The Management at Skelton Park Pit
Standing, left to right - Bill Varty, overman; John Oliver, overman;
George Covell, deputy;
John Johnson, deputy;
Robert Carver, deputy;
George Watson, undermanager [great Grandfather of website maker];
Scott Coates, pipefitter;
Seated - Levi Faulkes, deputy; Charlie Clark, deputy; Robert Slater,
Dan Chilvers, deputy; John Lightburn, deputy; Jack Downey, overman;
John Clayton, foreman blacksmith.
information on Skelton Park Pit, click here.
|HEAVY SNOWFALL - LIVES LOST. :-
"The storm which commenced with a fall of snow on January 7th, may be said to have continued without intermission until the 17th
The heaviest snow fall of the year in the North of England took place on the 16th and 17th of March, and human life was lost and many
thousands of sheep perished.
For several days together trains have been snowed up and house and villages have been cut off from their neighbours. Cutting through the
snow drifts has fortunately employed many of those who have suffered so much from want of work this winter."
12th January - RIOTOUS PEDLARS.
Charles Jenkins and Samuel Richardson were charged with being drunk and disorderly at Skelton on the 29th December. PC Brough found
them drunk and shouting and swearing in Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green and they had to be locked up. Fined 5s and costs.
They were then charged with acting as pedlars without a certificate at Skelton. Sgt Imeson saw them going from door to door.
Jenkins said he had a certificate at Hartlepool and Richardson's expired in 1882. Fined 5s and costs.
Then they were charged with damaging the door at the public house of W G Tate,
who said they commenced quarrelling and fighting in his house
and he had to put them out. They used abusive language and threw a quantity of pots at the door and through the fanlight.
Fined 10s, costs and damage 6s.
12th January - WASHING RIGHTS ON THE LINE.
Emma Bedale and Melvina Stephenson, mother and daughter, were charged with assaulting Catherine Spence at North Skelton on the 7th
Complainant said that she hung her clothes-line out on the morning of the date named and immediately afterwards found the Mrs Stephenson had
placed hers over it.
Witness complained of this and took the line down, when both defendants came out and "the mother struck me and daughter struck me down and
then the mother knocked me down and I laid there - but I got up again first". Fined 1s and costs.
18th January - DESTITUTE FAMILIES.
When the School Board took office 3 years ago they found the mines, on which this are is dependent, working short time and this has
continued until the present time.
The result has been that in hundreds of cases people have been very much strained to find the school pence.
In many other instances the breadwinner has been compelled to leave the district in search of employment, leaving his wife and children in the care of friends or to the tender mercies of the parish.
In some cases in order to get the children to school it became a necessity to find them with food and shoes.
27th Jan. SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION.
The following stood for election to Skelton and Stanghow School Board:-
Alfred Brighton, a checkweighman, of 17 Vaughan St, N Skelton.
William Carter, blacksmith, of High St, Skelton.
James Chisholm, mining engineer of Wet Furrows, N Skelton.
George Hobbs of 29 Park St, Skelton.
Mrs Charlotte Wharton, of Skelton Castle.
27th January - ONE WIFE NOT ENOUGH.
At York Assizes yesterday, Joseph Walker was charged with having committed bigamy at Skelton-in-Cleveland by marrying Mary Ann Winter, his first wife being still alive. Mr Meek appeared for the prosecution. The prisoner pleaded guilty
William Henry Anthony Wharton 1859 - 1938
William H A Wharton became the master of Cleveland Foxhounds
Like some many other Masters he began his hunting experience with a pack of 16 inch beagles, which he kept at Skelton.
After being at Eton from 1873 to 1876, he went in 1878 to Magdalen, Cambridge, a college which for generations has been the home
of riding men.
John Charlton's book "Twelve Packs of Hounds" records -
The season of 1870 the Hounds were hunted by Mr Watson Dixon, the hon. secretary to the hunt, and then Mr JT Wharton, of Skelton Castle, became master.
Mr Wharton resigned at the end of his third season and was succeeded by Mr R. A. H. T. Newcomen, of Kirkleatham Hall, who
kept them for five years.
