A further project which reached completion was the launch of Giles Brearley’s latest book “A History of Swinton Hall and Swinton House”. This was a very difficult project which required a great deal of research and detective work by the team.
The story of these two magnificent Swinton properties and their residents has, at last, been brought together and makes a fascinating read. Well illustrated, the book is available on limited release priced £8.00 and available on line or from the usual outlets.
We continue to deliver talks and interviews when asked. Recent engagements have included BBC Radio Sheffield, Mexborough and District Heritage Society, Radio Nightingale for Rotherham Hospitals and the Rotherham Branch University of the Third Age.
A further royalties cheque was presented to St Margaret’s Church proceeds from the sale of “Potters Corner”.
Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss
Visitors to our web-site and those who take an interest in our activities will be aware of the series of commemorative plaques that we have provided in recognition of local people and their achievements. Our latest plaque has been erected in honour of Britain’s first Formula One world champion Mike Hawthorn who was born and raised in Mexborough. Funding for the plaque came in a large part from the sale proceeds of the DVD “A Mexborough Time Machine”. Additional donations enabled a fine granite plaque in our green colour scheme, with an iconic photograph of Mike affixed as a ceramic tile.
The unveiling event was an outstanding success, with a display of classic Jaguar cars provided by the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club and Ferrari cars displayed by their local owners. We received considerable support from Hatfields Jaguar Ltd, of Sheffield and worked with public relations consultants Harrison Cowley. The stars of the show were the D type Jaguar car, driven by Mike Hawthorn to victory in the 1955 Le Mann and a 1934 Riley car also owned and raced by Mike. The cars were kindly allowed to be displayed by their current owners and the D type went on to be exhibited in the Hatfields Showroom. Mike’s fiancée Jean Ireland (nee Howarth) unveiled the plaque in perfect weather before several hundred local people and enthusiasts. An exhibition about Mike’s life and impressive sporting achievements was put together by Mexborough Heritage member Julia Ashby, this was displayed in the town’s library. The location of the plaque is on the wall of the Intersport Shop at the junction of High Street and Hope Street. Further information about this project can be viewed on a magnificent web-site operated by Nigel Webb, simply type in Mikes name and it will show up.
We continue to receive enquiries to our web-site from people near and far. Numbers of enquiries have come from North America and recently we have been in correspondence with someone in Kabul,Afghanistan making enquiries about Swinton’s rich heritage. Feedback is always appreciated and we will do our best to respond to enquiries.
Looking to our future work programme. A local resident has recently identified to us what we believe to be a tooled stone block which has the original Mason’s mark of Swinton’s 12th Century Normanchapel. Stone from the chapel has been reused a number of times and this precious historical artefact currently forms part of a wall. We intend to recover this and place the stone in safe keeping. A further book “Civic Lives” the story of the Harrop family of Swinton. Is nearing completion and it is hoped this will be ready for Easter 2007. The Harrop family were intertwined with the civic, legal and charitable aspects of Swinton life for more than a century. The book will reveal much previously unpublished detail of the history of the district and the major contribution that Harrop family members made to the advancement of the township.
Longer term a further picture and captions book is planned to be published on Old Swinton, Kilnhurst and possibly Mexborough.
Thanks to the generosity of local people and our own research we have available many previously unpublished photographs showing aspects of life, work, play, transportation, worship and infrastructure in this part of Yorkshire.
As our bank balance is virtually empty following the payments we have had to make for our recent events, fundraising will need to be addressed in the near future. Heritage plaques and publisher costs do not come cheap, we will, however, maintain our commitment to celebrating and sharing the heritage of our locality and its’ people.