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Newsletter: April, 2014

Our second meeting of 2014 is Thursday 1st May, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. There will be a slide show looking at Wath Enclosure 1814 & Wath Wood. Reorganising farm land changed our landscape dramatically and the maps drawn then influence our lives two hundred years later! One place remained unchanged, Wath Wood, and we will examine its history, archaeology and natural history – a visual treat.

Wath Wood Cottage

 Owned by the Otter family of Wath, this was their summer house. During the 1837 coronation celebrations for Queen Victoria, Miss Otter’s servants were treated at the cottage.


Our previous meeting, 20 October, Wath At War Pre-1914 looked at the involvement of local folk in domestic and foreign wars:

War of the Roses
1460 Lord of the manor John Fleming killed at the battle of Wakefield.

Civil War
1647 Captain Adam Eyre enforced £50 fine on royalist Wath Church.
1648 William Smith buried at Wath, wounded at Siege of Pontefract.

Jacobite Rebellion
1745 Jonathan Gawtress of Wath a juror at the trial of rebels at York.

American Revolution
1775, John Payne of Newhill thanked for supporting the rebels.

French Revolution & Napoleonic Wars
1789, John Payne keen supporter of the ideas of liberty & equality
1803 Wath Wood Volunteers led by Captain William Tofield of Wath.
1808 Wath Wood Volunteers ‘mutiny’ at Pontefract manoeuvres.

Indian Mutiny 1857
1868 Peter Husband buried at Wath, Sergeant Major Wath Troop.
1877 Charles Carter buried at West Melton, Wath Troop Drill Sergeant. Both were veterans of India.

Crimean War 1854-56
1898 veteran Arthur Mooney buried at Wath.

Boer War 1900

Private Arthur Burton of West Melton, Yorks Light Infantry, wounded at battle of Graspan.
1902 Peace celebrations, Church St, Church Lane & Well Lane decorated with bunting.


WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9
On sale at:
Wath Community Library.
Old Barnsley, Upper Market Hall, Barnsley
Rotherham Visitor Centre
Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.



My Place

Pottery Yard Newhill - William Uttley (1892 - 1992)

 Pottery Yard Newhill

I was born in Pottery Yard in 1892, 7th December, the yard was just by Taylor Row (2014 Taylor Row still exists). Our house had four rooms, a nice little cottage, comfortable and all the rest of it. It was nothing elaborate, in those days they weren't, but it was a nice comfortable cottage. The worst thing about it was that there was no water laid on. If we wanted water we had to go to a tap that supplied all the yard and we used to take our turn and take two buckets. Especially the night before wash day we filled two tubs with water for mother. We made peg rugs and mother was careful to keep us in everything that we needed, she was very industrious. She did her own decorations and of course she would help anyone else with them. From the front door you went straight into the living room and we had a kitchen. There were two bedrooms upstairs, both quite large, two full size beds in one and one in the other. I had six sisters Susan was the eldest, then Maria, Sarah, Martha, Elsie and Daisy. When I was very tiny my elder sisters were away. Father’s name was William and mother’s was Martha.

Father was a coal miner and we always had a nice fire. He worked at a little old colliery of Lord Fitzwilliam's at Stubbin and was there most of his working life, but I believe he began at Newhill colliery. That colliery fell in one time after it was closed. It was a Saturday when the children were watching them building the platform for the Chapel Anniversary. They always said it was a miracle no one was harmed. When you're sinking a pit you brick it round like a circle and evidently the foundations flopped down just like the walls of Jericho. When it had done, it was just a little cavity at the top. The Newhill Anniversary was the second Sunday in July, we used to practice in the morning then hold the usual service in the afternoon and evening. There was a band, with a lot of instrumentalists who came from all over. It was quite a time. I used to watch my grandfather cobble shoes, not that it was his trade but in those days there was no relief in anyway for anything, if you didn't earn a living you had to go without. When he finished coal mining he got too old and started repairing shoes, the village used to bring him plenty of work and of course he existed.

When I was ten years old we moved from Newhill and went to live in Park Road.

William Uttley
Newhill Chapel Anniversary c1910

Sheffield Telegraph
Sheffield Daily Telegraph Saturday 1st March 1873


Newsletter: February, 2014

The first meeting of 2014 is Thursday 20th February, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. There will be a slide show featuring Wath At War Before 1914. This will include material relating to the Civil War, Napoleonic wars and the Wath Wood Volunteers, the Crimean and Boer wars.

Yeomanry Cavalry
A Wath Member Of The Yeomanry Cavalry

Our previous meeting, 10 October, People Did Sing celebrated Wath’s rich musical heritage; the large turnout snug in the Dunholme Club. Slides and music illustrated the following:

1724 - Wath choir given 1s.6d. for a 10th anniversary service for George I.
1832 - Wath Village Magazine described a Paganini concert at Sheffield.
1849 - Jenny Lind singing at Sheffield was seen by William Carr of Wath.
1857 - Wath Volunteers fife and drum band.
1869 - Wath Brass Band.
1879 - Wath New Brass Band.
1890 - Wath Choral Society led by George M. Coates, church organist.
1892 - Hospital Sunday concert at town hall grounds – Handel’s Messiah.
1890s - Sylvia Wardell distinguished soprano graduated from RAM.
1912-1930s - Wath Amateur Operatic Society.

Other musical groups illustrated were:
Wath Pierrot Troupe, the photo’ in September’s newsletter showed W Jewsbury, C Smith, GB Hollings, D Humphreys, B Baker. Henry Hallatt’s West Melton Orchestral Band, Wath & West Melton Comic Band, West Melton Male Voice Choir, Wath Parish Church Choir, Wath Co-Op Girls’ Choir, Newhill Choir, The Nautical Noises, J. Norris Harmonica Band, Wath Colliery brass band, Wath town brass band, Boys’ Life Brigade Band, and Salvation Army bands. Wath School choir led by the late Barbara Senior is a recent memory and there was an enthusiastic a cappella performance by a number of Old Wathonians of the Wath Grammar School song! We concluded with images of Wath Morris Men and noting that Lesley Garrett’s maternal grandfather was a musician in Wath, a pianist.


WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9
On sale at:
Wath Community Library.
Old Barnsley, Upper Market Hall, Barnsley
Rotherham Visitor Centre
Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.



