Allport's Eye

King Arthur and Mr Bean


Arthur Scargill  was born in 1938, he was president of the NUM from 1982 to 2002. and led them in the miners strike of 1984-5. Bean.png

Born in 1959 in Handsworth, Sheffield. His films include “Lord of The Rings”, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and “When Saturday Comes”. He studied acting at RADA but prior to this he studied Drama at Rotherham College


Eric Brooke: From Mexborough to Maine Road

The next in the society’s series of lectures, on Wednesday April 25th will be the story of Mexborough’s most accomplished footballer, Eric Brooke, who’s blue plaque is soon to be unveiled at the Athletic ground in in the town. Brooke made 493 appearances for Manchester City between 1928 and 1939, scoring 177 goals, a record that has only recently been elipsed by Sergio Aguero.  He also scored 18 goals in 78 appearances for Barnsley and 10 in 18 for England. Bill Lawrence will be looking at the life of the man behind the statistics. The meeting is, as usual, at the Concertina Band Club on Dolcliffe Road, at 7.15.


Forthcoming Events

John Fisher Tribute Night

Mexborough St John the Baptist Church plays host to a memorial tribute to the inspirational Mexborough Grammar school english Teacher John Fisher on Tuesday 24th April (7.00pm). John counted the future poet laureate Ted Hughes amongst his pupils, and inspired many more to a lifelong love of literature and poetry.

people are invited to bring their own stories, photographs and memories along to the event, which has been organised by the Ted Hughes Project'He could teach me anything


Allport's Eye

The Footballer and the School Inspector

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Winger Eric Brook who started out with Wath Athletic when he was 16, scored 177 goals for Manchester City between the wars. This remained a record for almost 80 years.

His career began at Barnsley where he scored‘1‘8 goals between 1925 and 1928.

Eric also played 18 times for England between 1929 and 1937 scoring 10 goals.

Historian Bill Lawrence said ‘ Many of us are familiar with some of Mexborough’s famous names such as Ted Hughes, Brian Blessed, Keith Barron and iron Hague but we don’t have much knowledge of Eric, a forgotten hero’.

Anyone with further information about Eric is asked to contact Bill at or call Margaret Roper at Mexborough library on 01709 582037


Author of the hilarious Dales school inspector books, Gervaise Phinn was born in Rotherham in 1948. He has had a distinguished career in education, both as a teacher and visiting Prof of education. Same would describe him as the James Herriot of the school inspector world. This is hard to avoid because his books are both hilarious and perceptive.

Derek Allport


Forthcoming Events

Mexborough History Fair

The Society will be holding a history fair at Mexborough Library on May 11th from 11.00 until 3. There will be a display of items and photographs from the area, and a display of local information regarding the First World War.  People from Mexborough and and surrounding regions are invited to come along to browse, have a chat with our experts and perhaps bring items from their own collections to show.

Local craft groups, artists, writers and other creative folk are also invited to set up their own small displays.

Tea and coffee will be available, perhaps even biscuits and cakes,  and there will also be a tombola.


Chartists in South Yorkshire – The Mexborough Connection.

The next Heritage Society talk will now be held on Wednesday 28th of March at 7.15pm, after poor weather caused it to be cancelled last month. Ian parks will be discussing the mid nineteenth century Chartist movement and its links to South Yorkshire and Mexborough. Chartism was a movement in favour of the working people of Britain, which aimed, to get votes for everyone over 21 years old, and make it possible for working people to stand for parliament, thus gaining a voice. Much of its philosophy was spread through poetry and song, and through mass meetings which became very unpopular with the government of the time.

Ian has a comprehensive knowledge of the subject and the evening promises to be both entertaining and informative.

Allport's Eye

The Prince and the Tap Dancer


Prince Monolulu 1881 -1945 whose real name was Peter Carl McKay was a tipster and something of an institution on the British horse racing scene from the 1920s to the time of his death. He was particularly noticeable for his brightly coloured clothing, and his best known phrase was “I gotta Horse!”He was a regular at Doncaster races.

Will Gaines

Will Gaines was an African American tap dancer born 1923 in Baltimore. He began dancing on street corners for nickels and dimes eventually graduating to the Cotton Club appearing on the same bills as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis. When he arrived in the UK in the early sixties he found he liked it here and he settled in Rotherham because it reminded him of Detroit where he grew up. In the early seventies Geoff Sargeson of Mexborough theatre fame interviewed him on Radio Sheffield and invited him to dance for radio. What a challenge!

I met him when he did a show at Rotherham College. He was charming and very extrovert