Old newspapers are full of interesting snippets about our past. You can find so much about ordinary people, local places and events . From time to time I will post up articles from newspapers that have caught my eye.

I subscribe to the British Library newspaper archive


Morning Advertiser 28 April 1847
 … catastrophe at Middleham, on the morning of Friday, when Dawson’s lot were placed in such fearful jeopardy, it may be permitted me to give, in a few words, the narrative of an eye witness. Dawson’s string, numbering nearly eighty, were on their return from exercise on the Moor to the adjacent stables when the gathering storm descended; one fierce flash, succeeded by a peal of thunder, whilst earth seemed rocking to its centre. The angel of death had done its work - the two rear animals, Little Nell and Curiosity, were smitten dead, as was one of the lads on the backs of the devoted ones, whilst the other, disentangling himself from the stirrups, rushed away screaming and half frantic. The clothes of the poor child who fell victim were torn into shreds, and strewed around his grave which was a dark and blasted circle, the lifeless body showing no mark further upon it than a puncture through the thigh, which a shot might have made, piercing the saddle flaps on either side and the intermediate body of the horse. Dawson’s hat was knocked off, put providentially he escaped unscathed, though his nervous system was so shaken that he took to his bed, and up to yesterday was unable to arise. My informant added, that the scene in the large team outvied description, many of the lads throwing themselves off, and leaving their high-couraged steeds to gallop hither or thither as  fear might suggest snorting tearing the ground or rushing headlong on like maddened Mazeppas.

Newcastle Chronicle 10 August 1782
At the Gardeners’ meeting last week at Richmond in Yorkshire, the prizes were adjudged to Mr William Helpseed, gardener to Marmaduke Tunstall; of Wycliffe, Esq, in that county, for the best cantalupe melon, a silver goblet; and for the second best, a pair of silver buckles. The fruit was ripened in the common frames. At this meeting there appeared eighty three gentlemen and gardeners, and the day was spent with great harmony and pleasure. 

Aysgarth Falls

The York Herald and General Advertiser 6 October 1827

Fortunate escape. On Sunday last Mr Meadows of Covent Garden Theatre , in company with Mr Butler, manager of the Sheffield Theatre, went from Richmond in Yorkshire to Wensleydale, a most romantic spot, about 16 miles from the above town. Mr M was admiring the splendid waterfall called Aysgarth Force, and for the purpose of enjoying the enchanting scene, stood upon a shelving rock immediately below the upper fall, and above the lower, he was endeavouring to ascertain the depth of the hole or basin that receives the water below, when his foot slipped and he was precipitated into the abyss. Fortunately Mr Butler was near the bank, and at the imminent risk of his life, plunged into the water, which is of great depth, but in which it is impossible to swim, in consequence of the force with which the water from above falls into it. Mr Butler , however, by grasping some shrubs growing upon the bank, succeeded in rendering that assistance to his friend, which enabled him to tread on terra firma in safety, and with no other inconvenience than a sound ducking.