–Are you going to Jump?
Jump, near Barnsley, in South Yorkshire is certainly an eye-catching name on a sign, and somewhat arresting when said out loud.
But locals have heard it all before…
“…you have a slight touch of onomaphobia as regards the name of our village. The name, tout court, certainly does impinge rather directly on the attention, showing that it has the “punch” or “pep” so beloved of our transatlantic cousins. By the way, the name of Jump would make the fortune of a striving burgh out West.”Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express, 4th April 1925, p.4
Wild West or not, in times gone by it has often been the subject of comment and even scandal:
“Jump was noted as the sport of the Press, and any sensational story was tacked onto it. Society at large thought of it with derision, and speculators gave it a wide berth.”Barnsley Chronicle, 2nd March 1901, p.7
But where does the name come from?
What is perhaps the first written reference to Jump dates back as far as the 16th Century, being found in the Manorial records of Wentworth, the Court Roll of 1576 (now in Sheffield Archives, WWM C7).
It was brought to light by the careful research of a local historian, the late Arthur K. Clayton (1901-2002), in his work “Hoyland Nether”, published by Hoyland Nether Urban District Council, in November 1973. Some of Mr Clayton’s research notes are now housed in Barnsley Archives (A/3742/Z).
In the 17th and much of the 18th Century Jump related to farmlands, including a farmstead and surrounding fields on the hillside near Hoyland, a township in the larger ancient parish of Wath upon Dearne. It was some distance away from what we now recognise as being the heart of the modern village of Jump itself, along Church Street, which was then mostly farmland in Wombwell township, under the larger ancient parish of Darfield.
“Concerning all that messuage or tenement commonly called or known by the name of Jump or Jumphole with the appurtenances situate in Nether Hoyland in the County aforesaid and six closes of land meadow or pasture containing by estimation twenty acres (be they more or less) to the said messuage or tenement belonging and near adjoining with their appurtenances & late in the possession of Richard Swinden…”Description of property called Jump in a land transaction between the Hill family from 1728, cited by Arthur K. Clayton in his article ‘Platts Common, William Vizard, and the Hoyland Silkstone Colliery’, Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society, Vol.IX, Part I, 1964, p.28
In the late 17th century the land and property referred to as Jump was mostly held by the Hill family. From July 1697 there are references to their land dealings and legal actions while living at Jump, Hoyland Nether (Sheffield Archives VWM/496).
John Hill (d.1729) and Frances his wife lived there, he being described as a yeoman. Their son Thomas was born in 1696, taking on his father’s property and working as a drover, taking livestock to market, a trade involving significant sums of money at the time and leading to a highway robbery in 1740 (London Gazette, 13th December 1740, Issue 7971). At his death in 1756 the property came up for sale, providing an early description of farmland called Jump as a discrete property, Mr Hill being the vendor.
TO BE SOLD…Sale notice, Leeds Intelligencer, 10th August 1756, p.3
A freehold MESSUAGE in Nether Hoyland, in the parish of Wath called Jump, with the Barns, Stables, Mistols, Dovecoat and other Out buildings, and betwixt Forty and Fifty Acres of good inclosed Land, lying together, the greatest Part being meadow and pasture….
The land then passed into the Shaw family of Great Houghton. One of their tenants, the remarkably long-lived Robert Beardshall (1799-1888) took on the farm at Jump and was a prime witness to the transformation about to occur down the lane and over towards Wombwell.
The Censuses from 1841 to 1871 show Robert Beardshall’s long working life up at Jump Farm, and also the subtle switch from the simple description of his land as ‘Jump’ in 1841, to being ‘Old Jump’ by 1861, as the old Hoyland farm and fields were eclipsed by the growing village down the road, then known as Jump Lane, linking Hoyland with Wombwell township.
From farm, to hamlet, to village
Jump owes its growth and extension to the mid-to-late 19th century; to the industrialisation of the local landscape through coal mines, ironworks, brickyards and quarries, but mainly to the housing necessary for the industrial workforce, and the provision of services for the expanding community.
Earl Fitzwilliam’s Elsecar Collieries had created some employment from an early period, but things really began to change from 1836 when a new pit shaft was sunk on land just down the hillside from Jump Farm, in the valley between Hoyland and Wombwell. ‘Jump Pit’, an extension of the Elsecar collieries, was sunk about 80 yards deep to access the Barnsley seam, and an incline tramway was built to link the pit with the Elsecar Branch of the Dearne and Dove Canal.
