Skelton History Group Walk – Biggles and the Zeppelins

Tuesday 15th October – (10) Biggles and the Zeppelins

Distance: 3 miles; Ascent 65ft; Duration: about 2-2½ hours

Meet at 10:30am in the Stray car park near Green Lane, Redcar (NZ 624 237). This easy-paced walk takes place on mostly level ground. There are two ladder styles to negotiate to cross the rail line. The heritage interest includes: the 1913 summer camp of the Northumberland & Durham Brigade of the Territorial Force, the WW1 RFC/RAF airfield, and the Sound Mirror for detecting incoming Zeppelins.

A charge of £2 per person will be made on each walk to offset the costs of Insurance. Please wear appropriate footwear and have clothing suitable for the likely weather conditions on that day. On the longer walks, it is suggested that you bring food and drink as we usually stop between midday and 1:00pm for a lunch break.

Further details can be had from: skeltonhistorygroup@gmail.com or by contacting Peter Appleton (Tel: 01287 281752)



Tees Scoria Brick Company – Wharton Arms Skelton

Blue tinged Scoria blocks are still a fairly common sight in the gutters around Cleveland as they were manufactured from molten blast furnace slag, a waste product that was available in huge quantities in our area.

Tees Scoria Brick Company - Patent - Skelton

Joseph Woodward first took out a patent in the mid 1870s for a machine for making blocks from molten blast furnace slag.

The Wharton Arms was built in 1878 so the bricks in the yard behind could be original examples from this early phase. Nearly all the blocks carry the name “Tees Scoria Company – Patent” where most examples in Cleveland are just plain.

Later 1877 US Patent

In 1893 the Institution of Mechanical Engineers visited the Tees Scoria Brick Co. at Cargo Fleet Iron Works and described a more advanced process :

The manufacture carried on at these works is that of slag blocks for paving. The plant comprises one rotating wheel, fitted with 140 moulds; and also eighteen kilns, each capable of holding 1,000 blocks. From twenty to thirty different sizes of blocks are made. By arrangement with the Cargo Fleet Iron Co. these works are carried on at U, Plate 55, within the boundary of the Cargo Fleet Iron Works.

1894 map showing kilns adjacent to blast furnaces.

The blocks were also manufactured at Skinningrove up until the 1950s.

Gisburne Bible

The Gisburne Bible was donated to Gisborough Priory in 1333 after a fire in 1289 had destroyed many of their books. It stayed there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries around 1540.

It subsequently passed through many hands before going to St John’s College Cambridge in 1635, where it has been kept ever since.

It can be viewed in Guisborough Library between September 26 and October 29 as part of the 900th Anniversary of Guisborough Priory events being organised by https://gisboroughprioryproject.org.uk

Marske Mosaic

This mosaic celebrating the heritage of Marske was unveiled in July 2019.

The mosaic was designed and built collectively by community groups, schoolchildren from Westgarth Primary School and Errington Primary School and artists Helen Jane Gaunt and Derek Mosey. The project was commissioned by local community group Marske in Bloom.

Marske Mosaic
Cliffe House – Holiday residence of local ironstone mine owners the Pease family.
Biplanes linked to Royal Flying Corps schools in Marske and the author Biggles books.
Marske Mosaic
St Germains Church tower location of Captain Cooks Fathers Grave
Scarecrow Festival
Marske Mosaic
Fisherman Choir
Marske Hall built in 1625
Maypole Dancers
Marske Mosaic
St Marks Church
Marske Mosaic
Winkies Castle Folk Museum (Jack Anderson and Winkie the cat)

Skelton History Group Walk – Skelton Park and Shaft mines

Monday 9th September – (11) Skelton Park and Shaft mines

Distance: 4½ miles; Ascent 500ft; Duration: 4½-5 hours

Meet at 10:30am at Skelton Methodist Community Church, Castle Grange, Skelton Green. Today, we will be walking from Skelton Green along a permissive footpath that would have been used by the ironstone miners to get to and from their place of work.

