Memories of Scawthorpe

The following article is taken word for word from a Doncaster Library publication of an unknown date. It was provided by Mr Hardisty. Thanks must go to both of these parties for what is to follow.

There is a picture gallery at the foot of this page consisting of all the images from the leaflet.

Scawthorpe lies about 2 miles north-west of Doncaster. The name is thought to be derived from an old Norse personal name, Skuli, and thorpe meaning secondary settlement or outlying farmstead (Skuli’s Farm). The first recorded reference is to ‘Scoulthorpe’ in 1317.

Pre 1920

The area, known today as Scawthorpe, has only developed since the 1920s. The original area of Scawthorpe was farmland to the west of York Road, from Sunnyfields to Green Lane. In the mid 19th century, it comprised of approximately 200 acres with no more than fifteen residents. By the end of the century there were farm buildings and a row of cottages on the estate; Edward Jackson, farmer, was residing at Scawthorpe Hall, and his son, Edward William, the designer of the Cheswold motor car, at Scawthorpe House. On the opposite side of York Road, on the corner of Jossey Lane was Scawthorpe Grange Farm and two cottages. The 1891 census records 36 people living at Scawthorpe. Scawthorpe Hall had tennis courts, a sunken rose garden, stables and a laundry, and was accessed by the main drive via South Lodge.

By 1925, Scawthorpe Farm belonged to the Barber Walker Company, the owners of Bentley Colliery. Mr McGregor, the Colliery agent lived in the hall, the chauffeur lived in the South Lodge, and the farm manager in the Middle Lodge. Colliery agents continued to live at Scawthorpe Hall until about 1960. By the early 1980s, the hall, the house, and several other buildings had been demolished to make way for the new ‘Sycamore’s’ housing estate.

After the First World War, miners, mainly from Brodsworth Colliery, bought long plots of land on Green Lane, which were to be developed. A ‘Tin-City’ of corrugated shacks and railway carriages became temporary accommodation for the miners and their families, whilst they began to build permanent homes. The area became known as ‘Little Canada’ due to the similarity of these structures to Canadian houses; they did, however have to be inspected and approved to be habitable.

New development 1920 – 1945

The area to the east of York Road, now known as Scawthorpe, was referred to as ‘Jossey Lane’: part of the countryside, which surrounded Bentley. It was mostly grassland, and during the Second World War, wheat and vegetables were grown. Pipering Lane, which ran from York Road to Bentley, was a bridleway, popular for blackberrying. In 1935, the first private houses were built on Middlegate (now Jossey Lane), Walden Avenue, Scawthorpe Avenue, Ashton Avenue, and the Raymond Road end of Amersall Road: prices ranged from £450 to £475, the deposit was £20. There were no immediate amenities; the nearest shops and school were in Bentley. One resident recalls, “Bentley Park played a big part in our lives, with the band playing every Sunday in the bandstand.”

Sunnyfields estate, characterised by its flat-roofed houses, was developed on land originally belonging to Scawthorpe Farm. In 1934, a three-bedroom house on Stanley Road, a cul-de-sac built by Thompson and Dixon, cost £385, with a 2 bedroom house costing £375, these could be secured with a deposit of £35 followed by a mortgage of 11s 2d per week for 22 years.

There were few local amenities: the nearest school was at Highfields, the Sun Inn was built in 1936, and Dr. McKeown held a surgery in a pre-fabricated clinic on Barnsley Road.

Development Post War

Pipering Lane was a dirt track with no building along its length. Bentley-with-Arksey Urban District Council was responsible for the administration of the area. Post-war housing development was both Council and private. Initially, the area seems to have been a mixture of semi-permanent and permanent housing, Nissen Huts were built on Pipering Lane until they were replaced by council and colliery houses in the early 1950s. Pre-fabs’ were erected on Middlegate and Jossey Lane. In 1946, council houses were built on Scawthorpe Avenue, Long Edge Lane, Langthwaite Lane, Middlegate (Jossey Lane), and Balham Avenue. The main living room in a council house was painted brown, with the kitchen and bathroom in green. One resident remembers: “I came into my house [on Castle Hills Road] in 1947, it was a brand new house and my first baby boy was just 14 days old. We had no causeways made and ours was the first row of new houses to be built. It was fields around us; two woods with lots of wildlife. We saw the estate grow.” 

