SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1932 ~ 1935

1932


11 Jan 1932.
CHURCH MEMORIAL TO EDWARD HAMILTON.
A memorial window to Major E. Hamilton has been placed in the Parish Church Skelton-in-Cleveland. It was unveiled at morning service yesterday by Colonel W. H. A. Wharton, Skelton Castle.

CLEVELAND QUARRYMEN AND MINERS ASSOCIATION was incorporated into the General and Municipal Workers Union.

6th October.
SKELTON CELLAR EXPLOSION - GROCER SEVERELY BURNED.
As Mr W A Thubron, wine, spirit, grocer and provision merchant of 5 High St, Skelton in Cleveland entered a cellar under his shop premises about noon yesterday a violent explosion occurred.
Mr Thubron was badly burned about the head, face and hands.
Assisted by Mrs Thubron he managed to scramble up the cellar steps and had to be attended by a doctor.
The force of the explosion, which was heard and felt for a great distance completely wrecked the shop front.
It blew the glass of a large window to atoms and also destroyed the framework.
Some outbuildings at the rear of the premises were demolished and windows on the first floor were broken.
A fire broke out amonghst the contents of the cellar and within 2 minutes Skelton and Brotton Urban Council's Fire Brigade, with their Fire Engine, were on the scene and under the direction of Capt Mackenzie soon overcame the outbreak.
Mr Arthur R Cranmer, Surveyor to the Council, Sergt Binks and other Police Officers gave assistance in fighting the outbreak.
Much damage was done to the premises and shop stock, all of which is covered by insurance.
As to the cause of the explosion, at first it was thought that a petrol filling station attached to the business had blown up.
Mr Cranmer expressed the opinion that gas had accumulated in the cellar and exploded as Mr Thubron entered.
It was most fortunate that the petrol tank did not become involved in the explosion or fire as it was only yesterday morning filled up.
Mr Richard Baker, assistant Clerk to the Council, had, so it is understood, a narrow escape as he moved away from the front of the premises only a few seconds before the window was blown out.
The affair caused much excitement in the village.

1933
3rd January.
NO MORE TRAINS AT SKELTON.
Passenger train services ceased to North Skelton [Hollybush] Station.

30th January.
HITLER COMES TO POWER IN GERMANY.
Taking advantage of the fear of Communism and the economic depression Adolph Hitler came to power and was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Germany left the League of Nations.

9 out of 10 DO NOT HAVE A JOB.
In the Skelton area the proportion of the workforce registered as unemployed under the National Insurance scheme reached 91 percent.

24th February 1933, Snow Plough clearing road to Moorsholm.



27th February - CLEVELAND VILLAGES CUT OFF.
Conditions were still very bad for traffic in Cleveland over the week-end, although there was considerable alleviation yesterday.
Bus services over the moors were cancelled and telephone services disorganised on account of the blizzard.
During the week-end scores of men, chiefly unemployed were engages clearing the snow-blocked roads. In Skelton and Brotton urban area between 50 and 60 men were busy yesterday on the Lingdale to Moorsholm and Brotton to Lingdale roads which were full.

13th April - North Eastern Daily Gazette.
Heartbreak Hill - TRANSFORMATION. [see entry for the year 1931]
A year ago bare moorland giving perhaps a few days eatage to an occasional sheep, now some ten acres of productive market garden, sixty frames, six chicken houses, goat houses, pig sties, twenty beehives [all home made] and last, but certainly not least, between sixty and seventy men hare at work.
Clearing the land has been a really tough job.


It was all very rough and full of rocks, tree stumps, rushes, broom, bracken, heather and all kinds of troubles and it needed draining too.
[Visiting students, both English and German had helped in the clearance. A local story has it that among them was William Joyce, the infamous Lord Haw Haw, who broadcast scornful messages for Nazi Germany during the Second World War and was hanged for his treason.] Nothing has been wasted the rocks have been spLit up and made into goat houses and roads and the bracken used for thatch.
There has been no immediate cash reward for this, but fortunately in each of the three branches of the Unemployed Cleveland Miners Association there have been men who resolved to see through the difficult time when membership was all work and very little for it.

On the 16th February HRH Prince George, who was later killed in a flying accident during the War, visited Heartbreak Hill.
Major Perryman the instigator of the scheme obtained a 21 year lease from Skelton Castle Estate for the three sites of production, Heartbreak Hill, Dartmoor and Busky Fields, but in the last years of the decade re-armament brought a new need for iron and steel and the men returned to work in the Mines.

