Timeline of History in the Penistone Area


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.
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 It has now been replaced by a row of modern houses.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.
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 and 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, an amount which had been the approximate population of England and Wales for centuries. British factories were booming in the 1950s, leading to a shortage of workers. The British government had 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. 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 - Declaration signed by representatives of participating local churches. A plaque in St John's Community Centre, Church Street, Penistone, has the following Declaration, endorsed by the appropriate signatures.
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 - A national epidemic in cattle prevented Penistone Show from exhibiting livestock, although the Show otherwise went on as usual. It also further undermined the viability of Penistone Livestock Market. The market had signs banning vehicles and asking the public passing through to keep to the wall side.
  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 by Barnsley Council (BMBC) after more than 400 years from its Market Charter being established in 1699. Local people and farmers strongly objected. BMBC gave the reason that the Meat and Livestock Commission considered the market to be no longer viable, having been seriously damaged in recent times by epidemics such as Foot and Mouth Disease 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. Panoramic view of old market place. A building to continue the Fur and Feather Auction had appeared on early Town Centre development plans originally but was removed on later drafts.
  Penistone 'Home Decor' (DIY Shop) Closed. 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. There was also a paint-mixing station to mix just about any colour imaginable. Upstairs had kitchen utensils and some children's toys. Unfotunately, it became unsustainable through the burden of the rates and an almost doubled rent, forcing it to close. The closing-down sale had been a sad affair. The Porters had lived on Southgate but later moved to Wentworth Road. According to a Barnsley Chronicle article (September 2017), the couple had devoted much of their time to local charities until their move in 2016 to Malton. Only a year later, Mr Porter died in September 2017.

Prior to Home Decor in 1988, it had been a textiles shop run by Mrs Avril Bailey, selling lengths of cloth manufactured by Firth Mill in Shepley. People often called in for a cup of tea and a chat. One addity about the textiles shop was that cloth lengths were sold in yards, but the widths were in metres. Following Home Decor's closure, and after being empty for several years, the shop had deteriorated and become very damp. It was extensively refurbished and became a lettings agent, 'Butcher Residential'.
2004   Peter Holmes - Butcher's shop closed in Upper Denby. This was Denby's last shop to close. A General Store in the village lasted from 1904 to 1960. It sold everything from clogs and slippers to ammonia and figs. A Co-op in the village 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), ready 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. It evolved from a previous music group formed in 1988. It has been 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). St John's Church has a good feature on the Project.
  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 crashed into the public house and demolished a large part of a corner wall. The whole pub was demolished within a few days to be replaced by a row of new houses on the 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.
  90th Anniversary of the first showing of films in Penistone Town Hall (now Paramount). This was marked by a fine exhibition of film equipment in an Open Day organised by the manager Steve Tales, who was a great film enthusiast. A silent film was also shown with piano accompaniment.
  Penistone and District Working Men's Club building demolished around this time, after standing abandoned and boarded up since the late 1990s. The site and its car park were used as part of the new Spring Vale Primary School. See Flikr Photo and my Spring Vale Reminiscences page.
2006 1st Aug. Yorkshire Day came to Penistone. Organised by the Yorkshire Society, its venue changes each year but is always celebrated on 1st August. This is open to Civic Leaders (Mayors, Lord Mayors and council officials) from Yorkshire and members of the Yorkshire Society. Penistone had various events for the day but suffered from wet and windy weather. 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. 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 download the operator's manual (pdf).
2007 Feb. Penistone Library re-opened after a serious refurbishment. It was closed towards the end of 2006. New facilities include a tutorial/conference room and the provision of computers allowed visitors to go on-line. See the Library page.
26th Feb. Fairtrade - Penistone officially becomes a 'Fairtrade Town'.
6th Mar. Extension to Stottercliffe Cemetery, Opened and consecrated. This lies 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 local historian the (now late) Neville Roebuck, well-known for his history work which (after he had died) provided the basis for the local history archive.
  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.
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   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 is played was 'The Greatest Day' by Take That. A trial period under a three-week 'Restricted Service Licence' (RSL) in Sept. 2006 proved very successful using a borrowed studio in Cubley. Upon gaining the CR licence with station founder Darren Holmes as Station Manager, studios were set up in No. 9, High Street (above Café Crème), Penistone, in a building owned by the local Conservative Party trust. Darren also worked in Barnsley Hospital Broadcasting and brought some of his BHB colleagues to help establish a viable radio station for Penistone, while continuing the hospital broadcasting.

