Where you are: News - Newsletter Autumn 2009
      Newsletter Autumn 2009


Chairman’s Report 2008-9  

This year the Chairman’s report comes to you via this Newsletter which will avoid taking up time at the AGM (and save me popping back from Australia!) I am delighted to record another very successful year for the Society with strong membership and sound finances.  

We had a series of very informative and entertaining speakers with large and enthusiastic attendances at meetings. (It is good to know that speakers are delighted to come to Tickhill because of our very positive reputation.) 

We have been very active in the community giving talks to local groups and organisations and have just started a regular exhibition of our growing collection of photographs in the Library.  

Research activities have continued to be very active with the production of Occasional Papers   (762 copies sold up to the end of August) as well as the snippets in the Newsletters, and for the first time we have run a workshop to develop skills in researching local history.  

We are delighted that as a result of our high profile in Tickhill there is a flow of new materials into our archives as people lend us photos and documents. Our new scanning sessions in the Library (1st Friday of each month) are adding to this. We have continued to add to our collection of Living Memories interviews. 

The website grows in popularity with 130,000 viewings of our photo gallery since we launched it and regular down-loadings of our articles (over 400 per month). We have added interesting details to complement our photo collection with the help of Carol Hill and “reminiscence sessions” with local Tickhillians. 

Although the Heritage Lottery Fund support finishes in September, it has enabled us to buy good kit and do many things we would not have been able to do without their financial help – all of which will continue and develop.  

On the social side, it is a pleasure to experience the buzz of our Thursday meetings and we also had a memorable Christmas get-together plus two very successful summer visits. 

In summary, the Society can be proud of its achievements both the established activities and the way in which we are moving forward and developing. 

I thank all those who have contributed to this success and wish the Society continued success in 2009/2010 under David’s chairmanship.

Summer activities

The Society has had its busiest summer period yet. As in past years, we had a stand at the Gala with plenty of visitors interested in the Society’s work. Then there were two evening trips for members: thanks to Dorothy Bradley for arranging visits to Southwell Workhouse and Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. At the workhouse members had a taste of what it might have been like to be admitted as inmates. Less daunting was the tour of Abbeydale, a wonderfully preserved group of buildings showing Sheffield’s early industrial heritage. 

Monthly sessions have been held at the Library since July giving people an opportunity to have their photographs copied. These sessions, plus the photographs handed in to Lesley Nicholson, have added to our growing collection of images of life in Tickhill, for which we are most grateful. We also appreciate continuing donations of copies of original printed material.   

Several people have been very industrious over the summer preparing publications. Another Occasional Paper - Number 7 -  has been published: Around St Mary’s Churchyard: Stories behind selected gravestones. This includes stories of 17 individuals and families ranging from an 18th Century husbandman to a 20th Century Medical Officer of Health. Some people, like an almswoman, spent all their lives in Tickhill while others moved here from the surrounding region and a few travelled as far away as India and South Africa. Thanks to Nell Cookson, Tricia Hill, Margaret Jones and Stella and Donald Thorpe who helped Hazel Moffat compile this Paper. The Paper is on sale at our meetings and at KSM Card Gallery price £2. Steve Payne and David Walters with assistance from Carol Hill are fulfilling the Society’s commitment to HLF to produce a free guide to Tickhill for local school children. Very well illustrated, this publication, Treasures of Tickhill, with versions for junior and senior pupils, is being funded by HLF. 

Our  Committee

September’s AGM sees changes to the Committee. Steve Payne steps down from his two-year stint as  Chairman with our considerable appreciation for all he has done. Steve cannot be with us at the AGM so his report is included on page 3. A second change is the end of David Walters’ long service as Secretary. Huge thanks to David and good wishes for his new role as Chairman-elect. To all those who have stepped down from the Committee we are grateful for your contributions and the support you have given the Society. Good luck to new Committee members who will join at the AGM.   

Into the Autumn

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the three talks during the Autumn and at the Christmas Social, details on page 3. Also do make a note in your diaries about the Local History Fair to be held at Doncaster Museum on 26 September. The Society will have a display there. 

Tom Beastall’s Memorial Plaque

This has now been installed in St Mary’s Church, a most fitting tribute for all Tom’s dedicated work as Churchwarden and historian.


Book Review

The Yorkshire Archaeological Society has, for many years, been working on a project to transcribe parish registers in the County up to 1837. Braithwell’s registers, for example, were published in 1967. The first volume of Tickhill’s transcribed registers was published in 2008: Parish Register of Tickhill: Volume 1 1538-1674. These records may be consulted in Doncaster Archives, so what is the benefit of having the ranscriptions published in book form? The book includes several indexes of personal names, places, occupations and miscellaneous matters. The indexes can facilitate a range of research enquiries from following individual families through the register to looking at the prevalence of Quakers in Tickhill and the movement of people at the time of their marriage, for example.

The book’s introductory remarks written by Brian Barber, former Principal Archivist at Doncaster Archives, and the editor, Pauline Lindley, as well as giving a brief review of Tickhill’s history, explain how the register, which began in October 1538, was originally written on paper but was then transcribed onto parchment in 1599 as was then the law. Baptisms, marriages and burials were recorded in the same register, but an Act of 1753 required a separate register to be kept for marriages and a further Act in 1812 required separate registers to be kept for baptisms and burials. From 1600 in Tickhill, the churchwardens compiled transcripts for the preceding year and sent them to the Diocesan Registry. These are known as Bishop’s Transcripts.  Pauline Lindley has checked the Bishop’s Transcripts, held at the Borthwick Institute, against the original registers and noted any differences.   

Browsing through the book reveals various aspects about the vicars who kept the registers and the nature of society in different periods. By and large the records were kept carefully, but sometimes women’s maiden names were omitted from the marriage records, and the vicars sometimes admitted errors: in 1661 between 11 and 13 June is written ‘Between these two were Mr Slymans man and mayde married whose names I have forgotten’ and in 1674 after noting the baptism of Anne daughter of Thomas Nicholson on 2 June it says ‘ which was forgot to be set down before’. The Revd John Garfield sometimes added notes in Latin when recording details of his family. Throughout the baptismal records, almost always, only the father’s name was given unless a widow had given birth, or a child was illegitimate in which case both parents were sometimes named. During Cromwell’s Protectorate, marriage records included the dates when the banns were read as well as the marriage date and the record of births rather than baptisms from 1653 usually included each father’s occupation. 

A final benefit of this substantial paperback book, 425 pages long, which can be seen in Doncaster Archives, is that it can be purchased from YAS and research done in the comfort of your home. J B Priestley once said he would be a museum man if he could sit in an armchair and smoke his pipe. We can be archive people sitting in armchairs, pipes not obligatory, with this useful volume. It is available from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 23 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9NZ, price £20 plus £3 p+p. A second volume will be published in the next few months.


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