Long Acre Ironstone Mine, Skelton.

5th January –
The kindness of Mrs J T Wharton of Skelton Castle who has recently added to her Coffee Palace a splendid billiard table for the use of young men who attend there in the evenings is being abused.
We are informed that a system of gambling has been introduced in the shape of a game called “shell out”.
Gambling is of course not allowed by the generous donor.

18 January –
Skelton Shaft Mine, John Richardson, a ‘rapper’ aged 19 was killed when a wagon left the rails and crushed him in a ‘shocking manner’.
He died in Guisborough Miners’ Hospital.
The “Rapper” was a primitive Morse Code system for communication down the mines.
The miners worked initially in inky blackness, only illuminated by candlelight, which had to be used sparingly.
A cord or wire at one end was pulled by a lever and this operated a metal clapper in another part of the mine to indicate ventilation doors should be opened/closed.
Tubs of iron ore were hauled by shire horses often considerable distances to the shaft bottom on a narrow gauge rail over often undulating ground.
The “rapper” operator was often much younger than 19.
There was little room to escape accidents such as this in the dark between the heavy tubs and the walls of pit props and stone.

January –
A bye-election was caused by the death in December 1881 of Viscount Helmsley MP who held one of the 2 seats in Parliament for the North Riding.
It was won by the Hon Guy C Dawnay, Conservative.

3rd February –
The committee of the Skelton Literary Club have issued notices to the effect that they have decided to make their library free to householders of the Parish.
In taking this step we trust the committee will be well supported in their endeavours to increase the usefulness of the library.
Particulars and forms of nomination may be had of Mr Clift, the Librarian, High St, Skelton, who will also be glad to receive donations of books or money on behalf of the library.
The programme of the Literary Club for the ensuing 3 months is a very excellent one indeed.

4 Feb. –
Robert Jackson of Skelton was summoned for leaving his wife and three children chargeable to the common fund of the Guisborough Union [Workhouse].
He was apprehended at Hull and agreed to pay the costs of £5 3s 4d and take his wife out of the workhouse.

10th March –
The Warden, Mr Marshall, reported to the School Board that the average attendance in the various schools had increased, but there were 1,571 on the books and the average attendance was only 1,131.
The Board debated the reasons relative to a communication from the Government Education Department what hindered the efficient working of the compulsory education laws.
It was thought the Magistrates were reluctant to convict parents.

1 April –
Mr George Tarbitt, Engineer of South Skelton Mine, was presented with a ‘very handsome timepiece of black and white marble’ and a gold watch in recognition of his service at the Mine.

8th April –
A meeting of the local Board of Health passed a vote of thanks to those members who attended in London on the NE Railway Company’s Additional Powers Bill, for defending the interests of the Board.
The Clerk was instructed to write to the Company to draw attention to the dangerous condition of the bridge over the highway leading from Skelton to Saltburn.
The tender of Messrs Walker and Dickinson to construct the bridges and road from New Skelton to North Skelton for “£2,212 and £1.995 respectively was accepted.

10th May –
3 miners named Henry Wright, William Small, Joseph Goddard and a boy named Henry Carter were summoned for doing wilful damage to grass belonging to J T Wharton of Skelton Castle.
PC Brough said he saw them with a number of others playing cricket in a field at Skelton. Fined 6d damage and 5 shilling costs.
Mr Wharton said he was always anxious to do what he could for the working man at Skelton and he had the making of a recreation ground under consideration: but it would depend entirely upon their good conduct.

12th May –
The expressions of respect to the memory of Lord Cavendish were general over the whole of Cleveland. [Lord Cavendish had been appointed as Chief Secretary for Ireland and shortly after his arrival in Dublin he and under-Secretary Thomas Burke were stabbed to death in Phoenix Park by members of an Irish Nationalist group.]

24th May –
The North Skelton and Longacres mines have been under a cloud of depression for years with 3 and 4 days per week being the average time worked, while other mines have been doing moderately well.
At last 6 days have been booked to the present week and the owners Bolckow Vaughan and Co has secured a large order.
Nearly 200,000 tons of ironstone has been stocked at the North Skelton Mines alone.
Skelton Park and other mines owned by the Bell Bros will also work full time.

