The Miners Arms about 1901.
Daniel Clissold's name can be seen on side of building, but this could well have remained there into the next tenancy.
The names of the people standing at the door are not known for sure. It is likely that the man is Daniel with his wife, as the following tenant Ben Seaman was a bigger man.

The discovery of a photograph of the Miners' Arms, Skelton Green with just Christian names on the back has revealed some of the interesting History of this public house on Skelton Green.

Thanks for this are due to the research of Owen Rooks, a native Skeltoner, now living in Sunderland and information contributed by Mark Spybey, a descendant of the Seaman tenants and now living in North Northumberland.

The premises have not been found on the Census for this year and when they were built or first became a public house is not presently known.


The census of this year shows that No 3 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green was occupied by John Breckon, age 36, born Fryup, N Yorks, who describes himself as a 'Beerhouse Keeper Seller'.
He is living there with his wife, Sarah, age 33, and a daughter Mary, age 8.


The 'Inn Keeper' is Harriet Ord, age 48, born in Yorkshire. Living with her were her Mother, age 87, son John J, aged 15 and Granddaughter, Harriet Bunn, age 9, all born in Yorkshire.
She also has a Lodger, William Wiltshire, an Ironstone Miner, age 40.


The census of this year shows the pub being run by Daniel Isaac Clissold, 'Innkeeper', age 40, who had been born in Bath, Somerset.
He had married Mary Inman in 1886 and is living there with her and one daughter, Victoria A Clissold, just born in this year. Plus a Servant, Louisa Betts, age 22, born in Norwich, Norfolk.
5th March 1908.

Daniel died on this day, aged 47. He was buried in New Skelton Cemetery.

20th December 1908.

There were possibly some eyebrows and suspicions raised at the speed with which Daniel's widow re-married, for there seems to have been little time for grieving.
Mary, married Benjamin Seaman, of New Skelton, just 9 months later at Skelton. Ben was 42 and she was 47.
The 1881 census shows Benjamin as a 16 year old working in the Ironstone Mines.
His Father, James Seaman, aged 67 at that time was still working as a General Labourer and his Mother, Ann aged 56.
They had six children, James, 26, George, 21, Robert, 19, and Benjamin. All Ironstone workers. And 2 daughters, Mary, 17 and Hannah, 12.
The family lived at 12 Groundhills, Skelton. All had been born in Norfolk, Benjamin in Little Dunham.
[The population of this area multiplied tenfold in the 1860/70s with the influx of people who came for work in the Mines. More from East Anglia than any other region. Agricultural work there was being replaced by machines.]
At some time Ben visited America, presumably trying emigration.

March-June 1910.

Mary did not last long and died during this period.

Christian names are as they appear on the back of the photograph.
The date of the photograph is not presently known.
But there is no doubt that 'Uncle Ben' is Benjamin Seaman, who had married the widow of the previous tenant, Daniel I Clissold on December 1908.
The widow's name was Mary [nee Inman], who died in 1910 and Ben re-married to another Mary [nee Husband] in 1911.
Ben had a brother called George and no doubt this is he.
Edna should read Mary. Whoever wrote the names on the card seems to have done so at a later date and entered Edna in error, as this was the name of Benjamin and Mary's daughter.
Jan-March 1911.

Yet another quick marriage followed less than a year later.
Benjamin Seaman, aged 44, married Mary Husband of 21 Harker Street, Skelton Green, born 8th Oct 1891.
The 1911 census shows them living at the Miners Arms, Mary "assisting in the business" and a 15 year old servant, Florence Brunskill, born Skelton.
Mary was just 21 and the daughter of John Husband, a Labourer at the Mines, aged 48, born Yorkshire, and Mary J Husband, aged 52, born Cornwall.
At the 1901 census when Mary is shown as aged 9, she had two step sisters, Edith Brown, 17, a Dressmaker and Jeannette Brown, aged 15.
And 3 younger brothers, John William, 7, Robert Henry, 4 and Joseph Ronald, aged 2.
The middle young lad, always known as Henry was to be killed in the First War, see below.
The youngest, always known as "Ron", became very active in the Skelton Methodist Church as a Lay Preacher and Organist. He played in York Minster and on a religious show on ITV.
Mark Spybey, who has contributed the later family information, was christened by him, so presumably many other Skeltoners.
He was one of the first people to have a heart pacemaker fitted.
Owen Rooks adds -
I remember Ron Husband quite well from my Sunday School days. After the end of the Miss Tippett era at the New Skelton Methodist chapel, the Sunday School there closed and amalgamated with the West End Methodists- it was well attended, covering not only Skelton but Skelton Green as well as New Skelton. Ron Husband was the supremo of the Sunday School (mornings) as well as Bible Classes for older kids (afternoons) and being also a lay preacher. I can remember his prolonged enforced absence when he had his heart operation. His brand of Methodism was simple fervent evangelism. Ron was known affectionately by us kids as “Chubby” , obviously as a reference to his build.

