TIMELINE 1900 - 1960
1902 JOHN CASTILLO - Castillo's Bard of the Dales first published in 1858 by John Slater Pratt in Stokesley. It was re-published in 1902 by A. W. Johnson & Sons, Caxton House, Windermere. This contained a Life of the Author by himself as per the original.
1903 GEORGE MARKHAM TWEDDELL passed away. He was buried alongside his wife Elizabeth, the poet known as Florence Cleveland. The courtage went part way back to the Garden house where he was born, along the Stokesley to Gt. Ayton rd. He was 80.
1903 FLORENCE CLEVELAND (ELIZABETH TWEDDELL) Reprint of Second Edition of Rhymes and Sketches to Illustrate the Cleveland Dialect Published by D.W. Richardson - Printer and Stationer, High Street, Stokesely. Originally published in 1875 by Tweddell and Sons with a second edition published in 1892.
1903 - 1977 MARCUS LANGLEY Aircraft designer, engineer, inventor and author. Born Middlesbrough. Publications included a paper on Metal Aircraft Construction in 1932 - this led it's becoming a standard work in the years before and during the Second World War and saw his appointment as aircraft design instructor at the de Havilland Aeornautical Technical School. He contributed papers to Aeroplane / Flight & The Royla Aeoronautical Society Journal for over a century.
1907 LADY FLORENCE BELL In her classic study of Middlesbrough - At the Works she remarks "In default of a romantic past, of a stately tradition, the fact of this swift gigantic growth has given the town a romance and dignity of another kind, the dignity of power, of being able to stand erect by its sheer strength on no historic foundation, unsupported by the pedestals of time. And although it may not have the charm and beauty of antiquity, no manufacturing town on the banks of a great river can fail to have an interest and picturesqueness all of its own. On either shore rise tall chimneys, great uncouth shapes of kilns and furnaces that appear through the smoke on a winter afternoon like turrets and pinnacles by jets of flame from one summit or another, that flare up through the mist and subside again. Twilight and night are the conditions under which to see an ironmaking town, the pillars of cloud by day, the pillars of fire by night; and the way to approach such a town is by the river.
1907 COMPTON MACKENZIE had his first play The Gentlemen in Grey staged.
1911 COMPTON MACKENZIE Had his first instantly popular novel published - The Passionate Elopement.A Restoration style comedy produced as a story rather than a play.
1912 COMPTON MACKENZIE 2nd novel Carnival which was critcally acclaimed and a real commercial success. In 1913 and 1914 his third novel - the autobiographical Sinister Street appeared in two volumes - one in each year.
1914 A.E. TOMLINSON - Middlesbrough born poet - then a student at Cambridge
Tumult of furnaces ;
Red and ominous, splashing with flame the wash of the river ;
Red and seethed as a jungle dawning, transfused through the mist ;
Red as the ebb-swilled flats at sunfall, glazed and a-quiver
Red, and primordially dour, as the hell of the Yiddish Christ
Tumult of furnaces ;
Intoned, sacramental, the oaring that climbs from the blasts ;
Eery their asthmatic vomiting, baffling the sloth of the night ;
While the long geyser flames tongue and leer as the darkness lasts
Staining the low-banked clouds with the bubbling crater's light.
(Source Andy Croft - Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teesside in Fiction)
1917 NAOMI JACOB - the best selling novelist worked as a teacher in Middlesbrough before the First World War. (Source Andy Croft - Write On Supplement Sept 7th 1996 Middlesbrough Evening Gazette)
1917 /18 FORD MADOX FORD 1873 - 1939 -His novel The Good Soldier was a strong contender for novel of the century. Ford was based in Redcar during the Frist World War, attached tot he Northern Command and wrote letters from Redcar and Eston. Redcar's coastline was heavily defended against enemy attack. The middelaged soldier and writer was invalided out of the frontline battlefields and into a training post at Redcar, where he lectured on the causes of the war. Ford was the grandson of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painter Ford Madox Brown. As an author Ford published over 80 books and still found time for a turbulent love-affair with the glamourous and unconventional novelist Violet Hunt who was born in Durham and lived with him for a while in Redcar. Her unpredicatable nature earned her the nickname of Violent Hunt and in 1917 she scratched his face so badly that he had to go on sick leave to avoid appearing on parade. Ford watched with Stella Brown what he thought was the last convoy to France leaving the Tees Bay in October 1918, and wrote a poem about it. The country house which is the focus of Ford's great Tetraogy Parade's End is in fact Busby Hall, just south of Middlesbrough. It was the residence of Arthur Marwood who had founded the English Review with Ford in 1908. Marwood and his brother Christopher are models for Christopher and Mark Tietjens in Parade's End. In the books Ford mentions Redcar Sands with familiarity, as well as 'great black nights above purple.."
1918 (ish) F.W. MOORSMAN published his Yorkshire Dialect Poems.
