Most of the cuttings relate to the early and mid-1930s and they give a vivid picture of life in Hutton Rudby in the years before the Second World War, when "Herr Hitler" was still a figure of fun and not an imminent menace.
The notes that follow will convey some idea of the contents of the album. The story of the thunderbolt that struck Doctors Lane in 1928 is particulary worth reading!
I have added photographs from the Hutton Rudby History Society collection, by way of illustration.
Blair Family News
Oct 1894: North Eastern Gazette
“The appointment of Mr Percy Sadler-Blair as managing director of Messrs Blair and Co., Limited, marine engineers, Stockton, in succession to his late father-in-law, Mr G Y Blair, is one which will be widely recognised as extremely fitting. The late Mr G Y Blair was a gentleman highly respected alike for his ability and personal worth. In his successor, Mr Percy Sadler-Blair, are to be found many of those qualities of character which went to the upbuilding of a firm which to-day stands high in the estimation of commercial men. We trust that the success which attended the efforts of the late Mr G Y Blair may be vouchsafed to his successor in office.”1918:
“Late Capt Gerard Sadler: The people of Tees-side have heard with deep sorrow of the death of Captain Gerard Sadler, 3rd Dragoon Guards, youngest son of Lady Sadler and the late Sir Samuel Sadler, which occurred at Messines, Belgium, on November 1st. He died in sad circumstances, wounded, and a prisoner of war …”1888:
“Marriage of Miss Blair, of Hutton Rudby”:11 May 1903:
The marriage of Lieutenant Percy A F Sadler, son of Col S A Sadler, JP, of Preston-on-Tees, and Mary Young (Minnie) Blair, eldest daughter of Mr George Y Blair, JP, of Drumrauck, Hutton Rudby.
Villagers assembled “on the route and in the church” and “several volunteers residing at Hutton Rudby, and connected with the North York Regiment posted themselves on the roadside with flags, as a token of respect to their comrade in arms.”
“The bridegroom and his best man, Mr A Sadler, were the first to arrive at the church, which had been nicely decorated with an arch of evergreen, orange blossoms, and roses in the chancel, and with orange blossoms, roses, and pelargoniums on and about the altar.”
The bride wore Irish poplin trimmed with pearls and crepe de chine, with “an ample train”, a wreath of orange blossoms and a long tulle veil. She carried a bouquet of stephanotis and tuberoses, and “wore no ornaments”.
Her bridesmaids were her sisters, Florence and Amy, who wore white china silk with Directoire hats to match, and carried a basket of white swell peas and maiden-hair fern.
“When they passes the village green [after the service] the school children heartily cheered them, and fresh showers of rice were thrown while the Hutton Rudby Brass Band played the “Wedding March”.
“In consequence of the recent death of the bride’s mother, the wedding was of a private nature, only relatives of the two families being present.”
Amongst those listed as giving presents to the couple were “Mr and Mrs George Blair (Glasgow)” who gave a set of dessert knives and forks.
“Home from the War – Lieut Hereward Sadler’s welcome”.
There are three cuttings on this subject. Hereward Sadler was a son of Colonel and Mrs Sadler of The Southlands, Eaglescliffe.
“The Mayoral Reception at Middlesbrough – A Brilliant Function -17 Jan 1901: Middlesbrough & Stockton Mail:
Nothing could have been more brilliantly successful than the reception given in the Town Hall, Middlesbrough yesterday by Colonel and Mrs Sadler as Mayor and Mayoress of Middlesbrough”. A long list of guests is included.