They had 3 children -
1. Mary, the eldest, born about 1911. She married Jack Dowson and had one daughter, Edna, whose married name is Owens. They lived in Hollybush Estate and Edna still lives there.
2. Edna, born in the Miners Arms, 25th April 1916. She married Gordon Bendelow from Gusborough. They lived in Skelton Green and latterly Marske and had one Daughter, Jean (Mark Spybey's Mother) and a son, Gordon. Both now deceased
3. Robert (Bob), born 1st June 1924, who married Gladys and had one son John, who still lives in Boosbeck.

5th January 1912.
Life was not easy for a pub Landlord in these times, as the following newspaper report and countless others on this website show -

A Skelton Green Miner, named Tom Brunskill, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Skelton on the 28th December and refusing to quit the Miners' Arms Beerhouse on the same date.
Benjamin Seaman, the landlord, said that Brunskill came to his house on the day in question and as he was drunk he was refused more beer.
This incensed Brunskill, who began to use very foul language to Seaman's wife and servant.
He declined to leave the premises and the landlord was compelled to put him out.
This was done 4 times, causing the landlord to stand guard at the door.
Brunskill behaved "like a madman", it was claimed.
Brunskill said that the landlord struck him causing his head to bleed, but this was denied.
The Bench fined him ten "bob" [10 shillings] for each offence.

Tom Brunskill must have been totally blotto or very brave to tackle big Ben Seaman, judging by the photograph above. Tom was in fact the father of the Seaman's young servant, Florence.
He would have been aged 42 at this time and lived at 6 Back Lane, Skelton with his wife Agnes, Florence and a Son, John T, aged 18. He was a "filler of Ironstone underground", so no doubt had few muscles himself.

Ben Seaman.

Mary Seaman in later life on the Left.
Hotel at BoroughBridge, N Yorks. Other ladies not known.

Henry Husband.

24th April 1917.
, Mary Seaman's younger brother, 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action at Arras, aged about 21. The son of John and Mary Husband of 21 Harker St, Skelton Green, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.

12th April 1918

100 men of Skelton were killed in the First World War and are remembered on the village Memorials.
Benjamin Seaman's nephew, the son of his brother James, was one of these. He was killed in action on this day.
220435 PTE GEORGE WILLIAM SEAMAN aged 24, of the 10th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment and formerly 3569 Yorkshire Regiment.
The family had moved to 43 Carney St, Boosbeck, N Yorks by this time and the lad had worked as a Horsedriver and Miner prior to enlisting in the Yorkshire Regiment.
Family and War Service page.

Edna Bendelow, daughter of Benjamin and Mary Seaman.
Probably working at the Alexandra Hotel, Saltburn.


Mary Seaman has moved to 20 Manless Tce, Skelton Green. Living with her are youngest son, Robert, age 14, a Labourer in Stone Products; her second daughter, Edna, age 23; Edna's husband, Gordon Bendelow, age 28, also a Labourer in Stone Products and Edna's young son, also Gordon, age 1.

1952. March/June. DEATH OF MARY SEAMAN. [Second wife].

If anyone can add more about the Miners' Arms or the people who ran it in these times or later, please email the address on the Introduction page.

Mark Spybey, born Marske by Sea, N Yorks and now living in North Northumberland, a descendant of the Seamans, contributed further information in January 2018.
Mary Seaman, nee Husband, was his Great Grandmother, through her daughter Edna.
Mark wrote:-
My Mother’s s family are from Skelton Green and over the years I have spent some time on your wonderful website and have learnt so much about the area.
It really is a magnificent site, so informative and touching.
I learnt more about where my relatives lived, where they originally came from, what they did and even that a distant relative had died in WW1.

Thanks to Mark, I have been able to add many of the details above and family photographs.

Edna Owens [nee Dowson], Grand Daughter of Benjamin and Mary Seaman through eldest daughter Mary.
And Right Jean Spybey [nee Bendelow] Grand Daughter through second daughter Edna.

Gordon Bendelow, Grandson through second daughter Edna.

Bob Seaman, son of Benjamin and Mary.

Go to Next page - Map of North and South Skelton Mines around 1925.
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