January –
Parish Magazine – Services are being held by the Rev.H.R.Walker every Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock in houses kindly lent for the occasion on the High Green and Park St.
The aged and infirm who find a difficulty in getting as far as the Parish Church will be specially welcome.
“The time is short – Prepare to meet thy God”.

We regret that we are still unable to congratulate ourselves upon the possession of a railway station at Skelton.
Since our last note upon the subject, the North Eastern Board of Directors have spent months in facing the slight difficulty of arranging with Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan [North Skelton Ironstone Mine] as to leaving sufficient “pillars” [of ironstone] to prop up the station buildings.

23rd January –
James Dowey, late of Skelton, but now of Bingley, who did not appear, was summoned for having neglected to maintain his son, Michael, aged 9.
The Relieving Officer, Mr Parkin, stated that the defendant’s brother Robert, through impaired eyesight had to receive relief.
Robert had James’s boy and he had to be taken charge of by the Guardians [workhouse] in March last.
The father could not be found until a fortnight ago when a summons was taken out and served upon him.
Mr Parkin said he had no knowledge of the father’s means and there was no fund whereby anybody could be sent to find out anything about him.
After some difference of opinion among the magistrates it was decided to commit the father to prison for 1 month’s hard labour.

3rd February –
The Skelton and Brotton Board decided to purchase a steam fire engine. The Medical Officer reported 13 cases of scarlet fever and 5 of erysipelas in the past month.
The small pox patient has recovered and was discharged from the isolation cottage at Greenhills on the 27th.
The Clerk was authorised to draw cheques to be paid in respect of claims for losses sustained in the recent small pox cases by having butter, cream, milk and clothes and bedding etc destroyed.
The disease is now completely stamped out.

15th February –
Mr H F Pease, the local MP, last night formally opened the Liberal Club at Skelton. There were already 95 members and he hoped many more would join that night.

18th February –
The return games between members of the Skelton Milbank Reading Room and the Lingdale Reading Room were played last week.

27th February –
John Clasper, a labourer at Park Pit, Skelton was fined 5 shilling for neglecting to send his children to school.

3rd March –
Dr W W Stainthorpe, Medical Officer for the 7 districts of the Guisborough Union, reported 544 cases during the past year and of these 419 were due to Scarlet Fever, as against 78 in the year before that.
50 of these were at Skelton Green. Cases multiplied after the schools re-opened after Christmas and was noted several cases occurred on one side of a street and not on the other.
There had been 10 deaths from measles, 5 of which were in the Skelton district.

[Scarlet fever, which starts with sore throat and high temperature, followed by sun-burn like reddening of the skin and then peeling, was a major cause of death before the use of anti-biotics. Isolated buildings were used as “fever hospitals” to try and prevent the spread of infection. This area had one at ‘Greenhills’ near Lingdale on the road to Kilton.]

3rd March –
It was resolved to offer Mrs Elsmore of Skelton the privilege of living in the cottage at Greenhills [which is used as a temporary hospital for infectious diseases] rent free. Mrs Elsmore to act as nurse at any time when it was necessary to isolate any infectious case at the cottage.
Mrs Elsmore to be paid when so employed £1 per week.

The Surveyor stated that Mr Wharton had offered to erect a fire engine station adjoining the steam roller house at Skelton.
The Chairman informed the Board that the Fire Brigade Committee had met and had chosen suitable persons to form a fire brigade and the names were accepted.

26th March –
Through a fall of the roof at the Long Acre Mines, Skelton, on Saturday, John Dunning was seriously injured and had to be conveyed to the hospital at Skelton Green, where it was found his back was seriously injured and he had sustained a badly broken leg.

3rd April –
A charge was preferred against William Cook, of 25 Union St, Guisborough by Mr Thomas Varty, the manager of Skelton Shaft and Park mines, under the Mines Regulations Act.
Cook was a horse driver in Skelton Shaft and his duties were to draw full tubs from the face and take empties back.
The ironstone seam dipped in a saucer shape across Cleveland and there was a steep gradient of 1 in 14 in the ‘G headway’ in Skelton Shaft mine. The horses were consequently worked in shafts.
The defendant had brought 2 full tubs out and was bringing the empties back, when the full tubs ran back down the slope causing considerable damage of £3 6s 3d to a machine and could have easily resulted in much worse.
The management maintained that Cook had not put sufficient sprags in the wheels to prevent them moving. [Sprags were metal bars that were put through the spokes of the wheels.]
A long argument ensued between defence and prosecution which showed that there were no written rules as to the number of sprags, the rails could have been wet from the water carts, some better system of chocks could have been used.
The Bench was divided and could come to no decision.

