SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY


1887


Building of Skelton Green School at top of Skelton bank.
It was enlarged in 1892 and 1900.
It appears that 20 Boosbeck Rd had been used as a school.
Tom Curnow in his History of Skelton says that when a Mr Allison bought this house in the 19th century one of the rooms contained 4 school desks and the walls had been used as a blackboard.
Evidently, he says, 8 children paid three pence a week to learn the three R's.
There is some evidence to indicate that this house was the old Wesleyan School, where the parents of Frank Wild, the Antarctic Explorer taught in the early 1870's and where Frank was born in 1873. See the page about Frank Wild here.

8th March - GROCERY THEFT.
At the Guisbrough Police Court yesterday, a girl named E M Calvert, aged 13, was fined 10 shillings for thefts on the 3rd from the shop of Mr Watson, grocer of Skelton.

12th March - PUPIL BEATEN.
At the School Board the subject of giving prizes for attendance and proficiency was discussed. Mr Charlton proposed and Mr Brighton seconded "that for the purpose of adjudging the winners each percentage of attendance counts as one mark and the pass in each subject, reading,writing and arithmetic counts 32 marks.
Mrs Pennock attended before the Board and complained that her son had been ill-treated at the Stanghow Lane Boys School by a teacher named Ackroyd. He had been beaten about the head and kicked.
Mr Ellis confirmed that he had seen the boy and he had marks on his shoulder as if caused by a cane and bruises on his side. The Assistants had particular instructions not to inflict punishment but to refer all cases to the head teacher and an example should be made.
The Chairman agreed and said at the next meeting he would move that Ackroyd be called before the Board for an explanation or the sack.

30th March - THE AGED POOR.
Old aged pensions did not start until the next century. The number of families receiving relief in

the Guisbrough Union district - exclusive of the Redcar and Marske parishes - is 365 and of this number no less than 259 are over 60 years of age.
Guisborough stands first with 78 [11 between 80 and 90, 26 between 70 and 80 and 41 between 60 to 70.]
Skelton is second with 66 [2 at 90 years of age, 6 between 80 and 90, 27 between 70 and 80 and 31 between 60 and 70.]
Loftus third with 46 and Brotton fourth with 20.

14th June - EX-ARMY TERROR.
Thomas Burdon, an ex-Army man, was charged with assaulting Alice Ellerby at Skelton on the 4th. The complainant said that she was going across the hills to Skelton Green, when Burdon came up and commenced cursing about the Salvation Army.
He was drunk and she took no notice of him, upon which he struck her once on the head and twice in the eye. His mother coming up, he shoved Alice in the hedge and tore her clothes.
She said that she would make him pay for it and in reply his mother said:- "If you do, I will make him give you more next time."
Alice Walker, complainant's niece corroborated.
Burdon said a quarrel arose through complainant spreading false reports concerning his sister. He asked for an explanation of this, when defendant turned on him and said:- "You go and get your fat-headed soul saved, and say nothing more about your sister, or I will split your head open with a big stone."
Elizabeth Burdon, the mother, corroborated and denied that the complainant was struck at all.
Supt Clarkson said he had several complaints against Burdon, who since his return from the Army had been a terror to the neighbourhood.
He did nothing but stand about the street corners and when he got drink he assaulted people. Fined 10s and 12s costs.

20th July - SWINE FEVER CHARGE.
Thomas Garbutt of Skelton Mill was charged with neglecting to report a pig in his possession affected with swine fever to the police on the 8th July. Supt Clarkson proved the case. Garbutt said that he had reported the disease before and it proved to be another complaint. He thought this was the same. Fined £2 and 14s 6d costs.

24th August - MINE ACCIDENTS.
Mr Rowland, secretary for the Cleveland Miners Association reported that in the first 6 months of the year there had been 450 minor accidents and 6 fatal ones in the district, including at Skelton Park - 40, Skelton Shaft - 14, North Skelton - 14 and Longacres - 51.

