History of Lingdale
John Snowdon History
* NEW THIS MONTH *
People of Lingdale in Pictures
World War 1
Vaughans Row / Moorcock Row
Farms, Hotels & others
1891 CENSUS and Lingdale information
Margrove Park & Charltons History
St Aidan's Parish Records
The Diary of a Cleveland Miner
Pictures of Lingdale and surrounding area
The Parish Church - Skelton in Cleveland
Susan Griffiths account and property valuations
St Mary's, Moorsholm
Moorsholm including 1891 Census
WORLD WAR II
Skelton bits & pieces
1891 Census Charltons
Verses and Poems
1891 Census, Margrove Park
**LOOKING FOR **
Congregational Church / United Reformed Church
Memories Day 2005
For King & Country WW1
East Cleveland Bells JJB
Who do YOU think they are?
Away Days & Holidays
Exploring Paddy Waddell’s Railway
Snowdon Reunion June 24th, 2006
Lingdale Primitive Methodist Church
George Snowdon Diary 1910
David Taylor Journal 1
David Taylor Journal 2
David Taylor Journal 3
David Taylor Journal 4
David Talyor Journal 5
David Taylor Journal 6
David Taylor Journal 7
Diaries & Journals
***MEMORIES DAY 2008***
Tracing Family History
Marske by the Sea history
Loftus & district
H. Harrison Drawings
Skelton & Brotton Urban District
New Marske History
1953 Lingdale Mining Disaster
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW - Whats on around Lingdale
The Forces -
Memories Day 2013
Contact Information for Lingdale & its history
Links for Lingdale & its history
David Taylors' daughter Connie has allowed me to transcribe these journals for the web site.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
There are 7 books in all.
Journal Part 1
The story of a full-life, as said by the writer.
I David Taylor, residing with my daughter Connie at Saltburn, in December 1977, have after much serious contemplation and numerous requests from members of my family determined to start what may never be completed.
There is so much to tell that I have made up my mind, not to attempt to put them in chapter or period form, but to allow my thoughts to wander at will, and enter in this my Life’s Journal, those thoughts most uppermost at the time.
My name, as stated on the first page, is David Taylor and although I said on that page I was not going to commit myself to any form of order in my writing, yet there must be a beginning, so I think the time of my birth, my people, my ancestors, and the district at that period must take preference.
I was born in the early hours of the tenth of March, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety three, in a snow covered Ironstone miner’s cottage in Skelton Lane, Brotton (now known as High Street). I was the eldest of four children, myself, two brothers and a sister (of whom more later).
My father worked as a deputy in the newly sunk – Morrison Brothers Ironstone Mine on the Coach Road, the way to Saltburn and the sea. The pit was no more than two or three hundred yards from our home, the eight hour work act had not been passed at that time and I have heard my father say that only on bright summer evenings and at weekends did the underground workers see daylight.
My father was born at Teignmouth, near Newton Abbot in Devon. When the Cleveland Iron Ore was discovered in the mid eighties, drifts under the hill-side near Skinningrove and one or two shafts sunk down the ore seam, a steady stream of working people and their families were coming here to the New Klondyke.
A very large proportion were from Cornwall and Devon, my father’s mother decided to come bringing her two young boys, George, six and my father (David) five. He told us more than once that though he couldn’t remember much of the journey, the thrill he always got of holding the reins of the cab carriers wagons. He did remember though sitting outside a Country Inn with a foaming mug of beer and bread and cheese. It seems his mother had been highly esteemed for her capable midwifery, seven mothers to be, who had bespoken services, having travelled North was her sole reason for making such a long and tedious journey.
From here I am going to digress for a while, hoping to return, shall I feel that after what I have said.
