How the Present Day Public Houses of Mexborough and
District Got Their Names
The Miners' Arms and the Old and New Masons' Arms
The Miners' Arms was originally to be found on a site on Doncaster Road, close to Coronation Court.
Prior to 1906 when the commencement of the welfare state began, when Lloyd George introduced the Old Aged Pension, friendly societies were the only way the normal working man had of insuring themselves against illness, hospitalisation, injury, unemployment, and old age. The representatives of different friendly societies would meet at public houses and men working in certain fields would meet at these public houses in order to pay their contributions. The public house then taking the name of the occupation of the men who paid into the friendly society at that public house. The Miners' Arms takes its name from the miners of Denaby Main Colliery who used to meet to pay their contributions at that public house. The Old and New The Masons' takes its name from the masons of the quarries of Mexborough.
So named because it was built for the benefit of the sportsmen who used the Athletic Grounds close by. Committee meetings etc. of the different sporting organisations were held there.
The Red Lion
The crest of the Duke of Norfolk who owned land in the area, mostly at Sheffield.
The Montagu Arms
Built by Andrew Montagu, Lord of the Manor of Mexborough. His estate agents officers were close by and annual estate transactions took place at this public house.
The Bull's Head
This is the symbol of the Butchers Associations and was where the butchers of Mexborough held their trade meetings.
The Boy and Barrel
This is one of those modern public houses where I can find no reason for its name.
The South Yorkshire Hotel
This takes its name from The South Yorkshire Railway Station which was close by.
The Park Hotel
This is situated next to the Victoria and Albert Recreation Ground on Park Road, hence its name.
This comes from the Star of David and normally denotes a public house with monastic or ecclesiastical associations. But in this case I believe it got its name from the star, which is the sign for the association which is now the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association as some of their meetings were held there.
The Ferry Boat Inn
This is the oldest building in Mexborough in which there is a public house. It is named after the ferry boat which from the depths of time to 1974 carried people across the River Don to Old Denaby. Prior to her death Mrs. Walton an ex-landlady of this establishment informed me that when looking through church records she had discovered that during the English Civil War Captain Paulden, who was a Royalist, left Pontefact Castle with twenty others in order to capture Admiral General Rainsborough who was a Cromwellian, at Doncaster. They travelled to Doncaster along the pack horse track which passes through Mexborough over the Ferry. The Admiral was accidentally killed at Doncaster. But Mrs. Walton went on to say that hostages were taken from Doncaster, and when they got to the Ferry a fight ensued and a man had his head chopped off outside the building which became the Ferry Boat Inn, which at that time took in travellers. I have been unable to corroborate this by documentation, but it does seem feasible that a rest place for travellers and Jaggers (a man who led a team of pack horses) would be needed in close proximity to the Ferry.
The George and Dragon
In the Cl8th the Marquis of Grandby set up the first benefit scheme for non - commissioned officers. Many of these, prior to retirement, had been Quartermasters and after leaving the army went into the trade they knew best, that of the licensed victualler. Some named their public houses or inns after the Marquis of Grandby, while others, being patriotic ex -soldiers, named them after the reverse of the sovereigns they were paid in, the George and Dragon.
Takes its name from Mexborough Locomotive Depot, which was locally known as the plant.
The Roman and The Highwoods
These take their names from the areas of Mexborough where they are located.
The Dog Daisy
Named after the Dog Daisy Greyhound Stadium which was once situated close by on land now built over by the bottom of Sedgefield Way and Harlington Road.
The Tavern, Denaby Main
I am informed that this was named after the song 'There's a Tavern in the Town".
The Reresby Arms/Milestone (The pig), Denaby Main
Prior to the sinking of Denaby Main Colliery this was Engine House Farm (there were two in the Township of Denaby at this time) and was owned by the Reresby Family of Thrybergh Hall whose coat of arms was surmounted by a boar. When Denaby Main Colliery was sunk the barn' became St. Chad's Church with a small school inside and the house became a public house. As it was still owned by the Reresby Family it carried their coat of arms over the main door, and it obtained its nick name of 'The Pig' from the boar which surmounted the coat of arms. It has recently changed its name to the 'Milestone', which a spokesperson for the public house informs me derives from many sources. The public house stands on the old Conisbrough to Swinton Turnpike Road, which was opened in 1840, and the only surviving turnpike milestones from this turnpike stands close by. It is also exactly a mile from the public house to various points, such as the Earth Centre.
The Denaby Main Hotel (The Drum), Denaby Main
The first mention I have found of this public house was in the Mexborough and Swinton Times 9th Nov. 1894 when the landlord a Mr. Hickmott applied to the Doncaster West Riding Court for a full licence. This public house was so called because when it first opened the same firm as owned the Denaby Main Colliery also owned this public house, this firm being the Denaby Main Colliery Co. Ltd. Its nick-name of the 'Drum' is harder to define. I have heard many for this, ranging from it being named after the huge bass drum used by the Salvation Army Band which met in the yard of the public house. To recruiting during the wars taking place there and the Queen's Shilling being taken over the regimental drum.
But the one I favour was the explanation given by my maternal grandfather, this being that it was a pay out point. It appears that when Cadeby Colliery was sunk a temporary construction was put up close to the point where the public house now stands from where to pay out the wages. The men were journey men, paid out on a daily basis for how much material they had dug out that day, and when their wages had been worked out, then a large drum was sounded in order for them to pick up moneys owing them from the point of the sound of the drum.
The Manvers Arms, Adwick
The Earl of Scarborough was also the Earl of Manvers who owned the mineral rights to land in and around Adwick (this is how Manvers Pit got its name), and the public house in Adwick - Upon - Dearne takes its name from him.
Information Obtained from:
Public House Names (Booklet)
Introduction to Inn Signs by Eric R. Delderfield