“The Middlesbrough Unionists – Banquet to Col Sadler, MP – Great Gathering in the Town Hall – Speeches by the Marquis of Zetland, Col Ropner, MP, and others”Nov 1914:
“The Late Captain G G Sadler – Captain Gerard Gloag Sadler, of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, who was officially reported wounded and afterwards missing, is now stated to have died of wounds. Capt Sadler was the youngest son of the late Sir Samuel and Lady Sadler, of Middlesbrough, and was 34 years of age. He had been 15 years in the Army, and got his company in 1910. He had previously seen active service in the South African War.” Hereward Sadler was his brother.28 June 1919: The Courier (Edinburgh):
“The Ill-fated Forfarshire: In 1834 Mr Peter Borrie, engineer, whose works, the first Tay Foundry, were situated in Trades Lane, along with Mr Thos Adamson, shipbuilder, took up the building of wooden steamers, one being the ill-fated Forfarshire, which was wrecked on the Farne Islands, and was the object of Grace Darling’s heroic venture.27 Nov 1933: North Eastern Daily Gazette:
Mr Borrie in 1840 commenced iron shipbuilding, including several iron paddle steamers. The Lass o’ Gowrie and the Princess Royal were built at Broughty Ferry, there being three yards there – one near where No 1 Douglas Terrace now stands, one at 13 James Place, and one west of the Castle.
Mr Borrie gave up business in 1846, and from 1842 till 1854 no iron ships were actually built in Dundee. The Eastern Monarch, a wooden ship of 1840 tons, built by Mr Alex. Stephen, and launched in 1846, was one of the largest ships then in existence.”
“A Happy family party, consisting of 34 relatives of Lady Sadler, was held at her home, “Southlands”, at Eaglescliffe, yesterday, in honour of her 80th birthday, which she celebrates tomorrow. Mr Norman Sadler, on behalf of Lady Sadler’s 17 grandchildren, all of whom were present, presented her with a gold locket and chain, while Miss Elizabeth Sadler, of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, who, at 19, is Lady Sadler’s youngest grandchild, handed her a bouquet of roses.” With photographs.29 Nov 1933: Northern Echo:
“Teesside Remembers Lady Sadler – A Cheerful 80th Birthday – message from woman helped in 1899”10 Feb 1934:
“Well-known Cleveland Family Bereaved – Funeral of Mrs T Jones at Hutton Rudby –She apparently lived at Pannal near Harrogate – wreaths were sent from the Pannal Golf Club Ladies, the Kirby Overblow Reading Room Members, the Kirby Overblow District Nursing Association, the Pannal Women’s Institute, Harrogate Sports Club.
Much regret was expressed in Hutton Rudby and district when it became known that Mrs “Timmy” Jones, daughter of the late Mr Percy Blair and Mrs Blair, of “Linden”, had passed away, following a short illness.
When she married the younger son of the late Dr Jones, of Stokesley, a few years ago, she left Hutton Rudby, but she was often at her old home, and was there only a few weeks ago looking well and happy.
Mrs Jones, who was only 35 years of age, being buried on her birthday, leaves a husband and a little son. The whole village may be said to have been in mourning on Thursday when the funeral took place. Nearly every house had its blinds drawn, and there were many manifestations of sincere sympathy.”
March 1934: Hutton Rudby Parish Magazine:
“In Memoriam Marian Elspeth Jones - …Ever a kindly person, she gloried in companionship of wind and weather – never so happy as when breasting the breeze with her retinue of faithful dogs, the song of the wind in her ears and familiar paths to range … she was not one to claim a selfish loneliness or plead a timid helplessness.7 Dec 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
It was she who mothered the Guide Company in its first orphaned days, and to her many came ever certain of help and cheer …”
“Passing of Mrs Percy Blair – Friend and Benefactor of Hutton Rudby”14 Dec 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times: the funeral of Mrs Blair
Mrs Blair died after a few months’ illness. “Daughter of the late Mr G Y Blair, founder of the now defunct Stockton engineering firm which in its heyday was known all over the world, Mrs Blair came to live at Hutton Rudby with her father and two sisters when she was a girl.
She married early in life a son of Sir Samuel Sadler – Mr Percy Sadler, who afterwards assumed the name of Blair and took a leading part in the management of Blair’s Works. The young couple lived for a short time at Eaglescliffe, removing later to “Lindon”, a former home of Mr T E Pyman the West Hartlepool shipowner. Here a family of one son and five daughters was born.
Mrs Blair suffered many domestic bereavements. Her husband died 29 years ago and her only son, Lieut George Blair, fell in the Great War. One daughter died in infancy. Her second daughter, Margaret passed away about 30 years ago and another daughter, who married Dr Maurice Jones, died comparatively recently.