Forty per Cent. REDUCTION in the price of DRAIN TILES.Advert, Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, 4th March 1843, p.1
J. PARKER, HALF-WAY HOUSES, near Jump Colliery, Hoyland, is now selling TILES and BRICKS of very superior quality[…] The Drain Tiles made by J. Parker are the only Tiles of a length exceeding Twelve Inches, which is an important feature, as 1000 of these Tiles will drain 2⅓ Acres more than any other.
A scattering of houses on a level ridge near to where the lanes from Hoyland and Elsecar met was known as the ‘Halfway Houses’ in the 1820s and this grew into a new hamlet in its own right as additional land close by was built upon over time.
“The name of Jump had not been attached to that part of the Wombwell township more than fifty years. […] the name was first given to Jump Farm, now called Old Jump Farm. Earl Fitzwilliam put down a coal mine near there, and called it the New Jump Pit. Those two places were on the far side of the stream which separated Wombwell township from Hoyland township. By degrees the name got attached to the houses on the Wombwell side…”Barnsley Chronicle, 25th May 1901, p.7
In 1840 another new undertaking and employer was the Hoyland and Elsecar Colliery. This concern was established at Platts Common by William Vizard who had bought local land for the mineral rights. It changed the landscape by bringing a busy incline plane railway straight down the hillside to the canal in Elsecar, cutting through part of the farm land at Jump and requiring a bridge to take the road, then known as Jump Lane, over the new line. Later this company became better known as the Hoyland Silkstone Colliery.
However probably the single greatest catalyst to the growth of Jump was the finance and influence of Staffordshire ironmaster George Dawes (1817-1888) whose arrival in 1849 in many ways marks the real growth of Jump. The Dawes family were profitably working the Bromford Iron Works in West Bromwich, and could afford to expand their activities.
In 1849 George and his brother William Henry Dawes agreed to take over the Elsecar and Milton Ironworks, leased from Earl Fitzwilliam, with favourable terms for supplies of ironstone and coal from the Earl’s estate. The Ironstone mining would be managed by John Hartop and the Coal supply by Benjamin Biram, the Earl’s staff. The Dawes were also determined to bring their own trusted workforce of Staffordshire men with them, triggering a migration of labour into and out of the locality.
Historian James Crump has analysed this transfer of labour from Staffordshire and surrounding areas, known as the ‘Black Country’. Using census records from 1851 onwards, Crump followed the pattern of movement based on the birthplaces of the resident workforce, and concluded:
“The migration of workers from the Black Country into the Hoyland area did not just occur in this single, initial wave in 1849-50 which accompanied George Dawes himself. Inward movement continued during the following two decades, but as a trickle rather than a mass move.”James Crump, A South Yorkshire Ironmaster. George Dawess and the Ironworks at Milton and Elsecar 1849-1884, South Yorkshire Industrial History Society Journal, No.4, 2007 (2009), p.33
Dawes understood the benefits of vertical integration. He purchased many separate parcels of land in Hoyland and Wombwell, investing in a local brickyard at Jump and building a large amount of new housing which he could then rent out to his own workforce, and to any other industrial labourers needing accommodation. The trade successes and lean times for the ironworks over the next three decades from 1850 to 1884, when they closed, would directly affect the vitality of the village.
George Dawes and his wife took a prominent part in local religious and social affairs, supporting local causes and materially assisting educational and Church of England facilities in the village. Dawes provided the land and a portion of the capital funds for building a new school in 1860 which doubled as a Sunday School, and funded an enlarged school building and accommodation for the schoolmaster in 1873. They also provided land for the new Anglican church opened in 1880 and named, aptly enough, St George’s.
As Crump reflects:
“In the case of Jump he became the single most important influence on how the village developed in the second half of the nineteenth century.”Crump, op cit., p.35
Building a community
Just above the Milton Ironworks, in Elsecar, new rows of cottages were set out in the mid 1850s. Echoing the patriotic Crimean war fervour of the day, they were known simply as ‘Sebastopol‘. Similar rows of houses, but in larger numbers, were also built at Jump, initially called ‘Dawes Row’, and later grouped as ‘Milton Square’ when more houses were added, these rows were better known as ‘Turkey‘ and ‘Inkerman‘ – the ‘proper’ road names within the ‘Turkey’ square of Milton Road and Fitzwilliam Road coming much later.
