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Swinton is a small town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherhammarker, in South Yorkshiremarker, Englandmarker on part of the west bank of the River Don. It has a population of 14,643.

History

The town was once a centre for the manufacture of ceramics of international importance; deep coal mining, glassmaking, canal barge-building and engineering also featured.It is best known for being the site of the Rockingham Pottery, a world-famous manufacturer of porcelain. Although the factory closed in 1842 its name is left as defining a style of rococo porcelain. There were several other potteries in the area during the 19th century. One of the original kilns, a small part of the factory, a gatehouse (both now private residences) and the pottery flint millpond can still be seen today in a small park called Pottery Ponds off Blackamoor Road near the "Woodman" public house in Swinton.

Topography

The town is located on a hillside, the higher regions generally being home to older dwellings and the lower regions the location of newer build. The lowest point of the town contains two main rail lines, the River Don, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigationmarker canal and the derelict Dearne and Dove Canal.

Economy and Transport

Following the decline of traditional industries (and notably the Miners Strike), employment is provided predominantly by service and light industry in the nearby Manversmarker area.Squeezed in among the rail lines and canals is the Waddington's Boat Yard, which has survived the widespread decline in local industry and still operates a limited barge repair and transport business, having also diversified into timber milling and woodworking.

The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation canal, once a major transport route between Sheffieldmarker and Goolemarker, underwent substantial modernisation in the mid 1980s and is capable of accommodating large vessels as far as Rotherhammarker, and pleasure craft through to Sheffield. Recently, limited bulk freight has returned to the canal and can occasionally be seen passing through the modern Swinton Lock.

The town was without a railway station between January 1968, when the old stationmarker was closed as part of the Beeching cuts, and 1991, when a new, unstaffed stationmarker was opened. This followed the restoration of the dual track "Swinton Curve" (also known as the "Foundry Curve" based on past proximity to such), enabling trains to travel from Sheffield to Doncastermarker via Swinton. Increased passenger usage subsequently lead to the provision of a small portable building staffed for the morning peak only. This was later replaced by a brick building housing a ticket office and waiting room. Some local bus services connect with trains at this facility.

Swinton is also home to a large site owned by the Morphy Richards & Roberts Radio brands. Whilst most manufacturing has ceased, substantial warehousing remains. An American Baguel company also operates in the town in addition to Stelrad and Jacksons Building Centres.

Swinton's strong working-class traditions gave way during the mid-80s manufacturing upheaval, and the town now has marked divisions between deprived areas and newer "middle class" regions.

Education

The secondary school in Swinton is called Swinton Community School. It also has a sixth form college. The age group is 11-18. It is scheduled to be re-built on the current site.

Local Issues

On Swinton's boundary with Kilnhurstmarker is a sizeable area of recently derelict land, formerly occupied by Croda Hydrocarbons, who took over the works from Midland and Yorkshire Tar Distillers. The site and former works are associated with some local controversy, owing to pollution issues during the works' operations and serious environmental concerns regarding the current site.

Famous people linked with Swinton

The grandfather of Julie Andrews lived in Swinton and Tony Capstick went to Swinton Bridge School as a child.

References

  1. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26



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