My Place

Sandygate Bottom by Dave Carney

Sanygate Bottom Sandygate Bottom

I was born in Doncaster Road in 1934 and we moved to Sandygate in 1936 when father became chauffer and maintenance engineer to Thomas Wade & Sons. The house was No.8 (now 30) at the bottom of Sandygate, opposite Wade’s house and builders yard. The house came with the job and was next to the home of the blacksmith, which stood behind the forge F on Sandygate. Our half of the semi-detached had 6 rooms, because after building in the early 19C an extra room downstairs and an extra bedroom upstairs were added. Both new rooms were larger than the others and a bathroom was portioned off from the extra bedroom and the one downstairs created a very large kitchen. In addition to the main rooms were two box rooms, one halfway up the stairs and the other reached by an arch over the stairwell. This was the highest room in the house and became my bedroom where I imagined I slept in the ‘North Tower’.

In front of the house was a large square yard with a wash area for cars and in the top right-hand corner was a manual petrol pump. To the left were three buildings, the one nearest the house was the garage for the limousine father drove. Opposite our house on the other side of Sandygate was the Central Club and I remember old blacksmith Jim Trickett making an unsteady return from there back home on Christmas Day lunchtime. Clad in leather apron old Jim operated the forge with his son Edgar and it was fascinating to see him shoeing, his back to the horse a hoof resting on his knee, wreathed in acrid smoke as the hot shoe was pressed against the hoof. Jim had a bald head, a large white moustache and a pipe clenched between his teeth. On the top of the pipe bowl was stuck a Whitworth’s bottle top with holes punched in it.

 Further up Sandygate was a row of old cottages (now demolished), they were not quite one up and one down because as well as the main room downstairs (always referred to as the ‘house’) there was also a tiny scullery complete with stone sink. Upstairs was a small bedroom above the scullery and a larger one above the main room. A good friend of mine lived in the row and as his father worked at Wath Main and had home coal their house was never cold no matter how bitter the winter.



A Wath man was important at the court of King Charles II ?

DERBY MERCURY Friday 27 March 1747

Derby Mercury

Derby Mercury

Details of his role at court are unclear, though Wath parish register records his burial: 1746 March 19, Humphrey Jackson late of Wath but died in the parish of Rotherham. (at Barbot Hall?) Keble Martin’s history of Wath notes the Jacksons were a large farming family and much of their property passed to the Otters by marriage, 25th July 1756 Ann Jackson of Wath to John Otter of Clayworth (north of Retford) in Nottinghamshire. Ann was buried in Wath churchyard 1815, aged 86, and her gravestone now rests at the foot of the Wath war memorial. In Wath the Otter family had a fine Georgian mansion where Wharncliffe Crescent now stands.


Newsletter: September, 2013

Our fourth meeting of 2013 was Thursday 10th October, at Dunholme Social Club, Carr Road, Wath.

A slide show People Did Sing celebrated Wath’s musical heritage through the centuries.

Wath Pierrots
Wath Pierrots

At our previous meeting, 18 July, attendance was excellent again for the slide show Georgian Wath. Do you recognise these?

The building/improvement boom in the Georgian period of 1714-1830 (George I to George IV) was born out of the wealth generated by the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Wath was a prosperous farming community with a fair number of independent landowners, tradesmen and professional gentlemen (Carr, Campsall, Fenton, Gawtress, Johnson, Kay, Nicholson, Otter, Payne, Tuke). Consequently, their money stayed in Wath and their social aspirations were reflected in fashionable architectural styles. The slide show concentrated on the many Georgian buildings existing in Wath and West Melton, with reminders of what has been lost (Wharncliffe House 1902, Newhill Hall 1953). As well as substantial Georgian buildings several examples of ordinary domestic dwellings from the period were shown.

WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9
On sale at:
Wath Community Library.
Old Barnsley, Upper Market Hall, Barnsley
Rotherham Visitor Centre
Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.


Book Review

It was a delight to read a totally positive review of our Artistic Views book in the August edition of THE LOCAL HISTORIAN, Journal of the British Association for Local History. This is part of the review:

Wath Upon Dearne – Artistic Views Landscape & History

This publication is most unusual. It is innovative both conceptually and in its layout. A historical tour around the town, it is a community history in the true sense of the word in that besides Alex Fleming, who wrote the text, there are ten other contributors, all local artists. These include living artists together with three who painted in the nineteenth century, one of whom, James Scott, was born in 1798.

The format and layout of the book are quite simple and appropriate for the contents. It is A4 which means that the paintings (all in full colour) and drawings are reproduced at a good size. Below each illustration there is an informative text together with photographs and the occasional map or diagram. The subject matter includes historical notes on local farms, a notable country house, the parish church, a dovecote, a blacksmith’s forge and even the village lock-up. Some of the most evocative paintings are of Wath’s industrial past, including Manvers Main and Wath Main… colliery headgear, coke ovens and their clouds of smoke, a fitters’ cabin and a group of colliers having their ‘snap’…

The author and Wath Community History Group are to be congratulated on taking a singular and probably unique approach to producing a community history. The result is informative, accessible and attractive.

Melvyn Jones
Visiting Professor in Landscape History, Sheffield Hallam University



Wath Park Road School began producing a school magazine in 1933?

The Roadster

Easter 1933 edition (Vol. 1 No.2) 46 pages

Headmaster: I Walton
Editors: M Hammond, A Musgrove
Managers: H Clarke, H Winch
Committee: K Darmanin, E Mawson, D Wilkinson, FW Buckley
Senior Prefect: S Butterfield
Red House: H Hoyle & M Beresford
Green House: D Ellis & C Dawson
Blue House: R Ward & I Roberts
Yellow House: D Snowden & E Booth


Netball: D Evans, M Trickett, M Beresford, S Butterfield, D Gardner, M Garfitt.

Cross-country: first 5 Sam Reynolds, Harrison, Ward, Cadman, R Bettney.

Football: Owing to the ‘Flu’ epidemic and bad weather many matches were postponed and it was February before anything was done. Won 2, drew 3, lost 4. Goal Cook, backs Harrison, J Bettney, half-backs Cadman, Winder, R Bettney, forwards Bamforth, J Cooke, Jackson.

Totty Cup first played 1922-23 season and Park Road lost to Victoria in the final.

The team then: Goal J Law, full-backs J Blackman, G Mansbridge,
Half-backs: F Bedford, L Ball, G Monagon,
Forwards: J Ellis, C Smith, F Vollans, G Broomhead, F Cook.



Come sing to our school, hoist up the brown
And make it a colour of fame & renown.
There’s none that shall shame us in work or play
We’ll aim at the highest in both every day.

Three cheers for Park Road now
With voice loud & clear.
Come sing of the place we all hold so dear.
For our school we’ll play a straight game
From the start.
And juniors & seniors we’ll all do our part.

