Barr, a miner aged 37, was killed. "He was engaged with another miner in removing a stook which would have been finished that shift, when a sudden fall of roof (shale and dogger) took place and displaced several balks;
the deceased was probably caught by a running balk as well as the fall;
a shot had been fired 3.5 hours previously, which may have shaken the stone into which some of time balk ends were inserted, and a sudden pressure of the roof caused the stone to burst off;
the working was said to have been very closely timbered."

2nd April - CENSUS.
At the national census of this year Skelton, [including Lingdale, Boosbeck, N Skelton.] had a population 8949. Old Skelton 3229 and N Skelton 1877.
In the last 20 years there had been an increase of 2567.
I am informed by Howard Wilson of Skelton, that number 79 High Street on the Census was a shop occupied by a widow, Mrs Margaret J Clay, age 54, and her two daughters Edith and Maud. It is listed as a Stationers, Newsagents, Tobacconists etc.
And a Telephone Exchange. The switchboard by this time could not have been very large.

10th April - CORONATION FESTIVITIES PLANNED.
Parish Magazine. It was resolved that the Coronation festivities of the Parish be carried out on the same lines as were adopted when King Edward was crowned viz. a tea to all the children attending the Council Schools under 15 years of age and to all adults over 60 and that a souvenir be given to each child.

Postcard sent from Mrs Elizabeth Wharton's Secretary to a Miss Mary Lane of 105 Lambton St, Normanby, N Yorks acknowledging receipt of 6d stamps for Queen Mary's Coronation Appeal.
[Photo kindly contributed by Julie Whitehouse of Cannock, Staffordshire.]

The expenses are to be defrayed by public subscription and it was reported the following has already been promised:-
W H A Wharton 50, Major Hamilton 10, Bolckow and Vaughan 5.


13th April - MINE DEATH 3 YEARS AFTER ACCIDENT.
An inquest was held at the Masons' Arms, Guisborough on the body of William Hughes, aged 45, a miner, late of Thomson Street, Guisborough.
He was formerly employed at Park Pit, Skelton and on the 30th March 1908 he was going into the district to start work.
He met the Deputy at the station before going to his place and almost at the same time a piece of stone off the top fell on him as he was sitting down and injured his back.
Dr Shand said that Hughes was admitted to hospital suffering from severe shock and bruises over the back.
The base of the spine was fractured and he eventually lost control of the lower portion of the body.
He remained in hospital for 6 months and death, which occurred at his residence on Friday, was due to paralysis caused by the accident.
Mr J Toyne represented the Miners' Association and Messrs T Varty, manager of Park Pit and J T Atkinson for the owners.

Coronation of George V.

28th April - PARROTT IN THE CAGE.
Thomas Parrott was committed to prison for 14 days for begging at Skelton.

26th May - STEERS BIKE ON PATH TO JAIL.
Robert Little, a miner recently employed at South Skelton Mines, was charged with stealing a bicycle, value 2 10s, the property of Sydney Steer.
Little had purchased the bike from Steer on the 22nd April for this amount and had paid 1 in 2 instalments.
He promised to pay the balance on the following Saturday, but had not done so.
On the 1st May Little went to the shop of Mr W G Richardson, cycle dealer of Guisborough, and bought a new bike, value 9 10s on the hire purchase system at 5 shillings a week.
Steer's bike was taken in part exchange, 30 shillings being allowed for it.
Sgt Taylor said Little, when charged, denied stealing the bike and said that he had paid one pound for it.
The Bench decided it was more a case for the County Court and dismissed the charge.
Little was then charged with attempting to steal the second bike, worth 9 10s.
George Barker Vanner, a cycle agent, of Redreugh Rd, Gateshead, stated that Little offered him the bike for sale, that he had given 8 10s for it at Guisborough and had had it in his possession several months.
Vanner was supicious and told the Police.
To Sgt Taylor, who took him into custody, Little replied - "I say nothing", when charged with theft.
Little told the Court that he went to Dunston to get work and as he had no clothes to work in, he pawned the machine to get some. Sir Alfred Pease, on the Bench, said it was their duty to severely punish such offenders, for these offences were not infrequent and the Gateshead bike dealer was complimented.
Little was committed for 6 weeks hard labour.

