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Round Your Way – Bolton on Dearne

August 1949

South Yorkshire Times August 6, 1949

Round Your Way

Bolton on Dearne

If you look across the fields as you descend the hill from Adwick, you will see Bolton as a miniature almost like a toy village set out by the side of a model railway track. Rooftops are grouped round the church tower and the railway line elbows its way into the village, inviting you to pass that way and to explore Bolton for yourself.

Bolton, I felt was rapidly losing its identity in a flood of new housing development. The old Bolton is grouped round the church, but there are open spaces reminiscent of the willow herb topped spaces by St. Paul’s Cathedral; crumbling sandstone walls, overgrown with grass. Here and there by the roadside, single flowers grew in tiny plots beneath front windows; a tall, orange-gold lily with a spike of leafgreen, triumphant among brick and stone; a handful of sweet williams. Valerian was hanging over the road from the churchyard, and here and there, windowsills had been varnished red and olive green. But there were other rows less at tractive, with no leaf greenery to brighten them.

The cutting through Bolton which was once used by the Dearne District Light Railway is still there, green now, and overgrown with elderberries, its sandstone walls crumbling, and its entrances and exits fenced off from the road which links Bolton with Highgate.

It is along this road that the new housing development has come to Bolton. What was once a gravel path is now a tarmac road, and what were once fields are now the beginnings of a new township.

Bolton Ings are an essential part of Bolton. Across the fields you will see great sheets of water, dotted her and there by the white wings of swans. One day this land, too, will be reclaimed, and another feature of Bolton will have been swallowed up.

Bolton, if Bolton will forgive me, is a prelude to Goldthorpe, or, if you look at it from the other side, a tailpiece. Approaching Goldthorpe, it is only a short walk beyond the Council offices – once Bolton, now Dearne – before you begin to feel the fuller extent of the Dearne District.

And leaving Goldthorpe, one is left with an impression of “something old –something new” in the date-stoned houses of Bolton and the bright red brick of this expanding fringe of Dearne