The children had to walk to Cooke Street school, in Bentley. there were no shops either which meant the shopping was also done in Bentley.

The second phase of council housing saw the development of Springcroft Drive, Stonehill Rise, Amersall Crescent, Broachgate, and Homefield Crescent. Between 1952 and 1955, the National Coal-board built over 300 houses on Jossey Lane, Danesway, and Petersgate. Despite all this building, the area was still semi-rural. Concrete colliery houses were built mainly to accommodate the influx of Scottish miners. During the early 1950s, private development along Amersall Road had begun at Jossey Lane and had joined up with Raymond Road which had originally been a cul-de-sac. Land for private development sold for £275 per plot: many people built their own houses; ready-built houses could be bought for £450. Development on Amersall Road progressed on into the 1960s. In order for the road to link Jossey Lane with Raymond Road they had to cut through that had formerly dissected the two roads.

The first shop to open was the Co-operative on Stonehill Rise, followed by the ‘Meadow Dairy’, and a Post-Office on Scawthorpe Avenue. Mt Dunn, the newsagent, originally sold papers from a wooden hut before moving into his present shop on Crossland Way. A Library service operated out of a small room on Watch House Lane. The Adam and Eve opened in 1957. Dr. Harry McKeown held a clinic once a week. The nearest bus stop however, was still on York Road. Sunnyfields school was built c1956 and the first Headmaster was Mr. Banks; the infant school opened in 1964 with Mrs. Oldfield as Headmistress. The present Don Valley High School, originally known as Bentley Scawthorpe Secondary Modern, and built on the site of Scawthorpe Grange Farm, was opened in 1959.

The present Castle Hills Middle School was used as a church before St. Luke’s was built in 1965; the Church of England used it in the morning and the Methodists used it in the afternoon, both had Sunday Schools. The red brick Methodist Church opened in 1958, with help from the Joseph Rank Benevolent Trust. A large white hut on Broachgate was used for Cubs. Brownies, and Guides: Mrs. Lawson was the Guides leader.

Other amenities followed in the shape of an off-licence, a launderette, Tree’s the bakers, Clark’s the barbers, Robinson’s the dentist, a Lada garage on Amersall Road; the present Library was opened in 1962, a new Post Office on Amersall Road in 1968, and Amersall House in October 1973.




65 responses to “Memories of Scawthorpe

  1. Roger Woodcock

    I went to Kirkby Avenue school and would like to hear some correspondence from this school

  2. Denise Winfield

    Denise Challenger now Winfield
    I lived in Scawthorpe from 1953 to 1968 when 1 got married. I remember John Booker, he sat next to me in class and used to get me intro trouble all the time. Good times.

  3. My name is John Lynch,I lived at 55 Swaithe Ave I was actually born in that house in 1962 my dad was Joseph Lynch,and my mom was called Phoebe Lynch,and I have a sister called Sheila Lynch ,who lives at 22 saltersgate.I currently live in Scawsby,but I miss Scawthorpe so much

  4. Jackie Fletcher was Lindley

    Really enjoyed the comments I lived amersall road scawthorpe from 1952 till 1968 when I got married .My youngest brother still lives there . My name was Jacqueline Lindley

  5. Pat Lunness (was Saxton)

    Message for Joan Newton (was Barry). Hi Joan! I’ve found one photo which looks promising and will hopefully find something else eventually. . I’m not sure if it was a choir photo or what. I recognise you, Christine Oakley, Theresa Humberstone, Lesley Goodman, Lynn Brownsword, John Clark, Janice Beeby, Katleen Haslam, Pearl Guest, Karen Johnson and a few who I know were in the year above us. I’m guessing it was taken about 1963 at Castle Hills School and also has Mr Thew and Mrs Bartrum (who walloped me for going on the grass when it had snowed) in it. I’d attach a copy to this comment but I’m not sure that I can.

  6. Thanks Rob. I thought someone must have a copy of that photograph. I hope Pat has because I would love to get a copy of it. I live in New Ollerton in Nottinghamshire,but I do get to Scawthorrpe to see my youngest sister Elaine and my niece Jade. Where in Scawthorrpe does Pat live? I would love to see her again. I’m semi retired but unfortunately I don’t drive so I rely on William or one of my sons to get me to Doncaster, but I’m always willing to make the effort to keep in touch with people.

