Securing our past for the future

by | 31 October 2018 | Community Focus, Heritage, Rotherham

Rotherham District Civic Society was established nearly fifty years ago and has been a positive driver over the years, in protecting the rich heritage of the town. One of the founder members, Stan Crowther, former MP and Mayor of the town, later became chairman of the Society and was passionate about his home town. He was a strong voice in protecting important buildings in the town and positively influencing the local authority over heritage and planning issues. His legacy lives on and a blue plaque was erected at The Three Cranes in the High Street in his memory and in recognition of his work. An original fifteenth century merchant’s townhouse stood on this site.

The society has a ‘Blue Plaque’ scheme and twelve blue plaques have been unveiled in recent years around the borough in memory of famous local people. The society plans to unveil additional plaques as funding becomes available.
There are two at Firbeck Village Hall in memory of Hewlett Cottrell Watson and Anthony St Leger and another in Aston to celebrate the work of William Mason. Fred Trueman has been recognised twice in his home town of Maltby. The first plaque was erected at Maltby Academy and the other at The Queens Hotel, close to where he caught the bus to his first Yorkshire representative match.

There is one at Thomas Rotherham College in memory of Donald Bailey, the inventor of the Bailey Bridge, which was vital in the push for victory in Europe during the Second World War.
Ebenezer Elliott, the Corn Law rhymer and Rotherham poet, has been recognised with a blue plaque in Greasborough Road for his fight to repeal the Corn Laws which were causing hardship and starvation amongst the poor in the 19th century.

Ann Hinchcliffe, who established the Rotherham Advertiser in 1858, has a blue plaque in her memory at the back of Hamby’s shoe shop close to where the first editions of the Advertiser were published by her.
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event or former building in the site, serving as a historical marker.

The society is open to new members both young and old and more information can be found on their new website. If you care about Rotherham and share the society’s concerns to make Rotherham an even better place to live or do business and attract visitors, then why not become a member. You can send an email to or visit to find out more.