Swinton Voices Book

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Robert Craig

Swinton’s streets have been walked by an incalculable number of people, most of whom are no longer living but each with many and often whole lifetimes of experiences of Swinton. The aim of this book is to record the memories of Swinton in yesteryear by people still alive today, for the benefit of current and future generations of Swintonians.

I established the ‘Swinton Record’ project in 2008. The goal was to record all names on headstones standing in Saint Margaret’s Churchyard. Within a year, I was looking into the lives behind the names. Before long, I realised that I was researching all of Swinton’s past population. Each person in the Churchyard had a personal story to tell but often lost forever when they died.

The inspiration behind this book was, ‘Memories – Recollections of Rawmarsh people’ that was produced by the Rawmarsh Manor Farm History Group, in 2004, which I read in 2008. I announced the ‘Swinton Voices’ project in January of this year. Rather than publishing a hard copy of ‘Swinton Voices’ and incurring printing costs etc. which might not be recouped, I decided to produce a publication that would be easily accessible to people, regardless of location, free of charge.

I wholeheartedly thank each and every author for submitting an account for the inclusion of this edition; without them, it simply wouldn’t have been possible. I hope that their stories are well read, around the globe, for years to come.

It is desired that this first edition will prove to be an inspiration and catalyst for additional submissions. Accounts of memories as recent as last year would be welcome; what might be deemed as being contemporary now will be considered as being old in years to come. So if you’ve enjoyed reading this book, please submit your own account for inclusion in future editions.

The book is currently only available in PDF format. EPUB and Kindle versions may be available in the future when I have mastered how to render the book correctly in each format.

Download the ‘Swinton Voices’ 2017 edition by clicking here.

Robert Craig, Swinton, Tuesday 12th December 2017

Swinton Common Colliery

Swinton Common Colliery (site of) - 12.05.11 (33)

Swinton Common Colliery Shaft Marker

Swinton Common Colliery (site of) - 12.05.11 (12)

Old Swinton Common Colliery Workings

Most people know about South Yorkshire’s coal heritage and many from the area will have heard the names of Manvers Main and Wath Main coal mines which were in operation in Wath Upon Dearne during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, most people are perhaps not aware that there used to be coal mining activity in Swinton.

Most of Swinton’s inhabitants will be familiar with Creighton Woods and have probably walked in there and seen the Sister’s Lynch-gate at the entrance but probably aren’t aware that there used to be a coal mine in close proximity to this entrance. This coal mine was called Swinton Common Colliery and would have been a relatively small affair in comparison to the likes of Manvers Main and Wath Main.

Former Scout hut, Swinton - 25.06.10 (3)

Former Scout Hut

Swinton Common Colliery closed in the 1920’s and was demolished soon afterwards.

Evidence of Swinton Common Colliery’s mining activities is still present in the surrounding landscape in the form of dips, holes and mini canyons which in the present day seem to be a venue of recreational activities for bikers. All of this man made damage however now seems perman-madeatural in its environment and has been covered and filled by trees and undergrowth over the course of 90 years since the closure of the coal mine.

The location of the mine’s actual pit shaft is easy to locate as there is a concrete marker on the spot and is situated on open grassland bordering Creighton Woods on Woodland Crescent.

There is also a brick building still standing that was used by the coal mine. It’s last use was as a Scout hut.

Creighton Wood, Swinton

Lychgate, Swinton

Creighton Wood, Swinton

In 1948, Swinton Council purchased 22 acres of woodland stretching from Warren Vale Road to Piccadilly Road from Earl Fitzwilliam. This wood contains oaks and beeches planted late in the 18th Century. The wood was made in honour of the Creighton family due to their public service to Swinton and long association with the wood – the Creighton family were head gardeners living in the wood. A lychgate was erected in the 1940s and was gifted by Miss E.K.L. Harrop in memory of the men who served in the wars.

Creighton Wood was originally formed by the creation of a number of different plantations, the names of which have now fallen into disuse, but included, Chain Bar Plantation, Long Plantation, Piccadilly Wood, Stake Hole Plantation and Swinton Nursery.