Heartbreak Hill

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During the great depression between 1929 and 1933 many of the Cleveland ironstone mines closed which lead to unemployment rates of up to 91%. Major James Pennyman the owner of Ormesby Hall bought land near the mining communities of Margrove Park, Boosbeck and Lingdale. This land was cultivated as a work camp to provide alternative employment for the miners and their families.

Heartbreak Hill Heartbreak Hill

The list of people involved in the scheme is astonishing.

Sir Michael Tippet was involved in staging the Beggars Opera and his own work Robin Hood at Boosbeck church hall. Boosbeck Industies was also formed which manufactured furniture for about four years.

Local legend has it that William Joyce who became better known as Lord Haw Haw was present at the sixth work camp in April 1935.

Theres a very interesting book on the subject by Malcolm Chase and Mark Whyman