Welcome to the Brierley Village Web site

Pronounced as "bry"-"early"

Introducing the work of Brierley and its people in photographs (Baipip)

Brierley is a small village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire England

This web site is kindly hosted by me-too. net and is intended for your enjoyment. However if you find any article offensive please email and it will be removed at once

Please email your comments on this web site and any requests to Gary (see email link below)

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Email received at this web site

From January 2010 to Update


 YOUR EMAIL Index page  


Only email with a full name and a place of residence (e.g. Brierley, Australia, Leeds etc) will be acknowledged. 

Edited email will be answered on the web site and in some cases may receive a personal reply


Updated4 May  2010

Hi Gary,

The email where  John Lovett says that St Paul's church has changed from C of E to catholic, what's all that about. Its still C of E surely, or is he on about a different church?

Regards, Lee Ray Brierley

I think he means the way Father Peter holds his services, there's been a few complaints in the village so much that a lot of old Brierley churchgoers have gone to Felkirk St Peters for their Sunday service

Updated 3 April 2010

G’day Gary

 What a surprise!  The picture you sent me is of my Mum with my Grandmother who lived for many years in Cudworth, moved to live with my aunt near Gloucester and passed away at the grand old age of 108.  Mum made 89.


My parents named the house ‘Roscot’.  It was formerly ‘Ivy Cottage’ but Dad got rid of the ivy as he reckoned it would destroy the stonework.  I think the current owners have a ‘Rose Cottage’ sign but they pulled out the old rose bed!


I’d love to know more about the ‘Farrier’s Arms’.  We never knew it used to be an inn until one morning Mr and Mrs Wood stepped outside and the drive had fallen in, revealing the cellars.  Mr Wood wouldn’t let anyone inspect them, which was a pity.  There is a reference to the inn in a small book about Brierley published in the 1970s.  Mary Draper, one of my school mates, was co-author.  This building has been more sympathetically renovated than ‘Roscot’.


Among my other eccentricities I’ve been a Barnsley fan for 50 odd years and have usually managed to see a game each year for the past few as I visit my cousins near Selby.  So I’ve actually kept an eye on how Brierley is changing.  The school gone, ‘Fiddler’s Farm’ demolished; the church gone from C of E to Catholic, but at least it’s still there.


All the best John Lovett Australia


Glad you enjoyed the photograph John. The other author and researcher of the history of Brierley booklet you mention is Richard Watson who has a page on this web site and is a mine of knowledge of Brierley and the surrounding area.


Hello Gary,  it's been a long time!!
Re the Email from John Lovett in Australia (see update 28 March)------- it was only yesterday that I was on the web re the above. The  reason being, my late granddad J W Steele was an employee of the said company. The book that Mr Lovett refers to in his Email is still available from Amazon UK although it states that the books are "used", priced at £14.86. each.
Perhaps you'd pass this on to him!!!

Gordon Steele Walton

Thanks Gordon I have forwarded your email onto John

I would take issue with this website, as it states that Godfrey Pigott Cordeux's father Godfrey Pigott owned Shaw Mills in Barnsley. Shaw Mills was purchased and owned by John Birks Pigott. The purchase and mortgage documents have been lodged in the Barnsley Archives during the last 2 years.
I believe he owned Shaw mills from around 1840 on to around 1890. I am John
Birks Piggott's gt.gt granddaughter. As yet I have not determined who Godfrey
was, in relation to John Birks. But I would dearly like to know.!

Jenny Wilcox
Turangi, New Zealand 3353


Thank you or your email. I will pass on your details to Richard Watson who is a local historian and writes for my web site. I am sure he will find your email very interesting and I am sure he will reply to you personally


Updated 28 March 2010

Hello Gary

I stumbled across this site while trying to find a book about the Hull and Barnsley Railway.  My family lived in Brierley from around 1926 to 1989 when my mother passed away (I’ve been in Australia since 1966!)  Our house was 27 Church Street, next door to what was once the ‘Farrier’s Arms’ right on Brierley Corner opposite Lindley House.  The house was originally part of a small farm and must be between 300 and 400 years old I suppose.  It was much altered over the years.  I suspect that the present owners have probably restored some of the original features, although they’ve also lost some of the others.


I went to Brierley C of E school.  Mr J H (Jack) Balmforth was the Headmaster.  Then to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield (1949).


I noticed one of your pictures has Halliday (not ‘Holiday’, although that’s how we all pronounced it) Thorpe in it.  He was a real stalwart of the church and was also school caretaker in my time there.  His brother Cyril used to sing with him in the church choir and suffered a heart attack during one evening service.


Burntwood Hall was the venue for a number of church outings.  And there were very competitive ‘church’ versus ‘chapel’ cricket matches in those days!  I suppose I’m rambling on about the late 1940s.  After the Second World War I well remember there was a real ‘village spirit’ and everyone mucked in to arrange a trip to the sea-side in Musgrave’s (South Kirkby) fleet of ancient, old and a bit newer coaches.  We were much longer on the road than at the seaside.


I also played on the putting green at Brierley Park and recall Norman Greenhough telling me that if I wanted to drive I should take myself off to a golf course.  His son, George, is an Anglican clergyman, now retired, but still active around Camblesforth and Drax, where my mother’s family came from.


Let me know if I might be able to help with any details you’re looking for.


Oh, and the ‘H&B Railway’ book I’m seeking is by G D Parks, published in 1959.


