Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express – Saturday 12 August 1922
There must be quite a number of our older people .who remember Conisborough before the Inclosure Award dated 4th June, 1858, began to operate. There was, I am told, much open ground surrounding the small agricultural village which was Conisborough of that day.
It was Under the ‘terms of this “award” that the “Minnymore” became a public recreation ground. I wonder what kind of man he was who selected this particular bit of waste land for purposes of recreation. He says “I hereby set out, allot, and award, unto the Churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish of Conisborough all that piece or parcel of land, part of the common or waste called Minnymore numbered 98 on the said map” and more to the like effect.
Commenting on this in 1893 an assistant, Charity Commissioner says, “The piece of land is quite unsuitable for the purpose for which it was allotted, being on the slope of a hill; and covered with large boulders. A few of the poorer boys play cricket there occasionally on the more level patches that can be found here and there, but the amusement is carried on under difficulties.”
It seems as though the man who made the original award, having shared out the common land among ‘the freeholders, found a bit which was no earthly good for any purpose to anyone, and with his tongue in his cheek said “After all the common people ought to have some of the land, they shall have this, it’s no use to anyone else.”
In 1893 the Assistant Commissioner of Charities was told when holding an inquiry that the land would soon become valuable for building purposes, and he thinks this was not improbable’ as “there is considerable frontage to the high road.” “In that case,” he I says, “an application would probably be made for authority to sell it in plots, and out of the proceeds to buy a piece of land more suitable for purposes of recreation.” No doubt this hope was founded upon the expectations of a housing boom following developments at Cadeby Colliery. In those days housing sites were not too often in the market, and the opinions expressed were quite reasonable.