6th September - BELLRINGERS OF SKELTON.
On Saturday the members of St John's Belfry, Darlington had their trip to Skelton in Cleveland, when the following peal etc was accomplished:- 720 bob minor, 360 grandsire minor, couse of Oxford treble bob and by request a peal of bob doubles; tenor 22cwt. An enjoyable afternoon was spent mainly due to the hearty and convivial welcome accorded them by the Skelton ringers.

21st September - NEWSAGENT BANKRUPT.
At the Stockton Bankruptcy Court Charles James Clift, who has been a stationer, newsagent and printer at Skelton in Cleveland came up for his first examination. He owed £239 5s to unsecured creditors and his net assets were only £49 2s 8d. He started business in 1874 with about £30 of stock over the newspaper debts contracted by his predecessors amounting to £70. He attributed his insolvency to bad trade and heavy rent and was not aware of his position until about 3 months ago.

8th October - NEW GAS LAMPS.
At the meeting of the Skelton and Brotton Local Board new lamps were ordered to be erected between Boosbeck Crossing and Skelton Green. Also near the new house opposite Skelton Rectory.
The committee also submitted an estimate for putting the roadway at Old Saltburn into proper condition and erecting a new concrete wall at a cost of £200. This work was ordered to stand over till the question of the maintenance of the Saltburn old bridge over Skelton Beck is settled.
The Medical Officer reported a death rate of 6.9 per 1000 against a birth rate of 28.6.

8th October - ALLOTMENTS NOT FREE.
The Skelton Local Board received petitions from several groups in the district asking for allotments, "because we are unable to obtain allotments at a reasonable rent and on reasonable conditions by voluntary arrangements between the owners of land suitable."
Most of them had allotments and rented from the Squire. The Government had just passed the Labourers' Allotment Act and it appears the petitioners were under the misapprehension that this gave them the right to an acre of land each.
The Board said that it could obtain land only by compulsory purchase from the owners at a high price which was out of the question.

5th November - FINGERS CRUSHED AT MINE.
A man named William Daynes, employed at the South Skelton mines, was admitted to the Miners' Hospital, Guisborough having received a severe injury to his right hand. It appears that a waggon ahd come off the road and by some means he got his fingers crushed between the buffers, 2 of them being severely crushed.

5th November - THE CASE FOR ALLOTMENTS.
At the monthly meeting of the Skelton and Brotton Board a deputation consisting of John Gibson and Fred Winter [Skelton], George Mallett [Groundhill] and Thomas Herring and Charles Clark [Boosbeck] attended to discuss their recent application, the first in the country, under the Labourers' Allotment Act.
Mr Gibson explained that the conditions under which gardens were held at present were not reasonable.
Firstly, because the tenants were liable to be discharged without notice and therefore had no confidence in preparing the ground or planting winter vegetables.
Secondly, as to crops and buildings, they were not allowed to grow corn upon this land, although the soil would benefit greatly by having corn sown at intervals. They were not allowed to build a pigstye or shed upon the rented land, although this would be a great benefit to a working man, as it would provide food for his family and manure for his garden.
Thirdly, as to rent, many of the gardens were let at the rate of £4 per acre per annum. Others paid £6 per acre.
They petitioned the Board to approach their Landlord.
It was pointed out that there was only one garden unlet at New Skelton and there were many applicants for it. Mr Herring representing applicants from Boosbeck Road said he had had a garden for 2 years, but had to wait 5 years to get it and paid rent to Squire Wharton. The petitioners had never expected to get land under the Labourers Allotment Act at 17s 6d per acre as had been stated at a previous Board meeting. He had seen Mr Hamilton the Skelton Estate Agent and been treated with the greatest courtesy, but on visiting the Estate Office, Mr Tutin could not have treated him worse if he had been a vagrant.
The deputation left and the Board discussed the matter, Mr R P Petch pointing out that at North Skelton many gardens were in a shameful condition. The Clerk said the average garden rent was £2 13s per acre.
Mr Richardson thought that the men had great cause for complaint and it was resolved before taking further steps the applicants should submit their grievances to the landlords.

