Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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John Doxey's Memories
John Doxey's Memories pg 2


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By John Doxey


Your webmasterJohn Doxey 2004 [  I had my hair died grey to contrast with the tee shirt, HONEST! ] The great thing about growing up in a place like Thrybergh was that we had adventures, and I feel sorry for the youngsters here in Sydney Australia living in the suburbs today, they don't have too many adventures and walking is something people did in the past.

A few years ago I went to a parent teacher meeting with my son Matt and when we came out someone had locked the main gates, which meant a fair old hike to get out of the grounds and back to our car. People were milling round in confusion with no clue. Not me! "What are we going to do Dad" asked Matt" " Ah'll tell thi what we going ta do, we're going oe'er gate son" The gate was a good eight foot high.

So there I was 55 years old and I scaled that gate like a ten year old, Matt followed somewhat slower he had never climbed a gate that high before. When he got to my side of the fence he started laughing "Where did you learn to climb a gate like that Dad ?"he asked in disbelieve. I winked at him and replied "You had to grow up in Thrybergh to learn how to climb like that"

He laughed all the way home, and couldn't wait to tell his friends about what his Dad did. [ We never grow up do we]


Back to Thrybergh


During the 1950's and early 60's Constable Mash lived on Gullingwood Dr. Thrybergh, a familiar figure riding around on his pushbike. I don't think there would be too many of us back then as kids who did not receive a warning from Constable Mash, and at times we were very lucky to get away with a warning, thankfully he was lenient in his approach to youngsters. Now when I hear the song "I shot the sheriff " by Eric Clapton I recall the time Constable Mash came close to being shot!


The names in the following story have been withheld to protect the guilty:

Three local lads about eleven years old at the time went to the area at the bend of Vale Road, where a pathway led up to the railway line, it was a popular spot for youngsters to play. Today there are Bungalows there. One of the young boy's had sneaked out of the house with his older brothers airgun, an old Diana rifle which required you to unscrew the end off the barrel to insert a pellet. Now we  I mean they didn't have more than about 36 pellets which they took turns to fire at selected targets around the area. About halfway through the box of pellets the little curly haired kid who had provided the gun took aim at a can lodged in one of the bushes at the side of the pathway, he had no sooner fired than a policeman's helmet appeared around the bush, " Hey what the devil are you doing" roared the wearer of the said helmet. It was Bobby Mash!


Now to imagine the reaction from the boy's, and look on the boy's faces you would have recall the crowd scenes from disaster movies when the final moment of impending doom strikes, or scenes like the moment the aliens took out the White House in the movie Independence Day, a moment of shock, horror, and cold blooded fear, followed by blind panic, and then you run. Well  we  I mean they made it to the four shops on St. Leonard's Ave and stopped, a realization struck home, " He knows who we are, and he knows where we live what shall we do", a moments consideration and a wise decision was reached, " We best go back"

Now the boy's had a second surprise, Bobby Mash was not in hot pursuit, he was not astride his bicycle peddling like mad, or blowing a whistle like the Keystone Cops, no not Bobby Mash, he was waiting at the scene of the crime for us to return, how smart was he!


"Lucky for you that you had the sense to come back" he remarked and then he gave us  them a real earful about what they had done. He then asked who the gun belonged to "It's me brothers" said the little curly haired kid. " Well you go home and tell your mother I'll be round to see her in half an hour" The little curly haired kid, head bowed, departed from the scene, a thousand and one thoughts racing through his little brain. " I'll go to jail for this, just like they do in the movies, I'll be locked up in a prison cell wi' bars "n" everything."

Reaching home the boy told his mother what had happened, lets just say his mother was not impressed. Then came that knock on the door which sounded like the hangman testing his trap to the youngster who by this time was a shaking little blob. Much to his surprise Bobby Mash explained to his mother what had happened, then warned them both if he caught the boy with an airgun again he would take further action. Needless to say that airgun never left the house again, and Bobby Mash had at least one reprieved kid in the Village who thought he was the bee's knee's.



The other new estate of that time was built off Popular Avenue and was referred to as '' OE ÉR TINS " (the estate over the tins). So called because the railway line to Silverwood ran between the new estate and the old estate (dahn't backs) and a tin fence bordered both sides of the railway line.


Back then in the 1950's we walked everywhere, it didn't matter if it rained , hailed, or snowed, we would be out there enjoying what we could. Winter time would see us making ice slides on the pavement, or we would grab a piece of timber or anything that would serve as a sledge and make our way down Dingle Dell to the hill behind Barracloughs Farm and have our own Winter Olympics.


Saturday mornings [ if we were lucky] we would be given money to go  dah'nt Brook ta Bugat, [ BUG HUT ] which was a small cinema in Dalton Brook. There we would watch Hopalong Cassidy, or the Black Hawks, and get pelted from behind with ice cream and other projectiles thrown. When it got to rowdy the usherette would appear with a torch and threaten to throw everybody out. Though you could hardly make out what she was saying over the catcalls and comments she would receive.


I remember one night aged eleven me and Michael Painter sneaked off and went to see the movie Dracula, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, we pretended on the way home that it hadn't scared us, but it was weeks before we slept at night.

In the 1950's and early sixties apart from a few boy's everyone was in a gang, and you learned to be either a good fighter or a good runner, me, I could run pretty good. What was known as the Teddy boy era was followed by the Mods and Rockers era. Me I became a Mocker it seemed a safe thing to be at the time.