And when we are come to the parting of ways
We’ll ever remember our happy schooldays.
Though at work we are scattered to left and right
In praise of Park Road we’ll always unite.

 Park Road


Newsletter: July, 20133

Our third meeting of 2013 was Thursday 18th July, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. A slide show Georgian Wath celebrated our architectural heritage from a vital period in Wath’s history.

Wath Hall
Wath Hall

Our next meeting in 2013: Thursday 10 October The People Sing

At our previous meeting, 18 April, attendance was excellent again for the slide show Sporting Life in Wath. There was also the election of officers. Existing holders were happy to continue and as there were no other nominations the following were re-elected unanimously: President Mrs Dorothy Logan, Vice President Mrs Sheila Thompson, Treasurer Mrs Anne Taylor, Secretary Mr Alexander Fleming.

There was great development in sporting activity in the second half of the 19C, not least because a much larger population benefitted from industrialisation and regulation of working time. Also, government was anxious that the nation be fit as Britain’s economic and political dominance in the world was challenged by the USA and Germany. The final straw, Australia won the Ashes Test in England in 1909!

Wath and West Melton were home to many different sports teams, with much encouragement from Wath Athletic Club from 1879. Photographs and memorabilia of Wath Children’s Sports Day, cricket, football, rugby, golf and swimming were viewed. Today, Manvers Waterfront Boat Club continues the multi-sport approach of the past.

Wath Bowling Club

WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9
On sale at:
Wath Community Library.
Old Barnsley, Upper Market Hall, Barnsley
Rotherham Visitor Centre
Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.


 Wath Pavillion
Wath Pavillion & Jack Fearn

My Place

Wath Athletic Ground - Jack Edwards

I was born in 1922 at 37 Doncaster Road, moving to Sycamore Crescent when I was 7. My school was Wath Victoria where sport captured my imagination and our games afternoon was played on Swift’s field. The slope of the field was poor for cricket, so inter-school games were held on part of Wath Athletic.

My memory of Wath Athletic is of a beautifully kept sports facility. The groundsman, Jack Fearn, did a remarkable job. The bowling green was always well manicured and dominated by Wilson Hardy, headmaster of Victoria School. The main field catered for cricket in summer, and in winter soccer (railway end) and hockey (town end). The cricket pitch in the centre was one of the best in the Yorkshire Council League. A track for bicycle racing surrounded the main field and a wooden football stand was at the railway end. Tennis courts, grass and red clay, were on the opposite side of the field from the pavilion. For years another Victoria teacher, Amos Ibbotson, was local tennis champion. The old cricket scoreboard would click merrily as Wath’s star batsman, Jerry Auty, carved his way to another of his many citations on the cricket Honour Roll. Wath’s team in the 1930s was a good average Yorkshire Council side, but it could have been better. Charlie Heaton, a Wath man was an excellent opening bat, but played for Swinton. Ironically, George Fearn (Jack’s son) was a fine pace bowler who was enticed to Rawmarsh in a recruiting drive and helped them become perennial winners of the Yorkshire Council! Another Wath player, Tommy Hargreaves, was a local legend.



That Bonnie Prince, Charlie Stuart,
[Sum seh touch’d, o plain doolalli]
Orl t do wi Scotch Culloden,
But nivver wit Dearne Valley?
Ow can the bier link wit Prince?
Or enni soort er friction?
But tek thi sen t Hoober Stand,
An study its inscription!
Built int yeer seventeen fotty eight,
T commemorate grim Culloden,
A terrible place two yeers bifoor,
Woh grievously blud sodden.
Very last battle on British soil,
Foh this t’brave Scots consign’d,
Egg’d on bi madcap Charlie Stuart,
Agen Cumberland’s bloodlust mind;
‘Butcher’ Cumberland istri sez,
Aftert sloorter red ‘n’ gory,
If the must bi battles, then amen,
But Culloden’s er ghastly story!

Thomas Wentworth worrint fray,
An thowt the victri grand,
So commission’d Henry Flitcroft,
T build t’tower, Hoober Stand.
Ninety eight foot er local stone,
In taperin triangular fashion,
A victri sign this belvedere,
A mark er Wentworth’s passion!
Perch’d up theer onner lofty ridge,
Toppert Stand’s six undred feet,
Orlt Dearne Valley set art below,
Like er jigsaw join’d complete.
Forrer bird’s eye view near o far,
Av a gander from Wentworth’s pickit,
Thall see orl tha wants from theer,
Forrabart three quid er tickit.

By John Davison


Newsletter: April, 2013

Our second meeting of 2013 is Thursday 18th April, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. There will be a slide show looking at Sporting Life in Wath. This is not just about team fixtures and results, it gives us a chance to examine the social life of Wath since the early 1800s.

Moor Road, 1907
Moor Road, 1907

Our other meetings in 2013:
Thursday 18 July - Georgian Wath
Thursday 10 October - The People Sing

At our previous meeting, 21 February, there was another bumper turn-out, 64, for the slide show West Melton People & Places.
Melton was the middle settlement between Wath and Brampton, West added later to distinguish it from (High) Melton. The boundaries have shifted often and it has been part of Brampton as well as Wath. Brampton itself was once part of the parish of Wath. The west end had and has the oldest buildings (United Reform Church 1799, Old Hall Farm, Beech House, Highfield Farm and its threshing barn).
Farming, coal mining, brick works and the drapers Edward Smith & Sons were the main employers, with expansion in the late 19C. Old photographs, trade adverts and business receipts illustrated a ‘walk’ along Melton High Street from Townend, past Winterwell, United Reform chapel, Highfield Farm, Firth Road and on to the Cottage of Content. Did the number of churches/chapels indicate a very devout community, or perhaps the need for divine help?

West Melton
Almanack, 1896


WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9 and is on sale at:
Wath Community Library,
Old Barnsley Upper Market Hall, Barnsley,
Philip Howard Books of Rotherham,
Rotherham Visitor Centre,
Elsecar Visitor Centre,
Cannon Hall Museum.

Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.

 Typical comments:

"Love the book…it brings back lots of childhood memories."

"Thank you to the Group for producing such an excellent publication."

"Since it arrived yesterday morning I find it difficult to put it down."

"It is absolutely brilliant…It brings back so many happy memories."

"The book as a whole is a fascinating impression of Wath…many thanks for stirring up so many memories for me."

