In 1840 Thomas
Livesey threw up his job as an engineer and bought a
portable theatre. With his wife Mary and children the
family toured around the mining towns of South Yorkshire
with their centrally heated theatre. They staged
numerous productions over the years. Thomas and Mary
eventually settled down in Mexborough and built the
Their great grandson Roger was born in 1906. His early
stage career was in the West End, leading eventually to
a highly successful film career with the Korda Company
at Denham studios. Films such as 'The Life and Death of
Colonel Blimp' 'I Know Where I'm Going1 and 'A Matter of
Life and Death' guarantee his immortality.
was born in Mexborough in 1929. He was the son of a
motor engineer who himself had racing experience both as
a driver and mechanic. Mike took up motoring as soon as
he was old enough. Following his debut he began winning
trophies. His formula 1 debut was at the 1952 Belgian
Grand Prix finishing in fourth place. He won his first
Grand Prix at the ninth attempt at the 1953 French Grand
Prix. More success followed with the Belgian 24hr Sports
Car Race, the Spanish Grand Prix in Benidorm, the
Sebring 12hr Race, the Le Mans Race, the Argentine Grand
Prix etc etc. He retired from racing in 1959, the year
in which he died in a car accident on the Guildford
From Heavy Metal
In Rotherham Museum you will find The
Rockingham Pottery Rhinoceros Vase. It was
fired all in one piece and was made to
demonstrate the skills of the manufacturers.
Graham Oliver's obsession with local pottery
has resulted in his amazing metamorphosis
into a Grahamoceros Vase. Graham is also in
one piece and is on show in the museum's
'Rocking em' collection.
Guitarist and founder member, in the mid 1970s of Saxon. He is an internationally known rock musician who has toured the world with Saxon. Graham has also achieved the accolade of a biographical listing in Hugh Gregory's '1000 Great Guitarists' book.
Saxon continue to perform at numerous festivals throughout Europe. In 2011 they Released their 19th album which reached number six in the UK Rock Albums Chart. Graham's achievements are too vast to list here - he is certainly set to be remembered!
Def Leppard line up left to right: Joe Elliott (lead vocals) Rick Allen (drums) Vivien
Campbell (guitar, backing vocals ) Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals) and Phil Collen
(guitar, backing vocals).
Joe Elliott and Rick Savage grew up in Mexborough. Rick and Pete Willis (an early
member of the line-up ) started the band in 1977. Joe Elliott came up with the name
Deaf Leopard and Rick changed the spelling.
Leppard have sold a 100 million records worldwide and have been awarded two
prestigious Diamond Awards. To their credit, Def Leppard continue to be one of the
most important forces in rock music.
For the past 30+ years the band's concerts have become must see events as they
continue to sell out arenas worldwide.
Dennis (the Menace) Priestley seeks world darts domination. His giant missile dart will not only hit
the target, it will also completely obliterate the darts board and the pub. If you have a pub in
Mexborough make sure that you bar him from playing darts.
Joking aside, there is not nearly enough space here to even begin to list Dennis's achievements in
the world of professional darts. He has won two world championships and was the first player to
win both the BDO and WDC world championships in 1991 and 1994.
Dennis did not enter the the professional darts world until he was almost 40 yrs of age. His success
establishes him as one of the greatest dart players of all time.
A Mexborough Megastar!
Richard (Dick) Ridyard was a journalist for 48 yrs and a respected community stalwart. He had been chief reporter and sports editor of the 'South Yorkshire Times' before becoming editor in 1968. He was known to close friends as 'Dick' or 'RDR'. He also wrote for numerous magazines and went on to publish 4 crime novels. Richard was a fine journalist and a master of his craft who trained many other journalists. He died in 2003 at the age of 88 .
Walter Turner founder of The Mexborough and Swinton Times, later to be called The South Yorkshire Times
1910 - 2005
Donald Watson was a remarkable man who led a long and worthwhile 95 years of life.
Born in Mexborough, he was founder of the Vegan Society and creator of the term 'Vegan'.
His journey to vegetarianism began when he was very young at the animal farm of his Uncle George. The experience of seeing animals slaughtered changed his life and at 14 years of age he became a vegetarian. He felt that animals were exploited like slaves.