The company was classified as 'Private, limited by guarantee, no share capital' at Companies House, Company No. 06257320 operating under a once-renewable, five-year 'Community Radio' (CR) class of broadcast licence. This class of licence allows public access, training, participation, issues, comments, discussions, etc. and is required to have a style which is distinct from mainstream broadcast stations.

This went well until the official opening of the Market Cruck Barn in 2011. But Penistone FM suppressed news of the opening. The reason for the suppression was explained in PFM Minutes, 8th August 2011, as being to comply with the wishes of Barnsley MB Council's 'Markets Team' which had wanted to down-play the event, in the face of a bad press about the Market Barn due to weather ingress problems. The new Market Cruck Barn was a major part of Penistone's £multi-million town centre regeneration scheme (see Penistone1). Councillors had controlled PFM's editorial policy from the start and prioritised BMBC's wishes above the station's core objectives of serving the community and being accountable to it. The opening event passed almost unnoticed by the public until a following Barnsley Chronicle publicised it. Acrimony and listener complaints naturally followed. A Special Meeting of the PFM Board of Directors resulted in the temporary expulsion of station founder Darren Holmes and his Community Director, Ian France, both of whom we must presume had held the station's core objectives above the fleeting whim of local politics.

The five-year CR broadcast licence was renewed in 2014, following modifications to the application and a reduction in the number of Directors from eight to five. The station moved into new studios in the Penistone 1 complex the same year, in time to celebrate the June anniversary. Its regime also became somewhat more independent and Darren Holmes reappeared in the limited role of overseeing CR Licence Compliance. Ofcom regulations had allowed only one further licence renewal but it was suggested that the law could change, given the number of stations operating on the CR broadcast licence. Otherwise, the station would end its ten years of broadcasting in June 2019.
  Demolition of old Penistone Grammar School buildings and new school buildings started. Fulford Building (the old 'A Block') remained standing for a while and local people attempted to keep it from demolition. A petition which was led by local artist Sarah Catterall gained several hundred signatures but an attempt to have the building listed failed with the reason that, although the it held a lot of local interest, it had not been distinctive enough for a listing. Part of the problem was the construction of the building would have made it difficult to re-purpose, and that purpose was hard to visualise. The developers kept the old Wierfield House and renovated it, while building new houses on the site of Fulford 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.
30th Aug. New 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   A 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

£35m state-of-the-art Penistone Grammar School 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 school, some School Governors had attempted to change its name to 'Penistone Grammar ALC' but failed to secure enough votes. Its full legal name continues as 'Penistone Grammar School.' The appendage of 'ALC' is most frequently used by Barnsley Council and its local connections.

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 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. It was not resurrected in 2014. See Folkfest page.
21st July Market Cruck Barn officially opened by Penistone Mayor BMBC Cllr Steve Webber and Barnsley Mayor, BMBC Cllr Karen Dyson in a remarkably low-key celebration, with an almost complete news blackout both before and after the event. The news blackout included both the local 'Community Radio' station, Penistone FM, and Penistone Town Council. 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. 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.
  The 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. That one would have blocked the top of Shrewsbury Road. See the Old Inns page.
2012   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 but was removed from Fulford Building when it was to be demolished. School Governors had intended to re-site the memorial in Penistone Church but a public outcry, mostly through letters to Barnsley Chronicle, pressed them to return 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   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 one time, Frank Platt's had branches in Stocksbridge, Glossop, 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 but its third-generation owners had decided to sell up and realise their assets. The Holmfirth shop also closed and became an arts and crafts shop. After renovations and a new frontage, the Penistone shop re-opened as Harrington's Butcher (formerly next to Wiseman's) in June 2014.
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. Penistone library moved to its current location next to St Andrew's in 1966. The centenary passed without ceremony.
July Penistone Archive opened to the public in the Community Centre. It was founded by Penistone Local History Group, which had been around for decades, and 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, which had for a time been made available to the public in the Town Hall on Market Days (Thursdays). Interest faded after he died and the collection went into storage beneath the Paramount Theatre's stage. A room was found in the lower hall of the Community Centre (the former St John's School) and named 'The Neville Roebuck Room' in honour of the collection. The collection was added to by the History Group and the public and much of its contents were scanned and put into a searchable database on a 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 currently (2016) manned by volunteers and open to the public on Market Days. Members of the public can be occasionally informed of Penistone Archive developments by adding their email address to the Archive's email list, by contacting brobinson@talktalk.net. The history group has weekly lectures most Wednesdays, 2pm in the Upper Room, Community Centre and it is always looking for new, local materials, photographs and almanacks, which are "Better kept in Penistone than lost in Barnsley".
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. The entrance lobby and offices are accessed from 'Regent's Gardens' behind the Old Crown and Spread Eagle; the shops are mostly on St Mary's Street. Some shops are on the un-named road to Tesco. 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' and designed with some external features which hint at the former arched architecture. Some of the removed jail stonework was built into a new wall overlooking the new St Mary's Street Roundabout, near the coal drops. Originally called 'The Gateway', the complex was re-named 'Penistone 1' just prior to its 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.
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.
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 held at 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 the local '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 means of a house fire, Weds 22nd October 2014. 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, although not on local 'Community Radio'.

