Timeline of History in the Penistone Area


AD 2000 and Onwards
Year Date Event
Quick Links: Intro - 1000 - 1600 - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000 - Refs - Generate English calendar for year: Time & Date
2000   Penistone Market Town Initiative (PMTI) set up, to ran for five years. The PMTI was funded through 'Yorkshire Forward' and 'Countryside Agency' quangos and Penistone was one of several market towns in Yorkshire in this programme.
  Millennium Bridge (Bullhouse Bridge) opened around this time. An earlier utilitarian steel railway bridge had been removed around 1983 after the Woodhead Railway Line closed. Its low headroom was a problem to traffic. With the change of use to the Trans-Pennine Trail, the missing bridge became an impediment to users of the trail, although there still was access by crossing the road. The new steel 'Millennium Bridge' was a modern blue/white bridge with an steel tubing arch in the style of a suspension bridge. Plaques are on each side: (1) 'Trans Pennine Trail' and (2) 'The Millennium Commission'.
31st March Wood's Garage closes in Oxspring. Originally a wooden garage opposite the Tollbar, with Jim Wood at the helm, his son Gordon Wood kept the newer garage. Gordon died in September 1999. He was always regarded as a 'real gentleman' who looked after his customers with friendship and charm. This was never a self-service garage. An old photo from 1960 showed it to be a Shell garage but it was a Jet garage at the end, listed as 'M A Wood, Oxspring Garage, Sheffield Rd, Oxspring, S36 8YQ'. It has now been replaced by a row of modern houses. See Oxspring Reminiscences at Oxspring parish.
2nd Sept. The Tenth Denby Dale 'Millennium' Pie - To celebrate the turn of the millennium and the Queen Mother's 100th birthday. The dish weighed 12 Tonnes and measured 40ft x 8ft x 44 inches deep. It was designed by the School of Engineering at The University of Huddersfield and was made by Parkway Sheet Metal of Rotherham. The dish had 24 compartments, each of which was heated by individually temperature-controlled, 3 kilowatt heating elements. The Pie held 5 tons of beef (supplied by ASDA), 2 tons of potato, a ton of onions and 100kg (nearly 200 pints) of John Smith's Bitter. The Bishop of Wakefield blessed it and the first slice was cut by the cricket umpire Dickie Bird. More than 22,000 people were served. See Ref 20.
9th Sept Penistone Millennium Show. Much like other Penistone Shows but a large commemorative stone was laid in the wall adjoining the top field, some time later, inscribed with these words: Penistone Agricultural Society, Established 1853, To Commemorate the Millennium Show, 9th September 2000, 'Energy and Industry.'
2001 Jan Winscar Reservoir - Sprang a large leak of about 15 Litres per second. About sixty faults in an asphalt membrane were discovered on inspection. It took six months to empty the reservoir. All repairs were completed by the Winter of 2002. See 'Water Treatment and Supply' (pdf).
  Population of England and Wales about 60 million. This had increased from the middle of the last century by 3 - 4 million, by an amount which had been the approximate population of England and Wales for centuries. British factories boomed in the 1950s leading to a shortage of workers. The British government encouraged people from the Commonwealth to come to work here. Large numbers of West Indians were in the first wave, followed in the 1960s by many from India and Pakistan. In the 1970s Ugandan refugees arrived in Britain after the turmoil and famine of that country which had been ruled by the eccentric Idi Amin (who claimed to be the rightful 'King of Scotland'). A wave of Irish people also came towards the end of the century, mostly to work in the building industry. From Local Histories.
21st June 'Churches Together' in Penistone and District - A plaque in St John's Community Centre, Church Street, Penistone, has the following Declaration. It is endorsed by the appropriate signatures of representatives of the participating local churches.
'Churches Together in Penistone and District unites in pilgrimage those churches in Penistone and the surrounding area which, acknowledging God's revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God's will and in the power of the Holy Spirit, commit themselves: a) To seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is His Body; and b) To fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world; to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On behalf of the participating Churches: Ingbirchworth Methodist Church; Spring Vale Methodist Church; St Aidan's Church, Oxspring (Anglican); St Andrew's Church (Methodist/URC); St Anne's, Carlecotes (Anglican); St James', Midhope (Anglican); St John the Baptist's, Penistone (Anglican); St Mary's Church, Penistone (Roman Catholic); St Saviour's Church, Thurlstone (Anglican); Thurlstone and Millhouse Green Methodist Church; Bullhouse Chapel (Independent) and Penistone Community Church.'
  Foot and Mouth Disease - The national F& M epidemic in cattle was highly contagious and it prevented Penistone Show from exhibiting livestock, although the Show otherwise carried on as usual. It also further undermined the viability of Penistone Livestock Market which was struggling and had been set back by a BSE epidemic. The market had signs banning vehicles and asking the public to keep to the wall side. At one time, disinfectant-soaked carpets were put down at the entrance to clean up any passing wheels and shoes.
  Winterbottom's Wire Mill - Returns to private ownership by a management buy-out, under the name of Wintwire. See Zoominfo and the Winterbottom page.
Sept Trans-Pennine Trail opened. This route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders is largely based on the old Woodhead railway line, which closed down two decades before. Some off-shoots involve lanes and public roads. The coast-to-coast distance is 215 miles. Some the T-P Trail is part of the National Cycle Network. T-P Trail.
2002   Thurlstone Post Office - Closed this year.
2003   Penistone Livestock Market - Controversially closed down by Barnsley Council (BMBC) after more than 400 years from being established under a Royal Market Charter in 1699. Local people and farmers strongly objected but to no avail. BMBC gave the reason that the Meat and Livestock Commission had considered the market to be no longer viable, having been seriously damaged in recent times by epidemics such as Foot and Mouth Disease (in cattle) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The Fur and Feather Auction had continued but was also under threat of closure. National and local media took an interest. See this Newspaper Article (20th Sept - reproduced here by kind permission of Huddersfield Daily Examiner) about the views of Mr Dixon, the auctioneer. A building to continue the Fur and Feather Auction had been included on early Town Centre Development plans, near where the Loft Cafe is now, but was removed without consultation on later drafts. See a Panoramic view of the old market place.
  Hoylandswaine Village Hall. Opened this year. Built in 1814 for a Sunday School, with pupils of all ages. The Methodist Church took it over in 1893 for services. It was bought in 1982 by the people of Hoylandswaine for use as the Village Hall. Lottery funding granted this year allowed for the Village Hall to be completely refurbished. It has proved to be a great asset to the Hoylandswaine community. On older maps, Hoylandswaine was always two words: Hoyland Swaine. The 'Swaine' part dates back to the original Swein, who retained his holding after King William's Norman Conquest. HV Hall. See also Hoylandswaine Village Festival (Facebook).
  Penistone 'Home Decor' (DIY Shop) Closed. The rent had been increased. John and Jean Porter's shop had opened in 1988 next door to the Royal British Legion. It had been a popular shop and sold a wide range of household fixtures, fittings, screws, tools, padlocks and what-have-you. It was a very useful shop. There was also a paint-mixing stationfor just about any colour imaginable. Upstairs had kitchen utensils and children's toys. Unfortunately, it became unsustainable through the burden of rates and an almost doubled rent, forcing it to close. The closing-down sale was a sad affair. The Porters had lived on Southgate then moved to Wentworth Road. The couple devoted much of their time to local charities until they removed in 2016 to Malton. A year later, Mr Porter died, in Sept. 2017. Prior to being Home Decor, it had been a busy textiles shop run by Mrs Avril Bailey, selling lengths of cloth manufactured by Firth Mill in Shepley, where her husband Able Bailey had been a manager. People would often call in the shop for a cup of tea and a chat. One oddity about the shop was that cloth lengths were sold in yards but with widths in metres. Following Home Decor's closure, and after being empty for several years, the shop deteriorated and became damp. It was extensively refurbished to become 'Butcher Residential' property lettings agent.
2004   Peter Holmes - Butcher's shop closed in Upper Denby. This was Denby's last shop to close. A General Store in the village had lasted from 1904 to 1960, selling everything from clogs and slippers to ammonia and figs. A Co-op in the village had also closed in 1963 and was converted into a house.
2005   Royd Moor Viewing Point Built - On land donated by John Gledhill Smith (former President of the Penistone Society), built in time to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Ref 8.
  Renovation of the Mustard Pot gastro-pub in Midhope, to include a new function room and extended car park. It is a Grade II listed building. It had been the Club Inn, in a converted farmhouse built in the 18th century. The Club Inn was established in the latter half of the 19th century after the Barrel Inn closed (one of three cottages on Miller Lane). The Club Inn was briefly called the Midhopestones Arms, became Ye Olde Mustard Pot and finally The Mustard Pot. It is now the site of the annual Midhope Gala, aka Midhope Country Fayre.
