I thought we could go on a pub crawl and see how many we can remember as they were and not what they a have become.
Do we remember the Three Legs, a place where ladies of a dubious character were alleged to spend some considerable time?
I remember my mother warning me of the perils of such a place, curiosity did get the better of me but it didn’t kill me.
The White Lion in George Gate, I have fond memories of the Lion it was there I had my first pint of Barnsley bitter a truly superb ale.
Go a little further and we can recall the Underground in Bowers Fold, the sort of gentleman you were was determined at the bottom of the stairs and chose left or right. The Blue Bell, it always seemed a long walk from the front door to the bar.
Round the corner and we could visit the Swan with its wonderfully high bar a place that provided much merriment for me and my three regular pals, one of which was barely five feet tall. What joy watching him struggle getting his ale of the bar top.
The list is endless, The Nags, The Bulls Head (that I believe become Oscars) Beethams, The Old Volunteer. So many memories of Sunday nights at the Taps (a karaoke extravaganza) midweek shenanigans at the Saracens,Nelson and my fondest memories are my nights at the Cleveland Arms. I was a bus driver then and I reckon more miles where covered there than ever took place on the road. Do you know where you could find an elephant in Donny? I bet you all remember the Elephant Hotel with its elephant proudly sitting atop the entrance canopy.
Lets move on to some other memories, for instance the Coal House later to become the Council House and now a pile of rubble. How many of you will have worked on its construction, a magnificent landmark of its time now reduced to dust, but be assured like the phoenix it will rise again in another form of 21st century architecture, a monstrosity of concrete and glass. Poor old Donny where have you gone. I remember the Top Rank bowling alley a place of great social gathering. Of course we also had the Excel Bowl but to us committed Top Rankers it was rubbish (and it was). Band concerts in Hexthorpe Flats, a truly magnificent public park which is a shadow of its former self.
Back in 1966 great things were happening, I got married for the first time, England won the the world cup, how unbelievable is that, Hatfield Colliery Band won the national finals with a piece called Spirit of Progress, appropriate as the sixties were meant to be progressive but equally destructive as the bulldozers ripped Donny apart leaving us with just memories of what was a lovely town with beautiful buildings and lovely people. Thankfully we still have the lovely people.
* Bill Morrison, Chairman of Doncaster 50-plus Group