16th September.
TWO ACRES OF GRASSLAND DESTROYED AT SKELTON.
Almost 2 acres of grass and young trees on a sloping piece of land at the side of Apple Orchard bank, Skelton were destroyed by fire on Saturday.
As soon as the outbreak was discovered the police summoned voluntary helpers and almsost 30 men attempted to beat out the blaze.
Squire Wharton of Skelton Castle and his daughter, Mrs Ringrose, were on the scene of the fire.

Skelton and Brotton UDC Fever Hospital situated on the road between Lingdale and Kilton closed down and contents sold.




Skelton and Brotton Fire Brigade attended and water was drawn from the mill race. Fire Superintendent Cranmer was in charge.
The land, which is a short distance from the road adjoins the Saltburn golf links and is part of the Zetland Estate.

21st September.
SALTBURN LANE BUNGALOW ON FIRE - BRIGADE BREAK WINDOW.
Skelton and Brotton UDC Fire Brigade yesterday received a call to a fire in a bungalow occupied by Mr and Mrs Robert W Armstrong.
When the Brigade arrived they found the house locked up and no one at home.
Access was gained by breaking the front window. The outbreak was found in the kitchen, which was filled with dense smoke.
Fanned by the draught when the window was broken the smouldering articles burst into flames and burned fiercely.
The Brigade prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the bungalow, but not before much damage was done to the contents of the kitchen.
Amongst other things destroyed was a valued grandfather's clock. It is thought that the fire originated with an electric cooker.
Mr T Brown, a neighbour, raised the alarm.


Skelton Fire Engine outside the old Fire Station at the bottom of Green Road.
The only person identified to date is George Judson, who ran the Royal George from 1941 to 1961, on the Left of the 4 men standing behind the water hose.
The man sitting next to the driver is almost certainly A. R. Cranmer, Surveyor to the Council, and Superintendent of the Fire Brigade at this time.
The instruction on the Station door is - 'TO CALL BRIGADE -Break glass and ring bell'
See page 79 of Skelton Stories, 'Skelton on Fire', for another later photograph of this same vehicle with trailer pump attached.



November 6th.
SKELTON SURVEYOR NOT ALLOWED TO JOIN THE FORCES.
At last night's meeting of the Skelton and Brotton UDC, over which Mr D W Dixon presided, an application from Mr A R Cranmer [acting Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector] for permission to join H M Forces was considered at some length.
The general view expressed was that seeing Sergt R S Moon, the Surveyor [who was present at the meeting, prior to leaving for the Continent, he having received permission to serve in the Sanitary Corps] had obtained leave of absence and that Mr Cranmer was undertaking his own and the Surveyor's duties, he would be doing his duty by statying at home and discharging a necessary public work.
A resolution was unanimously adopted to the effect that Mr Cranmer was considered indispensable.

LAST COUPLE TO BE MARRIED AT SKELTON OLD ALL SAINTS CHURCH.
25th December - The Golden Wedding of the last couple to be married in Skelton Old Church [reportedly].
Richard and Emma Thorpe [nee Leeks].
Their son Richard Matthew Thorpe had been killed in the First War on the 18th June 1918, aged 20.
Ten years later they were to die within hours of each other, Richard aged 82 and Emma 78. They had a "double funeral".
[Information and newspaper cutting kindly contributed by their Great Grand-daughter, Dorothy Harris of Saltburn by Sea, N Yorks.]


PARK PIT - GOLD WATCH AWARD.
Robert Flower, at this time was a single man, aged 22 and a Miner at Park Pit.
At the National Register made in 1939 Robert was still single and living at 1 Harker Street, Skelton Green with his Dad, William Edward, aged 51, born in Skelton, and his mother Magaret E, aged 49, born in Lazenby, N Yorks.
Two younger children were still living with them, Thomas, 17, a "Farm Labourer, Pig Breeder and Poulterer at Home" and Winsome May, 14, Unpaid Domestic Duties.
His older sister Gertrude and brother James had left home.
As had his brother William "Tiger" Flower, who was to die, age 27, in Egypt in 1940, while serving with the Royal Engineers.
He is buried at El Alamein.
See the page for this year and his Memorial page here.
You would guess that the watch was an award for some special deed. Perhaps local newspapers will tell us more when they become available.
Fattorini & Sons, were a National firm of precious metal workers, who interestingly made the FA Cup that was used from 1911 to 1992.

Skelton 1st Wolf Cubs in 1933.
Those identified are Charles Holmes, centre row fourth from the Left.
The lady standing on the Right in the back is Ethel Pigg, Herbert's sister, who was the Akela for a number of years.
Standing on her Right is Alan Richardson, and third from the Right in the Middle Row is his younger brother, Denis.
These two were the sons of Herbert's sister, Dorothy Ellen.

