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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Do you know what happened to David and Carol Ann Keith? They were both pupils at Brierley School in the early sixties. Mrs Thorpe who was a teacher at that time informs me that they emigrated to Australia. But where are they now?


Update March 2009.  

The web site received the following email from David Keith snr.

Hi Gary

My name is David Keith who lived at 14 Church Street and then 80 Barnsley Road from 1958 to 1964. My wife Vera was post lady under Mrs Fry. Belle Dyson also worked there. My daughter Carol and sons David and Michael attended St Paulís school. Carol now lives in the far south coast of New South Wales and is regional manager for a home help. David lives here in Ballina on the far north coast and is practice manager in a large accounting practice. Michael lives in Illawara and is a chef. Carol gained a b.SC at Sydney University. David gained a degree b.bus and dip i.t at Southern Cross University

I will get in touch later GREAT GREAT website

David Keith senior Ballina Australia



Information placed in March 2007

I am looking for some help in finding details around the early and unfortunate deaths of two of my uncles. The first one is Jim Kerr who died 6/12/36 aged 21years from burns following an explosion a few days earlier at Brierley colliery. The second one  Albert K Nicoll aged 24 years was at Grimethorpe colliery on 11/9/39.Any help or pointers would be most welcome.

Regards David Nicoll Pogmoor



David found the details he required from the Doncaster archives office where they have the Mines Inspectorate reports for all of South Yorkshire for fatal and non fatal mining accidents. You need to book an appointment as space is limited and become a "reader". You need to take ID to get the reader ticket,  but its a simple process.

Their address is :
Doncaster Archives Dept.
King Edward Road
Doncaster DN4 0NA
Tel. 01302 859811



Information placed in May 2006

Dear Gary

I have just come across your site and was hoping you could help. I am wondering if there is anybody still in Brierley who remembers my father Bertrand Earl. He was born in the co-op buildings in 1918. I assume he attended the local school and then went to Hemsworth Grammar School . He worked in a pit workshop as an engineer apprentice I think. He joined the KOYLI territorial's in 1939 and was sent to Norway ? he was wounded I think and transferred to the royal artillery and posted to Somerset where he met and married my mother. His father was John William Earl who was a wages clerk and later area accountant for Frickley Colliery. He retired to Pickering so I only know that part of Yorkshire from holidays. He died in 1960 and my father died in 1980. Being young and foolish I never asked my father too much about his life until it was to late so any info you could find would be most welcome. I live in Yeovil, Somerset .

I look forward your reply and remain,

Yours sincerely

Frank Earl



I will ask about Frank I am sure their is. I have already spoken to one lady but she only vaguely remembers the family. She says she remembered your father and his sisters Margaret and Janet. Are we on the right tracks? I have also checked the Brierley school records and saw a Bertrand Earl born 21/6/1918 started Brierley school 25/6/1923. Margaret Earl born 26/1/1923 started Brierley school  29/8/1927and Janet Earl born 17/10/1920 started Brierley school 7/10/1925. I will update a little later when I have made further enquires.


Dear Gary

Many thanks for your very prompt reply, you do indeed have the right family.

Sadly since I contacted you my Auntie Janet Earl has passed away and will be cremated this Fri 19th May. In Norwich where she has lived with Auntie Margaret and her husband Harold for many years.

I thank you for your efforts and hope you may discover more.

If anybody up there needs any research done in my area ( Somerset ) I would be happy to assist if I can.

Yours Sincerely

Frank Earl  



Information placed in January 2006

Hi Gary

I don't know if you can help but I'm trying to find out about Jack Smethurst who played in the Grimethorpe colliery band. We believe he is buried in the Brierley church yard and died aged about 80 years old.

I have found some papers belonging to my late father and he was under the impression that he was connected in some way to my family as most of my dads family were connected to bands and played cornets and trombones. I wonder if anyone knows anything about Jack or can look at his death at the church for me then we can find out his birth date and death date. I'd be most grateful for any info on Jack to help me sort out if he is in our tree or not


Diane Chambers  nee Smethurst Lancashire

We will certainly do our best for you Diane. Come on then folks, did you know Jack or any of his family. If so email me the details and I will pass them on to Diane


I have just been browsing the emails on the site and noticed that someone wanted information regarding Jack Smethurst. Jack certainly played in the Grimethorpe Band.  He played trombone and I remember hearing him practice in the attic. This was late 50s/early60s.Memories are a bit hazy, but  I lived at 6 Hodroyd Cottages from 1949 (aged 1) to 1968 and the Smethursts lived at number 10.  Their daughter Joyce and her husband lived with them.  He was the chemist for the Co-op in Cudworth.  They had a son, possibly Christopher, whose birth I remember but not the year. I believe Joyce died when her son was quite small.

I hope these scraps of information will help.  I will ask my mother if she can add anything further of interest.

Christine Cheetham



Hi Gary, Please thank the lady who emailed about Jack Smethurst.

He may not be connected to my family but my dad had a feeling that he was as he had a conversation with some one called A Garbett who was in the Grimethorpe band and he said that Jack  was buried in Brierley Cemetery.