  Hoylandswaine Arts Group formed. This evolved from a music group formed in 1988 and was central to the 'Roddam Project', funded by HLF and EPIP, to restore a Victorian wall artwork in Hoylandswaine Church painted local artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829 - 1908). The Stanhopes were best known from their residence at Cannon Hall, Cawthorne. Hoylandswaine St John's Church has a good Project feature.
  Beginning of the end of the Rose and Crown, Ingbirchworth, on the road bend entering the village from the Penistone side. A car driven by a teenager had crashed into the public house and demolished a large part of a corner wall. The damage was severe and showed a red-brick construction at the damage site, although the building had always looked to be rather more substantial. The whole pub was demolished within a few days. It was soon replaced by a small housing development on the same site.
  Plans published for Town Centre Redevelopment. (BMBC Briefing pdf). Early plans showed a new retail market enclosed within a gated, walled area (later amended to the Market Cruck Barn) and allocated a building close to the current Loft Café for use as a Fur and Feather auction building. See the Penistone1 page describing the Town Centre regeneration project and 2011 for what actually happened.
  Projector90th Anniversary of the first showing of films in Penistone Town Hall (now Paramount) from 1915. This was not Penistone's first cinema, as the 'Assemby Hall Cinema' off St Mary's Street had been showing films in Penistone for at least a decade before the new Town Hall was opened and caught up. The venue was let to Mr Joseph O Jesson as a cinema, after Penistone Urban District Council licenced it for 'Cinematographic entertainments' in August 1915, conditional on its availability for other events and the halls's use as an assembly hall, theatre, dance hall, etc. There were two film showings a week and ticket costs were between 3d and 9d. The centenary was marked by a fine exhibition of film equipment in an Open Day organised by manager Steve Tales, who was a great film enthusiast. To commemorate the occasion, a silent film was shown with appropriate and able piano accompaniment performed by a Miss Cutts. Please see more about 'Penistone's Coliseum' (not its real name) at Penistone Town Hall History.
Advert for Town Hall This continues about the centenary of films in Penistone Town Hall.

A graphic from the 1919 Penistone Almanack advertises the 'Famous Goldwyn Series'. During the Great War years, the demand for films in the UK as escapist entertainment had increased. All films were silent except for a piano accompaniment in those days and most were quite short. See Town Hall History. and a History of Pre-1920s Films.
  Penistone and District Working Men's Club - Its building was demolished around this time, after standing abandoned and boarded up since the late 1990s. The site and its car park were re-used as part of the new Spring Vale Primary School. See Flikr Photo and my Spring Vale Reminiscences page.
2006 29th May Spring Bank Holiday Brawl - Up to 30 people were involved in a good, old-fashioned fist fight along Market Street, Penistone. This was reported in the Barnsley Chronicle as being at about 1am on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday. Penistone policeman, PC Andy Thomson, said that it caused by local workmen but would be a one-off incident. As expected, alcohol had been a factor. Local Police had to call for back-up from Barnsley and Wombwell, resulting in eight police cars, two dog units and a riot van on what might otherwise have been a quiet night. Seven people were arrested and were permanently banned from local pubs and clubs through the Pubwatch List. See Barnsley Chronicle, 7th July 2006.
1st Aug. Yorkshire Day came to Penistone. Organised by the Yorkshire Society, the venue to celebrate this day changes each year but is always celebrated on 1st August. This year was Penistone's turn. Penistone had various events for the day but suffered from wet and windy weather and, being on a Tuesday, there were not many local people around to watch or take part. After a service in Penistone Church (with an unusual Lord's Prayer set to the tune of 'Ilkley Moor') there was a long procession around the block, led by the Band Of The King's Division. The participants were taken to Penistone Grammar School for a special dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, with solicitor Mr Stephen Smith as guest speaker. This was open to Civic Leaders (Mayors, Lord Mayors and council officials) from Yorkshire and members of the Yorkshire Society. Penistone's mayor at the time was Cllr Nora Collett. See my Yorkshire Day page.
  The Allen 317EX Digital Theatre Organ purchased by Penistone Cinema Organ Trust this year from a private residence in Derbyshire. It was installed in St Andrew's Church, Penistone and opened there in September of the same year. The organ has seven individual audio channels, which produces a very true theatre organ sound. Organ concerts have taken place 1pm every Thursday Market Day since it was installed. See the Organ Trust's site and why not download the Operator's Manual (pdf).
2007 Feb. Penistone Library - This was re-opened after a major refurbishment. It had been closed towards the end of 2006. New facilities included a tutorial/conference room and the provision of computers to allow visitors to go on the internet. See the Library page.
Winter &
Public Petition Campaign - Against building a Tesco food store in Penistone. This was because of a common worry in the population that a new Tesco store would accellerate the decline of the main shopping street, which had seen some shop closures. A common message had been: 'Market Town or Tesco Town - It's up to You.'
26th Feb. Fairtrade - Penistone officially becomes a 'Fairtrade Town'.
6th Mar. Extension to Stottercliffe Cemetery, Opened and consecrated at 2pm, Tuesday 6th March. This new part is across the Trans-Pennine Trail from the main cemetery, over the old concrete railway bridge. It includes a parking area to serve the cemetery as a whole. The service was held in the new car park and conducted by the then Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Margaret Morgan, with the Bishop of Pontefract the Right Reverend Tony Robinson, accompanied by Penistone Mayor Cllr Nora Collett. A half-dozen members of the public attended, including the author of Penistone Pictorial and particularly the (now late) local historian Neville Roebuck, well-known for his history work which (after he had died) provided the basis for the local history archive currently located in the Community Centre.
  Modifications to Penistone Church. Pews at the back of the church were removed to allow for a dining area and community activities. A kitchen and toilet was also fitted (the latter on claimed regulatory grounds). Pews were, for a time, placed around the periphery in a style based on earlier church layouts. Stackable chairs now form the main body of seating for normal services whilst allowing more space for community events. See my Penistone Church history page.
  Heavy Rain and Flooding. Heavy rain affected the whole country, with some areas receiving as much rain in one day as would be normal for a whole month. Sheffield city centre and Meadowhall shopping mall were badly hit. In many cases, the lower floors in city buildings had been flooded out. Locally, the most affected area appeared to be the main A628 road flooded close to the junction of Huddersfield Road at Bridge End and nearby fields were like lakes. Scissett and Clayton West were flooded by the River Dearne.
24th June 'St John's Gardens' officially opened in the lower part of the churchyard of Penistone Parish Church. It was blessed by the Bishop of Wakefield, The Right Reverend Stephen Platten, on the occasion of St John's Festival, of which this was the commemorative day. The garden layout was commissioned in 2006 as a major work of reclamation and tidying of the lower churchyard, to include features of local history. A pathway was laid from the south-east corner of the church to a new archway entrance on to Shrewsbury Road. Grindstones engraved with historic dates were laid alongside the path, with explanatory notices. A notable feature was a spiral obelisk designed by local artist Sarah Jones-Morris as a memorial to the blind professor Sir Nicholas Saunderson (1692 to 1739) of Thurlstone, who was said to have learnt to read by running his fingers over these gravestones (see 1600s timeline, bottom of page). The metallic archway was based on a design by local artist Gillian Tyler and constructed using traditional methods, by master blacksmith Bob Oakes, with Nick Oakes, John Walton, Julie Grose and Darren Buck. Features of the arch include an abacus, braille, wedding rings, sheep and other local-related themes.
  Joseph Hawley's sawmill at The Green, Penistone, sold to developers. Demolished 2013. See also the 1820s and 1937.
10th Sept. New Spring Vale Primary School - Officially opened by Penistone Mayor Cllr Joe Unsworth and Barnsley Mayor Cllr Len Picken, with Headmistress Hilary Smith in attendance. The school was completely rebuilt using additional land from the defunct Working Men's Club next door.
  Another national outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease almost prohibited livestock from being exhibited at Penistone Show. Restrictions were lifted just in time to allow cattle and sheep at the Show.
2008   Penistone Arts Festival. An attempt was made this year to establish an annual Penistone Arts Festival, in association with the 'Penistone and District Community Partnership' (PDCP) but it somehow failed to gain traction and did not continue. The intention was to put on a wide range of artistic mini-events, including some rather innovative interactive musical sculptures in the churchyard and other places but an apparent lack of co-ordination in its organisation obstructed progress. This was to return in 2008 as the 'new' Penistone Arts Festival and in 2019 as 'Penistone Arts Week.'