[Photograph kindly contributed by Charles' son, Chris of Carshalton Surrey.]

1934


SKELTON CHURCH ORGAN REBUILT.
The Church organ in Skelton All Saints was rebuilt at a cost of 385 to commemorate the Jubilee of George V.

2nd May.
APARTMENTS TO LET.
Terms moderate; near the sea and the moor. Apply Watson. Gashouse, Claphow, Skelton. Cleveland. Tel.- Skelton 10.

4th September.
PARSON WANTS A HOUSEKEEPER.
Under a good cook; bachelor's house, housemaid kept. Apply to Rector, Skelton-ln-Cleveland.

14th December.
MINERS HAVE TO WORK ON BOXING DAY AND EASTER MONDAY -
WHY SHOULD COUNCIL WORKMEN HAVE A HOLIDAY ?
Skelton and Brotton UDC's workmen are to get holidays on these days, in spite of a recommendation to the contrary from a special sub-committee, whose report was considered and amended at the monthly meeting of the Council last Thursday.
It was revealed during the discussion that the report, copies of which were not given to the Press, dealt with the working conditions of the employees and advocated:-
1. That Easter Monday and Boxing Day should not be regarded as special holidays.
2. That the workmen whould normally retire at 65 years of age.
3. That the Clerk to the Council should be appointed Chief Executive Officer over the other officials.


These 3 points raised were discussed at length. The first was defeated, the second approved and the third referred back for consideration.
Mr H C R Morris [He was the Castle Estate Agent and known by local lads as "Rubberneck"] in support of the sub-committee's recommendation opposing the inclusion of Boxing Day and Easter Monday as additional holidays for Council workmen, said that other local authorities did not give their employees such holidays.
"If anyone thinks that we are well enough off to give a lead to Redcar and Saltburn and other authorities, I disagree", he said.
Mr Morris pointed out that the Council employees were given a week's summer holiday with pay and maintained that they were better off than Miners and Steelworkers of the District.
If the men in the pits wanted extra holidays they got no pay and yet it was suggested that these ratepayers should sweat themselves to pay a wage bill of 6,000 a year and get less value for it.
"There is not a single Miner or Steelworker in the District, who would not gladly exchange his job for a sheltered position on the Council," he added.
County Councillor, J R Johnson, protested that the principle of giving holidays on these days was only questioned when it was proposed to extend it to the working men.
Nothing was said about the Officials having the holidays. He saw no reason why officials should have one standard of consideration and workers another.
"Mr Morris has mentioned steelworkers. I am one of the lower paid steelworkers, but I do not begrudge our Council workmen the extra holidays.
It is one thing we trade unionists have been fighting for for years and the Miners are fighting for the same privilege.
If we refuse it to the Council's workmen, because we have so far failed ourselves, it is a proper dog-in-the-manger attitude."

A plea for equal treatment for workers and officials was made by Mr M Kirkbright, who said they would lose nothing by treating their men well.


The better the understanding and sympathy between them the better the results would be. As a public body it was the Council's duty to set an example in the treatment of its staff to other organisations.
Mr R Young contended that the workmen were already well treated. Considering the type of work they did and the holidays already granted them, he thought they were getting a fair deal.
Mr E W Oxborough echoed previous statements in favour of the workmen.
Mr T Coatsworth referred to the question of equality and said he was willing to support a suggestion that neither workmen nor officials were to be given the extra holidays.
Mr G W Simpson and Mr J Morgan deplored the taking of "such a retrograde step". It would be better to bring the workmen up to the standard of the officials.
The Council voted to give the extra holidays by 12 to 6.
Those for were Messrs M Kirkbright, J Morgan jun, R Morgan, J Morgan, E Ringrose, E W Oxborough, J I Howe, J Garthside, J Duffey, J R Johnson, G W Simpson and T G Ward.
Those against were Messrs W H Bottomley, E Scarth, T Coatsworth, H C R Morris, R Young and M Hatfield.
The voting was recorded in the Minutes at the request of several members.
A suggestion in the report that workmen should normally retire at 65 received some opposition, but an amendment that the retiring age be raised to 70 was defeated.
It was made clear that retirement at 65 would not be rigidly enforced and where any hardship would arise elasticity in interpretation would be exercised.


Skelton Cross Green about this time.

