Defendant, who did not appear, had carried a poker about the streets, but did not use it. Fined 10s and costs.
5th June - ILLICIT BEER RACKETS RIFE.
At the Guisborough Sessions the police by dressing as navvies and keeping watch on a house witnessed a quart of beer being sold for
sixpence. On searching the house they discovered an 18 gallon cask hidden in a closet under the stairs. Only those who had been
granted a license at the Brewster Sessions were allowed to sell alcohol. The Bench inflicted a heavy, but still termed "mitigated",
penalty of £10, which was paid at once. The magistrates said that there were no doubt hundreds of gallons sold without license at
Lofthouse, Liverton, North Skelton and Boosbeck, but that it was impossible to catch any one in the act.
11th June - BAD SANITATION.
At a meeting of the Guisborough Rural Sanitary Authority, Mr D T Petch in the chair, a call on the Overseers at one
halfpenny in the pound was ordered. Mr Dickinson, Inspector of Nuisances called attention to the state of the slaughter houses
in the district, which he reported as being badly constructed and kept in an improper state.
At South Skelton Mines 16 wood huts, the drainage was very bad and the huts not fit for dwellings.
13th June - MINERS MEETING AT SKELTON.
A meeting of the miners of Skelton took place in the Freehold Quarry on the evening of Tuesday. Mr Thomas Green was unanimously
called to the chair and introduced Mr Shepherd, the Secretary of the Miners Union.
Mr Shepherd commenced by stating that after the agitation that had been going on in Cleveland, they had all got comfortably to work again,
but affairs were not quite settled yet and that owing to the illness of Mr Robert Kettle, the appointed arbitrator, a meeting could not
take place until the 23rd of the present month, on which day the arbitration would be opened at Saltburn.
It had been a matter of discussion whether the late events were a strike or lock-out.
The men would not have it a strike and the masters would not have it a lock-out, so the matter was compromised by calling it a
"difficulty", but it was one in which the masters had never been placed so awkwardly and he believed they were more alarmed than the men.
Mr J Shepherd, late Secretary, attended to defend himself against a report of misappropriating money of the union during the
the time he held the office of secretary.
His explanation was accepted and showed the falsety of the report.
20th June - MINE DEATH.
On Thursday, Richard Barker, aged 47, a breaker-up and filler at Skelton Shaft Mines was killed.
At the inquest his son, John, said he was the miner and worked with his father in the same board.
"We had fired a shot that day about 10 a.m. At this time there was a piece of stone in the face of the working and about the top of the
drift, which is about 12 or 14 feet high.
It had been loosened the day before and they could not get it down. After firing the shot they tried for three quarters of an hour
to dislodge it and gave up.
About noon, I sent him for a candle, whilst I was drilling in the face of the work and at the back of the stone in order to bring it down.
Whilst I was so engaged the stone suddenly fell. On calling for assistance, and getting a light,
[mine having been put out] I found my father partly under the stone.
He only drew 2 or 3 breaths and then died. I was not aware that he had returned. I could have put in a prop, but did not think it necessary.
I had told the deceased not to work near the place, till I had drilled the hole, lest it fell."
"The poor fellow, who was severely smashed died almost instantly. The deceased was got out of the mine and taken home, a distance of two
miles in a cart, in charge of a number of his fellow workmen. The melancholy cortege caused quite a sensation in passing down the street at Guisborough. His family are, we believe, grown up and not dependent upon him.
Mr Willis the Government inspector said there was a sufficiency of timber at the place and had no other enquiries to make.
Such accidents were very common in ironstone mines.
8th July - BEER THREATS.
John Ainsworth, a miner of Skelton, was summoned for using threats towards a man at Skelton on the 28th June. Complainant had been
suspected of giving information regarding a house where drink was sold without a license.
Defendant with others followed him into a
Skelton beerhouse and said:- "This is him who split about the beer. I will kill him if I am hung for him." Ordered to give £10
surety for keeping the peace for 3 months.
John Coates, a miner of Skelton, was summoned by PC Boanus for selling drink without a license on the 24th June.
In mitigation it was
said that he served William Ellerby 3 pints because he was his friend and was tired after going to Loftus band contest. Fined £25
and warned it would be more next time.
8th July - TOKENS ON TUBS FRAUD.
Joseph Leach and Thomas Leach, both miners of Skelton, were charged before Mr W S Ayrton at Guisbrough Town Hall with obtaining, by
false pretences, the sum of 1s 4d, belonging to James Bews.
All the men involved were employed at the Park Pit, Skelton and on the 4th July Bews sent 2 tubs of iron ore to the bottom of the
pit with his "token" to identify it as his.
Shortly after Joseph Leach was observed by a man named Ashworth, who is also employed in the mines, amongs the waggons at the pit
bottom. Ashworth told him that if he saw him there any more, he would thrash him.
He then got a torch and examined the tubs. Out of 4 tubs there were 2 numbered 24 and one numbered 2. The third tub should have been
numbered 7 but that token was lying on the floor. No 2 is the number of Leach's token.
The numbers indicate who filled the tubs and the banksman reports to the weighman and by that means the men get paid for the work that
they have done.
A horse driver named John Thomas Dixon also deposed to seeing Leach amongst the tubs and he had no business there.
Richard Kitson, the cashier for Bell Bros at the mine stated that when he paid Thomas Leach he would not take the money that was in
The Bench dismissed the case on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence to convict.