It is due time to introduce my other side of my being (my Mother). My Mothers maiden name was Mary Ann Horner, eldest child of Jacob and Hannah Horner, farm worker folk, from the St Neots County, Beds. Mother was born on the eighth of February of the year eighteen–sixty-eight. Shortly after the birth of their second child (a son) Charles who later emigrated to America and with whose family we keep up an occasional correspondence, they too came up to Cleveland to a better paid and more settled living. The Ironstone era was to last well over a century, a peaceful contented district, no strife or troubles as we see them today and a friendly community seen fast flying out, in fact we were often called Clannish.
Jolly Sailors Inn, Moorsholm
I’ll fall back again now to my grandmothers arrival at Brotton with her two sons and tell about a time, mostly of what I’ve been told than actually knew.
My parents were married at Guisborough registry Office in the April, in the year of Eighteen ninety-one. Their honeymoon consisted of the two of them, with a borrowed pony and gig, driving over the moors to the ‘Jolly Sailor Inn’ under Freebro Hill, a well known local landmark, not far from the village of Moorsholm or Lockwood Beck, more like a small lake which was to become our main water supply.
My father’s mother, became very deaf and mother at that time only had a few years of patient trying nursing. After she passed away mother was considering seeking employment in a Gentleman’s service, father evidently had a different idea.
He told me he had started work two days before his seventh birthday in eighteen fifty seven.
One of the sinkers on a new shift and lodging with them, carried him on to the site to use the ‘blow-george’ the name given to an old fashioned hand pump which when worked, drew up the stale air from the workings. The vacuum thus caused giving the workers a continuous supply of fresh air.
After about two years he was given other work to do and Dad told me by the time he was ten to twelve, was expected to use a pick and shovel or swing a hammer to keep in time with grown men.
I have before read his diary, describing his journey by sailing vessel from Plymouth to Port Adelaide in South Australia. The boat sailed in the December of Eighteen seventy seven, so as I write I am talking of what happened a hundred years ago, noticeable too that my father's working life in the Cleveland Ironstone Mines, plus that of work in the same trade, covered more than a hundred years.
For correct dates of the Ironstone Era, now extinct, a book on the subject by Keith S Chapman becomes very useful and I sincerely hope that if I am spared to complete my writing, that the three of them, day diary, this my book and Mr Chapman’s “Cleveland Ironstone” will together be of interest to more than my family only.
I have never known, how he, my father, stayed down under, of how many different occupations he may have followed. But I know he had two small framed etchings, one of brickworks in Broken Anchor and another of a Gold Field working which to my memory, stand out more like a series of quarries than mineshafts. One point he always stressed was that all work was expected to be in twelve hour shifts. Those employed in digging the clay, baking the bricks in the kilns and barrowing away, all worked from four in the afternoon till four early morning, as no-one could have stood the mid-day sun, plus the heat of the kilns.
After he received word of his mother being ill he returned as soon as possible, and I have reason to believe met my mother caring for the old lady, at what age she died I don’t know but just inside the wall of the old church yard, on Kilton was a mound with a little homemade wooden cross and a southing bush and to where he often took us boys on Sunday evenings, while mother attended Chapel. She (my Mother) was a strong believing Christian, teaching Sunday School and held the girls bible class, some mid-week and evenings. I wouldn’t call father in any way a devout man, he could neither read nor write, but yet on taking a few flowers (he loved his gardens, he had two) to the churchyard to his mothers grave on those Sunday evenings he always removed his cap and kneel a little while then brusquely say “come on boys that won’t fetch her back” . As a rule, given a fine night he would take us to the highest point. The three lane ends on Kilton lane to look out over that lovely bay, enclosed on the east by High Boulby Cliff and on the west by Saltburn's Huntcliff, with not being able to read or write as far as life was concerned was to thoroughly get a hold of what was right and what was wrong and say to the right one and whatever lies in the future must be the right. I have as far as possible followed his path and feel fully content with life.
They say one thing leads to another, certainly it does and thinking of those Sunday evening walks had brought back to memory my first crossing of Saltburn Ha’penny bridge, just lately demolished, eight or so years ago.