  Thurgoland Parish Pump restoration fund. Thurgoland Local History Group secured a £38,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the village pump. See Barnsley Chronicle
2009 6th June Community Radio Launched in Penistone. Penistone's radio station, Penistone FM went live at 9.57am on a frequency of 95.7MHz (Ofcom reference: CR153). The first record played was 'The Greatest Day' by Take That. The 'Community Radio' (CR) broadcast licence had been introduced in 2004 by Act of Parliament ('Community Radio Order 2004'), as a new class of UK licence for small, non-profit stations to be run 'By the community for the community' and to provide a distinctive style of output. CR Stations are required to be operated, owned by and accountable to their target communities rather than big businesses, national broadcasters or other vested interests. The company was classified as 'Private, limited by guarantee, no share capital' at Companies House, No. 06257320. See '200 CR Stations Now On-Air' and PFM at Ofcom.
  Penistone Grammar School - Demolitions and the start of its new school buildings. Fulford Building (the old 'A Block') remained standing as local people attempted to keep it from demolition. A petition led by local crafts artist Sarah Catterall gained several hundred signatures but an attempt at listing the building (protected as being of historic interest) failed. The explanation was that, although it held a lot of local interest, it was not distinctive enough for a listing. Part of the problem was that the construction of the building made it difficult to re-purpose, and that purpose was hard to visualise. Developers kept the original school building, Wierfield House, and renovated it while building new houses on the Fulford site and adjacent. The stone motto with its Clarel coat of arms was also preserved as a feature.
2010 January Thurlstone Community Group - Formed by local residents, with the hope of 'Bringing the Community together and regaining the feeling of community spirit in the village'. A Thurlstone War Memorial was suggested at its first AGM in January 2011. The War Memorial Fund was launched at Thurlstone School at 11.11am, 11/11/11, where children from the school released a red balloon for the fallen of the village, as their names were read out. The Memorial was subject to various set-backs but was eventually ready for a well-attended inauguration in May 2014, a year later than planned. Its first use for Remembrance Sunday was 9th November 2014. The Group was quite active from the beginning in local matters, without undue interference from local politicians. TCG was involved in Thurlstone Gala and held a public meeting 28th October 2013 to consider Barnsley MB Council's proposals on housing development in Thurlstone. See May 2014 and 9th November 2014.
27th Aug Neville Roebuck - The local historian died in Barnsley and District General Hospital (BDGH) at the age of 73, after a year-long battle with cancer. Mr Roebuck deserves a special mention here because his history archive formed the basis of the Penistone Archives, located in the 'Neville Roebuck Room', Lower Hall, Penistone St John's Community Centre. A good three-page article about his life appeared in the third Archive Journal booklet from Penistone History Archives, published towards the end of 2017. Neville had amassed a great amount of material, largely in the form of newspaper cuttings from the Barnsley Chronicle and other sources, and largely focussing on Green Moor, Hunshelf and Penistone. He tried very hard to find a permanent home for the collection. In a conversation with Neville at the opening of the Stottercliff extension (see 2007 above), he said that he had written to every PTC councillor (through the Town Council office), to elicit their interest in the project. To his great disgust and dismay, he later discovered that the councillors had not received his letters. During 2010, Neville set up the Penistone and District Community Archives Trust and gained funding to have his work digitised with a view to make it more accessible to the public. For a time, the collection was made available to the public in a side room of the Paramount. After the room was provided in the Community centre, Penistone History Group took on the archive collection and the task of sorting and organising the collection. Since then, the Penistone Archive has grown considerably and added new items of historical interest, including commemorative plates and photographs. In a sense, the Penistone Archive is in competition with the Barnsley Archive whose collection is not as easily accessible to the local public and only a limited amount is on show in the Barnsley museum. Some of Penistone's historic material (such as the Town Hall deeds and, allegedly, the historic Penistone Market Charter) have been lost in the Barnsley Archive. Please see Pen Archive Group (Facebook). As of 2017, they do not have a website.
30th Aug. Tesco Food Supermarket - Officially opened, 10am, Bank Holiday Monday, as part of a £15 redevelopment in Penistone Town Centre. The red ribbon cut by Penistone Mayor Cllr Carol Bradbury and Barnsley Council's Deputy Mayor Cllr John Parkinson. Store manager Mick Somerset gave £1,000 cheques to each mayor for their chosen charities. The road it was built on, leading down to a new roundabout on St Mary's Street, was never given a name. See the Penistone1 page describing in brief the Town Centre regeneration project.
2011   Decade of expansion. Between 2001 and 2011, Penistone's population increases by 11.6% as the number of dwellings increases by 14.4%. See how Penistone developed over the years on this Penpic history page.
February First use of Penistone's Penistone Market Cruck Barn as a retail market. It was not quite finished at the time, with the rear part cordoned off, and not yet 'officially' opened. This oaken barn had been built by Carpenter Oak of Devon. The new 'Market Cruck Barn' had been part of a £multi-million town centre regeneration scheme (see Penistone1). Initial problems with high winds and poor lighting caused great discomfort but glass panelling and better lighting fitted in 2012 largely put matters right. The builders had offered advice on lighting and other matters but had been disregarded by Barnsley Council. An early picture before modifications. See July below.
2nd May Penistone Grammar School re-opened on a site lower down Huddersfield Road than the old Weirfield site, just above the former Netherfield Workhouse which had been for many years an Old People's Home and later used by the PGS Sixth Form. The historic Penistone Union Workhouse (1861) was unceremoniously demolished to make way for the new school and this caused some local upset. Most other buildings were demolished but a campaign started in 2012 by local artist Sarah Catterall gained popular support to preserve the remaining Fulford Building and Weirfield House, with the hope of finding a community use for them (Campaign Facebook). Penistone Town Council also declared 'its full support' for the campaign but it was ultimately in vain. Fulford building was demolished in 2014. As a new £35m, state-of-the-art school, some School Governors had attempted to change its name to 'Penistone Grammar ALC' but failed to secure enough votes, as a school name-change would require a unanimous vote and this was not achieved. Its full legal name continues as 'Penistone Grammar School.' Although it is not the legal name, the appendage of 'ALC' is frequently used by Barnsley Council and its local connections. to the general public, the abbreviation of 'PGS' is well-established.
26th June Penistone's first Festival of Folk in the new Market Barn, in the hope of becoming an annual event to replace the earlier 'Penistone Sing' tradition on or near the Feast of St John. This was organised by Carol Bradbury and Chris McShane with Penistone Church, Penistone Round Table and others. It had a full billing of singers and dancers and proved to be a great success. A similar 2012 event followed a similar format but proved to be the last one. A breakdown in BMBC communications led to the Market Barn being double-booked with an Artisan Fayre in 2013, leading to that year's Folk Festival being cancelled, never to return. The problem was two systems of booking the Market Barn at BMBC which were not co-ordinated. The Festival of Folk did not return in 2014. See Folkfest page.
21st July Penistone's New Market - Officially opened by Penistone Mayor BMBC Cllr Steve Webber and Barnsley Mayor, BMBC Cllr Karen Dyson. The Market Cruck Barn was opened in a remarkably low-key celebration with an almost complete news blackout both before and after the event. Even the market traders did not know of the event until it unfolded in front of them. A news blackout was imposed by Penistone FM who later explained that they had complied with a request by BMBC Markets to play down the occasion following bad publicity. The Market Barn had been part of a £15m redevelopment of Penistone Town Centre, which also included a new car park and Tesco food store. Generally called the 'Market Barn', it was used for the first time in February 2011. Weather ingress had been a problem from the start as the building then had open sides. Market traders had their goods scattered around with each gust of wind. Penistone people were incredulous about how the designer had not taken into account the geography and climate of the exposed location, or indeed local knowledge. Glass panelling was later added to very effectively remedy the weather problems. Better lighting was also fitted. See the Penistone1 page describing in brief the Town Centre regeneration project and see the Market Tour page for some background.
  Rose and Crown closed for the last time, to be taken over as offices after extensive alterations. The building had been erected in 1869, next to an even earlier and adjacent Rose and Crown which was used as a coach stop and had stables. The earlier one would have blocked the top of Shrewsbury Road. See the Old Inns page.
2012   Alumni War Memorial unveiled at Penistone Grammar School, after its removal from the old school buildings and restoration. It was originally unveiled in 1948 in the old school, following the end of the Second World War, but was removed from Fulford Building when it was about to be demolished (c.2011). School Governors had intended to re-site the memorial in Penistone Church but, following a public outcry, mostly through letters to Barnsley Chronicle, the school authorities bowed to public opinion and returned it to the new Grammar School. It is a stone with a brass plate, sited close to the car park entrance, near the earlier Fulford Building location.
