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Bells Huts

Early 1900’s when this photograph was taken; John and Alf Nicholson with their parents outside no. 6 ’Bells Huts’, Mill Lane, Carlin How; possibly c.1905, as in the 1911 Census John and Alfred were nine years and seven years of age. These were dwellings erected after the mine was opened by Bell Brothers in 1873 to house miners (brought in to ease the scarcity of ironstone miners) near the allotment gardens; the Peel & Jones foundry stood on the site of these huts. When first built one main tap outside in the middle of each row provided the water for the residents. Others were erected in the field below Carlin How (Duck Hole) Mine and some were being used in the early 1950s.The image has attracted considerable comments; Derick Pearson who lived there from 1945 to 1950 has memories of: “Collecting water from a spring near ‘Speddings house’ (Sykes farm House)”. Alan Pearson tells us: ” The 1881 census for Kilton lists 1 to 18 Wood Houses along with 1 to 9 Carlin How, Steavenson Street, Dixon Street and Sykes Farm. This is repeated in the 1891 census before appearing as 1 to 18 Bells Huts in 1901″. Bill Kitching tells us: “Bells huts families I remember: Winspeare, Welham, Agar, Gell, Leng, Crossman, Lancaster and Wylie”. We are told by Lynn O’Neill: “My great-uncle and Aunt lived at No 1 Bells Huts. They were Dave and Sarah Wylie”. Trevor Metcalfe told us: “My grandparents (Joseph and Clara Metcalfe) lived at number 13 Bells Huts”. Dave Fell told us: “I moved from there in 1950 but used to go back up there for some years after that to visit people. Sarah Wylie was last house to be demolished and that was c.1960”. Keith Hudson told us: “My nana was a Welburn and my grandad was a Hudson. I guess that’s where they met”. And Margaret Martin tells us: ”My dad (Eric Agar) lived in Bell’s Huts from about 1933 to 1941. There were 3 rows and he lived in Row 1 and had the water pump immediately outside his house. He lived there with his mother (Margaret Agar), father( Owen Agar) and sister (Iris Agar). Owen (my grandad) worked in Duck Hole Pit.

Image from a collection compiled by Derick Pearson; thanks to Derick Pearson, Alan Pearson, Bill Kitching, Lynn O’Neill, Trevor Metcalfe, Dave Fell, Keith Hudson, Margaret Martin and Jan Dunning for the comments and updates.

1 comment to Bells Huts

  • Jan Dunning

    My 2x great grandfather, Michael Hutchinson lived at 15 Bells Huts and is recorded in the 1901 and the 1911. He was a haulage engine driver.Previously he had lived at Wood cottages,Kilton. His granddaughter, Ellen Hutchinson married a local lad, Joseph Reed, who according to 1911 lived at 3 Primrose Hill Skinningrove. They lived in Carlin How all their married lives at 13,15 and 21 Brotton Road. I have a newspaper cutting of their Golden wedding describing their life in Brotton. It would be great if anyone reading this knows anything about them or their descendants as I am trying to build up as much information as I can to share with our American cousins who are planning to visit next year.

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