Normanby Local History Logo And Banner
Normanby Local History Logo And Banner for printing

The Normanby Local History Group

  The Normanby Local History Group is a non-profit making collection of people who are interested in keeping the rich history of this small area in the North East of England alive for future generations to enjoy.

What We Do

  We research and uncover: archive records, photographs, artefacts and living memories of everything that has created the community of Normanby that we live or have lived in.

  We produce publications  including calendars, postcards, prints and booklets on some fascinating subjects about Normanby including Spencer Hardwick's brilliant booklets on life growing up in Normanby gained from his 90 years of living here along with Eric Armstrong's booklet on The Poverina Pub, the Old Mill and Richardson's Brewery.

  We hold monthly meetings  as well as other events   including exhibitions of our work and collections usually at the Normanby Methodist Church.
  You are very welcome to come along and see what we do.

Our Website

  This website is to act as an online magazine where new and interesting articles  on Normanby can be published and new material discovered with your help.

  You can add your memories of Normanby to our moderated Message Board  and we welcome any photographs that you may have and are willing to share with us.

Our facebook Page

  This provides regular information on our group's events and activities as well as timely reports of local events together with great photos and videos too!   See our facebook  page.

Where We Are

  Normanby began as a small village in the North Riding of the county of Yorkshire. This county was succeeded (for Normanby) in 1968 by the county borough of Teesside which only lasted six years until 1974 when absorbed into the new county of Cleveland - itself abolished in 1996.
  So Normanby is now in the borough of Redcar & Cleveland     (within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire).
  Nevertheless traditionalists consider Normanby still lies within the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Area We Cover

  The Normanby Local History Group covers the geographical area from the top of the Eston hills northwards to the river Tees foreshore at South Bank.   Spencer Beck forms the Western boundary, with Crossbeck forming the ancient Eastern boundary.   However we have extended our area of research eastwards to include Woodgarth and Old Eston.

Pic 04 Methodist chapel from turn of 20th Century

Last Message Board Update: 22 Mar 2017

Most Recent Page Updates: - -

15 July 2017 - - Articles - Update
Addition of a Progress Report on -
- film documentary of William Henry Short VC.

30 June 2017 - - Past Events  & Photo Gallery
Group Members’ Trip to Richmond on Wed 17th May 2017 -
- to Green Howards Museum and around the town.

12 May 2017 - - News  & Articles
News that Normanby LHG awarded grant by Lottery Fund -
- for project to mark WW1 Centenary, focussing on the life -
- of local man William Henry Short VC, and including a film.
New Article about this project and its progress.

2 April 2017 - - Appeals for Help - Update
Brass Band in Front of Eston Hills -
- possible clues from old newspaper report of ceremony
laying the methodist chapel foundation stone.

21 March 2017 - - News
New Marker Stone of former site of Saint Helen’s Church.

3 March 2017 - - Biography Updated
A Tribute file has been added to
the Biography of the late Spencer Hardwick.

See all the Previous Page Updates.

  Map of GB showing North East of England       Map of NE England showing Normanby location Pic 05 Buxtons Store

Latest News and Articles

Planned Events for 2017

Regular meetings on 4th Wednesday of each month
- see our Events  page.

15th Annual Exhibition Saturday 15th July 2017

Our Normanby Local History Group’s Annual Exhibition
was held as usual at Normanby Methodist Church.
More details will be added to our Events   page
as they become available.

Bridge Cracked

Group Members’ Trip to Richmond - 17 May 2017

   Members of our group spent a mainly fine day at Richmond visiting the Green Howards Museum and whatever else took our fancy!
   It was a very enjoyable day which was interesting and informative.

  More information can be found on our Past Events  page.


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Normanby LHG Trip to Richmond

Normanby Local History Group Awarded Grant
   by Heritage Lottery Fund for Project to Mark
      First World War Centenary - 12 May 2017

   Normanby Local History Group has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project entitled:
  "Gallantry in the Face of the Enemy, William Henry Short VC."
   Made possible by National Lottery players through HLF's
"First World War: Then and Now" programme, the project will focus on the life of local man William Henry Short.
   Local Hero Private William Short of the 8th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) received the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery on the 6th August 1916.
   A production company Lonely Tower Film & Media  based in north-east England will be assisting our group to produce a film about our local hero for showing locally and available in schools and libraries.

  For more information about this project and progress updates
see this Articles  page.