When the bridge had only been opened some ten or fifteen years, my mother had taken us boys down to Whitsuntide fair. All around Cat-nab and where the boating lake is to-day and along to the pier was choc-a-bloc with side shows, merry go rounds, swing boats and everything in the catchpenny line. The one big day in the East Cleveland work peoples few breaks.
There were only four statutory holidays in the mines before the turn of the century, but to make another break and agreement between master and men, came to the effect of commencing work at midnight Sunday, until six am Whit Monday morning, thus allowing them later in the day to go down to Saltburn to help their wives and families home.
The younger people were dancing in the lantern light lawn beneath the old bridge, on this occasion I remember Dad saying “come on boys, I’ll show you the new bridge” No mean effort for a man of his age, about forty six or seven as near as I can place it, after his day in the pit, the two mile walk to Saltburn, to lug two hefty lads up the Skelton side of the Valley Gardens and no good road as we know them now, but rough flints loose sand and pebbles. Then the crossing of the bridge, the lovely mass of green foliage and then half a mile up the valley, the original Rushpool Hall, burnt down in my early teens.
Little was I to know then that the familiarity or usefulness that bridge was to mean to me in the first occupation of my working and job that saw this working life completed fifty two years. My first employment at the age of thirteen, in nineteen hundred and six, for a six day week, of twelve hours per day and the grand wage of four shilling and twenty two and a half NF as an errand boy, (of which more later) the employment and the use of the same brush by bicycle this time (not pushing handcart) terminated in May nineteen fifty eight at the age of sixty five.
After turning my hands to many (aye many) various occupations, the owner of the above with the bike was to a??? from a tape manufacturing company on the Skelton trading estate (again more later I hope).
Back now to the Whitsuntide fairs. This afternoon while out for a walk, I came across the ravine where the ha’penny bridge used to span, so called because the pedestrian toll was a half penny. More for ponies, horses carriages etc. was my purpose in speaking of them today – was as a thought of this, my writing and of the hour it would take to fill in anywhere not half the recollections. A ten minutes summary covered, one half a pier, no bridge, gone the splendid swimming and brine baths for ailing people, on the door of the step of the railway station, what a station, four continually busy passenger platforms and excursion platform with four gates opening on to the main shopping street. Trains in and out every half hour or less.
I am wandering little way from the purpose of this writing, the story of my life, but please be patient for later I hope as my wanderings come together we shall find the fitting in and that they have not altogether been unnecessary from writing of my father taking Charlie and I to see the new bridge.
It being a busy Whit-Monday fair day and just a day or two after mentioning it, here I saw it all over again, the crowds below the music of the fair organs and so back to another Whit Monday and my first introduction to the sea, which I have always loved and enjoyed every hour of which in or near to the day of which I am now reflecting. I should think the largest sale of any one product on those days was beer. In later life I was to see the day – free holiday makers, work people, rolling their trousers above their knees, carry a crate or two of crabs and lobsters, fresh boiled from Staithes, and brought to Saltburn with the fast running ponies of the Staithes fishermen and their wives and sold from Cat Nab base.
I’m away again, but this particular Monday as told to me by my father and later in life by one or two who were in the bay at the time. He said it was a most beautiful day, scorcher he called it and hardly a ripple on the water, he was sat on a large flat boulder down in front of the Ship Inn, watching me build houses with the flat stones, when someone helping to push a boat down called (coming David) “I can’t” he said “Oh come on, he’ll be alright” so off I went for my first boat ride and as it happened for my first swim. It is so faint in my memory, but I do remember the laughing faces of those tipsy men as they lifted me back into the boat. I was told later that to all appearances I have dog paddled around all day.
I think from what I could learn afterwards the swim occurred after my third birthday and before my fourth, thus my great liking for the sea, the rivers and swimming pools. Before breaking away from here in my very young days, I think I ought to mention one fact that later may otherwise be overlooked. The pair of hands that so carefully lowered me gently into the sea and so firmly lifted me out again belonged to one of Cleveland’s best known swimmers, high diver and instructor, finishing up after the age of seventy as attendant and teacher at Saltburn swimming baths. James W Harris or more widely known as 'Jimmy Splutz' owing to a broken speech, also a hard working ironstone miner, walking the three miles each way daily from Saltburn to Lumpsey Mine, just beyond Brotton and home, six days a week, fifty two weeks a year. “Who said the good old days”?
