Swinton, South Yorkshire
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Swinton Bridge School
Swinton shown within South Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
The town was once a centre for the manufacture of ceramics of international importance; deep coal mining, glassmaking, canal barge-building and engineering also featured. It is best known for being the site of the Rockingham Pottery, a world-famous manufacturer of porcelain. Although the factory closed in 1842 its name is left as defining a style of rococo porcelain. There were several other potteries in the area during the 19th century. One of the original kilns, a small part of the factory, a gatehouse (both now private residences) and the pottery flint millpond can still be seen today in a small park called Pottery Ponds off Blackamoor Road near the Woodman public house in Swinton. The town was also the site of another important but lesser known pottery, Don Pottery.
The town is located on a hillside, the higher regions generally being home to older dwellings and the lower regions the location of newer build. The lowest point of the town contains two main rail lines, the River Don, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation canal and the derelict Dearne and Dove Canal.
Economy and transport
Following the decline of traditional industries (and notably the 1980s miners' strike), employment is provided predominantly by service and light industry in the nearby Manvers area. Squeezed in among the railway lines and canals is Waddington's Boat Yard, which has survived the widespread decline in local industry and still operates a limited barge repair and transport business, having also diversified into timber milling and woodworking.
The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation canal, once a major transport route between Sheffield and Goole, underwent substantial modernisation in the mid-1980s and is capable of accommodating large vessels as far as Rotherham, and pleasure craft through to Sheffield. Recently, limited bulk freight has returned to the canal and can occasionally be seen passing through the modern Swinton Lock.
The town was without a railway station between January 1968, when the old station was closed as part of the Beeching cuts, and 1991, when a new, then-unstaffed station was opened. This followed the restoration of the dual track "Swinton Curve" (also known as the "Foundry Curve" based on past proximity to such), enabling trains to travel from Sheffield to Doncaster via Swinton. Increased passenger usage subsequently lead to the provision of a small portable building staffed for the morning peak only. This was later replaced by a brick building housing a ticket office and waiting room. Some local bus services connect with trains at this facility.
Swinton is also home to a large site owned by the Morphy Richards & Roberts Radio brands. Whilst most manufacturing has ceased, substantial warehousing remains. An American bagel company also operates in the town in addition to Stelrad and Jackson's Building Centres. Swinton's strong working class traditions gave way during the mid-1980s manufacturing upheaval, and the town now has marked divisions between deprived areas and newer "middle class" regions.
The secondary school in Swinton is called Swinton Community School. It also has a sixth form college. The age group is 11-18. It is scheduled to be re-built on the current site. However since the scrapage of the rebuilding schools programme by the current coalition government this has since been scrapped meaning that a rebuild in the near future would be unlikely. There are also several primary schools and nurseries, most notable are Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary, Swinton Queen Primary School and Brookfield Primary School. Swinton Queen Primary School was rebuilt and opened in March 2011 with the old school buildings being demolished.
On the outskirts of Swinton and a short walk from Bow Broom estate is the Dearne Valley College and the now empty Humphry Davy House which was used for nursing studies by Sheffield University. Students now studying nursing complete their studies in Sheffield at Hallam University who decided to not purchase and use the building off Golden Smithies Lane.
Swinton's nightlife has been locally famous for many years, with many visiting from out-of-town to sample the "golden mile" of pubs. In recent years, the pub trade has slowed down, but only two pubs out of 10+ have shut up shop. One of those has been demolished to make way for a block of flats. The town's pubs range from the typical Yorkshire pub, country-style pub serving food, modern bars and club feel.
An industrial premises on Swinton's boundary with Kilnhurst was formerly occupied by Croda Hydrocarbons, who took over the works from Midland and Yorkshire Tar Distillers. The site is associated with local controversy owing to pollution during the plant operations. Despite this the Council has given Planning Permission to build domestic dwellings on this site. Validation Certifcate has been given and work is due to start in March by Gleason homes.Expected to be an 8 year program of building.http://www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk/news/business/cash-set-aside-for-homes-bid-1-5195229
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Hulme, Frederick William". Dictionary of National Biography 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 201.