Latest News 2020

 The Story of a South Yorkshire Village. Fishlake The First 2000 Years may be obtained from  Stephen Cook on 01302  841604 for £7 each or £10 postage and packing.

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DONATIONS made to the people of Fishlake during last year's flood are available in grants from Stainforth4All. Clubs, businesses and organisations should apply to Info@S4All or to the parish clerk, Mrs Kirsty Evans. It is hoped to distribute the cheques in ( or outside) the Village Hall on 8 November, the anniversary of the flood.

Graham Atha will make his second attempt this year  to  open his new restaurant on 22 October. Fishlake Mill will be open from Thursday to Saturday evening and also on Sundays from 12 noon till 6pm. The Mill will be offering Mediterranean cuisine and from late November will be serving Christmas dinners. Bookings are being taken for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Mr Atha can be reached on 01302 840879 or 07768041910.

Fishlake's residents have received a letter e-mailed via the Neighbourhood Watch from the Environment Agency and DMBC informing them that plans are in hand to arrange for storage of sandbags in the village with further supplies at closer locations than were available last winter. It has also arranged for pumps and barriers to be stored close to the area. Training and support for the village's flood group with strong links to the Environment Agency and DMBC and other organisations is now available to help implement the village flood plan. Staff from the Environment Agency and DMBC will be on standby to provide rapid support as necessary.

Of interest to anyone who loves Fishlake will be the new book, published by Hatfield author Yvonne Wright : 'Things You Don't Tell Yer Mam' which consists of 'adventurous tales of boyhood in rural Fishlake' in the 1940s. Growing up in rural and isolated Fishlake ( before the arrival of piped water, street lights and mains drains) Colin and Roger Wright enjoyed freedom, independence, nature and hardships that are unthinkable today. The 80 page paperback is priced at £5 and is available from Waterstones or Foyles or by All profits will go towards the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

This year has not been the village's first brush with a pandemic. Sir William de Notton, later Chief Justice of Ireland was Lord of the Manor of Fishlake in the 1340s. In 1350 he and his wife Isobel conveyed it to John de Birthwaite , the Prior of Monk Breton Priory to build a chantry chapel at Woolley Church , where prayers were to be said for the souls of the Royal Family as well as for Notton's own family. The timing of the grant suggests that Notton was giving thanks for England's deliverance from the first outbreak of the Black Death.

The village has lost two well known residents: John Atherfold, 88, and originally from Middlesex, was the husband of Rev. Eve Atherfold. He  was the last headmaster of Percy Jackson Grammar School which became the Adwick School upon going comprehensive. He frequently read in church and was active in Mrs Atherfold's three  parishes. He leaves his wife, children and grandchildren. Mrs Doris Nicholls has passed away at the age of 83, had retired to Fishlake with her husband Brian. They had previously looked after kennels where they had bred dachshunds and she had been a judge at dog shows.She was a member of the Knit and Natter Group, The Fishlake Coffee Club and the Fishlake Ladies' Group ( formerly the W.I.).

To raise much needed funds Fishlake Drama Group is holding a car boot sale at North Cave on Sunday. 17/10/2020


STAINFORTH4All is inviting applications from village groups, organisations  and clubs-----with a bank account, for legal reasons--from businesses, groups and clubs effected by the flood last year. It is hoped to present cheques at 11 am in the Village Hall on Sunday, 8 November, to mark the anniversary of the flood. Please apply for information at S4All. or contact the parish clerk, Mrs Kirsty Evans. 

Villagers will  be interested to see that the Fishlake website on  has been revamped and updated.

Any parents out there with young members of the family who experienced the terrible floods of last November and who will be willing and happy for their children to contribute, either in writing or pictures, their own experiences from the experiences of the event, the Flood book management group would love to hear from you. Please either contact the group on or visit them at the Fishlake Flood -the book Facebook group.

The parish council met the Environment Agency, the Fishlake Flood Group and DMBC on Zoom on Tuesday, 6 October. The Environment Agency announced that a temporary flood barrier, the level of the concrete wall on the Nab, would be raised , the Barrier Bank would be raised to a level that would be raised against a storm of once in two hundred years or better. The Taining Drain would be excavated so that it could improve the ability to drain the Ings.

DMBC and the Environment Agency will jointly investigate telemetry into the Ings to enable the height of water in the Ings to be measured to ensure that the village could not be inundated without warning---as happened in 2019.

It is now eleven months since the flood and over a dozen houses are still not fit fit for their owners to return. 

Three groups of Fishlake Flood wardens have now undertaken inhouse training  for their new roles. Two groups will have training next week. 09/10/2020

MRS ROS JONES and her cabinet at DMBC are considering the suggestions made in the Flood Recovery Scheme, including extra sandbags with clear plans to deploy them quickly, keeping key roads open, more community flood wardens with refreshed training and investment in a council specialist flood team. It also calls for more flood defences by the government. The report reveals the flood mitigation measures have been put in place by Doncster Council, the environment Agency, the water companies and drainage boards.

The council has carried out £800,000 of flood works in various locations and £250,000 of highways maintenance works, including ongoing replacements of 101 culverts, cleansing 40,000 gullies, desilting water courses, installing new drains and pipework or repairing existing and various other works.

