Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 16, 1928
Darby and Joan
Mr and Mrs. John Brown, of 5, Victoria Street, a grand old Darfield couple, have this year celebrated the 56th anniversary of their wedding. They were married at the Darfield Parish Church by Mr. Platte (a curate) in 1852.
Mr. Brown claims the distinction of being Darfield’s oldest native. He celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday. He was born in a little cottage at the Millhouse end of the village in 1848, and commenced work at the age of eight, doing odd jobs for Mr. Jackson, the Rector. Afterwards he was employed at the Low Valley Potteries. During his youth the family removed to the old Tollgate house on Darfield Bridge which was surrounded by a large garden. Mr. Brown has vivid memories of old Darfield. In his youth there were only four houses at Low Valley, and Darfield was a mere cluster of cottages. He tells an interesting story of a stone which used to stand near the four lane ends in Millhouses, and was erected to the memory of a man named Thomas Depledge, who was murdered there in 1841. The stone bore this inscription.:
At midnight drear by this wayside,
The murdered man, poor Depledge
The guiltless victim of a blow;
Designed to lay another low :
By men whom he had never harmed,
By hate and drunken passion. warmed,
Hence learn to shun in youth’s fresh spring,
The causes which to ruin bring.
Mr. Brown also remembers that the toll at Darfield Bridge was 6d. for each vehicle.
While Mr, Brown worked at Darfield Main he witnessed a winding accident. The cage was pulled through the engine house and several men were killed. The latter part of his working life was spent at Messrs. Seal’s stone quarries.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown (the latter is 76 years of age) are very active and can frequently be seen walking out in the village. Mrs. Brown is a native of Chesterton, Cambridge. They attribute their long life to moderation in all things, plain living contentment. They shave had eight daughter and three sons, and nine of their children are living, all married. They have 26 grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.