All the best. John Lovett Australia


Thank you for your email which I read with great interest. I am attaching a photograph for you who I think may be your mother, A really well known lady in Brierley. I suppose you are referring to Rose Cottage. I have some up to date photographs if you wish me to send you some. I got the photograph from Mrs Edson from over the road before she sadly passed away. Another kindly lady.


Hi Gary

Just catching up with your website. Just to keep your records straight In the photo social 120 birthday party it is Michael Keith not David

All is good this end. Sorry to  hear about Alf Armitrage's  death, we were good friends.

keep up the good work with the web site


Vera and David Keith Australia


Thank you both, the photograph has been updated.


Hello Gary

Many thanks for the e-mail re. the St Paul's School site closure.  As there was not enough interest shown. It certainly seems the best thing now to include its contents on the Brierley Village site.  I really was pleased to see details and pictures of my Dad on the Home Page - he would have been proud.


I will continue to view the Brierley site with interest, although things have changed a great deal since my involvement there.  Time does really fly by, and I still find it hard to realise that I have reached the age of 75!


Keep up the good work.  

With all best wishes,  Alan Balmforth Spalding Lincolnshire


Thank you Alan


Dropped in on your web site which is fantastic. You are a credit to your village. Can we have one in Barnsley     

Yours sincerely Robert Hardy Barnsley


Thank you for those kind words Robert, unfortunately this web site alone takes up enough of my time but if you know anyone that is willing to set one up I will assist them all I can.


Hello Gary

Just to keep you informed.

Following the developments at Brierley hall I have re read all my old notes on the subject and done some fresh research on the internet. It is such a useful tool now. Subject to polishing I now have a new history of the Hall and fresh notes on Lindley House ready to go on my web site. I will let you know when the notes are ready and email a copy to you.

Do you know of the booklet 'The Ancient Parish of Felkirk' by Rev. Webster ? I have a copy of his first edition published in 1967 but would like to see a copy of his later edition, as this had more notes about Brierley.



Richard Watson Brierley


Hello Gary

I have attached my new notes on the History of Brierley Hall. There is quite a lot of new information on both Brierley Hall and Lindley House.

The notes are now on my web site but you may use them with a credit to myself. Some of the notes on Captain Addy's sale of the hall are from your web site thank you.


Richard Watson Brierley


Hi Gary,

I have  a few more names for the Methodist church photo 100, and think it may have been taken around 1955/6.

No. 3 may be ? Corbett

No. 6 is Eric Heeley, my brother. 

No. 14 is Kathleen Bird. 

No. 16 is myself Janet Heeley.

No. 29 is John Bates.

No. 30 is Christine Bates

We all used to live at Hilltop Estate.

I love looking at all the old photos on your great site.

Regards to Brierley,

Janet de Haas (nee Heeley). Australia


Thanks Janet, the photograph has been updated


Hi Gary

On the Dwile Flonking news cutting, the person on the left of me is Martin Poole (Tiny). I think the other lad in the photo his nickname was Beachy not sure if it was Stuart Beacham

Craig Royston Shafton


Thanks Craig, the news cutting has been updated


Hi Gary

I would like to know if I could get photo schools 30 on line to view. I lived in Brierley for about 3 years and I cant remember seeing many photographs. l live in Darfield at the moment but will be moving again soon as I am getting a house with my girlfriend
Thanks a lot Dean Heckler Darfield


Hi Dean, the photograph is on line for you


Updated 7 March 2010

Hello Gary

I am quite pleased with Lynsey Bradford's write up for Brierley Hall in the Barnsley Chronicle. It is a good blend of yours and my notes. Hope is stirs some interest in the village. I have up dated my on line booklet 'Brereley a History of Brierley' to note the changes to the possible building date. Looking forward to the archaeologists report, but having re read my older notes I am quite confident of my c1730 building date.


Richard Watson Brierley


Thanks Richard, I am looking forward to reading your update when the final results are in as they say.


Hello Gary

                 could you you please help me? I am trying to trace the last whereabouts of my late grandma Emma Hirst, she went to live in Brierley around 1934 she lived at number 26 Barnsley road near or next to the Three Horse Shoes pub, in 1937 she moved just across the road to number 11 The Cottages until she died when she was 75 years old, I know she died in Southgate hospital Pontefract and her eldest son Frank Turner the son from her first husband Tom Turner did all the funeral arrangements which was at Barnsley White Cross cemetery, nan wed Tom Turner at Silkstone Church on the 8/7/1889, I don't know what happened to Tom Turner, nan then went on to wed Walter Hirst she wed him at St Peters church Doncaster Road, Barnsley in 1900, she had two children to Tom Turner a boy Frank and daughter Mae or Mary, to Walter Hirst she had either three or four children John, Charles, one girl Anne, and the youngest boy was Jim who was my dad, i cannot find documents regarding my dad in connection with my nan, my nans maiden name was Crawford.  I don't know much more but I would  love to know if there was any connection as to why nan went to live in Brierley also if nan was living by herself or with someone whilst she was there. I do hope you can help me even if a little snip.


