SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1913.

3rd January - DRUNK DRIVER.
Ernest Wilson, described as a Waggoner of Middlesbrough, who failed to appear in Court, was charged with being drunk in charge of horses, at Skelton, on Friday.
Sgt Walker proved the case and the Bench imposed a fine of 20 shillings including costs

24th January - POACH - "CAN I HAVE MY BORROWED FERRET BACK."
Walter Holden, a miner of North Skelton, was charged with having trespassed in pursuit of game on land belonging to Squire Wharton of Skelton Castle.
Mr Peter Mills, the Squire's head gamekeeper, stated that he found Holden in Millholm Wood, near North Skelton, at about 3 p.m on Monday, the 13th January.
He had several nets, some of which were damp and a ferret. He was busy at a rabbit burrow.
Holden said - "I suppose this will mean Guisborough - will it do if I plead guilty ?"
He admitted the offence to the Bench and asked for the return of his ferret, as he had only borrowed it for the day.
Fined 1 and the Chairman intimated that he should have the ferret back.

James Appleton Miller, Skelton Scout.

A SKELTON SCOUT IN 1913 AND FIRST WORLD WAR SAILOR.
The following information has been kindly contributed by Owen Rooks, a native New Skeltoner, now living in Sunderland.
A poster to Facebook uploaded this photograph of James Appleton Miller, with the information that it was taken in 1913 and James was a member of the 1st Skelton Scout Group.
James "had been born in Boosbeck and at some time given an award for bravery by the Scout Association for rescuing two boys from drowning in Skelton beck.
He served in the Royal Navy in the First World War from 1916 to 1921."

Nothing more was known and information requested.
Owen's research shows that James was actually born in Lingdale, N Yorks on the 9th January 1898 and baptised in Skelton on the 7th September 1898.
At the 1901 census his family were living at 47 Oldham Street, Lingdale.
His father Thomas William Miller, was an Ironstone Miner, aged 28, born Danby End, N Yorks and his Mother, Ann, aged 32, born in the city of Durham.
At the 1911 census the family are still at this address. James is still at school aged 13 with a brother, Thomas W, aged 9, and a sister Doris Annie, aged 7.
Mrs Miller had had 7 children, 3 of whom had died, which was not unusual in these times.
Living with them were James's Maternal Grandparents, Ann, aged 70 and James Appleton, born Yarm, aged 74, who was interestingly, a "N E R Police Pensioner".
A search of current newspapers online has not yet found details of the reported Skelton beck rescue.
James's joined the Royal Navy in 1916 and was posted to HMS Victory I on 2nd May 1916. This was the name of the Royal Navy training establishment at Portsmouth.
On the 17th July he joined HMS Orvieto as a Stoker with RN number SS7168.
On the 26 May 1917 he was made Able Seaman and served with this ship until the 14 Feb 1919.
His Naval record gives place of Birth as Middlesbrough and civilian occupation as Labourer, F E Blast Furnaces, so it is possible that he had moved there to work.
The Orvieto was a Minelayer and later an Armed Merchant Cruiser on Atlantic convoys.
From March 20th to 31st May 1919 he served with HMS Sandhurst which was a Destroyer Depot Ship and from March 20th to May 1921 with a third ship.
He finally left the Service on 23rd July 1921.
In the third quarter of 1928, James married Martha M Sedman, born 29 March 1902, in the District of Pickering, N Yorks.
They had a a son, John W Miller, born in 1930 and a daughter, Ann E Miller, born in 1931.
On the 1939 Register James is living at 15 Potter Hill, Pickering, N Yorks and employed as a Road Foreman [incapacitated - reason not found].
James died in the first quarter of 1967, in the District of Bulmer, N Yorks.


28th March - HARD FORTNIGHT FOR BEGGARS.
Henry Jarvis and John Kingston, both tramping labourers, for begging at Skelton on Saturday, were each committed to prison for 14 days hard labour.

23rd May - PLEASE LOCK ME UP.
Walker Pearson, a tramping labourer, lately employed at the Skinningrove Ironworks, was charged with being drunk and incapable.
Sgt Walker stated that on Monday night, about 8 o'clock Pearson called at the Skelton Police Station and asked to be locked up. The Bench took into consideration that he had been in custody during the night and on him promising to leave the district at once the allowed him to go.
During the hearing, Superintendent Rose said there was plenty of work to be had at Skinningrove Ironworks. A few days earlier, Mr T C Hutchinson declared that he could do with a hundred more men there.

30th May - MINER INJURED, PARK PIT.
Samuel Moggeridge, a miner, was admitted to the Admiral Chaloner Hospital, Guisborough, late on Wednesday night, suffering from injuries to the head and back, received from a fall of roof whilst following his employment at Skelton Park Pit.