4th April –
At a meeting of the committee it was reported that Saltburn had refused to take part in the competition and Skelton had been elected to take their place.
Skelton had beaten North Skelton 3-1 and Brotton had beaten Loftus by a like score. The winners would meet on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. at North Skelton.

6th April –
At the Drill Hall the children of the Band of Hope met for the last time this season to hear and see the amusing nonsense of Mr Punch and his staff, under the leadership of Mr Candler of Harrogate, who was brought over for the occasion by Mrs Wharton.

21st April –
Mr John Dixon died on the 19th. He was aged 76 and one of the oldest inhabitants of Skelton.
A well known figure has disappeared from our midst. Mr John Dixon, widely known in Cleveland as a seed merchant; Closely connected with the rise of Skelton and its fortunes as an agricultural district, before its iron days. He was for forty years a churchwarden.
A large number of farmers from the district and others were present to testify their respect to the deceased gentleman.
A muffled peal was rung as his remains were borne from the Parish Church to the cemetery.

24th April –
George Sayer junior, of Airy Hill Farm, Skelton pleaded not guilty to killing a homing pigeon, value 20s, the property of Alma Burnett on the 14th. Burnett lived in Park Street which would be about a mile away from where the bird was shot and said he had won 2 races with it this season.
A small boy said he saw the pigeon shot with some others and he picked it up and took it home.
Defendant said he had sustained a good deal of damage by birds carrying away the seed he had only just sown and would not pay 20s for a bird. The Bench agreed he had a right to protect his crop and case dismissed.

26th April –
Mr Short terminated a most successful season at Skelton last night by giving his pupils a ball at which there were present upwards of 40 couples. The music was supplied by Mr Robert Bell’s orchestral band.

1st May –
Mr Wharton of Skelton Castle moves with the times. He enjoys the good things of this world and he is evidently not averse to others having a share of them.
By shortening the working hours of those who labour on his estates he has set an example which might be widely followed.
He has informed his workmen that they will leave off work at noon on Saturdays in future instead of 3 p.m.
Too many of our rural labourers have to work as it is up till 6 p.m and see to their horses even after that. They have, therefore, little opportunity for improvement or time in which to turn themselves round.
Mr Wharton for the benefit of the public in general has intimated that the grounds and gardens at Skelton Castle will be thrown open to the public on Wednesday afternoons until further notice.

2nd May –
At a special meeting of the Stockton County Court, Dr Lennard on behalf of the Saltburn Local Board made application to his Honour Judge Turner for an injunction under the River Pollution Prevention Act 1876 to restrict the Skelton and Brotton Local Board from continuing the pollution of the Skelton beck by permitting sewage matter to flow into it.
Mr J Scott Fox appeared for the Skelton board and admitted they were polluting the stream in question…..but were prepared to adopt a scheme for the abatement of the nuisance complained of…..
Plans for a comprehensive drainage scheme had been prepared under which the sewage matter would not be carried along the course of the beck at all but to a point known as the Crane lane Spout.
From there it would be carried by a boring through the cliff to a point below the low water mark.

June –
The Volunteers had their Annual Church Parade.
The day being fine, a good many spectators were grouped on the Hills and in High St to witness the march up the village.
We understand the place chosen for their annual week of training under canvas is Redcar and that they will march off from Skelton on Saturday, June 9th.
Sergeant Treen, who has been drill instructor to the Corps for the last fifteen years has retired on a pension and his place is taken by Sergeant Wright, who has lately been employed as recruiting officer at Thornaby.

