Joseph Bennett - Moorends Memories
I was born at Creswell, Derbyshire in 1923. I remember little of my early years but do recall sitting in the back of the furniture lorry en route to Moorends, South Yorkshire. Until then Father, Mother and me had lodged with my grandparents, but with a house of their own off we went.
Moorends Village was just being built by the colliery company and we had a brand new house, no 22 Northgate. It was so new in fact that it was not wired up for electricity and for a while we had to make do , like our neighbours, with paraffin lamps and candles.
Children always played in the street at that time, there were very few cars about. As mentioned, Moorends was still being built and several of my pals and I use d to play on the building site after the workmen had knocked off. There was what we thought was a big heap of so nd and a gang of us were kneeling down in it making sand castles. All lads then wore short trousers and boots, soon our legs were covered in sand. Alas, it had been mixed with lime. I got home and mum tried to knock it off, but it was too late. The daily visit from the district nurse, Mrs Lilac, who lived nearby still sticks in my memory. As she removed the bandages the scabs on my legs came off and on would go a liberal dose of Caron Oil before the bandages went on again. Sand castles for the gang were definitely out after that.
The back gardens were divided up with chestnut palings and in the gardens we would dig a small trench, one spade deep. It soon filled with water just below the surface. We floated boats (sticks) in it. I wonder if the ground is still as wet?
Times were bad in the 1920s, more so in the pit villages
all over the country. One morning a pack of donkeys and a horse drawn bus (such as you see on old newsreels) came along Northgate followed by several horses and carts. The price for a ride on the donkeys or bus was one empty jam jar. I suppose they would sell them to the jam or pickle factories at Donny or Goole.
The pit club, I believe at that time, was a big wooden army hut and it had burnt down. I went with Dad to see it and remember some of the men raking pieces of lead from the heap of blackened spars. The lead had melted and solidified. I suppose they would sell it at a scrapyard.
I cannot recall all my pals' names but Jacky Murray and Tommy Abernethy lived very close by. (I wonder if they or any descendants are still around).
Sometimes, on sunny days, I would walk with Mum and Dad to the park in Thorne and watch the barges on the canal. I also remember a gala day there and a greasy pole over the canal, contestants had to get to the end of the pole to win a prize, almost all of them fell in.
Unfortunately Mother was suffering very badly with arthritis and the doctor said she would not improve unless we moved to a place that was not so waterlogged.
My parents were reluctant to leave. We had many good friends in Moorends and dad said it was a good pit, but mindful of Mother's condition it was decided to go.
The lorry was loaded up and again I was sat in the back, a wave to Tommy and Jacky and the rest of the gang as we set off.
We arrived at Edwinstowe and, like Moorends, the pit village was just being built. It was April 1929.
My next sight of Moorends was January 1943. The destroyer I was serving on had been damaged in the North Sea and was docked in Hull for repairs. I was on the train to Donny, then the bus home for a few days' leave.
Some years ago I was reading a book in the local library regarding coal owners (who owned the pits). It stated that Thorne colliery was owned by a Darlington company who were quakers and it was their policy to pay their workmen the best wages possible.
I came across this webpage and read Mr Joseph Bennetts story about life in Moorends in the 1920's. He mentioned Tommy Abernethy and wondered if any of his family were still around. He might be interested to know that Tommy Abernethy died in North Africa WW2 (Tunisia, May 1943). He left a 6 month old son, whom he had never seen. That son, my much loved half-brother, also named Tommy is living in Scunthorpe.
- Pictures Courtesy Brian Lewis -
Dickie Fish& wife Anis
taken mid 1930's
Mkt Place 1919
Amelia Glassby to
William Wraith 1915
Social Club Outing
Do you know them?
Thorne Colliery FC
Anis left her first husband, Richard Glassby, Station Master at Crowle, shortly after their marriage.
She then lived with, but never married, William Travis of Thorne, until his death in 1893. She went into Thorne Workhouse shortly afterwards with their 6 children. She left to marry Dickie in 1898. The Peace photo: Brian's mam is the little girl holding the flag down front row.
The wedding photo: Anis's youngest daughter, Amelia, married William Wraith of Moorends. Anis is seated front row right. The wedding lasted one night!!.
Thanks to Brian Lewis for the pictures & notes
In April, Brian Lewis posted an updated article in the Thorne and District Gazette section about his Great Grandparents; Dickie Fish and his wife Anis.
Written by Brian the article entitled,'Dickie Fish's Orchard Bears Fruit' had originally appeared in the Gazette in 2002.
At the beginning of July Brian received an email from Judy Armstrong, a cousin living in Brisbane Australia. Judy had been searching the net for family members and was taken by Google to our site. She at once recognised a connection with Brian's side of the family and contacted him.
Judy was able to let him know that they shared the same ancestor,
John Cundith, 1801-1852.
