It is an area steeped in history and a new book reveals there is far more to the history of Denby Dale than its world famous pie.
Denby Dale and Upper Denby Unknown and Unseen written by local historian Chris Heath contains many old photos never seen before ranging mainly from 1900 to the Second World War.
Chris said: “These are the villages where I was born, raised and have lived and the reason for my interest and pursuit of their history and that of the people who over the centuries have made them.”
He concentrates on three families well known in the area – the Gaunt family of Upper Denby, the Turton family of doctors and surgeons and the Senior family.
It also looks at how Denby Dale and Upper Denby brass bands fared in competitions along with information about the Royal British Legion branch in the area.
There is some wonderfully quirky information in the book.
There was a general store on Norman Road known locally as Nippers.
Chris said: “The reason for this is that the one-time proprietor was scrupulously careful to never knowingly give anything away for free and that he would nip a pea in half in order to get the correct weight for the money.”
Chris has unearthed minutes of meetings by the Denby Dale branch of the Royal British Legion. The Legion was set up nationally in May 1921 to provide aid for ex-servicemen and their families who had suffered as a result of serving in any branch of the armed forces during the war. The first poppy appeal took place in November that year.
Chris said: “The records we have for the Denby Dale branch have only survived by chance. They were being stored in an old wooden box in the band room which was about to be demolished in the 1970s.”
One from January 12, 1943, reads: “It was reported that Miss Mary Swannick, a member of the Women’s Timber Corps who had been injured while working, had been charged for hospital treatment. She had not had any payment for some weeks.”
The secretary was to write to a welfare officer to look into the case.
Another report states: “The secretary reported that he had been visited by F Atkinson who had been discharged from the navy after receiving injuries. He states that in his opinion his assessment for pension is low and would like an appeal to be made by the branch for reassessment if possible.”
The book is published by Barnsley publishers Pen And Sword and costs £14.99. It is 160 pages long and its ISBN number is 9781526719331.