10th June. –
North Skelton Mine. George Ward, aged 14, died of injuries.
He was employed as a horse-driver and a wagon knocked him down and went over him crushing his leg. He died in Brotton Hospital.
His parents William and Charlotte [nee Ware] had 14 children that survived childbirth.
Horses were used down the mines right up to the introduction of diesel engines about 1950 and young boys were employed as ‘drivers’.

Cottage Hospital, Brotton.
Before the Miners’ Hospital was built at Skelton Green in 1883, this was the nearest for men injured in the Skelton Mines. Without a proper ambulance for many years they were brought in a cart.

5th July –
George and James Windross, Miners of Guisborough, who did not appear, were charged with taking trout near Skelton Ellers on the 18th June in a brook belonging to Mr J T Wharton of Skelton Castle and each were fined 10s 6d

6 September. –
Skelton Park Pit. Joseph Winter, a miner aged 37, was killed by a fall of stone.
“He was holding a light while his mate was baring down a piece of top stone left after a shot, when it suddenly fell and knocked a large prop down on him.”

7th September –
At the Guisborough Police Court before Admiral Chaloner and Dr Merryweather, two joiners, Thomas Stephenson and John Cowl, were charged with assaulting William Long, also a joiner, at Skelton on the 4th.
According to the prosecutor, whose face presented a shocking appearance, the prisoners struck and kicked him.
Witnesses were called, who proved that Long was the aggressor and the case was dismissed.

23rd Sep. –
Micheal Meesham and Joseph Dixon, Miners of Skelton, was fined 10s and costs at Guisborough for being drunk and riotous at Skelton Green.

Fined 10 shillings and costs.

14th Oct. –
From the Middlesbrough News and Cleveland Advertiser.
William Scott, a Miner [see poaching 1880] was fined 10s and 15s costs for refusing to quit the premises of William George Tate of Skelton [landlord Green Inn] and being drunk and disorderly at Skelton Green.
He said he would rather go to prison than pay fine.

William Tate had been the licensee at the Green Inn since at least 1881, when the census shows him there aged 29, with a 20 year old wife, Annie and and 8 month old child Sydney. In December 1888 he fell off his horse and died as a result.

16 October. –
Robert Grainger, a labourer aged 60, was killed in a shocking manner at Messrs Bell Brothers Park Mines, Skelton.
Deceased in company with another man was employed in filling stone into a tub, when a large piece fell from the top, striking him on the head and causing instantaneous death.

25th October –
Thomas Taylor, a grocer in an extensive way of business at Skelton, was summoned by the Skelton Local Board to show cause why he should not close a well.
Several cases of fever had recently occurred at Skelton and caused considerable alarm.
Dr Stainthorpe, the medical officer, had inquired into the outbreak and on analysing the water in Taylor’s well he found it was pregnant with matter which would tend to the spread of disease.
Private drains soaked into the well and the water was not fit for domestic use. The Bench ordered its closure.

4th November. –
Percy Bowes, a miner aged 41 was killed. “blow on side from a tub, worked three weeks and then died.”
Joseph Gott, a miner at North Skelton, was injured when a shot was fired before he could get out of the way.

11th November –
Henry Mitchell, a Miner of Lingdale, was summoned for committing a breach of the Mines Regulation Act at South Skelton Mines, by firing a shot without having previously ascertained if there was any danger.
Defendant did not appear and a warrant was issued.

14th November –
At the York Assizes Edward Fleming, aged 18, a Slater of Guisborough was indicted for criminally assaulting Mary Andrews, aged 6, at Skelton on the 30th September.
Prosecution said the child’s father was a Miner and the prisoner was the brother of his wife and the child’s Uncle.
The prisoner made a long rambling statement about the want of work that had no bearing on the case.
The judge told him that he had abused the board and lodge offered by the child’s parents and that he was lucky the jury convicted him of attempted rape rather than the whole offence.
He was sentenced to a year’s prison with hard labour.

16th Dec. –
John Winter was charged by John Pattinson, landlord of the Duke William with assaulting him and breaking a pane of glass
About closing time he came to the landlord’s house and threw a stone through the window. Fined 30s and costs

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