Now it is my intention to come away from youth to the other end of the scale, the present.
It is within two days of Xmas day 1977 and I am heading towards my eighty fifth birthday, but with all our offspring around me would be a good time to complete the six generation tree from eighteen fifties to the present time. Xmas eve 1977 – before going out to our family it would seem more correct not to mention the loss of my dear wife Frances, who passed away in early April this year. To omit it here would certainly be a grievous sin on my part, for she shared in everything connected with my life over a period of nearly sixty five years.
I hope later to tell of much and many good and at the time difficult projects during fifty nine years of marriage.
Now for the family tree. On the Horner side, seven generations, on the Taylor six.
My Great Grandmother Horner died in Lavender Hill, London at the ripe old age of one-hundred and two.
Jacob Horner, her son, my grandfather, whom I have already written of travelling to Cleveland from Beds to work here.
My mother Mary Ann Horner, his daughter met and married my father David Taylor, then my being.
I have already explained his forbearers so see no reason to repeat it.
Sister Arabella with a nurse and another sister outside Brotton Hospital.
I think now it would be advisable to return to my boyhood and schooldays.
A very short education period from March eighteen ninety eight to March nineteen hundred and six, eight years, not very long to prepare a boy to face the world, but there my father had none at all, could neither read or write, but yet he made good, a splendid eighteen stone man and a great example to us boys.
I don’t think I can find a great deal in my earlier school days that would be of much interest to anyone, other than during that period, saw the end of the Boer War and Queen Victoria’s diamond Jubilee. I wonder what became of all the mugs presented to us at school. Children commemorated the occasion and tea in the cricket field.
Oh yes the walking stick, who would think there could be anything to tell about a walking stick from a tree at the bottom of our garden some seventy three years ago.
In nineteen hundred and three, when I was ten years old, my father happened a very serious accident at work, a fall of roof and stones covering him and badly injuring him. He needed immediately more than twenty stitches from right ear, across his scalp down to his left eye brow, but that was trivial compared with what it had done to his foot. Doctor Matthew Caldwell who practiced in Brotton for many years (when lancing a blood poisoning) finger for me, detailed the operations he had done to Dad’s foot over a period of three months, to save the bulk of the foot, although two other surgeons wanted to amputate straight away. I must have winced when his scalpel touched the bone, for he laughed and said “Ah David, you’ll never be as good a man as your Dad” (this was told to me shortly before I went to France in the nineteen fourteen war) Dr. told me at this time and short intervals, no anesthetic, just whiskey, Dad sat up in bed with his hands clasped round his knee while the amputation of his big toe, then the second one and half of the third took place. Underneath the foot running back from behind the toes to the arch of his foot was a deep scar in which one could lay a finger full length. Dad told me himself, that was where the Dr. over a period of three months had to, almost, daily, cut away small pieces of flesh as it turned gangrenous. This scar became very familiar to me, for when he had a special boot made for his short, thick, foot and returned to his work, the scar developed a growth almost its full length of what we on a toe would call a corn. If I didn’t keep it well trimmed down it punished him badly when walking.
