Puddle Jumpers Are Challenged.

February 1966

South Yorkshire Times, February 26, 1966

Puddle Jumpers Are Challenged.

Water! That’s the stuff that the 30 families of a Conisbrough district street have too much of. The residents of waterlogged Pope Avenue, Conanby, are up in arms over puddles – and quite often are up to their ankles in them too.

Winter and summer, rain leaves a three-inch-deep, thirty-yards-long and half-the-street-wide puddle in Pope Avenue because of bad drainage.

Led by Cadeby Colliery trainee supervisor Mr. Arthur Herdus (57), the families have petitioned Conisbrough Urban Council. But the local authority have such a large road repair programme that it will probably be 1968 before Pope Avenue can expect relief from the waters.

In the meantime Mr. Herdus has issued a challenge to the puddle-jumpers of a ‘be-puddled’ Pontefract street who this week challenged all-comers to an open leaping contest over the muddy water that lies in their street.


After reading the story of the Pontefract challenge in a national daily paper, Mr. Herdus told the ‘South Yorkshire Times’ on Tuesday, ‘We’ll take them on at water jumping, never mind puddle jumping.’

Dodging a miniature fountain sprayed up by a passing car, Mr. Herdus added: ‘Every family in the street signed the petition to the Council. There are holes appearing in the road lower down, the footpath edges are crumbling, and worst of all we have these great puddles, up to three inches deep sometimes almost covering the width of the street. It’s like that all winter, and in summer too, when it rains.’

Another organiser of the petition, Mr. Alan Parkes (55), timekeeper at Denaby Main Colliery, feels as strongly about the plight of Pope Avenue. About 18 months ago, he says, his wife, Denaby canteen worker Mrs. Laura Parkes (46), slipped and fell on a crumbling pavement outside their home, ripping a pair of nylons.

Said Mr. Parkes, ‘I’ll give the council their due – they came straight away to repair the path. But even then, it was only patched up. Something else needs doing now. There’s no lighting at all in the street, and the damaged pavements could be dangerous, especially to old people at night.’

Not Forgotten.

On Wednesday Conisbrough Council decided to inform the Pope Avenue families that their street would have to be dealt with ‘in its turn’. Engineer and Surveyor Mr. R. M. Clarke explained the council’s problem. He said, ‘Pope Avenue has certainly not been forgotten, but we have a large programme of street repairs and we can’t do everything at once. It is a question of finance. Because the estate is so flat, the street will have to be completely redesigned to facilitate drainage.’

Repairs have already been carried out on five main roads in the Conanby estate – Denaby Avenue, Cadeby Avenue, The Crescent, Barnsley Avenue and Peak Avenue. Mr. Clarke added, ‘It will probably be 1968 before Pope Avenue can be included in the estimates.’