Many regards

Pat Hanson


If you let me know where you are from I will place your email on the web site. There is a large family of Crawford's living locally so we might get someone writing in. Once you let me know where you are from I will put your email on the People Search page which is very widely read


Many thanks for replying to my recent email regarding my late gran, you asked as to where i am from, i am from Barnsley, the Crawford's from Ash Row Ardsley, Turners from Moorend and Hirst from Methley. I hope this may help you and many thanks once again




Hi Gary
Would  you  have  a  photo  a  close  up  of  the  old  school,  I was  saying  I  was  sure  it  had  over  the  doors  boys  on  the left  &  girls  on  the  right  but  someone  said  no  there  was nothing  over  them. so  please  could  you  help..
The  web site  is  great,  I have  just  been  looking  at  my granddad  Losh  going  into  the  Three Horse  Shoes,  its  good  to  look back,  and  see  how  things  change.
Thanks  a  lot  Gary..
Betty  Richardson (nee Evans) Brierley


Yes Boys and Girls names were above the entrance door and also at one time the school playground was divided into a boys and girls by a wall, the evidence of which could be seen clearly before its demolition


Hi Gary,

Just had another look at the photograph Methodist Church 100 and can recall some other names:


10 – George Kerley

12 -  Peter Haigh

15 -  Christine Kenyon

22 -  Janet Dean

26 -  Pamela Turner


Keep up the good work!

Regards! Denise Stones (nee Spaxman) Pogmoor


Thanks Denise, the photograph has been updated


Updated 26 February 2010

Hello Gary

Thanks for the reply. Sorry my daughter has been away a few weeks so only just got your e mail.

Yes Joan is my daughter and my name was on the photo she asked for but that photo wasn't on line.

When I came to look at your site I saw myself straight away on photo schools 34 (not 38 as I said) as a ?, the girl on the next to front row sat on the right hand chair. I was the only one in the class with plaits so I used to hide them.

Ruth Fawcett nee Vamplew Cleckheaton.


Hello Gary

Just an up date on Brierley Hall. County Archaeologists are working on a survey of the building and agree with my belief that it was built in the early Georgian period about 1740. I have documents which I have never published to support this date and will let you know of any further developments.

People still send me emails via my old Richard@Brierley address, could you please change the address on your  Send your Questions to Richard  link to watson.michael8@sky.com



Richard Watson Brierley


I have changed your email address Richard. I am looking forward to the update on Brierley Hall.


Hello Gary

Here is a further update on Brierley Hall

  Archaeologist Jessika Sheppy contacted me for information on Brierley Hall as a preliminary examination of the building indicated that it was much older than the Victorian era that some documents suggested. This is a summery of my notes on Brierley Hall which I have given to her. You may quote my notes in the Chonicle now if you wish.  but it would be best to wait for the archaeologist report before publishing their interest. My own date for the building is c1730 as you will see from these notes.


'It is quite difficult to be certain of the early history of Brierley Hall the exterior looks to be Georgian, but I have never been too sure.


The first positive identification of the hall is on the 1840 Tithe Apportionment survey. The home of John Hoyland at the site of the hall in Brierley is shown as plot 44 on the accompanying map. In the schedule on page 10 it is described as a Homestead and two cottages. The two cottages are now the white fronted Hall Farm House on Church Street Brierley to the left side of Brierley Hall.


Thomas Jefferies 1 inch map of Yorkshire dated 1775, which is quite good for its date, shows an isolated building on the approximate site of Brierley Hall but does not give it the hall symbol which nearby Grimethorpe Hall has.


The last will of John Hoyland of Brierley dated 1733 mentions his home in Brierley but gives no more information, it is most probable that was on the same site as the 1840 home of the later John Hoyland.


As late as 1662 the Lord of Brierley Manor was the owner of most of the property in the village. On a rental for that year John Hoyland paid £5 rent for Spyeight farm in Brierley. There were only four people who paid a higher rent, less than £1 was the more usual amount .


On the manor rental for 1701 John Hoyland (there was a long line of  Johns in the family) paid the highest rent in the village at £40, under £5 being the more normal rental. Then on the 1720 manor rental John Hoyland again paid the highest rental of £38, twice in the same year.


This rental has the crossed out heading 'estate proposed to be sold'. Could John Hoyland have purchased the hall property  between 1720 and the 1733 date of his will, and could this be the period when the buildings were enlarged into a hall?



Richard Watson Brierley


Hello Gary

–it’s good to reminisce in the long winter evenings!!!


Can you help me please ;----Is there any way we can enlarge the “1915  School postcard photo”? I think my father, John Perry b 1909,should be there with his sister, Doris b 1908 – and even his younger sister Marian--but I can’t make any of them out .


Thanks again for all  the effort you put into this site .

Hope to hear from you soon Kathy Scott (nee Perry)


I do have the original photograph that I have attached for you, but closing in on the faces they are still blurred. They are not too bad magnified if you know who you are looking for. It may take a while to download as I haven't shrunk the file. Let me know if you recognise anyone.


Thanks Gary for taking a lot of trouble!!

I’m not sure if any of my relatives are on the photo but I’ve mailed my cousin to ask if she can help

I will be in touch soon

Thanks again, Kathy


Your welcome Kathy


Hi Gary

On photograph Schools 26, I believe that 2nd row number 4 is Diane Holt and number 6 is myself Sharon Wilby.


Sharon Richardson (nee Wilby)


Thanks Sharon, the photograph has been updated and also made clearer. I have also given a little secret away on there.


