From the Darlington & Stockton Times of August 5, 1871

AT GUISBOROUGH Police Court 150 years ago, 20 men were charged with “unlawfully assembling on the public highway at Skelton for the purpose of footracing, to the annoyance of the passengers”.

Presumably, rather than just annoying pedestrians by practising their sprinting, the men were engaged in illegal betting.

“They were severely reprimanded and fined 1s 6d each and given to understand that if they were again brought up on a similar charge they would be much more heavily fined,” said the paper.

Also before the magistrates was miner John Dickinson, of Guisborough, who had allegedly been drunk and riotous in the centre of town when apprehended by Sergeant Dove. Dickinson had hit and kicked the policeman “most violently” and then a mob had arrived and tried to forcibly free the prisoner.

Miner Richard Kitching was charged with “attempting to rescue a prisoner” as he assaulted the unfortunate policeman, who had to be saved from serious injuries by two upstanding members of the Guisborough community: George Page, of the Seven Stars Inn, and Mr Pape, cashier at the National Provincial Bank.

Both the drunken Dickinson and the would-be rescuer Kitching were sentenced to three months in jail.