First the bad...a microlight (not an aeroplane as we were previously informed) has been stolen from Yearby area. Thieves broke in, cut padlocks on doors and gates and towed off the privately-owned single seater plane that was stored on a trailer in a building. They went up Yearby Bank and turned right along a farm track just before Dunsdale. Along the track they dumped the trailer, transferred the plane to another trailer/vehicle and proceeded across to Wilton Bank Top to make their getaway.
A QUAD BIKE was also stolen from a farm on the southside of the hills in the last couple of weeks and has not been found.
A SHEEP was stolen and found dead in Carr Pond aka Sheep Dip last week.
If you have any info regarding the above:
PLEASE RING 101 or 999 if an emergency.
The GOOD NEWS... Following the meeting at Police HQ in late November, action is progressing for a joined up robust plan to for all entry points to be blocked to vehicles. We could well see this happening in the next few months. All farmers, landowners, NFU, the police and the council are now involved.
Two quad bikes and two motorbikes were lifted by police on the hills in the last 10 days.
We advise all people to keep an eye out over the Xmas period and report anything untoward. Crime on Eston hills is very much on the Police agenda.
Many thanks, FOEH
8.12.14: Many thanks and a Merry Xmas to Miss Alderson & fab Normanby Primary
who raised £35 for FOEH with a sponsored "Xmas Jumper-thon" !
BAN THE BIKES SAY EX-MINERS !
...BACK IN 1966
A topical Gazette article from 1966 about a new problem affecting Eston hills = motorbikes tearing up footpaths! Former miner, Alf Kerrison (brother of Tom who was featured in 'A Century in Stone') and Bill Lawlor argue the toss with Eston councillors who "forsook the warmth and comfort of their astrodome of a council chamber and took to the hills". The "astrodome" incidentally was the then new Eston Town Hall which was demolished last year.
It was interesting to read "the council wish to develop Eston Hills for leisure and as a play area / and are even thinking of making up Jubilee Road to the foot of the hills and making car parking and facilities for people who want to enjoy themselves". That's a tourism no brainer you would think...but not in the planning dept back in the day. Within a decade, Bank Lane linking Jubilee Road to the hills was severed forever by the A174 parkway. Access to the hills was re-routed along two new roads, through an ugly underpass and around a blind corner with no pavement! There was no car park, no facilities and barely a signpost. The public have had to lump this for 40 years now and the non-locals have struggled to find their way. What a pig's ear. If there had been an underpass directly at the top of Jubilee Road leading to a car park, it would have been the obvious location for a visitors centre and easy access to Trustee and a mines heritage trail. The knock-on effect meant that years later, when a centre was built, it was all the way over and across busy Flatts Lane. For the old miners that were still knocking about a decade after the article above was writtten, seeing the parkway tearing across the bottom of the hills must have broke their hearts. Heaven knows what they would think of the hills today..... (CH)
"I have worked under them hills here for 35 years in Eston mines.
Now I have retired I like to walk here with my dog. It is all we have got.
We have worked and fought for it. Now we must see it torn up..."
Alf Kerrison 1900-1982
BBC TEES FEATURE
Neil Green, Paul Baird
& John Foster
24.11.14: FOCUS ON ESTON HILLS
AT POLICE HQ
Over 20 local farmers, landowners (that includes us!) and the National Farmers Union have met with Cleveland Police's Rural Crime Team to look at the pressing issues affecting the rural area and what can be done about it.
Eston Hills proved the focus of what was a lengthy and often heated meeting. Farmers spoke of their desperation, of criminal damage, theft, joyriding and shocking abuse to livestock. It turns out that last week's joyriding incident saw four sheep injured, two of which had broken legs and had to be shot. A further two were stolen, one of which was recovered in an Eston street and another that has still not been found. And it gets worse...a few weeks earlier a lamb was thrown off the Nab cliff to its death. This animal cruelty is abhorrent and the stress caused to the farmers, as well as loss of livelihood, cannot go on. These scumbags need to be shopped. The Police pointed out that action is being taken behind the scenes and that motorbike patrols of the hills and surrounding areas are ongoing. They also pointed out that they were talking to The Council and "The Friends of The Nab". I then pushed the case for urgency on blocking access routes for vehicles as we have plans to go after funding for a major heritage/conservation programme. It was agreed that a further meeting be set up soon solely for Eston Hills as it is such a problem hot spot; And that it will also involve the council who incidentally FAILED to send anyone to the meeting today.