      William Henry Short William Short VC - Medal & Cap

New Marker Stone of Former
  Site of Saint Helen’s Church - 21 March 2017

  The original marker plaque (photo opposite) was vandalized and then removed for safekeeping to the nearby funeral parlour (in the former East Lodge of the cemetery).
  However what happened to the marker after that is not known!
      (Click on photo opposite for a larger image)

If you have information on the original plaque’s whereabouts -
- then please contact us  !


  Thanks to the Eston community and Teesville ward councillors a new stone was commissioned to mark the former site of our Saint Helen’s Church and was recently unveiled.
    (photos opposite by Barbara Greenmon).

  Saint Helen’s Church had 12th century origins and became the parish church from 1868 until 1884 when Christ Church, Eston was built.
  In 1899 it was turned over for use as a cemetery church.  It returned to Parochial status in the 1920s when the need for a church was realized upon the building of the Teesville Estates.
  Saint Helen’s Church was well used and a choir was formed in the late 1940s and remained until its closure in 1985.

  Regretably Saint Helen’s was vandalised and even set on fire in 1992.
  Eventually in 1998 it was dismantled and transported to Beamish Open Air Museum for storage.
  Ten years later rebuilding began which was completed in 2015.

  Members of our history group were pleased to be invited to the opening of the restored church on 15th November 2015 to see the splendid achievement of Beamish Museum.
  For views & video of this visit go to our photo gallery  page     (photos and video by Barbara & Harry Greenmon).


There is more about Saint Helen’s in Sylvia Fairbrass’ Article
Saint Helen’s Parish Registers & Cemetery

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Sad News from Normanby Local History Group - 17 February 2017

  Our group's oldest member (99 last October) and author of several of our booklets Spencer Hardwick passed away on 9th February at the care home in Scarborough where he moved last year.
  Spencer's funeral took place on Thursday 23rd February at Woodlands Crematorium, Scarborough.

  Spencer was a founding member of our Group as well as being a great inspiration to its early members and his knowledge was often called on at our group meetings.

  We were fortunate that Spencer wrote three of our group’s booklets recounting his memories of his early life in Normanby to present day.   His stories are a wealth of information on the history of our village.
Booklet 1: "Normanby Remembered"
Booklet 2: "Further Memories Of Normanby"
Booklet 4: "The Nab Still Looks Down - More Recollections of Normanby"

  We all have memories of our past - but too few of us make the effort to record these - thankfully Spencer did so in these booklets.
   We are grateful that Spencer recounted his memories of times past so humorously, affectionately and graphically that the story of our Normanby village and its people is brought to life once more.

               Rest in Peace Spencer.

Spencer Hardwick Normanby LHG Booklet 1 - Normanby Remembered Spencer Hardwick in Scouts. 1st left

Sad News from Normanby Local History Group - 1 November 2016

  This October our long-time member David Wilkinson passed away peacefully at home in Thoralby near Leyburn.
  A Service of Remembrance will be held for David at 1 pm Monday 14th November at St Andrew's Church, Aysgarth.

  David wrote our group's fifth booklet published in 2010 entitled
Diaries of Ralph Jackson -the Pepys of Cleveland
   This booklet features extracts edited by David from transcriptions of the diaries of Ralph Jackson (1736-1790) who was the founder of the Ward-Jackson line of squires of Normanby in Cleveland.
  David made an impressive appearance at our 2012 Exhibition dressed as Ralph Jackson to read extracts from the diaries.

  At our Group's monthly meeting on 26th October we all stood for one minute's silence to remember David.
  In this sad time we reflect that David's work has made more widely accessible extracts from an historic diary that reveals much of the lives of the earlier inhabitants of our Normanby.
  Rest in Peace David.
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David Wilkinson Ralph Jackson and Elizabeth Parrington

New Article - Work-in-Progress !!
"Normanby School Class Photos" - 24 October 2016

  This new Article shows some of the photographs of Normanby School classes from the many in our group’s archives.
  As many names as possible of the pupils and teachers are identified for each photo.
  Please feel free to view and enjoy them - perhaps recognise yourself and former classmates - and so provide us with more names to add.

  This new Article is under continuous construction !
  We’ll also gradually add more class photos -
- so do come back again and look for new entries !

See this Article  on Normanby.

Normanby School 1950 Class 9

New Publications!!
Three New Postcards - 18 October 2016

  Our group's postcards have always been popular and we have just published new ones.
  These three single view postcards (Nos.14 to 16) of Normanby & Old Eston village scenes are now available.

See our Publications  page for more details & availability.