The first three letters of the word 'Vegetarian' combined with the last two letters form the word 'Vegan'. In addition to not eating meat, Vegans don't eat dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese
'Klondyke Nuggets' was a cowboy and indians play performed by a troupe of wild west entertainers at Mexborough Hippodrome in Nov 1902.
In the afternoon before the performance all of the players rode their horses through the town and staged a cowboys and indians battle on some waste land nearby.
Many people thought that the star of the show was William Cody - better known as Buffalo Bill, but the evidence suggests this was not so.
The star of this show was Samuel Franklyn Cody, previously called Samuel Cowdery.
He changed his name possibly because he admired Buffalo Bill who had a massive following. Being mistaken for Bill or thought to be a relative was good for business.
Cowdery was an early American pioneer of manned flight, most famous for his work on Cody War Kites that were used in World War 1 for artillery spotting.
He was also the first man to conduct a powered flight in Britain on 16 Oct 1908.
He was a flamboyant showman who had his own wild west show and he was a crack shot. It suited his purposes to let people think that he was Buffalo Bill, although it has to be said that he was an impressive character in his own right who achieved a great deal.
The two caricatures are very accurate likenesses. Buffalo Bill is on the left
Walter (Cocky) Bennett 1874-1908
Walter (Cocky) Bennett 1874-1908
He first played for his home town of Mexbotough before being spoiled and signed for the Blades in 1896 for a fee of £10. He played as a forward for Sheffield United and also made two appearances for England in 1901. He also won two FA Cup Winners Medals in 1899 and 1902. He had a spell at Bristol City before retiring from full time football. Cocky finally played for the amateur team of Denaby Main where he took a job as a miner, and was killed following a roof fall at the colliery. He left a wife and four children.
Born in 1948 in Mexborough, he made his debut at Sheffield United in Sept 196? and played 31 times in 1970-71 helping the Blades to gain promotion to the first Division. He made 204 appearances for the Bramall Lane team before moving to Stoke City for a fee of £160.000. He later played for Leicester City, Chesterfield and Gainsborough. Geoff retired from football in 1981 and went on to run his own pub in his native Mexborough.
and football goes on...
1940 - 2013
Paul Shane was born in Thrybergh in 1940. He was a miner at Silverwood Colliery but was pensioned off at 27 due to an accident. During his time as a miner he was 'cutting his teeth' as a comedian in the clubs throughout South Yorkshire. He turned professional in 1974 and success followed. His television sitcom successes included Hi-di-Hi, You Rang M'Lord, Oh Mr
Beeching and Very Big Very Soon. He also appeared in Emmerdale, Holby City And Coronation Street,
He will be sadly missed.
LEFT - Norman Walker Watson
Norman Walker Watson was Mexborough born and earlier in his career taught History and Music at Adwick Road School, eventually becoming Deputy Head teacher. His teaching career lasted 30 years. Most of all Norman was an outdoor man, fondly remembered by his old pupils for his many excursions into Derbyshire. He was very active in the community - a founder member of the Mexborough Heritage Society, Secretary of the local Bible Society, an eminent local historian and an inveterate walker and cyclist. He turned vegetarian in 1926 and was a lifelong non- smoker and total abstainer. Norman died aged 94 and is remembered as a highly valued member of the community who was a totally positive force.
The Empire Cinema in
Mexborough was once a venue tor live performances as
welt as film. It was used by South Yorkshire Musical
Comedy Society for such musicals as 'Desert Song' and
'Quaker Girl'. In the mid 1950's I was taken by my
father to a Sunday performance. The film, which I have
long since forgotten was followed by a live solo show
which starred Max Wall. I have often wondered if such
live shows were a regular feature in the 1950's. It was
a great night out.
Having worked in Rotherham for most of my life I am
using some artistic license to include Sandy Powell who
was once the town's most famous son. This drawing shows
his logo which was ahead of its time in terms of its
instantly recognisable designer depiction likeness. It
appeared on Sandy's posters in the 1930's and 40's with
the words 'He is coming' and of course everyone knew who
it was. It echoes the high quality graphics of the
'Public Announcement' posters of the War years.