Demand was high and growth rapid between the 1850s and 1870s, as the ironworks at Elsecar grew and a series of new and deeper collieries were sunk close by, or existing works expanded, including Wombwell Main, Lundhill, and Cortonwood, Hoyland Silkstone, in addition to Earl Fitzwilliam’s newest pits at Hemingfield and Simon Wood.
Other local landowners and builders had also responded to the influx, buying land and developing new areas in and around Elsecar, and over the invisible boundry on the hillside to Wombwell township. This was the period when St Helen’s Street (1866) was carved down through the hillside from Stubbin at Elsecar (a placename lost in time) down to the bottom of the hill at Cobcar. Between 1840 and 1849 new groups of houses had appeared on the hill at Kitroyd, leading up from Cobcar to the Halfway Houses. By the 1851 Census ‘Hirst’s Row” had appeared in Jump, and soon many more would follow.
Public houses came and went – the Wellington Inn (c.1852) is perhaps the oldest remaining building, and the Flying Dutchman inn (c.1857), the sole survivor of a multitude of hostelries, inns and beerhouses. The 1890s brought the BBC – Barnsley British Cooperative Society, but that is a theme for another day.
Despite the great changes in the half century between 1850-1900, the overall picture of Jump still retained traces of its farming past (as indeed it still does to this day above Jump Park and down along Cemetery Road).
“It still presents the “Jumbled-up” appearance of a mixed Agricultural and Colliery Village, with many buildings of an antequated description.”Wombwell Urban District Council, Report of Medical Officer for the year 1898, Wombwell, 1899 (written by John N. Millar, M.B., M.Ch., Medical Officer of Health, dated 10th January 1899)
“England is the land of liberty, but Jump’s the land of liberties”Barnsley Chronicle, 28th June 1873, p.2
Rapid growth, speculative house building and people living cheek-by-jowl brought with it new social problems and challenges for the local authorities of the day. The Wombwell Local Board, only established in 1865, faced the challenge of managing multiple far-flung colliery settlements and dealing with the health, sanitation, and education problems the rapid growth in population implied.
This is not the place for a developed social history, or a detailed analysis of the industrial and domestic scene, but some snippets may suffice to illustrate a general impression. Taken from contemporary sources, including voices from local people, journalists and local authorities illuminates some of the challenges of the day, the starker realities of life, and some of the opportunities for robust social and political commentary:
“The Law-Loving Folks of JumpBarnsley Times, 18th August 1855, p.3
It seems to be a well-established fact that the inhabitants of Jump occupy more of the time of the magistrates, and are better customers to the lawyers, than any other place in the district, not even excepting Barnsley, for every two houses seem to be as much divided as were the ancient Montagues’ and Capulets; the appearance of any two of the parties being generally considered as the sure harbinger of a fight.”
“Drunk at JumpBarnsley Chronicle, 7th April 1877, p.2
George Pearson, grocer, was very drunk at Jump on the 27th March, and was guilty of using abusive language. P.C. Wright had to use force in getting defendant home – Pearson pleaded that it was election times, and that in consequence he had got a little “elated” – Fined 5s and costs. – John Hague was similarly charged. The offence was committed at the same time and place, and defendant gave a cabman a couple of black eyes. – Hague denied the charge, and said that P.C. Wright “grinned at him like a lion;” but the constable discredited the assertion that he had so behaved. Fined 10s and costs.”
“Wm. Mason, John Fitzpatrick, Wm. Hall, and James Butler, the first of whom lives at Stubbin, and the other three at Jump, were summoned to show cause why they do not give up possession of houses of which Messrs. Dawes and Co. are the owners. It appeared that the whole of the parties have been and continue to be workmen in the employ of Messrs. Dawes, and that they owe no arrears of rent. They have tried hard to get other houses, but without success, and they thought it very hard that they should be required to give up possession under such circumstances. – Mr Smith, in answer to the Magistrates, said they wanted the houses for skilled workmen, defendants being simply labourers…”Barnsley Chronicle, 31st July 1875, p.2
“The School Warden said many of the children in Jump were running around barefoot, and they could not get them to school. There were 307 houses at Jump; if they allowed five persons to each house, and then took one-sixth for the number of children, they got 256…
The Chairman: How many children are running about at Jump that you think should be at school?Report on the meeting of the Wombwell School Board, Barnsley Chronicle, 8th March 1879, p.8
The School Warden: At a rough guess, I should say 200.”
