Whiston Sign Whiston Heritage Society
Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Recent Activities and Events

(May 2017)

On the evening of 2nd May 2017, the society held its Annual General Meeting.
Please click here for a full copy of the minutes.

(April 2017)

On the evening of 23rd March 2017, the Society hosted a village picture show in Whiston Parish Hall. Mr Tompkin gave a talk on the 'Owners of Whiston' by displaying and discussing around 100 images. The event was attended by a total of around 30 members and Whistonians and was well received by all.

Since the event was so well received, we shall be looking to repeat it, with more picture shows, in future.

(September 2016)

We were sorry to lose the services of both our Chairman and Treasurer earlier this year. As Chairman, Mr Dyson, played a significant role in the Society and was the man largely behind the various books that we have published so far. He also was a major contributor at our meetings and he will be sorely missed. Fortunately we have been able to obtain the services of an excellent successor in the shape of Mr Chris Rivington. Secondly, Mr Thompson looked after our finances extremely well from the early years of the Society and we were sorry that he decided to retire as Treasurer as of April 2016 - however we are equally delighted that he has continued to remain as a full member. Sadly noone stepped forward to take up his post so currently Mr Tompkin is serving as both secretary and treasurer - luckily neither post is particulary onerous.

(November 2015)

The November meeting featured a talk by Mr Margetts on the bells at Whiston Parish Church, two of which are very old - dating from 1468; with a third dating from 1636. The remaining bells were given to the church in 1915 and have been the subject of a recent centenary event. The donor was a Mrs White of Morthen. Mr Margetts spoke of more recent work on the bells and explained how and why the bells were rung.

The website continues to attract interest and it is hoped new features will shortly be available. These are to encourage feedback on the heritage of the village by identifying areas where uncertainty exists.


(September 2015)

The theme at the recent meeting of the Society was ‘Coins’. Previous meetings had considered the presence of Saxons and Romans within the village boundaries and coin finds reported in the area have confirmed this.

The Chairman set the scene relating to the occupation and population in the village in the past two millennia and by showing examples of roman coins. Mr Pritchard recounted the events surrounding his find of Norman coins adjacent to East Bawtry Road and photographs of these were shown. The Secretary spoke of the tokens that have appeared over the past three hundred years, many relating to businesses within the area. Several examples of these were displayed. Finally Mrs Carver showed Maundy money coins from the recent occasion at Sheffield Cathedral. She too related a story of their meaning and the day’s events. Other coins displayed included Maundy money and crowns from the reign of Queen Victoria. The evening proved very popular.

Mr Hopps reported that the web pages continue to receive several ‘hits’ and many queries have been received recently. It is hoped that a new feature allowing people to interact with the site and add information will prove popular and generate more data to add to that already in our archives. Comment has been made about the non-opening of the Manorial Barn on Heritage weekend. This was an event that was enjoyed and provided promotion of the village and its activities.

(July 2015)

The meeting last week was mainly dedicated to a talk given by one of our members, Mrs Marples.

She introduced the talk by giving a brief outline of her early years as a resident in the village. She then moved, with her husband and family, to Forest Town near Mansfield. Once there she began studies which led ultimately to a Masters Degree in Local and Regional History from the University of Nottingham. To complete this, she first produced a study of Forest Town and then moved on to an even more extensive study of Clipstone Camp which was established for the training of troops during WW1. This resulted in the publication of a book in 2013 and the mounting of a major exhibition at Mansfield Museum in 2014.

Mrs Marples spoke of the many sources she had used to cover these topics and high quality illustrations were shown, many of the camp itself. These included a rare plan of the actual site (which no longer exists) and the troops billeted there; as well as a number of pictures of the exhibition in the museum. This proved to be a most interesting talk and members asked questions afterwards and then thanked Mrs Marples for her efforts.

The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of the Society Website with members outlining its growing importance as an archive of the village and suggested that one or two modifications be made.

(May 2015)

The May meeting included the Annual General Meeting at which all officers and committee were re-elected, unanimously, for a further year. The Chairman then spoke of his plans for meetings to outline a general history of the development and origins of the village. The secretary gave a brief introduction to members of both the Roman and Saxon periods which included references to local Roman finds; and to the fact that many place names and words in common use to this day trace their origin to the Saxon period.

Mr Savage then went on to speak to members about his memories of a dig that took place in 1954 at Spa House farm, which uncovered remains of a Roman road. This was discovered by chance whilst open cast coal mining was taking place in the area, during which an unexploded German bomb was also discovered. He also gave more information about other Roman finds including mention of the Roman fort that was once at Templeborough (on what is now the site of Magna). Future meetings will look at other evidence of habitation in the village at these times and subsequent periods of our history.

(March 2015)

The main item at the meeting was a talk by Mr R.Howes, a member of the Friends of Ulley Park. He spoke principally about the near disaster which took place in June 2007, when Ulley dam looked likely to burst and affect our village. He illustrated his talk with a large number of pictures of the dam taken before the disaster, during the major flooding around 25th-26th June 2007; and of the work done subsequent to repair it. Members thanked him for his informative talk. They also spoke of their experiences during the evacuation which took place.*

The identity of properties in the village before streets were formally named and houses numbered led to many interesting and colourful cottage names. The chairman reported that he had received the identities of several houses on the 1901 map of Whiston.

Contact with Mr J. Wild of Wickersley had been made. A keen archaeologist, he provided information relating to the village in Roman times. These developments are to be outlined at the next meeting.

Few events of significance had taken place in 2014 and therefore there was little to add to the timeline data.

Brief discussion also considered the Lychgate refurbishment, a former Whiston family now living in Canada who had appeared in our publications and a former scholar at the boarding school in the 1850s.

Finally, Mrs Marples, a former resident of the village, will be attending the meeting on July 21st to speak to the Clipstone army camp where many Whiston volunteers trained during WW1.

*An unrelated, analysis about these floods, written by Society Member (and website administrator) Matthew Hopps, can be found under the 'Themed Research' menu or by clicking here.