Kiveton Memories

In March 2006 Ron Scott, an ex inhabitant of Kiveton in the 1930s sent these memories of the place circa 1930 (my additions in brackets):

My story begins at Kiveton crossroads, known locally as Hard Lane, on one side of the crossroads was Home Coal Garage the road leading to Kiveton Park, or as we called it The Old Station Road. On the opposite side to the garage was Todwick Road. On the corner of this was a large old tree with a seat underneath where the old miners used to pass their time. In the past we were told there used to be Gallows there. On the road opposite Todwick Road the road led to Harthill. On this road opposite the garage was a shop owned by a person called Joey Lee’s. He was a milkman, and his shop sold everything, which was as well, because it was the only one in that part of Kiveton.

Carrying on the remaining road which led to Kiveton Bridge and thence to Wales there was a long row of Colliery houses called the Old Rows (one of which was called Park Terrace, demolished circa 1990 and replaced by a private housing estate) and houses called Stone Row at the side (also demolished). The Old Row houses were quite large having two rooms and a kitchen downstairs and three rooms upstairs, no bathroom of course. Behind the houses were large gardens followed by Allotments, then the football field also owned by the Colliery. Behind this the LNER Railway line and then the Pit! Mainstay of Kiveton.

Following the road to Kiveton Bridge, we come to some more private houses called Wigmoors Houses, on the opposite side of the road were just trees and a Market Garden at Todwick. I almost forgot to mention the doctor’s house build opposite Wigmoors Houses. There were two doctors in Kiveton, one here and one near Wales, who had to deal with all the people in Kiveton and outlying villages around, e.g. Harthill, Todwick, Walesbar, etc.

At last we come to some shops Newsagent and a Butcher. The news agent like all village shops sold everything, one side devoted to millinery, the other papers, toys, glassware. Opposite the shops, in 1924, a large council estate was built.

We are now approaching the Railway Station and another set of Pit houses called Little Rows (demolished in the 1980s and replaced by sheltered housing for OAPs). These had one room and a kitchen and two rooms upstairs. The kitchen was very small, but there was an old lady who kept a shop in it. Next we come to the schools, an Infant school (see also 1910 school photo) one side of the road and a Big school on the other. ‘Daddy’ Boulton was the headmaster of the Big School. On the opposite side of the Rows, was the Coop. This was the meeting place for women as they collected there groceries. Further down, Kiveton Bridge Station. This was built when the colliery grew and more people came to Kiveton.

Opposite the station was a field and my mother said she used to go to see Magic Lantern pictures which were brought by travelling Vendors. Down the side of the railway station it was known as Pit Lane. There were the colliery Offices, the Pit Baths, Pit etc and the Fire Station manned by colliery workers. Leaving the station and going down Wales Road, we passed the New Rows the latest Colliery Houses to be built, same size houses as the Old Rows. We then came to the Methodist Chapel, the only religious gathering in K.P. The shops followed, a Millinery, Hardware, Greengrocer, Beer off!, Chemist and then the Fish and Chips shop and the Regal Cinema. A few more houses and then we get to Wales, the Doctor’s, the Nurses surgery and the end of our journey in 1930.

Copyright Ron Scott/Paul Newbold.