Useful Dates And Information Taken From Diaries Issued by Mexborough Urban District Council
The Mexborough And Swinton Times of 14th. December 1894 tells us of the Disbandment of Mexborough Local Board, which had looked after the concerns of Mexborough since its formation in 1865. When Mexborough's first elected council, took over in 1895 one of their first printed promotions was the Mexborough Urban District Council pocket diary, and as this proved to be popular had them printed on a regular basis. These diaries were of the disposable, small, paper backed, pockets sized variety which were to be discarded at the end of the year and a new one purchased, therefore very few have survived, but after the death of a Mr Shaw a number of these were donated to the society. They contain such a multitude of useful dates and facts to the local historian that I will be unable to list them all in these few pages, and I therefore suggest that for the ardent enthusiast a viewing may be beneficial.
Diaries 1895, 1896, 1898 The First Members of Mex. Urban District Council. The first few diaries briefly consist of a list of different committees and their members which are as follows:
The Chairman was Mr. Chas. Scorah. Members were: Messes. Alex. Barron, J.E. Cliff, John Dixon, J. Dodsworth, Jos. Gothwaite, Fred King, N. Mawson, W.T. Tiptaft, Herbert Tyas, J.H. Watson.
Finance Committee
The Chairman was Mr. Tiptaft. Members were: Messes Barron, Gothwaite, King, Mawson, Scorah, Watson.
Highways Committee
The Chairman was Mr. Cliff. Members were: Messes. Dixon, Dodsworth, Scorah, Thompson, Tyas, Watson.
Building and Market Committee
The Chairman was Mr. Watson. Members were Messes. Barron, Dodsworth, Gothwaite, King, Scorah, Tyas.
The Chairman was Mr. Tyas. Members were: Messes. Cliff, Dixon, Dodsworth, Scorah, Thompson, Watson.
The Chairman was Mr. Scorah. Members were: Messes. Cliff, Gothwaite, Tiptaft, Tyas, Watson.
Special By - Laws Committee
Messes. Cliff, Dixon, Scorah, Tiptaft, Watson, Mawson.
Clerk J. W. Hattersley.
In addition to the above in 1896 a Mexborough Petty Sessions Committee, was formed, the Chairman being Mr. Cliff and members Messes, Dixon, King, Scorah, Tiptaft.
By 1898 we find the number of Councillors representing Mexborough has grown and along with the addition of a Mr. Huntington who joined in 1896 we now also have a Mr. T. Carruthers. Mr. A.E. Sides, and Mr. G.H. Smith ( the constructor of most of the Municipal Buildings in Mexborough). We also find that by this year Officers have been installed as well as Mr. Hattersley the clerk, these were: Medical Officer of Health Dr. F. Graham Twigg, Surveyor & Sanitary Inspector G. Fenwick Carter, Treasurer J. E. H. Drabble, Collector (Pro. Tern.) E. Fletcher Also two committees have been added to the list, that of Fire Brigade, Allotments and Hackney Carriages, and also a Joint Hospital Committee. We also discover for the first time that these small diaries were printed by G. Venables Printers and Stationer, Bank St., Mexborough, this was until 1914 when "Times" Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd. High Street, Mex. took over.
We find that the whole appearance of the diaries are starting to change and are taking on a more professional appearance, the cover of this edition having an Art Nouveau designs etched onto it in gold, and an internal fly sheet states that the printer, Geo. R. Venables has moved to larger premises closer to the centre of town on Swinton Road. By now some of the old familiar names which had served Mexborough so well for decades had at last retired and been superseded by a younger
generation with differing priorities. The older generation had concentrated on necessities whereas the younger wanted amenities for our town.
The importance of certain developments to the populace of Mexborough is reflected in the size of committees attached to these issues. The average membership of committees in that year was only seven but two are conspicuous by their advanced size, that of the Electric Light and the Library Committees. I have been informed that prior to the construction of the Carnegie Library on Bank Street a small library was to be found situated in one of the rooms on the upper floor of the Market Hall (Walker's Bingo), I also discovered via one of the diaries that in June 1899 the librarian was a J.B. Butler. But there was a need for larger premises and a committee to deal with the construction of a new library formed, this consisted of Messes. Casey, Dixon, Epworth, Goulding, Hudson, Sopps, Cliff, W Crompton, Fred. Stevens, R.J. Sheilds, Chas.. Wilson. This was to be opened four years later on 26th. May 1906 by Mr. Kelley C.C. of Wath - Upon Dearne
By now the council had taking on a recognisable form arid we find the appearance of a constitution. The diary tells us that six years previously in 1903 a new officer had been created for the first time, that of Electrical Engineer and this post was filled by a Mr. John Senior. Mexborough U. D. C. continued to grow, there was four more new committees, one of these being the Mexborough Baths Committee (this appears in every diary) the council had also acquired the local gas firm and this had become Mexborough Gas Board. There was now five Overseers of the Poor, an Assistant Overseer, two Guardians, a Relieving Officer, and a Registrar of Births and Deaths. The Education Committee had become so large that it had been split into five with their main office at Do!cite Road School.
