Where you are: News - Newsletter Winter 2009 - 2010
      Newsletter Winter 2009-10


St Mary’s @ 900 years

During the autumn the Society was involved in celebrations for the 900th anniversary at St Mary’s in several ways. Our exhibition in St Helen’s Chapel during the Festival Weekend attracted many visitors; we welcomed The Revd Canon Gordon Taylor as our September speaker and enjoyed his commentary on the detailed illustrations of the Church building; we took part in the Christmas Tree Festival with a beautifully decorated tree (there are photographs of the Society’s tree and many others in the Gallery Section of this website) and published an Occasional Paper about stories behind selected gravestones, which has so far raised £100 for the maintenance of the churchyard.  

Treasures of Tickhill

As well as St Mary’s we are fortunate to have a wealth of historic sites in our area and these feature in our latest, well-illustrated, publication. Thanks to local people for allowing the Society to include many of their old photographs in Treasures of Tickhill. Copies of the booklet have been given to both local primary schools. This publication is part of our programme of work funded by the HLF. An electronic version of the booklet has been produced by Carol Hill for the use of younger pupils.  

Other Autumn activities      

We had large, appreciative, audiences for the October and November talks. Replica Elizabethan costumes were ably modelled in October by two committee members and our speaker, who explained the intricacies of dressing in those days. After the November meeting we now know more about the origins of local place names as ‘incomers’ over the centuries used their various languages to identify settlements. The Society’s autumn programme finished with a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas social. event at The Millstone with Sue Allen’s excellent performance as Lady Rose rounding off an evening of good company and appetising food.  

Our website update

Some most interesting emails have been sent by people living far away from Tickhill who have seen our website. Eric Sorensen, originally from Hertfordshire, now living in Minneapolis, has written about his four months stationed in Tickhill during the Second World War. His memories, with photographs, have been uploaded to the Living Memories section of the website. Another example of an email describing family memories can be found below.           

Family memories

Not only has our website shared many photographs, living memories and articles about Tickhill’s past with our own community and the rest of the world, it has also enabled people living away from Tickhill to send in information and queries. Often these items, dealt with initially by Steve Payne, are related to family history and add to our understanding, for example, of the occupants of buildings shown in the Gallery section of the website. We do not offer a family history research service of course, but sometimes it is possible to help with queries. Here is an example of a particularly interesting email, published in case anyone can help with Beryl Attaway’s requests.


Hi Steve

Genealogy sometimes throws up pleasant surprises and last night was no exception. 

A Google search for Stud Farm, Tickhill, put Tickhill & District Local History Society at the top of the returns. Although I have never lived in Tickhill I do have strong links there and wanted to know exactly where Stud Farm was. 

It wasn’t long before I found the memories of Mrs Betty Hill in relation to the Misses Goodwin’s school and so got sidetracked from my original research. I had met the Misses Goodwin on several occasions after their retirement. My mother was a pupil at the school from c1910 and she had very fond memories of her time there before moving to Doncaster High School. But, as part of the article, to find a photograph of her in the Christmas production of 1913 was totally unexpected. There are very few photographs of her in her younger days and this is probably the earliest I have seen. Her name was Nellie Gleadle (Nellie was her pet name, her actual name was Ellen) and she lived at Stancil Farm with George and Mara Gleadle. My mother died in 1990 just short of her 90th birthday. 

I notice the name Hancock appears in the list of performers. My mother often talked about her friend Marjorie Hancock and I wonder if the Gladys Hancock on the photograph is related? Also if records exist, it would be interesting to know the exact dates my mother attended the school. 

The interest in the Stud Farm was because my father lived at Stud Farm Cottage with his parents and sisters. His name was James Edward (Ted) Cawser. He too had many fond memories of his childhood in Tickhill and some of the surnames in the various articles are familiar through the stories he used to tell. One of his particular friends was Arthur Whinfrey. 

I was told that on one occasion my father fell into the Mill Dam and was lucky to survive. I believe the incident was reported in the press. Do you know if this article still exists as I have never read it? The earliest date would be 1907, but is more likely to be c1910. 

My father was a choirboy at St Mary’s and in his teens took up bellringing, quickly becoming a very proficient bellringer and for a time was the ringing captain at St Mary’s. After leaving Tickhill he continued bellringing becoming Secretary of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers and his name became very well known and respected in ringing circles nationally. I certainly discovered what it was like to follow in the footsteps of a famous father! 

Reading about the organ at St Mary’s reminded me of a story he liked to tell. One of his young friends – it’s perhaps as well I can’t remember his name – operated the blower in the days when it was hand blown. On this particular Sunday there was a more pressing (or perhaps interesting) event, so he speeded up the rate and hoped that the organ would survive until the end of the last hymn as he made a quick getaway! 

My parents were married at St Mary’s Church and my father’s parents are buried there. In the ringing room at St Mary’s there is a peal board in memory of my grandmother who died in 1928.  

My thanks to all your members for the wealth of information they have collected and shared through the internet. An especial thank you to the person or family who offered the Christmas 1913 photograph.

Kind regards

Beryl Attaway


An apology to Pamela Lindley, editor of Parish Register of Tickhill 1538-1674, for renaming her Pauline in the Autumn Newsletter’s review of her book.    

Endnote : A wintry record

Edward Miller’s 1804 The History and Antiquities of Doncaster and its Vicinity includes the following weather details:

1608     A great frost: it began in December and continued till April

1610     A great frost which lasted five months from December to April

1614     A great snow

1634     A great snow

1683     A severe frost, which continued 13 weeks

1739 &1740 A severe frost, commonly called the hard or great frost

1801     27 January. On this night there was a terrible hurricane, many houses were unroofed; several barns and chimneys blown down



Tickhill Local History Day

Parish Room

Saturday 30 January 2010 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.


We are holding another of our Local History Days this January. Do call in and see our exhibitions featuring photographs, documents, activities with schools and Living Memories, along with demonstrations of how we can restore old photographs. Your old photographs can be scanned while you wait. Relax with refreshments in the Parish Room and have a go at a Prize Quiz.

Admission Free


Sharing Our Heritage