South Skelton Fatality – John Cheesman – 21 Apr 1897

Aged 63, Miner, He was caught by the full set when travelling out-bye on the engine plane and killed.

1897 Mines Inspectors Report (C 8819), Durham District (No. 4) by R. D. Bain, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Page: 29

No. 178 on the list occurred at South Skelton Mines, belonging to the Clay Lane Iron Co., Limited, on April 21st, causing the death of a miner.

This accident happened on the engine plane as the deceased man was coming to the shaft after his shift was finished. In passing through the landing he was told that the engine set might be signalled to start at anytime. It was, however, five minutes afterwards before it started and after having travelled about 250 yards the runrider, finding some of the tubs were off the way, signalled to the hauling engineman to stop the set, and on that being done he went back and found deceased had been caught and killed by the set.

On the opposite side to the one on which he was when found there was a space of 6 feet between the tubs to the side of the plane, and refuge holes were provided at required distances. The set runs very slowly, about 4 miles per hour, and it is difficult to account for the accident occurring.

One thought on “South Skelton Fatality – John Cheesman – 21 Apr 1897

  1. John Cheeseman (sometimes Cheesman) was born in Kent in 1834. The son of a Kentish shepherd, by the age of 20, he was living in Bowling, Yorkshire and working as a Puddler. He married Ann Walton on 9th August 1853 in the parish church. In 1861, John and Ann, now living under the surname of Webb, were at Farnley, near Bramley, in Yorkshire. They had two children: Albert, age 6, who was born in Bowling and John, age 1, who was born at Middlesbrough. They were living next door to Joseph Walton, his wife, and children. On Ann’s marriage certificate, her father’s name was given as Joseph Walton. Were they now living next door to her parents? And why the change of surname?

    In 1871 the family were now living on the High Street in Marske and were again using their real surname of Cheeseman. Albert was now 16 (born in Bradford) and working as a horse driver in the mines, John was age 11 (born at Eston) and at school. They had a younger sister, Mary, who was born at Marske. It is safe to conclude that John, the father, and his son, Albert were probably both employed at Upleatham mine.

    Ten years later, the family was living at 14 Station Terrace, Marske. The two John’s were both “iron miners” and Albert was no longer living at home. In fact, he was now married and had made a start on producing the next generation of Cheesemans.

    In 1891, the final census before his death, John Cheeseman and his wife were living at 14 Dale Street, New Marske. With them that night was six-year old Ann W Anguin, their grand-daughter.

    In 1901, Ann was living at 37 Carney Street, Boosbeck. Her son, John, was living with her. And on census night a grand-daughter, Selena A Cheeseman, 13 years old was also present. Since John is enumerated as a married man, this may be his daughter.

    Returning to the 1861 census details… The change of surname and the move to be near family strongly suggests that the family were on the run from some perceived danger. In such a situation, a move out of the immediate area, a change of name, and settling beside other family members and their neighbours would represent a sensible defence policy. What the danger was will probably remain a mystery.

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