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’.

John Baker & Bessemer Limited, Kilnhurst

Wharf Road, Canal & Railway, Kilnhurst - 22.06.17

New Wharf Road Estate in the distance

John Baker & Bessemer Limited, Kilnhurst

John Baker & Bessemer Limited, Kilnhurst

These steel works can be traced back to 1828. In 1863, the works were purchased by John Brown & Company of Sheffield at which time the works were known as Swinton Iron Works. John Baker purchased the works in 1903 and were renamed Kilnhurst Steel Works and began manufacturing component parts involving a Siemens Steel Melting Furnace. During the First World War, the company concentrated on shell forgings. In 1929, the company purchased 90% of the shares of Henry Bessemer & Company Limited, resulting in the changing of the works name again.

Gas was directly supplied to the steel works via a pipe that ran from Manver’s Main coking plant in Wath.

It was announced in October 1963 that Baker and Bessemer in Kilnhurst would be closed by owners, the United Steel Companies and the English Steel Corporation.

Circa 2009, a new housing estate was built on the site of these steel works on Wharf Road.

Glassworks, Swinton

White Lee Road, Swinton - 29.06.09 (35)

Avago Karting (site of the glassworks)

Circa 1850, James Tillotson came to Swinton, from the Leeds area and established a glassworks on White Lee Road. These glassworks would exchange hands in subsequent decades, notable owners being William Wilkinson and Dale, Brown & Company. The business was sold to United Glass in the early 1970s and finally to Canning Town Glass. The business was closed in 1988 with the loss of over 400 jobs.

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Tillotson family in grave in Saint Margaret’s Churchyard, Swinton

William Rupert Brown died in February 1929 at his home at 9, Priory Road, Sheffield. He was a member of Dale, Brown & Co. which they acquired in 1913 from the South Yorkshire Glass Bottle Company after they had been derelict and disused for two or three years. William was born in Stroud Green, North London and educated in London. As a youth, he was a traveller for a London glass bottle producer. At 19, he joined the staff of Alfred Alexandra & Company Limited and eventually became London manager of the firm. Mr. Brown, his future partner was at the time the works manager for the same firm in Hunslet. When they purchased the glassworks, William moved to Sheffield and Mr. Brown settled in Wath but later moved to Wetherby.

Gas was directly supplied to the glassworks via a pipe that ran from Manver’s Main coking plant in Wath.

The iconic chimney that belonged to the glassworks was finally demolished in 1996 and an indoor go-carting centre now occupies the land where the glassworks once stood.

The Rother Boiler Company


Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (2)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

William Charles at Wyvenhoe, Rotherham (Copyright Ros Templeman)

William Charles

William Charles, born in 1880 in Masbrough, Rotherham, married my second great aunt, Winifred Pinder, in 1908.

William co-founded both the Rotherham Steel Strip Company and the Rother Boiler Company.

Below are three articles pertaining to the Rother Boiler Company.


Rotherham in high places

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (2)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

DID YOU know there is a little bit of Rotherham in Windsor Castle and the House of Commons, and most probably up your street, too?

No, well neither did I, but we have and it belongs to a small firm with a big reputation…the Rother Boiler Company Ltd., celebrating this month 50 years of business since they became a limited company.

it was in 1919 that two Rotherham men, the late Mr. A. A. Charles and Mr. A. Milnes (father of a present day company director, Mr. Arthur Milnes), laid the foundations for the company’s existence.

They concentrated on the production of kitchen range boilers, and a pretty laborious process it was, too, in those days. Output of two men was limited to seven or eight boilers a day.

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (4)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

Within a few years, Mr. H. Sowden joined them and introduced copper back boilers and cylinders – still a feature of their work today.

Into new premises

in 1923 they became a Limited Company and four years later they had outgrown their premises in Westgate. The search for new headquarters ended at a nine acre site on Meadow Bank Road.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (4)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

There they are to-day and the staff has increased now to over 130.

They are specialists in calorifiers or heat exchangers, if you prefer it that way.

This means equipment of all kinds for many important uses. In hospitals, schools, flats, public buildings and hotels, not to mention their products used in industry.

Expansion is still the order of the day and the firm maintain they “have never been busier”. Busy or not, you can be sure that all their work is built with the care and thought that has made them a top name in the heating engineering world.


Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (7)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

Heating Mr. Heath’s prize pool and lots of other V.I.P.s


The Sultan of Oman’s army barracks and the Russian Embassy in Tehran are just two exotic destinations of products from a Rotherham factory.

Every day, boilers and calorifiers (heat exchange units used to heat very large buildings) start out from the Rother Boiler Company’s factory in Meadowbank Road on journeys all over the world.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (5)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

The Falkland Isles’ Radio Station, hospitals and the Radio Station in Singapore, hotels in Malta, factories in Russia and Thailand…these are just some of the faraway places where Rother Boiler products are installed.

Nearer home, they’ve an equally impressive list of famous public buildings to their credit.

Windsor Castle, the Houses of Parliament, French Embassy in London, British Museum, Westminster Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Palace of Westminster, Royal yacht Brittaina , National Theatre…the list is endless.

Prisoners up and down the country (including Dartmoor) have reason to be thankful for the company – they keep warm by means of Rother Boiler calorifiers.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (1)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

All R.A.F. camps are supplied by the firm, as well as many hospitals and holiday camps.

The Prime Minister and diplomats from all over the world are going to enjoy the benefits of some of Rother Boiler’s latest products.

Specially designed calorifiers are to be installed in a new swimming pool at Chequers.

How does this local firm manage to carry off all these major contracts?

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (1)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

“I think we’re the only people who make calorifiers in both steel and copper, and we also make a reasonable job at the right price,” explained Works Director Mr. Arthur Milnes.

To keep up with demand, they turn out more than 200 tons of steel a month and about £16,000 worth of copper every week.

The company, which employs 120 people, was founded in 1918, and last month celebrated 50 years as a limited company.


Rother Boiler Company (advert) (3)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

15 ‘new’ jobs?

The Rother Boiler Company has taken over its subsidiary Roebuck and Clarke (Galvanising), with plans for a £500,000 plant in Rotherham.

The expansion move will hopefully create 15 new jobs at Roebuck and Clarke’s Meadowbank Road site where the new galvanising plant is being built.

Rother Boiler, which has been established in the town since 1925 and employs 110 people, now wholly owns Roebuck and Clarke – a subsidiary company setup just two years ago.

Roman Terrace Council School, Swinton

Roman Court Residential Home, Mexborough - 05.04.17

Site of Roman Terrace Council School

This school, in the Roman Terrace (Wath Road) area of Swinton (now Mexborough), was built in 1884 and demolished in the 1990s.



A two days’ bazaar, promoted by the Roman Terrace Wesleyan Church, was opened in the Roman Terrace Council School, Swinton, on Boxing Day, by Mr. John Clayton, of Mexbro’, with a view to acquiring funds to build a new church, as the present premises are deemed inadequate for the requirements.

Brunswick Methodist Church

Brunswick Methodist Church, Mexborough - 23.04.08 (11)

Brunswick Methodist Church

This early 20th century church, built in 1911, in the Roman Terrace (Wath Road) area of Swinton (now Mexborough), closed circa 2010. During 2012/2013, it was converted into a private residence.

Prior to Brunswick Church being built, there was an older, 1850s, chapel just next to where the church stands today and which was demolished in the middle of the last century.