Sunday, February 24, 2019


A total of 18 people attended this meeting, the second in February, but the first of our monthly meetings, which will now continue on the last Friday of each month until at least April 2020.  We will continue to meet in either Sprotbrough  Church Hall or The Stables, which are adjacent, at 2.30 pm.

Cynthia Welcomed everyone to the meeting and Introductions were then made by everyone present.  Although there had been several apologies, some new people turned up for the first time, including  Dev Das, Meryl White, Beryl Dawson, Terry Bramall all the way from Harrogate and Dennis, whose details weren't recorded; if anyone is in contact with him, perhaps they would ask him to get in touch with me.  Some felt they were there under false pretenses as they weren’t born between the target years, but it was reiterated that anyone and everyone interested in the history of Sprotbrough is welcome as helpers or learners.

Our aims today were threefold:

i)          Continue sheet filling with memories, etc

ii)         To continue or begin new interviews. 

iii)         Mapping of residents in the 1940s and 50s. 

Before letting everyone do their own thing, however, it had been decided to spotlight education and the village school in particular and I read out some notes I had made from the last and seemingly only Minute Book available before the school was handed over to the local education authority (LEA). 

This recorded that in 1906 the school had 78 pupils and had cost £91.14s.4d and that at the end of the year they had £3.10s.6d in hand.  It was, of course, run by the Estate until it was sold, with church leaders also on the management board, and children came from the Sprotbrough Estate (47), the Melton Estate (17) and the Cusworth Estate (14).  It should be noted that only a headteacher and an assistant teacher were employed to teach all these children, who, in the early days, stayed there until they were 14!  It also recorded the appointment of Miss Gyton as Headteacher on the 23 February 1924, who many people have already referred to.  The school was then purchased by the LEA and so was not put up for auction like the rest of the Estate.

I then related two or three little anecdotes recollected from my own time there in the late 1940s and hoped others would come forward with their stories, naughty or otherwise.

People then dispersed to their chosen activities and conversations, which were as interesting and noisy as ever.

i)          A few more comments were written on the sheets and these will be added to records already made last month.

ii)         One or two new interviewers came along today, eager to begin work, which is very encouraging, and several interviews were begun at the meeting.  An excellent interview had also been recorded earlier in the week by Betty Brockman with Bill and Sue Erskine and Sue’s sister, Enid, nee Maxfield.  Others are being lined up.

iii)         The Electoral Rolls of 1925 and 1965 had already been obtained, courtesy of Keith Crouter, and Linda Watson nee Tyrrell had provided lists by email for Melton Road above the Ivanhoe.  John Walton continued the work with his knowledge of people on Main Street.  We hope others will be added as time goes on.  Electoral Rolls have their uses, but don’t, of course, include children.

The Next meeting will be held on Friday 29 March at 2.30 pm.  Please check on arrival whether it is at the Church Hall or The Stables.

For further information, contact:

Liz Reeve: Tel: 01302 313030 or Email:
Cynthia Ransome: Tel: 07792287109 or Email:

Saturday, February 16, 2019


The next meeting of the group will be held 

in Sprotbrough Church Hall on

Friday 22 February at 2.30 pm

Anyone interested in participating or helping with this project would be very welcome to attend.

The Agenda will be along the lines of:

1.   Continue with interviews already started and begin new ones.

2.   Continue with writing our own reflections and anecdotes (the funnier the better) on the large sheets of paper.

3.   Using a large map showing houses, farms, etc, begin to put the names of those that lived here in the 1940s/50s to the places on the map.  This period was chosen as they are the names most likely to be remembered.  Anecdotes about these residents, to give them some life and make it more interesting, would also be welcome.

These activities will be continued at future meetings, but if anyone has any other ideas, please don't keep them to yourselves.

NB  Although we hoped to have future meetings, on the last Friday of each month, in The Stables, it is not always free on Fridays and so we may have to revert to the church hall from time to time, as on this occasion.

Looking forward to seeing you again.

Liz Reeve, Tel 01302 313030; Email:
Cynthia Ransom, Tel: 01302 728310;  Email:

Monday, February 4, 2019


 Dear All

Thank you to all those hardy souls who turned up, despite the snow and cold, for our meeting on Friday last, 1 February - all 16 of you.  I did have a few apologies in advance as well, so thank you for that. 

I think you will agree that a good time was had by all and we made quite a bit of progress in getting our project started.  We had two hours of chatting and remembering amid laughter and amazement that some of the things that came out were even possible.  A few new people came along as well, which was great, some of whom had agreed to act as scribes.