Brian is related to John and his first wife Sarah Twist and Judy to John and his second wife Susannah Smith. John was born in Thornton, Yorks in 1801; he died at Thorne Market Place in 1852.
In the 1841 Census John, a saddler,is shown with Susannah and their 2 sons living in The Market Place. His daughter to his first wife, Sophia, Brians G. G. Grandmother, is living with John's parents at Hangmans Hill which was on the main Selby Road near where Jubilee bridge now is.
In Whites Directory for 1837, John is listed as a Saddler and Parish Clerk whilst John's father, James, is shown as the Publican at the Ship Inn, Hangmans Hill.
Needless to say a lot of family information is passing between Brian and Judy including the following photo of John and Susannah sent to Brian by Judy.
Brian would like to hear from anyone who has any information on the Cundith family including any information on The Ship Inn, Hangmans Hill.
The "Pingat Jasa Malaysia" Medal - Pictures & Text Courtesy "Spike" Window -
Over forty years after Malaysia faced the threat of Communist Insurgency and the Indonesian Confrontation, Drummond "Spike" Window - Mbe, Rvm of Hatfield received a phone call from the Malaysian High Commission in London informing him that he been awarded the PJM by the Malaysian Government in recognition of his services to that Country during their times of conflict.
"Spike" as he was known by most people in this area first saw active service in South East Asia back in 1945 when he was at the surrender of Japanese Forces in Malaya, Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.
His next tour of duty was in 1948-51 when he was attached to the 2nd Guards Brigade in Malaya and Changi, Singapore during the Communist Insurgency.
His final tour of duty out in that area was in 1962-65 as N.C.O i/c the Special Investigation and Counter Intelligence Section at R.A.F Changi, Singapore during the Indonesian Confrontation.
'Spike' with the
award of the PJM Medal
General Sir Garry Johnson-KBE, OBE, MC, Patron of the Malay and Borneo Veterans Association said "The Malaysian Government has generously extended it's National award of the PJM to all members of the Armed Forces who contributed to the successful birth of Malaysia and we accept this Honour with gratitude and that our services were valued and our endeavours over forty years ago have resulted in a lasting peace.
On the 40th Anniversary of the end of the conflict in South East Asia H.M the Queen sent a personal message to all members of the N.M.B.V.A expressing her warm regards for the Loyalty shown by all members during those troubled times. “Spike” Window.
Drummond "Spike" Window died 26th April 2011 at the age of 85.
Request for Moorends Rail Station
News article from July 1998 '
Rail station fight is backed by MP'
The campaign to open a station at Moorends gathered pace when villagers presented a 1000-name petition to MP Kevin Hughes.
Residents want to see a railway platform or station opened on the line which runs through the village.
At the moment it can take residents an hour to reach Doncaster by bus and many people using trains have to travel to Thorne then back to Moorends.
Mable Surtees, aged 84, who is leading the campaign, said a stop was absolutely essential.
"The Government is encouraging us to use public transport more but we need to have a stop in the village," said Mrs Surtees, who has lived in Moorends for 72 years.
"It is looking very promising and Kevin Hughes has taken up our case." Mrs Surtees, of Darlington Grove, added: "I'm not just doing this for me and the elderly people in Moorends. I'm doing it for our future."
Doncaster North MP Kevin Hughes is backing the campaign and will hand the petition to Doncaster council.
He plans to lobby council leader Malcolm Glover for support.
Mr Hughes said: "I'm hoping the council will back the plan and together we can try and get something done. These residents are paying for Supertram which doesn't benefit them one bit and the new Doncaster Interchange will be neither use nor ornament to them. It's about time Moorends had some new transport provision."
Mrs Surtees was a member of the Darlington Grove Tenants " Residents Association who, through lack of support, closed in November 2006
- (Member of association)
Sadly these people are no longer with us
but the memory of what they 'tried' to do for Moorends is!
- Pictures Courtesy Travis Studio -
depicting Thorne Church in 1830 Can you help with information on it?
The 'Post' Mill Once on Brook Street
George Bell, C Smith, S Reid, C.W.W?, J Walters, Mrs Lloyd, G. T. Trimingham,
C. A. Hind, N Duffin, H. Hind, J. Pillsworthy, C. Hanly (Marshall) J. Connally
- Picture: Courtesy Norman Walsh -
'Tramps' at The AEI - Circa 1975
- Picture: Courtesy Ian Siddons -
Thorne Parish Council 1901
Mr W Woodcock. Mr Ed Donkin. Mr T Dunston. Mr J Marsden.
Mr B Maskill. Mr W Gravil. Mr G B Raper.
Mr C Garrett Mr J Servant (Vice chairman)
Mr J Constable. (Chairman) Mr C Waller (clerk) Mr G Maud.
Picture courtesy Ian Siddons