Photos & Stories

from 'THE KEY' Magazine


Issue 30 - August 2001

The cover photograph is an aerial shot of North Skelton & Layland Estate
taken by Stuart McMillan, 4th July 2001



Bill Templeman

My Life As A Miner at North Skelton Pit
by Bill Templeman

read story



North Skelton AFC 1953-54

Back Row L to R: J Chamberlain, L Douglas, P Sellars, K Ovington, J Harrison, J May, E Cottle
Front Row: J Ramage, T Simpson, N Sturman, D Wright, J Hauxwell

'Before and After North Skelton AFC'
by Norman Sturman

read story



Louis Burwell

Tom & Bob Burwell

Brothers Who Found Each Other After 55 Years

read story



In 1998, after almost 40 years as a player, Rodney Hill retired from Skelton Castle Cricket Club.

Pictured are Rodney and wife Sue, at a packed Presentation Evening in the Duke William, Skelton.

'A Farewell to Rodders' by Neil Harrison

read the poem

'Memories from S.A.B.U. . . . . Skelton & Brotton Urbanites'

read Neil's story



Ex North Skeltoners, Colin (left) and Alan Lancaster with copies of ‘The Key’

read story



'Free Pass' found in a local photo album

It reads...

This pass is good on all Railroads
provided that the bearer walks,
carries his own luggage, swims all
rivers, and stops for all Drinks and
Smokes at the


NOTICE - A man is kept engaged
in the Yard to do all the Cursing,
Swearing and Bad Language that is
required in the Establishment. A
dog is kept to do all the Barking, our
Potman (or chucker out) has won 77
prizes and is an excellent shot with
a revolver. An Undertaker calls
every morning for orders.


Stanghow Lane School - The Merchant of Venice ( c. 1945 )

Back Row L. to R: Iris Yarker, Jean Sunley, Fred Yaxley, Marie Bolton, Norman Sherwood, Keith Walker

Middle Row: Cyril Wilcock, Les Ross, Doreen Danby, Dick Mossam, Betty Bolton, Audrey Harrison

Front Row: Lena Winter, Bill Leybourne, Irene Addison, John Harding, Nick Carter



On a bus trip - anyone know where . . . ?

L to R: Graham Housam, George Hodgson, Norman Housam, Pat Vasey



Stanghow Lane School Class - early 1940’s

Back Row L to R: Keith Hanson, Audrey Palmer, -?- , Marion Ward, Marie Bolton,
Betty Bolton, Terence Padgett, Leslie Thornton

Middle Row: Billie Robinson, Malcolm Robinson, Bobby Laverick, -?- , John Featherstone,
Audrey Harrison, Audrey Pattinson, Audrey Nicholls, Shirley Skipper, Miriam Hoggarth, Pat Lupton

Front Row: John Robinson, Bill Leybourne, Dick Mossom, Norman Sherwood, Bobby Snaith



The Headmaster and some pupils of Stanghow Lane School ( late 1950’s )

L to R: Mr Edmonson (Headmaster), M Davie, Robert Bramley, Robert Whiteley, Stephanie Bonnard,
Josy Brown, Rose Sanderson, Ruth Garland, Kathleen Berwick, Tom Hayes



Stanghow Lane School’s Headmaster, Mr Edmonson’s 'leaving presentation', July 1959

L to R: Joe Reed, Mrs Edmonson, Mr Edmonson & son ( seated ), -?- , Marjorie Crossman, -?- ,
Robin Jackson, -?- , Brenda Dale, Rita Sturman, Sheila Garland



On a trip to Blackpool

Mrs Atkinson, Mrs Polly Pinkney & Mrs Mary Brown



Cotson Wilson Snr, of Richard Street
- sitting on a beer barrel at the back of North Skelton Workingmens Club ( c. 1920’s )



Wilf Bonas, for many years Headmaster of Stanghow Lane School,
receiving the OBE for services to education, 16th February 1965

Seen here outside Buckingham Palace with his wife Irene on the right of the picture
and friend, Margaret Pybus, on the left



Playing up the ‘crick’ - c. 1960

L to R: Dennis Housam, Don Burluraux, Alan Easby, -?- , -?- , Keith Dobson



The Intermediate XI - Brotton County Modern School ( 1962-63 )

Back Row L to R: Mr Hilton (Deputy Head), William Watson , Geoffrey Harris , Peter Rennison , Ron Butler,
Brian Hodgson, Ray Beckham, Martin Beckley, Derek Lewis

Front Row: Richard Lister , ‘Camper’ Wilkes?, Stuart Lawton, Peter Congerton,
Malcolm Blenkey, John Richardson , Ian Beattie



Skelton High Street from ‘the Hills’ ( year unknown )
- note the Ha’penny Bridge at Saltburn in the far distance



