A strange sort of day. Blue skies in Ayton this morning but Nunthorpe enveloped in a low lying fog, which by late afternoon was beginning to creep higher.
The cottage is known as Airey Holme Cottage, built sometime in the later half of the 19th-century and recently modernised.
Most of the census returns are not detailed enough to identify the property to discover who had previously lived in the cottage. However the 1881 return is clear. We can see that John William Sidgwick was living there with his wife, Elizabeth, and two children John George, aged 2, and Dora Beatrice, 4 months. Also listed as present in the cottage was his niece Jane who was 10 and at school. Presumably she walked into the village every day. John was 33 years old, a woodman and gamekeeper and born in Hutton Rudby. Elizabeth was 32 and came from Holme in Norfolk.
In the 1911 census, just one man was living in the cottage. Roberts Edward, 26, and described as single and a boarder from Middlesbrough. His occupation is given as an ‘Engine Driver Oil‘ at the ironstone mines, no doubt Roseberry Mine.
Roseberry Mine had reopened in 1907 after being abandoned for several decades. 1911 saw an increase in the workforce to 288, up from 216 the year before. These men would have required accommodation so it seems odd that just one man occupied Airey Holme Cottage. No miners were down as boarding at Airey Holme Farm.
Which reminds me. I must have a look at the 1921 census which has just been released.