South Yorkshire Times, October 17, 1959
Mexborough S.J.A.B. Are To Celebrate Jubilee
Looking Back on Half Century of First Aid Work
Jubilee celebrations of the Mexborough Division of the S.J.A.B. will be held in the Central Methodist Schoolroom, Hampden Road, Mexborough, on November 21st. Although their 50th anniversary was actually reached in 1958, that year they moved into their first permanent headquarters in the Old Welfare Hall, Bank Street, Mexborough, officials of the Division decided that the Jubilee celebrations would be held over until they had settled in.
Present at the celebrations will be the West Riding Area Commissioner, Dr. Lodge, and his assistant, I Mr. E. Soar and also Mr. McCaskill, Group Manager of Denaby land Cadeby Collieries, and President of the Denaby and Cadeby S.J.A.B.
The history of the Mexborough Division of the S.J.A.B. can be traced as far back as 1907, when through the influence of Mr. W. H. Chambers, then Managing Director of Denaby and Cadeby Collieries and head of the Denaby and Cadeby S.J A.B., a meeting was called of a few ‘ interested Mexborough men at the Royal Oak Hotel, Mexborough (now used as shops in Bank Street) in 1907, and the formation of a Mexborough Division of the Denaby and Cadeby S.J.A.B. was discussed.
The outcome was that members made contact with the West Riding Authorities, and ambulance classes were begun in the Market Hall, Mexborough.
These were first taken by Dr. Labbhu Ram, and Mr. W V. Simpkins, an instructor from the Denaby Colliery Ambulance Department.
The enrolment fee at these cosmopolitan classes, which not only included mine workers, but workers from other industrial occupations, was 2/6 and the first “examinations” were held in April, 1908
The classes continued in the Market Hall for two or three years, under the supervision of the first secretary. Mr. Oliver of Swinton. ‘During these early years the classes were also patronised by the police at Mexborough.
Division then moved to new headquarters in Chappell’s Rooms which were situated in Lee’s Arcade which ran through from Main Street. to Swinton Road, along the Western side of what is now a car park — opposite the Empress Ballroom. While there, the Division expanded by the formation, under Miss G. Clayton, of a Women’s Nursing Division.
At this time, although the Mexborough Montagu Hospital had been built there were no public ambulances, and the only wheeled conveyance at the public’s disposal for conveyance of casualties to the hospital was a wheeled litter belonging to the S.J.A.
The Long Walk
In 1910, the Mexborough Division of the S.J.A.B. had visited a review at Windsor, where one of their nurses sprained her ankle. On returning to Mexborough by train late that night, the members had to carry the nurse by stretcher alt the way from the railway station to the hospital. Resolving this would never happen again, they raised funds and acquired a wheeled litter.
This litter was in public use until 1928, when a Mexborough, Wath end Swinton Joint Ambulance Committee was set up by representatives from each council, and the first public ambulance was bought for use in the Mexborough district. For the use of this ambulance, which was based at the Montagu Hospital, each council paid part of the purchase price and running costs.
During this period, the S.J.A.B. moved headquarters to the Concertina Club in Dolcliffe Road, where they remained until after the second world war, when they moved to the old concert rooms to the rear of the Montagu A rms.
In 1955, a move was made to the Primitive Methodist School in Dolcliffe Road where they remained before finally by courtesy and generosity of Mexborough U.D.C. they moved to their present headquarters In Bank Street, Mexborough.
The Mexborough Division of the S.J.A.B. has steadily grown in numbers and has at present, 25m active male members, 10 active women members and a strong youth contingent of about 90 cadets.