Mr John Proud of Yearby, then accepted the mastership, and retained it until 1886, when he resigned.
Mr W,H. A. Wharton (son of Mr J. T. Wharton, who had previously been
master of the Hurworth) then took them and is now master and hunts the Hounds.
17th February - WORKHOUSE.
The fortnightly meeting of the Guisborough Union Guardians met yesterday. The Workhouse Master, Mr Sillock, reported the average
number of inmates to be 140.5.
There was great concern about finding employment for the great number of men out of work locally. 3 able bodied men, two from Commondale and
one from North Skelton appeared to ask for relief.
The "Workhouse" website states the following, source not known.:-
"In 1886, a dispute arose over the running of the Guisborough workhouse which six months later resulted in the resignation or sacking of nearly the whole staff.
Numerous charges and counter-charges were made involving the Master and Matron, the Schoolmistress, the Porter, and the Industrial Trainer.
The Master was initially given a vote of confidence by the Guardians in his claims that the Schoolmistress disobeyed his orders, displayed violent tempers, and fostered dissatisfaction amongst the inmates.
In turn, the Master, it was claimed, kept 30 or 40 hens at the workhouse, and sold their eggs for his own profit.
In January 1887, a six-day enquiry by the Local Government Board resulted in the Guardians being forced to demand the resignation not only of the Schoolmistress, but also of the Matron and Master and the Porter. In addition, an Assistant Matron and the Head Nurse resigned."
18th Feb - DEATH OF REV DR JOHN GARDNER LL.D.
At Bath on Thursday, after a short but severe illness. He was for 29 years Rector of Skelton. Buried at Pilling, Lancashire.
"All persons having any claims or demands against the estate of the Reverend John Gardner, LL.D.,
Rector of Skelton, in the county of York, and lately residing at 5, The Circus, Bath whose will was proved in the
Bristol District Registry of the Probate Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice on the 19th day of
March, 1886, are required to send particulars of such claims or demands to us the undersigned, on or before
the 1st day of July, 1886.....
18th Feb - MINE DEATH, ROOF FALL.
"Isaac Ditchburn of Charlton's Cottages, aged 49, was buried at Skelton. He met his death at Charlton's Mines, Boosbeck in a
shocking manner. While following his employment the place where he was working fell in, completely burying him. It took workmen a
considerable time to recover the body from amongst the fallen debris. The mines have only recently been restarted. Deceased leaves a
wife and 4 children."
20th Feb - PINCHING BEEF.
Priscilla Martin of North Skelton fined 10 shillings at Guisborough Police Court for stealing two shillings worth of beef from George
Robson's shop [butchers, 2 Boosbeck Rd].
3rd March - HORSE CRUELTY.
Hills Bates, a cab driver of Saltburn was charged with cruelly ill-treating a horse at Skelton. PC Richard Gospel Brough said that
a little before 11 p.m. he was on duty in the High St, Skelton when he saw the defendant with his horse yoked to a brake containing
He was going in the direction of North Skelton and beating the horse unmercifully in order to get there before the pubs closed.
Fined 5s and costs.
8th March - WORK FOR THE UNEMPLOYED.
At the Local Skelton and Brotton Local Board it was moved that in future the Board purchase their slag and flint for the roads unbroken
and break it in the district in order to give employment to the unemployed.
13th March - Mr Charlton moved at the School Board meeting that children under 5 years of age be admitted to the schools at a charge of 1
penny per week.
18th March - HOW MUCH DO THE BUILD-TO-LET LANDLORDS MAKE ?
To the Editor, Northern Echo.
Gentlemen, - Allow me through the medium of your paper, to lay the following facts before the public:-
Yesterday, on behalf of my brother and myself, I attended a meeting of the Guisborough Assessment Committee, being joint owners of some
houses at Skelton. [Presumably Dixon Street.] We gave notice of appeal against the rating, on the ground that the gross rateable was in
excess of the real value.
The gross rateable value previous to the notice was £6 10 per house. This the Overseers of Skelton had reduced to £5 5s per house.
