This is the first in a monthly series of books by local authors.
Conisbrough & Denaby Industries Through the Ages by Penny Lloyd Rees
Review by Dave Fordham
A new book on the former industries of Conisbrough and Denaby Main has been written by Penny Lloyd-Rees from the Its Our Heritage! project.
Conisbrough and Denaby Main may be famous for its medieval castle and coal mining connections, but the area was once a hive of commercial activity, on a scale probably unheard of for a town of such small size.
From toffee to potato crisp manufacturing, from brick making to cannon casting, from coal mining to Kilner Jar production, from beer brewing to furniture manufacture, the author has documented over 30 different industries in this fascinating account, which has been compiled with the assistance of the Conisbrough and Denaby Main Heritage Group. Looking back now, it is hard to believe what a busy centre of industry the area once was.
Conisbrough and Denaby: Industries Through the Ages features 84 pages and 58 illustrations. Priced locally at £3.50, it is available from several local outlets including Sainsbury’s, Waites and Conisbrough and Denaby Main Post Offices. It is also available online through the publication sales page at www.fedjbooks.co.uk for £7.49 which includes postage and packaging. All proceeds go towards the Its Our Heritage! project which supports the promotion of heritage and local history initiatives in Conisbrough and Denaby.
· I must say what a wonderful piece of work...I’m in the middle of it already....a real page-turner as they say
· Finished the book yesterday and really enjoyed it! Particularly enjoyed the description of the underground visit with W.H.Chambers, very evocative. Congratulations on a great book.
· I am impressed with the book’s quality and content.
Researching the book uncovered so many aspects of the villages’ history that hadn’t been fully explored before on a local level, such as the famous Appleyard furniture makers; Denaby Powder Works; steel makers Baker and Bessemer’s early origins in Conisbrough and first hand glimpses into the factories and collieries by local intrepid reporters. There are inspirational industry leaders and factory owners and a wealth of small but vital industries which, in the early days, were keeping this mainly agricultural district self-sufficient. Following the waterways to the river Don and beyond, we are reminded of how fragile the line was between water being a vital source of power for these industries and a devastating menace for them when nature unleashed it’s full force.