2013   Penistone Ward Alliance - Formed this year, as a spin-off from the Penistone Area Council (PAC - the six Penistone East and Penistone West BMBC ward councillors). Penistone Ward Alliance receives funding from BMBC for local use and has members drawn from local community, parish/town councils, businesses and faith representatives but is about 50% made up of local or BMBC councillors. The Penistone Area Review 2015/16 document (pdf) explains it all.
  Hawley's Sawmill Demolished, Penistone Green, on the junction of Green Road and Mortimer Road. Before the sawmill was constructed, this had been the village green. This business had a long history but the building was not occupied for some years and fell into decay. Recorded in White's Sheffield & District Directory of 1871: Hawley, Thomas & Joseph (joiner and timber merchants, general wood turners, and saw mills), residing at Penistone in 1871. From Sheffield Indexers. See the 1820s and 1937. Of further interest is the planning page for the demolition and new housing development on the site at Barnsley MB Council: Planning Reference 2012/1127. The sawmill extended to 2,238m2 (24,092ft2 ) of gross internal floor area on two storeys within a site extending to 0.166 ha (0.41 acres).
May Frank Platts' Shop Closes. This television and white goods shop had a long history at the top of Shrewsbury Road, dating back at least to the 1960s (start date not known). At times, Frank Platt's had branches in Stocksbridge, Glossop, Shepley, Penistone and Holmfirth, with Holmfirth being the headquarters. Latterly, there were just two shops, Penistone and Holmfirth. The Penistone shop was still viable as a business when it closed but its third-generation owners had decided to sell up and realise their assets. The Holmfirth shop also closed at about the same time and became an arts and crafts shop. After renovations and a new, wider frontage, the Penistone shop re-opened as Harrington's Butcher (formerly next to Wiseman's) in June 2014. As a footnote, the late Brian Clegg had served in the shop for countless years and was well known and liked in our district. He died on a trip to Cuba in 2018 and his funeral was held on Thursday 22nd February 2018 in Penistone Church.
3rd June Top Gear Comes to Town - A popular tv show (at that time) 'Top Gear' visited Penistone, largely for the potential to make a typically juvenile joke out of the name. Presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond joy-rode on a hovercraft. A gate sign was arranged to read 'Top Penis Engine Work' when partly open. Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the presenters but failed to ROFL.
June Centenary of The Carnegie Free Library - from 1913. The old library had been part-funded by public subscription and by the American/Scottish philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. The initials 'AC' can be seen in the doors facing Shrewsbury Road. Carnegie was largely responsible for the development of free public libraries throughout the USA and the UK, which helped us to be a literate and inventive nation. Unfortunately, following a dispute with the controlling Barnsley MB Council about ownership of the building, a rigorous search for the Carnegie Library deeds in Barnsley Archives by the late Cllr George Punt proved entirely fruitless. The deeds and other archive materials had been transferred to Barnsley after Local Government Reorganisation in the 1970s. The centenary passed without ceremony. Penistone library moved to its current location next to St Andrew's in 1966. See History.
  James Durrans (Blacking Company) - Founded in 1863, the company celebrated its 150-year anniversary this year, having become a large company with four UK manufacturing sites, outposts in Germany and China and with joint ventures in South Africa, India, Germany and France. From James Durrans and Sons (website). In 2018, it was announced that the company would be involved in manufacturing the latest carbon technology to be used for next-generation computers. Blacking is made of carbon dust and has many applications, such as tyre manufacture and electrically-conductive film.
July Penistone Historic Archive - From their leaflet, this had been 'Re-born and opened to the public' following a request by Penistone Town Council (PTC) to take ownership and develop the archive. The Archive Group is an off-shoot of Penistone Local History Group, which was founded in 1986. The archive material is based upon a large collection of historical materials donated by the late Neville Roebuck, who passed away in 2009. Mr Roebuck had been trying for many years to find a home for his collection. For a time it was available to the public in a room below the Paramount on Market Days (Thursdays). Interest faded after Neville died and the collection went into storage beneath the Paramount Theatre's stage. A room was found for the group by PTC in the Lower Hall of the Community Centre (the former St John's School) and named 'The Neville Roebuck Room' in honour of his work. The History Group and public added to Neville Roebuck's collection to form the archive. Much of its contents were scanned and put into a searchable database on computer. By the end of 2014, the collection included more than 20,000 files, more than 200 books and a large number of photographs. The Archive is manned by volunteers and open to the public on Market Days. Although the group had been on Facebook for a while, a Penistone Archive website launched in 2018.
15th Dec Last Carol Service at Hoylandswaine Methodist Church, off Haigh Lane, prior to closing its doors. Although the capacity of this 206-year old church was 200, its usual congregation had ultimately dwindled to between eight and fifteen people. Methodist Minister Cameron Stirk oversaw the last Carol Service. (From Barnsley Chronicle article by Ed Elliot, Penistone Edition, 20th Dec 2013). See 1807 and 1999.
2014 2nd Apr Penistone 1 Opened - Overlooking St Mary's Street. This is a shops and offices complex which mostly overlooks St Mary's Street, on the site of the former slaughterhouse and lairage. The entrance lobby and offices are accessed from the newly-named 'Regent's Gardens' behind the Old Crown and Spread Eagle (Marsden's Square); the shops being mostly on St Mary's Street, with others on Market Lane. The official opening ceremony was led by Mark Dransfield of Dransfield Properties with Barnsley Council Leader Sir Stephen Houghton CBE as guest of honour. Penistone Mayor Cllr Jonathan Cutts and other councillors also attended. The event was the conclusion of many months building the new offices and shops complex. The highest unit was built on the site of the old 'Lock Up' (Penistone Jail) and designed with external features which hint at the former arched architecture. Some of the removed jail stonework was built into a new wall overlooking the St Mary's Street Roundabout, near the coal drops. Originally called 'The Gateway', the complex was re-named 'Penistone 1' just prior to opening. This area (behind the Old Crown) was formerly named Marsden's Square but the name was associated with the slaughterhouse on the site and now easily forgotten. See Dransfield's Penistone Page and Penistone 1 page.
17th April Dedication of the QEII Field in Trust - Plaque unveiled by the children's play area, on Penistone Recreation Ground (usually called the 'Showground'). The QEII scheme was set up as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 2012, where the National Playing Fields Association oversaw the protection of land for recreational purposes, upon application and voting by the communities involved. This was the 'Fields in Trust' (FiT) scheme. Penistone's application resulted in a high return of votes, putting us in eighth place in the country for voter response. Upon Penistone's successful FiT application, Barnsley MB Council's cabinet signed a legal deed to make the area a 'Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field', to confer protection on the Showground 'forever', whilst still retaining 'ownership' and control. With this, Barnsley Council the freedom to sell it or use it for any other purpose than recreation and related activities was removed. Barnsley MB Council had assumed ownership of this recreation land and other public assets under the 1972 Local Government Act and had at one time plans to build a housing estate on the land, later abandoned. Mr Chris Copley of the National Playing Fields Association led the ceremony with a fine speech explaining the background to the scheme and Penistone Mayor Jonathan Cutts with Barnsley Mayor Ken Richardson unveiled the FiT plaque.
4th May
Thurlstone War Memorial Inauguration. A new War Memorial for Thurlstone had been proposed at the first AGM of Thurlstone Community Group (TCG) in January 2011, which had been formed the year before in January 2010. Various set-backs had delayed the sculpting of the stone, which was being made to a very high standard. This event was a year late, having been originally scheduled for Sunday 5th May 2013. The stone was donated by Roger Hunt of Hillside Quarry, designed by Jim Millner (stonemason and landscape gardener) and the lettering inscribed by Elizabeth Stokoe. By May 2014 it was completed and fixed in place. See January 2010 and the first Remembrance Sunday Ceremony of November 2014. The Barnsley War Memorials Project has recruited volunteers to compile Rolls of Honour on all of the borough's War Memorials. (Thurlstone)
24th May PGS Time Capsule Opened. The capsule had been discovered as an unexpected treasure when the Fulford Building (formerly called 'A' Block) was being demolished this year. The glass jar had been placed under the main entrance door. The Time Capsule was opened in a ceremony in Penistone Grammar School's main lecture theatre. The contents were extracted one by Jenny Conley of Barnsley Museum. The event was attended by several hundred people and overseen by PGS Principal Jo Higgins with Vice-Principal Paul Crook. The contents included a piece of the Yorkshire Post (8th April 1911), a list of tuition fees, a shilling (1/-), a florin (2/- = 20p in modern money), a hand-written note and a school prospectus. See PGS-Archive.