Rector of Skelton.
From 1911 to 1920.

26th May - POOR LAW MAINTENANCE.
George Andrew, a Skelton miner, was before the Court for refusing to pay towards the maintenance of his father in a case brought by the Guisborough Guardians.
Andrew maintained that as his father had married a young wife, he was not called upon to support his step-mother and children, but the Guardians said they were asking for him to contribute 2s 6d to his father.
This he agreed to do and offered one shilling. The court settled on 2.

June - REV MACKWORTH-DRAKE REPLACES REV ELLIS.
The Rev Ellis, who had been Vicar for 25 years was appointed to the Vicarage of Moor Monckton.
He recollects in the Parish Magazine -
Of the houses between the Rectory and the Church scarcely half a dozen are tenanted by the same people and some have changed two or three times over.
The thought made me turn to the Baptismal Registers - and I find the number is 3,612.
We have also officiated at 901 weddings in the Parish Church and at 1,910 funerals at the Cemetery and Old Churchyard.
The Church Army and other services Temperance Meetings at North Skelton, first in houses, then in Richard Street Mission Room and afterwards in the Church Room.
Further back still the Old Church Yard levelled and tombstones put straight.


The new rector at Skelton All Saints Church was Herbert Mackworth Drake. MA.

Queen Mary and her sons in 1911.
Edward on the right, who was to abdicate in 1936.
and Albert, who was to replace him, taking the name George VI.

22nd June - CORONATION FESTIVITIES.
Parish Magazine -
The first event was the impressive service at 11 a.m., when an abbreviated form of the same service that was taking place in Westminster Abbey was used.
The children assembled in their various schools and then the North and New Skelton contingents sang "Home, Sweet Home." and "Before all Lands" in both villages.
At 2 p.m. "God Save the King" followed by three cheers for the new King.
They then proceeded to the Recreation Ground. Here a sumptuous tea was provided for them and the old people in the open air.
The evening was then devoted to Sports for children and adults.
The schools in Skelton marched to the Parish Church and formed up in a most orderly fashion in the Churchyard.
The Stanghow Lane group were under the charge of Mr Barnes and Miss Calvert, the Green scholars under Mr Mott and Miss M White and the Skelton Infants under Miss E White and Mrs Robinson with their assistant teachers.
The Church Lads Brigade under Captain Mitchinson and the Scouts under Scout Master Craven also took up positions on the East side.
The procession then slowly wended its way through the village to the Old Kennels Field, making a most imposing sight with their flags fluttering bravely in the breeze.
An excellent tea was provided in the four Halls.
A very pleasant evening was spent in the Sports field and at 9 o'clock a general move was made towards Flowston to be in readiness for the monster bonfire which was to be lit at 10.
This burned well to the great delight of the spectators, estimated to number over 2,000.
July 1st - BOOSBECK EMPIRE BUILT.
Local miner records that Boosbeck Empire was built by W.S.Anderson. First sod cut by Mr. A. Gray, manager of South Skelton mines. This became a centre of entertainment for local people for miles around with shows and later films."


Boosbeck as it was in the late 1950s.
Boosbeck "Empire" was the larger building, bottom Left, just visible over the fence. It was constructed using corrugated metal sheets and has now been demolished. It was Skelton's nearest "picture house", but in the early years housed concerts and other entertainments.
In the background is the mountainous shale heap at the Lingdale Ironstone Mine, which grew to such a size because the stone mined there was only about 30% iron.
The mine owners, the Pease family, at one time started a brick factory to try and utilise the great amount of shale.
Lingdale residents of the time have told me that they would never have believed that this man-made mountain would ever be moved. But today the area is a virtually level local park.
[This Photograph was kindly contributed by Dr Brian J Hudson of Brisbane, Australia. He lived for part of his childhood on Hobdale Terrace and details of his book, "Whe' Yu' From", about this and much else can be read on Page 43 in the Emails section of this website.]