Harold W. Massingham 1932-2011
Harold was the son of H. W. Massingham (a collier from Mexborough). He attended the same Mexborough Grammar School as the Yorkshire poet and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes but in a class two years below. He lived in Mexborough and published three volumes of poetry in 1965,1972 and 1992. His work was published in the New Yorker and Alhambra Poetry Calendar. He won the 1968 Cholmondeley Award for Poets and over the years was involved with many publications. Under the pseudonym 'Mass', he set crosswords for national newspapers and magazines for more than 30 years and was known as the crossword king. Harold taught at the University of Manchester, students included Steven Waling and Trevor Griffiths.
Described by Chiron Review as 'the finest love poet of
his generation' Ian was born in 1959 in Mexborough. The
son of a miner, Ian grew up during the declining years
of the coal industry. This had a profound effect on his
later work. His first collection of poems 'Gargoyles in
Winter' was published in 1986. Since then there have
been numerous publications, awards and creative writing
posts in the Universities of Sheffield, Hull, Oxford and
Leeds, lan's poems have appeared in The Observer, The
Liberal, The Independent etc etc. He says 'I never
started out to be a love poet, it just happened,
appearing out of the blue and prompted by circumstances.
They called me and I responded.'
Peter - the prolific
Party-goer. the prince of pick-n-mix.
J J Glasby
Verdy Popple founded the
Green Room Club In 1925, and both produced and appeared
in their plays for the next thirty years.
In his lifetime he achieved local legendary status as an
actor. He was said to be a master of disguise and
audiences flocked to Green Room productions to
marvel at his performances.
I visited Verdy in 1972 when he was in his late
seventies. My intention was to caricature him for the
Cut magazine. I somehow couldn't achieve a likeness. On
a book shelf was a photograph of him In his younger
His wife suggested that I should work from the
photograph because that would be how people would
remember him. This I did and a good caricature was
On an opposite wall was another photograph of Verdy as
Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice'. This was one of his
major achievements as an actor. My drawing is
based on my memory of the photograph I saw that day.
It is highly likely that the likes of Kenneth Haigh,
Keith Barron and Brian Blessed all saw Verdy perform.
They most certainly would have been familiar
with Harry Dobson's productions.
Verdy and Harry were two people who inspired others to
pursue their love of drama.
Nobby Guest 1820 -1908
Every town and village has its characters and William 'Nobby'Guest,
was one of Conisbrough's. He was even the subject of
several postcards. Later in his life he had a small
haulage business and he became the first driver for the
Home Coal Carting Co. He was the father of 10 children
and lived at Ferry Farm near Burcroft. The terrible
distortion to his nose is a mild form of von
From 'Photograph's of Old Conisbrough' by June and
Brian Kelly was editor of the South Yorkshire Times from
1979 to 1996. He was brought up in West Melton and joined
the paper in 1952, completing 28 yrs service. Prior to being
the editor he was the chief reporter, news editor and deputy
editor. Brian was described by many of his colleagues as
'being brilliant at his job' 'the best boss in the world' 'a great
bloke who guided many young journalists with his vast
journalistic experience, a perfect gentleman- a lovely man'
Charlie Shaw is a keen collector and local historian. He
often appears at gala's with his 'Name these Items and
What they are Used For' stall - which is far more
challenging than the one above.
No introduction needed for this guy. Tommy Joyce is
probably the best known person in Mexborough. His boxing
achievements and his charitable work are legend in the
town. He is definitely on the 'A' list of Mexborough
Tony Tarver, host at the Empress Ballroom Mexborough
during the 1960's and 70's. A superb ballroom dancer and
an elegant and highly skilled host. He was charm
personified-always looking good but not lacking
substance. He was as good as it gets at what he did.
Mr Syd Hacking
Syd appears in a photograph
of the South Yorkshire Times editorial staff, probably
taken in the late 50's/early 60's and featured in 'The
People of Mexborough' publication. He was the
newspaper's editor prior to Dick Ridyard who was
succeeded by Brian Kelly. He completes our trio of past
was a barge owner, boat builder and boatyard owner
BELOW: Blasher Ward
Pictured here long ago in the early 1900's, one summer's
evening, is Blasher Ward at the tiller at work on the
canal. Everyone in Denaby and Mexborough knew Blasher.