Against this sum I appealed, on the ground that 2s 3d per week did not represent a real value of £5 17s per year, inasmuch as the
houses, being let by week were at times empty.
To prove my statement, I gave the exact amount received every fortnight for the last 2 years, of which last year's amount was £77 16s 6d.
Out of this sum we paid water rates of £9 15s 6d; Local Board and other rates of £10 11s 9d. Total £20 7s 3d, leaving £57 9s 3d for 15
houses, or an average of £3 16s 7d per house.
The only consolation given me was that we were used like others.
Yours truly, James Dixon, Easby, March 17th 1886.
26th March - SKELTON AND BROTTON LOCAL BOARD. Nominations for the election.
Skelton North [2 needed] - W H A Wharton, W D Petch, R W Stevenson, J M Gowland and R Horn.
Skelton South - Joseph Calow.
Brotton  J Faulkner, T Richardson, D W Dixon.
Stanghow  Chris Heslop.
Kilton  Armstrong Varty.
23rd March - LOAN SHARK.
At the Stockton County Court this morning Mr Groves, mason of Skelton, applied for an administration order, his debts being under
£50. He said that he had done only 3 days' work for nearly 4 months.
He had a wife and 6 children, dependent upon him. He had borrowed £10 from a loan society and paid £5 for the loan of it.
His Honour remarked that if he borrowed money at 60 per cent interest it was his own fault.
He was ordered to pay his £40 debts in full in instalments of 15s per month.
30th March - THE UNEMPLOYED DISTRESS.
A meeting of the unemployed of the district met in Skelton. Mr Groves said if they had united they should have had employment long
since. They did not want charity, but desired work.
Mr Toyn said he was sorry they should have to meet on such an occasion in a land where there was plenty. The country was getting into a
fearful state and the iron trade was in the worst condition ever known.
He maintained that the distress in the district was intensified by the inhumanity of a number of mines managers. Managers and
capitalists had to cut the thing as fine as possible, but there was a point below which they ought not to go.
It had been suggested that a soup kitchen should be opened in Skelton.
A deputation was appointed to wait on the Board of Guardians at Guisborough. Several articles of clothing were distributed to the most needy.
31st March - DISTRESS, WORKHOUSE OR LABOUR.
At a meeting of the Guisbourough Guardians a deputation of 5 men from a meeting of the unemployed at Skelton asked if anything could
be done to relieve the present distress.
They said they represented some 300 men in Skelton, Boosbeck and surrounding places, that they had stood out as long as they could, but
many were now in an utter state of destitution.
The Guardians said relief was provided on two tests, one was the Workhouse and the other called the labour test.
If the first was refused then only the second could be provided. If the local authorities could employ them in some way they would receive
wages. They were advised to supply the names of all those in the most destitute circumstances to the Relieving Officer.
3rd April - HARD WORK FOR THE UNEMPLOYED.
Skelton and Brotton Local Board met and Mr Thomas Petch reported that he has sold the road roller for £3.
A letter from the Guisborough Board of Guardians said they could not provide relief for the unemployed with pauperising them and
suggested the Board should start some useful public works where the able bodied could be employed at a cheap rate.
Mr J T Wharton of Skelton Castle said he was prepared to spend £100 in excavating and road cleaning near the Castle under the
supervision of the Board. A number of men could be employed at 2s per day.
Arrangements were also made to have a quantity of stone broken at 1s 8d per ton.
10 Apr - MERCHANT BANKRUPT.
John Dixon of 54 High St, Skelton in Cleveland, a Seed, Guano, Hop and Provision merchant, was was examined in Stockton Bankruptcy Court
with losses of £9,061 10s 9d. Adjourned.
He attended again on the 1st of May, when his inquiry was closed. Upon making the customary concluding declaration, Mr Dixon, who
is an elderly gentleman and widely known in the North, became much affected and burst into tears.
The Registrar, in informing Mr Dixon that his examination was concluded said - "I hope you will be a rich man yet, Mr Dixon."
20th April - UNSANITARY DWELLING.
