Census Returns for 1911 – Some Startling Local Figures

August 1912

Mexborough and Swinton Times – Saturday August 3, 1912.

Census Returns for 1911

Some Startling Local Figures

Prolific Increases

The census returns for 1911 are now issued, and, despite the forbidding nature of the mighty volume of statistics that they comprise, containing in reality a wealth of most interesting food for thought and speculation.

The big blue book which lies before us is essentially a finger post on the highway of Time, and gives a clear and reliable guide to the vagaries of changing population.

Here we may notice a town in the district from which the tide of trade as a teacher, and then we may see the town in the district upon which that same time of trade is advancing.

Naturally with turn first of all to the hope of the future, the new Doncaster coalfield. This is said to be divided into three sections namely

  1. The area which is already established and does not expect any phenomenal increase.
  2. The area which is in course of development, and is heavily increasing in size and influence on population month by month.
  3. The area which has yet to be developed.

Included in the first category of players like Mexborough, Swinton, Wath, Bolton, Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe, Denaby and Conisbrough, which, while bordering on the new coalfield, as already partaken of the prosperity of the decaying Barnsley coalfield, and while not yet waited with years, and loss of virginity the district east and south of Doncaster.

Denaby and Conisbrough

In these places 10 years have made a good deal of difference. Denaby and Conisbrough have jointly increased by 5,000, and they cannot expect to do you are a great deal more than this, considering that the college from which their systems almost entirely depends on fully developed, and, in the case of Denaby Main, are approaching the sere and yellow leaf. The only hope for place like Denaby and Conisbrough is the development of industry continuous to the culture, after which may arise in this which are not dependent on the close proximity of the collieries.

Rapid as has been the growth of these parishes, increase would have been further facilitated by proper provision of adequate railway accommodation.


There is a gratifying increase of 4,000 in the town of Mexborough, which serve two masters, this increase is not entirely due, perhaps not chiefly due to colliery activities, at the natural growth which comes to the centre of a prosperous and thriving district.


The increased Swinton is not nearly so marked that township as put on only 1400 during the decade. It is nearer the old coalfield, which is a disadvantage, and also it is not the centre, as is Mexborough. The tendency of Swinton is not exactly retrograde, though it may easily become so, owing to the depression in the building trade there, which in turn is due to its landlocked condition. Under the most favourable conditions, land to be acquired for building purposes cheaply and easily, Swinton will not be likely to advance in the ratio of its past increases, notwithstanding the fact that during the past 10 years, it has acquired a new industry.

This Swinton depends principally on the coal trade, and it may be said to have reached its heyday. It is not suggested that a town is likely to become derelict, but with no opportunity presented for the enterprise of the builder, there is a danger that when the next blue book comes round it will have fallen well behind in the race with its lusty rivals.

Wath on Dearne

Wath on Dearne is advanced by over 3000, and the greater part of that excellent development belongs to the civil parish of Wath, for West Melton has not been able to show a four figure increase. Here also is one of the urban district which is not nearly as far as it may hope to get unless its ambition to become a centre is fulfilled, and we can scarcely see how that may be, having regard to the geographical disposition of the townships of that area, and sandwiched in as it is, machine two townships which have superior claims district centre ships.


Thurnscoe we notice had advanced by 1,700 and something like 80%, but this does not exactly give the lie to the sound opinion expressed recently at Thurnscoe was at standstill in the matter of population as a matter of fact Thurnscoe is little more to hopeful, fearless and fresh development.

This district is essential self-contained, with all its hopes centred on the Hickleton Main Colliery which, at the taking of the 1901 census was only five years old and scarcely fully developed. The growth of population here has slackened considerably during the past two or three years, and though there are many years of life in the Hickleton Main Colliery, any further increase and may be expected will be the natural increase we shall have to feed on no larger resources than are afforded the present population.

Here also the growth of players has been checked by the lack of efficient railway facilities.

Bolton on Dearne

A heavy increase in reported for the Bolton on Dearne Urban District, which is almost in like case with Thurnscoe, save that its scope is larger, and that can conveniently draw from three more Collieries, with the prospect of a considerable increase through a fourth – the contemplated Barnburgh Colliery.

The increased here amounts to 5000, or almost 50% of the 1901 returns. In what we have to say about the growth of Thurnscoe we have not lost sight of the Barnburgh Colliery activities, but we are assuming that a good deal of the influx will be absorbed by Mexborough, Bolton and Goldthorpe before Thurnscoe, Darfield, Wath and Swinton can get a chance.


The urban district of Wombwell is a positive case.

Wombwell has advanced for 4,300. This is a very sound and reliable increase, and a good indication as to the prosperity of this place in normal times.