In earlier days he was a popular footballer, but most of
all he was what people called 'a real character'. They
'broke the mould' after they'd made Blasher. He'd make
an excellent comic strip. Does anyone have any stories
English operatic tenor, born
in Bramley in Rotherham. As a child he was always in
choirs and as he grew up he learned to play several
musical instruments. He later attended Sheffield School
of Music. He then joined the Royal Opera House at Covent
Garden eventually becoming the principal tenor from
1951-1953. In 1944 South Yorkshire Musical Comedy
Society engaged him to play the lead in 'The Student
Prince' which was performed at Mexborough Empire Cinema.
It was an enormous success.
THE CADEBY HEROES
Some of the Cadeby Main
Heroes pictured in 1913 outside the gates of Buckingham
Palace after receiving their bravery awards from George
The original photograph is now faded with age with the
heroes looking like skeletal ghosts in a mist. This
drawing is an attempt to give each man a clearer
identification and remind us all that the past in its
day was as clear and fresh as today.
John William Wall was born in
Mexborough on the 6 Nov 1910 at 30 Lorna Road. His
father was a passenger guard on the Great Central
Railway. His mum was Mary Ellen (nee Moffatt). John was
the youngest of five surviving children. He was a
respectable working class boy who gained a scholarship
to Mexborough School, then later won a scholarship to
Jesus College, Cambridge to read English. Having gained
first class honours he joined the diplomatic service in
the Middle East working in Casablanca, Beirut, Jedda,
During the 1940's and 50's he found time during his
hectic working life to write three novels - Ringstone,
The Doll Maker and The Sound of His Horn under the
pseudonym of 'Sarban'
Wall retired from the position of Consular General in
Egypt in 1966. He died in 1989 aged 79. The books are
still in print.
Robert Glassby, sculptor to Queen Victoria. Born 1835 at
the White House, Windsor Castle Hill, Church Street,
Mexborough, the home of his maternal grandfather Mr
Hugh Walters was born on March 2nd 1939 in Mexborough. He is an actor and writer, best known for the films 'Nineteen Eighty Four' and 'Brimstone and Treacle', He was educated at Worksop College, ottinghamshire and his acting career began in 1963 with a part in 'The Larkin's' TV sitcom.
From this point onwards he has had numerous supporting roles in TV series, plays and films.
Here is a tiny sample of what he has been in over the past fifty years:
The New Avengers
Miss Marple Investigates
The list is twelve times this length. This
particular actor does not seem to have rested
A TRUE MEXBOROUGH LEGEND - Iron
Left: William 'Iron' Hague at 23 years of age in 1909 - the year in which he won the British and European Heavyweight titles.
Right: Iron in 1950 taking a boxing stance at the Bulls Head pub at the age of 64. Iron looked much older than his years.
During the Great War he joined the 3,d Battalion Guards and was sent to the frontline in France. The man that returned to Mexborough was far different to the one who had left. He was physically a broken man having been invalided out of the army due to his lungs being damaged by German mustard gas. Health and money problems dogged Iron as he struggled to keep going with bar work,
fight refereeing and timekeeping. Iron didn't get rich from boxing. He had frequent bouts of pneumonia and one final bout led to his death in 1951. A sad end to the life of a true fighting man,
but his achievements were colossal and he will never be forgotten.
LEFT: TONY CHRISTIE
Tony Christie (Named Anthony
Fitzgerald) was born in Conisbrough in 1943. He is a
singer, musician, actor and songwriter. Tony is best
known for his track 'Is this the Way to Amarillo', a
double chart success. He has sold more than 10 million
albums worldwide and is a popular performer in
continental Europe where he has also had much success.
ELLIS P ROBINSON
Young men, between the wars,
outside the George and Dragon, 1926. They
were waiting to take part in a card playing marathon
which would begin on
Friday night and conclude on Monday morning. It was to
take place at Mr
Pashley's, Royal Oak Terrace, off Church Street,
opposite the Ferry Boat Inn.
See page 80 of The People of Mexborough'
Ted Hughes as Rochester in Jane Eyre or Heathcliff in
Heights, or any other 'all earth' character who is at
one with nature.
Tom Hill was born in Blackheath in Staffordshire in
1880. He was a man who made things happen and enriched
the lives of his fellow men and women for generations.
