In September 2013 the society decided we would do something to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War 1. What started as a small project grew over the following few months as we researched and discovered so many new things about the people of Kiveton, Wales and surrounding villages. The colliery memorial was also looking a little worse for wear and we decided that we needed money to renovate this before many of the names it recorded were lost forever. We applied and were successful in bidding for a grant of £4300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to be able to mark the centenary and restore the memorial.
On 6th September 2014, we held a day of commemoration in the Village Hall. This took the form of an exhibition, which was opened by veteran Tom Staniforth, of the research we had found. This was supported by many local groups, including Todwick and Harthill History Groups, Wales Art Group, The Royal British Legion, Wales High School singers, the Sewing Group and we brought everything to life with invited guests, the Warwickshire Regiment Re-enactment Society who demonstrated what life was like for men in conflict.
In the afternoon, the focus switched to the St John's rooms where 100 years previously 89 local men had taken 'the King's shilling' and enlisted into the British Army for the duration of the war. We asked for volunteers to re-create this memorable event in the villages' history. Several new 'recruits' were invited to take an oath of allegience and sign the enlistment paper in order to receive their own commemorative King's shilling. The Warwickshire Regiment gave them some basic training in marching and we set off through the village to re-create the 'send off parade' (although only as far as the Saxon pub) led by the Scout band. If you hover your mouse over the photo, you can see the recreation of the parade compared to 1914.
In the evening, we held a Barn Dance like many which had been held during WW1 to raise money for troops.
We held a rededication service on Sunday 5th October 2014 which again was well attended, including by many relatives and descendants of those named. Six local schools had created art work and written letters to those named on the memorial which we were able to display. Maltby Brass Band accompanied the proceedings and the Scouts played the Last Post. We hope that this will last for many years to come.
The Multimedia Project
The Multimedia Project was a two year long project based in Kiveton Park I T Training Workshops at the Young and Community Centre. The project was funded by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and aimed to offer access and training in multimedia technology to young people in the local community. At the time of the project, multimedia was an emerging technology and many local young people were marginalised from computers, internet access, video cameras and digital cameras. The project offered training for young people in the use of this equipment, some of it formally accredited. Video and film making soon became the most popular form of multimedia with young people and was an excellent media to engage with some of the more difficult to reach young people in the village.
A number of films were made during the lifetime of the project, most of which were around specific issues which affected young people at that time such as ‘TWOC', a video dealing with the consequences of joy riding and ‘A Girls Night Out', which was a short fun film looking at personal safety when going out at night. One of the main successes of the project was The Coalfields Video. The aim behind this video was to bridge the gap between generations in the village, to help break down stereotypes and preconceptions between young people and older people. It was also aimed to capture an in-depth insight into village life whilst the colliery was the main employer and focus of the village, to furnish young people with the knowledge of the roots and heritage of the local area.
The main Youth Worker on this project was Steve Pidd. Steve trained young people in the use of video equipment and they then went out to interview people within the community who had stories to share about Kiveton Colliery. A great deal of research was necessary to complete the film to ensure the interviews were in context. We were also extremely grateful for the use of numerous photographs which were loaned by members of the community.
Senior Youth Worker - Rotherham Young Peoples Services
One of the longest serving history groups in this area was the Five Parishes history group, created in the mid-1990s by a committed group of local historians, including Gill Troke, Lance Wilks, Eddie Ashton and others. The five parishes which gave the group its name were Wales (including Kiveton), Todwick, Harthill, Anston and Thorpe Salvin. For many years the group prospered, including creating a valuable photographic resource recording what village life was like in the 1990s, holding regular meetings, lectures and holding displays at Kiveton and other libraries.
In later years the group began to lose momentum, as separate groups and societies emerged in the various parishes that had previously constituted the group. A decision was taken, for which future generations will be thankful, to keep all the archives and maps together, deposited for safety at Kiveton Library. Former members of the society, Gill Troke and Keith Southwood, are in the process of creating a special collection at Rotherham Archives for the Five Parishes' work.
In 2007, the Five Parishes history group was brought to an end by a final meeting of its members. All its funds, an impressive £500, were given to the Blue Bell Wood Hospice. Many of the members of the History Society are former members of the Five Parishes, including Treasurer Keith Southwood and Presidents Lance Wilks and Eddie Ashton.