“Such places as “Sebastopol” and “Holy Land” in Hoyland, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Afghan at Jump need evangelising…”Letter to Editor of 7th October by Observer Hoyland, Barnsley Chronicle, 16th October 1880, p.3
WOMBWELL LOCAL BOARD.
To the Editor of the Barnsley Chronicle.
Sir, – In your last issue it is reported that at the meeting of the Wombwell Local Board held last week, it was passed “That flagging be done at Jump from the half-way houses to the Wellington Inn.” Now, I think this a very good motion as far as it goes, and the thanks of his constituents are due to Mr. Hobson for proposing it; but at the same time, in common with several other residents, I think that the inhabitants of the other end of the village are rather unfairly used, that our “causeway,” which all will acknowledge to be in worse condition than the portion named in the resolution, is not also to be flagged. Being of older standing than our mushroom friends living at Turkey, we feel ourselves aggrieved, […] Cannot Mr. Hobson help us by proposing at the next meeting “That the flagging at Jump be continued to the bottom of the village?” Great things were promised for us by the candidates at the last election- better roads, if I remember rightly, being one.
Jump September 8thBarnsley Chronicle, 13th September 1879, p.2
Insanitary Conditions at JumpWest Riding County Council, Report of the County Medical Officer upon the Sanitary Districts within the Barnsley Union, Wakefield, June 1898, p.45 (Discussing the incidence of enteric fever in a special report dated 29th November 1897, the County Medical Officer reported)
Milton Square—one of the yards specially infected—consists of two parallel rows of houses running from the top to the bottom of an incline, and chiefly inhabited by miners. Between these rows the ground is partly studded with outbuildings and large nests of privies, deep, wet, and foul-smelling, while the ground not occupied by buildings is frequently littered with the excreta of fowls and ducks of various kinds. The surface is unprepared in any way, and the rain finds an outlet in ruts at the lower part of the square. The drainage of one house was exposed, and revealed what was practically “ no drain at all.” It had been apparently choked for some time, and the sewage was finding its way into the foundations of the house, and polluting the soil so as to make it insanitary.
Woodlands – a thorny interlude (by any other name)
At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the mixed reputation of Jump in some minds led to a remarkable movement asking the local authority to rename the village. 2021 marks the 120th anniversary of the event:
“To the Chairman and Councillors forming the Urban District Council of Wombwell.
– We, the undersigned, owners and ratepayers of property at Jump, in the township of Wombwell, respectfully submit for your consideration the desirability of changing the name of the village of Jump to some other and more suitable name. We think that Jump is not only a very ridiculous name, but that it is altogether unsuitable for the place. We respectfully request the name to be changed to “Woodlands”.Barnsley Chronicle, 2nd March 1901, p.7
The leading signatory was the Rector, and a leading property owner Mr James Hanson was raised as a leading proponent. As can be imagined, it caused quite a stir! Some proponents argued it was a more suitable name for the heart of the village which was formerly surrounded by woods, including Otley Woods, Kitroyd and the ancient woods just over the brow beyond Lane Ends at Wombwell Wood. Heated council debates followed (some Woodlands proponents being amongst their number), and much newspaper commentary and letters from local people followed:
“No, Mr Hanson, Woodlands won’t do. Mudlands would at present be better, whilst on some occasions Wildlands would be more appropriate. But in my opinion to change the name of Jump at all would be a jump out of the frying pan into the fire […]. True, if the name of Jump was changed it would continue to exhale that pungent aroma which makes one wish for a counteracting stimulant, just, but not exactly as a rose would smell as sweet by any other name.”Anonymous ‘Wombwell Notes’ correspondent, Mexborough and Swinton Times, 15 February 1901, p.2
It was not a successful endeavour ultimately. A public vote was arranged by the council and held on Saturday 15th June 1901, when the proposed change was defeated by 159 votes to 69 (and 2 spoiled ballots according to the Barnsley Chronicle account on 29/6/1901). And yet it seems that some proprietors remained undeterred – at least one remnant of the battle for a village that never was remains…
That battle over, Jump continued to be subject to brickbats and calumnies over the next century, but then as now, it always found defenders of its charms:
“True, the village has its slum parts, like other places-the more pity it is so. It has also its bright spots, not recorded, which is unfair. We have streets with well-flagged causeways and gas-lamps in the streets. We are proud of our beautiful little church, cemetery, chapel, schools, and children’s recreation ground. The village is beautifully situated on a south slope, and, when it is stated that from here to the south Sheffield can be seen, to the east Conisbro’, and to the west Dodworth, it can scarcely be the murky place described by your reporter.”Letter, dated 27th Feb 1908, from William Allott and Joseph Dyer, members of Wombwell U.D.C, published in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 28th February 1908, p.8
Changing times: clearing slums and social housing
In the Twentieth Century increased powers and duties on local authorities and greater resources from central government led to new schemes of house-building, especially after the First World War when a population spurt increased the problem of household overcrowding. Wombwell Council area rose to around 20,000 people by 1920, inhabiting 3,671 houses, of which 519 contained two families and 404 with an average of more than 2 people per room (Wombwell U.D.C, Annual Report 1920).
