Retro: Model miners’ village

Beck Ball game, Maltby Beck - 1988
Beck Ball game, Maltby Beck - 1988
0
Have your say

Our Retro A to Z wander around Sheffield and its surrounding areas comes to Maltby this week, which has a model village.

The idea of model colliery villages followed on from the idea of the garden city and apparently became popular in the South Yorkshire coalfield.

Blyth Road, Maltby - 1967

Blyth Road, Maltby - 1967

Maltby Model Village has a large central green surrounded by a double row of houses with a service road between them, overlooking the local beauty spot, Maltby Crags.

According to the Rotherham Web website, the village was built around 1911 to accommodate the miners required to work the new Maltby Main Colliery.

There was a circular park containing a bandstand, a church and school buildings and an institute with a public hall attached, where events and entertainment took place, plus a bowling green and a recreation ground.

Tragedy hit the pit more than once and a terrible disaster in July 1923 claimed the lives of 27 men.

St. Bartholomew's Parish Church, Maltby - 11th October 1971

St. Bartholomew's Parish Church, Maltby - 11th October 1971

A ‘gob’ fire, caused by spontaneous combustion of waste behind the coalface, was discovered and the explosion took place during sealing-off operations. Only one body was recovered despite the effort of rescue parties.

The rescue was abandoned after 12 hours when all hope of the possibility of any man still in the mine being alive was given up.

Of course, Maltby’s history goes a lot further back than the pit and it was mentioned in the 11th-century Domesday Book as Maltebi.

Apparently the name referred to a ‘farmstead or village of a man called Malti, or where malt is made’.

Maltby Sports Centre - October 1974

Maltby Sports Centre - October 1974

Like many other places nearby, Maltby was held after the Norman Conquest by Roger de Busli.

Hundreds of years later, in the early 18th century, it passed into the hands of the Earls of Scarbrough.

Roche Abbey, at the edge of Maltby, was founded in the 12th century by Cistercian monks.

According to English Heritage, who now own it, the monastery was once home to 50 monks and 100 lay brothers.

Maltby Action Centre - Mick Walker (right) and Paul Barratt in action at the pool table - 24th February 1986

Maltby Action Centre - Mick Walker (right) and Paul Barratt in action at the pool table - 24th February 1986

The monastery was suppressed in 1538 after Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church but picturesque ruins still remain.

The abbey’s valley setting was landscaped by the famous gardener ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century.

The game that is pictured above is called beck ball and is an ancient rugby-type game that centres around the beck that runs thr0ugh Maltby.

It was revived for a time in the 1980s.

The waste tip near the Redwood Junior and Infants School, Maltby - 31st October 1989

The waste tip near the Redwood Junior and Infants School, Maltby - 31st October 1989