Hi Gary

I am researching my family and find that my several times great grandfather William Cusworth was born in South Hiendley,  on the 5th of November 1820, as was his son William born on the 7th of November 1858. William seniors parents were  John and Elizabeth , the only ones I can find that fit seem to of been living in Brierley , John was a farmer. Born around 1786.  I live aboard and was wondering if you can tell me if there are any grave stones still standing from that time.

I found your web site very informative.

With thanks

Anne Marie Andersen nee Cusworth. Denmark


Thank you for your email. Unfortunately Brierley church was only built in 1869 so I would suspect your ancestors would be buried in the nearby Felkirk Church that is situated  between Shafton and South Hiendley and which is a much more older church. You can visit the history of the church on my web site under local history.


Dear Gary

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I had read the web site and found it very interesting. I know that the two Williams were buried in other towns the older one in New Wortley which I believe is today a part of Armley . I found record of a John of Brierley in the Felkirk records, and knew that there had been a church on that site for many hundreds of years, but had hoped that some of his family had been buried in Brierley.

I will visit Felkirk and Brierley next time that I am in Yorkshire. I live in Denmark and I am researching the Yorkshire Cusworths, who were born in the South Hiendley, Brierley and  Normanton  areas, at a time when the population in Brierley was 452. As a child I visited my grandmother in Armley and still have family in Yorkshire


Once again thank you for a very informative site.

Kind regards

Anne Marie Denmark


Your very much welcome Ann, I will also pass on your emails to Richard Watson a very keen local historian who writes for me on the web site under Ask Richard, hopefully he may be able to find a few more details for you. Good luck.


Hello Anne

Gary of Brierley Village has passed your enquiry on to me.


As Gary says our village church was not built until 1869. Up to that date Felkirk was our parish and church, South Hiendley , Havercroft, Brierley, Grimethorpe and Shafton were all villages in the parish.  The old church is on an isolated site between these villages about two miles west of Brierley. There is an extensive church grave yard with many ancient memorial stones.

The church registers are at the West Yorkshire Archives Wakefield www.wakefield.gov.uk: West Yorkshire Archive Service


On the 1840 Tithe Apportionment survey an Elizabeth Cusworth is listed as occupying a cottage on what is now Common Road Brierley, unfortunately she was not on the 1841 census.


I cannot find the name in any local trade directories for the period.


The surname Cusworth is taken from the village of Cusworth about three miles north west of the town of Doncaster


Hope this is useful to you.



Richard Watson


Thank you, your both very kind

Anne Marie


Hello Gary,

Here are some more bits for the site if you think they are OK.

The signpost must have stood at the top of Frickley Lane i think.

The story behind the Elms Farm postcard is as follows. This might be more interesting as the people in the story are all local.

I used to work after school and at weekends at Elms  Farm when it was run by the Ashley family so bought this card to see who had sent it and to whom.

The card was postmarked Barnsley and dated 30th Oct 1906.The sender signs herself RK and is the daughter of the addressee MRS GEORGE SORBY of CLAYTON.

Mrs Sorby is MARY SORBY who was born in 1825 in EVERTON Notts later marrying GEORGE SORBY a farmer from Clayton. The RK of the sender would have to be their  daughter REETOR (later spelt as Rita ) SORBY as she was the only daughter with an R initial.

I had a very lucky guess with the K in her signature ; in that as she came from a farming family maybe she had married into a Brierley farming family ,the KENYON family . Lucky guess but her husband MARTIN KENYON  actually worked in the stores at Brierley Colliery but was related to the farming and butchery Kenyon's. Rita and Martin had one daughter BEATRICE MARY born 15/12/1894 who married EDWARD THORPE in 1915 shortly after the death of her father Martin in 1914. Her mother Rita died soon after in  1917. The Kenyon connection continues through Edward Thorpe as in 1911 he is listed as living with CHARLES EDWARD and EDITH KENYON famers and butchers and employed as a cow lad. Another occupant of the same Kenyon household , working as a butchers assistant , was NELSON STEELE another Brierley name I  remember. Beatrice Mary and Edward had two sons VERNON K THORPE and CHARLES H THORPE. Beatrice Mary lived to the good age of 97 and died in Huddersfield in Nov 1991 .For the first 23 years of my life I lived in Park Avenue Brierley with mum Mabel and dad Alec and our next door but one neighbour was the same Vernon Thorpe and his wife Annie and daughter Susan. What’s this about the six degrees of separation !


Please add to or correct my story.


Dave Nicoll. Always of Brierley but now living in Pogmoor Barnsley


Email and postcards on Your Contribution page. Thanks Dave although I'm not sure what you mean by "six degrees of separation !  I only went to Willowgarth you know.


Updated 19 February 2010

Hello Gary,

I think I have reached a reasonable conclusion to the story behind the short note on the postcard. Feel free to correct. It goes something like this:


I bought this postcard from EBay (apologies to any Brierley folk who also bid) because it was a picture of my old school in 1915 and i was intrigued to see who had sent it and to whom. I did not know what i was letting myself in for but here are the results.


The Alice referred to is ALICE BEATRICE BRIGGS , one of  only two Alice's in infants class at the time the card was written, 1915. Alice Briggs is recorded on the 1911 census as a 3 year old boarder with the BAUM family in Brierley along with another boarder, ARTHUR EVAN COLEMAN aged 28 and a domestic chauffeur. Alice Briggs was boarded with the Baum family because her mother EMMA JANE BRIGGS was working as a live in cook at LINDLEY HOUSE, Brierley,  the home of Miss EDITH MARY CORDEUX. Also working at Lindley House as a maid was EDITH BAUM hence the placing of young Alice with her family. I am guessing that Arthur Coleman was also the chauffeur to Miss Cordeux.


