Rotherham Then and Now

This delightful, full colour collection of images celebrates the Rotherham of days gone by. Pairing rare images from the Rotherham Archives with modern photographs, it reveals the enormous changes that the town has witnessed. Many of these images have not appeared in print before. Compiled by Rotherham’s own historian, Margaret Drinkall, it will delight residents and visitors alike.

Extract From the book

Ferham Park


The park was originally part of the grounds of Ferham House but was bought by the Rotherham Council and opened for the public on Saturday June 25th 1887. The town council wanted this to be more than a park for entertainment and it was known as the Masbrough Recreational Ground. Thousands of people gathered to attend the opening of the park and a grand stand covered in bunting was erected to seat the dignitaries of the town. At right angles to this was a stand with seating for 600 children from Kimberworth School. The Rotherham Volunteers were assembled in a military parade attended by a brass band. The ceremony started with the band playing ‘God Save the Queen’ echoed by the children and the hundreds of people in the crowd. Rev W H Carr, the Vicar of Kimberworth gave a short blessing. The Mayor, Alderman Wragg announced that he was opening the park on behalf of the people of Kimberworth, Holmes and Masbrough. He told them that the intention was not for it to be a park in the conventional sense, but would be used for exercise and sport. It was intended to have a path all the way round for people to walk around which would be belted by trees. The centre of the grounds ‘will remain grassed for the children to play cricket and other games on’. He told the people that they were not going to appoint a park keeper but that everyone would have that responsibility as ‘the park belonged to them’. The Volunteers under Captain Hurst sent a few volleys up into the air to even more cheering. The celebrations closed with a great show of fireworks in the evening where another stand for 2,000 had been erected including many of the inmates of the workhouse. The estimated crowds were said to be between 15,000 to 20,000 in attendance. Today the park is still used for exercise and a route which measures a quarter of a mile are regularly used by people of all nationalities. There is also a large area used for football and a recently refurbished play park and skateboarding area. I think if Alderman Wragg and the town council of 1887 were to look down on Ferham Park of today he would be pleased that their hopes for the park were being strictly adhered to.

2 thoughts on “Rotherham Then and Now

  1. Do you have any photos of Garrow Tree? We have census records showing it in 1901 and onwards . My husbands greatgrandmother and family lived in number 4. My husband remembers it being pointed out as Garrowtree House.

  2. Sorry Christine, I dont have any pictures of Garrow Tree. I would advise you to go to the collections in the Rotherham Archives though as they might have one. I know they are only offering a limited service at the moment, but I have always found the staff extremely helpful. Give them a try. Margaret

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