4th June - SUFFRAGETTES.
Suffragette, Emily Davidson, throws herself before George V's racehorse in the Derby and dies 4 days later.

25th July - PENALTY OF MENDICITY.
Micheal Charles McCarthy, a tramp, was committed for a month's hard labour for begging at Skelton. The Police said the tramp nuisance was very acute in the district and numerous complaints were being made.
1st August - TURNED HIS CHILDREN OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
George Ruddock, a miner, now of Bouldon Colliery, North Durham was the defendant in a case in which his wife, Mary Ruddock, living at Skelton, applied for a separation order.
Persistent cruelty was alleged. They had been married for 11 years and had been previously separated but came together 3 or 4 years ago.
Three months after this he started his ill usage. When he was in drink he was in the habit of throwing the furniture about and in other behaving violently towards her.
The 3 children had been turned out in the middle of the night and he had kicked her.
She had been compelled to leave owing to his threats. This was the fourth time she had to leave him and the second that she had asked for an order.
Rather than go back to him, she would rather go to the Workhouse.
Ruddock said - "You can go where you like, but give me the children. I will not pay you anything."
The Bench tried to get the parties together, but Mary said that she had tried him often enough and it was little use.
Ruddock said that it was all the result of drink and there was a home ready for her at any time.
He would take the pledge.
The Court made an order for 11s 6d per week and Mary to have custody of the children.
Sir Alfred Pease said there was nothing to prevent the parties coming together. Ruddock should take the pledge, try and reform and perhaps she would come back.

August -
SKELTON PARK STREET LABOURER BECOMES LONG SERVING IRONSTONE MANAGER.
In 1881 Abraham Gray, aged 33, was living at 22 Park Street, Skelton.
He had been born in Sacriston, Co Durham and was then employed as an 'Ironstone Labourer', presumably at the nearby Park Pit.
His wife Jane, age 32, was from Ovingham in Northumberland. They had at that time three children, Mary D age 10, born at Braeside [next Blackhall Colliery], and Benjamin, age 7, and Ruth, age 4, born in Browney, where they was also a Colliery.
So Abraham, like many of the men who became Managers in our local Ironstone Mines, had much experience about this dangerous occupation of blasting tunnels hundreds of feet below ground.
A great many men who came to this area to work in the Mines had come from agricultural backgrounds simply for a job.
To become a Mine Manager or Under Manager it was necessary to pass examinations and Abraham qualified on 13 October 1886, Certificate Number: 2,168 (1st), District: Durham.
Four years later he was appointed Manager at South Skelton Mine on Feb 13th 1890.
He stayed in that role until April 7th 1921.
It is not known presently why this particular award was made, but he was clearly held in some esteem by his employees.
His gravestone at St Aiden's in Boosbeck carries the following inscription :-
In loving memory of JANE the beloved wife of ABRAHAM GRAY of South Skelton died October 24th 1914 aged 65 years.
Also the above ABRAHAM GRAY who died June 12th 1923 aged 74 years.


4th September - MINE DEATH.
John Pringle of 11 Dixon Street, Skelton, aged 45, was accidentally killed in Lingdale Mines.

12th September - NASTY ACCIDENT NEAR THE VICARAGE.
Luke Bowell, a Guisborough miner, had a nasty accident whilst cycling at Skelton on Saturday night. He was riding down the bank near the Vicarage, when he lost control of his machine and it dashed into some iron rails.
He was severely injured about the head and body and conveyed to Guisborough in a cab and on Sunday afternoon admitted to the Admiral Chaloner Hospital.

7th October - TEN RABBITS BAGGED.
John Green, a miner living at Skelton, was charged under the Poaching Prevention Act.
About 2 a.m. on Sunday morning he was observed carrying a bag. A Constable stopped him and found 10 rabbits in it.
A fine of 20 shillings was imposed.




Colonel William Henry Anthony Wharton, CO of the local Territorials, the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
[Photograph contributed by Graham Smallburn of Birmingham.]

17th October - HELP A BOBBY.
James Adams, an engineman of 79 Boosbeck Road, Skelton Green, was charged with refusing to assist a police constable, when called upon.
He was committed for trial and yesterday, Thursday, at the North Riding Quarter Session was bound over.

12th December - BEGGAR WITH TWO NAMES.
William Hirst, alias John Cox, a young tramp, hailing from Stalybridge, was charged with begging at Skelton.
PC Lawson found him going from door to door at New Skelton on Saturday morning and admitted that he was begging.
Supt Rose said the defendant had been in the Army, but his conduct was so bad that he had to be discharged.
He had several convictions for vagrancy and larceny. Sent to prison for one month with hard labour.