Mrs Blair was a liberal supporter of all local organisations. The organ in All Saints’ Church was given in memory of her half-brother, the late Mr Borrie Blair, and when a village hall was in contemplation at Hutton Rudby it was the Blair family which gave the site and besides subscribing handsomely, afterwards presented a billiard table.
Mrs Blair was a vice-president of the cricket club and a generous benefactor to Hutton Rudby Church. Mrs Blair is survived by two daughters, Miss Winifred Blair and Mrs Roche.”
The Revd Leeper returned to his former parish to take the service. Cremation at Darlington, ashes scattered in the Field of Remembrance.
Jan 1936: the Deanery Magazine:
An In Memoriam to Mrs Blair written by the Rev A Leeper, includes a verse:
Trust not thy peace to joys
Far brought, and costly toys;
Nor crave the dust and noise
of tinsel state;
For if there be a bliss
A simple heart must miss,
They have no name for this
Past Linden Gate.
Far brought, and costly toys;
Nor crave the dust and noise
of tinsel state;
For if there be a bliss
A simple heart must miss,
They have no name for this
Past Linden Gate.
30 Jan 1936: North Eastern Daily Gazette:
from Town Talk by Margot: Miss Elizabeth Margaret Sadler, granddaughter of Lady Sadler,
“has been placed second in all England in the examination for the diploma of LGSM for elocution, and has also been awarded the Silver Medal for honours … Miss Sadler’s home is at Beaconsfield, Bucks.”
19 Mar 1928:
“Bolt from the Blue – Sunday Shock for a Village – Houses Shaken – Flash and a Bang out of the Sky –
A thunderbolt fell in Doctor’s-lane, Hutton Rudby, about two o’clock yesterday afternoon, causing considerable alarm.
The morning had been fine and there were no indications of thunder in the air until the bolt fell from the blue. Several residents saw what looked like a huge ball of fire flashing through the air. As it came to ground it broke two telegraph wires and scattered earth all over the road. A deafening report followed, and there were reverberations of thunder for several seconds afterwards. A blinding flash of lightning accompanied the fall. Windows shook and crockery rattled in the Doctor’s-lane houses.
Mrs Annis, of the Station Hotel, happened to be looking into the yard at the back of the hotel when the bolt, or whatever it was, fell. To her “it seemed as though the sun was falling”, she said.
Residents of houses nearly half a mile away declare that their windows rattled as though there had been an earthquake. People rushed to their doors and windows to see what had happened. Cattle grazing peacefully in the fields were panic-stricken, and the hens set up a cackling which continued for some minutes. They were more frightened than they were by the Eclipse last summer.”
With a photograph: “Where the bolt fell” showing “Mr Honeyman, of Hutton Rudby, indicating the spot where the thunderbolt fell on Sunday afternoon. He was only 100 yards away at the time.”
In the photograph, he is pointing to the ground beside a gate post.
26 Dec 1931: Darlington & Stockton Times:
review of Hutton Rudby’s “Princess Ida”
20 Apr 1932: Northern Echo:
Review of plays at the Yorkshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes. Hutton Rudby performed “Safe Custody” and “The Winter’s Tale” which
“was splendidly acted. The only fault was the wearing of modern shoes, which did not harmonise with the costumes of the period.”Nunthorpe played “A Troubled Conscience”
“the production was given with care and thought. The costumes, however, came in for criticism, Miss Lally regarding them as more of the early Tudor period than Elizabethan”.19-23 Apr 1932: Darlington & Stockton Times:
full list of awards in York WI drama competitions
10 Sep 1932: North Eastern Gazette:
“Lord of Manor of Hutton Rudby [Allan Bowes Wilson] leaves £105,953 to Sister as Sole Executrix”
7 Jan 1933: Darlington & Stockton Times:
review of “The Mikado” at Hutton Rudby
7 Jan 1933: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Noted Cleveland Hedgecutter – Former Champion’s Death at Hutton Rudby –14 Jan 1933: Darlington & Stockton Times:
Having passed away at the ripe old age of 87, Mr William Sidgewick, was buried yesterday, at Hutton Rudby, his native parish, amid many manifestations of sympathy and respect.