All in all, the meeting was a move in the right direction. You can guarantee that the FOEH will be involved every step of the way. Meanwhile we all have to be vigilant. If you see anything up there or know anyone involved in criminal activities, please Call the Police.
NOV 10th: JOYRIDING SCUM RUN DOWN SHEEP
Yet more destruction by joyriding scum trespassing on Eston hills. This time it was sheep in fields close to Eston Nab. Two were found dead by the farmer and two were stolen and dumped in Eston itself. If anyone knows anything about this and can help catch these mindless criminals please CALL THE POLICE on 101
No1 priority for us now is stopping all vehicles trespassing on Eston hills. There can be no major conservation and heritage work until this problem is sorted. We are pleased to report that there are moves involving ourselves, the police and other interested parties to do something serious about it. Thank you for your support.
24.10.14: COMMUNITY AWARD FOR FOEH
FOEH has been presented with a Coastal View-Community Award in recognition of the efforts of all our members and supporters in purchasing the Nab. Many thanks in return to Lynne and Steve of COASTAL VIEW who deserve an award of their own for all their hard work running such a great community paper as well as the awards event. Respect !
5th Oct 2014:
Mine Spoils Removed !
A 7-hour marathon litter pick from Trustee Powder Magazine to SS Castle...
Eston Hills Hikes 2014 Craig Hornby is doing 2 guided walks across the hills SAT 6th SEP & SAT 20th SEP MORE INFO *SOLD OUT*
There have been several stolen cars being burned out this Summer. The FOEH are against ALL recreational vehicle use on Eston hills. Joyriding puts lives in danger and inflicts criminal damage on our hills. 4x4s, quadbikes and motorbikes, even when driven responsibly, are ILLEGAL and cause major damage to footpaths. The evidence is plain to see from The Shaleys to the SS Castle with the footpaths now in THEWORST CONDITION EVER.
We call on all walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders to take care
AND BE VIGILANT. If you see any illegal vehicles CALL 101.
They have to be stopped simple as that.
Whale Hill Primary School kids struggle to get to the SS Castle on a heritage hike. FOOTPATHS TRASHED BY ILLEGAL VEHICLES.
PLANNING APP WITHDRAWN !
After some 200 objections from local residents and schoolchildren, Teesside University have done the right thing and pulled their ill-conceived planning application to close a popular access route via their land to Eston hills. Their aim presumably was to stop joyriders which we support but it would have stopped everyone which simply wasn't fair. We think they should enter into dialogue with The Friends of Eston hills, the council and all affected landowners to come up with a robust and practical solution to the problem. Thanks to all those who submitted objections and thanks to the Uni for seeing sense!
11th June 2014:
PUBLIC ACCESS UNDER THREAT !
Public access to Eston Hills from the end of the tarmac road from Flatts Lane is under threat !
Since we bought the plot at the Nab, we have recieved £2,700 in further donations!
We are still taking donations as we need to fund our big clean up, conservation and heritage plans.
We still plan to go after serious grant funding later in the year. This will coincide with another public fundraising drive. It is frustrating not being able to progress fast enough but we all have work and family commitments that have to take priority!
Many thanks to all who have donated and supported us thus far. Exciting times still ahead!
Craig & The FOEH
June 2014: Primetime plug for the cause
Craig studio guest on
The John Foster Show
'Looking for Ghosts'
Just received this great video made by Normanby Primary School on the Eston hike back in 2009
June 2014: Documentary discovered
from the 1930s featuring
Eston mines in operation
and much more!
15.4.14: Glossy front page of Now & Then magazine !