Has anyone seen a white British black point cat? She belongs to Graham Atha at the mill and has been missing since 19 September. If you have seen her please ring Graham on 07768041910.

Chief Inspector Sharon Hancock commented that ' the floods saw Doncaster at its best. People came together.'

The South Yorkshire Biodiversity Research Group has been successful in securing a small amount of grant funding to work on a project about Fishlake and Sykehouse's willow pollards. Willows and pollard trees are an important part of our cultural heritage and are a living link to our past. They are also an important feature of the local landscape character as well an important part of our cultural heritage and are a living link to our past. They are also an important feature of the local landscape as well as being a fantastic wildlife habitat.

The aim is to raise awareness of the value of the willow pollards and look at ways that members of the local community can engage with looking after these trees now and in the future. Initially, the project will run for two months. Within this time, they will produce a basic information guide on pollarded trees, compile a handful of tree profiles across the landscape, meet landowners and community representatives and produce  a project webpage. If interested, please e-mail

Andy Kershaw from Radio Sheffield was present in the Village Hall on 29 September when the flood book steering group met to lay out the first draft of the book. He interviewed several villagers about the floods.

Pam Pyatt, Queen of Fishlake's quiz setters, celebrated her birthday on 1st October.

Driving into the village you will now be greeted by flashing lights  on signs giving your speed. This should help reduce speeding in the village.

Friday,2 October saw a meeting between flood wardens, John Waite and  Peter Trimingham and the Environment Agency to ensure that the defences of Fishlake are fully reinstated. 03/10/2020

WITH THE AUTUMN equinox came a big change: cooler weather, rain  and a drop in temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. Storms seem to arrive more frequently nowadays. They have worked their way through the alphabet ---the latest was Storm Wilfred which came up from the Cape Verde Islands----so they will next start on the Greek alphabet.

The swallows have left and are migrating south on a route through western France and eastern Spain at a rate of 200 miles a day. From Spain they cross over to Morocco before venturing across the Sahara and the Congo rainforest and finally reaching their destination in South Africa in six weeks. Swallows can live up to sixteen years.

The first service of Morning Prayer took place in Saint Cuthbert's on Sunday, 20 September. Next Sunday, Rev. John Hawley will celebrate Holy Communion at 9.30 a.m.

The 'rule of six' for socialising became law on 21 September. The aim, of course, is to halt the spread of coronavirus.  

An other online meeting took place last  week between Fishlake Parish Council, Fishlake Flood Group , the Environment Agency and DMBC.

A dozen new potential recruits to Fishlake's flood wardens started on line training with representatives of other flooded areas in England in a Webinar on  Wednesday. Fishlake will soon have over twenty flood wardens.

Representatives of the flood wardens and the parish council met representatives of the Humber and Ouse Internal Drainage Board in the village. Discussion by the six people centred around the Taining Drain, Sour Lane Drain and blockages to the drains during the 2019 flood. There will be a meeting, of no more than six people, this coming week with representatives of the Environment agency and DMBC.                                                                                                                 

South Yorkshire Police have recruited over one thousand men and women this week which will help fight those sleepless nights suffered by the Neighbourhood Watch.

Graham Atha's cat from the Mill has gone missing. She is a white British black point. If you have seen her please ring Graham on 07768041910.

29 September sees the Flood Book steering group meet to lay out the first draft of the book about the events of 8 November 2019. 26/09/2020

IN A LETTER from the Environment Agency residents are asked not to visit the new works site set up by the EA just off the Nab. Social distancing must be preserved. The EA hopes to offer members of the community the chance to meet the Project Team soon. The team is having to close certain rights of way to enable work to take place. The aim is to improve flood defences between October 2020 and January 2012.

Silt will be removed from the Taining Drain. The EA is committed to continuing to keep the community informed. If you have any questions please e-mail

Fishlake's flood wardens have sent congratulations to the authors of the EA's Hydrology Report of the November 2019 Flood in Yorkshire saying it should be a must study for a generation of Hydrology and Geography undergraduates and research students. In 2019 extra, unplanned for, overbanking took place took place opposite the junction of Plumtree  Lane with the Nab. The flood wardens and parish councillors asked for this area to be sandbagged. This was not done. 

Recruits to Fishlake Flood Wardens  will access training from the Environment Agency and will look at a range of issues that flood wardens face. The current five flood wardens are : John Deeney, Jeremy Foster, Rowland Sheppard, Peter Trimingham and John Waite ( lead flood warden). If interested in joining please contact Peter Trimingham on 01302 841411 or e-mail 

The food bought in and prepared for racegoers in the remaining three days of the St. Leger Festival, which were held without the public, has been given to the food bank in Balby. 19/09/2020


A CASUALTY  of the flood, coronavirus and of their field being sold, the youngsters' football team, the Fishlake Falcons, has closed down.  After representing the village bravely across the area they feel unable to continue. The younger team will merge with the Moorends team and live on in that way. 

Channel 5 is presenting us with a new version of the heart-warming James Herriot series, 'All Creatures Great And Small' , set in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. The original programmes made by the BBC introduced Yorkshire to audiences across the world and there is no reason to think that this series' success  will be any different. Farming in Fishlake in the 1930s would have been very similar to that portrayed in the series. Viewers may have spotted Doncaster girl, Diana Rigg. Sadly, she has passed away this week.                                               

The races in this year's Saint Leger Festival lasted for one day before Dr Rupert Suckling, director of Public Health in Doncaster,  instructed the organisers to hold them behind closed doors. on the grounds of public health and safety. This coincided with the government's six person rule being introduced.