  Penistone FM CR Licence. The five-year for Penistone FM was renewed, following modifications to the application and a reduction in the number of Directors. At this time, only one renewal for a 'Community Radio' class of broadcast licence is allowed under Ofcom rules, limiting the service to ten years in total. Having started on 6th June 2009, the last day would be in 2019. Ofcom reference: CR153.
  Penistone Leisure Centre ('Sporting Penistone') becomes a Charity. Based on the former Drill Hall on Manchester Road, between Penistone and Thurlstone, a grass roots organisation was formed in 2012 to provide sport facilities for our area. It became a registered charity 9th July 2014, amended 17th Nov 2017, number 1157786. See Penistone Leisure Centre (Facebook).
Sun 3rd August

Great War Remembrance Ceremony 11am, Stottercliff Cemetery, the day before the centenary day of the Great War of 1914-18, to honour The Fallen of that terrible conflict. Organised by Royal British Legion member Mr Joseph Pinguey, who had voluntarily cleaned the cemetery's war graves (now designated as Commonwealth War Graves) and some graves at Tankersley and Thurgoland, using materials donated by Naylor-Myers and Penistone Tesco. The event was well supported by the public, relatives of the Fallen, Army Cadets, Air Force Cadets, members of Penistone Town Council, with representation from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment. The ceremony was led by Mr Terry Whittles, President of the Penistone Branch of the Royal British Legion (later to become national President) and assisted by Mr Derek Whitworth who laid a wreath with Penistone Mayor Cllr Steve Marsh. Wreaths were laid at plots marked by flags and guarded by cadets. Also wreaths from Representatives of the Armed Forces; RBL Officials; Dignitaries and Police. A bugler played the Last Post. (Details from Barnsley Chronicle, 1st Aug 2014).
Mon 4th
Great War Ceremony - Penistone War Memorial, 11am 4th Aug (Centenary day). An event shown on TV from St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Mons, Belgium included British and Belgian Royalty and the British PM. The Germans had built the cemetery during the conflict and respectfully interred soldiers from both sides. Nationally, the Centenary was well covered, with newspaper 'Specials' and several hours of BBC television and radio coverage. The day culminated in a splendid ceremony in Westminster Cathedral with wartime poems, readings as candles were gradually extinguished. As part of the 'Million Candles' event, people in Penistone and throughout Europe lit candles (particularly in their windows) and turned out their lights at 10pm.
October Centenary of Penistone Town Hall (The Paramount Theatre) celebrated in an invitation-only ceremony which closely replicated the opening events of 1914. See the Town Hall history page for a full description of the event, which received publicity on BBC TV's 'Look North' (but not on 'Community Radio'). A year-long series of events was planned up to November 2015, the anniversary of films first being being shown in the hall. Although the Town Hall is generally used for film shows and live entertainment, its function as a public hall continued as a requirement of its use. As of 2014, a long-running search for legal documentation to 'prove' its ownership by the people of Penistone continues but without success, having been started by the late Councillor George Punt in the 1990s. For a time in the mid-naughties, Barnsley MB Council considered selling the building, having appropriated Penistone's assets in the 'Local Government Reorganisation' 1972, enacted 1974.
October Centenary of Thurlstone and Millhouse Green Methodist Church. The foundation stone had been laid on 11th April 1913 with the first service on 10th October 1914. A Flower Festival in June - July celebrated the centenary year. Looking at the exterior, the church is built with stone and has a porch with doors on both the outside and inside. Above the porch is a stained-glass window and above that a stone inscribed in beautiful gothic script: '1914' (and below that) 'Primitive Methodist Church'. A wooden cross also adorns the outside wall, now affixed to (and partly hiding) a plastic burglar alarm box. The sign outside describes the church as: 'Thurlstone Providence Particular Baptist Church'. Here is my description from 2016: The church has traditional wooden pews (still in place in 2017) and is mainly carpeted in red, except for the pews. The organ pipes are set back in an equilateral pointed arch surrounded by words in gothic script, blue with red initials: 'Enter Into His Courts With Praise'. An ornate pulpit is adorned by a red draped cloth carrying initials which appear to be 'JIL', overlaid with a large 'S'. The pulpit is set on a raised platform, which is quite wide, perhaps 12 foot long by 4 foot deep, and with a chair at one side. Before that at ground level is a wooden table, which might function as an altar, inscribed with the words: 'This is in remembrance of Me', standing between two austere, tall-backed wooden chairs. Before the table is a budded wooden cross on a three-step plinth. A spacious Sunday School room has removable wooden panels into the main part of the church. The room is used for functions and such as cream teas, as it has tables and chairs, and it has a toilet with fittings and access for the disabled. This delightful church continues to this day with a small congregation. It has a function room which can be used for community events . See also April 1913. See 1913.
22nd Oct Children Murdered by their Father - This terrible crime was committed in a semi-detached house in Tennyson Close (off Wentworth Road), Penistone. Two children, Jack (12) and Paul Sykes (9), died as a result of the fire deliberately started by their father, Darren Sykes, using an accelerant. The children had been lured by the promise of a new model railway set and were excited by the prospect, only to be locked in a room and the house set alight. The fire service arrived quickly at 6.30pm. A neighbour's house had to be ventilated to remove what smelt like petrol fumes. The whole street was cordoned off. The father and youngest son died on the day but the older son bravely clung to life in hospital for six days before passing away in his mother's arms. The bereaved mother Claire Sykes made the statement: "They had no chance. They were like rats in a trap and they fell for his cold and calculated plan." The Daily Mirror front page was taken up by the story and it was strongly featured in national media and local newspapers, but not on Penistone FM. The funeral of the boys occurred on the rainy morning of Friday 14th November at Penistone Church, with a human chain formed around the church. This was very well attended by local people, who wore bright clothes as requested. Again, it was featured in the national media and local newspapers. Penistone Grammar School held their own service at the same time. The Penistone community was very shocked by this callous crime and very moved by the funeral. A collection in local shops raised more than £4,000 to help Claire, the bereaved mother. The father's funeral was conducted privately and without publicity in a Manchester crematorium. As the cost of renovating the house was not insurable, the local community rallied around to raise funds and do the work, most notably by Penistone Round Table. Local builders and tradesmen also pitched in at their own expense and several 'Care for Claire' events held to raise money. As Penistone Bonfire Night followed soon after, it was thought insensitive to perform the usual burning of Guy Fawkes and a competition for the 'Best Guy' was abandoned. Memorial and fund-raising events continued into 2016. See BBC News and Daily Mail online for 14th November 2014.
31st Oct Centenary of Penistone Town Hall, at Penistone Town Hall (Paramount Theatre). This event celebrated an important milestone in the development of Penistone's stature as a town, when it gained a new Town Hall in 1914 attached to the Carnegie Library which had opened the year before. The building had been financed from the community by an additional cost to local taxes. The adjacent Masonic Hall was built at the same time. Although a civic occasion, the centenary event had been by invitation only. The intention was to replicate the 1914 opening event as closely as practicable, including the same style of food and drink. Fine speeches were delivered by Kirklees Mayor Cllr Ken Smith, Penistone Mayor Cllr Steve Marsh and the Paramount Manager, Mr Brian Barnsley. Penistone MP Angela Smith also attended. Thurlstone Brass Band played just as their forbears had done in 1914. There had been a news blackout by Penistone FM and the local council but a crew from BBC TV 'Look North' turned up and presented a very good interview with the Manager Brian Barnsley, live on air. The Barnsley Chronicle also followed up with an excellent article by Penistone reporter Ed Elliott, outlining the event and the history of the Town Hall (providing some useful information for this website). See Town Hall History.
9th Nov
First Remembrance Sunday of Thurlstone's New War Memorial. Warrant Officer David Nettleton of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), a serving soldier, read out the roll of the Fallen. Others attending were: Mrs Sharon Unsworth, St Saviour's Church; Mrs Charlotte Gibbins, Thurlstone School; Frank Hart, RBL; Cllr Joe Unsworth, BMBC; Cllr Steve Webber, PTC; Miss Joanne Whittaker, Daisy Chains and Mrs Maxine Daly-Widnall, TCG. The event was helped by Margaret Crossland of St Saviour's Church, Thurlstone and local schoolchildren took part in the proceedings by placing their crosses on the memorial. WO David Nettleton saluted the memorial after the two minutes' contemplative silence. Wreaths were laid from organisations, the church and the two public houses. See January 2010 and May 2014.
