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

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Mrs Hilda Barraclough
(Nee Crookes)
b. 17th  July 1910
d. 4th July 2003
Mrs Lilly Hobson
(Nee Crookes)
b. 9th December 1913
Mr Mathew Hobson
Husband to Lilly
b. 22nd September 1907
d. 1977 aged 70.

Hilda and Lilly were sisters

The following details were recorded from the personal diary of Mrs Hilda Barraclough, with additional material from tape recordings made in 1986, by Spiritualist minister Mr Sid Pickersgill from Wakefield, and endorsed by Mrs Lilly Hobson. Mrs Barraclough and Mrs Hobson were awarded life membership as exofficio committee members; presentations were made to both ladies at a special circle.

  You would travel upon many of life's pathways, before you would meet such dedication as this.”

Cliff Lloyd



Started visiting the Churches of Shafton, Hemsworth, South Kirkby, Cudworth, South Elmsall and Ryhill. The three founder members started having a small open circle meeting at Mrs Crossland’s house in Brierley. This gradually grew in popularity. A weekly collection was taken, and as the numbers grew they had to move out of the small room. Mat and Lilly Hobson decided to open their biggest room at 23 Park Avenue, where the meetings were then conducted for a period of twelve months, after which they moved the meetings back to Mrs Crossland’s house. This time they paid five shillings per week as rental on the largest room in the house, which used to be the billiard room. The founder members organised a working group that eventually became the first full committee with helpers, Mr Mathew Hobson - Treasurer and Secretary, Mrs Lilly Hobson - Vice-president and I/C refreshments, Mrs Hilda Barraclough - President, Mrs Dye, Mrs Hawkins, Mrs Hughes, Mrs Crossland and later Mrs Healey.



Thursday 1 January:

AGM held. Committee re-elected, founder members included. Visited Mr Ackroyd the church architect.


Saturday 13 October:

Church Land meeting. Visited the two Kenyon brothers who owned the land that the Church was eventually built on. It was originally an orchard.


Tuesday 16 October:

Return to the Church rooms at the Junction of Church Drive and Church Street from 23 Park Avenue.


Thursday 20th December:

Committee purchased new chairs. The two brothers had passed away and the will beneficiary, Maud Le Roy who inherited the land from them, arranged to sell the orchard.

The Spiritualist Church in 2005 - 49 years after its opening. The church stands opposite Hall Farm and the Methodist Church on Church Street


The three founder members from left to right: Hilda, Matthew and Lilly seen here in the 1970s



Wednesday 6 February:

Annual General meting held, committee re-elected. King George V died on this day. Princess Elizabeth became Queen whilst on Royal tour in Africa.


Wednesday 19 March:

Major fundraiser - meat and potato pie supper.


Tuesday 16 September:

Harvest Festival service.



Wednesday 21 January:

Annual General meeting held-committee re-elected, founder members included.


Tuesday 2 June:

Celebrated the Coronation of H M Queen Elizabeth II. God Bless her.


Wednesday 10 June:

Meeting with Spiritualist minister Mr Dawson of South Elmsall and Mr Burton re finances for the church and joined the National Spiritualist Union.


Thursday 5 March:

Major fundraiser at church rooms.


Friday 4 December:

Major fundraiser at church rooms.


Thursday 17 December:

Fundraising Christmas supper at church rooms.



Friday 1 January:

Annual General Meeting held. Committee re-elected, founders included.


Monday 11 October:

Final yearly meeting of church building fund. Final payment for church land. Land clearance well under way by Mr Mathew Hobson and Mr Charles Henry Barraclough.



Sunday 2 January:

Annual General meeting held. Committee re-elected., founders included.


Tuesday 28 June:

Taylor's of Oldham contracted to build the church, started the foundations today. Mr Mat Hobson visited daily, working between his shifts at work.


Saturday 1 October:

Walls complete, ready for building the roof.



Wednesday 4 January:

Main church room cleaned. Founder members painted the whole church. More chairs were ordered ready for the Grand opening.


Thursday 26 June:

Gas, electricity and all plumbing connected.


Saturday 28 January:

Annual General meeting held. Committee re-elected, founders included.


Friday 30 March:

Final Fundraiser and meeting before the new church opened.


Saturday April 14



Six years of hard but enjoyable work. Ceremony conducted by  Mr Harry Dawson - President of the National Spiritualist Union from Lincoln. Mrs. Kennedy of Doncaster, and Mr Dawson of South Elmsall. Over one hundred and thirty people attended the ceremony with the same attending the special celebration tea arranged by Mrs Lilly Hobson in the Methodist function hall across the road. The founder members had stood as guarantors for the mortgage taken with the National Spiritualist Union of £3,500, to be payable over a twenty year lease. The title deeds were redeemed after a repayment period of only thirteen years, seven years early. There was a huge amount of interest paid on this loan. Payments of £70 were made on a three monthly basis, which in 1956 was a lot of money.


The opening of the new Brierley Spiritualist Church on Saturday April 14 1956.

Left to right: Secretary and treasurer Matthew Hobson, President Hilda Barraclough, Harry Dawson President of the National Spiritualist Union , Mrs Kennedy medium from Doncaster and Mr Dawson from South Elmsall.

Sunday 15 April : Mrs Jenkins of Mexborough took the Sunday meeting. The church then increased the weekly meetings to include, for the first time, a Sunday, as well as the well established Tuesday’s and open circle on Friday’s.

Cliff Lloyd holds the original records and a copy of the tape recording.

On January 31st 2001, the Church held an evening of clairvoyance in aid of the Church Drive surgery heart monitor appeal and raised £227. Seen here are mediums l to r Anne Westwood, Betty Elliot and Diane Gardner.