What about Remembrance Sunday when The Silverwood Brass Band would march from Dalton, to the cenotaph halfway up the Pit Hill on Hollings Lane. Fred Kelly would bash that big base drum for all he was worth.

Funny thing was back then we never got bored, despite the lack of t/v, and all the things, kids of today have. The approach of bonfire night in November would see us carting more timber than a logging company, its a wonder there are any trees left in the Rotherham area. As the fire was reduced to a glowing ember you would throw a potato in to cook, but we never waited for them to really cook,  as soon as they looked hot, they were raked out and eaten. [ they tasted good didn't they? ]  Admit it , we all enjoyed mischief night didn't we, The jumping Jacks and Bangers posted in the front door letter box. The old string on the door knocker trick , no option of trick or treat for our victims, and we all did it, di'nt we.


How many of us used to go and buy a packet of Park Drive or Woodbine cigarette's from Mr. Nichols Off License  [ For Dad ?? ]  Back then you could buy one or a packet of two, five, ten, and twenty. Talking about cigarettes who could forget the journey home from Rotherham on the top deck [ upstairs] of the bus, you could hardly see anyone for cigarette smoke could you. If you didn't have a cigarette you just breathed in deep and shared everybody else's.


As a child one of the hardest jobs was to return home from School to find a ton of Coal tipped on the footpath outside our House. The Coal was delivered on a regular basis to each and every Miner. To store this coal we had the Coal house which was usually near to the back door. The slight problem with our house was the narrow passageway which was both ours and the next door neighbours access. It was not very wide and the trick was to swing the wheelbarrow around to the left and dump the coal outside the coal house door without losing the coal or your knuckles halfway around. So you would dump two or three barrow loads outside the coal house and then shovel it from there into the coal house, and then repeat this process until all the coal was gone off the street. On a windy day the dust from the coal made this task even harder. That was the nearest I ever got to being a Miner. I wonder how the Kids of today would react if asked to perform this chore.


John Doxey

'Ome from School lad, well coalmans bin,

Get thisen shovel 'n' barra, 'n' gerrit in,

Al open coaloil door for thi, 'n' wedge it back,

'N' when tha's finished, al mek thi a snack,

Dun't forget to sweep up rowd,

When tha's emptied thi last barraload,

Tha'll ave plenty a time ta play later on,

But tha'll need a bath first won't tha son,


'Av' finished it Mum, nah can a av a drink,

Awreight al wash me hands in kitchen sink,

Dad'll be pleased when he cums ome,

He'll see all coils in coilouse won't he Mum,

Think he'll gi me a half a crown for gerrin it in,

Or tek me ta footy ta watch Rotherham win,

Am goin' fa me bath, is water hot enough,

An can a ave that towel that's not rieght rough.


Heyup lad thanks fa doin that fa me 'n' thi Mother,

Tha gerrin big 'n' strong just like thi brother,

Fancy going ta watch Rotherham on Satday,

It'll be special 'cos the're playin' away,

Ah!, al buy thi a drink n summat to eight,

Not too much tho', dun't want thi puttin on weight,

Awreight gerrof aght wi thi, go an', ave a run,

But dun't be too late back, or tha'll be in trouble owd son!




In the early 1960's Youth Clubs sprang up everywhere, St. Gerard's Church ran one in the School Hall on a Friday night, and sometimes local Groups would be hired for a dance night. Was it Mark and the Jaguars from Rawmarsh, a group from Ravenfield, and a couple of Rotherham groups. Luke Flaherty the church warden a great bloke ran the youth club in its early day's and was a major reason of it's success. Later two brothers took over the club.


In this period I was hanging out with Kevin and Terry Brennan, John Wagstaff, Geoff Boden, Paul Thornton, Stuart Morte, and the one and only Terry McGann. Now old Terry unwittingly set the course of my life when he turned up at our house one Friday evening and said "Fancy going to Ravo youth club ?"

So of we went, we entered the youth club and the first thing that happened was that I found myself looking into a pair of blue eyes belonging to a girl on the other side of the room. That's how I met my late wife Susan at the Ravenfield youth club  run by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Wood.  The Wood's were great people and would invite us Thrybergh folk back to their house after the club closed and we would watch "Ready, Steady, Go" on T/V and then walk home.

Thrybergh Dalton and Ravenfield had a lot of great character's and also one or two "Claude Greengrass's" [ character from the t/v show Heartbeat. ] One of these great local characters of the 60's was the Reverend Father Mullane of St Gerard's Catholic Church who often could be observed riding on his motor bike despite the fact he was approaching 70 years old. One of the stories concerning Father Mullane was that in his youth he was the only local, back in his hometown in Ireland, who ever jumped and cleared the local stream. Father Mullane was apparently a fine sportsman in his youth.


 There were many more characters in the area, too many to mention here on this page, but you will find many of them on the Thrybergh, Ravenfield, Dalton, and Silverwood sites.


© John Doxey 2003






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I have no affiliation  with any Trade Union, Political body, or organization regarding the information on this site. All information on this site is Factual and correct to the extent of my knowledge. There is no intent to cause offence to any individual. Should you spot an error please let me know  and that error will be corrected.


This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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