Old Mexboro’ & Dearne Glimpses of the Past in Ancient Year Book

November 1951

South Yorkshire Times, November 10th, 1951

Old Mexboro’, Dearne and Hoyland

Glimpses of the Past in an Ancient Year Book

A year book for the Mexborough, Dearne and Hoyland districts, published about the end of the last century, has been loaned to the “South Yorkshire Times” by Mr. and Mrs. George Holmes, of 4, Pitt Street, Mexborough.

It contains details of organisations, public boards, schools, local government bodies and industries of many local townships and villages.  The book formerly belonged to Mr Holmes’ father.

“Denaby in Mexborough”

Swinton is given a combined population with Kilnhurst of 9,597 in 1891, and Denaby, “in Mexborough parish,” a population of 1,708.  The chief industries were then the colliery, employing 1,500 men, and the Fortis Powder and Explosive Works.

Conisbrough had a population in 1881 of 2,900, but at the last census, ten years later, it had gone up to 4,997.   Conisbrough then had a “Loyal Conisbrough Castle Lodge” of Foresters and its industries were described as “extensive new colliery at Cadeby, owned by the Denaby Main Colliery Company; sanitary pipe works and Mr. J. Clarkson’s wholesale confectionary works.”

Wath with 3,894 inhabitants according to the 1891 census, had quite a few industries, including the South Yorkshire Soap Works and the South Yorkshire Oil and Manure Works.

Whereas Wath had fewer than 4,000 people, Brampton Bierlow and West Melton were described as “a large parish containing 4,597.”   The area however most of which was owned by Earl Fitzwilliam took in Hoober, Newhill, a part of Wath and a part of Elsecar.

Kilnhurst “in Swinton township is an improving village having among its industries a pottery and colliery” and Barnburgh, or “Baronborough,” is a village containing 509 inhabitants and land belonging to the Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Halifax and Mr. A. F. W. Montagu joint Lords of the Manor.

Adwick-on-Dearne is scarcely mentioned but Bolton, which in 1891 “had a population of 1,205 souls,” is given greater notice.

Local Names

The year book also contains a list of officials of the Yorkshire Miners’ Association, members of the West Riding County Council (Mr. J. H. Watson, Clayfield House, Mexborough, representing Swinton division and Mr. S. Whitworth, Dunford House, Wath, for Wath division). Also listed are Mexborough and District Trades Council, local census returns, Doncaster and Rotherham County Court officers, West Riding Magistrates, Local Members of Parliament, Mr. J. C. Fleming, Manchester, for Doncaster and Mr. A. H. D. Aciand, Scarborough, for Rotherham.,

Among the most interesting lists are those of colliery explosions “and strikes etc. at Denaby Main.” In April 1881 there was a Wath Main winding accident and a cage accident at Manvers Main in July 1885.

At Denaby it was announced that “coal was reached” in 1868.  There were seven major strikes up to 1894, and a “disastrous fire” on Christmas Day, 1887, which caused £12,000 worth of damage. In 1879, on March 19th, there was an “ejectment of miners” at the pit, in December 1880 notice given to Denaby miners, in April 1885, 700 members were evicted at Denaby Main, and three months later “rioting” was reported.