THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE LOCAL HISTORY ROOM
In 1974, when our Urban District Councils were disbanded and the Metropolitan Councils took over, the historical documentation held by many civic departments of Mexborough were blown to the four winds and are now held by archives, universities and public records offices all over the north of England.
Over the years it has become one of the aims of your committee to once again bring back some of these historical records and open premises where, once again, people can study the vast history of Mexborough and its surroundings. And your committee has worked tirelessly to this ultimate goal.
This began with a few photocopied documents in. cardboard boxes behind a settee. From cardboard boxes it grew to fill cupboards, filing cabinets and any obtainable storage available. Then, one day, "push came to shove" with the culmination of two things, firstly the space available to store documents and artefacts was exhausted, and secondly the New Masons' Arms, where we then held our meetings, was sold leaving us without a venue.
Then began the endless struggle to firstly, find a new venue, and secondly somewhere to house our archives. It was at last, Mexborough Branch Library who came to our rescue, with the answer to all our problems as they offered, at a reasonable price, both a room to use as an archives department and a meeting hall as a venue for our monthly talks and lectures. Funding of course was needed, and with a struggle it was obtained, and it was on 27th November 2001 that we held our first talk in the library. We then moved into our new archives room in February 2002, which was named The Local History Room.
The Local History Room was at first equipped with the use of tables and shelving loaned, or purchased second-hand from various sources. The room proved to be an immediate success and additional funding was obtained to equip it properly.
At first solely volunteers manned it, but because most of them were employed on a full time basis manning became spasmodic, and a need was felt to employ someone who could be there to serve the general public on a permanent basis at precise times.
This was a large undertaking. Firstly a suitable funding agent was needed, and it was found that many would not supply grants for employment. The next was how to do the necessary, bookwork, such as working out N.I. and tax. But at last all these were overcome, and in December 2003 advertisements were placed in local papers for a Part-Time Research Manager for Mexborough & District Heritage Society.
As I had been your archivist since 1992 and have, during this time: written booklets, newsletters and newspaper and magazine articles on the topic of the history of Mexborough; also given talks to numerous schools, groups and societies; taken historical walks; answered enquiries from at home and abroad; and also gone back to college to obtain qualifications and study subjects which were needed in the successful running of the archives, culminating in a course run by Clifton Park Museum in order for me to become a Trained Cultural Curator. I was among those who applied for the vacancy.
Interviews were held on Wednesday 7th January 2004, and I must admit to a certain nervousness as I sat before the Interview Panel. But after a while I was informed that I had been the successful candidate and that I was the new Research Manager for Mexborough and District Heritage Society, and could I start work the following day?
One' of my first jobs was to arrange the official opening of the Local History Room for the use of everyone wishing to study either the local or family history of Mexborough and its surroundings. And Graham Oliver, one of our committee members, but also a famous star of the music scene, honoured us by agreeing to open it on 31st January 2004.
At last after thirty long years Mexborough has a centre dedicated to its vast wealth of history, and the general public can phone or walk in at any. time on a Friday. or a Saturday and make any enquiry they wish on the history, of our town. Besides we adults benefiting from the room I foresee it being a great educational aid as I will be able to help both teachers. and the children. in their care with any of their historical needs.
I am overjoyed to be your new Research Manager and promise to work for you all to the best of my ability in the promotion of your society and the history of Mexborough.
Your Research Manager
Important Dates in the History of Mexborough
Parish and its Church
By Leonard Harrop
488 AD Bede records that Hengist was slain by Maisbel.
488 AD An indenture of lease was found by Dr Sykes, who died in 1900 and was formerly of Mexborough, related to a field called Maitbelly Field - A large stone on the Ings is said to be above the grave of a Chieftain and his steed slain in battle.
900 AD The Preaching Cross probably built in the churchyard at that time - the remains of this are in the Chancel.
1060 Mexborough Castle built on Castle Hills - taken from Mrs Armitage's paper - Mexborough Parish Magazine August 1900.
1080 Copy of entry in the Doomsday Book - In Mechesburg Ulfac, Ulchil and Ulchel have five carucates of land to be taxed where there may be four borders with three ploughs and one mill of eight shillings.
1150 The Norman Arcading is probably of this date - the lower part of the tower and the lancet windows in the chancel a little later.
1180 Mexborough Castle was destroyed.
1247 Archdeaconry of York founded (and endowed with one of the medieties of Mexborough) by Archbishop Gray.
1263 The second mediety transferred to the Archdeaconry of York. The Archdeacon becomes Rector of Mexborough and appointed perpetual Curate to the living. In 1830 the Rectory Estate was leased for three lives - In 1843 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by Order in Council become possessors of the estate and undertook the endowment of the Archdeaconry - The lease of the three lives terminated February 1900.
1350 Lower stories of Tower and the Spier built.
1400-1450 Alterations made as shown by the windows, which filled up the Northern Arches in the North Arcading 9removed at the 1890-1 restoration.
1552 Registers begin.
1630-1650 Plague. No entry of burials at Leeds in 1644. See Mexborough Registers on this point. Blank year of entries.
1841 Mexborough National School. Land conveyed from Mr Kater to Rev. L.J. Hobson and Messrs Carnley & Bulay. Purchase acknowledged for ten shillings.
1842 National School rebuilt.
1853 George Harrop pared the church arches and the ceiling.
1865 New National School.
1868 School and chapel built at the expense of the late John Fullerton at Old Denaby.
1870 Vestry built.
1890 Church Restored.
1891 Sept. Candlesticks on Altar engraved: Presented by John & Eliza Slater of Denaby Main.
1896 Services begin to be held in a room now occupied by the Constitution Club, High Street.
1897 Nov. Services held in the Iron Church, West Street.
1901 Whitsun Monday. The foundation stone of St. George's Church, Wath Road was laid by Miss Laura Montagu.
1902 9th April. The Right Rev. Bishop of Beverley consecrated a Chapel of Ease, the Church of St. George the Martyr, Main Street, Mexborough.
1904 Sept. New choir stalls in place of chairs.
1908 Feb. Slight outbreak of fire at Mexborough Parish Church.
1909 Installation of Electric lighting at Parish Church.
1911 April. St George's Sunday School was opened.
1912 17th August. Oak panelling from Mexborough Hall placed in the Parish Church. Dedicated on 1st Nov.
1914 Billy Bunter Windows fitted. Apse stained glass windows fixed. Presented by Leonard Shields in memory of his parents.
1932 St Aiden's Hall opened. Closed 2000.