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Main Seam

Main Seam

This photograph can only have been taken in Eston Mine where the height of the Cleveland Main Seam reached maximum thickness here. The miner on the left is holding a light on the end of the pole to help with locating the prop. The sharpened point is very evident. Craig Hornby tells us: ”Again Eston in 1920 is confirmed. Part of a set of photographs taken for the ”Iron and Coal Trades Review”. Eston was the only Cleveland mine where deputies worked in gangs of three, due to the collosal size of the timbers, imported from Norway – apart from during World War I –  when imports were interrupted. The woods of Lazenby Bank, just below the 1871 bridge area/ SS Castle were harvested and transported via ‘The New Cut’ a new access route that linked up to the Lazenby-Guisborough cart road at the south-west corner of the present Wilton Golf course. The new cut and cart road are still there, leading down to the Conker Wood layby.   The timbers were taken via road to Eston Low Drum or The Tip Yard and sent in at Trustee. Timber was also harvested at this time from the plantations around pit-top and lowered down the ‘smokeshaft’ (Upsall No2). The old steam Engine house had been recently replaced by an electric hauler and was used to store timber. Source: George Appleby (Miner 1911-39) speaking to Craig in 1988/89 at age of 91/92 years.”

Image courtesy of George Pearson and thanks to Craig for complete clarification on this image and the working at Eston mine.

New Belmont Mine, Guisborough

New Belmont Mine, Guisborough

We thought this was Chaloner Mine, but we have since been advised by David Richardson: ”This is the workshops and stables belonging to new Belmont Mine near Hunter Hill Farm south of Guisborough.

At Belmont Bank 500 metres east of this site was the original Belmont Mine, the ironstone seam there outcropped close to the foot of the bank but was found to rise to the west so by the time the mine was behind Hunter Hill farm its well over half way to the top of the bank.

The drift for New Belmont mine is still visible off the right of this photo and was constructed of concrete, unlike the drifts at old Belmont which were driven straight into the ironstone seam this drift is in fact an underground incline which climbs up the hill to reach the seam but arrives there some distance into the mine on one of its main roadways allowing new stone to be worked beyond the old workings south of Highcliff Nab.”
Image courtesy George Pearson and thanks to David for his clearing up our query, also to Dave Woods for his advice.


Eston Mine; with the Hauler which hauled the wagons (trucks) up, or let them down, part of the incline. The rope attached from the Hauler drums and the Hauler man on the left side on the Drum bridge. The square opening on the building behind was where the Hauler or Winder man looked out over the proceedings. Note there are also more trucks under the bridge going further up to the left and next section.

Image courtesy of a compilation by Derick Pearson; also the supporting information.

New Bank Eston

Eston New Bank (or California Bank as it was known to the locals) was one of the inclines used for transporting ironstone from the mines down to the ironworks. The view gives the impression of an incline similar to Ingleby Greenhow, being a form of cable railway system. Colin Draper confirmed it was New Bank; Dave Pearsall advised: “California (or Cally) Bank as it was known to the locals; the Parkway (A174) runs through it now. Craig Hornby added: “New Bank was always known by the locals in the mining era by everyone as New Bank. Cali Bank is more recent nickname from the 60s at the earliest I would say.” Peter Hannan tells us :”California Bank: I recently found what looks like one of those rollers that has the cables running over then on this picture, about that size, very well preserved as well.” Terry Husband recalls: “I used to sledge down the bank when I was kid in the 1950s what memories! My dad was born in the pit top houses; the houses on New Bank were set back to the left of the winch house that’s were my dad was born.”

Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum (from a Lilywhites postcard); thanks to Colin Draper, Dave Pearsall, Peter Hannan, Craig Hornby and Terry Husband for that updates.

Boys At The Top

No going down these mine for these boys; they obviously worked in the offices of Pease and Partners at Upleatham Mine. Left to right: ”Darkie” Reed, Wilf Hardy, Harry Bowers, Ralph Clark, William Bailey. 
Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, with thanks to Eric Johnson for the names update.

Going Home! Eston Mine

Here’s a group of miners and a pit pony (note to describe as a pony is a wrong description!) comprising the last shift coming out-bye at the Trustee Drift, Eston Mine, 18th September 1949.  The mine had worked its 99 year lease, to the day. You can see the pulleys, rollers and cables of the main and tail haulage system for moving the setts around.

Margrove Park Mine -1900

This is an early image of Margrove Park Mine or Magra as it is still known locally. In front of the wooden headgear over the downcast shaft you can see the top of the upcast shaft with the smoke coming from the fire at its base to induce ventilation in the mine. This shaft top was later heightened and a pulley wheel installed on the top; this is now the structure which still survives on the site. The mine closed about 1924; it stood on the site of the present day Caravan Park and connected to the Boosbeck to Middlesbrough railway via a single track which crossed the road from Charltons to Boosbeck with a gated crossing.  The village of Margrove Park; known as  Magra Park – after the deer park which was here originally – was built in a large rectangle, one side of which was the local shops – all of which were demolished due to mining subsidence (after the mine had closed and they fell into disuse).  The only remaining example of a shop (the Co-operative) is the pre-fab building on the opposite side of the road to the village garden. Bob Clements tells us: ”The railway crossing at Magra was a gated crossing. The gates were still there when I was a lad at Magra. That was in the 1940s. I can’t remember when they finally disappeared.” Helen commented: “I have just been walking around this area and found a cordoned off mine shafts in the woods behind the caravan park, but couldn’t tell my younger sister if it was a mine shaft or not!”

Thanks to Simon Chapman for comments and corrections, also Bob Clements for the update on the gates and Helen regarding the former shafts.

Spa Wood Blacksmiths

A quirky image by modern standards, but typical of the type of narrative image that occurred in early photography.  Alfred Wither (left) blacksmith for Spawood and South Skelton Mines with his striker (right) and stable-hands, an indispensable part of the iron mining industry, they made and maintained just about every tool in use in the mine.  Just who the well-dressed little boy is in the middle I do not know – can anyone tell me please?

Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum.

At Upleatham Drift Entrance

A group of Ironstone Miners and their Marra’s pose at the entrance of the drift, we can see a midge, a pick or two and a pry bar, but no shot canisters – could this be a work party rather than a group of miners? We now know who; from top left: Isaac Collins, Jack Norman (with pick), Jack Leng(?), Bill Pinchin, Charlie Hitchcock, ??, ??, Mr. Swan (Backbye Deputy), Guy Herbert, ??, Ben Hamer.

Original information researched by the late John Owen and provided by Chris Twigg of Hidden-Teesside

Upleatham Mine – East Winning Entrance

The heading tells us where it is and have the men stopped for a break or just to pose for the photograph? This image is from the tramway that went in the direction of Saltburn at the Upleatham Mine workings and dates from 1910

Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum and thanks to David  and Mike  for the information and updates.