Sandstone Quarry, Easby Bank

A bit chilly but a lovely morning. This is an old sandstone or ‘freestone’ quarry on Easby Bank.

A ‘bank’ is a Yorkshire term for “a steep hillside, often with a road taking a direct route from top to bottom”1York.ac.uk. (2021). bank – Yorkshire Historical Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://yorkshiredictionary.york.ac.uk/words/bank [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021]. But the Ordnance Survey on their Six-inch England and Wales, 1856 map annotated ‘Easby Bank’ as along the edge of the moorland plateau2Maps.nls.uk. (2021). View map: Yorkshire 29 (includes: Easby; Great Ayton; Ingleby Greenhow; Kildale; Little Ay… – Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952. [online] Available at: https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344245#zoom=7&lat=6131&lon=5756&layers=BT [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021]..

Which sort of confused me when I read about a shocking accident which occurred on ‘Easby Bank’. In 1884, a ‘brake’ carrying 30 children and adults from the Welsh Baptist (Calvinistic Methodist) Sunday School, Middlesbrough, was returning from an excursion to Kildale, when the rear wheel broke as it was descending the bank. The carriage overturned, violently throwing everyone out. Several children were seriously injured, with one girl having to have two of her fingers amputated and others unconscious3‘News of the Week in Brief’ (1884) Lichfield Mercury, 29 Aug, 6, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EZ3244766700/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=97287239 [accessed 28 Sep 2021].4‘THE CAMBRIAN ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY’ (1884) Liverpool Mercury, 27 Aug, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/BB3204267651/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=8e0e3bdd [accessed 28 Sep 2021].5‘News’ (1884) Western Daily Press, 26 Aug, 8, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/JL3241951457/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=ed24e2e7 [accessed 28 Sep 2021].6‘Northern News’ (1884) Shields Daily Gazette, 25 Aug, 4, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EZ3243679457/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=e1e72c21 [accessed 28 Sep 2021]..

A ‘brake’ was a four-wheeled carriage drawn by either a pair of a team of four horses. Typically the rear wheels were larger than the front pair7Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Brake (carriage). [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_(carriage) [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021].. I can’t imagine a carriage big enough for thirty to be pulled by anything less than four horses.

The carriage was one of four carrying one hundred children, teachers, and friends on their excursion. All were from the Welsh diaspora in Middlesbrough, which had become established in the 1840s, encouraged by John Vaughan to work at his ironworks, the first on Teesside. In the 1861 census, one in twenty of the total population of Middlesbrough were identified as Welsh8Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Middlesbrough. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough#Welsh_migration [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021]..

In 1890, the first Cleveland and Durham Eisteddfod was held at the Middlesbrough Town Hall. By the outbreak of the First World War, this annual Eisteddfod had become the largest outside Wales and was the town’s biggest event9Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Middlesbrough. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough#Cultural_impact [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021]..

Today’s risk assessments and Health & Safety regs may be a pain but they are saving us from a lot of heartbreak.

  • 1
    York.ac.uk. (2021). bank – Yorkshire Historical Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://yorkshiredictionary.york.ac.uk/words/bank [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021]
  • 2
    Maps.nls.uk. (2021). View map: Yorkshire 29 (includes: Easby; Great Ayton; Ingleby Greenhow; Kildale; Little Ay… – Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952. [online] Available at: https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344245#zoom=7&lat=6131&lon=5756&layers=BT [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021].
  • 3
    ‘News of the Week in Brief’ (1884) Lichfield Mercury, 29 Aug, 6, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EZ3244766700/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=97287239 [accessed 28 Sep 2021].
  • 4
    ‘THE CAMBRIAN ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY’ (1884) Liverpool Mercury, 27 Aug, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/BB3204267651/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=8e0e3bdd [accessed 28 Sep 2021].
  • 5
    ‘News’ (1884) Western Daily Press, 26 Aug, 8, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/JL3241951457/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=ed24e2e7 [accessed 28 Sep 2021].
  • 6
    ‘Northern News’ (1884) Shields Daily Gazette, 25 Aug, 4, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EZ3243679457/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=e1e72c21 [accessed 28 Sep 2021].
  • 7
    Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Brake (carriage). [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_(carriage) [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021].
  • 8
    Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Middlesbrough. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough#Welsh_migration [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021].
  • 9
    Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Middlesbrough. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough#Cultural_impact [Accessed 28 Sep. 2021].

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