28 July. - DRUNK AND RIOTOUS.
Frederick Chamberlain admitted being drunk and riotous at Skelton at 10 o'clock in the evening on the 28th. In default of 16s 6d to be
imprisoned for 14 days.
PC Boanes charged Henry Ward, hair dresser, with being drunk at Skelton on the 22nd. Defendant, who intimated his intention of joining
the teetotallers, was fined 5s and costs.
Thomas Hindson, contractor, Skelton did not answer the summons of PC Brough for being in a beastly state of drunkenness on the 21st.
Defendant had been drunk for about 3 weeks. Fined 5s and costs.
31st July - BEEF ON THE SPREE.
At the York Assizes George Ord, aged 46, was indicted for having on the 18th July obtained by false pretences from Robert Wilkinson,
butcher, four and a half pounds of beef at Skelton.
The prisoner said he had intended to pay for the meat, but forgot to do so, as he got "on the spree" and used another man's name in
mistake. [Laughter in court.]
The Officer in charge of the case offered to produce the meat, but to this the Court, amidst some merriment, objected as it might
offend the nostrils of those present. The prisoner, having practically no defence, was found guilty, but was recommended to mercy.
Two month's imprisonment.
12th August - MODERN AMENITIES - SKELTON WATER SUPPLY.
Letter to the Northern Echo. Dear Sir,
Some time ago I was induced by the representations given in the prospectus of the Cleveland Water Company to have water laid on to
my premises, thinking thereby that I should have a plentiful supply of pure water in all weathers. I have waited 2 years in hopes of this
expectation being realised, but my patience having become entirely exhausted, I have determined to find an outlet through the medium of
The fact is, that during the past 3 months the supply of water has been anything but satisfactory - in short a complete delusion.
We find the water turned off during the whole day - without any notice - and turned on for a short time in the evening.
This might be endured if, when we did get a supply, it was fit for use, but it is totally unfit for any domestic purpose, and little
better than clay puddle from a brickyard.
I need scarcely say that this is a very unsatisfactory state of things, especially during the summer season, at a time when all our
springs round about are dried up.
As the Company, according to their last half year's report, is in a highly prosperous condition, no doubt gratifying to the
shareholders, perhaps they will not consider me too selfish in asking for a little more consideration on behalf of the consumer.
Could they not send a bellman round stating what time the water would be turned off, and when we might expect to have a clear supply.
Our wives would then have a chance of getting the kettle filled for breakfast.
I am sorry we have to pay in advance, but have great hopes, taking in consideration their past delinquencies, that the Water Company
will never attempt to collect the rates for the next quarter.
from, yours respectfully,
AQUA, Skelton in Cleveland.
13th August - DRUNK AND RIOTOUS.
Sergeant Haw charged John Melvin with being drunk and riotous at Skelton on the 8th. Fined 10s and costs or 14 days hard labour.
20th August - RABBIT MEAT DAMAGE.
Robert P Petch summoned Thomas Green, a miner of Lingdale Lane, Skelton for wilfully damaging beans in his field at Skelton on the
17th. Defendant was found in the field searching for rabbit meat. To pay 6d damage and 6d fine and costs.
22nd August - FIRE AT SKELTON PARK PIT.
On Friday night one of the Engineers, Mr D Thompson, at Park Pit, Skelton, happened to look out from the Engine room to get a mouthful of fresh air, when he noticed that Mr Brown, the horsekeeper's hut was on fire. He immediately gave the alarm and stopped the engines. Mr Brown and his family had a very narrow escape for their lives, for as soon as the front door was opened the flames spread and came rushing out in a dreadful manner. By persevering effort part of the bedding was saved, but with this exception all the furniture and clothing was burnt. Mr Brown's watch was later picked up, burnt to cinder. The hut, being built of wood, the flames spread with inconceivable rapitidy and those who would readily have helped could not approach withing about 20 yards of the hut on account of the intense heat. The family escaped as the saying is, only by the skin of their teeth.
26th August. - SUICIDE OF A YOUNG LADY AT SKELTON.
Yesterday a distressing suicide was committed at Skelton. A young lady named Hannah Mary Barker, daughter of Mr William Barker,
Veterinary Surgeon. went upstairs at ten o'clock, as was her custom, to make the beds.
She had not come down at dinner time, so her brother went upstairs to seek her. A most appalling spectacle greeted his eyes.
He found her lying in the garret with her throat cut in a horrible manner and a carving knife, by which she had done the deed,
by her side.
She was quite cold and stiff. She must have cut her throat immediately with great determination after going upstairs as her
windpipe was completely severed.
It is reported that the deceased had been courted by a gentleman, who recently married and that this circumstance preyed upon her mind.
3rd September - DRUNKS, ILLEGAL BEER.
The unpopular 1872 Licensing Act among other provisions had ordered public houses in country areas to close at 11 p.m.
At the Guisborough Brewster sessions the police Superintendent reported another 200 arrests in the area for drunkenness
over the previous year and that because the population had increased so rapidly and there were not enough licensed
houses drink was being sold illegally in "Carling Howe", Liverton, Skinningrove, Whitecliffe Houses, New Lofthouse, North
Skelton and Kilton.
6th September - MINE DEATH.
Skelton Park Pit. Thomas Maddocks, a miner aged about 45, was killed.
He was working with a man named Samuel Gatehouse "driving a headway". Two other men "way fired" as shot blowing down the partition
that separated them. The stone was sent right into the place where Maddock and his mate were working. Maddock was killed instantly and
Gatehouse severely injured. The deceased leaves a widow and family.