14.4.14: CLEVELAND POLICE - OPERATION NAB
A crackdown on joyriding and criminal damage on Eston hills was announced today by Cleveland Police. Farmers have been beseiged by gangs of 4X4s at all hours plus quad bikes, motorbikes and have even had livestock attacked. The farmers have our sympathy and support. We call on everyone to be vigilant and careful; and to report any of these maniacs to the police whenever possible. FOEH is against all 4X4, quad bikes and motorbikes on Eston hills. It is against everything this group stands for and must be stopped before more damage occurs and/or somebody gets hurt. Vehicular access onto the hills has never been easier all round so it could be a good idea for all farmers, landowners and the police to get round a table and come up with a coordinated plan and seriously substantial barrier system. Evening Gazette article
10.4.14: Thanks to Jodie & Whale Hill Primary
BIG THANKS to Jodie Stallard of Whale Hill Primary for raiding her piggy bank and getting the story in the paper. And many thanks also to ALL of Whale Hill Primary for presenting achievement awards to the FOEH trustees - Glynis, Lyn,Maggie, Rita and me :-)
LATEST (8.4.14):WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ?
Since we broke the news of us buying the Nab plot, we have recieved over £1000+ in donations! We are still taking donations as we need to fund our big clean up, conservation and heritage plans. With the Nab bought, we are now going after grant funding too. We are putting together an outline plan and costing which will be unveiled at a public meeting in May (details tba). Many thanks to all who have donated and supported us thus far. Exciting times ahead!
The group plans to go after big funding to take the project further. We want to embark on an extensive clean up, conservation and heritage programme for the hills. This will feature a substantial heritage trail and landmark memorial on top of the hills to the 375 miners that died beneath. We will be having a public meeting soon.
WELCOME TO 2014...
LATEST (Feb 2014):
The campaign is on hold until news of new owner/s of Lazenby Bank is announced. The Land Agent has assured us we will be informed as soon as is possible once any sales are complete. We will then make contact with the new owner/s and discuss with them our plans for the heritage trail and conservation work on the site.
The conveyance work and sale of a site or parts of a site that comprise ancient monuments, a listed building and protected nature conservation areas is inevitably not an everyday case. Hopefully the wait will soon be over and we will have news to report.
Many thanks again to all who supported our campaign and put their own hard earned money in the pot esp. in these hard times and in the run up to Xmas.
Craig & The FOEH
MEGA THANKS & MERRY XMAS!
BRING ON 2014 !
I spoke to the estate agent just before breaking for Xmas and he told me all sales business relating to Eston hills was postponed until after the holidays but he would let me know when business was completed and could be made public. Obviously this process takes time and Xmas got in the way but nonetheless our campaign will continue full steam ahead in 2014 with our monument, heritage trail and conservation plan.
To all those who supported us buying calendars, raffle tickets, putting on benefit gigs, doing sponsored events and
the following 223 who put their hands in their pockets and helped us raise over £15,000 in 6 weeks! TAKE A BOW !
In alphabetical order...
C & J Williams
Mr & Mrs Emms
Mr & Mrs Readman
Richard White jr
THERE WOULD BE NO CAMPAIGN WITHOUT YOU !
(if i have missed anyone out - please let me know! )
UPDATE (17.12.13): NO SALES NEWS RELEASED YET !
DEC 12th: D-DAY PASSES...
The deadline for final offers to buy the site or lots on the site has passed. We will find out early next week from the land agent what has been sold and who the new owner or owners are. We will post info when we know.
In the meantime, on behalf of the team, I would like to thank all those who have supported us and contributed funds. £15,800+ in less than 2 months is a fantastic start to this ambitious long term project. Sadly the response to our letters and dvds sent to Teesside celebs and industry has been disappointing to say the least. The sum total would have been ZERO were it not for £100 from Sembcorp's Community Fund promised this week. We received negative replies from SSI and TATA and no replies whatsoever from 20 other companies. It is a pity that we didn't manage to turn a community dream into reality and find ourselves the new custodians of the site but...
THE SHOW MUST GO ON !
In early 2014, we will announce a date for our AGM where we will unveil our draft plans, all costed out, for the miners' memorial, heritage trail and conservation programme. With over £15,000 raised ourselves, we are now in a great position to go after grants. And we already have applications submitted to the Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation as well as Tees Valley Community Foundation. So that's all for now, all the best for the season and thanks again for your support!