11th June –
John Chambers of Park Street, Skelton, who was employed as assistant at one of the compressed air drilling machines at Bell Bros Park Mines, Skelton, was killed on Saturday.
Whilst the machine, which weighs about 3 tons, was being moved it fell upon Chambers and inflicted such injuries as to cause his death in a very short time.
Deceased who was a single man, aged 32, was known as “Fish” and well respected.
Addison Lightburn of 2 Prospect Place, Skelton said the machine went broadside over and pinned Chambers against the side of the mine.
“The way was new and very level”, it was stated.
James Osborne, Park St, Skelton said Chambers had lodged with him for 20 years.
1894 Mines Inspectors Report (C 7667), Durham District (No. 4) by Thomas Bell, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Page: 21:-
Number 5 on the list of accidents occurring at the Cleveland Ironstone Mines, occurred at Skelton Park Mines, on the 9th of June about seven o’clock a.m., causing the death of John Chambers, a drilling-machineman.
Deceased had charge of a drilling-machine, and it was his duty to see it moved from place to place.
It was mounted on a tram, which ran on four wheels, fitted to the gauge of the tramway; on this tram there was a pillar, round which were two beams, with drilling-engines at one end, and balance weights at the other.
The machine was being moved to a place, and on coming on to a turn it got off the way;it was got on again and a horse attached to it.
It got round the turn all right, and past the first straight rail, when it fell bodily over to one side, crushing deceased between it and the side of the place.
The first straight rail on the right-hand side was canted, but whether this was caused by the horse getting his foot against it when pulling, or it had been canted over by the machine in falling, it is impossible to say.
It appears to me to be more than probable that when the beams of the machine after coming round the turn swung into the middle of the way, the momentum thus gained had carried the machine and canted the rail over.
The length of the beams was 15 feet, and the pillar on which they revolved was 7 feet high, and the weight of the whole machine was 2 tons 15 cwts.
It will readily be seen it was very top heavy.
It was of an antiquated type, and I made representations to the management, and a promise was made that lower pillars would be adopted, and one of the beams done away with, and this has since been done.
The pillars have been reduced 3 feet, and the weight by one ton, and I am therefore hopeful that a fatality of this kind will not happen again.

16th June –
The 1st Volunteer Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment held the Annual Camp for a week on Redcar Racecourse.
Much drilling, firing and exercises were carried out. Colour Sgt Wright of Skelton was presented with the good conduct medal.
666 officers and men were present from all over the North Riding:-
Leyburn 75, Bedale 51, Stokesley 79, Catterick 67, Richmond 71, Eppleby 33, Skelton 88, Northallerton 86, Thirsk 44 and Guisborough 72.
Another 214 were away on official leave.
20 years later they would be the 4th Battalion, Territorial Force, of the Yorkshire Regiment in the First World War.

16th June –
The children of our Church Sunday Schools had their Annual Treat on Saturday.
Wagons to convey the party, which consisted of 412 children with 44 teachers were kindly lent by Messrs. Allison, Bell Bros, Bolckow and Vaughan, Catron, Davidson, Emmerson, Graham, Maughan, R P Petch, T Petch, Ramshaw, Smith, Stevenson, Wharton and Young.
They were fitted with seats by Mr Varty, Manager of Park Mines and Mr Brown, engineer of North Skelton.
The ride to Saltburn was very much enjoyed by the young people.
At 4 o’clock the youngsters sat down on the grass in front of Mr Ridsdale’s house, at the foot of Cat Nab in two large circles and proceeded to make a vigourous attack upon the good things provided.

28th June –
Skelton Co-operative Society’s committee have decided to decrease the working hours of their employees from 54.5 hours to 50 hours per week to take effect from 23rd July.

14 July –
On Friday John Judson was charging a hole at the Park Mine, Skelton, when it fired injuring him to an extent that necessitated his removal to Hospital.

16th July –
New Marske v Skelton Castle.
New Marske 24. Skelton Castle 93 [Dr Merryweather 23, W Trathan 18, F Davison 14, J Boothby 13.
Dr Merryweather took 3 wickets for 15 and W Trathan 6 for 9. At one period Trathan had 6 wickets for 1 run.

