Holliday and Pigeons


Leslie ‘Pem’ Holliday and Pigeons


Pem Holliday (1933-2013) was a lifelong resident
of Skinningrove. His daughter Dawn has these

recollections of her dad’s devotion to pigeons:After World War Two, dad still lived at Cliff Terrace but by then he was working on ‘the belt’ at the local steelworks and keeping pigeons.  Corn was still rationed because of the war and the allowance was 12lb per week.  Bill Dawson would inform dad when beans were being sold at Hinderwell; dad would walk there for a stone of them then walk all the way back, a total of about 14 miles.  He got the beans at the first farm on the left as you go into Hinderwell from Staithes.  Sometimes dad would look for ears of corn and peas in the fields then slough the ears so he could feed his pigeons.

Here’s an entry from Dawn’s diary:

20 September 2004 – Me, dad and Joe (dad’s great grandson) went to feed the ducks today.  On the way back, dad said it was 53 years to the day since he joined the Army.  He was in it for two years and for the first 18 months he was paid £2 1s 6d each week.  He used to send 10s 6d home to Bronco, his brother, to feed the pigeons.


  Skinningrove Bonfire & Fireworks Display 2017   Saturday 4 November saw one of Skinningrove’s best ever shows as spectacular fireworks illuminated the hillsides and a bonfire that represented pigeon fancying in the local area.  There’s been a theme to all the bonfires in the village since the first one in 1982; this year it […] more


  UP NORTH COMBINE: SKINNINGROVE WINNERS The Up North Combine is an amalgamation of pigeon clubs and federations, founded in 1905 and governed by the North of England Homing Union. Members of the combine’s federations range from Berwick to Staithes. Here’s a roll of honour showing the owners of pigeons from Skinningrove that have won […] more

My Beautiful Ocean


Chimney Demolished

At Skinningrove Works                 more

May Day Queen

May Queen

May Queen

May Queen

about mid 1975



Old Harbour at Hummersea

old harbour


In the Seventeenth century, the Alum mining industry began at near-by Hummersea. Skinningrove thus became increasingly busy with horse and cart traffic passing across the scar (or wave -cut platform) , to Hummersea.


Traces of this can still be seen, with deep cuts worn into the rocks, below Hummersea  cliffs

Alum became important as a chemical for fixing dyes in textiles and in the tanning of leather. It was also used in the manufacture of parchment, for hardening candles and fire-proofing. From the 1851 census return,we know that a number of alum miners/labourers and even manufacturers, were resident in Skinningrove. The sandstone used for building the hamlet was possibly a by-product of the alum mines. Layers of sandstone having had to be removed by quarrying, before the alum could be reached. This then was the first encroachment of industry of Skinningrove. This industry lasted well over 200 years, coming to an end in 1870, when the invention of aniline dyes in Germany rendered the use of alum as a mordant in the wool industry redundant.

Stan Binks

Archive Photos from Irene Kettle

Here are two photos taken in the early 1950s on Deepdale Lane (known locally as Wood Road) between Skinningrove and Loftus.  One of the photos shows Bill Andrew and, in the pram, his daughter Irene who told the history group: “My dad was born and bred in Skinningrove, as were my grandparents and great-grandparents.  I’ve spent many happy hours on ‘Saltburn side’ and like to walk there when I try and visit every year and remember happy times.  My dad’s cousin is Mrs Teasdale on New Company Row; my great-grandparents’ name was Harker”.

The photos show some features of local industry at that time, including the aerial cable that took shale from Loftus Ironstone Mine to the tip beside Deepdale Lane.  The structure above Bill and Irene was there to protect pedestrians from any shale that might fall from the overhead buckets.  In the distance is Skinningrove Iron & Steel Works and part of the mine can be seen below.  The zig zag railway is also visible on one of the photos.

If you have any archive images or documents of the Skinningrove area that you wish to share with others, please contact Skinningrove History Group.IMG_0002IMG_0001

Remembered with Honour


Remembered with honour


In Memory of


73339, 1st Bn., Durham Light Infantry

who died

on 29 March 1918


China Dogs and Candle Sticks

  • IMG_1215

Barbara  Flintoff



In the First World War, my mother then Ada Scott lived in front street Carlin How. Each night before going to bed every one had to make sure their clothes were put ready in case of an air raid .My grandma also had the same ritual each night, the brass candle sticks and china dogs were wrapped up and placed under the bed just in case they got bombed. On hearing the siren it was a mad dash to dress and make their way to Skinningrove to the mine they stayed until the all clear was sounded when they could return home. On one occasion they arrived back home to soldiers outside the house there had been a bomb dropped nearby. They could not go in the house because of the damage but somehow or other grandma managed to get her candle sticks and dogs out of the house still intact .






With the men away fighting the woman had to take on some of the jobs at the works, my mother joined the woman on the belt sorting the rubbish from the ironstone .The photo is showing you what they were wearing to do the job.

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