Middleton on the Wolds in about 1880
There were, 2 blacksmiths, 2 builders, 2 joiners, 2 saddlers, 2 shoemakers, 2 carriers, 2 parsons, a doctor, a bandmaker, a chimney sweep,and a grave digger. Plus a village policeman and a post office.
Approx 800 inhabitants, not to different to current times.
There were also 2 schools, 2 public houses, 3 places of worship, and a brewery. Also there were 2 windmills,. 4 wells one in each street and to get water residents had to let down a bucket fixed to a chain, and then wind it up on a roller.
7 grocers shops supplied the needs of the village. At the top of Front St was a Pinfold, a round building 10ft high with 2 gates. Stray cattle found in lanes were put in the Pinfold by the roadman, and owners had to pay a shilling per head to obtain their release.
Adjoining a row of cottages, now know as Pant Garth at the top of Back Street was a large sand pit. In the end cottage lived an eccentric old man who wandered along the roads singing.This man owned the sand pit, and a man from Warter used to come once a week to collect a cartload of sand. when he missed for a few weeks the old man sent a postcard saying "Sed cum, wad cum, nivver cum'd yit"
Further down Back Street was an old farmhouse with a thatched roof. When it was demolished a jar full of spade guineas was found. Further down Back Street where the Rose & Crown was situated was a brewery, where people could brew their own ale. Round the corner was the old Wesleyan Chapel, which is now a private house. Where the reading rooms stand was once a row of thatched cottages.
In the centre of the village was Manor Farm, a farmhouse with mud floors.
The church had 3 bells and no clock. The clock was installed in 1887 - Jubilee year. At the same time the railway was built. At one time, the church had 4 pinnacles, which were taken off when it was restored.
In the North End was the Primitive Chapel, which is now 2 cottages. At times such as Harvest Festival or School Anniversary it was packed with the congregation. School Anniversary was held at Middleton Feast Time.
Middleton Feast, or to be correct, the Middleton Foresters Club Feast, was held on the second Friday of June until the second Greta War put an end to it. It was the red letter day of the year. Families all came together on Feast Day. It began at 10.00am and over 100 members assembled outside The Robin Hood as their names were called, and any not present had to pay a fine. Each man received a long green stick to walk with, and headed by a brass band preceded by 4 men carrying a banner on which was a man with a bundle of sticks on his knee trying to break them, and the words 'United we Stand, Divided we Fall'. The members then paraded in double file around the village.. 2 Officers with green sashes over their shoulders walked alongside to keep the procession in order. On one occasion the 2 officers borrowed horses to ride, but when the band struck up the horsed bolted, with their riders, and did not stop until they got to the stable door. After the parade the members went to the church for service and then afterwards to a dinner in a large tent hired for the occasion. The dinner usually comprised of roast beef and plum pudding. After dinner the tables were cleared and afternoon speeches were made, the vicar being in the chair. The band would play at intervals and the centre of the village would be packed with sweet stalls, shooting galleries, coconut shies, roundabouts and more.
In the pond corner was a tent with a placard @Come and see the fat lady Price 2d'. The next day she could be seen for nothing, walking about the streets. On the following day, Saturday, there was always a cricket match in the Park, which was free to the public.
Around 1880 there was a visit from the Wombwell Menagerie which consisted of 8-10 large yellow waggons, which filled the centre of the village. People came from surrounding villages, Bainton, Lund and Dalton to see them.
The village was lit by tallow and wax candles, and oil lamps. Coal had to be fetched from Kipplingcoates Station or Lockington Station.