Annie Stapleton was fined 2s 6d for not conforming with an order made by the Skelton Local Board to close a certain property which
was deemed not fit for habitation and Jesse Gallimore was fined the same for occupying the place after having had notice to quit.
5s per day would have to be paid for each day the place was tenanted after the next 7 days.
Defendant,who was very deaf, said the place was let as a stable and Gallimore paid nothing for his lodgings.
27th April - CLOTHES LINE THEFT - BIRCH ROD.
This morning at Guisborough Police Court children, Mary Ellen Mounsey, aged 15, and James Henry Mounsey, aged 11, of New Skelton were
charged with stealing 3 sheets, the property of Mr D T Petch and Benjamin Lewis at Hobdale on the 20th.
They were further charged along with John Robert Mounsey, aged 12, with the same offence at Guisborough in January.
Sgt Thomas Imeson of Skelton proved the case.
The children all pleaded guilty and said they pawned the stolen articles and divided the money.
The Bench said the mother was to blame and they were sorry that they could not punish her.
Mary Ellen would be detained in prison for 21 days and afterwards would be sent to a reformatory for 5 years. The elder boy would receive
9 strokes with the birch rod and the younger 6.
Mrs Rules, pawnbroker, was reprimanded for the careless way in which she conducted her business and warned if she were not more careful
she would probably find some difficulty in getting her license.
7th May 1886. - SAD FATALITY.
Mr A Buchanan, Coroner, held an enquiry today at the Green Inn, Skelton into the circumstances attending the death of Annie Elizabeth Dale, at Priestcroft Farm on Thursday.
The first witness was Thomas Dale, who said the deceased was his daughter and was 19 years old. So far as he know his daughter had been happy with her master and mistress and the other servants.
Jane Anne Irving, a domestic servant at the farm was next examined. She said that she and the deceased commenced yesterday to clean the house.
During the two years she had been in the service of Mr Petch the two guns which the jury had seen were always kept in the cupboard.
She had never received any particular order to clean the guns.
The guns were cleaned by the man, but when they were through cleaning they gave the guns a dust. She never knew the guns were loaded and she supposed the deceased did not know either.
The only words that passed between herself and deceased whilst cleaning the cupboard was the she said "Do be careful of the guns".
Ann, the deceased, was on the floor cleaning the gun when it exploded. On hearing the roport witness turned round and saw the deceased lying on the floor with blood spouting from her breast.
Dr Dunn said the shot struck the center of the third rib on the right side and pierced the main artery.
Reverend Robert James Ellis MA.|
Rector of Skelton, 1886 - 1911.
Mr Petch said he did not know when the gun was last fired. He kept it generally loaded.
The Coroner cleared the court except for the police and jury and recalled Mr Petch.
The summing up took place in private and at the conclusion of the enquiry the girl's father was called into the room to hear the result read over.
The decision arrived at was that death was caused accidentally.
26th May - HEZEKIAH HAD A LITTLE LAMB.......ITS HEAD WAS BEATEN IN....
Thomas and Hezekiah Brown, father and son, were brought up, charged with stealing a lamb, the property of Mr Thomas Petch, from Crow-wood field, Skelton on the 13th.
Robert Easton deposed that he was a shepherd in the employment of Mr Thomas Petch of Barns Farm, Skelton. On the 13th he counted the sheep and found 14 ewes and 17 lambs.
He again counted the flock in the morning of the 14th and found a lamb missing. He was afterwards shown a lamb by Sgt Imeson and PC Brough.
He took the lamb to its mother and she recognised it.
Brough said that on the night in question, whilst in the vicinity of Park Pit, Skelton, he observed the prisoners carrying something behind them.
He spoke to them and asked what they had, when the elder prisoner said, "That", producing a lamb tied in a apron.
At the Police Station, after being cautioned, Thomas Brown said he did not go to steal the lamb. It made a rush and hurt itself against the rails and could not stand.
The Younger prisoner said he did not steal the lamb. His father killed the lamb by beating it over the head with a file.
Prisoners were committed for trial.
29th May - QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY - NEW RECTOR.
The Church bells rung out merrily on Monday in honour of the Queen's Birthday.