Emma Jane Briggs was born EMMA JANE HILL around 1876 in the MAILING district of Kent and had two sisters ALICE HILL and BEATRICE HILL hence young Alice being named after them. Emma Jane worked variously as maid ,domestic nurse etc in Kent , London and Nottingham. She married ROBERT BRIGGS in about 1906 and was living in NOTTINGHAM (Lenton) at the time of Alice’s birth in 1908. Robert Briggs is variously recorded as a journeyman house painter or an estate farm worker. A Robert Briggs death is recorded around the time of Alice Briggs birth and this may have prompted a move to Brierley.


The card is addressed to EVA MANNERING care of J B REEVES at an address in TONBRIDGE WELLS. Eva was born EVA ANNIE MANNERING in AYLESFORD in Kent in 1898 and worked in service for families around Tonbridge Wells and Speldhurst locally in Kent, including J B Reeves.


Alice’s mum Emma Jane and Eva Mannering must have been relatives ,friends ,workmates or neighbours at some time; they were born in the same area and both worked in the same jobs. Further confirmation of this comes from a member of Eva’s family who remembers a MISS HILL as a regular visitor to the now married EVA TIMMS house in Speldhurst. Miss Hill was probably one of young Alice’s aunts.


Alice and her mum may have arrived in Brierley by chance but the Cordeux family name is recorded in Nottingham ,where Alice was born ,again in London and indeed a KATHLEEN CORDEUX is recorded in 1911 as a pupil at a boarding school in Tonbridge Wells ,an area where Eva lived and worked .


Please feel free to correct or add to these facts and best guesses.


My thanks to the family of Eva Mannering for the link with Miss Hill and to friend and webmaster Gary for searching the school records when he should have been decorating.


Dave Nicoll.

Always of Brierley but now living in Pogmoor, Barnsley.


Gary  I have two more postcards; I will need a long lie down after this one but if it proves popular I will do the others later. They aren’t as complicated; famous last words. Dave


I would think that this email took you as long to write as it you to research the postcard Dave. I think you have done well researching it and thank you for sharing it with us.

Click to see the postcard


Hi Gary,

 I hope all is well.  Just a quick line to congratulate Kathy for her contribution 'Those were the days.'  She described my upbringing in Brierley (I had a gap in Africa from 3-10 years of age, where it was quite similar except for the snakes and crocodiles) to a tee.  I am pleased, as she pointed out, that most of us had our mums at home in those days and as she says, we played outside on our own for hours on end without any danger or much supervision.  The summers also seemed to be longer and warmer too!


Best wishes, John Nixon York


Yes, brings back a few memories John


Dear Gary,

I’m writing to invite you to join about an exciting new campaign being launched by Slimming World in Brierley later this month.

 We’re encouraging the people of Brierley to join our ‘Let’s Beat It Together’ community weight loss campaign. You’ll already be aware that obesity is one of the greatest issues facing the UK today, and our area is no exception: in Yorkshire and the Humber , obesity rates are currently around 23%. This is bad news for our whole community. First and foremost, it means personal unhappiness, low self esteem and increased risk of weight-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer for all of those people struggling to manage their weight. It affects families, schools, and of course it puts pressure on our local GPs, hospitals and on employers in terms of lost working days.

 Obesity is a community problem – and with weekly groups in the heart of our community, Slimming World is perfectly placed to help. During week commencing 22nd February we’re launching our national ‘Let’s Beat It Together’ campaign, inviting the people of Brierley to get together with people in communities all over the UK to help turn the rising tide of obesity, and we’d love you to support us.

You can get involved in several ways:

• We’d be thrilled if you would help us promote our campaign on your website and continue to feedback weekly updates on the progress our members are making.

• Join us at our campaign launch party in the Methodist Church on Monday 22 February at 6.30pm – we’re having a special event to launch the campaign. There’ll be plenty of healthy and delicious food on offer to show people that healthy eating can be deliciously satisfying and that with the right support losing weight can be easy and enjoyable, and we’ll be talking about all the health benefit  that losing weight can bring to Brierley.


We very much hope you’ll join us in this vitally important campaign to make Brierley a healthier, happier place!


Yours sincerely

Michelle Makepeace

Your local Slimming World Consultant

Tel 07887 906493


I'll help all I can Michelle and I will see you at the launch.


Visit Slimming World at Local Stories 

Updated 13 February 2010

Hi Gary,

Sorry about the pictures.  I am sending a new one taken only a few days ago inside our house in Normandy (Its far too cold to stand around outside!).  It was good to speak to Gail again although the news of her family was not so good.  It is a shame that her parents and elder sister have passed on but I suppose when one gets to our age there's more than enough news like this.  I believe the other picture I sent you was when Ursula and I attended the wedding of a friend (Keith Arkwright) in the church at Grimethorpe.  I really cannot remember the date but it was round about 1970.  We are making a dash to Yorkshire in late April, no definite date yet and expect to drop in the three horse shoes as usual.

Best regards,

Terry Griffiths France


Thanks for the pic Terry it has been updated onto your Where R U Now page. I am glad you and Gail are back in touch through the web site. You will have to let me know when you are going into the Three Horse Shoes and I can come and take a pic or two for the web site.