We seem to be heading for an Indian summer next week.

Claire and Louise Hollings proudly announce the full re-opening of the Old Butcher's Cafe this week. 

Saint Cuthbert's 100 Club is appealing for support this year as the church has not been able to fund raise through its Saturday Coffee Mornings and there have been no collections from services. The results are usually publishes in the parish magazine. The last one was in March. Up to 100 people pay £1 each per month (£12 a year)and each month  a draw is held for three prizes ; one for £25, one for £15 and one for £10.

Would people please put their annual subscription of £12  ( either in cash or a cheque) in an envelope with your name on and put it through Pat Sheppard's letter box at Church Farm House, 2 Church Lane, Fishlake.

Since March ( when the last results were published in the Fishlake Findings) the winners of the 100 Club have been: -                                                                                                                                                                                                 

April 2020 : 1st Malcolm Waite, 2nd Sue Duckitt and 3rd Wendy Brownbridge.

May 2020 :   1st  Pat Sheppard, 2nd Mary Sylvester and 3rd Harry Fogg.

June 2020: 1st  Fran Wade, 2nd Brenda Grafton and 3rd John Atherfold.

July 2020:    1st Josh Smith, 2nd Jo Davies and 3rd Ian Knott.              

August 2020 : 1st Fishlake Ladies' Group, 2nd Sue Lovett and 3rd Tony Williamson.

Cheques should be made payable to Fishlake Parish Church Appeal. 12/09/2020


CROWDS at this year's Saint Leger Festival will be a faction of their usual selves when they assemble at the racecourse. Safety will be paramount in this unusual year. The fair has already arrived.

One of the workmen restoring the lead on the church roof has been rushed to hospital with an anaphylactic reaction following  a wasp sting. 

Fishlake's  Keepfitters are returning to the Village Hall for sessions on Tuesday mornings this month.  For health reasons during the pandemic it is vital that people book a place by ringing Mary Shelby on 01302 845993.

Autumn crocuses are suddenly in flower in gardens and teasels are ready to take their place in floral displays. Once they enjoyed a more useful role when villagers would eke out their meagre earnings by gathering  teasels and sending them from Stainforth railway station to the woollen factories of West Yorkshire to use for carding.

The late August bank holiday on Monday was cool but sunny.

A distillery in Scarborough is adding seaweed and honey to rum to give it a Yorkshire flavour. There is an opening here for Mr Twell.

Former Fosterhouses resident, James Coppinger, 39, is still playing for Doncaster Rovers although there is speculation that he is starting what could be his last season at the Rovers.

Without coronavirus, this year could have been very different for Doncaster's Tourist Office and some of the villages. Planned visits for coach loads of American tourists have not taken place in what is the four hundredth anniversary of the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers for America on the Mayflower. Mary Smythe, the mother of leading Mayflower Pilgrim, William Brewster, was born in Stainforth. Her first husband , John Simkinson, was an alderman and twice Mayor of Doncaster. He also helped to establish the grammar school in Doncaster. Widowed, she later went on to marry William Brewster's father. Their family helped found a new land and changed history.

Dumping rubbish on Mill Fields is still taking place. Sadly, this is an unpleasant blot on an attractive landscape.

Hedgehogs are particularly active at the moment. I was recently shown a hedgehog shelter and saw a fine family of baby hoglets. 05/09/2020


LOCAL and national politicians have spoken up for Fishlake.  Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire, says the current (flood) plans leave Fishlake 'defenceless' by concentrating on Sheffield and not Doncaster. Ed. Miliband, MP, and Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, have written to DEFRA and the prime minister saying that funds were needed for the lower Don area. Mrs Jones said " the Environment Agency installed a temporary bank in Fishlake to help address the risk of flooding in the short term. The work on the barrier bank needs to be prioritised as one of the main defences for Fishlake". Ed. Miliband, MP for Doncaster North called for "the government to outline short-term plans to protect local homes, including those in Fishlake.".

The Environment Agency started installing its  site compound on a field off the Nab on 24 August to start work on flood relief measures.

Two storms have blown into the village with high winds and  gallons of rainwater thrown at Fishlake. Storm Ellen arrived on 20 August and Storm Francis on 25 August.

Dr. Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health in Doncaster, tells us that Doncaster's transmissions average for coronavirus is 3.2 % per 100,000 people whereas the national average is 11.9 % per 100,000 people.

DMBC's green bin fortnightly collections will return from Tuesday, 1 September until the end of November.

According to a study, Doncaster is among the top five in the country with the government's "eat out to help out" scheme where the Chancellor foots half of the bill. The restaurant discount scheme and warm summer weather had encouraged more people to visit town centres in early August as the government eased the Covid-19 lockdown. Visitor numbers increased in Doncaster by 20% in early August compared with late July. Have you taken advantage of the scheme?