2015 Fri 8th,
Sat 9th
'Penistone Remembers' VE Day - A small remembrance service on the actual anniversary day of Friday 8th May and a special 70th Anniversary thanks-giving service in Penistone Church on Saturday 9th May. This service was packed out with 'standing room only' at the back. It was led by curate Rev. Anne Parr, with an address by MP Angela Smith and a bible reading from St John by Mr Terry Whittles, national vice-chair of the Royal British Legion and President of Penistone RBL Branch. It had a 1940s theme with wartime music, Pathé newsreels and the church bells were rung. This remembered an historic moment in our country, the declaration of peace after more than five years of war. Service associations and some of Penistone's oldest WWII veterans attended. The catering ladies wore 1940s-style dungarees. In August. a small service by the War Memorial remembered VJ Day. VE Day and VJ Day.
May St Mary's RC Church - 50th anniversary and redecorated for the event. The church was built by John Callanan and consecrated by Bishop George Dwyer, Bishop of Leeds on Monday 31st May 1965. It is not clear how the nearby St Mary's street came to be so-named but it long preceded the building of St Mary's church.
6th June Penistone FM relocated into Suite 7 of the 'Penistone 1' Development, overlooking St Mary's Street and opposite Penistone RBL but only accessible from the rear of the building. This was on the sixth anniversary of the radio station. See the News Item from Dransfield Properties. The big move was from 8a High Street, above the Cafe Crème. After a very successful public support campaign in March 2016, Penistone FM was awarded £48,683 from ITV's People's Projects.
New Picnic Area in 2015. The local Trans-Pennine Trail Volunteers set up a picnic area near Bullhouse bridge, complete with information board describing the Bullhouse Bridge derailment accident of 1884. The sign reads 'This was the site of a rail disaster in 1884. An express passenger train derailed here and continued down the embankment, killing 24 people.'
24th July Well Pharmacy - Penistone Mayor Cllr Andrew Millner officially relaunched Penistone Co-op Chemist under its new name of as Well Pharmacy. The shop was well-established until national mis-management of the Co-op's banking arm threw the brand into freefall, leading to cut-backs throughout the Co-op businesses. A survival strategy was to sell off Co-op pharmacies to 'Well Phamacies' in 2014. To make the take-over as seamless as possible, the Co-op name continued until 2015 with the same staff and services retained. Well Pharmacies is part of the multinational 'Bestway' conglomerate which originated in Pakistan. From Wikipedia: 'Following months of speculation, The Co-operative Group revealed in July 2014, that they had come to an agreement to divest the pharmacy business to the Bestway Group for £620 million. The sale was completed in October 2014 and Bestway were given a licence to continue using the Co-operative brand for 12 months. In 2015, Bestway began to rebrand the company as Well.'
Nov New War Memorial at Ingbirchworth - From Paul Whitehouse in the Barnsley Chronicle, the new War Memorial was the culmination of a long-term project by Gunthwaite and Inbirchworth Parish Council, which leased the site on Wellthorne Avenue from Barnsley Council for 125 years, at a peppercorn rent. Two Rolls of Honour, from the Great War (55 names) and  WWII (17 names) were rescued from the recently-closed Ingbirchworth Methodist Church by Ingbirchworth shopkeeper, Arthur Holmes. His late wife Marlene had been the church secretary. The Rolls of Honour were displayed in Arthur's shop on Wellthorne Lane until the shop closed down. The Barnsley War Memorials Project had recruited volunteers to compile Rolls of Honour on all of the borough's War Memorials. From Pen Area Review, p.16, pdf: 'Elizabeth Stoker did the graphic design for the inscription, Dave Bedford a local stonemason carved the inscription, Marshall’s Quarry donated stone for the plinth and local farmer, and roofing contractor Ged Parker provided and operated heavy machinery to lift the main obelisk into place. Six residents assisted with the considerable labour involved. The project came to fruition through the commitment of members from Ingbirchworth Parish Council and a grant of £3,850 from the Penistone West Ward Councillors' Devolved Ward Budget.'
Nov Centenary of films being shown in Penistone Town Hall (Paramount Theatre). Friday 20th November 2015 was the centenary date of films being first shown in Penistone Town Hall in 1915, which had opened in 1914. The Town Hall premises had been let to Mr Jesson after the Penistone Urban District Council licenced it for 'Cinematographic entertainments'. At the time, there had been a rival cinema operating off St Mary's Street for several years. This centenary event was celebrated by the showing of popular films from across the decades. See Town Hall History.
2016 Feb. Wortley Church Bells. The bells, bearings and other bell fixtures of St Leonard’s church had become extremely worn, which also affected the accuracy of change ringing. They had been originally fitted in 1893 by John Warner and Sons Bell Founder (est. 1739), now closed down. The bells and fixtures were extensively overhauled by John Taylor and Co. Bell Founder of Loughborough, with new headstocks, gudgeons, ball races and everything completed in February 2016. This followed three years of fund-raising £43,000 for the work. There were many contributors to the fund but, in particular: Viridor Credits Environmental Company, The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, The Yorkshire Association Bell Repair Fund, the YACR Sheffield Branch 100 Club, Sharpe Trust, Irwin Mitchell LLP Charity Fund, Wortley Parish Council, The Post Office Trust Charity and The Blakemoor Foundation. Details from Wortley Tower.
22nd Feb. Professor David Hey the local historian. He died after a short illness. David was late of Sheffield University as Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History and former Dean of the Faculty of Education. He wrote many local history books. From Sheffield FHS, 'David’s passing is not only a loss to the society but to the wider study of local and family history.' Some of his titles are listed here (dates from Amazon, which might not be first edition dates):
  • 'A History of Yorkshire: County of the Broad Acres' (2012),
  • 'Family Names and Family History' (2003),
  • 'Journeys in Family History: Exploring Your Past, Finding Your Ancestors' (2003),
  • 'A History of Penistone and District' (2002),
  • 'How Our Ancestors Lived: A History of Life 100 Years Ago'(2002),
  • 'History of Sheffield' (1998),
  • 'The Oxford Guide to Family History' (1993),
  • 'Family History and Local History in England' (1987)
  • 'Yorkshire from Ad 1000 (Regional History of England)' (1986),
  • 'Buildings of Britain, 1550-1750 : Yorkshire' (1981),
  • 'The Making of South Yorkshire' (1979),
  • 'An English Rural Community: Myddle Under the Tudors and Stuarts' (1974).
Mar 50th Anniversary of Penistone Library. Of course, this was not the first Library in Penistone but it was purpose-built and opened in 1966. The anniversary was marked by exhibition stands from local societies and authors, a fine speech by the Mayor, Cllr Andrew Millner and a good spread of buffet food. Previous Librarians were in evidence and MP Angela Smith also attended but did not take part. The occasion was well-attended. See the Town Hall History page for historic details of the Library and its predecessor.
29th April Penistone HSBC Bank Closed - An arrangement was made for personal customers to use the Post Office counter. From Penistone Branch Closure Assessment (pdf): 'The agreement we have with the Post Office® allows our personal customers to use any of the Post Office® counters to pay in cash or cheques, withdraw money or check their balance. Using their HSBC Business Debit Card, business customers can use any of the Post Office® counters to pay in and withdraw cash or check their balance. Varying limits will apply to cash transactions and customers should check this in advance with the local Post Office®.' Other HSBC Branch closures were announced for Almondbury and Denby Dale, with the Holmfirth branch due to close in January 2017. At the same time of this announcement, Penistone Natwest Bank advertised its reduced opening hours and this was a prelude to the Penistone Natwest branch being scheduled to close in 2018, leaving Penistone without a bank (see 2018 below). According to the Telegraph newspaper, 399 HSBC branches closed in 2015. HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank) had previously taken over the Midland Bank chain. See HSBC 'Branch Closure Impact' which lists some of the later closures.
1st July 'Penistone Remembers the Somme'. A ceremony by Penistone War Memorial (Penistone Church) commemorated the Somme campaign (July to November 1916) in the Great War which resulted in a huge loss of life affecting towns and villages throughout the land. Fifteen local casualties were honoured in Penistone: Thomas Brewer, KCYLI; Charles Burman, Manchester Regiment; Colin Clarke, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; John Clarkson, Manchester Regiment; Frank Fearnley, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; Ernest Fennel, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; William Jones, Royal Field Artillery; Ernest Knowels, Scottish Borderers; Frank Peace, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; James Peaker, West/Yorks Prince of Wales; Fred Platt, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; William Read, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; Charles Swift, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; Albert Vaughton, Yorks/Lancs Regiment; Albert Webster, Yorks/Lancs Regiment. Father David Hopkin conducted the event and Penistone's Deputy Mayor Cllr Andrew Millner officiated. PGS and St John's School pupils also were involved. Some of those whose family members had WW1 medals from the Somme put them on. The War Memorial area was cordoned off but, as it was a weekday, traffic continued to flow. Local radio station, Penistone FM, provided the PA system. Turnout was perhaps fifty people in a dignified ceremony. Following on in the church, St John's school juniors individually read out names of the fallen. Tea was provided and there were exhibition stands depicting points in the war.