Hi Gary,

 I have been trying to find your email address from the Brierley Village website but have not found a link. I did come across this and wondered if you could respond to let me know this is the address I should be emailing you on!

 I thought it might be easier if I emailed you the figures every week, and also let you know if there is any interesting information for your website. For instance, we are due to launch a special weight loss challenge in group soon and I wondered if you wanted to come along to our ‘launch party night’ to take photos and write a piece for the website – there will be free food on offer!


If you confirm this is the correct email address I can send further information about the launch night and challenge.


Many thanks

Michelle Makepeace

Slimming World Consultant

Brierley and Grimethope


Looking forward to it Michelle especially the mention of free nosh. Hope it is all low calories lol.


Updated 5 February 2010

Hi Gary

Another name for you in the Isolation Hospital 4, the man at the back right of the photo with the bald head, next to the woman wearing a flowery dress, is my uncle Billy Maundrill.


Regards Janet de Haas (nee Heeley), Australia


Thanks Janet, the photograph has been updated, keep those names coming in.


Hi Gary

Thank you for the contact details of Gail Picken, I have forwarded an email on to her

Terry and Ursula Griffiths (nee Hughes) France


Thanks Terry, I am pleased I have put you back in touch with Gail after all these years


Hi Gary,

On the photograph Isolation hospital 7, the  the handsome man in the front row with his hands crossed is my dad Jerry Heeley. My mum Kathleen Heeley was a nurse at the hospital before we moved to Australia in 1958. Thanks so much for your great site, I just love it!

Regards Janet de Haas (nee Heeley) Australia


Thanks Janet, I have updated the photograph. It was really nice to hear from you again


Hi Gary

On the Dwile Flonking news cutting next to Craig Royston is my son Neil.

Alan Hockey Brierley


Thanks Alan, I have updated the story

Hi Gary,

I just noticed that you & others may have been trying to contact me over the last few years. I am located in Townsville Australia. I have inherited quite a lot of Charles Gerard Winstanley Bancks genealogical research notes and associated documents, also his binocular microscope. I have not looked at this archive for several years, & only yesterday revisited it. I was astonished by the shear amount of hand written material by Charles. What a prolific man.

I am trying to assimilate this material into a form that can be more accessible to interested people, but as you would know this is a major work. I am thinking of scanning a lot of the documents, so that the originals can remain reasonably intact.

I have attached a diagram that shows how I am related to Charles.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Please also forward this  to Julie Wright, Brussels, Belgium (email March 2006)



Chris Green


I have no record of Julie's email address but I will put out a request for her to contact the web site


Hi Gary,

Could you please give Terry Griffiths my email address. I would love to hear from him as were good friends. I often wondered what happened to him after the RAF. Thanks.

Gail Picken

Its on its way Gail, glad to put you both back in touch.

Updated 27 January  2010

Hi Gary,

Could you please put a link to www.d-a-s-h.co.uk from your web site. I'm desperate for bedding, old mobile phones and funds to help pay for the dogs. My current kennel fees are £25 PER DAY. I do not destroy dogs but I can only take maximum of 5 due to how much time I have to put into them.

All my dogs are neutered, vaccinated, frontlined, wormed, micro chipped and have 4 weeks free insurance. I do have other animals but predominantly dogs, At present the local pounds are putting dogs to sleep daily.

  We are fighting a losing battle, without funds I can't take any other dogs. I need people to foster the dogs, ie look after & work with them but have the back up of a rescue if there are any problems we have vet visits etc.

Thank you very much. If anyone can help please visit my web site.

Tracy Bonner Hemsworth

Come on then folks, lets all rally round and help Tracy all we can. www.d-a-s-h.co.uk 

Hi Gary

On the Isolation Hospital photo number 7 I think the Back row 4th left is Mrs Florence Salt the local old time dance teacher from Nancy Road Grimethorpe.

I trained at her Dance Classes


Christine Rix Grimethorpe


Thanks Christine, I have updated the photograph.


Dear Gary

The unknown on the Social photo 16 could be a chap called Ned Kenyon. He lived at Crescent Rd Havercroft. As  the Dodd brothers lived at Ryhill he could have known them.  I wondered also could he be a link to the Kenyon family someone is trying to trace on your site.

Jack Poole

If so I am sure they will get in touch Jack. Thanks for the update.

Hello Gary,

I hope that you are well. You probably don’t remember me but about 8 years ago I spoke to you about the Marsden’s of Burntwood Hall. My great grandmother was a Marsden and was related to the Marsden’s of Burntwood Hall. You were good enough to send me details of the Marsden's from a book called “A History of Brierley by a William Bretton. I believe this book was published in the 1920’s. Would you happen to know where I could get a copy of this book as I recently lost all my data on the Marsden's.


Many thanks for your time.


Ben Fletcher Gloucestershire


I remember your emails well, in fact it was only last week I was looking at the info I sent you and I believe you later put me onto a web site for further info. The book was actually published in 1999 by the Brierley Grimethorpe and Shafton partnership. I will check with the Acorn centre tomorrow to see if they have any left.


Thanks for getting back to me, sorry not been able to get back to you due to no Internet access. Did you find out if the Acorn centre had any copies left?

