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Reminiscences of Rotherham

by G. Gummer, J.P.
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Mayor, who informed me that he had held this office for 17 years and that his colleagues were desirous of re-electing him Although I felt it to be a great impertinence, I simply had to say I suppose they cannot find anyone else to do the job. This he laughingly admitted to be the situation.


The following year I arranged a match between our municipal team, which on this occasion was to be captained by the Right Hon J A Pease (then Member for Rotherham) and a team of Criccieth players who were to have the Right Hon. Lloyd George, M.P., to captain them. Unfortunately, a few days before the date fixed for our departure the match had to be 'cried off' by the two M.P.’s on account of the militant activities of the Suffragettes who were paying particular attention to prominent Members of Parliament and also to golf greens.

In the main I believe these matches have achieved one of their objects. i.e., of creating a good feeling between the towns visited and our own. Much useful information has been gained and the interchange of thought and ideas has been instructive.


A curious happening occurred during a match against Sheffield, played on the Wortley links. As Alderman Cattell and I were approaching one of the greens, we were surprised to find it in the possession of several pheasants. It was not until Alderman Cattell’s approach shot landed on the green that they took wing

In another match, at Thrybergh, in which Alderman George Clarke and I were opposed by Alderman Cattell and Councillor John Derry (the then Editor of The Sheffield Independent, we looked like being well beaten. It is truly said anything may happen at golf, and it did. Our opponents were two up and two to play; on the 17th we had taken four strokes to their two, when in approaching the green I made a wretched shot which struck Mr. Derry’s caddie who stood right out of the line of play. Alderman Cattell conceded the hole on our appeal, but not so Mr. John Derry, who quickly let us know he could talk as well as write, and, owing to his protest, we left the decision over for settlement when we reached the clubhouse. Managing to win the 18th, and the decision respecting the 17th being given in our favour, we made a draw and this enabled our team to end all square instead of losing, as we should have done excepting for my vile shot.

In all these matches we have been shown the greatest kindness and consideration by the Thrybergh club, its honorary secretary (Mr. Walter Greaves), and Mr. Sam Bennett.

Visiting teams have frequently expressed their appreciation of the course and its surroundings, and all have been keen on repeat ing their visit.


In the sixties a small manual fire engine, controlled by Messrs. Smith Brothers, iron- mongers and agents for the Sun Fire Assurance Company, afforded the town its only protection against damage by fire. At Messrs. Bentley’s Brewery there was also a small engine for the firm’s own use. This had been known to render assistance in the vicinity of the brewery.

Both engines may be said to have been of very little service, as was proved at a fire in Rawmarsh road when Messrs. Clarborough’s timber yard was completely burnt out.

Although in later years the Corporation established a volunteer brigade and purchased the necessary equipment, it left much to be desired.


The absurdity of the old arrangement for giving notice of and dealing with fire, had long been patent to everybody, and demands were incessantly made for improved methods. The buzzer was merely a modern abomination to replace the antiquated 'fire bell', a relic        next »

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