Wath Brewery Wath Brewery

My Place

Wath Brewery - Margaret Clarke

In the 1950s I left school and started work at Whitworth’s Brewery, at the age of 15. For my interview I was summoned to the boardroom and was overawed by the large, wood-panelled room whose walls were adorned with portraits and pictures of horses and carts. Seated at one end of a huge table was the company secretary (Mr. Wragg) who asked me several questions before leaving me on my own for about half an hour to answer a written test paper. My emotions were a mix of amazement at the splendour of the place and absolute terror at the ordeal at hand. Despite those emotions I did get the job and never regretted it.

Each morning I began by collecting mail from the post office in a large, battered, leather satchel and took it back to the office to sort it. Next, I went to the office of the Managing Director to fill his bar fridge and then iron his newspapers so they were all straight. At any time of the day Mr. Wragg would call down and ask the name of a tenant, or ‘phone number of any of the 172 pubs, the clubs or off-licenses. Woe betide you if the answer wasn’t quick or you didn’t know! As the youngest in the office I would have to choose my holidays after all the others had picked theirs, which meant I virtually always had to take my holidays in April or October!



Wath had its own early version of the wife-sale which features in Thomas Hardy’s 1886 The Mayor of Casterbridge?
In this newspaper cutting the letter s is represented by f.

The Leeds Intelligencer: Tuesday 15 August 1775

The Leeds Intelligencer

The phrase, illicit practices betwixt his wife and William Taylor means adultery. The description of the husband bearing the words “cornuted by William Taylor”, confirms betrayal, because cornuted refers to horns and meant cuckolded.
The English custom of wife-selling largely began in the late 17th century when divorce was possible only for the very wealthy.


Newsletter: Feb 8th, 2013

Our first meeting of 2013 is Thursday 21st February, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. There will be a slide show featuring West Melton: People & Places.


Melton High Street
Melton High Street

At our previous meeting, 18 October, nearly 60 folk gathered to celebrate the launch of Wath Upon Dearne – Artistic Views: Landscape & History. It was a thrilling experience to see so many of you, not least because of your encouragement over the decades to delve into the history of Wath. Artistic Views is a unique way of presenting the history of a place and Wath is exceptional in having so many artists draw and paint our community over the centuries. Work by ten artists is shown in more than 60 paintings and drawings, with a historical commentary. Also, there are 80 thumbnail photographs and illustrations. The 64 glossy pages, in full colour A4, relate the history of Wath as farming and ancient crafts gave way to coal mining, canal and railways.

WATH – ARTISTIC VIEWS is excellent value at £9 and is on sale at:
Wath Community Library,
Old Barnsley Upper Market Hall, Barnsley,
Philip Howard Books of Rotherham,
Rotherham Visitor Centre,
Elsecar Visitor Centre,
Cannon Hall Museum.

Or you can order online through our Contact Us page.

Sales before Christmas were so very good that we soon covered our costs and have now a healthy reserve for future projects. It has been amazing how many people have telephoned, written or emailed (often at length) to congratulate us on Wath – Artistic Views. There have, however, been some family frustrations: Christmas dinner served late because ‘cook’ became too absorbed in reading; visitors not talking to hosts once they were shown a copy and became lost in memories; arguments over who lived where etc.

Typical comments:

"Love the book…it brings back lots of childhood memories."

"Thank you to the Group for producing such an excellent publication."

"Since it arrived yesterday morning I find it difficult to put it down."

"It is absolutely brilliant…It brings back so many happy memories."

"The book as a whole is a fascinating impression of Wath…many thanks for stirring up so many memories for me."

Biscay House Biscay House Map

My Place

Biscay House, West Street - Anne Hughes

I have fond memories of living in Biscay House with my parents. We moved there about 1957, when father was promoted to mechanic/foreman for Glyn Vaughan (coal merchant). By living in the house my father could be on call 24/7 for any breakdowns that occurred. Mr. Vaughan had moved out and had a bungalow built in Swinton.

 Being an only child I had lots of space to run around – it seemed like a mansion after living in a damp 2 up 2 down. There were 4 bedrooms and an enormous bathroom, with an extra-long bath, specially installed by Mr. Vaughan as he was over 6ft tall. There were numerous cupboards and lobbies in which to play hide-and-seek with friends, but I only climbed up to the attic once because I believed it was haunted. The house was divided into three dwellings at that time. We lived in the front part, which also had an office for business. At the back were Mr. & Mrs. Mower and their two sons. Below was Mr. Vaughan’s father, the entrance to his house was down the side of the building on a path leading to the canal.

We moved out about 4 or 5 years later as father decided to set up his own business, repairing and selling motor bikes and scooters. We rented a shop/house on Cemetery Road which had been a fish shop, next to the old White Bear. It was a very cold house without a bathroom or hot water and the outside toilet froze regularly in winter. On the plus side, it was the beginning of the ‘Swinging 60s’ and Lambretta scooters were coming into fashion – so father had quite a bit of work. 



3 local men served on the York jury which tried those who invaded England in 1745 with Bonnie Prince Charlie?
Mr. Jonathan Gawtress of Wath
Mr. Timothy Rhodes of Brampton Bierlow
Mr. Richard Bingley of Bolton on Dearne
Plus Sir William Wentworth

NEWCASTLE COURANT Sat 4 – Sat 11 October 1746 p3 York Oct 7

Newcastle Courant

The rebels were found guilty.
Charles Edward Stuart had arrived in Scotland in 1745 to start a rebellion against the House of Hanover. His army of 5,000 invaded England in November 1745; advanced through to Derby, then retreated. He was defeated at Culloden, near Inverness, in April 1746. Some 3,500 prisoners were taken south to England to be tried for high treason. The common prisoners drew lots and only 1 in 20 actually came to trial. Executions took place in Carlisle, York and London. In total, 120 common men were executed.

Hoober Stand celebrates the crushing of the ’45 Rebellion.


Newsletter: September 27th, 2012

Our fourth meeting of 2012 is Thursday 18 October, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. There will be a slide show to launch a new book about Wath, copies will be on sale so come prepared!


Artistic Views

This is an exciting occasion for us because the publication of such a high-quality local history book, featuring the work of artists, is unique. Wath is exceptional in having stimulated so many artists to draw and paint our community over the centuries. The work of ten artists is reproduced together with a commentary on the history represented, plus thumbnail photographs and illustrations. Consequently, there are more than 60 paintings and drawings, nearly 80 supplementary illustrations and 11,500 words of text. The 64 glossy pages, in A4 size full colour, relate the history of Wath as farming and ancient crafts gave way to coal mining, canal and railways. Of course, history is about people and there is much about where and how they lived. For example:

Brook Farm was run by the Bell family for much of the 20C, they noted in 1926 that weekly pay to G. Greaves was £1.16s.