Children returned to school on 26 August. This was a great step towards normality. 29/08/2020

LAST WEEKEND the nation marked seventy-five years since Victory in Japan Day with a service led by Prince Charles at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. According to the cenotaph in the churchyard Fishlake lost one man in the war in the Far East. He was Clarence Edgar Hepton who was a fusilier in the Lancashire Fusiliers, who was the son of Charles and Ethel Hepton and was killed aged twenty-five in Burma on 10 March 1943 in Burma.It seems he might have been a 'Chindit' ( led by Major General Orde Wingate, DSO) who operated deep behind enemy lines in Northern Burma in the war against Japan.

Clarence Hepton was not the only fatal casualty of the Second World War although he is the only one mentioned on Fishlake's war memorial. Dennis Clifford Brownbridge was the son of Clifford and Kathleen Brownbridge and is not mentioned because he is mentioned on Finningley's war memorial.He was killed on 30 November 1944 probably in the allied offensive against the Gothic Line in Italy and was buried in Bologna Cemetery. The above information came from Jamie Quinn and John Deeney's book, 'Fishlake's Fallen'.which  describes the deaths of Fishlake's casualties in the two world wars.

Suddenly, the village is awash with delicious plums as the harvest season starts.We move from having no plums to a glut.

The National Union of Farmers warns that yields of wheat could be down by one third this year. Problems started at the beginning of the year with the wettest February ever recorded . Storms Ciara and Dennis battered many regions followed by Storm Jorge. The ground was already wet in many areas, after a sodden winter and further downpours left many farmers unable to plant seed . All of this was followed by a dry spring that meant germination was difficult or delayed.

During the pandemic many office workers worked from home. Will this situation continue and even become normal or will they all drift back to their offices? If they continue to work from home what will be the consequences for our towns and cities? Will shops in town centres continue to lose trade as customers order on line or visit out of town shopping centres?

  The Old Butcher's Café is open for snacks, take-aways and drinks outside and is hoping to be fully open by mid-September. 22/08/2020

THIS WEEK'S good news is the re-opening of the Hare and Hounds with all that means for Fishlake. Tuesday, 6 August saw a Zoom meeting of the Environment Agency, Fishlake Parish Council and  the Flood Action Group to have a report on the work undertaken ( including the hydrology data ) so far on improving Fishlake's flood defences. Residents will shortly receive another newsletter from the Environment Agency. The group will meet again at the beginning of September  and will invite a representative from DMBC as it is hoped that DMBC's Section 19 Flood Investigation Report will be published in early autumn. 

Fishlake's Neighbourhood Watch is increasingly concerned about the speed of traffic going through the village. If residents see a particular vehicle speeding by a large amount would they please pass the registration number to the Neighbourhood Watch.

Fishlake Parish Council is awaiting DMBC to fit flashing speed  signs on all the entrances to the village. In spite of numerous complaints they have not yet managed to get radar traps in operation.

We consider August to be a summer month with sunshine and trips to the seaside, but hay making has started and with it soon the rest of the harvest will begin. The nights have started to draw in, blackberries are ripening and children in Scotland and Northern Ireland go back to school in August. Some Celtic countries consider August to be an autumn month. 15/08/2020

THE LAST day of July proved to be the third hottest day on record with temperatures in the nineties. This was, however, followed by thunder, lightning and a storm. Sweltering temperatures broke that record on 7 August. 

The village's Neighbourhood Watch begs villagers to be vigilant with vehicles left overnight. There are thieves about.

The consequences of last year's flood are still being felt around the village. Extensive repairs are needed on the roads leading to the village,fields of barley along the Nab have stunted growth since the flood and builders have just completed a brick wall ( opposite the Village Hall) which was demolished by floodwater.One positive outcome, however, has been that fruit trees in village orchards are cropping well this year.

The book giving residents' experiences of the flood should be ready for the end of the year. There will be tales to pass on to grandchildren. 07/08/2020


THE NEWS that Sheffield had been awarded £16 million for flood defences this week caused some concern in the village. It is to be hoped that the funding is in addition to the measures planned for Fishlake, as outlined in the letter from the Environment Agency. As Dave Croucher points out in his letter to the Free Press on Thursday more measures need to be taken to slow down the water coming from the hills of  Derbyshire with more trees and more moss planted which can absorb water.

Juxtapose,the hairdresser's in the centre of the village is open and the Old Butcher's Café is selling daily newspapers and takeaway food with lunches to order.

Masks in shops have now been obligatory since 24 July in an attempt to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Fishlake's Neighbourhood Watch has informed us that there were two break-ins in Fishlake last week. The Watch already has 180 members and is urging more villagers to join.

Foraging in a supermarket I came across a newly published thriller by Peter May. 'Lockdown' describes a pandemic centred on London and was written in 2005. Rejected at the time by publishers as being 'too far fetched'.the book has been published this year and is strangely prescient.

Churchwarden, Peter Pridham, is reprinting 'Kings, Canals and Coal' published by Bishop David Lunn in 1993. It is an interesting local history of our area. If you are interested please contact him on 

Temperatures were heading for 90 F on the last day of July as the mercury soared.

Our neighbours in Thorne have festooned the shops with the white rose flag in preparation for Yorkshire Day on 1st August.01/07/2020


WORK has started on a topographic survey of the village by Storm Geomatics,  for the Environment Agency, at a number of locations across the village.The staff of Storm Geomatics stand out as they are wearing yellow coats.and will finish their work by 31 July.

