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South Kirkby memories

Here are memories of South Kirkby and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of South Kirkby or a South Kirkby photo.

Colliery Blacksmith

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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My granddad, Arthur Walker, was a miner at South Kirkby colliery until his retirement around 1960; and my dad, Richard Edwin Walker, known as Ted to his mates, was a blacksmith. Dad started at the colliery when he left school aged 14, in 1936, as a blacksmith's striker, eventually becoming a blacksmith himself. I visited the colliery many times with my dad, and I remember the noises of the colliery: the shunting engines and their whistles, the sounds from the smiths' sheds; watching the huge pit-head winding wheels as the cages took the miners far below, or up again after their shift; and also the huge spoil buckets moving along in line to tip their contents on the 'muck stacks', which eventually were grassed over after the demise of the pit. What I really liked to see, though, were the forges and their glowing coals; hearing the roar of the bellows blowing air into the forges, and the hammers striking red-hot metal on the anvils - and no-one wore goggles or... Read more

Sinking Feeling

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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My grandad used to work at South Kirkby pit for many years, so growing up I was forever hearing stories of his days down the mine. Being a very inquisitive child I would spend hours exploring, even though my grandad used to tell me how dangerous it could be round the colliery. He used to also live on the Northfield estate, which was also known as Little Wigan. I am told this is because of the miners that moved from that area. I was staying at my grandad's this one day waiting for my tea. I'd been in all day as it was raining heavy, so when the rain stopped I couldn't wait to get out. My grandad said 'don't be long' and I was on my way. I walked over towards the pit to see how I could amuse myself for an hour before tea. I didn't notice at first but I'd ended walking straight into a slurry pond. For people that don't know what this is, it is... Read more

Jennifer Paley (nee Bradford) Memories!

Invicta Knitting Mills c1965, South Kirkby
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I worked at the Invicta from leaving school in 1961. I worked as a button holer my name is Jennifer Paley nee Bradford. If you remember me please leave a message on this site.

More Happy Memories of My Dad...

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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I have chosen 1958 as, being born in 1954, my memories start from around then. Angie, my sister in crime, who was 18 months older than me, was a big influence, always game for adventure. Nothing phased her! We, along with our other siblings, spent a lot of time outside. None of that sitting in front of computers, or televisions then...We were hardy Yorkie gals, and rain or shine we always out playing. One of our favourite playing spots was on top of the colliery tips, or mountains, as we saw them! I can remember dodging the big buckets as they swung along in line across the top...danger?...not a problem. I also remember the large, dark reservoir at the bottom of the mountain which my sister threatened to throw me in if I told mum where we'd been! We walked for miles and miles, stopping off at Granny and Grandad Fox's house around the corner for ginger biccies before heading home. We were surrounded by pits, Frickley, where Dad worked, and I believe... Read more

My Dad

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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I remember the snows of 1963, I was four, looking out of our bedroom window on Camp Road and the snow was drifted up to the windowsill! Gorgeous memories of our bedroom fire making shapes on the ceiling and being warm as toast as me and my brothers listened to the howling north wind outside. Our dear dad, Jim Taylor, fought (or tunneled) his way to Kirkby pit in the morning only to find just a handful of guys had made it in. Needless to say they were put on surface duties for a while before they were sent home. Another tale was when he uncovered a fossilized fish down deep on the Barnsley seam. Boffins from a museum tried to get it out in one piece but they had to settle for two! My grandad Jack Fox who lived round the corner on Saxon mount spent all his life down the pit. His son, mam's brother, Len, was a manager. Mam and Dad attended Carmel Gospel Hall on Mill Lane. ... Read more

Memories And The Tunnel

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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I remember the loyalty to family and friends who worked at the pit. My grandfathers (Frickley) did, my father was a fitter and turner there at South Kirkby colliery. I miss the place. I remember digging a hole with my next door neighbour Mr Brown, we found big bricks that were the outer of a tunnel headed out to the nunnery, obviously an escape route from many years past. We prised open the tunnel, it was partly flooded, a hard mud was in there. We lived at 37 Convent Avenue, South Kirkby, when we left 18 Nov 1969 to leave for New Zealand how exciting it was, but how I would miss the place and friends. I was 15, now I am 56 and I still remember the old town, may God bless the place.