Mary Hick lived at ‘Oakleigh’ at the top of Fitzwilliam Street. In her will of 1902 she left many individual bequests of £50 to £250 which totalled £5,150. One beneficiary was the ‘Wesleyan Methodist Worn-Out Ministers & Widows Fund’.


Go to our 'Contact Us' page to order online.

Our previous meeting was 19 July, when the topic was Wath, Townscape & Memory. This was an opportunity to inform and refresh our knowledge of the streets, buildings and their people. Our starting point was a selection of photographs collected by the late Albert Eccles. The one of lower Chapel Street, featured on the cover of the previous newsletter, did stimulate memories for someone who was born there in 1930.

  Church House Farm
Church House Farm - Pleasaunce Holtom

The upper floor of this building contained the apple chambers and through the archway to the back were sheep pens. Off to the left was the stack yard. This and previous illustrations of Church House and other farms emphasise how agriculture was an integral part of the very fabric of Wath. The main reason for this was the existence of a number of independent landowners throughout the centuries. Wentworth-Fitzwilliam dominance was never as overwhelming as, for example, at Brampton. In the mid-19C in Wath 96% of the land was owned by 25 people, 7 of them owning 80%: Earl Fitzwilliam, William Carr, Robert Otter, John Payne, William Fenton, Richard Gawtress and Ann Wade. Brampton, however, had 80% of its land owned by just 2, Earl Fitzwilliam and the Ellis Charity. Earl Fitzwilliam owned a third of the land in Wath, but three quarters of Brampton!

Income from farming and associated trades such as tanning was greatly supplemented by coal royalties from Manvers, Cortonwood and Wath collieries after 1870. Much of that money stayed in Wath, not least in the new villas on Fitzwilliam Street. The first villa at the bottom of Fitzwilliam Street was occupied by the Firth family, Frederick was a butcher. Mary Hick (widow of Allan Hick who was the chemist before Norwood) lived at ‘Oakleigh’ at the top of Fitzwilliam Street.


Manvers Coke Ovens
Manvers Coke Ovens - Sheila Thompson

Palmer’s timber yard is in the foreground. Left is the timber framework of the secondary water cooler. Centre is the massive 140ft. tall concrete coaling tower with coke ovens to its right. The metal towers on the right are the by-products plant scrubbers (86ft. high) extracting ammonia and benzole. Coke production began in 1878 and increased with new ovens in 1906. Replaced in 1933 by the structures which dominated the skyline for fifty years, production in 1938 was 1000 tons a day. South Yorkshire coalfield rationalisation, 1950-1956, centralised coal output in the Manvers complex. Wath Main and Kilnhurst pits were linked below ground to Manvers, Barnburgh coal came by rail. This led to an enormous building program to create the surface plant to handle the gigantic volume of coal brought to the surface at Manvers. The Central Coal Preparation Plant began operating in July 1955.

Manvers Coke Ovens
Manvers 1980



Newsletter: July 10th, 2012

Our third meeting of 2012 is on Thursday 19 July, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: Wath, Townscape & Memory - a close look at a number of new photographs of Wath.

Our previous meeting was 19 April, when we looked at the history of Markets & Businesses in Wath. A market charter granted to Wath 700 years ago was our starting point. The importance of medieval markets and hiring fairs for labourers and servants was considered and then the development of small businesses in Wath. Bills, receipts, advertisements and trade directories provided illustrations. From the late 19C to the 1970s the sheer number and variety of businesses in Wath was impressive.

  • 1312 market charter granted by Edward III.
  • 1814 petition to hold a weekly market.
  • 1886 new market opened at cost of £2000, opposite All Saints Church.
  • 1981 Saracens Market opened Wednesday 15 April.


Chapel Street

Chapel Street

  Manvers Haighmoor Seam Stables
Manvers Haighmoor Seam Stables 1950s

My Place

Wath Main Stables

My first job when I started in 1921 was with the pit ponies, we used them for haulage. It was all collar work for the pony and he wasn’t allowed to walk when pulling two tubs of coal. He had to get moving fast and run all the way back for the next two tubs, a distance of 300 to 400 yards. There was hardly a pause, it was slog, slog, slog all the time for a whole shift. At the end of the day shift the ponies were taken to the water tub for a drink, then tied to their feed boxes near the workings. When the afternoon shift came on it was another shift of slogging for the ponies.

I’ve seen ponies with sore chines (backbones) caused by scraping along the low roof in various places. I’ve seen ponies having to work with sore shoulders caused by particles of shale getting between their shoulders and the collar of the harness. Some of their names were Blazer, Badger, Ben, Blucher, Damper, Digger, Joss, Scorcher, Skipper and Tim.

Charlie Taylor 1981


Newsletter: April 10th, 2012

Our second meeting of 2012 is on Thursday 19 April, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: Markets & Businesses in Wath – an illustrated presentation. In 1312 Edward II granted Wath a market charter, 700 years ago!

Our previous meeting, 23rd February, proved to be very popular, When ‘Daisies’ Steamed on the Hump, the coming of railways to Wath. It says much for the interest in Wath’s railway history that fifty people came. Our local railway story was unfolded using many illustrations of maps, diagrams, documents and photographs. One simple tale emphasised the significance of the rail network, a June day-trip from Wath to the Isle of Man in the 1930s, returning home before dark!

  • 1840 North Midland line, Derby- Leeds construction HQ in West Street, Wath.
  • 1849 South Yorkshire line coal only, 1851 July passengers; became Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Company; became Great Central in 1897.
  • 1902 Hull & Barnsley (closed to passengers 1929, coast trips until 1939).

For a relatively small town Wath was unusual in having 3 stations and, for a while, the largest marshalling yard in the country. Coal was the key and Wath ‘Hump’ (Concentration Yard) was opened in 1907 by the Great Central Railway. With 36 miles of sidings its capacity was 5,000 wagons every 24 hours. At that time within a 10 mile radius of Wath there were 45 collieries. At the ‘Hump’ were four of the heaviest and most powerful locomotives in Britain, the "Wath Daisies", otherwise known as class 8H, built by Beyer Peacock of Manchester in 1907- 08 for £4,625 each.

Passenger discomfort and accidents existed from the start, with the most serious being the Wath Road Junction (Manvers) accident of 18 May 1948. Rails buckled by hot weather caused a catastrophic derailment with 8 deaths and many injured.



Wath 1931

  Star Inn
Star Inn

My Place

The 'Star Inn'

Our Dad, Clarence Green, started second-hand dealing whilst still working down Cortonwood pit. He had a horse and cart and rented a shop on Church Street, opposite the old fire station and the ‘Globe Tea Company’. In the shop he sold household goods, buckets, shovels, pegs, paraffin and gas mantles, as well as snap-tins and dudleys for miners. We were born in the little house behind the shop.