Two recent publications are available from the Church Times Bookshop and may be of interest to Fishlake folk:  the first is 'Place of Repose:St Cuthbert's Last Journey' by Katherine Tiernan at £11.70 .It is 875 AD, the North of England has been invaded by the Vikings and the Danish King of York, Halden Ragnarsson,is ravaging the Christian kingdom of Northumbria. Seven brothers are chosen to carry the saint's bones and the Lindisfarne Gospels. The second book costs £9 and is 'A Pilgrim's Guide To God's Own County' by Gavin Wakefield.

One side effect of the lockdown has been the increased loneliness among the elderly who have been isolated from family and friends this spring.

The parish council has been communicating by Zoom to maintain social distancing during the pandemic.

18 July saw the beginning of the Big Butterfly Count. Butterflies thrive in smoke free air.

The Monday Club has repaired the gate on Camel's Hump and will be back working on the Landing and the Old River Bed next week. 24/07/2020


SATURDAY, 18 JULY sees the return of that quintessentially English sport of competitive cricket to Fishlake. Junior training and nets have resumed in the new state of the art facilities. Bowling has also resumed under strict social distancing rules.

The Cricket and Bowls Club has had a well sunk by Alan Duckitt to irrigate the bowling green and the cricket square. Needless to say, groundsman, John Deeney, is delighted as is John Waddington of the Bowls Club.

The pavilion and the bar are still under reconstruction after the flooding and will re-open shortly.

This week saw Bastille Day on 14 July in France. France is not just a holiday destination for Fishlake folk but has become home to certain Fishlake families who have retired there.

Saint Swithin's Day on 15 July did not offer great prospects for this summer's weather.

Fishlake's Neighbourhood Watch is warning residents that someone is going round the village asking if people breed dogs. Villagers are urged to keep an eye on their canine friends.

It is still only July but the apple crop is already promising some fine fruit.

This year's Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate is only online. Farming families from the village normally enjoy this marvellous annual event, but then these are not normal times.

After months of work a climate committee has reported that Doncaster will deliver an 85% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. Doncaster's Commission on the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency was set up by Mayor , Ros. Jones , and is chaired by local MP,Ed. Miliband.

Would anyone waiting for refunds for pantomime tickets please contact Joy  Chaffer on 01302 351218?

Will the lockdown result in any permanent changes in the way people live their lives? Will office workers continue to work from home or will they return to their offices in towns? 18/07/2020


THE STARS and stripes flew above Pinfold Gardens when David Croucher marked American Independence Day whilst others were celebrating their independence  to visit a restaurant, a hotel, a pub or simply to have a hair cut on 4 July. Our own watering hole, the Hare and Hounds , is being redecorated ready to welcome villagers once again.

It has been a very wet week, saved by some beautiful sunsets. Forecasts seem to be promising a better weekend.

The Monday Club was spotted on the Landing on Monday.  They have been mowing on the Landing and in the pinfold. Another task for them recently has been to plant more flowers in the pinfold and on the Landing. along with tidying the woodland area next to the Old River Don. 

To gardeners' relief the green bin service has been reinstated  by DMBC.

Fishlake's Neighbourhood Watch is warning us to be careful if phone calls come from someone purporting to be HMRC and asking for details of our bank accounts.It says that HMRC never asks for details and we should report the phone calls to the police. 10/07/2020


THE HUNDREDTH day of lockdown arrived on 30 June. We are, at long last, seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Did you gain a few pounds during lockdown then Fishlake Keepfitters will extend a warm welcome to you this autumn.

Some people thought normality was boring. The daily routine of seeing friends, neighbours and family without social distancing, waiting for public transport without masks,turning on the television to hear monthly inflation figures and not the daily death rate or visiting the coast without feeling guilty. Normality for Fishlake is not making your way past skips in gardens and not breathing in brick dust. We would now give our eye-teeth for normality after the triple blow of a flood,storms  and coronavirus!

Villagers have received letters from the Environment Agency telling us that the autumn of 2019 was the wettest on record in the river Don catchment area and that 100 million cubic metres of water passed through their gauging station between 7 and 14 November which is the equivalent of a six metre depth of water over the area of Lake Windermere. The EA will be working on the Barrier Bank, Taining Drain, Fishlake Nab, the right bank of the river Don between Stainforth Bridge  and Jubilee Bridge and on the Sour Lane Outlet.

We have seen a real outpouring of human kindness during the aftermath of the flood and during the pandemic with people going the extra mile to help others. However, the Neighbourhood Watch is warning residents that criminals are now waiting to prey on villagers with offers of cheap holidays which are often too good to be true.

Have you dropped in on 'Time Served'? It's the shop at the Young Offenders' Institute in Hatfield which has a display of plants,hanging baskets, bird boxes and bird tables made or grown by the inmates. Reasonably priced items provide cash for the inmates and it is possible to leave a comment  about the workmanship on their record. 

Owing to the winter floods and to the coronavirus crisis there is a national shortage of plaster and timber.It is hoped to rectify this by the end of July.