1919 DAVID 'BUNNY' GARNETT (BLOOMSBURY WRITER) caught the wrong connection at Darlington and ended up at Kirby Stephen. So entranced was he by the landscape that he spent his holidays in the area for the next thirty years. He described the Tees: "I seem to have stepped back tot he summer of 1914...One day I saw a farmer in whose field we were camping, slicing curd to make Cotherstone cheese. I bought one of her cheeses and sent it to Charleston. It was richer than Wensleydale and softer and more delicious than Stilton."
1919 A.S. UMPLEBY 1st poem published - The Country Station Master in the Railway Service Journal 15th March 1919. His first dialect poem published in 1920 in the Daily Herald 16th June 1920 - aged 32 and called T' Upper Class. In 1921 he published A Tratting Yarn fra Steeas - in the Yorkshire Weekly Post 24th Sept 1921 ( a hundred or lines in Staithes dialect describing the shore line fishing "
"Yah meenlet neet last trattin tahm,
When t'sky war clear an t' watter calm,
Ah went doon t'bent(?) a pal 'ti see
Lahl knawin what a neet t'wad be-"
. In 1934 Umpleby produced another spate of poems eg T'Whitelos and Ballad of Staithes. He was living at Haverton Hill. He was Station Master at Staithes and gave his the fianl push into composition. His verse to the form of Ballade / Rondeau / Villanelle and Sestina. Applied the local dialect with great success. A Villanelle - The Fisherman / The Trio of Triolets and many more which appeared in A Boddin o Cowls - A collection of 27 verses. "The outstanding auality of of Umpleby's Poetry is the sheer music of the verses which is so correct and in dialect. So true that every word seems inevitable and the lines ring in one's mind. This was new and vital writing from a master hand who had now studied both dialect and verse craft and gave his work a professional appeal.
1920's / 30's / 40's HAROLD HESLOP - author of a series of novels about the Durham coal mines began his working life in Boulby Ironstone Mines. (Source - Andy Croft)
1923 COMPTON MACKENZIE founded the Gramophone Magazine.
1928 SHEILA KAYE-SMITH - Most of he novel - Iron and Smoke - takes place in Sussex. It begins, however, in 'Eden-in-Cleveland,' on the edge of 'the Great Smoke itself - Middlesbrough and all the fuming travail of the Tees marshes, a land of everlasting fog,' an opportunity for Kaye-Smith to rehearse some familiar oppositions between North and South, new and old, money and land, disruption and tradition, dirt and art, industry and nature. The effect is to transform the romantic conventions of the opening courtship scene into the abduction of Persephone, the expulsion from Eden : ".. but he next he remembered the blast furnaces at Carlingrove. This was not the first time that he had seen them belch into the night, wiping out moon and stars, transforming the peaceful fields of Eden-in-Cleveland into some landscape of fire and horror, a frontier-stretch of hell" (Source Andy Croft - Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teesside in Fiction)
1928 JANE GARDAM Novelist born in Coatham, Redcar, North Yorkshire on 11th July. Educated at Saltburn High School for Girls, won a scholoarship tot he University of London where she read English at Beford College. Many of her stories are based on her Cleveland childhood. Her stories reflect the the coast and the moors area rather than industrial Cleveland.
1929 ELLEN WILKINSON - MP for Middlesbrough East. Her 1929 novel Clash. though it contains a highly sympathetic portrait of Middlesbrough, it is hardly any less of an outsider's view. During the General Strike the autobiographical heroine Joan Craig and her Marxist boyfriend Gerry Blain visit 'Shireport' : "The tall dark chimneys of the chemical works stood black against the red glow of the iron works across the river. These giant industries thrilled Blain." (Source Andy Croft's Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teesside in Fiction)
1929 COMPTON MACKENZIE Gallipoli Memories published - influenced by the wardays.
1930 ALDOUS HUXLEY - was in Middlesbrough and wrote knowledgeably about the process of ammonia production, likening one silent hall to a Norman Cathedral (no doubt Durham) with its receding vista of vast cylinders. For him Billingham was almost perfect in its industrial fashion, a supurb poem.Huxley once compared Middlesbrough to a fungus "like staphylococcus in a test-tube of chicken broth"(Source Andy Croft - Write On Supplement Sept 7th 1996 Middlesbrough Evening Gazette) Harold Thorold, in the Shell Guide to County Durham wrote "One of the most extroidinary of experiences, a sight almost unique in England. On either side of the road are the works, steaming, sizzling - tall steel chimneys, great cylinders, pipes everywhere...At night brilliant with a thousand lights, the great girders of the Transporter Bridge dark in silhouette: a magic city.'
1930 WILFRED GIBSON -
Across the Cleveland countryside the train
Panted and jolted through the lurid night
Of monstrous slag-heaps in the leaping light
Of belching furnaces : the driving rain
Lacing the glass with gold in that red glare
That momentarily revealed the cinderous land,
Of blasted fields, that stretched on either hand,
With livid waters gleaming here and there.
By hovels of men who labour till they die
With iron and the fire that never sleeps,
We plunged in pitchy night among huge heaps -
Then once again that red glare lit the sky
And high above the highest hill of slag
I saw Prometheus hanging from his crag.
