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Dennis Street was born in Jessops Hospital in Sheffield in 1941 to a Kiveton mining family, with male relative working at Dinnington and Kiveton collieries. He got married to his wife Pam in 1963, and later that year they both emigrated to Australia. He's had a long and eventful life and in 2007 he self published his autobiography. All of the story is interesting, but there's also lots of fascinating detail relevant to the J31 area. Dennis has kindly given permission to publish some extracts, and if you'd like to know more than there's a links to his publishers website so that you can get a copy. Anyway, here's an extract from Chapter 1, picked mainly because it describes the terraced housing of the area in the 1940s: back to 1941. My Dad was not only a miner, but there we were in the middle of a nasty war too, and there was I, too small to even run away! Mum may have been well equipped for this situation, at least the mining part, as she was also from a mining background. (Her father was a miner at nearby Dinnington; he came from Pinxton in Derbyshire in 1905 when Dinnington Pit opened. Her two brothers were also mine workers). At the time, mining coal was a reserved occupation, meaning that a miner could not be called up into the Military Forces, nor could he resign his job to join the forces. Mining was considered to be too important to the conduct of the war to allow freedom of job movement. I would think that there were many miners who would have relished the chance to join the forces, with the chances of being shot at, in lieu of the day to day dangers of mining, although, as I said, they were not able to do this. I should here mention that if it seems that I repeat various statements through this narrative, it is only because I realise that you, like me, forget things, so a repeat now and then may be helpful to your memory. Victoria Terrace was part of a section of three rows of terraced houses in the middle of the village, just one quarter of a mile from the Pit, across the railway lines. Victoria Terrace was the top one, nearest, and parallel to, Station Road, with Albert Terrace next, and Railway Terrace at the bottom of the hill, nearest to the railway and the Pit. These terraced houses were two-up-two-down, meaning two bedrooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs, and they were the smallest of the three terraced areas of housing built for miners those many years earlier. This section was locally referred to as the Little Rows [now demolished and replaced by new housing]. Those terraces built near the corner of Station Road and Hard Lane, at the eastern end of the village were referred to as the Old Rows, and two sets of Terraced houses off Thomas Street, which was off Colliery Road, locally called 'Pit Lane', near the railway station, were referred to as the New Rows, although the term 'new' was only indicative [these terraced houses still stand and sell for upwards of #80k!].
I have recently acquired a map of Kiveton in 1901, and it shows that the only houses in the village in that year were the terraces listed above, with the only addition a few houses at the bottom of the hill from Kiveton Bridge Station (which of course, wasn't there in 1901, though the railway was). Now, should you be walking from Dawson's Fish and Chip shop, which I understand is no longer there, towards the school and the railway bridge, that is from east to west, you would come across a high wall, which was actually the back of the lavatories and coal-houses of the first section of Victoria Terrace. Then there was an entry for lorries, as they were called, to gain access for delivery of coal, furniture, and anything else required. From that entry, a yard stretched to left and right, with the lavatories and coal-houses on one side, and the terrace on the other. So, in the middle of winter, to visit the toilet, you were forced to come out of the house by the kitchen door, cross the yard, use the toilet in the dark, as lights were not provided, use the toilet paper, or what seemed to be, and was, the daily paper cut into small squares, pull the chain, and walk back across the yard. There were entries' off Station Road, effectively splitting each terrace into three sections.
At the end of the third section was the junior school, the infant school being over the road, followed by the railway bridge, and Colliery Road, where Dad walked to work each day.

The miners worked three shifts each day, each of eight hours, five days a week, with a change of shift each Monday. It must have been difficult for me to understand Dad was either at home, or at the Pit. But sometimes, he was at home in the day, and sometimes, he wasn't. Sometimes, he was at home at night, and sometimes, he wasn't. I was three years old, when I walked from home, out to Station Road, and across to Kiveton Park Club, where I knew my Dad went sometimes. It appears that I was looking for him. No, he would not have been in the bar, as he was a non-drinker, but he did play lawn bowls there occasionally. I was tracked down, and my few minutes of total freedom came to an abrupt end. Where was my Dad? Down the Pit, as usual!

The age of three must have loomed large in my short life, as I also started school, at the Infant School, but still School. The reason for the early start at school was, as far as I can make out, to give the mums the chance to do odd jobs in war work, and I would imagine that little actual school work was accomplished.

This is one of the book's photos; a Kiveton Youth Club football team circa 1960. Dennis is front row, 2nd from the right. Many of the surnames are familiar from my own time in Kiveton in the 1970s.

Copyright 2007 Dennis Street

kiveton youth club football team

Back L to R - Ted Vandenbosch, Paul Grainger, Ray Harrison, Eddie Hopkinson, Norm Stewart, Pete Cox Front L to R - Melvin Godfrey, Jim, Tony Kirkland, myself, and Keith Staniland.

That's a small taster of Dennis's bio, which runs to over 120 pages. Below is the table of contents. If you want a copy yourself (I've bought one!) then visit for $12US (+p and p).

1. I Am Introduced To the World
2. I Find Out About Education, Our Field, and Playing
3. I Find Wales Methodist Church, and Learn Things Out Of School
4. I Finally Attend Woodhouse Grammar School
5. I Enter the Workforce
6. I Think Of the Future and Girls in the Present
7. I Become Used To Married Life and Migration
8. We Become Settled In Our New Home [In Australia]
9. Work, Sporting Activities, and Our Trip "Back Home" [to England]
10. My Years with Progress Press
11. The Dandenong Club
12. I Am President
13. We Move To the Gold Coast
14. Volunteer Marine Rescue
15. People Who Have Impressed Me
16. Old Kivetoners Never Die; They Just Email Each Other

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