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Fire at Ruswarp 1911

A fire occurred on the 25th September 1911 at Ruswarp Flour, this image is from a series taken by John Thomas Ross an active photographer and postcard producer from Whitby; he apparently cycled to Ruswarp upon notification of the event.
Image courtesy of John G Hannah, information courtesy of ”Whitby Photographers by Ruth Wilcock”.

Special Constables Loftus

The title is all we have to go with – kindly donated – but we seek guidance. We believe from the background it is close to Skinningrove works, but that makes the puzzle more interesting. Loftus Specials at Carlin How, why? Can anybody help?

Reg Wilson has advised: ”I believe that the person back row 4th from right is my father, George Wilson, Late of 35 High Row, Loftus.”

Many thanks to Reg Wilson for that update.

Ring that Bell

Another image of the opening of Loftus refurbished Fire Station.
Front:  John Andre, Peter Glover, (Station Officer) Alan Tose, Neil Garbutt.
Middle: Alan Kirkwood, Harold Found, George Bell, Steve Verrill, (Driver),
On the ladder: Graham George, Chris Marsay, Dave Lees.
The Rescue Vehicle in the background still has the older warning bell system, instead of the modern siren.

Image courtesy Dave Lees.

Hear the Siren!

Bill Hicks, and happy group of children, outside Loftus Fire Station, date possible early 1970s. Were you one of the group, did you sit in the engine and hear the siren? Please let us know.

Paul Hassan tells us:”The appliance in the background is a Dodge K850 water tender built by Carmichael of Worcester. This was one of the first new fire appliances ordered by the newly formed Cleveland County Fire Brigade in 1974/75. The photograph must be dated after this time. Any further information on the appliance would be appreciated: registration etc. I remember this appliance whilst growing up in Guisborough”. Craig White advises: “There is another photograph on here showing the Loftus crew training at ICI with the rear of a fire engine visible . The registration no. is JDC735N which comes up as a red 1975 Dodge on DVLA website so is probably this one”.

See post ‘Loftus Fire Crew – 1978 – @ ICI Wilton on Exercise’.

Image courtesy Dave Lees; thanks to Paul Hassan and Craig White for the updates.

Old And New

The opening of the refurbished Fire station at Loftus, in 1983.
Back row (in uniform): Harold Found, Steve Verrill, Neil Garbutt, George Bell, Alan Kirkwood, Alan Tose.
Middle row: ? Warrell, Pete Waite, Jack Andrews (Retired Firemen), Peter Glover ( Station Officer), Albert Legg, Miffy Wood (Retired Firemen).
Front row: Graham George, Dave Lees, Chris Marsay, John Andre. With photographs of the old and new Station.
Image courtesy of Dave Lees.

Coming Home

Not easy work bringing in the lifeboat, now known to be the ”Fifi and Charles” life boat which was based at Redcar 1907-1931. Fred Brunskill tells us: ”The ‘Fifi and Charles’ was the last of the rowing lifeboats, towards the end of her service she was provided with the first of Redcar’s tractors to aid launching and recovery. A 35hp. Clayton tractor was delivered in readiness for the ‘Fife and Charles’s’ successor which was to be a heavier and motor driven lifeboat named the ‘Louisa Polden’.” Paul Gray tells us: ”Regarding the “Fifi and Charles”, having researched my family tree , have my great-grandfather hired out a team of horses to launch the lifeboat mentioned, would appreciate any pictures if anyone has them.”

Image courtesy of Mike Holliday and others, thanks to Derick Pearson, Fred Brunskill and Paul Gray for the updates.

Ruswarp Flour Mill Fire

Do you know anyone in the picture? We now know from David Richardson: ”The fire occurred on the 25th September 1911, couldn’t tell you who anyone one is though.” Other information now available telling us: ”that the fire was discovered by two employees who had started their early morning shift and they alerted the Ruswarp policeman; he asked a local resident to telephone Whitby Police, who in turn alerted the Whitby Fire Brigade. Having experienced difficulty in procuring, it took them nearly an hour and a half to travel the one and a quarter miles with their horse-drawn manual engine. The fire was virtually burnt out when the brigade arrived at 4.20.” it is apparent that this image must have been taken not long after as there still appears to be smoke (or dust) emerging from the upper window spaces! The image is possibly from a series taken by John Thomas Ross an active photographer and postcard producer from Whitby. Photo journalism in it’s infancy.

