SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1912 to 1913.





North Skelton Ironstone Mine, Winding House.
1912 February - From now until April there was a national coal miners strike.
This eventually forced Asquith's Liberal Government to pass a Minimum Wage Act.
In the meantime it led to stoppages in other industries that relied on coal - railways and of course in this area the manufacture of iron and steel.
If you could not work in those days, there was no income and many families were in distress.

March - North Skelton Mission - A choir was formed and - the interior appearance of our Mission has been greatly improved by the addition of the oak reredos from the old Church.
We have also been provided with new prayer books and hymn books - thanks to the generosity of some friends in the South of England.

7th March - Mr W H A Wharton of Skelton Castle formed a Central Relief Committee for Skelton Parish comprising the following members:-

The Rev H M Drake, E Hamilton, Tommy Varty [Manager of Park Pit], R W Stevenson, T Brown, W Frankland, W Walker, G Watson [Under manager at Park Pit], W Brown, T Tutin, Dr Thorney, Dr Wigfield, R Cross, J L Taylor and C E Watson.


From a Postcard of Skelton with postmark dated 19 Aug 1913.
[This photograph was kindly contributed by Julie Felgate.]

The Parish was divided into 6 Districts, each with a sub-committee to go into the cases and to report to the Central Committee:-

1. Boosbeck Rd, Cleveland St and Harker St - J M Garner, C Bringloe, J W Richardson, J Codd, J Judson and E Smith.
2. Green Rd, Back Lane, Milbank St, Prospect Place and Park St - W Hudson, R Forster, T Snaith, G Clayton, J Oliver and N Clapton.
3. Bridge House to the Post Office - J Marshall and C Clarke.
4. Post Office to Yeoman St - W Hudson, W Pashley, R Gott and S Castle.
5. New Skelton - W Wilson, D Grainger junr and H Winter.
6. North Skelton and Ground Hills - R Morgan, W Page, G Trathan, J Mott, E Bowes, J Smith, W Bowers, G Todd, J Featherstone and S Walker.

The Central Committe met every week up to May the 4th to receive the reports of the Local Committees and decide on the amount of relief to be given out.
This was done entirely by ticket for groceries at the shops in the first instance and a total of 1194 were issued.


Skelton Castle Cricket XI in 1912. Winners of the Cleveland Challenge Cup. To the left in the middle row are William H A Wharton and his second wife Elizabeth and to the Right, their daughter, Margaret.
Back row, second left is John R Hewling, the scorer, and the tradesman whose advertisement is shown above.

[Picture shown by kind permission of Anthony Wharton of Skelton Castle.]

Soup was issued at Skelton and North Skelton from April 19th to May 18th as well a bread and flour.
The amount of money that was given out in tickets was 264 pounds 16 shillings and 6 pence - besides many things which were given in kind.
265 Pounds in 1912 is equivalent to about 17,500 pounds at 2005 values.
The money was obtained by grants from the Cleveland Central Relief Committee, to which our local subscriptions were handed over.

15 March - LOUD PREACHER REQUIRED.
Local Newspaper Advert.
"Sunday Duty. Wanted, graduate! extempore preacher, strong voice; abstainer. Rev W. Learoyd, Skelton-in-Cleveland."

April - Parish Magazine. Rector H Mackworth Drake - As I write we are in the midst of a very great crisis in our Nation's History.
a crisis which must mean practically starvation to many.
Please God by the time you get this the strike will be a thing of the past, though I fear it is quite impossible that our ironstone mines should be at work again by then.

April. Sinking of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.

April - Church Lads' Brigade - One of the most interesting Field Days in the History of our Company was held at Marske on Easter Monday.


Skelton Parish Magazines of the time could be collected and bound in this book cover.

The idea was the Skelton Company was to defend Marske and prevent Coatham from entering.
The Cycle Corps will commence its runs in May 1st.

June - The Rector, Mr H Mackworth Drake records in the Parish Magazine that Mr Hubbard scored his first century for North Skelton Cricket Club.

The Skelton Church Lads' Brigade Cycle Corps made runs to Castleton, Middlesbrough and Runswick Bay.

