South Kirkby and Moorthorpe

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Coordinates: 53°35′42″N 1°18′22″W / 53.595°N 1.306°W / 53.595; -1.306 South Kirkby and Moorthorpe is a town and civil parish located in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It was a coal mining village, with a large textile industry. Along with South Elmsall, the villages have all but merged into one.[citation needed]. The town has a population of 10,979.[1]

The South Kirkby motto is 'Friendship, Unity & Progress', and the town has been twinned with Sprockhövel in the Ruhr Valley of Germany since 1981. The establishment of 'Sprockhövel International Friendship Circle' led to the same named organisation in South Kirkby & Moorthorpe. Since that time the Sprockhövel IFK and the South Kirkby & Moorthorpe IFC have organised an annual exchange visit.

The villages were first mentioned 1086 in the Domesday Book, and retains the site of the original Saxon settlement (Grid ref: SE434104). The foundations and part of the walls of 'All Saints Church' in South Kirkby are from the period. For many centuries, they were both simply farming villages until the start of the industrial revolution. In 1881, with the foundation of the South Kirkby Colliery coal mine, an increase in population caused the villages to be extended until at its largest the two villages housed almost all of the 3000 workers employed in the mine. In 1984, the miners' strike included the colliery's workforce but in vain. In 1988, South Kirkby Colliery along with many of the other coal mines in the immediate area closed and later cleared for redevelopment. These included South Kirkby-Ferrymoor Riddings Drift, Frickley Colliery (Carlton Main), Kinsley Drift (formerly Hemsworth Colliery), and Grimethorpe Colliery. The nearby Upton Colliery closed in 1964 due to loss of life caused by explosions, fires, and serious geological faults.[citation needed]

The town retains its own town council and is represented on the district council by Michelle Collins (Labour), Laurie Harrison (Labour Party) and Steve Tulley (Labour Party).

The town is soon to get its own Fire Station again, with the building of a New Station on the South Kirkby Industrial Park, site of the former Colliery.


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