19th July –

The Skelton Agricultural Society held their Annual Show in the large field, at the corner of Saltburn Lane, between Stanghow Road and Hollybush Lane.
The number of entries was about the same as last year, one or two short of 600, made up as follows –
Horses 271; Poultry, pigeons, rabbits and dairy produce 250; cattle and sheep 72.
The North Eastern Railway Company ran some excursions, but as they carried their passengers past the field to Saltburn or Brotton Stations, leaving them to walk thence a couple of miles to the show ground, the advantage to intending visitors was somewhat neutralised.
After the leaping, the Show closed with the novelty of a race between a bicyclist and a horseman, over a distance of three miles – the horseman changing his horse at the half distance.

24th July –
A local miner records that there was a “Second political demonstration at Boosbeck, speakers were Mr Sam Wood, M.P., Mr Tom Mann, Rev. J.F.Cox.”

The Skelton Steam Roller.
Shown here in front of the Chapel at Carlin How when the Council had changed to Skelton and Brotton Urban District.
It was acquired in 1893 and is mentioned here in the 1894 Parish Magazine.
In the 1901 census the driver is recorded as William Longstaff of 16 Dixon St, Skelton.
In 1915 the Military Authorities were told that it “could not conveniently be spared” for the War effort.
Whether it was commandeered is not known.

August –
Parish Magazine – “The resources of civilisation are being by degrees supplied to the Parish,
The latest thing takes the form of a steam fire engine, which has speedily followed the purchase of a steam roller.

Perhaps if we cannot be allowed a railway station at Skelton, we may next in time get an electrical tramway between the Old Market Place, on the Cross Green and our sea-side suburb and railway terminus, Saltburn.”
The present cars, running between these two points hardly meet the requirements of the public as regards accommodation, comfort, convenience and frequency, while doubts are sometimes expressed as to their safety.

Meantime, we have a new steam fire engine and a very good one it seems to be, capable, we are informed of discharging from 200 to 250 gallons of water a minute, when working at average speed.
It was brought to Skelton on Monday, July 16th, and on Friday was taken to the Castle Grounds and exhibited by Mr Harper, engineer of the makers, Messrs Merryweather.
Steam was got up in nine minutes and in another minute or two a jet of water was being discharged some 150 feet in the air.
Afterwards more jets were added, so that four or more were playing at the same time.
The hose was run out from the engine as it stood by the moat to the Castle and water was thrown on the top and over all the buildings.
Great interest was felt in the display and a large number of people were present to witness the trial.
We understand a Fire Brigade is being organised, but while we hope the members will take pains to be thoroughly efficient in the management of the apparatus and will every now and then take it out and exhibit their dexterity in its use, that their services at a real fire may rarely be required.

2nd August –
SCULLERY MAID – Yorkshire Gazette. “Can any Lady recommend a good Scullerymaid ? Wages £14. Mrs Wharton, Skelton Castle.”

3rd August –
An interesting event took place at Skelton Park Pit on Friday, namely, the celebration of the Jubilee of Bell Brothers.
It is just 50 years since the firm first commenced the manufacture of iron at Wylam.
Nine years later they laid the foundation of the Clarence Works, where 20 million tons of Cleveland ironstone have since been converted into “Clarence Iron”.
The celebration took the form of a tea, which was provided by Sir Lowthian Bell, Bart for all the workmen at Park Pit and Skelton [Shaft] Mine.
The arrangements were carried out by a committee elected by the workmen and some idea of the work to be performed may be gathered from the fact that it took 74 stones of hams, beef and tongues, along with 86 stones of white bread, 41 stones of spice bread, and 253 gallons of tea with the necessary adjuncts to provide for the assembled guests.
The tea was set out in two large tents, in a field near to Park Pit, kindly lent for the occasion by Mr Thos Petch and was presided by the wives of the committee.
On the platform were Sir Lowthian, Mrs Hugh Bell, Miss Gertrude Bell [explorer], Mr Charles Lowthian Bell, Mr Maurice Bell [later Officer Commanding the local 4th Yorks Battalion in the First World War], Mr Steavenson and Mr [Tommy] Varty, manager of the pits, who was just recovering from a serious illness.
Sir Lowthian was thanked by Messrs S Loftus, W Jackson, Chas Jackson and J W Johnson on behalf of the employees. [spelt employes with a French accented “e”] Sir Lowthian, in reply, gave a short resume of the vicissitudes of the firm, shewing that, like other people, they had their ups and downs, but he hoped that they might be able to continue to find steady employment for them all.
The after proceedings consisted of running and skipping for prizes, distribution of sweets and nuts and a small present was given to each of the 500 younger children.

