November 4th 2013



Hugh Charman reviewed plans for presenting research results meeting the aim “preparation of one heritage leaflet plus further research leading to projects following the completion of this project” (from the HLF Application for work after the publication of the first three leaflets). This leaflet will be a trail guide to six interpretive panels which will be the next Stokesley Society Project. While the leaflet will include portions of the research being done, for several topics a booklet financed by the Society will be the appropriate vehicle for presenting results, along with the web site, talks and walks. Panel information and location will be sent out with this note. Participants are asked to be alert to relevant material and to give it priority so that contributions can be given to Frank Robinson by July 2014. Tim Allison noted that a cycle way from Gt Ayton to Stokesley with panels has been proposed, offering the prospect of a Panel link with Great Ayton.


Chris Taylor said that he was still receiving information relevant to his Pannierway Project and that things were progressing well with the next section "Turnpike Roads” although he needed more info on Stokesley's Inns. Tim Allinson showed a new Local History Study Group publication "Ale Houses of Stokesley" which CT purchased on behalf of the Society. He advised the meeting he was also in contact with Northallerton Record Office and intended to arrange a visit to obtain more info on Turnpike Roads in the Stokesley area.

Alan Crosskill gave a brief summary of his section on Railways and emphasised that he like CT was making sure that we put emphasis on the human touch by including many personal memories of Stokesley residents- Peter Jopling offered help with his memories of heavy goods vehicles in the 1950's in Stokesley.


Work is continuing and the website is progressing. Keith and Val Burton have now obtained copies of Absent Voters lists for 1918, identifying a further 140 serving men in the district. They will try to concentrate their researches on men of the township first. They had visited the Thiepval Memorial in September and will put photos on the website later. Keith will be giving 2 talks in November on the research to date, and will be exhibiting at Middlesbrough Library on Saturday 16th November in conjunction with the Great Ayton group.

Derek Whiting will work with Keith to prepare a press release on the research being done and the opportunities for people to contribute, also publicising Keith’s Stokesley Society talk on 25 Nov. (Note that this should mention HLF funding and be authorised by them if possible). Tim Allison offered to check newspapers and noted that Directories could provide useful information on how the war affected the Stokesley’s character.


Work has been carried out by Val Burton to investigate the background to John Preston’s will and that of his father, John Preston senior, obtained from the Borthwick Institute, York. The will of the benefactor has not been found, despite systematic searches by the Borthwick archivist. As one of the beneficiaries of the earlier will was John Ingleby of Ripley Castle, this may be the next lead to follow. NYCCRO contains no relevant documents pre-1920.
Some information is now on the website and more is to follow. It may prove interesting to provide a link on the website with those soldiers who were ex-pupils.


John Edwards reported that listing of Stokesley-related archaeological records is progressing but is showing disappointing number of prehistoric discoveries within the official records. Most entries relate to 17th or later buildings. In due course, the unearthing of unofficial details of finds ("grey material") promises to add more exciting content.


Hugh Charman is exploring the development of flax in the region and has as visited Brompton, which was an important location with two large single storey Flax mills. A mill operated up to 1953. Kev Cale noted that it would be worth having a good photographic record of the many features of the Stokesley Mill building - Hugh to check with Mike Richardson.


Kev is working with yr 5 at Stokesley Primary School: 2 workshops planned for Autumn term, the first of which is "meet the heritage professionals", the second is an introduction to the available resources for 1913 Stokesley. After Christmas it is hoped this work can be built on leading to a sustained project focusing on 1914- the duration, extent and timing of this is still to be decided by the school.
Kev has met with Paul Howes at Stokesley School (Head of History) who is very excited about future collaboration on a Great War themed project. However, he is also realistic about time and availability within the High School curriculum. As such, it was mutually agreed that perhaps the best way of taking the project forward would be to set up an after school club running between January and late June 2014. It was agreed with Paul Howes that rather than replicate the research already undertaken by the Burtons, the High School students should take the research on the Great War and develop it into an interactive map that could be linked to the existing wiki site. KJC is now drafting a plan to take this forward and also see how it can work alongside the Primary school project.

7. Future Forums:

The next one will be booked for Monday 13 Jan. This will consider when and what topics to discuss with Barry Harrison who is an expert on buildings, market towns in the area (although he has not done much on Stokesley) and on the Port of Yarm. Participants could give a presentation of relevant topics for Barry’s comments. We will also consider timing for a Forum at the Record Office.

Hugh Charman

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