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The Early Years and other reminiscences -  by Tony Robinson

For the first 14 years of my life until 1957 I lived at the New Masons Arms on Doncaster Road where dad (Arthur known as Rob) and mum (Anne known as Nancy) were the tenants (both are pictured, right).

They had taken over the tenancy from my Granddad, Bill Brammer and Nan, Lottie Brammer who had been the original tenants.

Grandma and grandad had been involved in the licence trade for some time having also run the Don Hotel in Swinton. They took that pub over just as the general strike started and they found it very difficult. I remember Nan telling me stories of skinning and cooking rabbits that the striking miners caught.

Nan (nee Roper) was the daughter of James Roper of Fern Villa on Church Street (Low Road) James was a haulier and had a number of wagons and horses. Grandad had been a driver for him as well as being a blacksmith at Denaby Pit. In their early married life they had lived in Ferry Boat Lane.

Eventually they were offered the tenancy of a very old, run down stone-built pub which  was due to be demolished, along with Adams Yard at its rear, and the New Masons Arms built behind it. They finished serving on the evening session in the old pub and opened up next morning in the new one. I believe this was 1937.
When Mum and Dad took over the tenancy in the forties they developed the pub into a meeting place for the business people of Mexborough.
They attended many formal social events and provided the licensed bars for some of them; mostly at the Empress Ballroom.

Life in the 20s


                     The Don Hotel, Swinton, around 1928                          Ferryboat Lane, 1921 - the Parish Hall is back, left

 Ferry Boat Lane Summer 1921
Anne 9yrs and George Brammer
 ABOVE - Mum, Anne Robinson seated 3rd from left

 BELOW - The Girl Guides in 1921 on an outing


Bill Roper Nan’s Brother on the left


Grandad, Nan and Mum with Staff of the New Masons Arms

LEFT -  L to R Jimmy Green- Wholesale Fishmonger Doncaster Road. Lottie Brammer, Ellis Robinson Professional Cricketer -Spin Bowler for Somerset - possibly played for Yorkshire
RIGHT - In 1939, just before war was declared, Grandad organised a trip to France pub customers Picture shows Ben Bailey Centre with White Tie. Hewitt Wainwright Centre with glasses, Walt Marsden back with bow tie and Grandad front right

A social hub for Mexborough's business and commercial men and women
Bill Pettit – Owned Shoe Shop on Bank Street, Jack Malcolm was District Manager for DBC (Danish Bacon Company)

Hewitt Wainwright had a Painting and Decorating Business. Ben Bailey - Home Building



Mum and Dad attend Doncaster Rugby Club Dinner Dance at the Danum 1948 and talk to Florence Squires who owned a ladies gown shop in High Street close to The Montagu Pub

Providing a licensed bar at the Empress Ballroom.
On the left is Harry May who had a tobacconist business

Dad receives the Charter as inaugural Chairman of Mexborough Round Table

This is the Ukrainian Association Christmas Dinner in 1949 held in the function room (club room) at the New Masons Arms. The members had come over to work in the pits


This photo was taken from the car park in front of the pub looking across Doncaster Road. The shop of the left - only partly shown was Wagstaff’s Butchers , The Grocery shop behind the car was owned by Lillian Tugby, my mother’s cousin. The Clarke family lived in the house after the lamp post. Barry Clarke was my age First shop with first canopy was Seizes Pork Butchers and the second was the Post Office. The cyclist is my Uncle Albert Robinson leaving work at Bennett’s Joinery Shop next to the pub  



Customers and staff made a presentation to Anne and Rob on their departure.
Jack Scholey centre

A little about Tony Robinson himself
I was born in 1943 in Doncaster. My first school was Pitt Street Infants followed by Doncaster Road Juniors and I remember walking to school along Doncaster Road passing the CO-OP and Coggin’s Farm. In 1954 I went to Mexborough GS. My brother Christopher was born in 1955 and we left the pub in 1957 to move to North Yorkshire.

Photo Taken 1956

Back Row third from left Roger Hayes, I’m fifth from left

Middle Row third from right Ian McClelland

Front Row fifth from left Marlene Jackson


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