More widely known by his nickname of “Willie Knuckles” which had clung to him from boyhood days, Mr Sidgewick followed agricultural pursuits throughout his long life … He was one of the best hedgecutters the North Riding has ever produced and in his younger days won championships at [nine places named] …
For many years he was on the committee of the Hutton Rudby and District Ploughing and Hedgecutting Society, and with his friend Mr Robert Craggs, who for many years farmed at Park Farm, Sexhow, and is now living in retirement at Rudby, he in former days – before the bus age – walked many, many miles to see any particularly good work in hedgecutting and thatching …
Mr Sidgewick started work at the early age of nine years. His first job was at Ober Green brickworks, near Hutton Rudby, where, with a girl of the same age, he used to carry bricks. A year or so later he became a farm boy at Newton-under-Rosebery, and stayed there five years. His next five years were spent at Ober Green Farm, after which he was for another five years with Mr John Sherwood at Stainton. Next he was foreman for three years on a farm at Norton, after which he had another three years near Middlesbrough. Next he was foreman for five years at Hutton Rudby Grange. Afterwards he worked at Drumrauch and at Lindon, Hutton Rudby, and for many others in the district, hedgecutting, thatching, and doing other farm work ...
While he was at Ober Green he once mowed six acres and then started on a 17-acre field, most of which he mowed before further help could be obtained.
Mr Sidgewick was married three times. The widow is at present in hospital suffering from a broken collar bone sustained when she was blown over in a recent gale.”
review of “To see ourselves” at Hutton Rudby
24 Mar 1933: Yorkshire Post:
review of York WI Drama contest:
“Hutton Rudby were justified of their ambition in essaying Sheridan. The costumes were admirable and the eighteenth century flavour was definite.”May 1933: The Parish Magazine:
“Meet the Chalet – Owing to the kindness of Mrs Blair the park house, once called the Hut, and honourably inhabited, has now become the Rover Chalet and with much paint upon it, and around it, has found new life and usefulness.6 May 1933: Darlington & Stockton Times:
It is to be the rendezvous of those who have gained a scout viewpoint of life but have grown out of younger modes of expression – it is to be a resting-place for Rovers from the town who may not fare too far from their workshop and stools – a place of vision and solitude where is space and sometimes silence.
Facing the hills and fringed about with copses of larch and fir the Chalet turns its back upon the haunts of men and looks wide into the sun. It is not a house of luxury but luxury is there in the crackle of dry wood on the hearth and the crunch of friendly straw and the rough male-kiss of blanket in the dormitory. There is also Peter the rabbit, a youngster of not many days old, hardly rescued from the foundations of the wood shed but already trusting its roving mates. Altogether a fairy place where quests are planned and where the first sweet taste of ownership and responsibility is gained.”
“Popular Cleveland Schoolmaster – Death of Mr T W Bavage, of Hutton Rudby – taken ill at school –
A gloom was cast over Hutton Rudby yesterday by the news that Mr T W Bavage, headmaster of the village school, had been taken suddenly ill during lessons and passed away shortly after being removed to his home in Doctors’-lane …he was removed to his home in Mr H Grierson’s motor, and Dr Proctor was called in …
Mr Bavage was in his younger days in the teaching profession at West Hartlepool. He was later Headmaster for some years of the Church of England School at Hawser. During the 12 years he had been Headmaster of Hutton Rudby School he identified himself closely with local affairs …”
|Mr Bavage conducting the singing on an Empire Day celebration in the 1920s|
2 Apr 1934:
“Paste Egg Show at Hutton Rudby – Easter visitors to Hutton Rudby were delighted with yesterday’s exhibition of paste eggs, which will be sent to the Morris Grange Children’s Hospital, near Catterick. Most of the entries came from school children, but men and women also completed. Miss Blair, Mrs Richardson and Miss Foggin were the organisers, and Mrs M Morrison and Mrs K M Roche were the judges...”27 Apr 1934: Yorkshire Herald:
“Drama Festival at York”: Hutton Rudby performed a scene from Hamlet (with photograph)
Oct 1934: North Eastern Daily Gazette:
“Back to the looms – children’s work at Hutton Rudby – Love of Craft”- schoolchildren making linen and woollen scarves on hand-made looms, under the instruction of the headmaster Mr W Johnson. A 150 year old spinning wheel had been presented to the school and an extra large hand-loom was being built.