Dec. JT Smith furniture shop closes. Established 1873 and trading as 'JT Smith & Sons', it latterly traded as 'JTS Interiors' but had also traded as 'Jaytees' online. Address: 6-10, St. Mary's St, Penistone, S36 6DT. The shop building was owned by Penistone Grammar School but rented out on their behalf by Barnsley Council (BMBC). It was allegedly becoming too expensive to run. Soon after it closed, Barnsley Council advertised the shop for rent at £2,000 a month (£24,000 a year). The Thurlstone branch of the same company had closed many years earlier.
2017 13th to
16th Feb.
Filming of 'Angel 2.0' - In Penistone. This was a short film and trans-media project starring Jim Moir, Jane Horrocks and Kayode 'Kay' Ewumi. The cast had rehearsed on 13th Feb. as equipment was being rigged. Shooting in the Paramount took place over two days, 14th/15th Feb. The third day of shooting took place at The Huntsman, Thurlstone. The story: Frank the angel (Kayode Ewumi) is on his last mission before returning to heaven. He encounters psychic Bernard (Jim Moir aka Vic Reeves), performing in Bernard de La Reine's 'Talking With Angels' World Tour at one of his psychic shows. He is not doing well and arouses audience scepticism. Bernard's unseen wife Cheryl (Jane Horrocks) causes confusion through a hidden earpiece. 'Angel 2.0' was written and directed by Nick Wild. Producers: Nicci Topping and Rob Speranza; Production Manager: Mario Roberto; First Assistant Director: Joe Burrows. Two ARRI cameras were used as 'A' and 'B' cameras. As many as 150 extras ('Supporting Actors') took part (including yours truly). The registered company, Angel 2.0 appeared to be registered to Dunford Bridge. The film was shown in Sheffield in February 2019.
March/April Bicycle Sculpture - A steel sculpture by local artist Suze Crawshaw was affixed to the 'Penistone One' building overlooking St Mary's Street roundabout, on Maundy Thursday, 13th April. Suze's work was done for no charge as her contribution towards Penistone's Tour deYorkshire celebrations. The steel used was paid for by a donation. Dransfield Properties was credited with allowing it to be fixed to their building as a permanent feature. Penistone made a huge effort as a community to support the Tour deYorkshire bicycle race of this year, of which Stage 3 passed through our district on 30th April. To this end most shops and cafes decorated windows and walls with yellow bicycle images and the street was lined with blue Yorkshire flags. Many of the flag fittings were newly-installed in April. The 7-foot flagpoles had been made for a new Armed Forces Day event for 24th June the same year.
30th April
The Tour de Yorkshire. A magnificent day for the Penistone District. Stage three of the international cycle race set off from Bradford and, about four hours later, would pass through Millhouse Green, Thurlstone, Penistone, Oxspring, Thurgoland and beyond, to four categorised climbs and to eventually finish at the new Fox Valley shopping area. Several music stands and sideshows were set up in the Town Centre and villages on the route and many of the local shops and cafes were unusually open for a Sunday. The race was enthusiastically received by a crowd which was estimated by BMBC to be in the region of 9,000 to 10,000 spectators. A full report on this major local event can be found on a dedicated Tour de Yorkshire 2017 page on this site.
June Penistone Centre Stage folds. Announced in the Barnsley Chronicle of Friday 16th June, following the group's cancellation of Calamity Jane in March, mostly due to a lack of cast. The group had been founded in 1922 as Penistone Operatic Society.
  'Vehoparts' Car Spares Shop Closes. Just up the High Street from Penistone town centre, 'Vehoparts' had opened twenty years earlier in 1997. The shopkeeper had been very helpful with customers, to the extent of fitting car batteries, windscreen wipers, headlight bulbs and more for no extra charge. He retired to remove to France. The building has an interesting history and there had long been shops at both sides of it. If you study the left-side exterior, you can see the outline of an archway which led to the rear of the building. The Vehoparts fellow thought it might have been used by pack horses in the olden days. In the late 1950s to early 60s, part of the building was a TV and radio shop, owned by George and Ruth Marsh. After that, it became Mrs Janet Mott's wool shop. Mrs Hilda Champion also had the shop to sell wool and 'Tuff' shoes. She was selling school shoes there in 1964. Later it (or next door) became Mrs Pat James' School of Driving and a Mrs Stubbs had a driving school there. Many thanks to members of Penistone Archive Group on Facebook, for contributing their local knowledge and filling in some of the gaps for this item.
June UK Population exceeds 66 million. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) gave the 2017 UK population as 66,040,229, an increase of 392,000 people since mid-2016, having also increased by 7 million since the year 2000. It was predicted to exceed 70 million by 2029 (BBC article). The UK includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The 1911 census gave the population of England and Wales as 36,070,492. In 1871 had been 22,712,266. (A Vision of Britain)
  Policing Restoration Campaign - There was concern about the decline of policing in our area, caused by government cut-backs in funding. The local Labour party was prominent in campaigning, among others. The Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Paul Billings, attended a public meeting on the matter in the Council Chamber. He tried to explain how money was spent to the best overall advantage. When told that Penistone had not received its fair share of police cover, he remarked that our funding also helped to maintain policing in Barnsley Town centre, with the remark that - 'We all use Barnsley town centre, so it benefits us all' - but he was very surprised to discover that many of the public attending the meeting had little interest in Barnsley and rarely went there.
  Penistone Players fold. This was the second thespian group to end this year, after Penistone Centre Stage. Its assets were distributed among community-centred groups and societies. The only remaining thespian group would now be Penistone Theatre Group, best known for its children's pantomimes in January each year.
Sat 14th
Silent Film Special - Penistone Paramount. In a very full theatre, Buster Keaton's 'The General' silent film was shown and accompanied by Jonathan Eyre on the mighty Compton cinema organ. This had followed on from an hour of happy organ music performed by a very jolly Elizabeth Harrison, which was also well-received. Penistone is one of the few remaining places in this country where a silent film with accompanying organ music is still possible (and with an interval and beer). See Town Hall History.
2nd Sept Penistone Church Football Club played and won their first FA Cup qualifier match. This was versus Whitby Town in the Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round. Church won the game 3 - 2, after an early Whitby goal and an early PCFC sending off, with the remaining game played by only ten men on our local team. A home-goal by Penistone felt like an ill omen for the match and the score was 1 - 2 to Whitby until just before half time, when PCFC scored the equaliser, to a rousing cheer. The second half was largely uninspiring until the very last minutes, when new energy infused both teams. Penistone's winning goal was scored right at the end of the match. This had been a historic day for PCFC (and Penistone) in their first-ever shot at the actual FA Cup. Penistone Church FC, (Facebook)
15th Sept Penistone Grammar School to Enlarge. A proposal to increase the school's current capacity of 1400 pupils to 1650 pupils, with effect from September 2018 (implemented on a phased basis), was accepted by the Cabinet of BMBC. The proposal was submitted by the 'School Access Manager,' Maggie Francis. In a letter to PGS parents and guardians dated 29th November 2017, details of the proposals had previously been sent to 'interested parties' followed by a four-week consultation. To implement the decision, some re-modelling of the school interior is planned and a new extension to be built. The extra places to become available from 2019 onwards. An update from 27th September stated that: 'The Government’s indicative figures suggest the school should receive an additional £878,000 next year and an additional £1,164,000 the following year compared with the current school year.' The November Newsletter (pdf) reiterated that the school was to benefit from the Government’s National Funding proposals (NFF). We might speculate on the new funding influencing the expansion proposal. See 'Statutary Process for Enlargement of PGS' (pdf).
19th Dec New Co-op Funeral Parlour - Penistone Co-op Funeralcare officially opened, 1pm, Tuesday 19th December 2017 by PTC Councillor Roger Hinchliff (Penistone Mayor for 2017-2018) and the Regional Operations Manager, John Edward Sidlow. The ceremony with a capacity attendance was an ecumenical blessing service led by Father David Hopkin, who cast holy water throughout the building. The funeral parlour is an attachment to the existing Co-operative food store on the corner of Park Avenue and Market Street in Penistone but with its own entrance on Park Avenue. It has a reception area, a consulting room and a Chapel of Rest. Two staff manage the branch and organise occasional charity coffee mornings. The Penistone branch of Co-operative Funeralcare comes under the Barnsley section based at 50 Huddersfield Road, Barnsley, S75 1DR.
