SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1865 ~ 1867





Skelton Primitive Methodist Chapel and Benjamin "Timmy" Bannister, after whom it was affectionately named. [Photograph of Benjamin kindly contributed by his Grandson, Terry Bannister, now living in Burnley.]

1865 - Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle disapproved of the Primitive Methodists and at first refused to let them have the land on which to build their new chapel. He finally relented and sold it to them at a high price.
A newspaper of the time reported that one of the Primitive Church members made 30,000 bricks for the structure, working after his normal daily stint at work.
His employer provided the clay and means of leading them to the site.
The chapel later became known as 'Timmies', after a Mr "Tim" Bannister, who held several posts at the chapel over a long period of years. He was actually Benjamin Bannister, who had been born in Coddenham, Suffolk on the 2nd May 1861. Unemployment in these agricultural areas and the opening of ironstone mines in East Cleveland had brought him and his three brothers, George, David and William to Skelton. Originally the idea was to make bricks for all the houses that were needed for the booming population. [So it seems likely that it was one of the Bannisters who created the chapel]. But the Bannister Co brick making business scheme did not succeed and they soon had to find jobs elsewhere. The 1901 census shows Benjamin as a Groom at Skelton Castle and living at 12 North Terrace, with a Skelton-born wife, Susan, and 7 children. The age of the eldest indicates that the Bannisters came to Skelton about 1880. Brother George was a Waggoner for Skelton Castle at Home Farm in 1901 and living at 143 High St. [George was to lose his son Fred in 1918, while serving with the local 4th Yorks Battalion when they were wiped out on the Aisne.] Brothers David and William were ironstone miners in Park Pit. Benjamin probably had various jobs at the Castle. His grandson, Terry Bannister, remembers him delivering milk to the Mill below the Castle from the Estate dairy to the right of the big gates to the Castle courtyard.

Railway Viaduct - Start 1865 Opened 1872
He remembers him too as a "typical, narrow-minded Primitive Methodist", but he must have been a long-serving and well respected workman at the Castle, for Mrs Ringrose Wharton presented him with a Ruby tiepin for his wedding anniversary. Benjamin died in his eighties during the Second World War.

North Skelton Mine. December. An exploratory shaft was being dug on the level ground between Saltburn Lane and Skelton Beck, close to Rigwood, to find the depth of the Cleveland main seam of iron ore.
The spoil was lifted out by tubs and one of these fell back down the shaft striking Robert Wilson on the head and killing him.

The railway line from Saltburn to Brotton, for taking ironstone to Teesside works was started.

Mr J T Wharton of Skelton Castle leased land [roughly bordered by Skelton Beck, Brotton and Stanghow] to Bolckow Vaughan and Co for 42 years at 2,986 for 134 thousand tons of iron ore and 5d for every ton over.

1866 - A local government board was formed for the township of Skelton.

Groundhills cottages, 12 in number, were started to house the miners exploring for the main seam of iron stone for Bolckow Vaughan.



These have now been demolished and were sited off Stanghow lane, just past Trout Hall Farm, and on the same side.

9th Feb. John Child of Skelton Mill was fined 6s for driving cattle on the highway against the orders of the Quarter Sessions.

9th Feb. William Brader, a boy of Skelton assaulted a little girl, Elizabeth Mary Shepherd.

9th Feb. James Cook, shoemaker of Skelton was fined 11s for being drunk.

9th Feb. John Saunders was fined 15 shillings and sixpence for being drunk and riotous at Marske. James Kennedy was fined 11s 6d and severely reprimanded for trying to rescue him from Police custody.

8th June. John Bland , George Cook and Isaac Stonehouse were fined 13s 6d for being drunk and riotous at Skelton.


Marske corn mill viewed from the above Viaduct. It was driven by water diverted from Skelton Beck.
[Photo kindly contributed by Owen Rooks]
7 Sep. George Lawson, a butcher of Skelton assaulted John Dormond a tailor of Skelton and was ordered to pay 15 shillings including costs.

9th Nov. William Baxter and Charles Dunning, ironstone miners of Skelton, were each fined 12s 6d for drunk and riotous behaviour and using threatening language to K Hardy Baxter. Old offenders.

23rd Nov. George King and George Overton were fined 5s for throwing fireworks in the street at Skelton.

23 Nov. Thomas Waterhouse was fined "5 bob and 7 and 6" costs for being drunk and riotous at Skelton.

1867 - The Second Reform Act of this year extended the right to vote. Qualification was still based on land ownership. Now about 13 percent of adults were enfranchised.

22nd Feb. Joseph Bell, a miner of Skelton, was charged with fraudulently removing goods to the amount of 2, for the purpose of evading payment of his rent. Now moved. He was ordered by the court to pay double the value of the goods and costs.


Mill. Water in the left of the picture was fed by the Mill race below.

In default to be committed to Northallerton Prison to hard labour for 2 months.

19th July. Addison Thompson was charged by PC Robinson of Skelton with trespass and damaging grass in field belonging to W Coates of Barns Farm.

2 Aug. John Frankland and Matthew Priestman were charged by PC Robinson with being drunk and riotous at Skelton.
Fined 10 shillings and sixpence each, including costs.

7th Sep. John Duffy of Marske was charged with trespass and damage to seed growing in a field belonging to Nathaniel Stonehouse of Skelton.

27th Sep 1867. James Pashley, miner of Skelton, was fined 17s for assaulting David Gibb and using abusive language at Skelton.

John Dormand, a tailor of Skelton was adjudged bankrupt and required 'to surrender himself to Mr Frederick Perkins, a Registrar of the County Court of Yorkshire, holden at Stokesley at the first meeting of creditors to be held on the 10th day of October 1867 at 11 o'clock.


Waterfall and Mill race on Skelton Beck 1891.

Viaduct opened 1872 and Mill race to left.

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