Presentation to Ernie Ward, retiring General Foreman of Skelton & Urban District Council - Summer 1952

Back Row L to R: Harry Pearson, Tom Coulson, -?- , John Lane, Tom Havelock, Matt Hicks,
( standing on wagon is Matt Murphy )

Middle Row: Willie Walker, Fred Welburn, Tom Stevenson, Sam Gratton, Ken Forbes, -?-

Front Row: Ernie Ward receiving wallet of notes from Charlie Tindale, Ernie Bannister



Park Pit - 28th January, 1904


Park Pit ruins - 2001

Childhood Memories of Park Pit & It’s Miners
by Les Haywood
read story

The History of the Cleveland Mines - Park Pit
by Stuart McMillan
read story



Captain Jim Elliott

A Life on the Ocean Waves
By Captain Jim Elliott
read story



From the Letterbox:

Dear Norma

Many thanks for thinking about me and sending the marvellous magazine with a photograph of my school friends in it. I remember going to Stanghow Lane very well indeed. I used to run all the way to school every day from my home at 4 South Terrace, Skelton, just to see how long it would take me. When I did run I used to get earache quite badly and have done ever since if the wind’s in the right direction! I particularly remember Barbara Stewart and Helen Myers, who always wanted to be a missionary. I adored Helen because she was totally unlike me, very sure of herself even at such a young age, and so determined to become a missionary. I often wondered over the years if she did. Helen used to live at the bottom of what was then the new estate at the rear of Whittaker’s (now Devany’s) paper shop in Skelton High Street. Her parents were very, very kind.
I remember many teachers at the school, to which my twin brother, Roderick, and I were transferred from Skelton Green County Primary. We both sat the 11-plus at Stanghow Lane. I also remember that we had a netball court marked out in the left-hand sloping playground (left-hand, that is, if you’re facing North Skelton). I always assumed netball was played on a slope until I went to Cleveland Grammar School at Redcar! Mrs Broderick taught us how to play and I loved it. We also had a lovely teacher called Mr Ridley, who lived at Great Ayton, and I believe Mr Neasham was the headmaster there, though it may have been Mrs Lewis. We also had a lovely teacher from North Skelton who taught us needlework. She had quite a frightening manner but I remember her also being very kind to me. I wish I could remember her name. She was a noted seamstress.
The nicest thing about growing up in the Skeltons was the smallness of the community, at a time when motor cars were still quite a novelty and the United bus to Loftus used to drop me off at my parent’s door instead of leaving me at a bus stop to walk home. I never wanted to move to Guisborough, where we went in 1965 so that my father could be closer to his job at Guisborough County Modern School (now Laurence Jackson). I seemed to spend my childhood in Skelton roller-skating everywhere and playing ‘among the hills’ above the village.
It is now three years since my darling father, Len MacKenzie, died, and six since my beloved mother, Daphne, passed away. Both their ashes are interred at Skelton cemetery with my father’s parents, overlooking the sea. I have not been home since my dad died except to clear out his house, but I will never forget Skelton and my early youth there. It is so sad nowadays that young children don’t have what we had then – nature walks with classmates and annual day trips to Sandsend or Flamingo Park with Miss Johnson and Miss Jordan at Skelton Infants School. Perhaps they still do – I hope so.
After Cleveland Grammar School, I became a secretary and worked inSwitzerland and then in newspapers before becoming a reporter. I hold a 2.1 MA honours degree from the University of Edinburgh and play the Celtic Harp and hammer dulcimer. I was also a Morris dancer at one time and belonged to a folk group for six years called Bryony, making three albums before moving to the Outer Hebrides where I worked for Grampian Television on Gaelic News.
I now work as a production journalist on the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton, basically involved in text, layout and design, though text is more my speciality. We have been in Southampton for three years but the south is nothing at all like the north and it is just the work that keeps us here really. We live in the New Forest which is very pretty but not a patch on Runswick Bay on a nice summer’s day (sitting outside The Royal) or Whitby or Lealholm or anywhere on the North York Moors, like Rosedale or Westerdale. And the fish and chips down here are disgraceful! They batter the fish still in its skin and Derek always takes his back!
Anyway, Norma, thank you so much for sending me The Key. I hope a few fellow pupils of Stanghow Lane who read this will remember me – I send them all my very good wishes.

