Welcome to the Website of the Roggins Local History Group, Silkstone

Silkstone Parish lies to the West of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, and consists of two large villages, Silkstone and Silkstone Common, and close to the foothills of the Pennines.

The Roggins Local History Group was formed 20 years ago after a two year course on approaches to local history held in Silkstone School over the autumn and winter months. Founder members decided that the group's main interest would be with Silkstone Parish and the wide area of West Barnsley. The name Roggins first appeared on the first 1851-2 O/S. map, for the name of a hillside and stone quarry. The area below beside Silkstone Beck (stream) was where fairs and gatherings had been held in the past called the Green and adjacent to the village stocks the centre of the village.




Principles and activities of the group

  • Record local history.
  • Record oral history and traditions, especially from the older members of the community.
  • To save historical information found in buildings and sites during development.
  • To record finds into articles for the group's journals.
  • To make available this knowledge to pupils and students who are researching projects connected with their studies.
  • To take part in displays and to give illustrated lectures.
  • To support the Silkstone Parish Council and other local group's and organisations.
  • To promote industrial and commercial heritage history and to make available too old and new residents, in particular the younger generation and visitors to the area.
  • To manage the Silkstone Waggonway Project on behalf of the Parish Council.
  • To participate in the new Silkstone Heritage Project.


Jim Ritchie has held the position of chairman of the Roggins Local History Group for many years and has found that the Silkstone area besides being a nice place to live is an interesting place to study local and industrial history and the occupations which has engaged people throughout the centuries.

In the list of principles and activities of the group listed in the constitution; ‘To manage the Silkstone Waggonway project on behalf of the Parish Council.’

Throughout the years the group has worked on projects on the waggonway for the benefit of residents and visitors, which has included restoration work, recreating short lengths of track, history interpretation boards, signs, booklets and leaflets, all to promote this Industrial Heritage and Recreational Trail.

Jim has given many presentation talks to other groups and organisations about the waggonway, the power point programmes being put together using information researched from the local archives and libraries, which have included maps, photographs, illustrations and documents.  In the summer months Jim has taken groups of people on conducted walks on the waggonway to see the remaining features.

This early horse drawn railway built to transport the coal mined from the collieries to the canal, was never redeveloped into a modern railway, and as such is mostly used for recreation today.

The local junior schools as part of the National Curriculum have lessons on local history and Jim has supported the teachers in providing power point programmes as a teaching aid, completing this year a 15mimute animation programme on the workings of the waggonway.

We have a network of local history groups and societies in the Barnsley area, who have taken part in local history fairs and displays through the years.  I have enjoyed the company of the members who share an interest along with me, in my hobby local history.

Chairman of the Group - Mr.Jim Ritchie
Telephone 01226 790695
Email ritchietj@aol.com


Click HERE to contact any of our panel



"looking over the rose fields to Silkstone Village"

"Looking down Silkstone Village High Street and Silkstone Common on the hill. "