28th July - DO NOT TOUCH MY LAD - OR ELSE.
George Tennyson Perritt, landlord of the Green Inn, Skelton Green was charged with assaulting Kenneth Ross, the younger, a schoolboy, the nephew of a Skelton farmer of the same name.
The prosecution said that on the 19th July young Ross was on his way to the Post Office when he saw Perrit's son chasing a calf in a field belonging to his guardian.
The boy ran away and getting over fell and went home crying.
On coming out of the Post Office young Ross was accosted by Perritt, who took hold of him roughly by the arm and struck him twice about the ears.
He then shouted for a son of his and held Ross while the boy struck him, saying that he would knock Ross down if he retaliated.
A witness, Mrs Parker, said she saw this happen and at one time thought of breaking her umbrella over Perritt.
Perritt said that his 5 year old son came home crying and said young Ross had been hitting him. He had not hit Ross, but his son had.
After a long consultation the Bench decided to convict and fined Perritt 1 8s, including costs.

28th July - NOT DEPENDENT ON HUSBAND KILLED IN MINE.
At the County Court Mrs Chapman claimed 250 for the loss of her husband, John Chapman, who was killed in Bolckow and Vaughan's Skelton Mine last January.
The evidence showed that she was living apart from her husband at the time of death and the mine owners said that therefore she was not entitled to compensation.
Mrs Chapman declared that she left him because he failed to maintain her properly and owing his refusal to give her money she had warned him a week before his death that she would apply for a maintenance order against him.
She admitted that he had often urged her to live with him again, but she refused. She had 4 lodgers, from whom she received 52 shillings per week, while from her husband she had had only 30s in 9 months.
The Deputy Judge held that she was not dependent on her husband and gave a verdict in favour of the mine owners.
8th August - NATIONAL STRIKE OF TRANSPORT WQRKERS.
A nationwide strike of transport workers caused chaos across the country as goods and food were not delivered to many cities.
A national famine was feared with riots in some cities, with two shot dead.

18th August - GO BACK AND LIVE WITH CRUEL HUSBAND.
Benjamin Seaman, a miner of New Skelton, appeared under the Married Womens Act, his wife Sarah H Seaman, applying for a separation order.
Sarah said that they married at Guisborough Register Office on February 16th 1910. After a baby was born, Benjamin behaved cruelly and struck her on several occasions.
He locked her out of the house on Whit-Saturday and she was afraid to return to him, as he got into such tempers.
PC Walker said that he had been called in by Sarah.
After further evidence the Bench declined to make an order and suggested the parties should try again to live together.

28th August - DOCTOR BANKRUPT.
London Gazette. Bankruptcy.
John Thorney, Surgeon of Skelton in Cleveland petitioned for bankruptcy at the Court of Stockton on Tees.

1st September - PAY YOUR SPENDTHRIFT WIFE BEFORE YOU PAY HER DEBTS.
George Sturman, a miner of Skelton, was charged under the Married Women's Act, with being "1 6s 6d in arrears under a separation order made on 14th March 1911.
George pleaded guilty and said that the only reason for not paying was that he had not money.
Florence, his wife, admitted that George never refused to pay her when he had the money.
George said that when they separated she had left him in debt. He had paid over 30 of the debt off and also paid Florence the 7s 6d per week.
The case was adjourned for a fortnight and the Chairmand said the he must pay his wife before he paid the debts.

Miss Lizzie Calvert,
Stanghow Lane Teacher.

4th September - MINE DEATH.
Longacres mine. Henry Dawn, a miner aged 33 was killed.
"He was filling loose stone away from the entrance of an old bord and close to the stook he and his mate were working at.
He had no right to do this, and while so engaged a large piece of ironstone fell from the corner of the pillar and so injured him that he died the same day;
The stone was overhanging and came off from a slip and a cut from an old shot;
When found, his pick was in his hand, and it is very likely he had been working loose stone from the pillar side. This accident should not have occurred."

