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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From Brierley and the surrounding area


Ella Deighton

 Spotlight on the Barnsley Methodist circuit

Magazine and preaching plan

June 2000 to August 2000


Old newspaper cuttings index page


Also see Local news stories index




     On Sunday morning, March 26, at Brierley, we lost our longest-serving member. Ella Deighton joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1929, and at the age of 17, began work as a Sunday School teacher. She also became a member of the choir, and was still a member of the choir at the time of her death. She worked with children in the church most of her life. One of her earliest ventures was to enrol children in the Christian Herald's Golden Star Brigade (Motto: Look up and aim high). She registered their membership with the paper and obtained their Golden Star Badges, and held weekly Brigade meetings in the church. Many will also remember the Operettas that she wrote and produced with the children in later years. These included 'The Snowflake Fairies and 'The Rival Princes'. Script was written by Ella and the lyrics sent by airmail to brother Wally, then serving with the RAF in the Far East.  He wrote the music and airmailed it back, very often a frantic last -minute affair. Ella designed all the costumes, and pressed family, friends and church members into stitching them together, and also manufacturing scenery. Tears and heartache went into every production, but it was always all right on the night. In 1936, along with her sister Elizabeth, she spent some months working at Cliff College. In 1956 she started the 1st Brierley company of the Girls' Brigade and was its Captain until 1987 when on her retirement she received a framed certificate, for her 'devotion to the movement', which certificate she greatly treasured. She was also in partnership with Arnold Beckett, involved in inaugurating the Boys' Brigade in the church. She and Arnold canvassed house to house to enlist members. Both movements still thrive in the church. In July 1979, Ella received a certificate from the Society for the Protection of Life From Fire, for having entered the blazing house of a neighbour, in an attempt to save his life. Unfortunately he had already died through inhaling smoke. When Rob Frost's 'Gospel End' was produced in Barnsley, Ella took part, and was accepted to perform her part in the London production at the Commonwealth Institute Theatre. She was the oldest person nationwide to have taken part. In her early life she spent some periods working away from home, including war work on munitions. At the time of retiring she was a progress clerk for British Jeffrey Diamond in Wakefield. Eighty-seven years old at the time of her death, Ella still had her offices in the church, being a pastoral steward and the Birthdays secretary for the Women's Fellowship. The last named job simply involved sending birthday cards to the members. Ella went one step further, and for each member she wrote a verse of greeting particularly suited to themselves and their circumstances. These little poems were greatly appreciated. On February 12, as she was getting out of bed, Ella suffered a massive stroke and was taken to hospital by emergency ambulance. Although things seemed to be going well at first her condition deteriorated after she had been moved to Mount Vernon hospital. Owing to the effects of the stroke she seemed unable to co-operate regarding her therapies. On Thursday March 23 she developed Bronco Pneumonia and died on the 26th. An inspiring and triumphant service, with hymns and readings chosen by Ella, was conducted by Rev. Barrie Morris. Ella's last poem, written to her friends in Christ, was read at the service.

To My Friends

  My friends I'm glad you came today to see me off along the way so many friends have taken and I shall meet them all today

As life's dark shadows fly away and with the dawn I waken. but friends I'd say a word to you you've been so faithful, good and true,

I love you everyone, I'll not forget when on that shore

  Your lovely smiles and kindly things that from your loving friendship springs a part of such a company,

And I thank each one of you and be it early, be it late, I shall be waiting at the gate to greet you- every one 

Don't grieve for me, my cares are o'er, to live with Jesus evermore till the day breaks cheerio my friends, I love you all

We shall gather at the river that flows by the throne of God.


Old newspaper cuttings index page


Also see Local news stories index