Walking that’s it, The Walking stick, the one that I am using now. He came home from hospital in the late summer of the year following his accident. I had my tea with him on my eleventh and twelfth birthdays. An aged non-like matron made a great fuss of me (sister Arabella)see picture above and would have had me go oftener, though I evaded where I could, and when I look back on my younger life, I think I must have been shy by nature. He had only been home a few weeks when he asked me to accompany him and carry a tea cup down to the garden, in a wooded valley known as ‘Texas’ where most mining families had opened out the plots, felling trees, chopping shrubs and burning it, a most fertile place which in time provided a good proportion of table needs. He was in rather a bad way as to the state of his garden. Mother and Charlie and I had done what we could. After looking round he used that stern self assured manner which lasted right through his life, nearly knocking me down, with what he would have called a pat on the back, and 'I’ll soon have this lot straight when I get going’. At the bottom of the garden where the stream runs through and after wandering round Cat-Nab at Saltburn, empties into the sea, stood a very shapely ash tree and after making the tea chest secure, bottom up, with his hand on my shoulder, the crutch under his other arm, he managed somehow to pull himself erect on the tea chest, dropping the crutch and holding on to the tree with one hand, took a slender key-hole saw from his pocket and cut out the branch he wanted. I had to drag the branch away and Dad threw his keyhole saw up the garden saying “I don’t want to fall on that”. He stood still with his one good foot on the tea chest, the other bandaged one swinging about, “David” he said “When I say now, take that tea chest away quickly”. I had been taught all my life that you did as you were told, when many times in young manhood have I said ‘alright major’. He took hold of two stronger, lower growths of the tree, just said ‘NOW!’ I pulled the box and turning round saw him stood on his one good leg, holding on with a forearm round the slender trunk of the tree, but where he had dropped the eighteen inches or two feet, he had gone boot top deep in soft soil. He couldn’t put the bandaged foot to the ground to release the other, so I had to bring back the box for him to sit on while I freed the other foot, the pipe, tobacco and matches.
He was a heavy smoker my Dad, four ounces black-rough-cut-shag per week (at a cost of ten pence-half penny). After a little rest he chose the straightest bough that would make the stick, and cut it out roughly with enough length to spare each way, then we went home, me carrying the fruits of our labours over my shoulder. The walk would be in the region of a half-mile or more and all steepish uphill. I remember how done he was after getting home, flopped down with his cap and coat on. A very heavy man, over eighteen stones at the time. Not long out of hospital bed, it had been a very strenuous morning for him. He spent many, many ways of over weighting the stick, take the bends out, oiling, staining and varnishing and after using it in his later years to and from the club for his pint and his dominoes, is used by me in my mid-eighties. In this episode of the walking stick I spoke of myself as a little boy. Now I have finished it I realise I was only six months away from the beginning of a long hardworking life….
Boxing Day 1977
Today is the Tuesday following Boxing Day, of the Christmas of 1977.
I am going to leave the past solely to speak of yesterday, as it proved to be an outstanding one in this full life of mine.
Yesterday made it even fuller a few pages back you will find a summary of my descendants. Never before, even when there were less, have the whole clan been gathered together in the one room. Other than Jessie’s husband, George, the whole twenty of us were present, from myself down to little Richard, Susan’s two year old rip, my youngest great grand-child.
We had one of the most enjoyable family gatherings imaginable for five or six hours, though every now and again (during a quite moment, there weren’t many). It struck me hard and very forcibly that I was alone, without the partner who had shared my last fifty-eight Christmases good or bad. All good things come to an end.
Presents had been exchanged, food and drink partaken of, good nights were said and another Xmas in this full–life of mine became Christmas Past….
|March 12th Nineteen hundred and six.
I am thirteen years of age, I have started work, life can never be quite the same.
Speaking of this great change in life reminds me of something I said only a short way back in my writing, to the effect that there wouldn’t be much interest on my younger boy-hood to be worth while writing of. On saying that at starting work things would never be quite the same.
I realised that some of the things behind that thirteen year old boy were some of the joys of that childhood and should not be omitted. A grand occasion yearly at Brotton, looked forward to eagerly by children and adults, for some weeks, after the posting of the bills in shop windows and on any bit of wall-space about our August flower show. Two or three large marquees, the refreshment tent, two large brewery drays with barrels on tap. A large square tent I remember well with a boarded floor laid through out, where our two bands combined for the evening to play for dancing till midnight, forgetting for the time being the keen rivalry that existed between them, probably the free beer drew them together.
