Whiston Sign Whiston Heritage Society
Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Contemporary History

Whiston in Recent Times

Whiston has not changed greatly over recent times and many of the houses featuring in early C.20 postcards can still be located to this day. Needless to say some new houses have appeared with new houses at Bartholomew Close, opposite Abdy Farm, next to Rose Cottage, houses on Hungerhill and, as of April 2017, the new house currently under construction on the Watercress Beds.

Other changes have taken places – 1991 saw the reopening of the Manorial Barn, 1995 the re-ordering of the Parish Church, the Church Institute converted into Lychgate Hall in 1994, the demolition of the Lonsdale Club to be replaced by apartments in 2007, the demolition of Lane End House and the building of a new housing estate in its grounds in 2006 the closure of the post office in 2003, the establishing of a play school at Savile Road in 2006, the opening and then closing of the Waterloo Well restaurant, the redevelopment of West Bawtry road which started in 2007 now completed.

Over the years many village activities have come and gone. These include the Scout group (the 39th Rotherham) which started in 1978 and closed in 2007 when the last leaders resigned. This was for many years a large group with on one occasion a membership of 139 the largest in Rotherham – no group nowadays approaches this number. The entertainments committee for years put on events for the OAPs and discoes for the youngsters – now gone. The junior film club with regular showings in the Parish Hall likewise gone. The village gala with its procession of floats round the village and loads of fun on the school field – again gone. The village quiz the scene of many a close fought contest in the Manorial Barn – again gone, likewise the village bonfire – killed off by health and safety regulations.

Luckily some new things have appeared – especially the Brass Band event which in recent years has attracted good crowds into the village – sadly the Whiston Brass Band has left the village and does not take part in this event. An of course the Christmas celebrations continue to be held – with Santa, carols and lots of fun, the Christmas Lights and the village crib which over the years has had some hair raising adventures thanks to idiots.

The Heritage Society has tried hard to make the village a tourist attraction – producing a walk round the village pamphlet which is still available and by erecting a number of plaques starting in 2007 with one to mark the site of the Parish Pound, later plaques have marked the site of the Old Water Mill, the Blacking Factory, the Toll House and most recently the recently restored Waterloo Well. No doubt further plaques will appear in the future. The Society has also published five booklets on aspects of village life some of which are still available for sale.

Not many major events have taken place in the village in recent times – one that did was when the Tour of Britain Cycle race passed through and most of all the disastrous floods of 2007 when many villagers had to be evacuated due to the brook flooding over and to the fear that the Ulley Dam would burst. Luckily that did not happen and this has subsequently been repaired and remains an attraction for walkers and sailors. Since the flood at least one property Delft Cottage has been knocked down and rebuilt much higher in the hope that any future flooding will not affect it.

So the village goes on – perhaps not quite so vibrant as it used to be, but still a lovely place to live and work in.