1931 COMPTON MACKENZIE Published Athenium Memories. In 1932 his Greek Memories was blocked by the Secret Intelligence Services. 1933 produced Water on the Brain which poked fun at the secret services after being fined £100.
1932 - 33 BRENDA ENGLISH AND IRENE SUTCLIFFE produced several volumes of Rhymes of a Yorkshire Village with woodcuts by Irene Sutcliffe and published by Horne and Son, Whitby.
1933 J.B PRIESTLY dismisses Middlesbrough as a 'dismal Town even with beer and football' in his English Journey. (Source Fire and Horror - by Andy Croft)
1936 GEORGE ORWELL - In Keep the Aspidistra Flying, he used the 'unemployed in Middlesbrough, seven in a room on twenty-five bob a week,' three times in one chapter to haunt poor Phillip Ravelston : 'Most of the time, when he wasn't thinking of coal-miners, Chinese junk-coolies, and the unemployed in Middlesbrough, he felt that life was pretty good fun...' (Source Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teesside in Fiction - Andy Croft)
1938 ROGER DATALLER in his novel Steel Saraband an unemployed steel-worker leaves South Yorkshire in the (hopeless) hope of finding work on Teesside.(Source Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teeside in Ficton -Andy Croft)
1937 BILL COWES published A Boddin O Cowls for the University of Yorkshire Society?
1937 (ish) Dr FRANK ELGEE 1800 - 1944 Curator of the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough published his Pannierman's Song. Well worth a read.
1930's STORM JAMESON'S trilogy The Triumph of Time has its roots in Teesside shipbuilding. Whitby-novelist. Mary Hervey, the heroine of her 1930 The Voyage Home, is, also an outsider. She may be sympathetic to the conditions of the Middlesbrough poor, but her sympathy, like her vision of the town, has its limits, for she too is an Ironmaster : or nineteenth-century Middlesbrough from Storm Jameson's 1927 novel, The Lovely Ship :"The night was dark, with a moonless sky pressing down on the sinister flaming labyrinth of furnaces and shafts. Every few minutes a column of flame-driven smoke shot up into the sky, illuminating the ironworkers' quarter and the docks beyond. A blade edge of river flashed in the short-lived glow, and the sky was flushed with a tawny bloom like the bloom on dusk-red berries... The darkness throbbed with a steady beat as if some monster were alive and moving in the night near her." (Source - Fire and Horror - The Representation of Teesside in Ficton - Andy Croft)
Other writers of the the thirties include Ruth Hedger (Husthwaithe) / Mary Reed (farmers wife East Cowton) / John Watson (Farndale born 1897) P. Layer? On Railways at Castleton / Irene Peke - Whitby / A.C. Watson / FW Dawson. (Note - These authors are waiting to be rechecked and researched). The 1930's began another great period of Cleveland writing.
1940's PAT BARKER - author of Union Street(based on Cannon Street in Middlesbrough) was born in the 1940's.
1944 GEORGE ORWELL - began writing Nineteen Eighty Four while staying at his wife's cousin's house in Carlton in 1944.(Source Andy Croft - Write On Supplement Sept 7th 1996 Middlesbrough Evening Gazette)
1945 VIN GARBUTT - born November 20th. Vin became and International Folk singer songwriter born in South Bank.
1947 SIR CROMPTON MACKENZIE published Whisky Galore based on events in 1941 when the SS Politian, a ship carrying copious amounts of spirit, was wrecked on the Outer Hebrides. The book was made into a film.
1950's RICHARD HOGGART wrote his famous study The Uses of Literacy while living and teaching in Marske in the 1950's. (Source Andy Croft - Write On Supplement Sept 7th 1996 Middlesbrough Evening Gazette)
1955 EDDIE (EDWIN) JOBSON Musican / producer and muisc writer. Born Billingham, educated Bede Hall School. Showed outstanding musical talent at an early age. Played piano from 7 years old and violin from 8. Member of the Teesside Youth Orchestra and Northern Philharmonic Orchestra and won many prizes at festivals. At 16 a member of the Northern Arts music panel and one of the North East's leading vilinists. On leaving school he made a break with classical music. Played in a rock group called Fat Grapplein Newcastle and was 'discovered' in the Mayfair Ballroom December 1971 and invited to join Curved Air. They toured Europe and in 1973 he joined Roxy Music and made five albums with them with a total of 12 gold and silver discs. In Hamburg in 1974 was hailed as the inovator of a new rock violin music. He toured the world. His trademark was a perspex and silver violin or a see through electric violin. At 21 he broke new ground and joined Frank Zappa on a year's contract with a notable performance in Toronto. In 1980 he joined Jethro Tull to record an LP and as a special guest in performance including the Royal Albert Hall. After 10 years in the business returned to the UK and formed Zinc and worked on his own LP. By this time he was also an experience producer and writer and rated as one of the world's top ten instrumentalists for his keyboard and synthesizer work. His sound was not commercial rock but heavy classical rock using modern instruments such as the synthesizer. (Source - Cleveland Hall of Fame)