Home Places Streets and Communities The Old Year in Memory – South Yorkshire Diary Dates of 1950

The Old Year in Memory – South Yorkshire Diary Dates of 1950

January 1951

South Yorkshire Times, Saturday January 6th 1951

The Old Year in Memory

South Yorkshire Diary Dates of 1950

1950 left a legacy of snow in 1951. It was a year of freak weather. Sunday temperature at Easter fell to 39° – and in May cricket open dismally. The last Saturday in April and first in May were ‘washouts’ – but May 13th was the warmest day of the year to date. June brought a heatwave; several storm swept South Yorkshire early in August.

1950 was the year of the General Election. It saw the formation of old People’s welfare committee in South Yorkshire; it saw a drift of manpower from the mines; considerable progress was made on the electrification of the Wath – Manchester – Penistone line. There was a suggestion to form a South Riding by subdividing the County Council’s administrative area. But let us take you through the year on a voyage of fleeting memory:


Early in January came news of a General Election in February and political camps stirred.

During the first week of January 312 miners left the coal industry in the area of the NCB’s North Eastern Division, following the lifting of the Control of Engagement Order.

Work began on Wath Grammar schools extensions.

There were moves in South Yorkshire to form old People’s welfare committees


Early February saw the first ‘shots’ in the General Election campaign.

In New Zealand, Wombwell born Len Eyre and Thurnscoe’s Ronnie Latham, athlete and boxer respectively won success for Great Britain in the Empire Game.

Work was started on rebuilding the old Apostolic Church in Great Houghton, destroyed by fire almost 2 years earlier.

It was announced that Wath Wood Hospital, originally built to cater for infectious cases in the area, was to become the main centre for infectious cases in the area covered by the Rotherham and Mexborough Hospital Management Committee.

A farming tradition of 60 years was broken at Wombwell when the retail and delivery side of the dairy farming business run by Mr Harry Charlesworth was acquired by the Barnsley Co-operative Society.

The General Election was held on Thursday, February 23. Labour had an overall majority over all other parties of six. Labour held South Yorkshire constituencies. There was a heavy poll.


In March the first brass band Festival organised by the National Coal Board North Eastern Division Miners’ Welfare Committee was held in the City Hall, Sheffield.

March saw the “South Yorkshire Times” first 24-page paper for many years.

A presentation was made in Mexborough to Coun. J Kelly to mark 25 years unbroken service as a councillor.

Mexborough Male Voice choir celebrated its 25th birthday.

Aldham Bridge on the Wombwell Stairfoot boundary, was closed for a week for repairs. Diversion to Barnsley, via Darfield, involved approximately 1,000 miles a day extra for the number of Yorkshire Traction Coy. ‘buses using that route


Early April featured the selection of Coal Queens in South Yorkshire to compete for an Area title.

Messrs, Burrows of Wombwell, motor coach proprietors, celebrated their 25th birthday.

It was a bleak Easter Sunday as temperatures felt to 39 degrees.

Denaby and Cadeby Athletic club’s new tennis courts were formally opened. They had cost £1.000.

112 applications were received for the headship of Goldthorpe Junior Boys’ school.

Lord Hyndley, chairman of the National Coal Board, visited the South Yorkshire coalfield.

There was a record attendance of 1,208 at Mexborough Arts exhibition

Another hoard of Roman coins was found at Darfield.


In May, the L.N.E.R.’s new £2,500 clubhouse at Mexborough was formally opened. It was announced that Mexborough, Swinton, Dearne, Wath and Conisbrough and Doncaster and Rotherham rural areas would be reception areas should organised evacuation, be necessary in the event of another war.

Area 3 of the National Coal Board had its first Coal Queen, chosen from 11 colliery queens – Miss Eileen Cody of Silverwood.

Cricket open dismally. The last Saturday in April and the first Saturday in May (May 6) were washouts, but May 13th was the warmest day of the year to date.

Mexborough, Dearne and Conisbrough woman won seats at the Urban Council elections. An overall picture saw Labour more firmly entrenched than ever.

A nightingale was heard in Conisbrough Cliff.

Household coal prices went up again.

There was a mining development at Billingsley where, it was announced, opencast was to give way to authentic mining.

An attempt by Mexborough, Swinton and District Licensed Victuallers Association to bring Sunday music back to Swinton and Kilnhurst public houses failed.

It was announced that owing to unforeseen difficulties Conisbrough U.D.C. would be unable to cooperate jointly with Mexborough over a suggested scheme for the improvements of Denaby baths.

As a “highlight” of sport, Ted Hammond, Ryhill nipsy star, retained his “world championship” by beating his old protagonist in chief, Dick Beedon of Hemingfield.


In June, Bruce Woodcock of Doncaster failed in his bid to win the world heavyweight boxing championship being beaten by Lee Savold at White City after four rounds.

20,000 miners attended the Yorkshire miners demonstration at Rotherham.

Scouts from 17 troops in the Don and Dearne district took part in the Scout rally at Swinton at Whitsuntide.


In July, history was made at Denaby when the NCB recognised an act of bravery in the mine with a presentation to Mr Gladstone Hudson.

Dearne Urban Council rejected the scheme by a firm of refrigerator manufacturers for the installation of refrigerated in Council houses in Dearne.

A central site was chosen and plans prepared and the question of equipment and costs was discussed for a Community hall in Darfield.

It was announced that the Samson stripper, a revolutionary British coal cutting machine weighing 10 tons, was to be installed in the Parkgate seam of Denaby Main colliery.

Installation began on a winder at Barnburgh built in the United States and purchased by the Coal Board for £23,000.

3,000 people attended Conisbrough Show.


Severe storms swept South Yorkshire early in August.


In September Denaby Main Parish Church celebrated its 50th Jubilee.

Thurnscoe Parade and Carnival made its reappearance after a lapse of 20 years.

A North-Eastern Coal Board official confirmed that the scheme for the complete electrification of Darfield Main colliery would take at least two years to complete. The scheme averted the pits closure and save the jobs of the miners.

Considerable progress had been made during the year on the electrification of the Wath – Manchester – Penistone railway line, and in September at Duckinfield, the locomotives for use on the line between Wath and Manchester underwent tests.

The Executive of the colliery winders Federation of Great Britain reaffirmed their decision to rejoin the National Union of Mineworkers.

The Reverend Bishop, Vicar of Mexborough, was appointed Wath rural Dean in succession to the Rector of Darfield, who was leaving South Yorkshire.

There was a suggestion to form a South Riding, by subdividing West Riding County Council administrative area.


Swinton and Kilnhurst National savings movement passed the million pounds mark.


In November it was announced that Doncaster Town Council proposed to ask for a loan sanction of £20,000 to complete the next phase of High Melton Teacher Training College and provide additional accommodation for students.

One of the main features of centenary celebrations at Oxford Rd, Church Mexborough was a narrative and pageant depicting the history of the church.

Industrial estates in South Yorkshire mining areas were envisaged in draft proposals of the County development plan.

Wath salvationist opened a new hall, while at Wombwell, the Grange became the home of several elderly ladies – the first communal home of its kind to be set up by the County Council in South Yorkshire.


Saturday working at the pits began in December to aid the fuel positions throughout the country.

Storm and snow heralded in the pre-Christmas weeks and fulfilling a promise produced a “white Christmas.”