Skelton History Group Walk – Ravenscar

Friday 21st June – (21) Ravenscar

Distance: 4 miles; Ascent 620ft; Duration: 4-4½ hours

This walk starts at the National Trust information centre at Ravenscar, where we meet at 10:30am. Cars can be parked along the roadside in Ravenscar. This all-day walk takes us northwards along the old railway track, passing a brick-works and some quarries associated with two alum works (Peak and Stow Brow). We will have a stop for a picnic lunch near Stow Brow quarries. After lunch we walk down the road to the Cleveland Way footpath and follow that back to Ravenscar, calling at the remains of the alum house at Peak. Our final port of call will be the tea rooms at Ravenscar, for some well-earned refreshment.

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)



PC William Henderson Plaque – Binks Street, Middlesbrough

The plaque funded by the Police Memorial Trust was recently unveiled to commemorate PC William Henderson, who died on 14 April 1893 when he was shot at close range by a man he was trying to disarm while trying to take into custody.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough – Saturday 15 April 1893

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

On 9th May, the verdict on John Harry Gould (33) was :- Wilful murder whilst insane. Prisoner to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Old Brickwork Ponds in the 1890s

Murders were very rare at this time and news reports suggest it was only the second in Middlesbrough, after Mary Copper in 1884

P.C. Henderson and family

Skelton History Group Walk – Falling Foss & Littlebeck

Thursday 9th May – (20) Falling Foss & Littlebeck

Distance: 2½ miles; Ascent 620ft; Duration: 2½-3 hours

We meet at 10:30am at the Falling Foss car park near Midge Hall tea rooms. This short walk takes us down through the valley to the village of Littlebeck, where we turn about and retrace our steps. Unfortunately, the topography means that the route is downhill out and uphill back. If you need something to keep you going on the return leg, just keep those cream cakes at Midge Hall Tea Rooms in mind! This is a pleasant walk even without any heritage input, but this valley holds a hidden secret: it was the site of an alum works.

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)



Smugglers take potshots at Coatham – July 1780

Newcastle Courant – Saturday 05 August 1780

On the 20th past a smuggling Lugger, under Dutch colours, carrying two six-pounders, six four-pounders, a number of swivels, and 30 stout men, each armed with a long pistol and a cutlass, was taken by two of her majesty’s Cutters, as she was rising at anchor near Marske and Saltburn, in Cleveland. When the cutters appeared, the lugger sent off a coble with 80 tubs of gin, (the remainder of 1000) each tub containing from 17 to 20 quarts, towards Marske, which being observed by the headmost cutter, she sent out her long boat, well manned, to seize it, which they did. During the chase, the smuggler fired two pieces of cannon at the long-boat without effect. On seeing the other cutter coming up, all the smugglers, ; except two men and a boy, escaped in their longboats to Saltburn. Had not the smuggler fired on the cutter’s men, she could not have been seized, as no uncustomed goods were found board. The same evening the two cutters’ sailed with her for Shields, where it is thought she will be condemned. She is a fine new vessel, built Flushing (Vlissingen) by a company of gentlemen, and this was only her second voyage. There was 20 shillings in cash found on board. About two days before she was taken, she was lying off Redcar, she had the impudence to fire a four-pounder at a bathing-house near Coatham, where some young ladies were going to bathe, and the ball was taken by a young gentleman within twenty yards of the house.

On the 23rd past 90 bags of tea, each containing about 12lb were seized at Coatham by some Custom-house officers assisted by about a dozen of the Light horse from Stockton

Skinningrove Methodist Chapel

The Methodist chapel in Skinningrove dates from 1873 and is still active today.

Skinningrove Chapel
Skinningrove Chapel

Northern Echo – Wednesday 30 July 1873

PRIMITIVE, METHODIST CHAPEL AT SKINNINGROVE. FOUNDATION STONE LAYING. The ceremony of laying the foundation of a new Primitive Methodist Chapel at Skinningrove took place on Monday. For many years the Primitive Methodists conducted services alone in Skinningrove. When there were little more than a dozen houses they held cottage meetings, and it has had a place on the circuit plan for thirty years. When, through the enterprising firm of the Messrs. Pease, the population had increased to near 1,500, it was felt that this long toil should not be thrown away, but that there should be a fresh effort to meet the spiritual requirements of the population, and a site was generously granted by the late Earl of Zetland, The day being fine, there was a large gathering, and a procession, composed chiefly of working men, sang through the streets. The Rev. W. BAITEY, superintendent, began the service by giving out a hymn. The Rev.J. Wilson, Congregational minister, offered prayer. The Rev. J. G. Binney, from the Theological Institute, recently appointed as second minister, read suitable portions of scripture. The Rev. W. BAITEY, addressing Mr. W. Cockburn, who had kindly consented to lay the stone, remarked that it gave them all pleasure to see Mr. Cockburn in their midst, with his excellent lady, and likewise Mr. Francis. Mr. Cockburn had been permitted, through the providence of God, to aid in laying the foundation of a thriving industry in many village, and memorials of his devising mind would be found when he was gone. Today, he came to aid in laying the foundation of another house of prayer. Mr. Baitey then handed to Mr. Cockburn a bottle to enclose in the stone, and a silver trowel and mallet. The bottle contained a copy of the Primitive Methodist paper the Northern Echo of that day; the .British Workman, having a, portrait of Gurney Pease, Esq.; lines written by Mr. Horsley on the death of Charles Pease, Esq., a Circuit Plan, the names of the Trustees, and Members in Society, letters of Mir. Cockburn and Mr. Francis expressing their readiness to assist in the undertaking, and which, if ever exhumed, which they might be after cenrturies have gone by, all show how worthily the early managers of the firm represented the well. known spirit and principles of the masters. There was also a short record of those who took part in the services, and gratitude expressed to Mr. D. Trotter and Mr. D. Maclean, agents of the Earl of Zetland, for their kind assistance.

Mr Cockburn next deposited upon the stone a cheque for 10 shillings. Mr. J. Tyerman, a working man, and one whose devoutness is known in all the villages round about, laid on the stone the handsome donation of 5 shillings. Numerous other donations were laid on the stone, from two pounds to the child’s sixpence, making a total of over 38 shillings. Nearly 300 sat down to tea in the old School-room. The evening meeting was presided over by Mr. W. Cockburn, who spoke of our intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual duties. Other gentlemen and ministers also addressed the meeting. The total proceeds of the day amounted to about 60 shillings. The building is a Gothic structure. The architect is T. Southron, of South Shields.

Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton

This new statue in triibute to local ironstone miners, was unveiled on 6th April 2019 by children from Skelton Primary and Craig Hornby, director of ‘A Century in Stone’

Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton

The project was organised by the Friends of Skelton Community Orchard – FOSCO with the sculpture being created by Bill Harling.

Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton
The miner on the right is carrying a midge lamp and holding a Blackett-Hutton rotary drill.
Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton
The central miner is checking the roof with a long bar for any loose ironstone waiting to fall.
Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton
The miner on the left is loading a large chuck of ironstone
Spirit of East Cleveland, Skelton
A rat watches over the scene from the rear.

Skelton History Group Walk – Saltburn Woods

Wednesday 17th April – (30) Saltburn Woods

Distance: 2½ miles; Ascent 420ft; Duration: 2½-3 hours

Meet at 10:30am in the Cat Nab car park. This walk takes us up through the wooded valley to the railway viaduct. The heritage includes the long-gone, but much loved, Halfpenny Bridge and the remains of Marske Mill. The woods will be full of birdsong and wild flowers.

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)