The Brotton Old Silver Band was based in the Crown Hotel, the Brotton Temperance Band was based in the Primitive Methodist chapel and the Salvation Army Band in the Salvation Army Hall. All three in the High Street and certainly no more than a hundred and fifty yards between them and the railway station and the Crown Hotel. Yes Brotton had its three bands at that time, two fairly good football teams, a great cricket membership first – reserves and juniors, two gymnasiums.
Now I know why at thirteen and being employed six days a week why I thought a lot was being taken from me, for I was shaping pretty good at football, played in junior teams at cricket and was more than good at swimming. All Saturday afternoon pastimes and me pushing a barrow round Saltburn.
However it was not to last long for in less than twelve months I was below ground to learn how and where the Iron stone was won.
The Bands, at one time or another, both the Old Band and the Temps, reached the all England Band Contest Finals at Chrystal Palace, the Old Silver once winning the March, and gaining second place in the test piece.
The previous page is given over to the show-bill and would have taken many, many more pages to have attempted to detail the numerous classes. Out of the way things like the Best Baked Bread Loaf, Home made Butter, Cheese and Six ears of Oats, Six ears of Barley, Handwriting (I never won), The heaviest Pig under a year old, pigeons, Poultry and rabbits, some beautiful spaniels and sleek whippets (the miner greyhound), every known fruit and vegetable was in a class of its own. Father once told me that the usual figure of a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty pounds prize money was allocated yearly, a matter of only ten shillings, for three vouchers for prizes in each individual class was all that could be paid. The high expenses I imagine would go to the athletes, lovely clothes, bronze figures, brass plaques, two shop windows full, displayed for some weeks before the show….. .
March 12th Nineteen hundred and six, I am thirteen years of age and I have started work, life can never be the same.
Yes dear reader, I know I wrote that before, and it has taken me seven pages of writing to realise, what, as a boy of thirteen, I was going to miss. The Saturday afternoon tutoring and improving our swimming by that well know character Jimmy Harrison. He, I think, did a good deal towards making boys into men. If there was too much chatter, when he was talking. he gave one what he called a ‘flip across the lugs’ he asked for nothing for his time spent with us, just wanted to show success among his pupils, and later at local regattas. He was a good goalkeeper and made some nice talks on football. Minor injuries in games were much more often attended to by Jimmy than going to the doctors.
My work as an errand boy couldn’t be called hard though, on taking out prescriptions, I never wasted any time though when I had a heavy load of syphon bottles or gallon jars of Stone-ginger. I had to take more time, for it was usually the uphill journey to what we at that time called the Villas, the chief residential of Saltburn and now known as Victoria Terrace, almost out to the railway viaduct, Middleton Taylor’s manufacturing Chemists and Pharmacists of Station Street, Saltburn, that was my place of employment. The shop is still a chemists, now owned by Mr Langman, son of my first employer, he being employed by the firm, a kindly man and Mrs Langman too, a motherly lady. I took very kindly towards them both, and hurt them a little when asked about my leaving, as my father said I was to tell them that the wage I got wouldn’t keep me in shoe leather. I would have to go to the pit. Mr Langman said that was generally what happened to the boys from the hill-top. A few months as an errand boy, then down the mine for ever. They both wished me well and though never having met my parents sent their kind regards. At this period my father had got back to his work at the pit, but after five am to two pm and ageing didn’t get down to Texas, but did the garden just out the back of home prepared pig food and the pigs and then needed to rest.
Now you are going to be introduced to a new character in my story, one who made a strong impact on my life, and one whose family never had a better friend.
Sam Chapman, lay preacher, strong willed Christian, fiftyish about this time. During my fathers stay in hospital, he had been the perfect friend, doing his own work, his gardens and then finding time to assist us, bits in the gardens, a few logs of wood, a bag of kindling sticks, anything to help, a right good man.
As my Sunday school supervisor, I spoke to him of leaving my work at Saltburn and saying I would have to go to the pit. He asked me when I was fourteen, up till then I could fill in my time in at our garden and his. Then he would take me to the pit.
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