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Carlbeck School

In 1958, when Miss Dora Roberts retired, Carlbeck school closed and the pupils transferred to Mickleton C of E primary, Barnard Castle Grammar Technical, or Middleton Secondary School. The Mickleton junior class in the photograph, c1961, contained pupils from Lunedale, West Pasture, Holwick, Mickleton, Romaldkirk, and Lartington, though not Cotherstone, which still today has its own primary school. This area south of the Tees was part of the North Riding of Yorkshire until 1974.

After 1958 Carlbeck was used sporadically as a community centre and various birthday parties and celebrations were held there. Barnard Castle YMCA leased the building during the 1970s and turned it into an outdoor centre where small groups came to stay. There were two dormitories with a communal area in between and a kitchen in the old porch. The toilets remained outside and the coal house was converted into a small shower block. The lease was taken next by some of the staff of Longfield School, Darlington, one of whom, Neil Barton, was a Lunedale resident for many years. The school brought groups of pupils on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Between 2003 and 2009 the community used the old building in its dilapidated state whilst fundraising and applying for grants to refurbish it. Thanks to grants from the Big Lottery, North Pennines AONB Partnership, and Durham County Council, the building is renovated and at the time of writing in October 2010, the work is finished, bar the niceties, and the building is functioning as a warm and welcoming community centre.

Grants have been essential, however, support from Durham Rural Community Council, Mid Tees Project Partnership, Mickleton Village Hall and Teesdale Village Halls Consortium as well as many individual members of both the immediate and wider Teesdale community has been invaluable.

Read Memories of Carlbeck School by Doris Dent.

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Construction of the boys' toilet at Carlbeck c.1925. Note the toilet block at the east end of the building was not yet erected, but presumably part of the same refurbishment.

Walter Dent pictured during construction at Carlbeck c.1925.

Major renovations in 2009 revealed earlier features covered up by during previous improvements.

Work had been carried out on the main roof in 1895 by R Baker, J Wharton and W Wharton (Slaters) who had left their names and profession engraved in a patch of lime plaster just above the roof joists.

Carl Villa c.1900. The couple are unknown but Carlbeck School cashbook records the property was rented from Mr William Collinson for £5 per annum. The incumbent Head teacher lived there; in 1903 this was a Mr H. Carter.

27th August 2009- Lunedale residents demolish the outbuildings at Carlbeck in preparation for the refurbishment

Samplers were worked by young girls to develop their needlework skills. An essential requirement in the days before machine produced clothing and household textiles.

'Elizabeth Watson worked this sampler in her thirteen year, 1847'. Elizabeth lived at Back (North) Whythes Hill as a child and married Robert Smedley. They lived at Currack Rigg and had 11 children, only 4 of whom survived.

'Ann Raylton worked this sampler 1832'. She was the mother of Mary Jane Addison who married John Kipling Dent of Low Nook.

'Elizabeth Jane Dent worked this sampler in her twelfth year 1867'. Elizabeth Jane's parents were John and Ruth Dent, of Low Nook.

The newly refurbished Carlbeck Centre was officially opened by the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn on 29th August 2010. Chairman of the Trustees, Mary Wilson, presenting the Earl with a commemorative photograph of Carlbeck.

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