Chairman Tom and his board of trustees were the founders
of the Denaby Miners Scheme 1924, the Welfare Working
Men's Club was built, so was Fullerton Hospital, Swing
Park, the Youth Club, the Swimming Baths, Football
Cricket Ground, Allotments, Bowling Green, Tennis Courts
etc. At a time when mining was not nationalised he made
sure that the colliery company were addressing the
leisure needs of the mining community and in doing so he
contributed strongly to the personal happiness of the
community. They don't come any better.
ABOVE: Dan Clarke
Dan Clarke is a British auto
racing driver born 4 October 1983 in Mexborough. most
recently competing in the Firestone Indy Lights series
with Walker Racing, having previously competed in the
AIGP World Cup of Motorsport and the Champ Car World
Series. Also nicknamed Speedy Dan'.
David Caddick attended Mexborough
Grammar school and played the organ in Mexborough Parish
Church. He also sang in the choir with his brother. He
later went on to study at both the London College and
the Royal College of Music.
He eventually became Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical
director, working on
such musicals as Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Starlight
Express etc. Since 1987 he has been resident in the USA
supervising all of the Lloyd Webber musicals on
Broadway. He has also worked for Cameron Mackintosh on
Les Miserables, producing a cast album: He is seen
holding the 'Best Musical Show Album Award' for Les
Tony Greathead 1939-2011.
Like the main character in 'It's a Wonderful Life' Tony lived his whole life in his home village of Conisbrough. He attended
Morley Place School, Northcliffe School and Mexborough Tech. Tony later qualified as a joiner and worked for the family firm
of Greathead Brothers, then a joiners, builders and undertaker.
This later became J.E. Greathead & Son, Funeral Directors.
In 1968 he married June and they had two children -Jane and Edward.
As an undertaker, Tony cared for people at difficult moments in their lives. His good works are too many to mention here. He
was a local historian who with June published 'Photograph's of Old Conisbrough' which sold 5000 copies worldwide. He was a
member of the heritage group, a local councillor, was involved with the scout group, rotary club, was a magistrate at
Doncaster for 15 years, he also worked tirelessly to prevent open cast mining on Sheffield road. He also had good taste in
village architecture and was rightly critical of
early 1960's developments in the village centre.
Tony cared about things being right and he got involved in support of many causes. He was known as 'Mr Conisbrough' - a name
RIGHT: Amy Lee Oliver.
Born 1987 is an athlete from Mexborough who competes in Archery.
She is a former European champion and competed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games for England where she won a silver medal in the
team event. Both of Amy's parents were archers and introduced her to the sport in 1993 and at that age she did not enjoy the
sport and did not try it again until the age of seventeen.
Amy was a part of the silver medal winning team at the 2007 European Field Championships and qualified for the individual
finals. She wore her first silver medal to encourage herself and went on to take the gold medal. It was the first European
Gold achieved by a female British archer for more than 20 years. May she have more and more success in the future.
Donald Pleasence 1919-1995
Born in Worksop, Donald was the son of Alice and Thomas Pleasence who was a railway station master at Conisbrough and Swinton
railway stations. For a brief time Donald was a railway clerk at Conisbrough station. He had a strong desire to be an actor
and joined Jersey Rep in 1939, but this would have to wait until the war was over. Donald served in the R.A.F. and was shot
down and taken prisoner in camp Stalag Luft 1. Whilst in the camp he produced and acted in plays, entertaining the other
prisoners. After the war he resumed his
acting which eventually led to television plays and films, usually playing sinister characters. His most famous role being
Blofield in 'You Only Live Twice. His best role was the Caretaker in Harold Pinter's play of that name. Other films include
Halloween, Jesus of Nazareth, The Great Escape and Barchester Chronicles.
In later years Donald was to visit Conisbrough railway station in order to revisit his youth.
George Oliver in 1915
Two studies- straightforward and caricature of Mr George
Oliver then aged 73, who was a native of Swinton. He was
a highly respected man who worked as a pottery packer
for over fifty years . His happy boast was that he never
had a day off work. Surely a remarkable record. He
commenced at the Old Don Works in Swinton at the age of
15 and remained there for 9 years .During that time he
assisted in packing on average, a truck load of
earthenware a day.
He then went to the Kilnhurst Pottery where he was
employed for over 40 years.