On Friday the Rev R J Ellis, St John's College, Cambridge, was inducted to the rectory of Skelton, the 21st, by the Rev B Irvin of Saltburn acting on behalf of the Ven Archdeacon Yeoman. The new rector read himself in on Sunday morning.
Victorian Florin = 2 shillings. |
12 pence = 1 shilling. 20 shillings = 1 pound.
1st June - FLORIN PICKPOCKETS.
Minnie Richmond and Mary Ann Smith were charged by William Mitchinson, a labourer of Skelton, with stealing 2 florins from him on the
It appeared that on the evening in question the 3 of them went into the Mermaid Inn at Guisborough and whilst there Mitchinson
gave each of the females 4 pence and a glass of beer.
Smith went out and Richmond took the money from his pocket. Both prisoners were committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions at
5th June - HALF KETTLED FOR NORTH SKELTON "FIVES".
On Saturday last a "Fives" handicap was played at North Skelton for a copper kettle, given by Mr Middleton, Royal Hotel, Brotton. There were 36 entries and after some very exciting games it was divided between W Harding, North Skelton and E Thompson of Lingdale. A large number of spectators witnessed the games.
12th June - VOLUNTEERS PARADE AND CAMP.
The members of the Skelton Company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment attended a church parade on Sunday, under command of Major Yeoman and Lieut Hamilton.
There was a good muster witnessed by a number of people. The Band played to and from Church under the leadership of Cpl Winter.
The Company go into Camp today, Saturday, on the Race Course, Scarborough, for a week.
800 of the 850 strength of the Battalion attended with 11 Companies arriving by special train from all parts of the N Riding.
12th June - CLEVELAND MINERS' DEMONSTRATION.
The 15th Annual Demonstration of this Association was held on Wednesday in a field belonging to Mr Stephen Emmerson of Hollybush Farm, Skelton.
The weather being everything that could be desired a large number of people assembled.
Mr J Toyn, President ascended the platform, followed by Mr E Beecham, Eston, Mr C Hobbs, Mr R Rowland, Secretary and Mr J Arch, MP, Mr J Wilson, MP and others belonging to the Association.
The first resolution was relative to Local Self Government and the next on Trades Unions. Both were enthusiastically carried.
1st July - HARD LABOUR FOR LAMB BATTERY.
At the Yorks Assizes James Brown, a miner aged 37 and his son, Hesekiah Brown, aged 16, were indicted for stealing a lamb, the property of Thomas Petch of Skelton.
It was stated here that they took it from Park Pit Field, Skelton. Hezekiah confessed that his father had battered in its head with a file. The family had not tasted flesh meat for some weeks.
Found guilty and sentenced to 6 months and 1 month prison with hard labour respectively.
3rd July - THE 11TH COMMANDMENT - THOU SHALT NOT BOOZE.
The Independent Order of Good Templars Cleveland District Lodge met for its 40th session in the Primitive Methodist Chapel , Skelton on Wednesday.
[This order had been in existence since 1832 and was a temperance society, which had been established to fight against the evils of alcohol.]
The Chief Templar's report showed that the District was in a healthy condition with a membership of 956 and a juvenile section of 1229, with £1 5s 4d and three farthings in the kitty.
A public tea was held, after which the members clothed in Regalia marched through the village headed by the Skelton Brass Band.
3rd July - THE NORTH SKELTON WESLEYANS.
The Anniversary was held on Sunday. In the afternoon a service of song entitled "Jessica's First Prayer" was given by the choir.
In the evening the children recited pieces, assisted by the choir. Miss Spires presided at the harmonium.
Many people were unable to gain admittance, the place being so full.
On Monday evening a public meeting was held in the Chapel, the chief attraction was a dialogue by 19 teachers.
On Saturday last the scholars and friends of the Sunday School held their annual picnic at Kilton in a field kindly lent by Mr C Farndale.
Through the kindness of the mine-owners, Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan & Co, they were conveyed in 4 wagons.
17th July - CURATE LEAVES.
