Home Places Choirs and Bands Minstrel “Boys” of the Nineties – Memories of Famous Darfield Troupe

Minstrel “Boys” of the Nineties – Memories of Famous Darfield Troupe

March 1939

Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 24, 1939

Minstrel “Boys” of the Nineties

Memories of Famous Darfield Troupe

This picture of the old Darfield Minstrel Troupe was taken at Highfield Farm, Darfield, some 46 years ago and was kindly handed to us by one of our old readers, who well remembers their

I performances. The troupe reached the height of their popularity in the ” gay nineties,” and about that period few Dar-field social events were considered complete without their services.

Two at least of the above group are still in the Parish Church choir, and, so far as we can ascertain about half a dozen are still living. Perhaps some of our old friends may know the whereabouts of those of whom we have lost record.

Ballads, glees, recitations, etc.—nothing came amiss to them and jolly good times they had when they gave performance in and around the district They usually wore fancy clothes and blacked their faces, but when all ” dressed up ” (as above) they wore crimson sashes over their shoulders.

The names of those in the group are (left to right, back row): The late Mr Walter Taylor, Mr. J. Crossland (formerly of Wombwell), Mr. Fred Tomlinson (brother of Miss Blanche Tomlinson, of London, former headmistress of the Old Church School), the late Mr. Arthur Goodall, of School Street (who died last year and was a chorister at the Parish Church until the time of his death), the late Mr. Harry Russell (a cashier at Darfield Main Colliery), Mr. John Hind (now living at Ardsley and formerly sexton at Darfield Parish Church and later organist at Darfield Wesley Chapel), Mr. Thomas Knowles of Wombwell, who used to sing in Darfield Church Choir, the late Mr. Charlie Standiloft (who went to Grimsby from Darfield).

Front row (left to right): The late Mr. Tom Cherry (a former Conservative stalwart and keen Churchman), Mr. Harry Taylor, of School Street, Darfield (a builder and joiner and still prominent member of the Conservative Club), the late Mr. Henry Gamwell (formerly licensee of the Cross Keys, who later retired to the Old Vicarage, Darfield), Mr. George Goodall (whose voice can still be heard Sunday by Sunday in the Parish Church choir). Mr. John Bushby (registrar of births and deaths for Barnsley). Mr. Robert Smith, of Millhouses (who is still in the church choir), Mr. A. Fell (whereabouts unknown to us), the late Mr. Bennett and the late Mr. Longley (Wombwell).