He remembered when Mexborough was quite a new place. He
recalled many happy days spent angling, both on the
river and canal. The water teeming with fish - chub,
perch, roach etc, and in his own words he had seen
He also remembered the first railway development at
Kilnhurst, known as the South Yorkshire Line, and
recalled the two disasters at the old Warren Vale pits
at Kilnhurst as a result of which many men lost their
Mr Oliver was the great, great grandfather of Graham
Oliver Heritage stalwart.
Trevor and Jenny Haigh (pictured above in 1970)
Trevor retired (they call it 'sitting down') from the
Methodist Presbyteral Ministry when he was 68, but both
he and Jenny are still active preachers where they live
in Marske by the sea, in Redcar.
They both grew up in Mexborough and met at church,
eventually marrying and having two children -Jonathan
Their 'walk with the lord' began at St Johns Methodist
church. They became deeply involved with their bible
studies. In 1984 Trevor went to Cliff Methodist Bible
College in Derbyshire for one year and following this
was sent to Northern Ireland as a lay pastor. After two
years he returned to theological college and afterwards
they were sent to the north of England to minister
there. Jenny also took preaching exams and studied at
Throughout their lives Trevor and Jenny have always had
empathy towards others. They have been a guiding light
leading others in the right direction.
Find them on Google and read their 'Recipe
for Living' which gives a detailed account of their
Once upon a time in 1880 there was an
unusual wall at 104 Doncaster Road
On it were at least six stone figure
carving's, Three were of Shakespeare,
Cleopatra and Blasher Ward. They were
carved by the Western Glen Quarry
workers in the hut when it was raining
and they had to stop.
The above depiction of the carvings is
as authentic as the history in the
Brian Hillerby (right)
It was appropriate that former
Mexborough tobacconist Brian Hillerby
should be the author of 'A History of
the Mexborough Hippodrome Theatre'
because the Hillerby family were linked
with the theatre from its beginning.
The theatre was built by Mary Livesey in
1892 with loans from the Hillerby
business as well as other similar
Brian's great great uncle Horace
Hillerby (pictured) appeared as
pantomime dame and various other shows
in the early 1900's . The list of stars
who appeared there include Dan Leno,
Florrie Ford, Charles Chaplin, Gracie
Fields, Houdini, George Roby etc.
Brian's knowledge of music Hall, variety
and musical theatre is vast. The
'Hippodrome Cards' on this site are
developed from his research into who
Dr S P Bhatia
Our story is set in the mid
1970's when I (Derek Allport) was in my early thirties
and Len Davison was in his late forties. He was a well
known character who had an electrical goods shop in
Swinton. He was known as the 'Radio Doctor' because he
repaired televisions and record players etc. He could
also 'spin a yarn'.
On a nondescript midweek evening I was sat on a stool at
the bar of an empty Mexborough pub quietly thinking
about how the day had gone when in walked Len Davison.
The dialogue (in script form) went something like
Len (Leaning towards me) You teach art don't you.
Derek Yes I do Len.
Len Well not a lot of people know this, but I
have a drawing of a dove by Picasso at home.
Derek It sounds like a good reproduction.
Len No no no, it's not a reproduction. It's the
real thing signed by the master himself.
Derek It's on the dining room wall is it?
Len No no, I keep it locked up in a chest of
drawers - you can't be too careful, it must be worth a
lot of money. Only my family know of It's existence.
Derek Where did you purchase it Len?
Len Oh I didn't buy it. Picasso gave it to me. I
couldn't tell what he was saying because he was speaking
in Spanish, but he was very friendly.
Derek Where did this happen Len?
Len In Sheffield, he gave it me in Sheffield.
Derek Len-you don't seriously expect me to
believe that. Pull the other leg.
Len then told me the rest of the story. I had it checked
out with an art historian and this is what happened
In 1950 Pablo Picasso the great 20th century artist got
on the train at St Pancras and got off it at Sheffield
Midland Station. The first thing he did was to go to the
station barbers for a haircut. This was photographed by
the local and national press who were all waiting for
He then stepped into a waiting limousine to be taken to
the City Hall where he was the guest of honour at the
World Peace Conference - some called it the 'communist
When the conference was over a queue quickly formed to
get Picasso's autograph. Picasso drew doves on the back
of conference leaflets and added his signature. Len, who
was a young communist at the time, was in the queue.