    • Pat Lunness (was Saxton)

      Hi Joan. Nice to hear from you via our Rob. I’ve found the photo I think you are talking about. It’s got a few people on I recognise and some I know were in the year above us. I can see Christine Oakley, Theresa Humberstone, John Clark, Lynn Brownsword, Lesley Goodman, Janice Beeby, Kathleen Haslam, Pearl Guest, Karen Johnson and you and I. I also recognise some of the older people such as Christine Balawajder, Carol Purvis and Pat Talbot. Definitely having trouble with the boys though. I’d like to attach a copy to this post but can’t see the way to do it, so maybe this isn’t possible. The photo was taken at Castle Hills school, probably around 1963/4 I think. It also shows Mr Thew the headmaster and Mrs Bartrum, who also walloped me for going on the grass when it had been snowing. She was a tyrant! My email address is if you get in touch and I’ll sort out getting the photo to you as an attachment. It would be nice to meet up the next time you’re in Scawthorpe.

  7. Hi Robin, I remember your mum her name was Beryl and your dad Harold your so right we lived next door, I’m 64 you were younger than me. I remember the smiths, thompsons, wards, millers, foxes, Jones and townseys.

    • Hello Billy, I left Petersgate for a teachers training course Sheffield in 1971 but it was probably several years before this that you and I last met? My father Harold Ward, ex-underground diesel train driver at ‘Broddy’ (Brodsworth) Pit, died (in DRI) in 1978 and my mother Beryl passed away in 2013 (in a care home in Burghwallis).
      Perhaps you would like to contact me by email?: robinward2 at

  8. Hi Betty,I remember you and your mum & dad you had a brother Billy he was a friend of mine, all my love to you

  9. Message for Rob Saxton- would you ask Pat if she has a photograph that was taken at Jossey lane school about the time we were due to leave for senior school. I have half of this photograph somewhere and I believe as it was a class photo more people will have a copy buried away somewhere . Thanks in anticipation.

    • Hi Joan, I’ll give Pat a call this evening to ask about the photo you mentioned. I haven’t hardly any photos of my time at infants, junior or senior school but I seem to remember Pat having a box full of such photos. My time at all the schools i attended was generally very happy but Mrs Bartrum at Jossey Lane junior used to scare the living daylights out of me. Somehow I don’t think she’d fit in with today’s modern teaching methods. I’ve been married for the past 40 years to Pam Parker & I’m sure your younger sister will remember her. Pam used to live in Danesway just off Jossey Lane, it was fondly described as ‘cement city’ as were all the old coal board housing areas of Scawthorpe. I don’t get to visit Scawthorpe much these days since i moved my office nearer to Bawtry a couple of years ago apart from when i call on Pat. I left Scawthorpe when i got married in 1975 & only have happy memories of the place.

  10. Thanks for your reply Patrick. My memory is not what it once was. Would you ask him if he remembers the names of people who were in our year at school. Was there a blond haired boy called Brian? and a tall girl called Susan?

  11. RE- Joan Newton. In response to your question, Does Pat Lynskey have a brother called Christopher? Yes I do, he is 6 years older than me & he lives on the 1st Cementation estate.

  12. Just had a thought. Does Patrick Lynsky have a brother called Christopher? I think I might have been in the same year as him at school.

  13. Just had a thought. Does Patrick Lynsky have a brother called Christopher? Ithink I might have been in the same year as him at school.

  14. I’ve just had a visit from my youngest sister Elaine who still lives in Scawthorpe.Hearing her mention names of people she knows i will remember brought back so many memories. I had a wonderful childhood and my younger brother and sister who still live in Scawthorpe share many memories with me. Some of you will probably know my little brother, everyone calls him Aggis and he still lives on Riverdale Road. I wish I had some photographs of the place as it was when I was a child but I cannot find any except one that I came across on Friends Reunited of three girls I went to Don Valley with(they are standing beside the flagpole). I did have half a photograph of the class taken at Jossey Lane school ,I think just before we all went to senior school. i seem to remember Christine Oakley and a girl who I think was called Teresa on it as well as a blond haired boy with a cheeky smile on his face. I,m going to have a really good look for that photo.

