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.


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