Between 1920-1925, Wombwell Urban District Council built 237 new houses. In 1919 there had been a competition for the design of new housing schemes for sites at Wombwell and Hemingfield. The Hemingfield scheme was won by Norman Culley & Percy Morris of Huddersfield for 50 houses. Later schemes closer to Jump included the 10 bungalows built in 1937.
Efforts in clearing Victorian (and older) unsanitary housing really took hold after the Second World War, with the Housing Act 1949, and an enhanced Slum Clearance programme. In addition, more grant funds for improvements to existing premises became available after the House Purchase and Housing Act of 1959.
Wombwell U.D.C. submitted an ambitious Slum Clearance scheme to the Minster of Housing and Local Government in September 1955. It aimed to clear 299 houses in the first 5 years of its Slum Clearance programme, between 1955-60 and then 50 each year, as resources permitted. In practice progress was erratic: programmes were delayed, suspended or inadequately resourced, with only 194 houses demolished or cleared at the end of the first 5 year period.
By 1965 things had improved considerably. Of the expected total of 549 houses dealt with across Wombwell U.D.C., 506 had actually been addressed. Housing in Jump represented a significant amount of the total houses to be cleared, so many families were rehoused in the 1950s and 60s and the progress (demolition good and bad) can be seen in the many addresses listed in the Annual Reports of Wombwell’s Chief Public Health Inspector.
Jack Finney (1918-1990), Chief Public Health Inspector and Cleansing Superintendent, worked under Dr Roy Barnes, Medical Officer of Health for Wombwell and Divisional Officer for Barnsley. Finney wrote hopefully about the changes happening for housing and village life:
“It is pleasing to contemplate the elimination of unfit houses in what is probably the worst area of the Urban District, in the village of Jump. I have always stressed that it is of paramount importance to redevelop such villages and to retain their identity. Once building is started it is hoped that it will be continuous until all the unfit houses have been demolished and Jump can be said to be a modern village. This is a tremendous opportunity to create something lasting and worthwhile.”Wombwell Urban District Council, Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health and Chief Public Health Inspector, 1961, p.27
New homes were being built in Jump – 72 in 1962-3, on the Church Street Farm site, and 44 houses and flats in 1964-5 on the Arundel View estate which would rehouse people from demolished properties on Church Street, Cemetery Road, Wentworth Road and Milton Road.
Renewing Old Jump
Coming full circle, just as ‘New’ Jump was being renewed in Wombwell, so too was ‘Old Jump’ in Hoyland. In 1952 Hoyland U.D.C were negotiating the purchase of the farm prior to building anew:
Hoyland Nether Urban District Council
Jump Farm Housing Estate
Tenders are invited from Building Contractors for the erection of 36 Three Bedroom Type and 28 Two Bedroom Type Houses on the above named site.
Drawings, Specifications, and Tender Documents can be obtained from Mr L.K.G. Barraclough, A.I.S.A., Housing Surveyor, Town Hall, Hoyland, on deposit of £2 2s, returnable on receipt of a bona fide tender and the return of the Documents.
Tenders in plain sealed envelopes endorsed “Tenders for 36 and 28 Houses” must be delivered to the undersigned not later than 12 noon on the 9th day of April, 1956.
Clerk of the CouncilSouth Yorkshire Times, 17th March 1956, p.6
14th March 1956
Further contracts followed over the next few years, part of a housing renewal programme in Hoyland which created improved council housing which remains to this day.
The 1950s and 60s would be a real turning point for Jump, although things certainly got worse before they got better as in February 1962 a violent gale struck causing huge damage. Of course that was not the end of the story, as renewal in Jump continued into the 21st Century…