14th July - North Skelton Mission. - The Mission Room was packed on the occasion of the dedication of the Organ from the Old Church to the service of God in its new home.

2nd July. Skelton Park Pit.
William Garbutt, a miner aged 28 was killed.
"He and his mate were driving a lift out of a split wall which had holed;
They had only got some 6 feet in, but the crossing timber being set, and the place well timbered, Garbutt fired his two bottom shots, one after the other.
He had gone back to examine after the second shot when the whole place collapsed and he was buried.
Then another heavy fall took place and he was heard no more;
His body was recovered after another two hours' hard work;
Probably the second shot being a heavy one had removed the support from the crossing balk."

20th July.Skelton Shaft Pit.
Leonard Brock, a miner aged 41 died as a result of an accident which occurred on the 18 July.


The only names known are Middle Row - Robert Fawcett, 4th from left.
Bottom Row - Henry Bennison, centre and Fred Appleton, extreme right.
[Two versions of this photograph have been donated, one by Peter Appleton, Grandson of Fred; and the other by Michael Bennison, Grandson of Henry.]

He and another miner were "turning away a working 11 feet wide out of a split which had just holed into the goaf;
They had fired three shots during their shift, the last one being fired only five minutes prior to the accident;
It probably loosened some timber, as when the deceased was pinching down some "dogger" forming the roof it suddenly came away, together with a large block of ironstone;
The latter rolled off some stones and pinned Brock against a prop before he could get clear;
His mate had suggested the use of some planks placed on a tub in the form of a scaffold, on which he could stand, but he thought he could manage without;
His mate's suggestion would no doubt have been safer;
The deceased died two days after'

2nd August - Church Lads' Brigade. The Company met in the Church Rooms fully equipped for a week's camp at Whitley Bay.
We started off at 6pm for North Skelton Station and arrived at Whitley Bay at 1.30am.
The weather was terrible and they camped in mud, but some of these lads were to see a lot more mud in France.
During the week they marched to Newcastle and were addressed by Lord Armstrong.

30 September. BIG SHOCK - CHEAP ELECTRICITY.
At North Skelton, in Cleveland, arrangements have been made to have Electric Light installed at very cheap rate in a large number of cottages.

4th November - CLEVELAND SURVEYOR FOUND DEAD ON DOG.
An inquest was held at the Wharton Arms, Skelton in Cleveland upon the body William Page Robinson, age 43, Surveyor to Skelton and Brotton Urban Council. He was found on Friday shot in the right temple and lying on the dead body his favourite spaniel.

22nd Nov. London Gazette.


[Photograph owned by this website.]

SKELTON AND BROTTON ELECTRIC LIGHTING.

(The Production, Storage and Supply of Electricity by the Urban District Council of Skelton and Brotton within their District: the Breaking Up and Interference with Streets and Railways; the Laying Down and Erection of Electric Lines, Wires, Posts and Apparatus; the Taking and Recovering of Rates and Charges; Incorporation of Acts; and other Provisions.)
Notice is hereby given, that the urban district council of the urban district of Skelton and Brotton, in the North Riding of the county of York (hereinafter called "the Council"), and whose address is at the office of the surveyor of the Council, High-street, Skelton, intend to apply to the Board of Trade, on or before the 21st day of December next, for a Provisional Order (hereinafter Lighting Acts, 1882 to 1909, for all or some of the following amongst other purposes (that is to say) : —
1. To authorize the Council to generate and supply electricity for all public and private purposes as denned by the Electric Lighting Acts within the whole of the urban district of Skelton and Brotton, in the North Riding of the county of York aforesaid (hereinafter referred to as "the Area of Supply "),

Colonel William Henry Anthony Wharton, CO of the local Territorials, the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
[Photograph contributed by Graham Smallburn of Birmingham.]

