May 2013


Please note new date for July meeting at Record Office

Buildings: Keith Burton noted that Barry Harrison, an expert on dating old buildings, would welcome the opportunity inspect lofts in Stokesley. It was agreed that we should approach likely owners and publicise the opportunity. Preston School: members of Val Burton’s family once lived in Preston House. Ralph Barker said that he had some old exercise books from the Kirby Grammar School. Mary Morgan is researching the Thomson family, who had shoe shops. Ralph knew Azul Thomson (former Holmes and Rose shop) who also delivered post in Bilsdale by bike. Ralph Barker also recalled that he once lived in North Villa, probably the first dwelling on the Back Lane (now North Road) , built by Mr Nesham for his family, now demolished. There was a brewery in the grounds attaching to North Villa, including a maltings. Ralph mentioned evidence that pigeons might have been used for customers placing beer orders. He was asked to type up these items for the Heritage Web site.

Great War: Keith Burton has had little response to his appeal for information on the Fallen from Stokesley but has had contacts from elsewhere in Yorkshire and the NE, France and London. Hopefully Newsletter publicity will improve the local response together with an Exhibition, probably upstairs in the Town Hall. Frank Baldwin, a London contact, helped arrange a school visit to the WW1 battlefields from here around 2005. He is proposing an HLF project for which he would apply with the support of the Society and other partner oraganisations to extend our work, maybe with Battlefields visits. Keith agreed to give a talk at the November Public meeting.

Internet site: The response on the Great War shows the value of the site to reach a national audience. Keith has also opened a private internet site,, so that participants can share work in progress.

The Flax Mill: Ralph Barker strongly recommended a talk Peter Morgan gave in Great Ayton on Flax. This could be included in the 2015 society programme. A big Mill at Brompton operated up to the 1950s.

The Manor: Kev Cale reported that Northallerton Local History Society were studying the evolution of their own town and would welcome an exchange visit for guided walks next year.

Archaeology: John Edwards has returned to the UK. He was unable to attend this Forum, but is keen to research local archeology. Kev recommended web sites to check, and suggested meeting John at the next Forum or when he is in Stokesley for the Primary School project.

Travel: Chris Taylor reported that having studied Pannier Ways, he is making progress with Turnpikes. Kev said that the Records Office has Quarterly Sessions papers that will be relevant. Irene Ridley may have information on Bridges from a study by Daphne Franks, who moved from Stokesley. Alan Crosskill will be helping Chris investigate Railways.

Records Office: The next Forum will be at the Records Office if it can be arranged, with the Park Room hired. We will need to alert the Office on what we want to examine. Arrangement now made for Mon 1st July. They will have Aerial Photos from 1940-1946, which could help identify Ridge and Furrow sites.

Primary School: Kev saw the Head earlier, and hoped to have a response on dates for this Term by the end of the day. He would welcome help for a guided walk which would include aspects of our current research.

Hugh Charman

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