E-mails. Page 20.


Benjamin "Tim" Bannister.
The following was sent by Terry Bannister, who grew up in Skelton during the Second World War and now lives in Burnley, Lancs.
His Grandfather was Benjamin "Tim" Bannister, after whom the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Green Road was known.
Click here for more about him.

"Where do I start ? Grandad was one of 4 brothers who came up from Coddenham in Suffolk primarily to teach the locals how to make bricks. There was no natural stone in Suffolk so it was mainly bricks. In Cleveland, at the time, the mine owners wanted to build cheap houses for mine workers, hence the need for bricks.
[Did you know that the fishpond was lined with bricks ?].
The brothers were:- Benjamin, [born 2 May 1861], George, William and David. One lived at 143 High Street and was father to Fred who was killed in World War One. He was also father of Percy who had the market garden down by the railway bridge on Saltburn Lane. I think David was the one who lived at the lodge on Marske Lane.
I can remember going with Grandad up to the Primitive Methodist Chapel to stoke the boiler etc and being taken to Sunday School there.
The Sunday School was in a room off the entrance to the house next door and the teacher was Ivy Lightwing.
Ours was an unusual war-time household at 12 North Terrace,living next door to Grandad at No 13. Dad had gone away with the first lot, at the beginning of the war. Because he was in the T.A. he was amongst the lot who had to stay behind at Dunkirk to let the "proper soldiers" get away.
He spent all the war in prison camps in Poland and Bavaria. My brother ,Tony was born in Feb. 1940, so dad never saw him until summer 1945. In the meantime Dad's sister Meggie, who was married and living in France, had to come with her daughter Maryse to live with us as their house had been flattened by the Germans and Uncle Raymond was away with the Free French. They spent the war with us.

Susan and Benjamin Bannister.
Ruby Wedding, 12 North Tce.
As did my mother's brother Dan who was unemployable. He used to stand outside during the air raids and hurl abuse at the overhead planes. He also had several confrontations with Alec Ross, when they had had one two many. They squared up to each other and threatened violence all the way from the bottom pub up to Thubrons! [Off licence] and never a blow was struck.
I remember Grandad as milkman and general dogsbody at the Castle. Amongst other duties he needed to collect the milk from the home farm [Barnes] and take it to the Castle dairy, first door on the Right in the Castle courtyard.
I can also remember him taking me down to the Mill to deliver their milk to them as they were supplied by the castle for some reason.
Grandad celebrated his Diamond wedding during the war and was presented with a ruby tiepin, later made in to a ring, by Mrs Ringrose Wharton of Skelton Castle.
He died before the end of the war. I was responsible for buggering up his funeral !
Whilst the undertaker was in no. 12 collecting the coffin and the mourners, I had found a hole at the back of the hearse which never seemed to fill up, no matter how many hands full of gravel I put in from the gravel heap in front of Dr Stevenson's. The hearse got as far as the Institute before it ground to a halt. They had to bring a horse and cart from Bell's farm, next to the Church, to take the coffin the rest of the Way to New Skelton. I never admitted that offence to a soul until the main participants were long gone !
Regarding Grandad, here are the only pics I have of the old bugger. Looking a lot more benevolent than he really was. He was a typical narrow minded primitive methodist of the time ! The little one was taken at the back of number 12 North Terrace and was their ruby wedding.
Your mention of the Infant's School on South Terrace brings back memories. I actually learned to do my letters with a slate and slate pencil, as there was a paper shortage in the war. I vividly remember Miss Johnson from Saltburn lane who was my first teacher. I played the triangle in the class band and the only tune that we ever played was "Road to the Isles", that being the only one that she could play on her mouth organ.
I could go on about the folk who lived round Cross Green, like Johnny Blueskin, but I don't want to bore you any more. "
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