12th December - FIRST WORLD WAR CASUALTIES CAUGHT GAMBLING.
John Durance, Richard Smallwood, Frank Harker, John Hodgson, Isaac Jacques and John I Cooper, all miners of North Skelton, were charged with playing pitch and toss at Brotton on Sunday, the 30th November.
The Police had kept observation by means of powerful field-glasses from a cabin two hundred yards from where the men were playing.
When caught, one of the lads said that he would bet an even pint of beer that they would get off, to which one of his mates replied - "I'll bet two pints to one that we have to pay."
The men were given a severe warning and fined amounts from 1 shilling to 7s 6d.
[Frank Harker was killed in action in the War on the 27th September 1918.
Isaac Jacques was killed in action on the 2nd May 1915 at Ypres. See their Memorials on the page for 1918-19.]

26th December - NEW SKELTON DRILL HALL OPENED.
On Thursday night last week a new Drill Hall for the Skelton Territorials Company of the 4th Yorkshire was opened by General Bethune, Director-General of Territorial Forces, in the presence of a crowded audience.
Colonel Wharton, Chairman of the North Riding Territorial Association presided.

Skelton Drill Hall, opened 1913.
[This photograph and those below were retouched by this website from a postcard,
kindly contributed by Graeme Fisher of Drill Halls website.]

The General, who was presented with a silver key as a memento, said the War Office did not deserve all the abuse heaped upon it, but it was a privilege of Englishmen to set up institutions and then grumble at them.
All over the country drill halls had been established at heavy cost and as far as John Bull's purse could stand it they could go in building.
They were trying to equip the civilian force with the best headquarters they could, but it cost money and took time.
He expressed pleasure at the way the Territorial movement was supported in that part of Cleveland and warned the audience of the danger of any country not prepared to meet the enemy.
Major French, who is leaving the Skelton Company on promotion was presented with a silver and ebony loving cup.
The Drill Hall continued to be used as such throughout the Second World War and by the Territorials after that.

1950's DISGRACE - THE DRILL HALL BECOMES A SOCIAL CLUB.
THE BRITISH LEGION KICKED OUT OF SKELTON.
In the late 1950's the Drill Hall became a Social Club.
Previously this Club had occupied a corrugated iron sheet structure opposite the Wharton Arms Hotel, where it had been since the First War.
It used to be the Skelton British Legion Club, the organisation, which had supported our ex-servicemen, acknowledged their sacrifice and relieved their needs.
Disgracefully, at some point around this time, the ignorant committees, who used to run such Clubs, often with financial incompetence, abandoned the name of the British Legion and later moved to the Drill Hall.
Eventually the Drill Hall was burnt out in suspicious circumstances.
After standing empty for a long time a fine building was turned into an eyesore of cheap flats, presently called Marlborough Court.
In the process a wonderful piece of Skelton History, the large carved plaque above the main entrance was destroyed.
It can just be seen in the photograph above, which like the ones below show the building at a later date closer to the time of the Second World War.]


The Armoury.


The Drill Hall.


The Officers' Room.


The Recreation Room.

6th July - TERRITORIALS ANNUAL CAMP AT REDCR.
The Annual Camp of the 150th Brigade of the Northumbrian Division was held at Redcar.
Men of the local Territorial Force, the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, which included Skelton "G" Company, the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment [based on Beverley area], the 4th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment [based on Hull], and the 4th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry [South Durham] gathered for a fortnight's training.
The above photograph of the Commanding Officer of the 4th Yorks, Colonel W H A Wharton, was very likely taken at this time.
A description of the camp and the story of the bravery and many trials of the 4th Yorks in the First World War can be read on my website about the Battalion :-
by clicking here

Keir Hardie.

July - MINERS DEMONSTRATION.
The Annual Cleveland Miners Demonstration in Skelton was reportedly addressed by Keir Hardie, who had become the Nation's first Socialist MP back in 1892.
The coal miners' strike of the previous year was just one symptom of British workers' grievances.
The Victorian decision to educate the lower classes and the greed of the owners of Industry was coming back to haunt them.
Trades Union membership increased from 2.5 million in 1910 to 4.1 million by this time.
It seemed in the years immediately ahead the labouring class would rise up for better pay and conditions.
Instead Patriotism came first. They obediently and gallantly went off to the First World War to die or be mutilated.

DISAPPEARING ROMAN SIGNAL STATION.
The Roman signal station at Huntcliff was excavated in this year. See first page of website. The site has now vanished through coastal erosion.

DISAPPEARING RELIGION.
The Methodist minister, W G Taylor, who left this area in 1870 as a missionary, returned to Skelton to preach at this time.
He writes - "But what a change. With a population four times as large, the congregation was smaller than that of half a century before."

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