Craig & The FOEH
DEC 12th MIDDAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR OFFERS
TO PURCHASE THE SITE! We got the plan and the passion;
WHO'S GOT THE BIG BUCKS & BIG HEART
TO MAKE IT A REALITY ?
2014 CALENDARS - WHILE STOCKS LAST ! for outlets and to buy online click here
1st Dec: Thanks to Saltburn Talk of the Town a great community mag!
NOV 15: WE NEED A MIRACLE IN THE NEXT MONTH!
DEC 12thhas been set by the agent as the deadline for best and final offers. We are now frantically writing to Teesside's big industrial corps and our rich 'n' famous to pledge big amounts to help us put in an offer (If we are unsuccessful then no obligation to pay) We are pulling out the stops so if you can help us make history by getting this site publicly owned for the first time ever and forever PLEASE get in touch quick !
Thanks to all who came out on a cold wet evening for our first public meeting. Thanks to Billy Barker & Eston Institute for the complimentary room and bar. Thanks also to the Evening Gazette for sending a reporter and photographer and very special thanks to Brian Spink, former senior countryside officer of over 30 years with Cleveland County Council and R&C Borough Council, who travelled all the way from Thirsk. I have known Brian since the late 80s when he set up the original Lazenby Bank conservation project. He was very helpful when I was making the films and has kindly offered his extensive experience and knowledge to our ongoing mission.
The main focus of the meeting was to unveil our plans to the public face to face and I am pleased to say the feedback was unanimously positive. With over £7,000 of public donations raised in just 3 weeks and with the clock ticking faster, we are now going into overdrive seeking 'pledged donations' of big money so that we can put in an offer. We are going to approach Teesside's steel and chemical giants. Industrial Teesside owes it's very existence to what came out of those hills and to those who worked and died under them. We will also be approaching a long list of Teesside's leading lights in business and showbiz. If we are pledged enough, we can put in an offer. If we are successful then funds are transferred. If we are unsuccessful then pledgers have the option to contribute, or not, to our ongoing project fund. So who is going to crack the ice and pledge first???
The next month is crunch time to get Lazenby Bank owned by the people for all time. If it is sold off in lots, we may never get this opportunity again. From today, a ton of DVDs and begging letters are being fired across Teesside and the world! Please keep organising your own fundraising initiatives and events - remember the project needs money regardless of whether we buy the land or not! There is much that needs doing and so much we can achieve!
cheers to everybody who has helped us get this far up the hill !
Craig Hornby / FOEH
Nov 4 - D-DAY DECLARED !
Things going on... The estate agent called and told me a final day of sale has been arranged. Best and final offers must be made by 12 noon on 12th December. So one way or another the issue of a new owner or owners will soon be resolved...
When we started the campaign we came up with a grand plan because only by thinking big would we stand any chance of getting big publicity and big support ie - 2-3-400k... Of course it was and still is a remote chance but a chance it is nonetheless. We have raised almost £7 grand in a couple of weeks which is fantastic make no mistake, but obviously we are not on the page for putting in an offer...
It will though still all go towards our big plans for heritage and conservation across the hills. This is only the start and who knows how far it may go. How things transpire in the coming weeks will be interesting no doubt. The owner of the site I can tell you is well aware of our campaign and even sympathetic to our cause. I know this because a few weeks ago I found out who he was and called him up and the next day I went to County Durham and knocked on his door. A nice bloke, I shook his hand and thrust a begging letter and DVD into the other and bent his ear! I told him just how much those hills mean to people here and begged him not to sell to anyone else yet and give us time to see if we could raise the money. He told me he had had some offers but he agreed to give us a little time to get our fundraising up and running. Inevitably of course, money talks and here we are now with the clock ticking louder...
I still have some ideas up my sleeve to try and get some big commercial sponsorship and will be firing off letters this week but what would really boost our chances would be some big donations from wealthy individuals...Any secret millionaires out there want to do something great for Teesside for all time ??? Get in touch asap!
For everybody else, many many thanks for your support, generosity, raffle prizes and fab fundraising initiatives - make no mistake we are pushing the boulder up the hill! Hoping to see a good turn out for our first public meeting on Wednesday night at the Tute.