The Good Old Days

I attended this school 1974 to 1977, doesn't seem to have changed much, that's how I remember it. Can't say that I enjoyed school when I was there (spent many a time wagging). But looking back now, yes they were the good old days. I had many great mates and we use to get in trouble quite a lot, caught smoking in the toilets, skipping class, talking in class etc. Mind you I must have done something right as I came with my certificates. Oh to be young again and back at school.

Memories of Little Wigan

The Colliery c1965, South Kirkby
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I grew up on the estate near Kirkby pit known to locals as Little Wigan. It was a great place to live where everyone knew each other and I know peaple say you didn't have to lock your door in days gone by, but down Little Wigan you realy didn't. Virtually all my family worked at the pit, either down it or on the pit top this is where me and my mates spent most of our spare time and, I've got to say, usually up to no good. I can still remember laying in bed as a kid and the noise from the coal washers used to echo up the estate, I loved that noise. We also spent a lot of time on what we called the pit tips, sliding down them on an old conveyor belt and making dens. Nobody had much in them days but what a fantastic place to grow up it was, Little Wigan and its surroundings.

My Christening

All Saints Church c1965, South Kirkby
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I was christened here in April 1966. I was born December 1965 - lots of my relatives' funeral services have been held here and it was also where my parents got married in 1956. I now live near Caerphilly in South Wales. My father is travelling to Yorkshire on Sunday as my mother's brother passed away on Bank Holiday Monday last week and as she is unable to travel due to ill health, my dad will be representing us....funeral 10/05/2010 12 mid-day....R.I.P Uncle George Newcombe

The Bailey Family

I have lovely childhood memories of visiting Nanna and my Aunties in South Elmsall/South Kirkby. Saturday mornings were always spent at Elmsall Market doing the weekly shopping, cup of tea at the Market Cafe followed by fish and chips to eat after catching the bus back to Nanna's house. If you have any memories of the family - Lily Bailey (nee Perks), William (Bill) Roland Bailey, Clarence (Clag) Bailey, twins Carol and Diana, Mary, Jacqui I would love to hear them. I especially would love to see any photos.

1940's Courting Days

Not really a memory of my own, but my father remembers going out with a young lady from South Kirby called Violet Shaw who lived on Clockrow Grove. Does anyone know of her and what she did with her life? I think he says she went to be a nurse. Also, a grt-grandfather on my mother's side, Cuthbert Dunbar, died as a result of an accident at the pit in 1902. His name is on the memorial. I took my dad for a run out when I went to see the memorial and it was then he talked about Violet Shaw. He remembered exactly where to go, after 70-odd years!

Memories of West Yorkshire

My Sister Attended Minsthorp High School

Minsthorpe High School c1970, South Elmsall
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My sister attended Minsthorp High School when it first opened. She only went there for her last year and left in July 1969.

Old Days

Does anybody remember a family called Farrell from Hemsworth? My father was from there and had a big family of 13, so I think there must be some still family members around?

Memories of People I Knew in Wortley Place, Hemsworth

I have lived in Hemsworth all my life from being 4 years old and I remember a family called Farrel - one was Mr Jack Farrel - the others were Percy Fillingham, Trevor Morrison, Alec Garbutt, Jim Cherry, and others who at the moment I cannot bring to mind, I am going back to the 1940s /1950s when I knew these people.


I resided as a child at The Cedars for 14 years. I would like to know the history together with details of other children that were there from 1953 to 1964.

The Cedars Childrens Home, Barnsley Road, Hemsworth

I would like to contact anyone that resided as a child at the above (The Cedars) between the years 1954 to 1965. I have been told the building was demolished some years ago and any photos would be gratefully received. Does the Hemsworth & Sth Elmsal Express have any archive footage? Or the local local institution, local council (known then as the "West Riding County Council". Is there anyone familiar with the following names; Fishwick, Leek, Schofield, Carter, Dean, Butterworth, Unwin, Forster. Does the "West End School" still exist? Harold Brown was my best friend there. Keep your eyes on this web page as I will be writing an extensive story re the Cedars circa 1954 to 1965 about events that actually took place, it will make very interesting reading indeed. So if there is anyone out there that was residing there during that period please reply. I now live in Kent. Thank you for your time.

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