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Underground At Lumpsey

How much ironstone can one filler get into a tub?  By the look of that tub quite a lot if you know how to load it. Simon Chapman updated the Archive with: “Note that the guy in the background appears to be using a hand-operated rotary drill, a so-called ratchet. The props are deliberately cut to a bit of a point at the base so that if weight started to come on the working place this weaker part of the prop would start to ‘bunch-up’ and therefore give a visual warning.”

Update courtesy of Simon Chapman.

Lumpsey Miners at Work

After being puzzled by this image – it’s obviously posed – so was it for a training manual?  The ladder on the right looks like a metal ladder, when were they introduced?  The loader is wearing a tin hat (safety helmet, bump hat), so it was after the introduction of the safety helmet, but his colleagues don’t appear to be wearing theirs, so it must have been before they became compulsory. Derick Pearson said: “What they appear to be doing or have just done is set the roof support timber. They would under these circumstances chop out a ledge to fit it at either side of the working. They would then add props with wedges as is shown with the prop in the centre. They normally chopped out a seat/ledge for the roof support timber before fitting it into place. This has already been done so it is certainly a pose after the job.” Simon Chapman advised: ”This picture appears in an article on Cleveland Ironstone Mining in the Iron and Coal Trades Review of September 1939 and the photos. are credited to The Yorkshire Post, so the newspaper must have had a recent article about the mines. I was told years ago that the picture was taken at Lumpsey.”

Image courtesy of several sources, thanks to Derick Pearson for the insight and to Simon Chapman for the update.

Park Pit Skelton

Miners at Park Pit Skelton, but are these men coming off shift or going on?  No safety helmets, so we can surmise it’s before the mid 1930’s. Jean Cunion asked of the Archive: “I first saw the picture of Park Pit Skelton at Kirkleatham Hall Museum and was struck by the likeness of the lad in the middle on the front row to my father Alphonso Cunion, as a child. I have obtained a copy of the picture but unfortunately no names of the individuals were recorded. I have written to Teesside Archives who are searching the records held on miners in the area. I know from census records that my great great grandfather was an ironstone miner as were his sons. I also hold copies of Peter Tuff’s “Directories of ironstone miners and their associates” which refers to John, Jacob and Robert Cunion (John could refer to junior and/or senior). Does any one know of any other books or sources of information?”

Thanks to Jean Cunion for the update, can anybody assist?

Horses and Handlers, Loftus Mine

An early photograph of the stables at the mine at Loftus dating from about 1875, taken before the horses and the men walked down into the mine to work their shift. Although of poor quality the Archive hopes in time to be able to replace with a better copy of this photograph.

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection.

Stable Yard, Loftus Mine

A lovely shot of the stable yard with two of the horses and their handlers.  They were used to pull the wagons loaded with ironstone from the mine.  If their usual handler wasn’t there these horses could be very awkward to any other man trying to work with them.  Although there were stables underground, the horses were brought out on a regular basis to enjoy time in the field belonging to the mine.

A Cummings tells us: ”The building to the left was the foreman’s house, the building with the open door was the wash down room where the horses were bathed, and the hill in the background is the bankside up to Carlin How, where the railway ran.The stables are between the house and the washroom. My father sometimes looked after the horses and I often had a little sit on them.” Colin Hart advises the Archive: ” The two men in the photograph are Leslie (Pem) Holliday and Albert Wilson”.

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and Cleveland Ironstone Mine; also thanks to A. Cummings and Colin Hart for the updates.

Skinningrove Power House

A picture taken without the benefit of flash and against the internal lighting, it still shows the gas turbine-driven alternator and in the background those beautiful gas motors that used to thud out night and day! This was a most beautiful building inside and although the picture doesn’t show it very well, the whole of the back wall was covered in 1900’s instrumentation. The floor was red earthenware tiles and there was lots of Victorian/Edwardian woodwork. Steven Partlett advises: “I worked in this building many times as an apprentice, and later as an electrician. There was a second turbo alternator below the photographer. I would suspect the photograph has been taken from the overhead crane. You had to make sure your boots were clean before walking on the tiles around the sets, otherwise you were given a mop and told to remove traces of where you had been ! I am reasonably sure the turbo alternators were steam driven, not gas turbines. Only the old generators in the background were run on gas. The lighting in this building never was very good.” Terry Robinson supports with: “There were two steam turbines in the power house, I believe they were made by Parsons of Newcastle. The main unit was a 7500 kw machine, also in the power house there were two English Electric diesel generator sets for use during peak time demand.”

Image courtesy of Reg Dunning, thanks to Steven Partlett and Terry Robinson for the updates.

Tarmac Roadstone, Skinningrove Works (c.1957)

Here is a picture that is familiar to many, a train of slag wagons tipping their loads at the Tarmac Roadstone Plant on Skinningrove Iron and Steel Works. One wagon is already being tipped while the others wait their turn. Reg Dunning’s father worked the Bucyrus crane that fed the crusher plant that produced roadstone, that was transported in Tarmac Roadstone lorries.

Image courtesy of Reg Dunning.

Elizabeth Ferrer, Skinningrove Labs (1974)

This is Elizabeth (Betty) Ferrer in what is believed to be the new laboratories at Skinningrove Iron and Steel Works, after they moved out of the laboratories under the water tower on the cliff edge. Rodney Begg tells us: ”I first met Betty in 1963 when I joined Skinningrove Iron and Steel Works as a Junior Chemist and I think I joined the rest of the Junior Chemists in having a crush on her!  I don’t think I ever saw her in the laboratory as such; she had her own little section next door to Mr. E. F. (Effie) Brown’s office, where I believe she performed water analysis on oil samples.”

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Ferrer.

Class 20s Crossing New Bridge

A pair of Class 20s, led by 20070, cross the new bridge at Carlin How with a train of loaded Potash Hoppers. Russ Pigott advised: “Both locomotives are equipped with multiple working connections, the second man being the guard. Both locomotives in ”Small Arrow” livery; it looks like the Thornaby Kingfisher on the side.”

Image courtesy of Raymond Brown and thanks to Russ Pigott for the update.

Skinningrove News (1972)

This cutting was part of the article with the previous  image, copyright Evening Gazette 20th June 1972.  As usual the Gazette writer has forgotten that without the Steel Works ”scar” there would be no village, just a group of farms and outbuildings, and the coastal outline would have changed dramatically due to coastal erosion (Skinningrove used to tip slag over the cliff edge at Cattersty) and he wouldn’t be talking about the new Finishing Department anyway!

Image courtesy of Colin Hart.