8th September - MAMMA MIA, FIGHT IN THE ICE-CREAM CART.
Walter Holding and Charles Cobbing, both miners of North Skelton were charged with having assaulted Edinolfe Bendetto, an Italian ice-cream vendor on Saturday, August 19th.
The two miners got into his cart and asked for a ride.
This he refused to allow, whereupon they tried to pull him out.
Edinolfe defended himself with a stick. One of the men took this from him and he further protected himself with the lid of the freezer.
He aimed a blow at Holden, but missed him and struck Cobbing on the head.
Cobbing denied doing anything and said that he was the sufferer for another man's actions.
Holding said that he only asked for a lift. The Bench discharged Cobbing and ordered Holden to pay 25 shillings, inclusive.

5th Oct - DOCTORS' BUSINESS WOUND UP.
London Gazette.
Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned, John Thorney and Eustace Russell, carrying on business as Medical Practitioners, at Skelton-in-Cleveland, and in the neighbourhood of Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the county of York, under the style or firm of " THORNEY AND RUSSELL," has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the 30th day of September, 1911.
All debts due to or owing by the said late firm will be received or paid by the said John Thorney...


5 October - MINE DEATH.
Skelton Park Pit, John Brack, deputy, aged 58, died of injuries suffered on 23 September.

North Skelton Branch of the Loftus Co-operative Society [later East Cleveland] - opened 18th November 1911.

"He was engaged with three other deputies in timbering across an old bord, which had fallen many years ago, in order to make a road to work a pillar of stone.
He was cutting a hole in the side for one end of a bearing balk, when some dogger and shale fell from above him and injured him about the head and body.
All the men apparently satisfied themselves that the place was safe, but do not seem to have allowed for the possibility of a break existing, although such breaks are known to exist under similar conditions; if some long sprags had been set, the probabilities are that the accident would not have happened; the unfortunate man lived until October 5th, 1911."


21 October - MINE DEATH - HORSE KICK.
Skelton Park Pit. William Allen Dunning, a driver aged 17 died from injuries received on 19 October. "He was bringing his horse to the stables at the end of the shift and was followed by two other drivers, each with a horse; on arriving at the stables he stepped to one side to allow the horses to pass; the first two passed quietly but the third struck out and kicked him in the stomach inflicting injuries from which he died in the infirmary on October 21st; the horse was not of a vicious character."

18th November - NORTH SKELTON CO-OP SHOP OPENED.
The Loftus Co-operative Society opened a new branch at North Skelton.

Skelton Church Lads' Brigade Medal presented to Allan Rooks in 1911.

16th December - LIBERAL NATIONAL INSURANCE ACT.
Beginnings of the national health service and a national unemployment benefit.
Everyone between 16 and 70 would pay 4d a week from their wages, to which the employer added 3d and the state 2d.
In return they received free medical attention, including medicine, and 7 shillings a week for 15 weeks in any one year if they were unemployed.
Prior to this the doctor had to be paid and those out of work had to claim under the Poor Law from their local Parish.

Skelton old church roof was repaired and reslated.

21st December - CHURCH LADS BRIGADE CHRISTMAS SHOOTING.
Skelton Church Lads' Brigade.
[The Brigade was founded nationally in 1891 and in this year became part of the Army Cadet Force.]
Parish Magazine.
The prizes for the Christmas Prize Shooting Competition were distributed in the Church Rooms by the Rector to the following -
1. Corporal W Wilks. 2. Private R Fawcett. 3. Corporal Allan Rooks. 4. Private J Leithead. 5. Private R Archer. 6. Private F Appleton. 7. Corporal C Thornton. 8. Private J Atkinson. 9. Private R Palmer. 10. Private G Catron.

Allan Rooks, Robert Archer, Charles Thornton, John Atkinson and George Catron were all to be killed in the First World War.

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