The Rev E B Frankel has been the curate of Skelton for about 5 years and has made himself a favourite by his geniality and kind manner. He leaves to take up the living of Thorley, Isle of Wight.
He resided a long time at Jerusalem, Damascus and Tunis and his papers to the literary clubs of Skelton and Brotton were very racy and instructive and will be much missed.
1st to 27th July - GENERAL ELECTION.
The Cleveland Division was retained by Henry Fell Pease, Liberal, but nationally there was a great reversal.
The Question about Irish Home Rule had caused a split in the Liberal Party. The Unionist section sided with Lord Salisbury's Conservative
Party giving them a combined 393 seats against William Gladstone's Liberals 192. The Irish Parliamentary Party had 85.
York Lunatic Asylum, Bootham, York.
21st July - LUNATIC ASYLUM.
George Harrison of Skelton, aged 58 was found hanged in York County Lunatic Asylum.
People from this area, who were certified as insane by the local doctor were taken the 60 miles to the Lunatic Asylum at York.
An example of this can be seen as early as the Overseers of Skelton Book for the 1820's decade.
A magnificent building at York had been promoted with the best intentions by the Archbishop of York and completed by 1777.
It's applied Tuscan columns, pediment and fashionable Venetian windows, were reported in the press as Ďan elegant and expensive affairí,
but it didnít please everyone.
William Mason, a Precentor at the Minster, wrote that its extravagant design was a waste of public money and suggested it should instead be
advertised as Ďa lunatic hotelí.
However, the study of the disturbed mind was little understood.
As with much corruption, still much reported today in the lack of care and abuse of the old and incapable, it was later discovered that
despite its grandiose exterior there were many examples of patients held in terrible squalor and abused with physical and sexual violence
by those in charge.
22nd July. Henry Shepherd of Skelton aged 16 was buried in the Churchyard. Coroners inquest verdict - run over.
22nd July - LUXURY OF LAW.
An old labourer of Skelton, named Andrews was sued by Mr William Robinson, solicitor, for £6 15s 11d at the Darlington County Court.
Andrews admitted that he had engaged the solicitor to investigate the title to a certain property, but he had agreed to be paid by
the results. Solicitor denied this.
The old man was in receipt of an annuity of £20 per annum. His Honour ordered the claim to be paid. "If you indulge in the luxury of law,
you must pay for it."
10th August - DESERTING FAMILY.
George White of Skelton was charged with neglecting to maintain his wife and children. The Relieving Officer stated that defendant
was living 80 miles away at Leeds and was in company with another woman. Case adjourned for a week.
18th August - PAYS TO ADVERTISE WORKHOUSE.
At a meeting of the Guisborough Guardians 2 weeks ago the Workhouse Master, Mr Sillcock, reported that he had advertised in the morning
local papers for situations for Workhouse boys, and stated that he had received no replies whatever.
He therefore asked to advertise in the North Eastern Daily Gazette. The suggestion created considerable conversation and one member said
that the Gazette was not taken by the class of person likely to require the services of Workhouse boys.
Mr R P Petch of Skelton, however, thought differently. Yesterday the Master reported 2 of the boys had obtained suitable situations.
23rd August - STOPPAGE OF NORTH SKELTON MINES.
The workmen employed at Messrs Bolckow, Vaughan and Co's North Skelton mines have received notice and the mines will be laid in.
For a considerable time most of the Cleveland miners have been working short time and consequently the wages earned have not been such
as to enable the miners to save anything for the proverbial rainy day.
The closing will affect 250 men and boys besides women and children which will bring the number up to nearly 1000. It is to be feared that
the restrictive policy will considerably affect other mines in the district.
For some weeks past batches of men and their wives and families have left Cleveland for America and elsewhere.
Where this has caused the house to be left tenantless it has been boarded up by the employers who are not inclined to set on fresh hands.
30th August - MUGGED AT MIDDLESBROUGH.
Edward McIntee and James Maddigan, labourers, were charged with stealing 3s 11d in money, the property of Edward Hill, a miner of
North Skelton on the 28th. Hill was at Middlesbrough searching for lodgings, when he was accosted by the 2 prisoners, who took
him up a dark passage in Newcastle Row and robbed him Sentenced to 3 months hard labour each.
