Author Archives: mikeynma

About mikeynma

(c)1972 Sinclair Research Ltd

Kilnhurst Through the ages in Pictures

Kilnhurst Through the ages in Pictures

Kilnhurst Through the ages in Pictures

Using more than 200 images, many never previously seen in public. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey on memory lane.
Detailed captions and extensive research present many aspects of industrial village life and the exploits of its residents.
chapters look at ;


  • Industry and commerce
  • Faith and worship
  • Transport and travel
  • Sport and leisure
  • People and places.


cost £10.00


Film Tour Around Kilnhurst Churchyard

Film Tour Around Kilnhurst Churchyard

Film Tour Around Kilnhurst Churchyard

A filmed tour where the stories of certain people buried here are told.Giles Brearley and Ken Wyatt lead a large group around Kilnhurst churchyard and cemetery telling the stories of former local inhabitants. 

These include industrialists, early union men, mining fatalities, war heroes, etc.

A very entertaining and informative film for anyone interested in local history.


cost £5.00


Civic Lives

CIVIC LIVES (The Story of a Town Clerk and his family)

CIVIC LIVES (The Story of a Town Clerk and his family)

CIVIC LIVES (The Story of a Town Clerk and his family)

The story of leading lawyer, businessman, philanthropist and long serving town clerk, Frederick Lee Harrop, takes the reader on a fascinating journey through late Victorian and Edwardian English life. These were times of great invention and rapid technological progress against a backdrop of creaking civil administration which belonged to the middle ages. Harrop helped to lay the foundations of modern local government and his story is in many ways the story of municipal progress. Along the way we shall meet all aspects of human activity, the admirable and the mean; humour and tragedy; scandals and skulduggery which makes today’s political landscape seem tame.

We shall not see the like of Harrop family again as their era has past. The story of their lives and enduring legacy will entertain and enlighten anyone with an interest in social, political, family and community history or the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

South Yorkshire History at it’s Best.

Anyone involved in local government or civic affairs will find it irresistible.

(As an appendix, Miss E. K. L. Harrops’ four churches of Swinton, published in 1913 is reprinted for the first time.)

Published September/October 2007


Cost £6.99

Alfred Liversidge

Alfred Liversidge

Alfred Liversidge

Alfred Liversidge – England’s Fastest Man and the Boxing Trainer of the last of the bare knuckle heavyweight champions ,Gem Mace.

This book charts Swinton resident Alfred’s life as a professional sportsman, boxing trainer and gambler. It follows a lot of the fights had by Gem Mace whilst under Alfred’s control.Such characters as Posh Bill ,Ned Obaldwin (the Irish Giant)all fought Mace and Alfred was there.

Well illustrated it is a nice little book for anyone interested in boxing or local history.


Cost £3.50

A Yorkshire Undertaking

A Yorkshire Undertaking

A Yorkshire Undertaking

Tells the story of one of Northern England’s oldest established family funeral directors. CT Butterfields and Sons was established in 1874 and remains today in the capable hands of the 6th generation of the family.


cost £5.99

A Tribute to Mexborough Man

A Tribute to Mexborough Man

A Tribute to Mexborough Man

A filmed tribute and life story of this former professional boxer and charity fundraiser. He set a record by running 20 marathons in 20 days at the age of 56. He is dubbed Mr South Yorkshire. Nothing is too much trouble for Tom to help.

Follow his exploits……


cost £5.00

The Iron Man (Iron Hague)

Iron Hague was the English Heavyweight Champion from 1909 to 1911

Iron Hague was the English Heavyweight Champion from 1909 to 1911

Iron Hague was the English Heavyweight Champion from 1909 to 1911. Although he hailed from Mexborough, South Yorkshire, little detail was known about this erstwhile champion that is, until now.

Well known author, Giles Brearley, has just had his biographical book entitled “The Iron Man” published. The book packs some 290 pages and includes 200 pictures depicting the man himself, his family, his managers, his trainers, his opponents, various events, first world war experiences and his life thereafter.

Giles said that his research for this book was gained over many years.

In addition to locally stored information and assistance by Mexborough Heritage Society, his research took him to London to the National Archive, The Grenadier Guards Museum, various libraries and record offices as well as to the Colindale newspaper, archive. Boxing historian, Harold Alderman, also passed on his overwhelming knowledge about Iron’s career. Harold, who is a foremost authority on boxing, has also written the foreword to the book.

Expertly put together, the book charts Iron’s father’s arrival in Mexborough, Iron’s birth and school days. The story confirms his love of fighting from an early age, his fairground boxing booth days and follows his career up the championship ladder. There were some good fighters around in the Edwardian times and his road to champion was no picnic. It follows him into the First World War and thereafter. Written in novel style, it makes a cracking read.

cost £14.95

Famous Sons and Daughters

Alfred Liversidge (1836-1921)

Englands fastest man and trainer of Gem Mace the last of the World Heavyweight bare knuckle fighters.

As An Athlete he raced for money and in Norwich once won an army officer on his horse over 50 yards.

He was unbeaten and retired at the top to concentrate on training the Pugilists of the day.

Herbert and Harry Crossley

Herbert was Novice Heavyweight British Champion. . He was born in 1901 and went into boxing training as a youngster. His fight record was excellent.He went to the U.S after being spotted by a US promoter and was put up against their best. He fought the legendary Gene Tunney. He died following a prolonged fight in new York on the 20th November 1921. His body was shipped back to Swinton and he is interred in the churchyard.