You may have noticed the maple leafed flag flying over Pinfold Gardens on Canada Day. David Croucher's family emigrated to Ontario in his youth and he can still vividly remember seeing Niagara Falls frozen in winter. 03/07/2020


THE SUMMER SOLSTICE gave us sixteen hours and thirty-eight minutes of daylight with the sun rising at 4.43 am and setting at 9.21 pm. The solstice, midway between planting and harvest was traditionally a rest period for farmers and was one of the reasons why June weddings were so popular. Wednesday and Thursday produced temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 F) with the hottest days so far this year before the rain came.

Coronavirus has struck residents, although thankfully they are recovering; haven't people in Fishlake suffered enough? Meanwhile people, who have been shielding, are slowly emerging, often motivated by cabin fever. The government is now saying that pubs, restaurants, places of worship, museums and hairdressers may re-open from 4 July. Two-metre distancing will be halved.

The washlands' resident pair of swans ' three cygnets are growing fast and a multitude of ducks is enjoying the newly grown reeds---there is at least one family of ten baby ducklings.

Fishlake Parish Council has alerted the Safer Neighbourhood Team that someone is dropping 'Hippy Crack' (small silver cylinders of nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas) along Hay Green, Sour Lane and Mill Fields.The council is also concerned that the exit from Jubilee Bridge towards Selby Road is obscured by branches and growing undergrowth. Like other councils across Britain, Fishlake Parish Council is awaiting a decision by the Cabinet Office for normal meetings to resume.

The book about last November's flood is making good progress although villagers are reminded that the deadline for photographs to be handed in is Sunday, 12 July.

Nature lovers are reminded that Jane Johnson's excellent Countryside File, which used to appear in the parish magazine can be downloaded from: 

The south west side of Saint Cuthbert's is now clad in scaffolding in preparation for the replacement of the south aisle roof covering.

As with the church, the scaffolding is fully protected by a remotely monitored video alarm system. The works are expected to last for six to eight weeks, depending on the weather. As the grave flowers' water tank is enclosed by the scaffolding, a black trug full of water has been placed outside the south doorway along with the watering can.

Following the new regulations, the church will be open for private prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays from 10 am till 2 pm. Access is through the priest's door at the east end and not via the main south doorway which is being used by contractors working on site. The toilet will not be available whist the repairs are going on. 27/06/2020

THE GREEN bin service, collected  by DMBC, will start again on 23 June. Each household will have its green bin collected once every four weeks. Residents will receive a letter notifying them when it is to resume locally.

I was talking to a local farmer in a supermarket car park recently. He told me that for him things had been much the same in lockdown. The animals were still the same, early starts were still the same and life went on much as before.

I have received an e-mail from  Austen White, councillor for the Askern and Norton Ward which includes Fishlake. The situation regarding schools has evolved and Dr. Rupert Suckling has said that he can confirm that the launch of the new track and trace system means that he is now able to get a better understanding of the number of new cases at a local level. Although the number of cases has not steadied yet,the risk of catching COVID-19 in Doncaster is reducing. Encouragingly, there have not been any coronavirus outbreaks in schools. 

Therefore, he is confident that we are at a stage where schools can consider how and when they reopen to  a wider cohort of pupils, if they are able to do so, meeting all of the Government's safety guidance.

He said that the earliest schools could start to reopen was 15 June. However, it was a matter for school headteachers and governing bodies to determine their own individual timescales  depending on their circumstances. Parents ultimately have the choice as to whether they send their children back to school and there will be no penalty fines imposed for non-attendance.

This weekend sees the return to the village of the Thorne Times, which is another step towards normality.

I have also received a message from the owner with the sign pointing to Barnard Castle. He tells me that it is 96 miles from Fishlake  to Barnard Castle and not 196 miles. I should have gone to Specsavers!

According to this week's 'Free Press' a seal has been spotted in the River Don in Doncaster. It is believed that it had followed salmon swimming up from the North Sea.It must have swum past Fishlake.20/06/2020


POLITICAL SATIRE has raised its head in Fishlake! A sign has appeared in a garden in the centre of the village reading Barnard Castle 196 miles.

          As part of the government's loosening of lockdown Saint Cuthbert's will open from 10 am to 4 pm on Wednesday, 17 June for the final collection of cleaning materials. On Sunday, 21 June and on Wednesday, 1st July,it will open from 10 am -2 pm for individual private prayer.

A local resident has made and donated face masks to the over sixties in the village. They were given to the Neighbourhood Watch and will be distributed by the church wardens.

Dr. Rupert Suckling, head of Doncaster's Public Health, has said it is too early to open the area's schools.

Sales of new and second hand bikes have soared during the lockdown.

Corn fields are surrounded by swathes of red poppies on the approaches to the village.

Big screen action with a twist is coming to Doncaster this summer with a touring drive-in cinema. Daisy Duke's Drive-in Cinema has announced plans to come to Doncaster as part of a UK tour.It combines 1950s drive-in cinemas with a contemporary set up. Check : for dates.

Demand has risen for produce from food banks during the pandemic.

For two months now Britain has burnt no coal to produce energy. Drax Power Station is scheduled to stop burning coal in March 2021.

Natural England is working to restore Hatfield Moor after one third of the area was destroyed by fire this spring.

