This film is part of Free

Skelton Carnival 1974; Skinningrove 1970

Glam rock teens and a beauty queen take part in a parade at a 1970s Skelton Carnival in Cleveland ironstone country.

Amateur film 1970 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The annual Skelton Carnival was introduced in 1966 to unite villagers in Cleveland’s ironstone mining region. In 1974 Skelton teens strut their stuff in platform boots with glam rock props in a splendid July parade of floats, juvenile jazz bands and a Carnival Queen, which snakes down the High Street to the rec. Highlights include motorcycle stunt riders in Native American costume and a giant hot-air balloon that takes to the skies (but mysteriously failed to come back).

The rise and many downturns of Tees Valley’s iron and steel industry mark the Cleveland and Eston Hills. Skelton and Brotton district villages were home to generations of ironstone miners from 1848, (the last mine at North Skelton closing in 1964) and steel workers at the Skinningrove Iron Company, high above the North Yorkshire coast. Robert Brunger’s amateur footage records the Skinningrove Works in 1970 under British Steel Corporation’s public ownership, much of the site since demolished but still operating as a specialised rolling mill. The annual Skelton and Brotton Carnival was the brainchild of North Riding County Councillor Bill Merryweather, the final week-long event taking place in 1999.