5 thoughts on “Cliff Rigg Whinstone Quarry

  1. I came to live in Ayton in 1970 . The Quarry was in use then . There was some kind of riddle near the quarry entrance . The entrance was very narrow and was being widened at that time . They were still looking for dolerite outcrops then.

    • I worked there in 1960 Roy Bradley was still operating it then ,the crusher was just over the main road down from thief Lane,I also worked there in 1976 when road material LTD opened it up once more up thief lane, they had a new crushing plant built straght ahead in the old quarry workings ,then later on Ogdens of Otley had a mobile crushing plant further in and a bit higher up .A lot of the 2nd grade stone from the old workings were used to make Ingleby cross bye pass to the Tontine

      • Hi John,

        I’ve just read My life in the Whinstone Workings – your account of what it was like working for the Bradley Brothers back in the early 60s. I found it really interesting.

        I have a family connection to both ironstone and whinstone – indeed you give a passing mention to my grandfather – Billy May – in your account.

        Just to let you know I plan to do a presentation on the whinstone industry near Great Ayton for a U3A local history group in the near future.

        Anyway, while I have a general understanding of the industry, I’m keen to know more about how the workforce was organised in the quarries and mines – in terms of grades, skills, abilities, etc. Was there a formal recognition of skilled and unskilled work for instance – or was ‘skill’ all based on an informal recognition of experience and length of service.

        Given the rather precarious nature of the work which led to injuries (and fatalities), I’d also be interested to know whether the health and safety concerns of those working in the quarries and mines led to any improvement in their conditions of work.

        The ironstone miners had a trade union but I’m unsure whether those working in the whinstone industry were unionised. Would you happen to know of any attempt by whinstone quarrymen and miners to band together to form a trade union – in order to improve their terms and conditions of work?

        If possible, I’d like to meet and talk to you in person about the Great Ayton whinstone industry.

        I look forward to hearing from you.

        Kind regards


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