In 1935 he bought the old ‘Star Inn’, situated on Church Street between Church Lane and Well Lane (Catte Lane). The ‘Star’ was an old coaching inn, a large house with 13 rooms and 2 big cellars. There was a large back-yard with several outbuildings, including the original stable block complete with tack room, all ideal for storage. The upper floor of the stable had an outside staircase and was used as “Church Street Mission”.

Dad became an agent for Wath Main Colliery, delivering loose loads of coal to customers and selling 1cwt. bags from the yard, where he kept his three lorries. He also bought the old market place with the Salvation Army Hall and a row of old shops, more storage space! Long before our time Spedding Whitworth had a maltings there.

In the shop we sold crockery, bric-a-brac, hardware, toys at Christmas, fireworks for ‘Bonfire Night’, even costume jewellery. In fact we sold anything except food and clothes. Dad continued buying and selling furniture and a few antiques until 1968, when the council bought the whole corner for redevelopment.

Anne Percival & Mavis Furr 2012


Newsletter: February 2nd, 2012

Our first meeting of 2012 is on Thursday 23 February, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, S63 7AA, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: When ‘Daisies’ Steamed on the Hump – the coming of railways to Wath, an illustrated presentation.

Our previous meeting, 13th October, featured a very popular topic, WHITWORTH’S BREWERY, which attracted forty of you, including ex-employees. Using many illustrations from Doug Wydell’s excellent book on the brewery, together with maps and other photographs, the history and development of the brewery was outlined.

  • 1833 Spedding Whitworth born in Liversedge, West Yorkshire.
  • 1838 came to Wath to live with aunt Ann & husband Benjamin Bamforth. They had a maltings in the market place next to Church Farm.
  • 1857 Benjamin died and Spedding took charge of the maltings.
  • 1828 James Utley born in Barnsley and followed various occupations.
  • 1865 Utley built a brewery at Wath, alongside the Dearne & Dove Canal.
  • 1870 James is listed in trade directories as ale & porter brewer.
  • 1881 James retired with business problems and Spedding Whitworth bought a share in the brewery.

Subsequently, Whitworth took over the entire brewery and extended the range of drinks brewed, building on the success of India Pale Ale. Spedding was paid £1000 a year, built Dunford House for his family, was a generous philanthropist to Wath and on his death in 1899 left £110,000 to his son. Despite a disastrous fire in 1952 the brewery recovered and when taken over in 1958 by John Smiths had a network of 172 tied pubs.


Wath Great Central Station

Wath Great Central Station


My Place

The Footplate

My route to engine driver began as an Engine Cleaner with the LNER at Mexborough Loco Depot in February 1946. As a cleaner I spread a mixture of paraffin and oil over the outside of steam engines and polished them with cotton waste and old rags. Intensive use during the war meant the locos were past their best, so a coat of paraffin did make them shine. Engine Cleaners were really a pool of ‘spare’ lads used as firemen when needed (holidays etc.), or if an extra train arrived at Mexboro’ wanting a change of crew.

After National Service in the RAF I returned to the Mexboro’ Depot as a Regular Fireman. This promotion during my absence meant I had Regular Drives and worked in a Junior Link. A Link was a group of 12 men who worked round the 12 turns in their Link – local pilot, trip working, preparing locos for Senior Drivers. All the work at a loco depot was on strict seniority basis and your seniority date ruled everything. Progress through the link workings meant moving up to better class work as men retired.

Mexboro’ Loco Depot was at the junction of a number of lines and so trains from York, Selby, Barnsley Sheffield, Staveley, Leicester, Immingham, Hull, Scunthorpe etc. meant plenty of Relief work. There were also engines from Mexboro’ Shed for Wath Yard to work coal traffic, west to Manchester and Liverpool, east to steelworks at Scunthorpe and to Immingham docks. Consequently, in the early 1950s there would be about 500 footplate staff (drivers and firemen) at Mexboro’, it was a very large loco depot.

1963-64 Mexboro’ Loco was closed to steam and the footplate staff moved to Wath Electric Depot, home to the new-fangled Diesel-Electric locos, as well as electric locos. Older drivers had a problem converting from steam because diesels were more complicated. Luckily, a driver still had his fireman with him and if the fireman was a car owner he could be useful to nip into the engine room and rectify a fault there. Otherwise the driver would continue, with his cap covering up the bright blue “FAULT” light that he didn’t want to know about!

In 1965 I became a Driver at Wath Depot, having passed my exams in 1963. Eventually I made the Top Link at Tinsley Depot and though I travelled all over England – Warrington, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Cambridge – it was as a ‘Wath man’.

Geoff Anderson, 2011


Newsletter: September 20th, 2011

Our fourth meeting of 2011 will be on Thursday 13 October, at St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: WHITWORTH’S BREWERY a lavishly illustrated presentation!

At our previous meeting, 14th July, an illustrated presentation looked at The Census with relation to Wath in the 19th century. Starting with background to the introduction of the census in 1801, we then looked at changes to the type of information collected and the detail for Wath.

  • 1841 Individuals and streets identified, great variety of Wath occupations: Farmer, tailor, coal miner, malster, innkeeper, potter, glazier, civil engineer, butcher, straw bonnet maker, navigator, engraver, flax dresser, plate maker, leather dyer, clock maker, cotton weaver, stuff weaver.
  • 1851 Birth place and marital status identified. Wath heads of household: Gentlefolk 11, professional 15, craftsman 100, tradesman 41 agricultural labourer 26, railway labourer 22 coal miner 18.
  • 1851 & 1861 census returns for Wath enabled us to surmise how the Burman family of doctors came from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, to live at Bombay House in Chapel Street, Wath. The link was probably the Payne family of Newhill Hall, related by marriage to a notable Wisbech family. Dr. James Burman and his son Dr. William Maxwell Burman came to Wath and set up their practice in Chapel Street. James then married Ellen Briscoe of Chapel Street, born in Bombay where her father had been with the East India Company.
  • 1861 Wath had 1,690 people, 50% born in Wath and locally.
  • 1891 Wath had 3,855 people, 78% born in Yorkshire mainly – Wath, Swinton, Rotherham, Sheffield. Others mainly Lincolnshire and Lancashire. 33% of all males were coal workers.