Ailsa MacKenzie, Dibden, Purlieu, Southampton

Dear Don
It’s over thirty years now since I left North Skelton to join the RAF. I was demobbed after twelve years, then spent a further thirteen working in Saudi Arabia, eventually coming back for good to Lincolnshire, where I’d bought a home in a nice little old stone village just south of Lincoln.
I’ve never been able to resist a visit up home once in a while, even if just for a quick look around, and when expenses allow. Although I’ve made my life down here, the Cleveland area still calls me and I just like to see it once in a while, even if only for a day trip. I’ve been back up several times over the years, occasionally with my two sons when they were younger, but mostly to attend my brother Keith’s girls’ weddings. I’ve been known to get up at the crack of dawn, hop on the bike, and be in New Marske at my other brother Derek’s home before breakfast. Then back down to Lincolnshire in time to pick the lads up from school – just a quick visit!
My most memorable ‘quick trip’ was on a cool, sunny September morning in 1990. The build up to the Gulf War had started and I was home on leave for a couple of weeks before going back out there. I bought the bike (Honda VFR) on the pretense of, ‘If I’m going to die out there, I’m going to die happy’. Truthfully, I’m a lifelong biker and was just looking for an excuse to ride again after several years off them.
I came up to Cleveland my favourite way, through Hull and Beverley, dog-legged at Wet Wang, then on to Malton and Pickering. Pickering always makes me dither about whether to go straight on at the roundabout towards Fylingdales and Whitby, or turn left and go over Blakey. Blakey usually wins – I prefer the scenery of that route. I think the last time I was with my father it was when I was returning him home from a visit that way and I recall him sitting in the car just looking around.
This particular morning I stopped at the top of the road coming from Castleton, near Freebrough Hill, and looked out over towards the coast. What a sight in the early morning sunlight! Just as I was quietly becoming absorbed in the scene, a familiar sound approached – of all things, an RAF Tornado came sweeping over from Blakey, directly overhead, making me want to duck. I watched as it turned, precisely and smoothly, out over the bay before disappearing south. Just watching that Tornado filled me with a certainty that by going back to the war zone I would be alright, and obviously I didn’t die out there – very few did, thank God. I’m also still riding my bike, and still remembering that morning’s wonderful view.


Ray Beckham (ex Wharton Street, North Skelton)



Recollecting My Fellow School Pals of
Guisborough Grammar School

By Colin Berwick

The photograph on this page was e-mailed to ‘The Key’ by Reg Dunning, formerly of Broadbent Street, Brotton, and now living in Australia. It is part of a larger photograph, taken in October 1948, of the Staff and pupils of Guisborough Grammar School.
Reg is in the front row, third from the right. At the time, he was in the first form and would have started at the Grammar School in September of that year. According to his sister, Joyce, a former pupil of mine still living in Brotton, Reg went to Australia to work in computers, a relatively new industry in those days. One of his brothers, Joe, also emigrated to ‘OZ’ and is now retired and living in Queensland.
Norma was curious about the apparent lack of a standard school uniform. As I remember, the younger boys were required to wear a jacket or blazer displaying the School badge. They also had to wear a School cap which they were expected to take off if they met a member of staff or the wife of a master outside school. This was not often observed because the younger boys hardly knew the masters, let alone their wives! In the upper school there was no uniform requirement.
The back two rows are a mixture of 2nd and 3rd year boys and in front of them are the 4th and 5th years. The 6th formers are seated behind the front row. I recognise some of my 6th form colleagues. At the far left is Ben Davies from Loftus, then Eddie Burnside of Loftus who taught for many years at Warsett School, Brotton. Next is Howard Vayro of Skelton Green, myself, Derek Richards from Loftus and Peter Trowsdale from Lingdale. Behind Howard Vayro is Colin Jefferson from Brotton. His mother worked for many years in Brotton Library. Behind Peter Trowsdale is Bernard (Ted) Weetman whose father had a shoe repair shop in Errington Street, Brotton. On Ted’s left is Colin Lancaster, formerly of Wharton Street, North Skelton, and now living in Ilkley. From the expression on their faces it seems that Ted and Colin were sharing a joke! Ted later turned out for North Skelton at cricket and spent most of his teaching career in Redcar where he still lives.
I have a copy of the full picture which includes David Bell and Adrian Johnson formerly of Vaughan Street, North Skelton, who would be in the 5th form at that time. There were about 200 boys in all and about 10 staff, including Joe Morgan who went on to be Headmaster at Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough. The Headmaster was Mr R.J. Routh who retired initially to Egton and finally Shropshire.
The examination taken at the end of the 5th year was the Cambridge School Certificate which would normally require passes in five or more subjects from Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, French, Latin and Art. The Higher School Certificate taken at the end of the 2nd year, 6th form, comprised a minimum of three subjects. These examinations were the fore-runners of the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.
A point of interest is that Mr R.W. Armstrong, who lived in Vaughan Street, North Skelton and owned a wholesale fruit and vegetable business, I believe, was a Governor of the School and Chairman of the Governors in the early 1950’s.

Colin Berwick


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