Once the river Don was the most polluted river in Europe but with a new fish ladder completed in Sheffield and more weirs removed salmon can swim from the North Sea, past Fishlake and the tidal reaches of the river up to Sheffield and above to spawn. Their presence speaks volumes for the cleanliness of the water. 13/06/2020


AN ALMOST audible collective sigh of relief could be heard across the village on 3 June when farmers and gardeners awoke to see much wanted rain ( and an accompanying drop in temperature of 10 degrees Celsius) after the driest May on record and the sunniest spring since records began in 1929. A good third of Hatfield Moor has been burnt, which is a real environmental tragedy. South Yorkshire Fire Service along with Natural England, DMBC and many other partners has put in a tremendous effort to extinguish the blaze. Alan Duckitt, from Fishlake, was on site with his machinery creating firebreaks,drenching foliage and extinguished areas. The fire has damaged 700 hectares of the moor.

Loosening of the lockdown rules about coronavirus took place this week. Markets opened up and primary schools welcomed back years 1 and 6 pupils. According to one national newspaper, Doncaster endured its worst week for coronavirus and is among twenty hot spots ifor the virus in England.

DMBC has announced that it will restore the collection of green bins for garden waste as soon as possible ( when it is safe to do so).

Dozens of local commercial radio stations will vanish across England from September with regional identities scrapped and replaced with a national network. These will include Trax FM, Minster FM and Dearne FM to be replaced by the Greatest Hits Radio name run by the Bauer organisation. Advertising revenue has plummeted during the lockdown. Rather than producing their own shows, the stations will largely carry syndicated programmes made in London featuring national presenters playing classic pop music.

Work is scheduled to start on the repair of Saint Cuthbert's south aisle roof on 22 June following the theft of lead from the roof. In the course of that the church will be looking for support for other works that need to be undertaken.

The Thorne Times is returning. After a break during the coronavirus crisis, the July issue will be distributed from 20 June.

The deadline for stories from individuals for the book about last November's flood is 28 June. If anyone is interested in helping others write up their stories would they please contact Neil West on  06/06/2020


THE QUEEN paid tribute on 20 May to guests invited to the Buckingham Palace garden party which should have taken place that day.This year's guests included several people who were prominent in the work following Fishlake's flood in November. The garden party has been postponed until 2021.

Prince Charles and the Environment secretary, George Eustace, have urged people on furlough to 'lend a hand' in bringing in the harvest this year due to the shortage of migrant labour  in the United Kingdom.

Mary Hayworth was 97 on 19 May. She celebrated , with social distancing, in her garden.

Low pollution and brilliant sunshine have brought the butterflies out in the village's gardens. 20 May, as well as being National Bee Day, proved to be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 27 C. (81F).

Fire broke out on Hatfield Moor and could be smelt across the area. 

Jubilee Bridge will be closed from 7 am to 4.30 pm on 7 June. 

The Spring Bank Holiday on 25 May registered temperatures of 21C  with beautiful  warm sunshine. During lockdown days can merge into one another with travel and social opportunities limited.

Two vehicles on Trundle Lane were broken into on the night of 24/ 25 May. Various items were stolen. 

Villagers stood by their front doors on 28 May for the tenth and last time for National Health and other key workers in the present crisis.The NHS flag is flying high over the Landing. 30/05/2020


THE FISHLAKE WEBSITE has been updated so that friends and family scattered across the globe,can keep up with the latest events. Just tell them to search for 

A rare dose of good news during the present crisis has come from the Knepp Estate in Sussex with the first hatching in the wild of stork chicks in Britain since 1416. They are part of a wider rewilding project which includes beavers. Who knows storks may drop in on Fishlake one day.

Some residents have received questionnaires from DMBC this week. They sought information about November's flood and about the agencies which helped afterwards.An independent review into flood insurance announced following the November 2019 flooding in the north of England will be led by the former chair of the Association of British Insurers, Amanda Blanc. The review will seek to examine the level of insurance cover held in the Doncaster area,the barriers that may have been faced in obtaining cover and whether there are any systematic issues in the provision of flood insurance. BMG Research, an independent research company, has been commissioned to conduct a survey among a sample of households and businesses in the affected areas. Households will receive a letter inviting them to take part in an online survey and businesses will be contacted by telephone.  Taking part will be covered by the Data Protection Act and will help enable homes and businesses to gain access to sufficient insurance cover for flooding and also informing any future policy decisions in the area.

Eating this spring's strawberries is a very enjoyable way of supporting Britain's market gardeners in the present crisis.

The cuckoo came in April and has sung his song across the village throughout May.

The BBC's 'Look North' programme included an interview with Craig Eliott from the village and local MP, Ed. Miliband, on 18 May. The programme was seeking information about the attitude of the insurance companies six months after the flood.

The Old Butcher's Café is serving afternoon tea for collection on Saturdays. Wednesday was burger day. Please 'phone 07724922422 or 07719459213 to order for collection. A menu will be displayed weekly outside the café.

The Hare and Hounds is continuing its service of food and vegetable boxes. Contact Angie or Scott on 07783400021.

On Monday, 18 May contractors started fitting non-return valves to the drains from the village into the Old River as part of the work to make the village more secure in the event of future high river levels.The Environment Agency is waiting for the reduction of the present restrictions before they start their work on further defences. 23/05/2020


THE GROUP led by Neil West aims to publish its book about the flood on 8 November, the first anniversary of the event. However, current restrictions are limiting progress. Flood stories are still coming in. Get involved on Facebook where there are already 170  members or e-mail 

Villagers are concerned that green bins are not yet being emptied of garden waste by DMBC and that fly-tipping is rampant around Fishlake.