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 was by invitation only. It was intended 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. Thurlstone Brass Band played just as their forbears had done in 1914. The event was not publicised by local 'Community Radio' or the local council but BBC TV Look North made a good interview with the Manager Brian Barnsley, aired live. Barnsley Chronicle followed up with an excellent article by Penistone reporter Ed Elliott, outlining the history and event. 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 8th, 9th
'Penistone Remembers' VE Day - This had a small remembrance service on Friday 8th May, the actual anniversary day, and a special 70th Anniversary Service in Penistone Church on Saturday 9th May. This thanks-giving service was packed out with some having to stand at the back. It had a 1940s theme, with wartime music, Pathé newsreels and the church bells were rung. 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. This remembered an historic moment in our country, with the declaration of peace after more than five years of war. the catering ladies wore 1940s style dungarees. Service associations and some of Penistone's oldest WWII veterans attended. A small service by the War Memorial was scheduled in August to remember VJ Day. VE Day and VJ Day.
May St Mary's RC Church - Celebrating its 50th year and redecorated for the anniversary. It had been built by John Callanan and consecrated by Bishop George Dwyer, Bishop of Leeds on Monday 31st May 1965.
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.
Nov Centenary of films being shown in Penistone Town hall (the Paramount Theatre). Friday 20th November 2015 was the centenary date of films being first shown in Penistone Town Hall, which had opened in 1914. The Town Hall had been let to Mr Jesson after the local council licenced it for 'Cinematographic entertainments'. The event was celebrated by showing some popular films from various 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. Death of Professor David Hey the local historian, after a short illness. Writer of local history books and late of Sheffield University as Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History and former Dean of the Faculty of Education. 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 Post Office counters to pay in cash or cheques, withdraw money or check their balance (See Penistone Branch Closure Assessment - pdf). Other 'HSBC Branch closures were Almondbury and Denby Dale, with Holmfirth branch January 2017. HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank) had previously taken over the Midland Bank chain. Penistone Natwest Branch was to continue but with reduced opening hours. According to the Telegraph newspaper, 399 HSBC branches closed in 2015. 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). This 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
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 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.
'Angel 2.0' - Filmed in Penistone. This was a short film and trans-media project starring Jim Moir, Jane Horrocks and Kayode 'Kay' Ewumi. Frank the angel (Kayode Ewumi) is on his last mission before returning to heaven. He encounters psychic Bernard (Jim Moir aka Vic Reeves), as in Bernard de La Reine's 'Talking With Angels' World Tour at one of his psychic shows that is not doing well. Bernard's unseen wife Cheryl (Jane Horrocks) causes confusion. The cast rehearsed on 13th Feb. as equipment was being rigged. Shooting in the Paramount took place over two days, 14th/15th Feb. The shooting third day took place at The Huntsman, Thurlstone. Two ARRI cameras were used in the 'filming'. 'Angel 2.0' written and directed by Nick Wild. Producers: Nicci Topping and Rob Speranza; Production Manager: Mario Roberto; First Assistant Director: Joe Burrows. As many as 150 extras ('Supporting Actors') took part (including yours truly). The registered company, Angel 2.0 appears to be registered to Dunford Bridge. It was not made clear where and when the film would be shown but emails have indicated that the Premier showing will be at the Paramount.
March/April Bicycle Sculpture - A steel sculpture by local artist Suze Crawshaw was affixed to the 'Penistone One' building next to 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 and the steel 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 which Stage 3 would pass through our district on 30th April. To this end most shops and cafes decorated their 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 were made for Armed Forces Day, planned 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. This was 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. It had been founded in 1922 as Penistone Operatic Society.
  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 remaining thespian group is Penistone Theatre Group.
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)
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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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