Many thanks

Hi Ben


Unfortunately the Acorn centre don't sell the book anymore but you may be able to get a copy from Grimethorpe Post Office. It may be better if you deal with them direct and perhaps they may post you one out, their number is 01226 711223. Let me know how you go on and if you don't have any luck I will try elsewhere for you.


Many thanks for getting back to me. I will try this number or ask my grandparents to have a look there, they live near Doncaster. I will let you know how I got on. Sadly I lost all my notes on the Marsden's when my hard drive failed. I have visited Burntwood Hall and Howell Wood Country Park, as well as Kettlethorpe Hall which I believe they owned for some 20 years. There is also a chance they are related to the famous architect John Carr of York. I’m only in Yorkshire once a year (live in Gloucestershire) but its all fascinating.

All the best



Hi Gary,

 I have just had a quick look at the web site and discovered that a relation in Australia is searching for her Copley relatives and seeking my E mail address.

You may remember My Dad, daughter and I came up to visit a few years back as Maggie Fry (nee Copley) was one of our relatives.

The E mail was from Maureen Copley of Huntleys Cove, Sydney Australia. I would be grateful if you could pass on my details to her.

Sadly my Dad has now passed away some two years ago but he really did enjoy the day we spent with you.

Strangely the Ernest Copley Maureen speaks of as her Father in Law is one of the three Copley's I have photos for. Maggie Fry (nee Copley) and my Grand Mother Constance being the other two.

Thanks for your time in this and hope all is well in what I am sure is a snow laden Brierley

Best Wishes

Chris Beaumont London


Yes I have had the appeal out to you for a while now so I am really pleased you have visited the site and found it. Maureen's details are on their way to you. Good luck.


Many thanks for the E Mail address for Maureen. I have made contact with her and we are indeed all related back to Herbert Copley former Post Master in Brierley and of course Father of Maggie Fry. Herbert had something like 13 children and it seems that we have an idea of what happened to most of them. Australia, America and Canada are all places that hold links back to Brierley. Looks like the Royal Mail really did go everywhere.

All the best



Your welcome Chris. Glad to help


Hello Gary

On the Schools picture 38 the last girl with plaits on the right hand side, row four is myself Ruth Vamplew. I now live in Cleckheaton and have done for 73 years, my dad was Harry Vamplew who was a miner at Brierley pit. He died in 1935 aged 49 as a result of miners lung cancer. My mum was Rita Vamplew nee Pointon. she came to Cleckheaton and died here aged 61 in 1951 and is buried in St Pauls churchyard with dad and my youngest brother Clifford. On Schools picture 18 there is me my best friend Betty Deighton who I kept in contact with until her death. Do you have any pictures of Brierley pit or Brierley Grove Farm where my grandparents lived.

yours sincerely Ruth Fawcett nee Vamplew Cleckheaton.


Thanks for your very kind email. Can you check that you have the right school photo number as the one you have given me doesn't match the description. R u related to Herbert and Arthur who live just down the road from me? I have a few photos of Brierley Colliery. One photograph is on line under the buildings section. After speaking to Richard Watson he informs me that Brierley Grove Farm is now demolished and it was situated near to where the first roundabout is going from Brierley into Hemsworth.


Herbert and Arthur  could be cousins of mine, was their dad either  uncle Wray or uncle Fred. I remember the farm was down a lane, it did have an orchard where we used to hide from my granddad when we were scrumping apples, he must have known we were there but he never let on.  I took my daughter some years ago to look for the farm but it was not to be seen just fields of peas. I think cousin Billy Baxendale farmed it after granddad (my dad and Billy Baxendales mum were brother and sister). The railway line was down the fields from the farm and cousin Ida and me used to sit on the fence and wave to the trains like the railway children, Ida still lives in Brierley.

My great grand ma was Rebecca Vamplew. She had the thatched post office and farm in Shafton late 1890s. I will look at the website again when my daughter comes back from holiday and try to fit in some of your missing names on my school picture.

Thanks for your good work, Ruth


Hi Gary

Great website which I found after looking at the Hemsworth site .

Is it possible to get the Schools photo no 18 on line. My mother Ruth Vamplew is on it with her cousin May and best friend Betty Deighton, she will be overjoyed to see it and her old school which has been pulled down now. Is there a photo of pudding hill and the cow mountains anywhere? Mum had to leave Brierley to work in 1935 after her Dad Harry Vamplew died. He worked at Brierley pit. Brierley is always home in her heart


Thank you Joan Rhodes, Cleckheaton


The photograph is on line for  you Joan. f you can add names to faces please email me.


Hello Gary

 I'm glad to see that you are keeping up the great work that you do with the site. I've been going through some of my Mother's old photos and scanning them on to my PC. I've attached a favourite one that was taken on the Co-op Row around 1957. We are all on it together with Ann Vodden and her mother. I'm happy for you use this on your site if its useful to you.


John Draper



Thanks John, that is brilliant, I will add it to the archives as soon as I have time. Is the back of the photograph where Grange House is now?


Yes the allotments behind us are where Grange House now stands.

I've attached a couple more for you. The first one is my Dad stood in our yard on Co-op Row. The baby he is holding is Nigel Vodden. I think the year will be around 1958. The other photo is the wedding of our Margaret and Richard at Brierley Chapel in 1964. Left to right on the photo is me, then Eddie Birkinshaw Richard's cousin who was his best man, then my cousin Susan Emmerson, then Richard, then Margaret, then my Uncle Henry, my Mother's brother who gave Margaret away as my Dad had died 4 years before, then my cousin Joan Emmerson. The two smaller bridesmaids were Alison Birkinshaw on the left and Ann Birkinshaw on the right.




