South Yorkshire Times and Mexborough & Swinton Times Friday 27 January 1933


Mr. L. Robinson. of the staff of the Mexborough Secondary School on Wednesday gave an interesting lecture on a mountaineering holiday he had in the Austrian Tyrol to a large gathering of the Doncaster Scientific Society in the Municipal Art Gallery. Mr. Robinson illustrated his lecture with a number of fine lantern slides.

Eckington, Woodhouse and Staveley Express – Saturday 03 June 1933


On Saturday the Doncaster Scientific Society spent an interesting afternoon botanising in the Maltby district. Under the guidance of Miss Audrey Creighton (Swinton) the party took pleasant lanes and field for their route over a distance of some six miles, and the combination of pleasant scenery and archaeological associations provided rich and greatly appreciated variety. The ridge of Permian limestone towards Lily Hall and Fordoles afforded problems of geological interest and was distinguished by a luxuriant, and characteristic flora. Some unusually fine examples of Euonymus europaeus (Spindle Tree) were seen here and were just commencing to produce their peculiar blossoms. In some cases they provided a congenial habitat tor the larvae of the insect Hyponomcuta, which feed upon the foliage. These were met with in some numbers and the gregarious caterpillars which tenanted a common web provided material for illustrating an aspect of adaptation and evolution.

Some discussion was aroused is to the probable derivation of the name Lily Hall, which building and farms aroused some interest. Although spelt “Lilly” on certain maps, this appeared to be erroneous. Local enquiry anal observation suggested that the abundance of garlic hereabouts afforded the most likely etymology. The bloom was in striking abundance and afforded some tempting material the photographer. Many country folk know it by the somewhat misleading designation of Lily. Alter passing Fordoles the pleasant hamlet of Micklebring received attention, and the opinion was expressed that it would be difficult to find a more charming situation and prospect without going many miles from Mexboro’ and Doncaster.

Some grass-grown mounds in one field aroused attention and proved to be a link with the past. These were the remains of deserted ruddlle-pits. About the end of the eighteenth century this red earth had more than a local reputation and an extensive trade was done in such substance. The fashion seems to have changed, and the excavation of the red clay has long ceased. Not far away, the name Lead Hill served to recall another interesting association. In the good old days of George II. Braithwell had obtained a reputation for its production of lime. This was extensively used by its busy and important neighbour, the commercial town of Sheffield, and it was carted from there to that place. The commodity was reciprocated. The men from Sheffield brought with them pig-lead, depositing it on the hill near the kilns, and then returned laden with lime. Thus the name, which commemorates another old-time association. It may be added that the lead was re-carted at Braithwell anti taken to the old wharf at Bawtry, recalling another forgotten chapter in local history.

By kind permission of Mrs. Badger, the Ravenfield estate was visited and yielded much that was of interest to the naturalist. Time would not permit of any detailed examination of the lakes here, which afforded a rich field for the Student of fresh water biology. After tea, kindly provided by Mrs. Garner, an inspection was made of the old shrubbery, which contained many noteworthy trees and shrubs. Amongst the species seen here were the Barberry, Cedar of Lebanon, Crataegus crus-gaili, Medlar, and Robinia.

The quaint church at Ravenfield was then visited, and the party walked through the estate to Hooton Roberts. The peculiar Adder’s Tongue Fern (uphioglossum) was seen in abundance at one point and was new to some. Messrs. J. Dufty and G. L. Sutcliffe contributed helpful information on the archaeology of the district, anal a cordial vote of thanks was accorded to Miss Creighton, who was responsible for the arrangements of an unusually instructive, enjoyable, and well-organised field meeting.