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of Brierley



Jim Hoyland was born in Brierley in 1928 and lived at Number 23 Barnsley Road until 1963 when after a stint in the merchant navy he  emigrated to Australia where sadly he passed away


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1901 Church Street Recruiting for the Boer war

The lady at the front of the picture is Mrs Hoyland with her babe in arms son Alec who is Jims dad.

For further information on photograph click here


     A few snippets from the war years. We used to go up on the flattes and watch them bombing Sheffield. There also was a searchlight battery in direction of Monkton. A very large bonfire was built on the flattes out of railway sleepers and fired on VE night. (The Grange Road estate now stands where the Flattes were) Very impressive. I was born in Brierley in 1928 and lived at Number 23 Barnsley Road until 1963 when after a stint in the merchant navy we emigrated to Australia. While there I worked for nearly 40 years for N.A.S.A until retirement. I noticed in the Baipip archives index that on photograph number streets 2 my father and grandmother were mentioned.  My Father died in 1941. My maternal Grandmother used to keep the small shop half way down the hill on the Barnsley Road on the right-hand side leading towards Shafton.  Many's the time I have seen her sitting under the stairs during the bombing of Sheffield.  The explosions were very loud and under the stairs was supposed to be the safest place.  Sometimes German bombers flew overhead but they were easy to recognise as the Germans de-synchronised their engines. I think there were only two bombs dropped on Brierley, one in the field opposite the Cow Mounts and the other on the Ringstone Hill reservoir. Various shelters were built, some by the council and some privately. The council ones were really splinter-proof shelters and would hold 20 - 30 people. They were situated behind our house at 23 Barnsley  Road and at the bus stop near Kenyon's shop on the Hemsworth Road.  There was one shelter at the back of the houses just up from my Grandmother's shop.  There may have been others that I can't recall now. The bombs dropped on Brierley were oil bombs, that is, cases filled with diesel or fuel oil, with an incendiary igniter.  For many months they laid at the back of the local PC Baldwin's washhouse, until they were taken away. I went to school at South Hiendley Infants then Shafton Council along with about 6-7 other children, then Pontefract Grammar.   

Updated January 2007 with the following

Some impressions from the war years in Brierley - there wasn't much in the way of entertainment so you provided your own.  Dances were held quite often at the Institute.  Alcohol was not allowed in this building so it was stowed away in the schools.  I also recall watching a variety show in the Institute.


I think what everyone had to get used to was the blackout, it was pretty near total.  I walked into a black cow in the middle of the road on my way back from Hemsworth late at night. Bit of a shock. I took off at high speed as I didn't know what it was.  This was near Cow Mounts.


When the lights came on at the end of the war everyone felt naked, we expected to get bombed any minute.


The photograph below was taken at a local flower show and depicts myself, my wife Maureen and our four grandsons.  I don't seem to have any photographs taken in Brierley.  Film was very hard to get during the war.



Updated 2008

Sadly Jim has passed away but his widow Maureen has given permission to leave Jims memories on the web site


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