Harry was Cruiser  weight  British Champion . He was born in 1904. Like his brother Herbert he started boxing young.He took the title in 1929 and retained it until 1934. He had many defenses and finally retired in 1934.He only lost 18 fights in an active 10 year professional career. He died in 1948.

Steve Dawson

The legendary Dobbie guitarist and songwriter of Heavy Metal band Saxon was born and lived in the town. He was a founder member and has had various hits in the top twenty. He now tours with former lead guitarist Graham Oliver as Oliver Dawson Saxon. They give you Saxon back to the core.

Tony Capstick

Singer ,songwriter,  broadcaster and TV actor. Tony lived in the town when a youngster. He attended the Swinton Bridge school. His first job was on the nearby railway. He appeared on the Folk circuit for many years and was famous for his style. His record Capstick comes home reached number 2 in the charts.

He ran a radio phonein for the BBC for many years and was very dissapointed when they pulled the plug on what many believe was the best show on the radio.

He also appeared as a regular character(the Policeman) on Last of the summer wine

Always very supportive of Swinton Heritage he is greatly missed.

Arthur Morris- the pitman’s poet and Grandfather of Julie Andrews.

Arthur lived in the town when at his performing peak. He lived on Temperance street. He used to tour the land performing his monograms , ballads and poetry. He would dress as a Pit Deputy(his former trade)to carry out his act.

His poetry was very political but got great recognition. He was acknowledged by none other than the King himself.

His daughter was non other than Julie Andrew’s mother. She was also very talented.Arthur however was the black sheep of the family. Please refer to the book about his life story in our products section.

World Wars

As with most communities, Swinton suffered grievous losses of young men in World War I. 207 names are recorded in our fine war memorial, including that of Tommy Jackson, V.C. Tommy was the first British soldier to cross the mighty Hindenburg line in 1918. On home front, Zeppelins dropped a number of bombs in the Swinton area which, fortunately, only broke some windows.

During World War II, the casualty list was, thankfully, much lighter but still spelt tragedy for the families involved. Swintons first resident to be killed in action was  Sidney Bell, who died at sea off the coast of Norway. The last death was William Phillips, who died in 1946 in Montagu Hospital.

We must not forget the vital contribution of those of our residents who kept vital industries and services working. In addition, many contributed to the war effort in the Home Guard, Air Raid Precautions Auxillary Fire Service etc. The tower of Swinton Church was used by fire watchers who would have spent many a cold night out after a hard day at work.

Very large sums of money were raised by the Local War Savings Association. Their efforts were so successful, in fact, that the entire cost of a trawler minesweeper was raised in 1942. This was adopted as Swintons ship and was named HMS Kingston Jacinth. Unfortunately the vessel was sunk by a mine with the loss of several of her crew.



Coal has been worked in the Swinton area certainly since 1600. Early mining was by the use of bell pits, opencast and drift methods. The deep mined Manvers Colliery opened in 1870 and Wath Main in 1875 heralded the era of the super pits and population growth in the area necessitated corresponding urban expansion. The Swinton Common Colliery operated into the 1920,s and was then demolished.It was situated near the Woodman roundabout. A shaft marker is all that can be seen today.

Inside the Churchyard at Swinton can be found many graves of former colliers killed at work in the mines.


Waterways have played an important part in Swintons past as the town was an important junction of the Dearne and Dove Canal and the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation. Boat building in the town started in 1770 and the tradition was carried on later by Thomas Scholey and the Waddington family.

Railways first came with the North Midland line and the first station opened in 1840 at the site of our present interchange. A new station was built by the Midland Railway slightly to the north of this, openeding in 1899 and closing in 1968. The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway came through Swinton around 1870 and Swinton Central station opened. The present Swinton interchange opened in 1990, restoring rail services to the town after a gap of 22 years. In 2002, the facility was presented with a National Award for the best Small Interchange in the UK. Today buses and trains provide  regular services to a good range of destinations.

Here can be seen the first Railway station the town had.

On the production side, Burnetts Wagon Works produced rail vehicles and wheels from their premises on Whitelea Road.

The Iron and Steel industry was well represented by Baker and Bessemer at Kilnhurst. These works turned out a whole range of products, including railway and tram wheels and munitions. Brothers Thomas and Charles Hattersley moved to Swinton from Sheffield in 1864. They went on to establish a large and prosperous industrial enterprise on Whitelea Road called Queens Foundry. A wide range of manufactured goods were made, including many types of domestic and industrial heating equipment and home appliances. The works had an impressive  record of entering their products in national  trade and industrial fairs. The heating industry is still manufacturing in Swinton at the Stelrad Plant.

Swinton was home to the glass industry from the 1850s until 1988 trading under a number of names e.g. South Yorkshire Glassworks,  Dale & Browns, Canning Town Glass and United Glass Containers.

As the end of the World War II, the General Electric Company took over a former munitions factory at the side of the River Don. Cookers were produced in prodigious numbers as the factory grew into one of the largest cooker plants in the empire. Morphy Richards Limited now manages the plant which continues to employ significant numbers of local people.

Swintons many other industries, both past and present, have included chemicals, mineral water, plastic products, foodstuffs, vehicles and much more!