Sir Lowthian Bell – Ironmaster.
1815 to 1904.

The Skelton and Guisbro’ Bands were in attendance and played till darkness drew to a close.
A day that will be long be remembered by the employees of Park Pit and Skelton Mines.

20th August –
On Saturday the Skelton Co-operative Society held a monster tea and meeting in a large marquee in a conveniently situated field at Skelton Green.
The gathering was in honour of the Society’s coming of age, it having been established since July 1873.
Fully 1,000 sat down to an excellent tea. The President, Mr Jno Clayton said that since the formation of the Society £23,000 in profits had been paid in dividends and it now had 800 members.

11th September –
Mrs Bentley pleaded guilty to assaulting Mrs Stevenson at North Skelton on the 4th.
There had been some trouble over their children, which culminated in the defendant striking complainant several violent blows and knocking her head agains the wall.
It was with the greatest difficulty that she got away.
Mrs Bentley said Mrs Stevenson was the aggressor in the first instance and had struck her with a clothes prop.
She wrested the prop from her and happened to hit her in doing so.
Complainant went in and that was all that happened. Case dismissed and Mrs Stevenson to pay 7 shillings costs.

17th September –
Yesterday afternoon the Skelton Brass Band gave a sacred concert in a field situated opposite the Parish Church, kindly lent for the occasion by Mr W H A Wharton. The attractive programme was much appreciated by a large number of visitors and a collection made in aid of the band’s instrument fund.

29th September –
MP AT SKELTON SCHOOL. -A crowded Liberal meeting took place at the Infant School room, North Skelton, addressed by Mr Henry Fell Pease. M P. Attention was drawn to the Labour question.

10th October –
Thomas Harrison, James Fawcett, Charles Milligan, Charles White, George Douthwaite, John Harris, Matthew Harris, Thomas Hazelwood, John Green, Thomas Rowland, Jabez Peace, William Cox, Robert Johnson, Fred Norwood James Smith, John Mitchell, Thomas Ellis, Frank Baxter and George Newstead were summoned for playing pitch and toss at Skelton on the 23rd September.
PC Harrison proved the case. The were fined varying amounts, totalling £15 0s 8d and each ordered to pay 2s 8d costs.

Skelton Park Pit Miners.
According to Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, Cleveland, this photograph was taken at Bell’s Park Mine, Skelton in Cleveland.
The exact date is not known, but around this time. The men and young lads carry the Candle Lamp.
By the early 1900s the Carbide Lamp was introduced.
They have finished their shift and some carry pit-prop cut offs, which for a century were chopped into kindling to light home coal fires.

The photograph has been kindly contributed by Chris Twigg.

October –
It is proposed to hold Mother’s Meetings during the winter season on Monday afternoons at the Mission Room, Richard St, North Skelton and on Wednesday afternoons at Mrs Emery’s, 46 Park St and on Thursday afternoons at the Local Board Room, Green Road, Skelton.

11th October –
Death of Harriet Emily Wharton, the wife of W H A Wharton of Skelton Castle.
She was aged 34 and died five days after giving birth to Margaret Winsome Wharton.
She was the first to be buried in the private cemetery near the church in the castle grounds.
Parish Magazine – Next day the whole Parish was shocked to hear that Mrs William Wharton, with whom everyone was rejoicing at the birth of a daughter on the previous Wednesday, was dangerously ill.
On Thursday the bells were ringing merrily all day, testifying that the Parish rejoiced with her on the birth of a child and heir to Skelton Castle.
The following Thursday the same bells “weirdly” rung out their muffled peal as we laid her to rest under the trees of the old Churchyard
our hearts filled with pitiful thoughts of her motherless babe and with sad and silent sympathy for her bereaved husband.
At the funeral, in the presence of a large number of villagers and other sympathisers, a number of the workmen on the estate officiated as bearers.

11th October –
At the meeting of the School Board, Mr G Whitbread was granted the use of the Boosbeck and Skelton Green Schools for ensuing Winter months for holding classes on Mining. Lingdale school was closed for a fortnight in consequence of an outbreak of measles.