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Postcard 14 of Single View of Eston

Birthday Greetings for Spencer Hardwick -
     - Our Group's Oldest Member - 13 October 2016

  12th October was the 99th birthday of Spencer Hardwick our group's oldest member and author of several of our booklets.
  His son Derek sent us the following message:-
  As some of you may know, Spencer moved into a care home in Scarborough earlier this year.   He remains fully alert but he is not as mobile as he once was; he still comes out with the same corny old jokes.
  He sends his regards and often talks about his life in Normanby, the villagers he knew and his links to the Local History Group, the Home Guard and about his working life in the iron and steel works.
  His memory is still good and he still can dredge up stories I haven't heard before.
  He gets on very well with the staff (many of whom I taught) and with the other residents especially the ladies.   When he told the GP he was moving into the care home, the doctor warned him to beware all the rich widows and spinsters.   True to form, he looked at the doc and said
           "It’s nourishment I want, not punishment".
  If you’d seen him on his birthday, he was lapping up all the attention and parading around the dining room in the new T-shirt I got him.   He had that many ladies come up to him and give him hugs and kisses that he said he wouldn’t wash his face for days !
  He certainly enjoyed his special day which was enhanced by the caring staff, his new made friends and the surprising number of cards he got.
  I thought you all might like to see the photos of him to show that he hasn't changed that much since you last saw him.
  Please pass on his best wishes to all who might remember him.
         ------ Regards, Derek Hardwick ------

  Our group sends best wishes to Spencer with many thanks for all his contributions towards remembering Normanby and wish him well in his new home.




Spencer Hardwick at 99



Spencer Hardwick at 99

New Publication!!
2017 Calendar of Normanby "Past & Present" - 1 October 2016

  Our group's calendars have always been popular and we have just published our new 2017 calendar.
  This depicts pictures of Normanby scenes "Past & Present" taken from nearly the same viewpoints.
  So you can spot the differences to see how much our village has changed - or hasn't!

See our Publications  page for more details & availability.


2017 Normanby Calendar

6th August Commemorative Ceremony for
               William Henry Short VC - 6 August 2016

   A Ceremony took place on Saturday 6th August at 11 am to unveil a commemorative paving stone for Private William Henry Short VC in our local Eston Cemetery.
   Local Hero Private William Short of the 8th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) won his VC for most conspicuous bravery on the 6th August 1916 (100 years ago).
   The ceremony was well attended.

  More information and photos of this ceremony can be found
on our Past Events  page.

2016 Commemorative Ceremony - Family of William Short VC

100 Years Ago - Battle of the Somme - 1 July 2016

  One of the bloodiest conflicts of the First World War - the Battle of the Somme - began on 1 July 1916 and lasted 141 days until the 18th November 1916.
  In the first day of the battle the casualties were appalling - 57,000 British soldiers of whom 19,000 were killed.
  The battle continued steadily driving the Germans back but at an appalling cost - 420,000 British, 200,000 French and between 450,000 and 600,000 German casualties - killed, missing and injured.
  Soldiers from our village of Normanby suffered heartbreaking losses - nine of the 34 named on our WW1 Memorial died in this bloody battle on the following dates of 1916:
 3rd July Pte. Robert Dale . . . . . . . . . . (10th.Yks) aged 30.
 5th July Lt. Frank Hermiston . . . . . . . . (9th.Yks) aged 25.
 5th July Cpl. Herbert G. Holsey . . . . . (9th.Yks) aged 28.
10th July Pte. Richard J. Hunt . . . . . . . (8th.Yks) aged 21.
10th July Pte. Charles H. Spencer . . . (8th.Yks) aged 28.
20th July Lt. Leonard Ferguson  (13th.Roy.Scots) aged 33.
30th Sep Lt. F.E.S. "Joe" Townsend  (5th.D.L.I.) aged 23.
  1st Oct Sgt.Maurice B.Mallinson  (N/land Fusrs) aged 23.
10th Nov Capt. John Serginson . . . . . . (4th.Yks) aged 26.
  So many lives cut short, women widowed, children orphaned, parents losing sons - and also the many maimed in body or mind.
  The terrible attrition of the Somme was not futile - it eventually led to allied victory in 1918 - but it was a terrible human tragedy.
                   - - - We must never forget! - - -

More information on the 34 brave local men whose names appear on the Normanby War Memorial is published in our booklet
"In Memory of the Men of Normanby".
See our Publications  page for more details.



Normanby War Memorial







Picture Of Bob Coulson and Eric Taylor's 1st Booklet


Previous News & Articles

  All those prior to July 2016 have been moved to a separate page so as to keep this home page more timely.

See Previous News & Articles from 2011 to June 2016.

St.Helen's Vestry rebuild at Beamish