Price List of Bottled Ales and Stout


My Place

Northside Road

I was born at 1 Northside Road, moving to 41 Moor Road and returning to 6 Northside Road when I was five. Running behind Wath High Street, just off Moor Road, it was unadopted in my childhood and still is! Wards, owners of the greengrocers on High Street, kept their lorries in the road. Ashers also had their shop on High Street, but their workshop was at the bottom of Northside Road, next to the little workshop of cobbler Robinson.

My best friend Janet Deighton lived next door and there were other children who lived in what we called the ‘Big Yard’, the backs of the houses at the top of Moor Road. Our playground was Northside Road and Wade’s wood yard, where we had great fun making rocking boats from the formers used for building archways. Our games were simple, hide-and-seek, hopscotch, whip and top. We were fascinated by the two Asher brothers, one being tall and gaunt, looking the part of a coffin maker!

In spite of the danger we were allowed to play on the canal bank, fishing, and playing cowboys and Indians. We also played in the bath’s field and the adjoining park. Janet and I were very small when we decided to take our clothes off and paddle in the pool in the park. Our sisters caught us before we went too far!

We made dolls’ houses from cardboard boxes in the winter and dolls from pipe cleaners and crepe paper. During the very bad winter of 1947 we made an igloo in the backyard and used tin trays to slide down Moor Road. By this time I had started swimming seriously and I remember having to shovel snow from the door to go for a training session at 7 am at Wath Baths with Mr. Darley, manager at the baths.

I left Northside Road when I married in 1956.

Sheila Thompson, née Hewitt, 2011


Newsletter: June 24th, 2011

The third meeting of 2011 will be on Thursday 14 June, at our usual venue- St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: THE CENSUS An illustrated talk with a focus on the returns for Wath.

At our previous meeting, 14th April, there was an illustrated presentation on dating pictures of people, places and events connected with Wath.

The first practical form of photography was the daguerreotype, 1839. Each image exposed individually in a camera on silver-plated copper. Finished picture brilliant, mirror-like, finely-detailed, but expensive. Next the ambrotype, 1854. A negative image on glass, it looks positive because of a black paper backing.

Cartes de Visite, small photos, usually portraits, produced in large numbers 1853-1900 by professional photographers. Photos about 3½”x 2½” mounted on trade cards.

Cabinet prints/cards, popular from the late 1860s - c1900. Photos measuring about 4" x 5½", mounted on trade cards. 1898 Postcards replaced cabinet cards and the CdV as the main type of cheap studio portrait, peaking during the Great War.

Fashion changes, for example: Early 1860s full-length, wide dress, ears covered by hair. If ears visible - later 1860s. Post-1900, wide-sleeved blouses still worn for a while, but for many - blouse and simple skirt. Straw-boater and wide hats for special occasions.

Each photo-type and fashion period was illustrated by images of people who lived in Wath or visited relatives here 1850-1950s. William & Mary Sykes, featured on the cover of the last newsletter, were the in-laws of Dr. Henry Payne who lived at Newhill Hall in the late 19C. Photo of Thomas Aldam Payne 1787-1857, 4th son of John Payne of Newhill Hall.

High Street

High Street - Wath upon Dearne


A founding member.
Miriam was our greatest asset.
Unfailingly supportive, she readily shared her incredibly detailed, extensive knowledge of Wath’s history.
A remarkable individual.

Miriam Smith

Miss Miriam Smith.

My Place

Wath - Queen of Villages

Do walk with me down Barnsley Road.
‘What’s that peculiar whiff?’
It’s coming from the skin yard, so do not stay to sniff.
The scent we find on West Street is sickly-sweet and queer,
it assures us that at Whitworths they are busy brewing beer.
We will not go up Warehouse Lane if you take my advice,
the odours from the slaughterhouse are never very nice.
Instead we go along Moor Road and hear the rhythmic thump
of the thing that softens water for the locos on the Hump.
Here at the Recreation Ground the bench needs several wipes,
or when we rise we will find our dress has zebra stripes.
The air down here is very thick and smuts pour down like rain
from the smoke of many engines and the ovens at Wath Main.
There’s a burnt smell from the malt kilns as up Station Road we pass
and now we’re almost overcome by Wath and Thurnscoe Gas.
Were we to turn up Sandygate the aspect’s much more sunny,
and several stately mansions prove that where there’s muck there’s money.
But once we get past Dunford House our lungs can scarcely cope
with the dreadful reek of oil and grease where Stanleys make their soap.
And then behind the greasy smell something quite unpleasant lurks,
I think the wind is blowing from off the sewage works.
Now there’s a change of atmosphere – that means we can’t be far,
from Manvers with its special blend of sulphur, smoke and tar.
The gardeners believe these fumes will keep the mildew from their roses,
but visitors to our dear Wath deplore the insult to their noses.
A stranger said ‘I have known some smells from fact’ries, drains and tillages,
but never a pong that was half as strong as that in the Queen of Villages!

Miriam Smith, 1992 - On Wath in the early 20th Century


Newsletter: April 4th, 2011

The second meeting of 2011 will be on Thursday 14 April, at our usual venue - St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, at 7.00 pm.

Topic for the evening: How old is this photograph?

An illustrated talk on dating pictures of people, places and events connected with Wath.

At our previous meeting, 24th February, we continued our look at Wath’s important agricultural heritage with Part 2 of Farms & Farmers of Wath. Church House (Cross House) Farm, the Gawtress family, Moor farm, High Street Dairy (Wood’s) and Sandygate farm all featured. Of course the collieries were also major owners of farmland, as was Whitworth’s brewery. For example, in 1920 Whitworth bought Church House (Cross House) Farm from the Cadman estate for £6000.

The Gawtress family (of Cross House, library site) was an important part of the local farming economy for centuries. An indenture of 1764 apprenticed Richard Gawtress to John Twitty of Wath to learn the trade of tanning. One modern reminder of that trade was Wath council’s building works yard on West St./Barnsley Rd. the ‘Skin Yard’.

Detail was provided about High Street Dairy (54-56 High Street): Joseph Wood came to Wath about 1900 and in 1920 bought the dairy from Wath Main Colliery. The dairy passed to his son, Joseph, and in turn to his son, Joseph. Pre-1939 they had two milk rounds, one using a van for deliveries and the other horse and cart. After 1945 the dairy had 10 milking cows, with milk also bought in from Hemmingfield and Brampton. Some 40 acres were farmed, fields in different parts of Wath - Mount Pleasant, Golden Smithies; potatoes grown for retail.

The number of farms in Wath had led to the establishment of an agricultural chemist in 1820 (Bishop, then Hick, then Norwood). Norwood’s poison register for 1910 recorded regular sales of sheep-dip solution (it contained arsenic!).