30th October –
Robert Bean of North Skelton was summoned for having deserted his wife Isabella.
The couple had been parted for 15 years, defendant having paid 4s per week for her maintenance through the Guisborough Guardians.
In March last year he stopped the payment, but as his wife had been living outside the Union for about 2 years and as she had not co-habited with her husband for 15 the magistrates decided that there could be no desertion.
Isabella would have to go into the Workhouse at Guisborough or Middlesbrough and get them to take action on her behalf.

6th November –
Skelton Shaft. Charles Tubby, deputy aged 40, was killed.
The inquest stated -‘He along with another deputy, was putting up timber. Deceased wedged the other end into its place; he then put some packing on to the top of it, and while knocking this in, he moved the wedging end of the baulk and it fell upon his chest, He fell with it a distance of 10 feet on to the edge of an empty tub. He was killed instantly.
The baulk cannot have been very well wedged to commence with, but I understand he was a careful and well experienced man, and I am, therefore, compelled to conclude that he thought he had securely fastened it, and that the occurrence was purely accidental.’

December –
Parish Magazine –
Considerable interest was shewn in the Election of Councillors and Guardians under the new District Councils Act.
As we had a Local Board before, the change will not be so great for us as for those which had no Local Parliament.
The new Council has in some respect increased powers.
For the North Ward, Skelton 15 gentlemen went to the poll for the six seats.
Those elected were – William West 240, William Jackson 231, Thomas Petch 221, W H A Wharton 218, William Carter 217 and T Varty 179.
For the Board of Guardians there was more change in the constitution and competition was again keen in the Skelton Township.
Those elected were – Walker 332, T Petch 290, G Whitbread 275 and Jackson 271.

ARTICLES FOR THE POOR – Contributions to the Skelton Needlework Guild have been received.
80 articles in all have been distributed to the poor.

ALMANACK, ONE PENNY – Our Church Almanack, price one penny, is now ready.

29th December –
The Northern League engagement was played on the Linthorpe-road ground on Saturday afternoon.
“The Visitors played with ten men. The weather was fine, but windy and there was a fair attendance of spectators.
The visitors were outclassed, and the home goal was never really in danger.
In the first half Middlesbrough scored six goals Gettings (3), Nelms (2), and Mullen. In the second half the home team added seven goals, two of which were scored by Rogers, and the remainder by Gettings, Mullen, Nelms, Pearson, and Wilson.
Final score: Middlesbrough 13; North Skelton 0.”

The large map on the following page shows Skelton in this year. Use the scroll bars to pan around it.
Notable items compared to present day are the Mill Pond at Skelton Corn Mill, the Laurence Sterne connections, Mount Shandy and Sterne’s Seat still shown West of the Castle, a Boat House on the Fish Pond, Sewage Tanks in the Plantation nearby, Coal Depot at Longacre Ironstone Mine, two Mortuary Chapels in the Cemetery show Church of England buried in the South section and Nonconformists to the North. Two houses built in the Old Quarry on the Hills, “Remains of Cross” on Cross Green [the Whipping post], Castle Lodge on the Guisborough Road, Friends Burial Ground SW of Trout Hall Farm, two Wells still marked, but Water Taps out in the back streets – about 3 between 30 homes.

Skelton Cemetery.
The land for the Cemetery had been provided for 5 shillings [25p] by John Thomas Wharton back in 1873, as the population of Skelton had become too large to continue using the old Churchyard.
The two buildings closest to the camera were Mortuary Chapels, where the dead were kept prior to burial.
[Both properties have now been converted into private dwellings]
The Chapel on the Right, the South side, was for people who had belonged to the Church of England and the other was for Methodists and other Nonconformists.
Their graves were similarly kept apart by the path that ran between the Chapels to the top of the Cemetery – as the Map on the following page shows.
How long this denominational division of the dead went on for is not known.
In previous centuries people who were not Church of England were not allowed to be buried in the old Church grounds, which, as the Map also shows, is why many Quakers lie buried further on down Stanghow Road, just past Trout Hall Farm, in the “Friends Burial Ground”.
This spot, today, is marked only by 4 large oak trees, a fact which my American visitors and descendants of the Quakers, consider a scandalous shame.
And they are right.