A BIG THANK YOU to all who have so far donated and /or joined the group since the website went live last Monday. We have had donations from £1 to £1000 and we now have £4,937 in the kitty! We have a long way to go but hey Eston mine wasn't dug in a day... It has been a hectic week and a hectic month to say the least...but interesting and inspiring no question! We have had a few knockers as anybody does when they dare to stick their necks out but they are in a miniscule minority. There is no doubt that there is massive support in principle for what we are trying to do. By daring to THINK BIG and put out the notion of the site being publicly owned has captured the imagination of people and got people talking. It's also got us the press we need to build the campaign.
So what happens next?
We are setting up a public meeting for November. Details announced soon. There will be a presentation /exhibition and a Q&A of ideas on the best way forward.
In the meantime we need as many people as possible to come up with individual means of raising cash. Whether we buy the site or not, we still need moolah for the work we want to carry out up there as well as the heritage trail and miners' memorial which will be tens of thousands because we whatever we do is going to be high quality!
When you have over £5k in the pot you can apply for registered charity status. This will give us more credibility in general and with funding bodies and HMRC gift aid etc etc. BUT WHAT WE COULD DO WITH NOW IS...some wealthy benefactors to step forward and give this campaign a MASSIVE LIFT and really get this ball rolling faster! Time is precious - the site is up for sale! It would also encourage more and more to contribute as with every donation the project is seen as more and more likely to succeed.
We will be approaching local businesses and build up to the big companies like Tata & SSI who owe their very existence on Teesside to the hills. And also the companies on the Wilton site, as Lazenby Bank is part of the old Wilton estate after all. And yes we must totally get our own home grown celebs on board too Who knows how far this might go........exciting innit !
Lazenby Bank (inc. Eston Nab & SS Castle) is up for sale at £425k. We,The Friends of Eston Hills, a newly-formed constituted community group,
want to see this stunning 214-acres of wooded hillside PUBLICLY-OWNED FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER - AND FOREVER ! Only by thinking BIG can we clean-up, conserve, protect and promote this neglected jewel of
Teesside heritage to the MAX for the community past, present and future...
WANTED: Half a Million - For Half a Mountain ! TO BUY ESTON NAB & LAZENBY BANK AND FUND MAJOR HERITAGE & CONSERVATION PLANS !
This is an opportunity to buy half of Eston hills and prevent it being sold off to another private owner or carved up by several owners. We think they wouldn't have quite the same interests at heart as we have! Although The Nab, SS Castle and much of the woods and footpaths are protected, NOT ALL the site is and ALL the site needs some TLC. If we own it, we can safeguard it all and embark on a major programme of clean up, conservation and access improvements. And if we manage to buy it then lots of media coverage, both local and very possibly national, would follow. And it would greatly boost our chances of landing major backing from the likes of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Imagine an extensive heritage trail across the hills with a landmark Miners' Memorial featuring the names of all 375 men and boys who were killed. Imagine a stunning Eston Hills Exhibition Centre at Conker Wood; Imagine The Cleveland Way being re-routed through the site...
It would admittedly be a huge disappointment. Raising £425k will not be easy but it is not impossible. If we can raise more than half then we can at least we can put in an offer. If it is unsuccessful, we can fund our clean up, conservation and heritage plans AND we can still go after grants. Either way, the hills will end up a lot better than they are now. BUT the site is NOT sold yet so let's keep our eyes on THE BIG PRIZE!
We need BIG MONEY NOW to buy the site! I'm calling on EVERYONE who loves these hills, Teessiders all over the world
and the 16,000 of you who bought my DVD... YOUR COUNTRY-SIDE NEEDS YOU ! Let's move a mountain and make history - like the miners :-)
Many Thanks, Craig Hornby Chair, The Friends of Eston Hills
Director, A Century in Stone
Fellow, National Endowment For Science,
Technology & The Arts (NESTA)
PLEASE DONATE HERE Using Paypal OR Plastic:
YOU CAN SEND CHEQUES PAYABLE TO : 'Friends Of Eston Hills' c/o 2 Hemble Hill Farm Cottages, Guisborough TS14 8JT