A charge of £2 per person will be made on each walk to offset the costs of Insurance. Please wear appropriate footwear and have clothing suitable for the likely weather conditions on that day. On the longer walks, it is suggested that you bring food and drink as we usually stop between midday and 1:00pm for a lunch break.

Further details can be had from: skeltonhistorygroup@gmail.com or by contacting Peter Appleton (Tel: 01287 281752)



Listen with EKCO Radio Ghostsign, Middlesbrough

EKCO (Eric Kirkham Cole Limited) produced TVs and Radios from 1924 until 1960 although the brand name lived on into the 1970s. This shop on Parliament Road was once an electrical shop.

Ecko Ghostsign, Parliament Road Middlesbrough
2019

The advert was revealed by the removal of a billboard around 2016 when it first appears on Google Streetview, it has visibly deteriorated since that point.

2016 Google Streetview

A complete copy of the same advert existed in Southamption, but this has since been hidden by a new building.

Oak Road Mosaic, Guisborough

An oak tree once stood in this place on Oak Road in Guisborough.

The mosaic was funded by the Youth Opportunity Fund and created by Glynis Johnson and local children.

Oak Road Mosaic, Guisborough

It was unveiled in 2008 but has unfortunately become damaged in the 11 years since then, I’ve been unable to find a good image of it new but it can be seen in 2009 on Google Maps in much better shape.

Skelton History Group Walk – Guisborough alum works

Sunday 18th August – (12) Guisborough alum works

Distance: 4 miles; Ascent 690ft; Duration: 4-4½ hours

Meet at 10:30am in the Fountain Street car park. This walk begins with a long, uphill stretch to get to the quarries that once formed part of Belman Bank alum works. Recent tree felling has made the extent of these quarries clearly visible. We will then walk through the wood to Cass Rock quarry, where further evidence of alum working can be seen. Our return route (downhill all the way!) will be via Butt Lane.

A charge of £2 per person will be made on each walk to offset the costs of Insurance. Please wear appropriate footwear and have clothing suitable for the likely weather conditions on that day. On the longer walks, it is suggested that you bring food and drink as we usually stop between midday and 1:00pm for a lunch break.

Further details can be had from: skeltonhistorygroup@gmail.com or by contacting Peter Appleton (Tel: 01287 281752)



Skelton History Group Walk – Boulby from above

Saturday 27th July – (19) Boulby from above

Distance: 4 miles; Ascent 720ft; Duration: 4-4½ hours

We meet at 10:30am in Boulby lane (NZ 760187), where there is ample roadside space to park cars. We will head over to the Cleveland Way coastal footpath and then turn left and walk along it towards Loftus. After a couple of miles, we then leave it and take field paths across to the Street Houses road and follow this back to our cars. The walk will take about 3-3½ hours. Along the way will pass sites relating to the alum industry, ironstone mining and WW1 air-raid warnings. There are no facilities of any kind on this walk.

A charge of £2 per person will be made on each walk to offset the costs of Insurance. Please wear appropriate footwear and have clothing suitable for the likely weather conditions on that day. On the longer walks, it is suggested that you bring food and drink as we usually stop between midday and 1:00pm for a lunch break.

Further details can be had from: skeltonhistorygroup@gmail.com or by contacting Peter Appleton (Tel: 01287 281752)



Commondale Brickworks 1903 Datestone – Ness Terrace

Originally opened in 1861 as the Cleveland Fire and Brick Company. The Commondale Brick & Pipe Works traded from the late 1880s until 1947. Much of the village is built from their products including Ness Terrace.

Commondale 1903
Ness Terrace, Commondale

On the gable at the railway station end is a buff stone carrying the date 1903 and the letter “N”, perhaps for the name “Ness” if the builder named the Terrace after themselves ?

Commondale 1903

What is quite remarkable is that there appears to be a photograph of the plaque actually being made, seen below from the East Cleveland Image Archive.

Image courtesy of the East Cleveland Image Archive / Pem Holliday Collection.