Swinton Voices Book

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Craig Mollekin

Swinton’s streets have been walked by an incalculable number of people, most of whom are no longer living but each with many and often whole lifetimes of experiences of Swinton. The aim of this book is to record the memories of Swinton in yesteryear by people still alive today, for the benefit of current and future generations of Swintonians.

I established the ‘Swinton Record’ project in 2008. The goal was to record all names on headstones standing in Saint Margaret’s Churchyard. Within a year, I was looking into the lives behind the names. Before long, I realised that I was researching all of Swinton’s past population. Each person in the Churchyard had a personal story to tell but often lost forever when they died.

The inspiration behind this book was, ‘Memories – Recollections of Rawmarsh people’ that was produced by the Rawmarsh Manor Farm History Group, in 2004, which I read in 2008. I announced the ‘Swinton Voices’ project in January of this year. Rather than publishing a hard copy of ‘Swinton Voices’ and incurring printing costs etc. which might not be recouped, I decided to produce a publication that would be easily accessible to people, regardless of location, free of charge.

I wholeheartedly thank each and every author for submitting an account for the inclusion of this edition; without them, it simply wouldn’t have been possible. I hope that their stories are well read, around the globe, for years to come.

It is desired that this first edition will prove to be an inspiration and catalyst for additional submissions. Accounts of memories as recent as last year would be welcome; what might be deemed as being contemporary now will be considered as being old in years to come. So if you’ve enjoyed reading this book, please submit your own account for inclusion in future editions.

The book is currently only available in PDF format. EPUB and Kindle versions may be available in the future when I have mastered how to render the book correctly in each format.

Download the ‘Swinton Voices’ 2017 edition by clicking here.

Craig Mollekin, Swinton, Tuesday 12th December 2017
www.facebook.com/swintonrecord

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Gate Inn, Swinton

Gate Inn, Swinton - 27.05.13 (3)

Gate Inn, Swinton

This 19th century public house probably got its name from the nearby Toll Bar.

Landlords have included:-

George & Mary Jowett
Ray & Margaret Newey
Pete & Levain Mullet
Tony & Helen Scanlon – ? to Early 1998
Alan & Gill Wilson – 1990s/00s
Dave & Mary Richardson – Circa 2000
Gill & Allan Wilson
John & Margaret Ball

Butchers Arms, Swinton

Butchers Arms, Swinton

Butchers Arms, Swinton

This public house was erected in the early 1970s when Swinton Precinct was created. It replaced a much smaller, 19th century public house, of the same name, that had stood close to the road.

Landlords have included:-

Jonah Jones – Circa 1900 to 1910s (perhaps longer)
Steve Wildman – 1970s/80s
John & Ann Preddy – 1980s/90s
Duncan Marklew – 2014 to

Patio Estate, Swinton

Calladine Way, Swinton - 03.08.13

Calladine Way, Patio Estate, Swinton

The Patio Estate, renamed to ‘Fitzwilliam Estate’ by Rotherham Council in the late 1990s, was built in the late 60s/early 70s. The roads on the estate were named after Swinton Councillors and the properties consisted of apartments built in blocks of two and three levels.

It was initially quite a prestigious place to live. People who moved here weren’t allowed to have rent arrears and were often professional people, like Teachers etc.

It is heated by a central boiler house which has been known to often break down over the years and perhaps one of the reasons why the estate became not quite as desirable as other places to live.

Antisocial behaviour became quite rife as time progressed, including the odd murder, to the point where Rotherham Council decided something had to be done about it. In the late 1990s, along with the name change, the third levels on the blocks were demolished, presumably to help with noise nuisance problems. A road was also put through the entire estate and a number of properties actually demolished.

I once visited an almost identical estate in Rotherham, in 1991, called, ‘The Lanes’. In contrast to the patio estate, the Lanes was very peaceful and well maintained by its residents. I asked why there was such a difference between the two estates and was told that the Lanes was inhabited almost exclusively by elderly people.

Station Street Chip Shop, Swinton

Station Street, Swinton - 23.05.16

Chip Shop, Station Street, Swinton

This building on the corner, to the older generation, is best known as ‘Elbeck’s chip shop’.

When the Elbeck family left, it was sold to Charlie and Georgina Cross. Charlie and Georgina left to run a chip shop in Cleethorpes.

I remember in 1992, it was renamed to ‘Land and Sea’.

In 1995, George Kalegerou took over the shop and was a very friendly owner. He renamed it to, ‘Athenia’ (after his daughter). People who can recall George will be familiar with his saying, as you walked through the door, of, ‘five minutes for cheeps’! Another familiar saying was ‘do want beets with the cheeps’?!

George left in 2010 and it was renamed again to ‘Station’. It seemed to exchange hands numerous times in the subsequent years before closing in 2016. It is, as of November 2017, empty and unused, with its final name change being, simply, ‘Fish & Chips’.

Perhaps in the 1980s, it had the nickname of, ‘Greasy Nicks’.

A fire engine once embedded itself in the chip shop whilst attending a 999 call out.

23 Piccadilly Road, Swinton

Former shop(s), Piccadilly Road, Swinton - 07.05.11 (3)

23 Piccadilly Road, Swinton

This shop, at 23 Piccadilly Road, was for many years owned by Alec Burden who was also a Milkman for the Piccadilly area.

According to Malcolm G. Plant’s book, ‘Piccadilly the Hamlet’, the shop was initially opened by Charles Green in 1926.

Alec sold the shop to the Bennett family.

I remember first going to the shop in 1991 and it was a small, typical, corner shop. I’m not sure exactly when it ceased trading, but I think probably in the mid to late 1990s. It is now a private dwelling.

The shop is also rumoured to be haunted!

Yorkshire Tar Distillers Limited

Former Croda, Kilnhurst

Former Croda Site

In 1886, Henry Ellison of Cleckheaton purchased four acres of land. This firm became known as Ellison & Mitchell Limited and distilled tar. In 1927, the important tar distillers amalgamated to form the Yorkshire Tar Distillers Limited. The Kilnhurst works expanded from four acres to thirty acres and a quantity of tar being distilled increased by five times. In later years the company was acquired by Croda and operated until circa 2000.

Carlisle Park, Swinton - 22.06.17 (5)

Carlisle Park, Swinton

Mr. George William Mitchell (69) of Amphion House, Avenue Road, Doncaster, died on Monday 5th July 1943. He had been a director of Yorkshire Tar Distillers since it’s formation in 1927.

After much controversy, ‘Gleeson Homes’ began building houses on the land here in 2013, after taking away contaminated soil and capping the earth a few feet down. As of November 2017, houses are still being built. This new housing estate is called, ‘Carlisle Park’.