and to enable the Council to enter into or carry into effect any contract, agreement or arrangement with the Cleveland and Durham Electric Power Company for tha supply by such Company to the Council of electricity in bulk.
To authorize the Council within the urban district of Guisborough, in the North Riding of the county of York, for the purpose of enabling electricity to be brought into the area of supply from a generating station situate outside the area of supply, and for the purpose of supplying from any such generating station and distributing electricity within the area of supply, and otherwise for effecting the purposes of the Order, to open, break up and interfere with all streets, roads, ways, footpaths or public passages or places, and to alter or interfere with mains., pipes, sewers, subways, tunnels, wires, tubes, apparatus, matters and things therein or thereunder, and to break up or otherwise interfere with railways and tramways and to lay down, set up, maintain, use, repair, remove, renew and alter all such cables, wires, posts, pipes, tubes, casings, troughs, inspection boxes and apparatus as may be necessary or convenient for carrying out the objects aforesaid or any of them.
To authorize the Council to break up the following streets, not repairable by the local authority and bridges and railways, viz.:—
Old Skelton — Road leading to the Old Church and Skelton Castle, Wood's-yard, Robinson'syard, Robinson-street, Dixon-street, Yeoman street, Road to Skelton Castle, Road from Foughfield-lane to North Skelton Station and Elliott-street, Skelton Green.
In Old Skelton — The bridge over the Saltburn and Whitby Branch of the North-Eastern Railway at the end of Foughfield-lane.
The two bridges carrying the Guisborough and Saltburn Branch of the North-Eastern Railway over the road known as Stanghow-lane leading from New Skelton to Lingdale.
In North Skelton - The two bridges carrying the Guisborough and Saltburn and the Saltburn-and Whitby Branches of the North-Eastern Railway over the road leading from North Skelton to Brotton.
The names of the streets in which it is proposed that electric lines shall be laid down within a period to be specified by the Order are as follows: —
The main road from Cross Green, Skelton,through New Skelton, North Skelton, and Brotton, to the boundary of the urban district at Carlin How....


12th November - The bodies of Captain Scott and his Antarctic exploration party are found.
1913
21st June. LOCAL PAPER ADVERT.
GENERAL and NURSE-HOUSEMAID Wanted at once, farmhouse; children; refs.—Mrs. Petch, Priestcrofts. Skelton-in-Cleveland.

4th June - Suffragette, Emily Davidson, throws herself before George V's racehorse in the Derby and dies 4 days later.

26th July - The Annual Camp of the 150th Brigade of the Northumbrian Division was held at Redcar. Men of the local Territorial Force, the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, which included Skelton "G" Company, the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment [based on Beverley area], the 4th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment [based on Hull], and the 4th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry [South Durham] gathered for a fortnight's training.

Keir Hardie.
The above photograph of the Commanding Officer of the 4th Yorks, Colonel W H A Wharton was taken at this time.
A description of the camp and the story of the bravery and many trials of the 4th Yorks in the First World War can be read on my website about the Battalion :-
by clicking here

The coal miners' strike of the previous year was just one symptom of British workers' grievances. A rally was held in Skelton to which local ironstone miners from the villages round about marched with their banners and bands. [Exact date and venue not known.] They were reportedly addressed by Keir Hardie, who had become the Nation's first Socialist MP back in 1892.

The Victorian decision to educate the lower classes and the greed of the owners of Industry was coming back to haunt them. It seemed in the years immediately ahead the labouring class would rise up for better pay and conditions. Instead they obediently and gallantly went off to the First World War to die or be mutilated.

The building of a new Skelton Drill Hall at the East end of the village.
[In the 1960s this building became a Social Club.
Previously this Club had occupied a corrugated iron sheet structure opposite the Wharton Arms, where it had been since the First War.
A proud SKELTON BRITISH LEGION, which supported our Forces and their sacrifice and injuries.
It disgracefully abandoned the name of the British Legion and moved to what had been the Drill Hall.
Eventually the structure was burnt out in suspicious circumstances.
After standing empty for a long time it was turned into cheap flats, presently called Marlborough Court.
In the process a wonderful piece of Skelton History, the large carved plaque above the main entrance was destroyed.
Any photographs of the building showing this plaque would be welcomed. ]

The Roman signal station at Huntcliff was excavated.

The Methodist minister, W G Taylor, who left this area in 1870 as a missionary, returned to Skelton to preach.
He writes - "But what a change. With a population four times as large, the congregation was smaller than that of half a century before."


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