1935


February.
UNEMPLOYED IGNORED -- COUNCIL NEPOTISM ALLEGED ?
Letters to the Gazette.
Sir, - Your correspondent, 'One Who Did Not Apply' asks why a single man in good steady employment was appointed by the Skelton and Brotton UDC to the post of Collector and why the Council's shortlist of candidates contained no names of unemployed.
The answer is simple and is a lesson to all unemployed.
The Socialist majority on the Council are responsible.
The Socialists pay a lot of lip service to the unemployed and trade upon their unfortunate position in the hopes of getting their votes, but when it comes to giving such a man a job there is nothing doing and the position probably goes to a relation or prespective relation of one of the Councillors.
An appropriate slogan for the Socialists would be - 'The unemployed want work, but we always give the job to our friends.'
The Skelton and Brotton voters should remember this at the next Council elections. Yours,
FAIRPLAY.

Sir - I would like to correct your two correspondents, on one statement they both made regarding the position of General Collector on the Skelton and Brotton UDC.
They appear to have been misinformed when they state that the 'Council's short list of candidates contained no names of unemployed'.
Although 5 out of 6 men on the short list were in steady employment, the other was a young man, who although possessing a Secondary education and a very good matriculation certificate, has been unable to secure a suitable post since he left schoool 3 years ago.
Although he is still entirely dependent on his father, who has been a local ratepayer for the past 20 years, the Council, which is supposed to hold Socialistic ideals, prefer to give a post to one of their less qualified friends than to a truly deserving unemployed man.
Yours,
A RATEPAYER.

SKELTON COUNCIL HAS NO HOME.
Though it has been in existence for 40 years or more, the Skelton and Brotton UDC is still without a permanent home.
It has offices in Skelton, which in front look like a small shop, at the rear like stables, and inside with their twisting and turn stairs and passages resemble a rabbit warren.


But it has no Council Chamber and its members must meet in borrowed halls to carry out their business.
A result is that it is a peripatetic body.
Sometimes it meets at Skelton and sometimes at North Skelton.
Whenever a meeting is held the officials must perforce pack into suitcases and bags the books and papers required for the transaction of the business and look like men hard-pressed with duties, who are off on holiday, but afraid to leave their work behind.
Every other Council in neighbouring areas have Municipal Offices with Council Chambers of pleasing aspect and furnished with befitting dignity.
In comparison Skelton and Brotton's arrangements are makeshift and shabby.
It is understood that at one time they had a large, good looking, and eminently suitable building offered to them on very favourable terms, but the Council had not the courage to spend the money.

6th May. JUBILEE OF GEORGE V.
Street parties and celebrations were held all over Britain.
In Skelton locals performed a Pageant celebrating British History in the grounds of the Castle.

7th June - PM RAMSAY MACDONALD RESIGNED. and Stanley Baldwin headed the National Coalition with a strong Conservative element.
MacDonald retired in 1937 and died later the same year.




Pageant at Skelton Castle 1935 to celebrate George V Jubilee.

September - AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS.
Prime Minister, Baldwin, published a circular entitled Air Raid Precautions.
The Government clearly sensed a threat ahead, but at this stage local authorities were only asked to consider plans to protect their people in event of a war.

September - REDUCED RATES - GRATIFYING NEWS.
Skelton and Brotton UDC were able to lower the general rate for the second half of the financial year.
Skelton 5s 7d, Stanghow 5s 5d, Brotton 5s 7d, Kilton 5s 6d, Moorsholm 5s 8d.
A decrease of one penny and Moorsholm twopence.

19th October - HOLLYBUSH, SKELTON COULD BECOME A 'GARDEN CITY'
Local Gazette:-

Skelton and Brotton UDC are certainly not allowing the grass to grow under their feet on the question of over-crowding in the area, a matter which, as I have said before demands attention.
Immediately following the receipt of a report from the Medical Officer of Health a layout plan of a proposed housing site, with provision for the erection of 55 houses is submitted to the local Authority by the Surveyor [Mr Arthur R Cranmer].
The site chosen adjoins Station Lane and might easily develop into a miniature garden city and be a considerable asset to the development of the District.
The idea that Skelton is an admirable district for development as a residential centre has long been held by the local Ratepayers' Association and was stressed last April by Mr William Frankland, at a quarterly meeting of that body, when he said:-
"There is not a better district than Skelton, which needs development."
Mr Frankland contended that not being far from Saltburn, the village might easily become as fashionable as that resort and builders ought to be encouraged to come into the District.
I quite agree.
A near neighbour puts forward its claim to being ideally situated 'twixt moor and sea, while extensive stretches of heather lie at it very back door.
There is no need for the village to hide its light u nder a bushel and this proposal for a housing scheme to meet the District's own requirements from overcrowding might be followed by more housing sites becoming available.

