||The following was sent by Terry Bannister, who grew up in
Skelton during the Second World War and now lives in
His Grandfather was Benjamin "Tim" Bannister, after whom the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Green Road was known.
Click here for more about him.
"Where do I start ? Grandad was one of 4 brothers who came
up from Coddenham in Suffolk primarily to teach the locals how to make
bricks. There was no natural stone in Suffolk so it was mainly bricks.
In Cleveland, at the time, the mine owners wanted to build cheap houses
for mine workers, hence the need for bricks.
Ruby Wedding, 12 North Tce.
|As did my mother's brother Dan who was unemployable. He
used to stand outside during the air raids and hurl abuse at the
overhead planes. He also had several confrontations with Alec
Ross, when they had had one two many. They squared up to each other and
threatened violence all the way from the bottom pub up to Thubrons!
[Off licence] and never a blow was struck.
I remember Grandad as milkman and general dogsbody at the Castle. Amongst other duties he needed to collect the milk from the home farm [Barnes] and take it to the Castle dairy, first door on the Right in the Castle courtyard.
I can also remember him taking me down to the Mill to deliver their milk to them as they were supplied by the castle for some reason.
Grandad celebrated his Diamond wedding during the war and was presented with a ruby tiepin, later made in to a ring, by Mrs Ringrose Wharton of Skelton Castle.
He died before the end of the war. I was responsible for buggering up his funeral !
Whilst the undertaker was in no. 12 collecting the coffin
and the mourners, I had found a hole at the back of the hearse which
never seemed to fill up, no matter how many hands full of gravel I put
in from the gravel heap in front of Dr Stevenson's. The hearse got as
far as the Institute before it ground to a halt.
They had to bring a horse and cart from Bell's farm, next
to the Church, to take the coffin the rest of the Way to New Skelton. I
never admitted that offence to a soul until the main participants were
long gone !
Regarding Grandad, here are the only pics I have of the old bugger. Looking a lot more benevolent than he really was. He was a typical narrow minded primitive methodist of the time ! The little one was taken at the back of number 12 North Terrace and was their ruby wedding.
Your mention of the Infant's School on South Terrace brings back memories. I actually learned to do my letters with a slate and slate pencil, as there was a paper shortage in the war. I vividly remember Miss Johnson from Saltburn lane who was my first teacher. I played the triangle in the class band and the only tune that we ever played was "Road to the Isles", that being the only one that she could play on her mouth organ.
I could go on about the folk who lived round Cross Green, like Johnny Blueskin, but I don't want to bore you any more. "