4th September - NORTH SKELTON MINE STOPPAGE.
The 14 day notice given to the miners employed at North Skelton terminated today and this afternoon 230 men and boys ceased work.
Yesterday the boring machines were drawn to bank and today after the whole of the stone has been taken out of the pit the horses will
be brought out and sent to Eston.
Longacres will continue to work as usual. All the other mineowners were agreeable to a suggestion
by the Miners Association to share the work between mines, but not Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan, the owners of North Skelton. The
mineowners promised to consider a reduction in house rents and the price of coals and powder.
8th September - DRUNK DRIVER.
G Lewis, a coal leader, was fined including the costs 24 shillings for being drunk whilst in charge of a horse and cart at Skelton
on the 30th.
9th September - SHORT TIME IN THE MINES.
The majority of the married men lately employed at the North Skelton mines, which have been laid idle have been engaged to work short
time at Longacres.
At all other mines short time is being worked rather than dismissing hands, but a large number of miners are leaving the district, a good
many of them emigrating.
17 September - RESTARTING OF THE NORTH SKELTON MINES - BREACH OF AGREEMENT.
The President of the Cleveland Miners Association, Mr Joseph Toyn, addressed a meeting of the North Skelton and Long Acres miners last
evening at the Bull's Head Inn, North Skelton.
Mr Toyn said the meeting was convened to consider a proposal to reopen the North Skelton Mine at a reduction of 1 penny per ton.
That was a breach of the sliding scale agreement, one clause of which was to the effect that no alteration could be made during the currency
of the agreement, in the rate of wages unless the mining conditions or appliances were changed so as to affect the facilities of working
with the right to submit any dispute for the decision of the Joint Committee...
They would remember that a short time since the mine-owners agreed to reduce the output.
In order to keep the men together he had tried to induce the minowners not to discharge any of their men, but to share the work as equally
as possible and with the exception of Messrs Bolckow and Vaughan the other firms in the district had made arrangements to share the work.
He had personally begged Mr W Richards to do the same, but his representations had been of no avail and he was finally told that nothing
could be done and ultimately the North Skelton Mine was closed under the pretence of complying with the mineowners proposal to reduce the
The manager, Mr Thompson, recently told him that the North Skelton miners had 1 penny per tone more than those employed at Lumpsey and
he had also been informed that the charge-men and machine tenders were getting from 8s 2d per day and that the fillers were earning
4s 5d per shift, which he very much disputed.
It was also said that the fillers average had gone up from 12 tons 3cwt per day to 15 tons 3 cwt.
If Mr Thompson was allowed to break through the sliding scale agreement with impunity, what was to prevent the other mineowners in the
district enforcing a reduction in the same way ?
He said that if the tactics of Mr Thompson were going to be carried out they would have like Mr Parnell and his followers to move all
He hoped the time would come when the action of Mr Thompson would recoil upon his own head.
A unanimous vote was taken in favour of the action taken by Mr Toyn. We understand that the machine men and charge men will commence
work this morning.
26th October - MINERS' WAGES.
A meeting of the miners resolved to appeal the action of Bolckow Vaughan in that they brought about a reduction of wages other than
through the sliding scale or the Joint Committee. It was decided in their favour which has given great satisfaction throughout the
District. Otherwise a bad precedent would be set.
21st September - HUNTING ACCIDENT.
Bergan Shutt, stud groom at Skelton Castle in the employ of Mr W H A Wharton, the master of the Cleveland Hunt, met with a serious
accident in the hunting field. While out with the hounds near Brotton his horse got its foot in a rabbit hole and threw its rider
over its head and broke his thigh. He was taken to the Miners' Hospital at Skelton Green.
23rd October - SECOND HELPINGS.
A public meeting at Skelton, with Mr Toyn in the Chair, heard an account of the troubles at Guisborough Workhouse.