Many thanks David Richardson for the dating. Other information from ”Whitby Photographers by Ruth Wilcock”

A Special Gathering

A gathering of special policemen, believed to have been in the upstairs of Loftus Police Station. Anyone know what the occasion was?

Back row: G. Blaylock (Loftus), F. Reynolds (Skinningrove), J. Hardy (Loftus), S. Thornton (Hinderwell).
Middle row: J. Shaw (Brotton), Dennis Welford (Hinderwell), George Lindsley (Loftus), L. Sanderson (Loftus).
Front row, Alf Burnside (Loftus), Sergeant E. Smith (Staithes), Inspector S. Pennock (Loftus), Sergeant W. Blaylock (Loftus).

Andrew Lindsley remembers: “George Lindsley was my Grandfather. He lived at 23 West Road, Loftus. I remember on special occasions I was allowed to wear his uniform when I was a child.

Thanks to Andrew Lindsley for the update.

Skinningrove Auxiliary Coastguards

Rocket Practise with the Skinningrove Coastguards. So far we have been told (excluding boys in photograph): Back row: Mr Wheatman, John Kennedy, ? Hart, Jim Hart, Jim Green, Jim Kennedy, ??, ??, ??.

Front row (seated): Mr Richards, Do-Do Cox, Chuck Laity, Major Lightfoot.

Skinningrove Auxiliary Coastguards were formed at the same time as the Home Guard and worked alongside each other. They comprised men too old for active service and those like miners in reserved occupations which excluded them from active service. Their role was to man the observation posts and watch out for U-boats on the surface and aircraft dropping mines also drifting mines. They used the local Gas Board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. John Kennedy tells us: ”My Dad John Kennedy told me the story of when at the beginning of the war they were issued with a rifle and a box of ammunition. An argument took place between the home guard and Coastguards to who should have it. In the end they agreed that the home guard should have the rifle and the coastguard the ammunition. Mr Mainwaring springs to mind.”

The Archive requested assistance with additional names. Pat Sparkes advised: “My Uncle Major Lightfoot sitting behind the gentleman with the arm band. Standing directly behind the same man with the arm band could be my grandad John Kennedy. not positive but it looks like him.” John Kennedy further assisted with: “Pat is correct. this is a photo of the Skinningrove auxiliary coastguards Rocket practise. They used to practice firing a rocket with a rope attached. The idea being to then send a Breech’s boy to the wrecked ship to rescue the crew. They used the local Gas board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. Jimmy Hewison drove the lorry. Also in the picture is Jim Kennedy,(John Kennedy’s brother and Major Lightfoot was their brother in law. Major was his name not rank) also Chuck Laity, Kruger Hart, Mr Wheatman (First Aid man) and I believe Do- Do Cox and Jim Green.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and thanks to John Kennedy and Pat Sparkes for the updates.

Staithes Coastguards Presentation

The Coastguards group are outside Staithes village hall and the certificates were from the R.S.P.C.A. for an animal rescue.

We have some of the names of the men in the photograph: 1. ??, 2. ??, 3. Harry Reed, 4. Rev. B. Tatham, 5. ??, 6. ??, 7. Norman Conn, 8. ??, 8. ??, 9. George Hugill, 10. ??.

Margaret Verrill Craggs tells: “George Hugill was my uncle. His son Edward Verrill Hugill lives in Marske.” Lesley Short adds: “Harry Reed was my uncle, married to my mother’s sister. I visited Staithes with my mother, father and brother during the early 1960s. Wonderful memories.” Whilst Dorothy Smith (nee Reed) advises: “My father is Harry Reed pictured here, we moved to Staithes just after the war for my Dad to serve with the Coastguard and live in the Coastguards house on Cliff Road. Thank you very much for the photograph.” Can someone add more details, please?

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn (from a photograph, copyright John Tindale, Whitby).