Pickering Quarries, Lime Kilns

A substantial set of lime kilns can be found near Rock Cottage / Rooker House at Pickering. Limestone from the nearby quarry would have been heated here to make quicklime.

Possibly the first appearance of myself in a Hidden Teesside post. Photo by John Dale
As so often happens with any abandoned hole, it looks like household rubbish has been tipped into the top of the kilns back in the 60’s. Photo by John Dale
Old map showing the kilns, with railway above for loading limestone from quarries.

Apple Orchard Bridge – Missing Inscription

This almost blank stone tells an interesting story, all that remains is the name R Sawtell, County Surveyor, the rest has been chipped away.

During 1940/1941 the threat of German invasion was great enough that many signs and markers were removed, to confuse the potential invaders.

Apple Orchard Bridge Skelton
Apple Orchard Bridge Plaque

Mr. Ronald Sawtell, is the county surveyor by 1934, and there are many news reports from 1934 complaining of the state of the previous bridge which must have prompted the current one to be built some time after that.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough – Friday 04 May 1934

So the inscription is only likely to have been in place for a few years in the late 1930s. I have been unable to discover exactly what it said. Presumably it mentioned “Skelton” or “Apple Orchard Bridge” which would have helped invaders confirm their location.

Skelton Primitive Methodist Chapel 1865

Primitive Methodists split from the Wesleyan Methodists in 1807 and continued until the Methodist Union in 1932. They became known as the “‘Ranters” due to their evangelical preaching.

Skelton Primitive Methodists 1865
Skelton Primitive Methodists 1865
Hitherto Hath The Lord Helped Us

They had a strong following among the poor and working class, which perhaps explains the involvement of local ironstone mine owners Pease and Bell Brothers.

There’s an account of the opening of Skelton Primitive Methodist chapel by H Pratt in the Primitive Methodist magazine of April 1866

The cost was around £259, Donors included Jos. Pease, Mr Bell, Earl of Zetland, J Wharton, J Pease MP, G Pease, Captain Challoner, FA Millbank MP and Jos Fawcett.

Village Hall on Ormesby Bank

The Village Hall on Ormesby Bank looks a little worse for wear, with all its windows filled in.

The hall stoods almost alone on the 1953 map, with just a few properties of the subsequent housing estates on Ormesby Bank in place.

It does seem to still be in use as a boxing club with the photo below showing the semi-circular window seen from outside.

Skinningrove Co-Op

Only a couple of tiny fragments of Skinningrove Co-Op now remain, a tiled doorstep and the very edge of the facade.

Skinningrove Co-op
Tiled doorstep
Skinningrove Co-op
Edge of window arch and tiles wall

It appears the shop was built in 1900 if this news report from the Northern Echo as this news report must refer to them :-

Historic photo of the building from East Cleveland Image Archive

The site stood derelict for over 15 years and was subject to legal dispute with an absentee landlord, falling into disrepair until it was finally demolished in 2015.

Site in disrepair in 2011
A brick with what appears to be an 1897 inscription was recovered from the demolition, this seems to predate the 1900 date of opening, but the build may have taken some time ?

Guisborough Primitive Methodist Chapel

The Primitive Methodist Chapel was built on Chapel Street in 1860 at a cost of £425, the plaque now worn flat and painted blue presumably once carried the name and date.

Guisborough Cons Club - Ex Methodist Chapel
Guisborough Cons Club 2019

In 1907 they relocated to much larger premises on Westgate at a cost of £4000, which is still a Methodist church. The site is now the Guisborough Cons Club .

Loftus Primitive Methodists






Skelton History Group Walk -Skelton – 900 years of history

Wednesday 20th November – (01) Skelton – 900 years of history

Distance: 1½ miles; Ascent 120ft; Duration: 2-2½ hours

Meet at 10:30am outside the Wharton Arms on the High Street. This walk will be based around the Mosaic Trail which runs through the village. The walk’s full title is “900 years of history in 900 yards”

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)



Empire Theatre, Loftus

The Empire Palace of Varieties first opened in 1911.

The original building seen in 1932

In 1937 it was rebuilt as the Empire Theatre, which was open until 1959

Photo of the interior from Cinema Theatre Association Archive

It returned as a bingo hall for several years and then reopened as a cinema in 1977 until a final closure in 1983.

Empire Theatre, Loftus
The remains of the site today

The site on Deepdale Road is currently derelict with planning permission for flats.