Dalton Magna, Dalton Parva,

Dalton Brook.

A Personal Website by

John Doxey.

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Anne Meggitts Dalton Parva

My memories of Dalton Parva 50s/60s. Taken from the bottom of the Church drive (my local church John, though "your "Father Mullane would come in and bless us when he visited the McGanns next door, similar to your Conisborough! story) To the left stood Ab Waters farm mainly a pig farm, You could get a pint of milk  here even on a Sunday when most shops were shut.
Directly across the road stood the old Post Office (Dalton Parva) this had been a farm previously and was owned by the Robinson Family who were relatives of the Waters. The big house on the right of the picture was  the farm owned by Reg and Milly Clegg, they  had a mixed farm, arable and dairy, they  grew cereals, had cattle and poultry, owning many acres of land. Cleggs had their own dairy where the milk went  straight from  the  milking parlour, the milk then going to Northern Dairies depot at Eastwood to be bottled and   distributed around Rotherham
As a child I used to love feeding the calves from a bucket full of milk, and also liked custard made from what was called 'beastings" little did I know at that time it was normal practice in dairy farming  that   calves got powdered milk and the custard  milk  should have been for them. I like to think this didn`t happen to the calves I fed.
Mrs Clegg owned a Bendix top loading automatic washer (like most others we had a tub and scrubbing board) this must have been the late 50s, this machine was a marvel to me  and I always remembered the name as one day  my aim was to be the proud owner of the like.
Every October half term would  be "potato picking week" first you had to be picked for the job, the boys standing up straight and puffing their chests out,    the girls dressed in their brothers  old trousers and jumpers to look the part. this sorted it was off to the fields , on a  trailer pulled by a tractor driven  by   Ronnie, who always had a bottle of tea inside a long wollen sock for his mid morning break ( in 2002 John Clegg wrote to me that Ronnie was still around, and that Mrs Clegg was living  still in Dalton Parva.)
The money earned from  potato picking was always going to be Christmas money, it was hard earned money so I suppose everyone had  a treat and alas! only the ardent savers ( the ones who could keep their birthday post office saving stamp books intact with no withdrawals) kept hold of their money.
(We used to have shows at the farm my Mother worked for Cleggs and other members of their Family for many years) and I remember Dr Dibb`s children being there, Mrs Clegg was Milly King  before Marriage, some of them lived in Thrybergh, Nurse King, was the one who mainly brought the Dibbs children, and Dr  Dismeko`s children from Rotherham, my party piece was "my old man said follow the van" my cockney cousins accents well remembered brought  this  little Dalton Brooker, to my mind rapturous applause, but never a yearning for the stage ) Sorry I digress.
Where the black gates are this used to be  the orchard, plus the home of the free range chickens. Following the road around the next house was owned by Sammy Butterworth, this farm had little land but  was a pig farm. Across the road stood Plants farm  mainly a pig farm owned in the 60s by Ron Plant a haulage contractor who was the son of the previous owner. Right on the corner was Frankie Dawsons cottage the Dawson` had fruit  and veg stalls on Rotherham market.
Back across the road was the Meadows, down the little slope tricky if pushing a pram, then into the lush grass, down to the little stream, with a bottle of water, potted meat sandwich, and for afters a  jam sandwich, a good picnic would be had by all, some prefering to  exit the meadows via  the Magna Lane exit this was adventurous as more traffic passed this way ,where walking on the road through the village (Dalton Parva) you had little contact with traffic.
Winding around the road you would find Grannie Smiths House/shop, a dear very elderly lady  who would break of from cooking her meal to serve you with delights from jars, her counter seemed to consist of two wooden tables, she also opened on a Sunday, after her death the shop was owned by Mrs Gertrude Bowen ( nee King widow of the late Cecil Bowen)  Mrs Bowen had previously been Manageress of Rotherhams Marks and Spencer, though keeping more or less to Grannie Smiths way of retailing the shop now took on a more modern approach, Mrs Bowen being well liked as was Grannie.
 Further round stands the Dene Brook in its day a very modern pub, by the side was Top Farm  where Ronnie ( several of his relatives lived in the village) and his Family lived,  in one half and Mrs Cleggs Brother Jack King  ( Master  Plumber)    and Family  lived.
The next house was the home of the Church of England Headmaster, Mr  Ralf and his Family, then the small school house was only for Children who lived in the village. Past the school was an opening to the allotments. mostly  cultivated by  residents of the newly built council houses on Brecks Lane, to my mind the best council houses in Rotherham. big houses ,large  gardens and wonderful views. For many years the one adjoining the farm field ,was occupied by Mr and Mrs White, Geoff  worked at Silverwood.
On then to the last Farm owned by Jim Talbot, this was also a mixed farm, this farm was just before the bluebell wood, so most would have passed by here at a pace  as the last push to get to the wood, across the road was the Danes wood it seemed to be an unwritten rule not to enter ,they did have motor bike scrambling, and people shooting rabbits over there , whereas the bluebell wood was peaceful, quiet, and smelt of the thousands of bluebells growing there .
We very rarely ventured any further up Brecks Lane, The Brecks at that time was a bit more upmarket than Dalton, but I think the thing that really stopped us was, the Brecks was Rotherham, and only the very brave or foolhardy would defy  Mam and cross over the boundaries of Dalton.
My Dalton of the 50s and 60s would be regarded as poor people living in poor conditions by some. I see it as a time we could be free, all our food was organic, we all drank lots, of water, everyone had loads of exercise, no pressure to buy the latest designer whatnots, Technology has advanced but poverty is still within communities throughout Britain, no we didn't live idyllic lives then , but how many live the dream now?
Anne Meggitt.

Many thanks to Anne for contributing her memories to this site




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