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East Row Railway Bridge, Sandsend

A northbound train of the Sandsend viaduct. I often wonder when this image was taken, knowing that my mother-in-law used to work on Bridling Station (in the railway buffet) pre WWII, but lived in Sandsend. She travelled daily; todays commuters have it easy. As the time spent travelling must have been considerable, owing to the pace of those local trains!

Image courtesy of Jean Carass & Maurice Grayson.


Our image shows a BR Standard locomotive, number 77012, standing at Kettleness Station, pre 1959. Another station which has found a new lease of life – as a Scout Activity Centre – the coast line being closed in 1958 some 5 years before Dr Beeching. Usage was only heavy in the summer, whilst the tunnels and bridges were expensive to maintain. Duncan Sellers comments: “That station brings back memories for me of when I was in the Cubs and Scouts. Used to go down there quite often for camps initially and then for maintenance more latterly.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and Maurice Grayson, particular thanks to Simon Chapman for pertinent information; thanks to Duncan Sellers for the memories.

Hinderwell Railway Station

A view of Hinderwell railway station, from a postcard believed to be by T. C. Booth. Hinderwell railway station originally opened with one platform in 1883, but a second platform was added in 1908 (due to Board of Trade regulations), this gives a date to this image of post 1908 as a second platform can be seen nearest the camera.

Image courtesy of the Pem Holiday Collection and Maurice Grayson.

Skinningrove Works

A pre-war photograph of Skinningrove Works.

A George Skilbeck postcard courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection.


Previously shown on site as: ‘Ceramic Workshop’ we are now aware that it could not be the Loftus brickworks (where bricks were made from about 1830 to 1870s’) it is believed to be the workshops of the brick works at Commondale. In 1861, a Stokesley printer called John Pratt who owned land around the Commondale area did just that and set up his Cleveland Fire and Brick Company. The short-lived Commondale Pottery was set up by John Crossley, a retailer of building products from Stockton-on-Tees, on the site of a former brickworks which Crossley had acquired in 1872. The manufacture of art and domestic pottery was begun in April 1880, as an addition to the manufacture of bricks, tiles and pipes. The Commondale Pottery produced a wide range of domestic wares in both red and buff terracotta, some with elaborate painted and glazed decoration. After a short cessation in production and trading. The Commondale Brick & Pipe Works traded again from the late 1880s or early 1890s until 1947, when it closed. The brickworks site is now occupied by a Cleveland Scout campsite. Peter Appleton queries: “Anyone got any thoughts on where the “1903 N” special was destined to go? There’ll be a story lurking there, if it can be teased out.” Joan Smith asks: “My great grandad worked in a pottery round Middlesbrough, Stockton on tees , area in the late 1800s. He used to travel to Belgium, with his family, on more than one occasion. I am wondering what his job would have been. More importantly which pottery he would have worked for. His name was Christopher Dunning.” Peter Connor advises: “The 1903 stone that the man in the picture is working on is on the end of Ness Terrace in Commondale.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection, thanks to Peter Appleton, Joan Smith and Peter Connor for the updates.

Bell’s Pit, Carlin How

Bell’s pit as it was known; due to its ownership by Bell Brothers, at Carlin How. Bell Brothers were the creators of Bell’s Huts. The mine more popularly known as ”Duck Hole” (because of the very wet working conditions) was towards the end of its working life known as North Loftus Mine. Connections were made underground to Lumpsey and North Loftus Mines.

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection.

Lumpsey Ironstone Mine

Further to our original posting of this image; Martin Fox tells us: ”The picture shows Lumpsey mine.” Also Simon Chapman tells us: ”This picture was indeed taken at Lumpsey Mine and is shown here the correct way round. It was taken in 1918 when the existing wooden headgear (with its lower wheels) was being replaced by a higher one made of steel. After the mine closed in 1954 the steel headgear was dismantled and re-erected at Waldridge Colliery in County Durham for a few years further use.”

Image courtesy of Olive Bennett and many thanks to Martin Fox for the correction; also to Simon Chapman for the excellent supporting information.

Powerful Machines

Our image carried the caption on the reverse of: ”North Skelton Mine – Machine Shop”; however we are now advised by Simon Chapman: ”This shows the inside of the power station at Lumpsey Mine erected in 1903. You can make out four sets of machinery; each one comprises two vertical steam cylinders driving a generator. The chap is standing behind one of the generators, which is not revolving fortunately, as those unguarded rotors spinning round must have been highly dangerous, and probably sparked impressively.
This plant was installed to power drilling machines underground and also some lighting and pumping equipment. Now 110 years later the huge building has gone but the concrete foundations for these four machines still remain.”

Image courtesy of Olive Bennett and many thanks to Simon Ch

Staithes Viaduct – Demolition

We are now reliably informed by Russ Pigott: ”This is actually a picture of the demolition of Staithes viaduct in 1960. There weren’t too many diesel cranes about in the 1870s!” WHOOPS we got it wrong.

Image courtesy of a supporter of the Archive and many thanks to Russ Pigott for clarification of the image.

Skinningrove Railway Station

Skinningrove Station – ironically at Carlin How! But who were the two people in the photograph? Sandy Wickenden advises: “My grandmama worked for her auntie Rosa who was wife of the station master at Skinningrove. He was apparently very proper!”

Image courtesy of Keith Bennison, thanks to Keith Wickenden for the update.