Thanks John


Hi Gary

Hope you are keeping well my friend

Just looking at the website and saw the e-mail from my old mate Dave Greenwell with news of his dads passing.

Me and Dave had some great times on the motorbikes when we were teenagers (seems a long time ago now) and I would like to give my sincere sympathy to Dave and his family for their sad loss

Always remember Dave's dad in the shop, nothing was too much trouble for him.

Keep up the good work, the website is a credit to you Gary



Gary Wilson (Brierley)


Thanks Gary, I will pass on your email to Dave and hopefully you might hear from him


Hi Gary

Just had an e-mail from Dave, thanks for passing on his email address. Brilliant mate thanks!!

I've not seen him for years and it will be good to have a beer with him and go over the old days (sounds like we are old men)!!

Many thanks. Another brilliant result from your excellent web site

Gary Wilson Brierley.


Thanks Gary, I was only too pleased to put two old mates back in touch with each other.


Hello Gary,

Will call and see you as soon as the weather clears and pay my dues for the football club.

You remember I told you about the postcard I had, well here are scans of the front and back to see if you can help.

So far I think the addressee, Eva Mannering, was probably working in service for J B Reeves,  as on the 1911 census he is listed with cook, maid, gardener etc. The sender refers to Alice; possibly a younger sister to Eva, being at Brierley school but in the infants. Can you possibly check the school records for this time for Alice and any other  Mannerings. The next idea I had was to check the Brierley electoral roll for 1915 if that is possible for Mannerings. The signature looks a bit like ABB but I am not sure; perhaps she is another sister. General opinion is that the handwriting is female. I know you are busy but you also like a challenge and a bit of a mystery.


Hop you can help,


Best regards


Dave Nicoll. Always of Brierley but now living in Pogmoor, Barnsley


Click to see the postcard


Thanks for that Dave, I have a copy of the photograph already in the archives but it is not very clear so thank you for that. I have always questioned the date on the print as the school was extended in the red brick in 1916 so I can't understand the date of 1955, I would suggest more 1915, what do you think?. I don't have much time just now Dave but I will look at it closer and check the school records. Can you identify the stamp date on the postcard? 


I think the 1955 on the front is just the postcard ref no. The date stamp is definitely 1915 when you scan at high dpi and enlarge. Does the central library have old electoral rolls?



The mystery deepens, there isn't a single Mannering or anything near the spelling of the name in the school records


How about an Alice  anything in infants in 1915? I will check with the library tomorrow for 1915 electoral rolls.

Apologies for giving you extra work; there's no rush though

I have made contact with a lady who is the daughter in law of the addressee on the postcard who will ask the lady's daughter if she knows about the Brierley connection.

 In the meantime how easy, it never is, will it be to list all the Alice's who were in infants class in 1915. I am more than happy to help.

Yet another question for you and I wouldn't ask if the weather was better. Where is no 29 Church St?

Best regards and apologies for all the questions


I have checked the school records and the only Alice's around that time are an Alice Briggs started the school in 1914 and was born 1907 so that would make her 7 years old and also an Alice Stocks started the school in 1913 and was born 1905 which would make her 8 years old so both girls are obviously too old to be in the infant class, help!!!!


No luck with Eva Mannering's daughter in law. Sorry but it  looks like its down to you to pull the rabbit out of the hat. My current thoughts are that the Alice mentioned in the postcard was someone Eva got to know whilst working in service either in Chatham or Speldhurst, both in Kent. The Alice family then move to Brierley and then Alice's mum or more probably her older sister send Eva a postcard with the news.The handwriting on the card is good as is the grammar and punctuation leading me to think, well educated and probably well off. I am not sure this will help you with the school records or me with the electoral roll.


29 Church Street is old the Farriers Arms Dave.


Hi Gary,

I will be giving a talk on my father's diary in the new year in York, and have produced it as a short video which is now on YouTube.  The video is basically a collection of images from Mother's Apple Pie with music that has been composed by my son, Philip Nixon, for the Children of Far East Prisoners of War (COFEPOW) charity.



Would you be able to put this link in the area you have on Mother's Apple Pie' in 'your contributions?'  I also noticed that the price and other details about ordering the book are now out of date as we have changed them.  Would you mind altering it all to say 'the book is available on Amazon.co.uk, priced £8, or direct from the authors (and leave my and Barbara's e-mail addresses as they are).


Many thanks and all the best for the new year!


John Nixon York


Thanks John, I have had a look at the piece on You Tube and found it very interesting. It is very hard to believe when I used to see your dad up and down the village on his bike at what he went through. People haven't got a clue and it really opened my eyes. I have so much respect for people like your father and I hope that through your book his and his comrades suffering  and heroic deeds will not be forgotten



Thanks for your kind words about my father and his deeds.  As you rightly say, hopefully the book and the video will help in giving recognition to those who put themselves in danger and performed their duty in protecting all of our freedoms.

    All the best and thanks again for your work on the website. Some of my ex-Navy friends (as far away as Brazil) have contacted me because of the website, so it is really doing its job well.




I am pleased to help John and glad to hear of your friend from Brazil contacting you.

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