It is from this point that we discover the useful dates and information previously mentioned and they are as follows:
Lady Members of the Council
The first ladies were to be found as committee members, this was in 1909, and both sat on the Education Committee, these were Mrs. T. Allen and Mrs. J. Hill and from 1913 a lady was also the Health Visitor. But on the whole ladies were few in number and seemed to be wives of councillors who held obscure seats on small committees. With the exception of one, Mrs. Marie Singleton, who appears to have been voted in as a councillor in her own right and rose to become Chairman of Mexborough
Urban District Council. Her career is as follows:
1927 -1936 Member of the council and Chairman of the Library Committee
1931 Chairman of the Education, and Child Welfare Committee
1933 Chairman of Mexborough Urban District Council
1934 Chairman of the Ambulance, Highways and Hospital Committees.
Constitution of Mexborough Urban District Council
This was written and passed by the council on 2nd. June 1900. For the first time the public were banned from attending some committee meetings and therefore these could not be reported in newspapers
Fire Brigade
1865 Foundation.
1908 20th. May. Loans taken out to purchase land and construct a new Fire Station.
1909. New Fire Station in the old Market Place was opened, it had cost 483.
Market, Market Hall and Offices
1879 2nd. Oct. Loan taken out and building commenced on the hall.
1880. Market Hall and Offices opened.
1900 2nd. May. Loan taken out to purchase the land on which the market was held.
1906. The Carnegie Free Library, Bank Street, was opened.
1914. Mexborough U.D.C. Water Board Created.
1917. The Water Works was taken over by Mex. Urban District Council.
1918 21st. August. Special Water Loan taken out for Ludwell Springs (Barnburgh). 1921 19th Jan. No.1 Borehole (Ludwell Springs). Loan taken out to sink it.
1921 18th May. No.2 Borehole " Loan taken out for the sinking of it. 1923 26th May. No.3 Borehole ". Loan taken out for the sinking of it.
1924 19th Nov. New Water Mains and a New Pumping Plant. Loans taken out. 1928 20th June & 30th Oct. Water Mains from Ludwell Springs. Loans taken out. 1929 15th. Jan. Buildings at Ludwell (possibly pump house)
1884 2nd. Oct. The first loan was taken out to build a sewage works this was to consist of Sewage Outfall Works, House, Engine House, Tanks, and Screening Machinery. Mexborough had a sewage system prior to this point but it was only basically for the removal of water from the streets.
1909 16th. August. Swinton & Mexborough Gas Board was created.
*1901 14th. August. The Destructor. Money was loaned for its purchase. 1901 6th. Nov. Electric Light. Money was loaned for its instillation.
1910 13th Jan. Generating Station, Electric Mains, and Electric Public Street Lighting. Loans were taken out for their installation.
1913 15th Oct. New electricity buildings close to Market Place and electricity boiler, loan taken out for the above.
1914 17th June. New Turbo Generator
1916 15th Nov. New Boiler and Destructor. Loan taken out for their purchase.
1923. 18th April. Electric Meters. Loan taken out for their installation into homes and other premises. Streets
1889 6th. Nov. Resurfacing of main road and creation of footpaths. Mexborough Local Board acquired the local Toll Road and this loan was to bring it upto standard
1930. Adwick Road altered close to the Free Christian Church.
The following large loans were taken out for the construction of council houses on:
Harlington Road, Dryden Road, Cowper Road, Byron Road, Addison Road, Morton Road, Chaucer Road, Hirstgate (Extension), Montagu Street, Arnold Crescent and Browning Road.
1921 25th April. Large loan taken out to purchase land for housing .
1921 2nd. May & 1st. Sept.. Large loans taken out for the improvement of Housing. 1922 19th July "
1923 21st. Feb.
Highways Depot
1908 20th. May. Money loaned for the creation of a separate Highways depot. 1930. Leach Cottages and whole area purchased, possibly to create a Council Yard Leisure
1904 20th. May. Pleasure Ground. Money was loaned for the creation of a pleasure ground on 4 acres
of land on Dolcliffe Common donated by Capt. J. Montagu. At first this was named the Pleasure Ground but it was at last officially named The Victoria and Albert Recreation Ground, which is still the correct title of the park on Park Road.
1908. Castle Hills presented to Mexborough by Capt. J. Montagu.
1915 16th June. Loan taken out for the laving of foundations for Mexborough Swimming Baths 1925 18th Feb. Children's Recreation Ground. Loan taken out for its creation, this was possibly the one within Park Road Park.
1925 7th. May. Allotments. Loan taken out to purchase land for their creation. Church
1080. The foundation of the church. Note this has got to be incorrect as we have discovered that Christianity came to Mexborough in 655 A.D. and the cross within the church is also older than 1080.
1872 The formation of a Burial Board.
1878 4th March. The opening of Mexborough Cemetery, Cemetery Road.
1875. The foundation of a School Board.
1876. The opening of Pitt Street School (then named Doncaster Road Board School).
1889. The opening of Montagu Cottage Hospital
1890. The official opening of Montagu Cottage Hospital.
1904. Foundation stone laid to new Montagu Hospital
1905. It was officially opened.
Health Visitor
1913 May. The first mention of a Health Visitor was in this year the first one being Miss S. Thornber. Arms Houses
1669. Alms Houses which once stood close to the old Mexborough Market Place were constructed. 1910 19th Oct. Loan taken out for the demolition of the Alms Houses, construction of new, and the
widening of Market Street at this point.
1910. New Arms Houses constructed
Population 1871. 5,011; 1881. 6,270; 1901. 10,430; 1909. Est. 13,261; 1911. 14,401; 1921. 15,421; 1931. 15,556;

Next month I would like to take this subject further with you and cover the dates when the streets and roads of our town were surfaced for the first time, thus giving an indication when the houses on these streets and road were constructed.
Your Archivist.
J.R. Ashby.