Grimethorpe shown within South Yorkshire
|Metropolitan county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Barnsley East|
Grimethorpe is a large village in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a population of 1,873. It is believed the name Grimethorpe originates from "Grim's Torp", a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Viking names, meaning a torp or hamlet owned by a Viking named Grimey.
Historically Grimethorpe was economically dependent on mining, but since the closure of its colliery in 1992 the village has gone into decline.
The 1981 census recorded 44% of Grimethorpe workers as miners. The two pits in the village were 'Grimethorpe' and 'Ferrymoor' which merged with 'Riddings' in 1967, which in turn merged with 'South Kirkby' in 1985. Grimethorpe colliery was one of the deepest pits in Britain and, following similar mergers with 'Houghton Main' and 'Dearne Valley', employed 6,000 men at the time of its closure in May 1993. During mid-October of the UK miners' strike (1984–85), there was a series of riots in Grimethorpe and local residents complained that the policing was too heavy-handed. Relations between the community and the police remained very cold for the next decade.
Grimethorpe has gained a reputation as the most long-term deprived community in Great Britain and many houses from its coal-mining days have been demolished. In 1994, the European Union's study of deprivation named Grimethorpe as the poorest village in the country and amongst the poorest in Europe. Levels of crime and drug abuse have been chronically high. Unemployment was above 50% for much of the 1990s and a large proportion of the population are disabled, having suffered injuries in the coal mines.
The deprivation of the area has been exacerbated by its lack of transport links; while other similar mining villages nearby such as Fitzwilliam and South Elmsall have rail links to Leeds, Grimethorpe has none.
Several regeneration projects have taken place. The Dearne Valley link roads have been constructed and Park Springs Industrial Estate has been developed. This has brought many jobs to the area especially the construction of a huge unit occupied by South Yorkshire based furniture company Symphony. The village has seen the construction of three private housing estates, a medical centre, dental surgery, and village hall. Regeneration was praised by former Deputy PM Lord Prescott on his visit in March 2010.
There are two junior schools, Milefield and Ladywood. Willowgarth High School was demolished and a new superschool, Shafton Advanced Learning Centre (SALC), is the secondary school for pupils from Grimethorpe, Shafton, Brierley, Cudworth, Monk Bretton & Lundwood. Former schools include Springvale Junior and Middle school, which burned down in the 1980s.
Grimethorpe is known for its past as a mining village, its brass band, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and was used as the location for the film Brassed Off – a black comedy which tells the plight of the village and the effect on its band. In 2010 Grimethorpe Colliery band recorded a version of the hymn "Jerusalem" which was played when the English team won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grimethorpe.|
- Interview with former miners' union activist on the recent history of the village