You will note I have highlighted some bits in red below.  Pease take note of these and let me know if you are able to carry out what you thought you would like and be able to do when we first met.

The afternoon was spent by people filling in their memories or anecdotes on 20-odd sheets of paper which had been spread around the room.  Each sheet had a different topic heading to prompt people to remember different aspects of their lives.

A couple of interviews were begun with scribes doing the prompting and writing.  I was thrilled to receive the following day a very full, beautifully typed-up page and more, of an interview with Maurice Dent from Carol Rees, which is absolutely fantastic (and she told me she had nothing to offer us!).  She tells me she will continue his story next time we meet.

I have since spent a day and a half typing up all the comments from the sheets of paper so that their stories can be continued at future meetings or in individual interviews and these will be circulated to the individuals concerned for checking and adding to.  (NB Having got to the point of sending these out, I have discovered I only have emails for two people, so I think you will have to wait until the next meeting to receive them.  Sorry about that.)

We have a long list of people wanting to be interviewed and their memories will play a large part in the book that is produced at the end.  I hope those who offered to do interviews at our first meeting are still up for it as we will need you.  Do get in touch if you are still willing.

We agreed that we should meet monthly and this will take place on the last Friday of each month until April 2020 in The Stables (please note change of venue), by which time we hope we will have enough to information to make the book both interesting and informative.  Why not put these dates in your diary today so that you don’t forget.

Meetings are open to anyone interested in sharing or learning about the history of Sprotbrough Village from 1925 to 1965, so do feel free to come and meet other enthusiasts, as well as telling others about it. 

We appreciate that some of you might not be able to get to meetings as you now live too far away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute.   I am copying in below the page of interview prompts which might get you started and you can then send them in to me.

Several people also signed up to do research, so if you were one of these, you can use the list of prompts to choose what might interest you.  Just let me know so that we don’t have more than one person doing the same topic and wasting time.

For information, the address for the SOH Blog, which provides all the news about this project, can be found as follows:

Or just by searching for Sprotbrough Oral History

Do look us up and follow our activities.

NEXT MEETING:  Friday 22 February 2019 at 2.30 pm in The Stables (next to the church hall).

Liz Reeve
4 February 2019

Liz Reeve, Tel 01302 313030; Email:
Cynthia Ransom, Tel: 01302 728310;  Email:

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Before arriving for the interview, please start the tape with:
·        your own name,
·        the date of the interview
·        the names of those you are going to interview. 

On starting the interview, ask your interviewees to introduce themselves with:
·        their name,
·        date of birth (or decade born if they don’t want to)
·        when they arrived in the village
·        where they lived

These are just suggestions and should be thought out before arrival according to the age of the person being interviewed and when they arrived in the village.

Don’t impose your own lifestory into your interviewees memories. 
Prompt, Listen and Record.

·        Village facilities – what was it like? shops, pubs, clubs, post office
·        The War years: Home conditions – do you remember the war, what was it like for the family, warm/cold, lighting, water, sanitary arrangements, decorating
·        Schools attended – Village, Richmond Hill, Mexborough Grammar, Percy Jackson Grammar, Woodlands Secondary Modern, Other? - which attended, when left, classes sizes, conditions, segregation of sexes
·        Play time – games: marbles, two ball, tag, etc
·        Entertainment in your youth – dances, pictures, where
·        How did you meet your partner?
·        What family did you have? Were times hard?  Was they easy to bring up?
·        Activities in the home: rug-making, knitting, dress-making, preserving food, etc
·        Shopping – shops, eg groceries, milk - deliveries,
·        Food – at school or home, visiting others – special likes or dislikes
·        Clothing styles at different ages
·        Work – age started, type done, eg in service, office, industry, business
·        Friends known – boys, girls
·        People – characters, personalities, loved, feared
·        Death - funerals
·        Entertainment – Radio/TV, Dancing - other: where, what type
·        Sport  - 4 min mile, conquest of Everest, Cricket/Ashes 1952, St Ledger/Prince Honolulu, Wrestling,
·        Churches – baptism, marriage, funerals, Sunday School, whether regular attender
·        Music: church choir, concerts, dancing/styles/where?, big bands, rock and roll
·        Trips out – buses, railway
·        Footpaths
·        Weather memories
·        National and International events
·        Decimalisation
·        Man on the Moon
·        Photos of village or people to copy for display
·        Death of the King – Coronation of Queen – parties
·        Death of Churchill
·        Politics –parties, elections and budgets, did it interest you?
·        Radio & TV
·        Famous people in the village
·        Anything else of special interest?


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