Len Davison's seemingly tallest ever story turned out to
'Spinning Plates' is a term
which often refers to not coping, but Swinton community
stalwart and councillor Ken J Wyatt is certainly 'fit
for purpose': His interests include Heritage, Area
Housing Panel, Sports, and health and well-being.
Sociable fundraiser Wendy Watson of Sedgefield Way,
Mexborough, becomes governor of Rotary International
District 1270 in July - the first woman to ever be
appointed to the position.
She will oversee 47 clubs in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire,
stretching from Beverley in the north to Lincoln in the
south and from Barnsley in the west to Cleethorpes in
We wish her well.
Pictured here is the young Ben Bailey, founder of the
housing construction business that carried his name. His
is possibly the best known name in South Yorkshire. He
was the archetype self- made man who established his
company as far back as 1933. Just over 80years ago and
still going strong.
Robert Glassby, sculptor to Queen Victoria, was born in
Mexborough in 1836. Behind him is the Glassby Arch,
which he carved and erected in the garden of local
pottery owner and patron John Reed.
'Rainbow Bazaar' is one of the most popular photographs
in the 'People of Mexborough' publication. It's full of
interesting characters shown in sharp detail. There are
54 people with 46 of them identified. Above is (left to
right) 34- Mr Hardy, 27- Miss Edith Elliot and 40- Mr W
Giles H Brearley
(born 14 August 1955) is a published South Yorkshire
local historian11' who has also both written and
appeared in film. He is a qualified Chartered Management
Accountant in public practice, he is also a 'practice
certicate* assessor for the Institute. He is a Director
sitting on the Boards of various
companies being also a former Director of Rotherham
United F.C .
He lives in South Yorkshire and Sheen in
He has been instrumental in organising fund raising for
the erection of plaques to South Yorkshire historic
Derby County and English Football International. John
William Barker was born in 1906 in
Denaby. When he left school he began work at the
Cooperative Society for a short time before beginning
underground at Cadeby Colliery. He started his football
career with Denaby Rovers, then played for Denaby
United for a season before being spotted by a Derby
County football scout.
He signed up for Derby County FC for £200 in 1928 and
stayed with them until 1939 making 327 league
appearances. When he retired from playing he moved into
management, eventually returning to Derby as manager
in 1953. Jack died in 1982 at the age of 75 yrs.
Read John Gwadkin's 'Old Village of Denaby'for a
Only joking - David Holland is an 'A' list
community stalwart. He
has worked as a trade union official for stable lads,
horse racing) and his role as scout and scout leader in
has earned him the respect of generations of parents and
for over half a century. He has served as a councillor
and has supported many activities within the community.
David is an
asset to the community.
Michael is a Swinton based retired police
Inspector who has just published his fourth book
titled 'Coming, Ready or Not'. Michael worked in
the South Yorkshire police force for 30 years before
retiring. His novels have proved to be very popular
all around the world.
We wish him good fortune.
was a Mexborough railwayman who pursued, in his own
time, his amateur acting interests with the South
Yorkshire Musical Comedy Society. Denzil wanted to turn
to acting as a career, so in 1948 he entered drama
school. There he met Oliver Postgate (later of Bagpuss
fame) and during conversation about his railway
experiences they both agreed that it could provide good
stories. And it did - eleven years later the stories of
Ivor the Engine were still being read and seen on
In 1976 in the Miners Arms I met Denzil and caricatured
him on the spot. He was over in Mexborough to see his
mum. At this time he had appeared in TV plays, played in
'Desert Song' with John Hanson and produced a play with
Richard (stinker) Murdoch titled The Irregular Verb to
Love'. Denzil had then been working as a salesman which
he said was more reliable for a steady income than
acting. That was over 37 yrs ago and it was
the first and last time I saw Denzil.
