My View - Tony Storey

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On behalf of Doncaster Freemen, I’ve just published a booklet on the history of Bawtry: Bawtry Time Warp: From Romans to Railways.

The run-off costs of 300 have been sponsored by Bawtry Town Council and Doncaster Freemen with help from Hayfield School reprographics.

You can pick up a free copy at Bawtry Community Library and also purchase (for 50p) a Town Trail Map compiled by David Littlewood and Bryan Hancock in 2012.

Lots of folk visit Bawtry for its plethora of restaurants, cafes and inns serving food and its range of small high-class shops.

You’ve a choice of cuisine; Chinese (China Rose); Italian (Emilio’s, Zinis); oriental (Jinja Tree); Indian/Bangladeshi (Dower Hoise, Lancers); Caviars and Thyme restaurants; good pub grub (Turnpike, Ship etc); and the Crown Hotel.

The Town House tea rooms and restaurant on the Market Square has outside pavement cafe seating.

You can park on the High Street but don’t forget to feed the parking meter.

Bawtry is a pleasure to walk around with the attractive buildings (Jacobean, Georgian, Victorian) and its fine medieval church down Wharf Street.

There are extra shops in The Arcade, Dower House Arcade and along Swan Street and South Parade and Station Road.

The Crown Hotel is a fine coaching inn and in recent years a Boxing Day meet for the Grove and Rufford Hunt.

The town also has some fine floral and topiary displays and, at Christmas, superb lights.

Make a visit to Bawtry and while enjoying coffee, a meal or a pint, seek to empathise with its timewarp of history and the ‘passing show’ along the line of the High Street over 2,000 years.

Find time to read my booklet if you’ve called in at the Community Library (at the north end of High Street)

It’s a fascinating palimpsest of history.

Bawtry is one of the oldest townships outside the original Doncaster borough– Tickhill, Hatfield, Thorne, Conisbrough and the Isle of Axholme towns of Haxey and Epworth.

Just north of Bawtry you can visit the Saxon cum Norman church of Austerfield with its Pilgrim Fathers links at the baptismal church of William Bradford (first Governor of New England).

Just south of Scrooby, William Brewster, another Mayflower passenger was Master of Posts, hence the primary school at Bawtry is The Mayflower School.

- Tony Storey is a Freeman of Doncaster and was the longest serving headteacher in England when he retired from his post at Hayfield School in Auckley.

He is the chairman of Doncaster Freemen’s Association, a group made up of people who have been awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Doncaster.