  15. Patrick Lynskey

    My name is Pat (Patrick) Lynskey. I was born in 1959 on Langthwaite Road. At the age of 4 we moved to 48 Petersgate to look after my grandma who lived in the old folks bungalows opposite our house. I have lived in Scawthorpe all my life & now reside on Amersall Road. Growing up I spent hours playing in the quarry & damming the stream in Castle Hills to make a swimming pool, kids have no idea how to have fun these days. I can well remember the Nissan huts on Middlegate & the Post Office further down towards Ballam Avenue. I went to Sunnyfields Nursery & Primary School before going on to Don Valley High School. I can’t see myself living anywhere else.

  16. Grew up here miss it so much I lived on peters gate I was brought up by my grandparent mr and mrs budd

  17. Betty Cairns (nee Miller)

    I used to work on a mobile shop that went round all the streets including Swaithes avenue. mobile shop was Coopers.

  18. I was born in Swaithe Avenue, Scawthorpe in 1961 and i’m still here, living in the house i was born in. I’m glad somone has wriiten a page for it, it’s not a bad place to live at all.

  19. Does anybody remember anything about a young girl,called Anne meiklejohn who died after falling from a slide on the park behind scawthorpe club? I think she was five at the time and it was 1961 I think. She was my auntie so I would love any info if anybody remembered her 🙂

    • Pam Swithenbank

      I remember Anne we were good friends, I’ve always remembered her in my prayers. My name then was Pamela Meenaghan. I lived on Riverdale Road, Scawthorpe. I remember Joan and Linda Barry among others.

      • Hi Pam that’s lovely to know. Do you happen to know much about what say happened?
        Family have never gotten chance to know much about the details. We’re thinking of going to find newspaper records just to get some info.
        Thanks for you reply 🙂

  20. Betty Cairns (nee Miller)

    Really glad I found this site. It so brings back fond memories to me. lots of thing.s that ring a bell because I don’t have a good memory

  21. Absolutely right, Iain. Janice Lofthouse it was.

  22. I lived in coppice rd Highfield’s until 1955 does anyone remember a badly disabled man who had a cobblers shop next to the doctors half way up south st.He got about on a bogey type contraption with bycicle peddles he worked with his hands;

  23. I lived in Scawthorpe, on Riverdale Road, from 1955 until I got married in 1971. I went to the primary school and
    then on to Don Valley. I was also a Brownie and a guide with the 55th St.Lukes who met at the old wooden church behind the new church on Broachgate. I remember Mrs Lawton had a sign on her front door that said Mr &Mrs Lawton and Helen live here. I remember that the headmaster at the primary school was Mr Thew and one of the senior teachers was Mrs Bartrum (she caned me for running on the spring bulbs at the edge of the playground). Christine Oakley and Pat Saxton, Janice Loftus,Karen Merryweather, Lynn Brownsword,Alex Durako(not sure of the spelling) were all in my class at primary school and Mr Mitchell was the last teacher I remember before going to Don Valley. My name was Joan Barry, but I,’ve been Joan Newton for the past 43 years.

    • Hi Joan, I remember many of those girls’ names from Scawthorpe Primary. Miss Goldsmith would have been our teacher in 1960 ish.

    • Hi Joan,

      I’ve just come across this website & noted my sister Pat Lunness [nee Saxton] in your comments. We used to live on Springcroft Drive & I do remember you & your younger sister very well. I also went to Jossey Lane infants & primary school before going on to Don Valley. Some of the teachers I remember were Colin Wedd & Gordon Wainwright not to mention my history teacher Mr Frear [Black Harry!] I must say that he did give me a love of history. I also remember working as a paper boy for Jimmy Dunn from the age of 13 to 16 for the princely sum of 18s – 6d [92.5p] a week, slave labour I think but at the time 18s – 6d seemed a lot of cash. Pat is an accountant & now lives back in Scawthorpe & I’ve lived in Branton for the past 25 years although I did have offices at 68 Bentley Road until 2013.

      All the best to you.

    • betty cairns (miller)

      I remember Miss Bartrum and Mr Mitchell. he was my last teacher before I went to Don Valley.

    • Elizabeth Cairns

      I remember Mrs Bartrum. She was a terrible headmistress. Mr Mitchell was my last teacher before I went to Don Valley High

  24. I lived on Stonehill Rise until 1957. My mother worked at the Meadow Dairy next to the Co-op. I seem to remember a circular grassy area in front of the stores where we would play.

