Roseberry Ironstone Mine

It would have been bleak for the folk of Great Ayton on this day in 1921 when the 220 workers at the Roseberry Ironstone Mine received notice to cease work, at the end of which the mine would be idle. It would have been the talk of the village. The mine had reopened in 1906 and had operated throughout the First World War with good output reaching a peak of 386 men, however, the seams were becoming exhausted and in the aftermath of the war, there was a worsening economic depression. Some output was maintained for another three years, after which a ‘skeleton’ maintenance workforce was employed. Mothballing is the modern term. The final blow came in 1931 when an auction was held to clear the site of all surface buildings and equipment, thereby dashing all hopes of a reprieve. The photo shows concrete bases for some of the compressors, pumping engines, boilers and other machinery that were included in the auction.
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