Dec Penistone Natwest Bank Announces Closure - Penistone branch announced its closure to take effect on Wednesday 27th June 2018. This follows the 2016 closure of the other bank (HSBC - see above), to leave Penistone with no banking facility beyond the Post Office. From the 1869-1969 centenary booklet of Penistone Urban District Council, the building on the corner of St Mary's Street had previously been occupied by the National Provincial Bank which had moved from a smaller site near the former Rose and Crown. The building was re-built in 1934. In 1968 the NP Bank announced its merger with Westminster Bank Ltd., but it continued to trade under its own name until vesting day of National Westminster Bank in 1970. Westminster Bank Ltd. (1836-1969) merged with the National Provincial Bank in 1970 to form the National Westminster Bank. The National Provincial Bank continued to exist as a dormant non-trading company until it was dissolved in 2016. National Westminster Bank was re-styled as 'Natwest' in 1995. See Everpedia and Westminster Bank.
2018 The
A year of weather extremes. A cold, snowy winter described as 'The Beast from the East' was followed by a long, hot and very dry summer, May to July, although local reservoirs were reasonably full until late August. An autumnal air crept in after the 'Indian Summer' of early September. This year had seen several violent storms across the Atlantic, arriving here in diminished form. 'Storm Ali' blew in on 19th September and caused chaos in Northern Ireland and Scotland, to be quickly followed in northern Britain by 'Storm Bronagh.' This brought gusting winds of 45 to 55mph, reaching more than 70 mph in places and torrential rain leading to more than 40 flood alerts across Britain. Trees parted company with bits and pieces, most visible while driving down the wooded Underbank Lane towards Stocksbridge. Sheffield received more than 30mm of rain, which is more than a typical month but in just one day. A September photograph on Facebook showed Ladybower reservoir being low enough to see the remains of old buildings. See Storm Bronagh at the Met Office.
Penistone Arts Festival - This new Penistone Ward Alliance initiative had its beginnings in late 2017, funded by Barnsley Council. The Ward Alliance is a body of local people (50% councillors). This was a week of artistic events including in pottery, painting, night photography, poetry walks and open microphone sessions. The Paramount showed two popular Willy Russell films, 'Educating Rita' and 'Shirley Valentine.' The week culminated in 'An Audience with Willy Russel' (otherwise titled 'Educating Rita Meets Educating Yorkshire') 24th March, hosted by Channel 4's Johnny Mitchell, star of the award-winning documentary, 'Educating Yorkshire.' Some events were associated with the Barnsley-based 'Hear My Voice Festival' a three-year project of creativity, poetry and words managed by Barnsley Museums. There had been an earlier attempt at Penistone Arts Festival in 2008, in association with the now-defunct 'Penistone and District Community Partnership' (PDCP). Several artisitic and innovative ideas were planned in 2008 but most of them failed to materialise. The event did not continue at that time. See Penistone Arts Week (Facebook).
18th Mar Kenneth 'Ken' Stuart - The well-known and respected local dairy farmer of Dyson Cote Farm (pronounced 'Coit'), Underbank, passed away in hospital on this day. His sons David and Michael continue to run the farm. The Facebook site for K Stuart & Sons had reminiscences about Ken's life but also this message from the family: 'R.I.P Ken Stuart ("The Gaffer") who sadly passed away on Sunday night weeks short of his 89th Birthday. Born in Howbrook in 1929, his family moved to Castle Green Farm, Penistone when he was about five years old, where he lived and worked until when he married Joyce in 1956 and bought Dyson Cote Farm. At the time, it was only 45 acres with little in the way of buildings but, over the years, the farm and business started to includ rented land to farm around 1000 acres in 2018. Farming was Ken's life and he always took great interest in what was going on right until the end, despite being seriously ill in hospital. The people at Dyson Cote Farm could always go to him for advice, and he always had the answers. Ken will be buried on the farm where he had lived and worked for most of his life ' Ken's wife Joyce passed away in 2019.
27th Jun Natwest Bank Closed, leaving Penistone without a bank for the first time in over a century. The Post Office would provide some services for businesses to help plug the gap. Penistone continued with a branch of Yorkshire Building Society.
27th Aug Last Organ Concert at St Andrew's - 1pm, St Andrew's Church, High Street, Penistone. This marked the end of an era, of organ concerts at St Andrew's Church for fifteen years. Audiences had been dwindling and artistes had been ageing. Organ performances at Penistone Paramount and the Astoria Centre (Barugh Green) would continue as normal. The digital organ is highly programmable for different styles of music and is destined to join a collection of instruments at the Astoria Centre, Barugh Green, which is Penistone Organ Trust headquarters. Organ Trust (Facebook).
11 Nov 'Penistone Remembers' - Commemorating the centenary of the end of 'The Great War' on Armistice Day, which conveniently fell on Remembrance Sunday this year.
2019 Feb Very Mild February - The normal cold nights but unseasonably mild daytime temperatures in the latter part of the month, reaching 16 (degrees Celsius). The Jet Stream had formed a deep loop to our west, bringing warm air from west Africa. The usual cold, wind and rain storms returned in early March.
8th Mar Bobby Burton - The well-known former Police Conatable Ken Burton passed away. 'Bobby Burton,' as he was universally known, was based at Penistone Police Station from 1966 until he retired in 1992. He was described by family (on Facebook) as: 'A lifelong member of the Salvation Army, bandsman (of many instruments!), songster and lay preacher; his faith was a real source of strength for him.' ... 'In retirement he was a member, team captain and committee member of Millhouse Green Bowling Club, spending many hours relaxing on the green.' He leaves behind four adult children.
Feb Penistone Competitive Music Festival (PCMF) Ends. The PCMF was founded by Millhouse Green Male Voice Choir (MGMVC) in 1969. The Festival consisted of several categories of singing and music, starting in the morning with younger contestants and concluding in the evening with various choirs. Some selections were set-pieces and others were chosen by performers. The event had been well-attended over its 50 years and had been sponsored by local people and businesses. Mr David Wilkinson had been Festival Secretary for 42 years and was ready to retire. As the Committee members were all elderly, they did not feel able to take on the job and hoped for a new Secretary to continue the event. An invitation for a new Festival Secretary was posted in Penistone and on this website for several months, hoping to attract 'new blood' and perhaps new ideas, but it was to no avail. The Feb 2019 AGM accepted the inevitable and PCMF officially ended. Its last event was Saturday 29th September 2018 at Penistone Grammar School. The Committee decided that MGMVC and a local band might benefit from the remaining funds, by arrangement with the Charity Commission. The PCMF website has results of the 2018 Festival. See also 1969.
New Businesses - Cristello's Bridal shop opened Sat 23rd March and, although the adjacent Cristello Gin and Wine bar in the former JT Smith furniture shop had been ready to open the same day, it was prevented by licencing problems with BMBC. Mark Beevers opened a new greengrocer shop on Monday 25th March in the former Cheeky Monkeys shop, next to the market ginnel. This would leave the former Natwest and HSBC Banks and the corner antique shop remaining empty. Also around this time, Orca bathrooms quietly opened in the shops close to St Mary's Street roundabout, after moving from the former Wiseman's shop (where it had opened on Show Day, 2015). In April, two adjacent hairdressing shops opened in the former Wiseman's shop: 'New Face' barber's shop (which would also open on Sundays) and 'Flawless Beauty.'
April Freedom of the Town Awards - At its Monday 15th April meeting, Penistone Town Council recognised three worthy local residents for their services to the community, with the council's first 'Freedom of the Town' Awards for many years. They were each presented with framed certificates by the Mayor, Cllr Gill Millner. Congratulations to them all. The recipients were: Peter Barnes for his 29 years with the Fire Service, Martin Curson for years devoted to local volunteering activities and tidying up, and Joe Pinguey for his hard work in recognising the work and sacrifice of our nation's Armed Forces.
6th June Penistone FM Anniversary - This was both the tenth anniversary since going on the air full time and celebrating an extension to the Community Radio broadcast licence for five more years. It was marked with an open day and birthday cake for all. Penistone FM
16th July Barber Shop - A new gent's hairdresser shop opened in the former HSBC Bank building.
Quick Links: Intro - 1000 - 1600 - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000 - Refs - Generate English calendar for year: Time & Date

Sources Used in the Timeline
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Some small details were added from 'An Explorer's Guide to Penistone & District', 2006, a few leaflets describing local walks and some anecdotal remarks from Penistone people. Where information is anecdotal, it has been marked as such.

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