Towards the end the Workhouse porter, William Morris, was hustled up to the platform amid shouts of "Hang him" and "Throw him out of the
He was accused of for over 2 years dining every night at the Workhouse at the expense of the Workhouse. This assertion was
11th Nov. - MINE DEATH, ROOF FALL.
Longacres Mine. Charles Cranmer, a miner aged 45 of Brotton, was killed.
"Fall of stone from a smooth back while he was drilling a hole in it; it fell without warning"
At the inquest in the Bull's Head Hotel, North Skelton, John Pratt said that he had worked with the deceased for about 8 years.
They sounded the place and found it all right on Thursday morning. They fired a shot at 7 a.m, bored another hole and were
commencing to fill stone when a quantity about 19 hundredweight fell from the side on Cranmer causing instant death.
13 November - SCHOOL SALARIES.
The salaries of pupil teachers was fixed at £10 for the first year, to be increased by £2 10s each year.
A new headmistress was to be appointed to the Stanghow Lane Girls School at a salary of £75 per year.
13th November - TEMPERANCE.
The Church of England Temperance Society held their first public meeting in Cleveland on Friday evening in the Drill Shed, Skelton.
17th November - NORTH SKELTON MINE RESTARTS.
Mr Toyn and nearly all the men met the Manager Mr Thomson and it was agreed to re-open the mine at once at the original tonnage rate
and leave the dispute in the hands of the Arbitration Board. This is what the miners wanted all along and the mine will have a
share of work in all the mines owned by Bolckow and Vaughan.
2nd December - WORKHOUSE DISTRESS.
There at present 160 persons in the Guisborough Union, a larger number than for some years. There are also 30 married men working
at the labour test 4 days per week at 1s 6d per day.
17 of them walk from Skelton to Guisborough [4 miles] every morning and 2 from Commondale.
The Relieving Officer states that there are a great many very pitiful cases indeed in the district.
14th December - DOG AND RABBIT.
G Smith, G Burden, William Hudson, James Oliver and John Osborn, all miners, were charged by PC Gospel Brough with trespassing in
pursuit of game on land belonging to Mr J T Wharton at Skelton on the 3rd.
The officer stated that he was on duty in West-lane when he observed the defendants with 2 terrier dogs. The went down the road and one
of the dogs found a rabbit opposite Skelton Castle. Defendants hounded the dog on to the rabbit. Osborn and Hudson fined 10s and costs and
the rest 5s each and costs.
ENGRAVED SPIRIT BOTTLES.
The photographs and the following information about the bottles has been kindly contributed by Josie Bland of Skelton, a descendant of the Emmersons.
Stephen Emmerson, "The Miners' Friend", who figures large in many of these webpages lived at Hollybush Farm at this time.
His sister Alice had an illegitimate son, John, who lived at the Farm with Stephen and his other sister, Hannah Emmerson.
In those days when bastardy brought family shame, John was seemingly looked upon more as a younger brother, [which is how he appears on the Family Tree], than a Nephew.
Three children of John's first marriage found their way to Hollybush Farm when their mother died in 1873, the youngest, John Foster Emmerson, arrived in 1884 aged 14, when his father died, and remained there until he married in
1895. His great grandson, yet another Stephen Emmerson, inherited the bottles but knew nothing about them apart from the information that they were engraved by a man with no arms.
This Great Grandson contacted Josie in 2017 and brought them to be photographed.
As can be seen, one is in the name of Stephen and the other of Hannah. Considering they must have been created in the 1880s with just a sharp metal point, they are wonderful pieces of amateur art.
It was probably Stephen and Hannah, who changed the name of the farm to Hollybush, as it appears otherwise on old maps, and the holly leaf is the main decoration.
Creatures seen around the farm appear elsewhere, a somewhat flat faced dog with a bone, a ferret, a hen, a swallow and a swan or goose.
Stephen's bottle has an image of Skelton's New All Saints Church. In 1886 the Church was just 2 years old and the place where his funeral would be held the following year.
Two Crowns, diamond shapes and a hexagram appear elsewhere.
It is tempting to read some deeper significance into these, as the latter is the Star of David with connections to Free Masonry and much else, but maybe just the engraver's imagination.