14th November - GENERAL ELECTION.
The National Government, now led by the Conservative, Stanley Baldwin, won with a large, but reduced, majority.
Conservative - 386. Clement Attlee's Labour - 154. The Liberals, who were now led by ex-Cleveland MP, Herbert Samuel continued their decline with just 21 seats held.
In Cleveland the Conservative, Robert Tatton-Bower retained his seat and as this was the last election until after the Second World War he remained the MP for Cleveland until Clement Atlee's Labour Government took over in 1945.

November.
SKELTON BLIND CORNERS.
Blind corners are always a possible source of danger and two places where roads enter on Skelton High Street are dangerous in this respect.
They have seen many accidents mostly to cyclists during the past summer, which in one case proved fatal.
Each time an accident has occureed people have said, and the opinion has been general throughout the village, that 'something must be done', about these corners.
The danger element is increased by the fact that both corners are at the foot of steep hills and enter on to a busy bus route.
But in one instance that something is to be done.
An Inspector from the Ministry of Transport, after viewing the site has recommended a 60 percent grant towards the cost of the improvement of the corner at the junction of High St and Hills Road.
And a satisfactory agreement has been reached that the remaining 40 percent of the cost should be borne equally by the local Urban Authority and the County Council.
The news will be joyfully received by the people of Skelton and District and to think that one source of danger has been eliminated is a fact for which to be thankful, even if it has needed a fatality to bring the matter into urgent recognition.
But at the same time it does seem that precautionary measures might have been taken a step further and a grant been recommended in respect of the corner at the junction of Green Bank and the Guisborough to Whitby road at Cross Green.
But then, I suppose, a fatality had not yet occureed there. Officialdom waits for the hand of death to bring home more clearly the danger factor.

November.
SKELTON FIRE BRIGADE WIN THE CUP AND GET LIT UP.
Fire fighting was forgotten for an evening when the Guisborough and Skelton and Brotton Fire Brigades met for a celebration of their success in the competitions at the recent Guisborough Carnival.
In the fire brigade competitions Skelton and Brotton ran out winners and were awarded a silver cup and gold medals.
Guisborough were a good second and received silver medals.
Mr A R Cranmer, superintendent of the Skelton Brigade, presided and a very happy and convivial evening in which talk was certainly not 'shop' was enjoyed by the 30 fire-fighters.
Mr Cranmer expressed the opinion that the inhabitants of both townships had been delighted with the work carried out by the two Brigades.
The Celebration took the form of a pie supper. Contests between the 2 Brigades in Billiards and other games added to the jollity of the evening.

November.
FEVER HOSPITAL COMPLAINT.
At Skelton and Brotton UDC last night a complaint about fever hospital accommodation at Guisborough was made by Coun F M Hatfield.
He said that the position was not satisfactory by a long chalk. When they had their own little hospital there were no complaints.
He stated that a little boy had been taken away and came back in 3 weeks 'with a little spot on his nose'. After being at home 5 days his sister took scarlet fever and she was taken away for 4 weeks, but was now back home in bed.
The boy had later been noticed by a doctor and sent back to hospital.
He considered that the boy was not fit to come out after 3 weeks and there were other cases in the District. The Chairman, Coun J Morgan, who is a schoolmaster, explained the school point of view. They could not have a child back at School until 6 weeks had elapsed.
The Clerk suggested that a letter should be written to the Joint Hospital Committee and this course met with approval.

NEW COUNCIL ACCOMMODATION.
At the same Council meeting a sub-committee was appointed to consider the question of the provision of new meeting accommodation, new offices and other premises for all on the administrative activities of the Council.
In the past the Council has held its meetings at various building in the District and at present use North Skelton Institute.

RECREATION GROUND QUESTION.
Negotiations for the acquisition of a Recreation Ground in Saltburn Lane were reported.
A sub-committe recommended the acceptance of a 20 year's lease from Col Wharton, but to get a National Playing Fields Association grant a 99 year's lease is being asked for.

This photograph of Skelton High Street, taken from the top of the steps on the Hills, seems to have been taken in the 1920s/30s.
The large gable-end at the Left is the back of Skelton Literary Institute. The Halfpenny Bridge can be seen in the distance.
The Shop with the Sun shade and adverts has always been a Newsagents to my knowledge. The name on the end wall appears to be "B Robson".
If anyone has more information, please email the address on the Introduction Page.


Next Page - 1936 TO 1937.
Previous Page - 1927 TO 1931.
Contents Page.