5 Jan 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Hutton Rudby Parishioners’ gift to Miss E Bainbridge –1 Feb 1935: North Eastern Gazette:
Having played the organ at All Saints’ Church, Hutton Rudby, for 48 years, Miss Elizabeth Bainbridge was presented at the annual parochial gathering in the Village Hall, on Thursday evening with a gold wristlet watch, to mark her retirement.
It was announced that her service would be recorded on a brass tablet on the organ, and that she would be presented later with a monetary gift that had not yet been fully subscribed …
“Some years ago” [Mr Leeper said] “a little girl with a golden plait and big blue eyes, sat at a harmonium at our church. Her toes just touched the pedals. The little girl was Miss Bainbridge. Since then she has seen all sorts of vicissitudes and changes in the church’s history. She has played in days when there has been a fine choir, and she has played when the choir has not been quite as good” … she had been organist from 1886 to 1934…
“Supporters of Hutton Rudby’s successful show will be pleased to hear that Mrs Percy Blair has accepted the presidency of this year’s exhibition on August Bank Holiday”29 Dec 1934: Darlington & Stockton Times:
review of “Iolanthe” at Hutton Rudby
19 Feb 1935:
letter to North Eastern Gazette from W R Blair, Hutton Rudby: praising and defending a performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Middlesbrough Little Theatre, citing performances she had seen: 1904 Sir Henry Irving as Shylock at the old Theatre Royal in Middlesbrough, Sir Frank Benson’s production, Ernest Milton’s in May 1932, and Komisarjevski’s at Stratford in 1932.
11 May 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Hutton Rudby’s Big Programme – Day not long enough to carry it through” –6 May 1935: North Eastern Daily Gazette:
An account of the activities on Jubilee Day … “Mr Stanley Sidgwick rode in the procession as a ‘Speed cop’ on a bicycle with wooden spokes that was made by Mr L Richardson, the manager of a saw mill which flourished in the village more than 60 years ago” – results of sports
“Village Celebrations – Mrs Williams, of Leven House, Hutton Rudby, was one of the busiest women in Yorkshire today. She is chairman of the Women’s Committee who made themselves responsible for providing Jubilee teas in the Village Hall for some 900 persons. This has proved a more exacting task than was anticipated when the offer was first made, but with such an excellent organiser at their head the committee were not in the least daunted. Mrs Williams is President of Hutton Rudby Women’s Institute.”29 Apr 1935: Yorkshire Post:
“Yorks Women’s Institutes – Drama Festival opened at York – 62 teams competing”: Miss Eileen Thorndike … “complimented Hutton Rudby on their choice of Shakespeare, and said that Nunthorpe deserved a lot of praise. Their producer had obtained the right atmosphere” (also two other cuttings on the subject)
27 Oct 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Extraordinary Easter Eggs – Remarkable Hutton Rudby display”: a display of paste and painted eggs in the Johnson Room of the Village Hall, organised by Miss Blair, assisted by Mrs N Richardson, Miss Foggin and Nurse Margaret. One egg depicted Herr Hitler.