8th November - CAUGHT BEGGING.
This morning Messrs Yeoman, Bolckow and Clarke, sitting as Magistrates at the Guisborough Petty Sessional Court heard a painful case regarding a young woman named Alice Morton, the daughter of respectable parents.


She had taken up with a man, who the Chairman of the Bench described as "a lazy, drunken reprobate."
The police stated that he was in the habit of staying with her at lodging houses, ill-using her and compelling her to beg for food.
On Saturday the Skelton Police Constable observed her begging in that village and on her leaving the Rectory asked her what was her business.
She gave her name as Alice Forster and said her husband was a miner of Brotton who had been laid up with a broken leg. Enquiries showed this to be false and she was put in custody. The man Yates had however had his leg broken some time ago.
The Bench admonished her and advised her to leave the man and return to her parents or seek some honest means of earning a living.

23rd November - PREACHERMAN PINCHED STRAW.
Thomas Little, described by Police as a local preacher, was charged with stealing a batten of straw, value 6d, from Wet Furrows Farm, belonging to Messrs Bolckow, Vaughan and Co at Skelton on the 14th.
Defendant, who resides at Lingdale, was employed as engineman at one of the mines of the firm and had to pass Wet Furrows on his way home.
As straw had been missed on several occasions, PC Calvert concealed himself in the locality and caught defendant in the act of taking some away.
The defence was that permission had been given in consideration of Little having several times saved sheep from being lost and had turned cattle from the highway into the fields. This was however denied and a fine of 50s was imposed.

24th December - FOOTBALL. NORTH SKELTON WIN. REF CHASED.
Yarm played North Skelton in the second round of the Cleveland Cup, and the conclusions of a football writer are strong and to the point.
He says the match resulted in the
“most blackguardly and disgraceful scenes ever witnessed on a football field,”and that the responsibility for this rested “chiefly with the Yarm spectators and some of the team.”
The score was eight goals to three in favour of North Skelton; and Mr John Reed, jun., who was the referee, writes:-
“Every score made by the visitors was appealed against on the ground of ‘off-side,’ and as the two umpires systematically disagreed, the onus of deciding against these appeals vested entirely with me. The first and second goal given to North Skelton caused some grumbling, the third and fourth ignited a blaze of indignation, the fourth and fifth produced hoo’s and yells, and so on until the eighth goal was got, when the Yarm people were dancing madly.
Mr Reed thus describes what followed upon the conclusion of the match:–
“After blowing the whistle I walked smartly away from the crowd, it would have been foolhardy to have gone to it, and would only have involved my friends in the melee that would certainly have ensued.
For a minute all was quiet, then horrible yells rent the sky, from which I knew my proceedings were noted. Soon I felt a panting and cursing behind me; so in self-defence, I stopped. The intruder used very violent language, which, summed up, meant he wanted to kill me.
I protested there was not time – there wasn’t time; for at a good pace came streaming, like red Indians at the charge, a couple of hundred reckless hobbldehoys and half-drunken men.
Quickly throwing my overcoat into the face of the first assailant as a feint, the next instant I took the open country at top speed.
The situation was intensely funny. Here was I speeding down the valley from the unrighteous of Yarm, but, if I had been caught, it might have been the opposite to funny.
The intent was to put poor me into the river; but as the evening was cold and frosty, naturally there was an objection on my part. If I had no fear I certainly had the wings that fear lends, and I soon lost the foe and gained the shelter of a kind and friendly house.”

Bearing upon this, the Cleveland Association have instructed their Secretary to take legal proceedings against those spectators who threatened and assaulted him.
Such disgraceful proceedings should be firmly dealt with, or football will lowered to the level of the prize ring.

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