Mr & Mrs Sykes

Mr & Mrs William & Mary Sykes of Ackworth
A Daguerreotype image

  Steam Threshing Church House Farm
Steam Threshing Church House Farm

My Place

Cross House (Church House) Farm

I was born at Cross House Farm in 1924. Large wooden gates at the bottom of Sandygate opened onto a wide pathway. On the left was the Dutch barn, on the right a stable, which in earlier years housed the bull. Following up on the right were hay lofts – two storey buildings with ladder to upper level. Further up on the right were the stables, home to three working shire-horses Kitty, Billy, Boxer.

Halfway up the path was the arch we knew as the pigeon coop, beneath it to the right was the engine shed with cables across to the meal house on the right.

The farmyard opened up now - pig shed behind meal house; sheep pens in building to far right, with apple chambers above; stack yard to left, for the large hay stacks produced after the thrashing machine had been every August. The buildings facing down the farmyard went all the way across to the Church House gardens and housed ploughs etc. There too was the watch tower, from where the farmer in earlier days could use his telescope to survey his lands.

The farmyard then opened onto the fields, the first of which was the huge grass field on the edge of which stood the bungalow where I was born (today 14 Old Cross Lane). There were many beautiful trees in the field, including a copper beech and a huge oak tree.

The area on the right of the field bordered the top of the Church House gardens. They were very neglected and so made a wonderful playground for me and my friends. There was a mulberry tree, uncommon in England then, and each year it produced large, succulent berries which we all enjoyed!

Beyond the grass field were the arable fields of barley, wheat, hops and potatoes. Every third year one of the fields would be fallow.


Betty Boardman, nee Deighton (March 2011)


Newsletter: February 12th, 2011

Our first meeting of 2011 will be on Thursday 24 February, at our usual venue - St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, at 7.00 pm. Topic for the evening: Farms & Farmers of Wath an illustrated talk, continued from our last meeting.

At our previous meeting, 21st October, the talk Farms & Farmers of Wath used maps, documents and photographs to illustrate this vital aspect of our history.

Given the immense scope of the topic over the centuries it was decided to use two meetings to do justice to our farming heritage.

The 1086 Domesday survey noted the earliest information about land holdings. Then we considered the three manors of Wath (Newhill, Thornhill, Fleming), importance of Wentworth-Fitzwilliam and farming agreements enforced. Maps of pre-enclosure strips and subsequent field reorganisation in 1814 gave a background for the dozen or so farms from Newhill Grange in the west to Whincover Farm in the east.

Farm photographs: Abdy (Wharam, Turner), Newhill Grange (Payne, Pepper, Palframan), Thornhill (Johnson), Church (Roberts, White), Spout (Downing), Brook (Lancashire, Bell).

It was sad to note the disappearance of farm buildings which once housed a horse-gin, though dovecotes have survived.

The thriving farms (with sheep as well as cattle and crops) supported many trades and crafts – tanning, brewing, milling, smiths, farriers, boot-makers, hatters and carpenters.

Part 2 will examine Cross-House, Gawtress, Moor, High Street and Sandygate farms.


James Trickett & son Edgar

James Trickett & son Edgar
Sandygate Forge 1930s

  Moor Farm

My Place

Moor Farm

Moor House, as we knew it, on High Street was bought by my grandfather, George Fred Ward, in 1930. He bought it from the timber merchant who owned it. Fred wanted to start a fruit and vegetable business in Wath, previously trading in Mexborough. The house already had the front shop part.

Behind the shop was a room used for preparing wedding flowers, wreaths etc. Then behind it was the main living and kitchen area – the centre of family life. There was a pump there for daily water supply. Further back was the scullery, where Grandmother did the washing with a tub and ‘dolly’, again with a water pump.

From the front door stairs led to the first floor, which had two bedrooms at the front and one at the back over the living room kitchen. Between kitchen and scullery more stairs led up to a room over the scullery, just used for storage. From those stairs a door led into the rear bedroom. Those stairs also gave access, along a narrow passage and up more stairs, to the top floor with two large rooms. Used only for storage these upper rooms were stone-flagged and had exposed roof beams.

Under the flower preparation and front living rooms were two large cellars - low ceilings and stone floors. Always cool, they were ideal for keeping stocks of flowers.

In the early 1950s Fred Ward retired and his sons Tom and Jack took over the business. Jack was the eldest child and the other children were Roy, Jean and Fred junior. Tom lived at the shop and my father Jack lived elsewhere in Wath. When Tom and family went on holiday my family moved in. As children my sister and self had great fun living there, but we did feel it was rather spooky with so many rooms and mysterious passageways!

Colin Ward 2010


Newsletter: October 15th, 2010

Our fourth meeting of 2010 will be on Thursday 21st October, at our usual venue - St. Joseph’s Hall, Carr Road, Wath, at 7.00 pm. The topic for the evening will be an illustrated talk about farms and farmers in Wath. It seems an appropriate topic for this time of autumn’s mellow fruitfulness and harvest festivals.

At our previous meeting, 1st July, we had a fully illustrated talk about the Payne family of Newhill. John Payne had Newhill Hall built 225 years ago, in 1785. All that remains today is the family mausoleum, on the edge of Newhill Park. There were more than forty of you present and the interest shown in the photographs and illustrated documents was enthusiastic. Of particular interest were photographs of the interior of the mausoleum, taken during restoration work in 1992.

There was also an exhibition about Newhill and the Payne family in Wath Library. This was originally scheduled for 19 July-6 August, but was extended to 13 August by popular demand. The many comments in the visitors’ book were very positive. One visitor even brought the front door key to Newhill Hall!


Newhill Hall

Newhill Hall


My Place

Newhill Hall

The main door opened into a large hall with a chandelier you could pull up and down. Facing you was a door to the drawing room. Next to it was the dining room. To the left was the breakfast room, then a stone staircase up with handrails. To the right was a long passage to the kitchens. In the passage the first door on your right led into the library. On the left, halfway down the passage, was a room used as a dispensary.

The next room on the left was the butler’s pantry. On the other side of the passage was the servants’ hall, where people would go to pay rent. there were also steps down into the wine cellars.

Up the stone staircase from the entrance hall was quite a large landing with bedrooms off. To the right was uncle Dick’s (Richard Payne) bedroom, and a dressing room used as a nursery when they were children and had a nurse. At the top of the stairs on the left was a bedroom, another small dressing room, then grandfather’s (Dr. Henry Payne) bedroom looking out over Newhill Grange to West Melton. Another set of stairs led into the attic where the servants slept; they were proper rooms.

Margaret Uttley (nee Payne) 1989

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