The Empire Palace Cinema
in Denaby opened on 4th Nov 1913. Seating was provided
for 1,200. The facade is of brick and pebble dash with a
central entrance. In 1939 sound was installed and the
Empire served the people of Denaby with their only
cinema for nearly fifty years. In 1962 it closed showing
films and became the Lucky Strike Bingo Club. In the
early 199Cs it was converted into a gymnasium and
The baby boomers and previous generations will remember
the Saturday children's matinee's - cowboy films
followed by a cartoon, then the serial which could be
Captain Marvel or Superman etc.This was all consumed
along with stick Spanish, sherbet and gobstoppers. Happy
BELOW - detail from the illustration above.
is Reserves Officer at Denaby Ings Nature Reserve - an
important reserve for both plants and animals and less
than a mile away from the centre of Mexborough. The site
shows what can be done when nature re-claims land once
crushed by heavy industry.
born in Dudley in 1883. He came to Denaby Main in
1911 ahead of his family to work at Cadeby Main
Colliery. During World War I he was awarded the
'Italian Cross of Honour' and the 'Oak Leaf' for
being mentioned in dispatches by Winston Churchill.
He took a platoon of men with horses laden with food
over an exposed hill without any losses.
After the war he returned to Cadeby pit and became
involved for the rest of his life in serving his
community. His activities included Cadeby Union
Officer, Conisbrough Air Raid Precautions committee
(World War2), 27yrs on Conisbrough Urban District
Council, Chairman of Mexborough Secondary School
Governors, Governor of Conisbrough Northcliffe
School, West Riding County Fire Service committee,
sat for over 20yrs on Mexborough Divisional
Education Executive - the list goes on.
Eric Atkin aged 85 years
has been selling British Legion poppies for 71
years, 50 years of which he has sold them in Wath
and West Melton. Eric's parents were founder members
of the legion's branch in Bolton Percy where Eric
sold his first poppies. Eric and his brother and
sister all received British Legion Gold Medals in
recognition of their services. What wonderful
Men of the cloth: Revs
Hobson, Ellershaw and Bateman
Albert E. Fox was
a UK trade unionist and Labour Representation Committee
politician. He joined the Associated Society of
Locomotive Engineers and Firemen in 1888 and for a
number of years was ASLEF Branch Secretary at
By 1897 ASLEF's Yorkshire district had elected Fox to
the unions Executive Committee and in April 1900 the
committee elected Fox as the President. Fox was later
elected as General Secretary and he supported ASLEF's
continuation as an independent craft union. He died in
See Albert E. Fox wikipedio
26 yr old Sam Scherdel, songwriter and performer from
Mexborough has released his debut record 'Cruel
Beautiful World'. He's been performing at numerous gigs
and festivals in the region to good critical acclaim. We
wish him well with his performances around the country.
The legendary John Fisher is pictured here in the
early 1970's. He was at an arts committee meeting at
the Rockingham Theatre (Schofield St. School) with
Dr Bhatia,Ruby Bhatia and the theatre crowd.
The meeting was about how to encourage people in
Mexborough to get involved with the arts. John had
retired following a successful career at Mexborough
Grammar School. This drawing reflects his 'I've seen
it all before' posture, and there was no doubt that
he had seen it all before. He had had his golden
moments. We were simply excited about future
1816-1884 was a landscape painter and illustrator.
Son of Jesse Hulme and Elizabeth Trewolla he had
inherited his mother's artistic skills. She was a
porcelain painter in the nearby pottery works in
Staffordshire. The family moved to Swinton potteries
where his mother's skills were further developed.
She initially taught him to paint and by 1850 he was
exhibiting and listed as a professional artist. In
1852 he exhibited at the Royal Academy and moved to
London were he remained for the rest of his life. He
also worked as an illustrator. His subjects were
pastoral landscapes with sheep, cows etc.
is a man who is going
places. A play he has written scooped the
prestigious Empire Award in New York.
It is a gritty play titled 'Stop at a Winner" and is
set in Mexborough. It is about a group of recovering
gambling addicts attending a gamblers anonymous
Justin who is from Conisbrough graduated from The
Northern Film School at Leeds Met University, and is
now setting his sights on working for television. We
wish him well.
Meet Stuart Sansome
and John Doyle, Swinton councillors.
Doncaster and Rotherham
Rosie Winterton, John Heeley and Kevin Barron
Jim Cleary was the Head teacher
at Milton School, Swinton from Jan 1975 to Dec 1993. He
was much loved by both his staff and pupils in a school
which has a good reputation. Jim was always active
within his local church and community, and he loved to
organise entertainments in the form of variety shows in
which he participated as a 'romantic crooner'. The
above song was a favourite of his. He was a great guy.