The Early Years and other reminiscences -
by Tony Robinson
the first 14 years of my life until 1957 I lived at the New Masons
Arms on Doncaster Road where dad (Arthur known as Rob) and mum (Anne
known as Nancy) were the tenants (both are pictured, right).
They had taken over the tenancy from my Granddad, Bill Brammer and
Nan, Lottie Brammer who had been the original tenants.
Grandma and grandad had been involved in the licence trade for some
time having also run the Don Hotel in Swinton. They took that pub
over just as the general strike started and they found it very
difficult. I remember Nan telling me stories of skinning and cooking
rabbits that the striking miners caught.
Nan (nee Roper) was the daughter of James Roper of Fern Villa on
Church Street (Low Road) James was a haulier and had a number of
wagons and horses. Grandad had been a driver for him as well as
being a blacksmith at Denaby Pit. In their early married life they
had lived in Ferry Boat Lane.
Eventually they were
offered the tenancy of a very old, run down stone-built pub which was due to be demolished,
along with Adams Yard at its rear, and the New Masons
Arms built behind it. They finished serving on the evening session
in the old pub and opened up next morning in the new one. I believe
this was 1937.
When Mum and Dad took over the
tenancy in the forties they developed the pub into a meeting place
for the business people of Mexborough.
They attended many formal social events and provided the licensed
bars for some of them; mostly at the Empress Ballroom.
Life in the 20s
The Don Hotel, Swinton, around 1928
Ferryboat Lane, 1921 - the Parish Hall is back, left
A social hub for
Mexborough's business and commercial men and women
Bill Pettit – Owned Shoe Shop on Bank Street, Jack Malcolm
was District Manager for DBC (Danish Bacon Company)
Hewitt Wainwright had a Painting and Decorating Business.
Ben Bailey - Home Building
Mum and Dad attend Doncaster Rugby Club Dinner Dance at the
Danum 1948 and talk to Florence Squires who owned a ladies
gown shop in High Street close to The Montagu Pub
Providing a licensed bar at the Empress Ballroom.
On the left is Harry May who had a tobacconist business
Dad receives the Charter
as inaugural Chairman of Mexborough Round Table
This is the Ukrainian
Association Christmas Dinner in 1949 held in the function
room (club room) at the New Masons Arms. The members had
come over to work in the pits
photo was taken from the car park in front of the pub
looking across Doncaster Road. The shop of the left - only
partly shown was Wagstaff’s Butchers , The Grocery shop
behind the car was owned by Lillian Tugby, my mother’s
cousin. The Clarke family lived in the house after the lamp
post. Barry Clarke was my age First shop with first canopy
was Seizes Pork Butchers and the second was the Post Office.
The cyclist is my Uncle Albert Robinson leaving work at
Bennett’s Joinery Shop next to the pub
Customers and staff made a
presentation to Anne and Rob on their departure.
Jack Scholey centre
A little about Tony Robinson himself
I was born in 1943 in
Doncaster. My first school was Pitt Street Infants followed
by Doncaster Road Juniors and I remember walking to school
along Doncaster Road passing the CO-OP and Coggin’s Farm. In
1954 I went to Mexborough GS. My brother Christopher was
born in 1955 and we left the pub in 1957 to move to North
Photo Taken 1956
Back Row third from left
Roger Hayes, I’m fifth from left
Middle Row third from
right Ian McClelland
Front Row fifth from left
have any memories of the topics raised here, or photos, please