My Smethursts came from Bury Lancs but some of them moved about a lot. I don't know when he Jack died just that he was 80. It would have been about 5 years ago that my dad spoke to this man. If anyone can help me further I would be most grateful especially if I could find out Jacks year of birth

Diane Chambers Lancashire

The lady (Christine Cheetham) who wrote last time as pointed out that when she heard Jack in the attic he was actually giving music lessons. His daughter Joyce married a Clifford Tomlinson and they had a son called Nicholas but apparently Joyce died when Nicholas was young and Clifford not long afterwards. I will check the cemetery again when we get a fine day.


Thanks a lot for replying

I'll await to see if you find anything out at the cemetery but there again he might not have had a headstone but thanks anyway for trying for me

Diane Chambers



Information placed on 16th July 2005

Dear Gary,

I Trying a long shot here: but nothing ventured nothing gained. I am originally a Harrington- born in Grimethorpe. My Great Grandmother who wed an Ernest Harrington was originally a Seacroft. I can remember visiting relatives in both the Brierley and Grimethorpe area with my Grand-Parents but unfortunately no longer remember their names. I certainly remember some Seacroft's who lived on Brierley Road but have forgotten their first names.




Gary,  I've just been on the web site for the first time and I've spotted an email from someone named Taichie placed on 16th July regarding the Harrington and Seacroft family. my nannan Edna Halliday was a Seacroft and her aunty Hannah/Anna {not sure on spelling} married Ernest Harrington. their was also Bill Seacroft and Jean Seacroft if those names are any help to her. Thanks 

Rebecca Halliday Brierley.


Information placed on 25th April 2005

Hi Gary
I was browsing the web & noticed a photo with Ray Dyson on (Brierley Methodist Play 1965) I used to play in the same football team as Ray & wonder if you, or any of your friends, know what's become of him.
Geoff Osborne


Hi Geoff, I have spoken to Ray's parents over the weekend who in turn tell me Ray is living in Leeds but visits them at their home on Grange Road often. If you let me know your details I will pass them on to Ray.


Hello Gary

 I read, at your site, an article by Trevor Limbert, in which he mentioned his research for Watson descendants, but there seemed no facility for contacting him direct.

       I am interested in a Yorkshire family of Watson and in particular of Jesse Wilfred Watson  (both these Christian names featured in a family he mentioned) born 1869, son of Francis Watson, journeyman stonemason.  He is said to have run away from home at the age of 14 and to have had no further contact with his large family.  There is no birth registration and he appears on no census until 1891, when he is a married man in Birmingham.  I just wondered if he had any connection with the family where there were children named Wilfred and Jesse (but a later generation).

Geraldine Gasparelli in London

Reply from Trevor Limbert

Regarding Geraldine's query. Jesse Wilfred Watson born 1869 son of Francis Watson Journeyman/Stonemason. Did the 1891 census say where he originated?.

I note your mention of Jessie and her brother Wilfred Watson and report that they are the children of William Watson, son of George who was in turn the son of William Watson and Charlotte Cooke Watson of the Farriers Arms at Brierley. My records show that in the main, during the nineteenth century, the family were employed in Inn keeping, as Blacksmiths, Shopkeeper, Coachman or Farm Servant. There was a Fred Watson recorded as being a Mason at the baptism of his son in 1907. (No other Mason's).

The other Brierley Watson's originated from present day Monk Bretton but then known as Farmers of Burton Abbey (now Monk Bretton Priory). Here were also recorded two generations of William Watson's.

There were also Watson families from Hodroyd and South Hiendley well recorded in Felkirk parish records and on prime positioned headstones.

I have checked through my records of baptisms, deaths and marriages and not turned up one Jesse, Wilfred or Francis other than those mentioned above nor can I suggest the possibility of what couple may have produced a child in 1869 that may have matched in any way. Sorry Geraldine.

As you mention the Watson name is quite common and the employment of travelling gangs of builders equally so. My Rogerson ancestors who lived in tandem with the Watson's in Brierley were also of the Journeyman/Stonemason trades. A team of a least three brothers left to work in Liverpool and since at some point they were recorded on census as being Stone Carvers, I thought they were most likely working on either Lime St Station or the Cathedral. One brother stayed in the area, one returned to Brierley and my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Rogerson.... I'm still looking for. Similarly, my Great Great Grandfather William Squires and his brothers arrived in Smithies Barnsley in the mid 1860's from Bramley Leeds via various other towns and were recorded as Journeymen/Stonemasons. At one point George (and brother Samuel) was based as running the Honeywell Inn and a Building Business from the same address 1869-1876. William lived next door. The Squires family ended their days in Barnsley.

I'm just trying to stress how nomadic the Stonemasonry trade of the era was. My Great Grandfather, another Samuel the son of William was described as being born at 'The Brickyard' Bramley.

Keep searching Geraldine, the answer is out there somewhere.

Cheers for now

Trevor Limbert



Sadly Trevor has passed away