Monday, 7 November 2011

Teesside Troubadour

In September 2004 as the Iron Awe team premiered "Demonstration Day" in Middlesbrough Town Hall, across the road outside the local cinema, hundreds of people were ignoring the new Harry Potter movie and queuing up to see Craig Hornby’s film "A Century in Stone" A film about the Cleveland ironstone mining industry

Craig Hornby’s latest film "Teesside Troubadour" tells the story of Vin Garbutt, who for over forty years has been using music and song to tell the world about the people and places of Teesside. Vin now lives in an old farmhouse near Loftus, half a mile from Cleveland's first ironstone mine.

Both these films are available on DVD and are both highly recommended.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Cleveland Ironstone Mining Family of Kate Middleton (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge)

At the wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton on the 29 April 2011, much was made of the fact that one of Kate’s Great-Great-Grandfathers was a coal miner from Durham, there was no mention of Kate’s ironstone mining heritage. Below is a part of Kate's mother’s side of her family tree, surprisingly it shows a Middleton.

There were over eighty ironstone mines in Cleveland, the first one opened in 1847 and the last one closed in 1964; there were several mines in Brotton, and several more five miles away in Guisborough. Brotton ironstone miners organised the first union in 1872 and the same year the first Demonstration day or gala was held at Skelton, halfway between Brotton and Guisborough. Kate’s Great-Great-Grandfather Thomas Temple was an ironstone miner in 1871 and was living in Brotton in 1874, he would have been a member of the union and attended several of the yearly Demonstration days.

On a personal note, my great grandfather William Lawson, an ironstone miner, married Mary Robinson on Christmas day 1875 at Brotton Parish Church, a year after ironstone miner Joseph Temple’s Daughter Elisabeth was born in Brotton.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The King's Ear

In 2006 St. Joseph's School, Loftus celebrated its 100th birthday and made a film about life in Loftus in 1906, the children did all the acting, all the filming and helped write the script. The film was made in just two and a half days at eight different locations around Loftus and cost nothing to make; unfortunately we had little time for editing before the premiere, so the sound could have been better.

In 1906, our MP Herbert Samuel was also the Home Secretary, he was at first against giving women the vote, but after the Great War he changed his mind, he later gave woman the right to become MPs. (From the book People of the past in Loftus by Eric M. Jackson.)