  25. I used to walk over Watch House Lane bridge to the library, the lady was very strict bit she was kind enough to let me borrow books as she knew I was keen and would look after them I was only about 5 at the time . Interesting read Symeon .

  26. I lived in Scawthorpe on Petersgate from 1955 – 1962. I was 9 years old when we moved. I remember no shops until what we called the New Shops were built. But we had 2 mobile Stores. Thompsons, who had a big red bus and I think the other one was called ‘Stanleys’ who had a smaller brown bus.Anyone remember the gift bags that were attached to our front doors the day before the rag and bone men came ? I’d love to hear any comments from anyone who was at Scawthorpe County Primary School during that period.
    Allan Mayes

    • I lived in petersgate from 1955 till 1967. Like Allan Mayes went to Scawthorpe Primary School. I did like it there. I have forgotten the teachers names After that Bentley Secondary Highschool the first two years or so boys one side girls the other. I did like it better when we mixed with the girls. But order of the day cane slipper those first 2 years I remember the mobile stores and mobile library. Christmas too when the parcels where then delivered in then. I sometimes look on google at our old house in petersgate semi circle opposite the the old folks bungalows. I see our old house and next doors still have their front garden hedge after all those years.when Mr Smith and my dad planted them in 67 . Happy Days Robin Thompson.

      • Hi Robin,i lived at 138 petersgate I went to scawthorpe infant and junior schools the Bentley high St. I think you had a young sister called Susan. I’m Billy Scott

        • I lived at 144 petersgate Billy. I’m Betty Miller. I used to pal about with Ann. I am going back to see it for the first time in 50 years on 17july.

      • My goodness! … You were my next door neighbour Billy and I even have a photo of Robin coming to visit us (from Australia?) in about 1969. Perhaps even more amazing my sister Rosalyn still lives at 136 Petersgate with her family. A retired Geography and History teacher, my beloved wife Sally and I now live in Northern Scotland. It is thanks to charismatic Bentley High Street Secondary School teachers like John (‘Jap’) Pearson, Miss Plumb, ‘Nobby’ Clarke, et al, that I became a teacher.

      • Please do get in tough with me Robin.

      • Perhaps you would like to get in touch with me by email?: robinward2 at

  27. Kathleen Lofthouse (nee Spooner)

    I left Highfields School in 1954 to go on to Doncaster Technical High School for girls. I remember Irene Pegg David Peggs sister. David was a footballer who died in the Munich Air disaster. They lived in Coppice Road. Does anyone remember Miss Roberts?

    • I remember a Patricia Lofthouse who lived on Jossey Lane around 1960 when she would have been around 7 years old. Any relation by marriage ?

  28. I lived at highfields in the 50s and would love to know if the old school is still there I had lots of mates at the school
    eg alan laking alex Gibson enock walker gorden reaoden


  30. brilliant I lived in long edge lane for 20years more about castle hills crow town quarry please paul restell

    • I lived in petersgate 50s to 67, scawthorpe primary school . then Bentley High School. Is Bentley High School still there ? Granville Stone was a school mate lived at at stonehill rise ? Paul Restell s name from the past ? happy days Robin Thompson Perth West Australia

      • I lived next door to the smiths. Remember Ann and Helen. I went to scawthorpe primary then Don valley high.

    • I remember Paul Restell quite well from Long Edge Lane, we used to knock about for quite a while,
      John Booker

  31. brilliant I hope there is more about castle hills wood crow town etc I lived in long edge lane for twenty years spent all myyounger years there

  32. Kathleen Lofthouse (nee Spooner)

    Mrs Moore was the librarian at the Watch House lane library. I used to go there regularly to borrow books for my mother. I had to leave my roller skates outside and inside it was strictly no talking! The room was so small it was more like a large walk in cupboard.

  33. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    However just imagine if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could definitely be one of the greatest in its niche.
    Wonderful blog!

  34. Beverley Steeper (nee Deakin)

    The girl guide leader was Mrs Lawton not Lawson I went there and I also went to Switzerland Girl Guide Centre with her and her daughter Helen Lawton happy days !


  36. I live in Scawthorpe and found the article very interesting.

  37. once again you have done a terrific job,thanks,col

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