Nov 1935: Yorkshire Post:
“The Rev Arthur Lindsay Leeper, Vicar of All Saints’, Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire, has been appointed Vicar of Huddersfield in succession to Canon Albert Baines, who was appointed Archdeacon of Halifax and Sanderson Canon in July.11 Jan 1936: Darlington & Stockton Times:
Mr Leeper, who will begin duties at Huddersfield in about six weeks, came to Hutton-Rudby from St Jude’s, Hull, eight years ago, and has taken an especial interest in the young folk, founding among other organisations a Farm Lads’ Fellowship. Mrs Leeper has had charge of the Girls’ Friendly Society and the Mothers’ Union. She has also been interested in the District Nursing Association …”
review of “The Sleeping Beauties” at Hutton Rudby
26 Mar 1936: Yorkshire Post:
“Middlesbrough Festival – Women’s Institute Teams Meet” – drama festival, Hutton Rudby producing two scenes from Macbeth, and “Meet Mrs Beeton”
18 Apr 1936: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Hutton Rudby Exhibition – Fine Display of Paste Eggs … organised by Miss Blair, Miss Foggin and Mrs N Richardson … the eggs have been sent to the West Lane Fever Hospital at Middlesbrough”26 Mar 1936: Northern Echo:
“WI Drama Festival at Middlesbrough” at St Barnabas Hall, Middlesbrough. Hutton Rudby performed two scenes from Macbeth. Adjudicator: “I am sorry to say this production was not convincing.”
28 Mar 1936: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Women’s Institute Drama”: Hutton Rudby did “Meet Mrs Beeton”. Adjudicator: “presented very attractively … characterisation very good”
4 May 1936:
letter to Darlington & Stockton Times from Phyllis Johnson, Mount Grace Priory, re adjudicator’s remarks at drama festival etc
2 Feb 1932: North Eastern Daily Gazette:
“Crowded House – Middlesbrough Little Theatre Success – ‘The Young Idea’”:[Other reviews of Little Theatre productions also appear in the album]
Cast of “Shall we join the ladies?” (JM Barrie): Mrs L F Gjers, her niece Miss Norah Webber, Miss Myra Swan (“well known in Cleveland as a novelist”), Miss Betty Matthews, Miss E Phyllis Ritson, Mrs John Gjers, Miss Dora Gleadhill, Miss Ann Boddy, Messrs Robert Beckwith, J Gilbert Symons, Norman Davey, W Trusson, JE Richardson, and T Cranson Potts.
Cast of “The Young Idea” (Noel Coward): Major WK Innes of Saltburn, Miss Margaret Jones, Mr WA Mackinlay (“who was a spruce and debonair figure as the son”), Miss Betty Corbett, Miss Muriel Knight, Miss Elsie Barker, Mr Ferdinand Josephs, Mr T Leahy, Miss Molly Watson, Miss Kathleen Coultas, Miss Marie Baker, Messrs E Barclay Turner, John W Berriman, and Dormand Stewart jnr. Mr R Rudd was stage manager.
13 Feb 1934: Yorkshire Post:
“A reprieve of one month has been granted to Middlesbrough’s trams3 Feb 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
Middlesbrough’s trams are said to have square wheels, to be the noisiest in Great Britain, to be the most expensive for the ratepayers and the most decrepit … I believe in no other town has a Corporation been threatened with an injunction from property owners along a tram route if the noise was not abated.”
review of “If Four Walls Told” produced by a company of nurses of 42nd Yorks VAD and friends, under the direction of Mrs Gjers, commandant, in aid of Red Cross funds.
articles re Henry V at Ormesby Hall, produced by Mrs Pennyman
19 Sep 1935: Yorkshire Post:
article on Stokesley Show, dwelling on “that great Stokesley institution, the ‘Continuous Meat Tea’, which starts at 9.30 am"
16 Nov 1935: Darlington & Stockton Times:
“Capt Dugdale returned by 17,719 majority”4 Dec 1935: Yorkshire Post:
Major T L Dugdale, “Richmond’s able and good-humoured MP” appointed PPS to the Prime Minister, Mr Baldwin
6 Mar 1936: North Eastern Gazette:
“Festival of Drama – Middlesbrough placings – Settlement third”
Cuttings re Stratford & Shakespeare
Cuttings re Lewis Carroll, from The Stage, re production of Julius Caesar, & miscellaneous eg. law re dogs
Cuttings re Malvern Festival
Cuttings re the Jubilee
Cuttings re death of Lawrence of Arabia
Cuttings re death of George V