International Nurses' Day, on the two hundredth anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, was marked by residents by shining a light on Tuesday, 12 May.

The weather this week has been definitely colder--with even some frosts--after all the recent sunshine.

Village gardeners, of whom there are many, will be pleased that Wednesday, 12 May saw the re-opening of garden centres as an initial loosening of the coronavirus restrictions. Some outdoor sports, such as golf, may also be played.

Rumours and conspiracy theories are swirling about the origins and effects of coronavirus. It is important to check facts from fiction and avoid fraud 

by consulting the NHS website on or Public Health England on 

Showing support for the key workers, who are risking their lives to keep our society going during the pandemic, householders and their families stood outside for the eighth week in succession to clap on Thursday evening at 8 pm.

Watching the two 'Race Across the World' series on BBC i-player recently I was reminded that Fishlake folk had set foot there first. Far from the beaten path, Oliver Rothwell had wandered from top to bottom in South America and Jamie Twell had penetrated the little known republics of Central Asia as far as Mongolia. 16/05/2020


FORMER parish councillor Paul Sheldrake has been mowing the verge from his house up to Camel's Hump in the absence of the DMBC workmen owing to the coronavirus crisis. The silver lining from the Covid-19 cloud is the number of beautiful gardens across the village.

Gardens are flourishing this spring but, sadly, so are the colonies of Japanese Knotweed near Jubilee Bridge which seems to be resistant to moves to eradicate it. 

3 May was International Dawn Chorus Day, an event which is more meaningful to us in a time of reduced traffic.

Shopping for food in supermarkets is like a scene from a dystopian future with queues inching forward with a gap of six feet and supermarket staff wearing masks and gloves.

Fishlake appeared on Look North on 7 May. The programme focused on Grove Road and its recovery from November's flooding with interviews with David and Sandra Liddle, Joanne and Chris. Ambler and Dorothy Whitehead who gave a progress report on the repairs made to their properties. The programme celebrated the fact that Muriel Benford was the first resident  of Grove Road to her home six months on from the flood and that she had been one of the original residents of the road. That evening villagers clapped to show their support for NHS and other key workers during the pandemic.

Sadly, after last week's news the avocets have abandoned their nest in the village and have moved on. However, deer have returned to the river bank for the first time since the flood.

Fishlake found difficulty in celebrating VE Day on 8 May. There was bunting on the Landing but no dancing in the Village Hall.  

Signs of future activity were shown in the Free Press this week with an article describing the 7,000 jobs created by the Unity Project in the DN7 area with an investment of £900 million. There will be opportunities for people from Fishlake there. 09/05/2020


TWO pairs of avocets, the symbol of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, are nesting within the boundaries of the parish of Fishlake for the first time. Normally this would be an excuse for bird lovers to crowd into the village but present circumstances dictate otherwise.

The Countryside File, which appears in the now suspended parish magazine, will continue on the parish church's website. Go to and click on the 'more' heading. The column, written by Jane Johnson (née Mawson), describes flora and fauna in our area and is a popular part of the magazine.

A public spirited group of villagers has gathered twelve sacks of rubbish, including cans of beer,lots of plastic,needles and syringes, which had been carried down by the flood to the washlands of the bank of the River Don.

Dog walkers are asked not to unleash their dogs when walking on the river bank at the moment as the cattle have young calves with them.

Ready to greet May cowslips and the ubiquitous mayflower are much in evidence. Floods and coronavirus have not been able to prevent this annual transformation of the village and its approaches.

Dr. Rupert Suckling of DMBC has written to us saying local businesses are still eligible for a grant and that the Community Hub dealing with  coronavirus has dealt with 8,772 calls to its helpline and provided food parcels as well as collecting and delivering prescriptions.Telephone (01302) 735555 for Business Doncaster.

Although traffic passing through the village is much reduced some villagers are concerned that some cars are racing through Fishlake as if the speed restrictions did not exist.

Rob. Downing has discovered the position of the former clock on the south face of the church tower. The mystery was solved when he referred to a letter written by Rev.Arthur. Next time you are there look up and try and work out its former position.

Saint Cuthbert's is still distributing cleaning materials and bottled water. If you need either of these please contact the churchwardens, Peter Pridham and Wendy Brownbridge.

A shortage of flour on supermarket shelves stands as proof the home baking has been very popular during the lockdown.

The village has enjoyed the sunniest April on record with clear,blue skies helped by the lack of air pollution. Relief for farmers and gardeners came  on 28 April with the arrival of soft refreshing rain.

Rotary has acquired a warehouse in Doncaster to store its garden tools and is now ready to restore formerly flooded gardens to their former glory. Application forms are available from the churchwardens.

Early next week a BBC television team from Leeds will be in the village with the aim of producing a look at Fishlake six months after the flood. They intend to focus on insurance problems.

They also serve who only stand and clap. Support for key workers and carers is essential in this coronavirus pandemic after six weeks of lockdown.

The book about Fishlake's flood in November 2019 is making progress. There are now 164 members of the Facebook group who have contributed or promised stories and have sent over three hundred photographs. There is still time to make your individual contribution.

The grounds of the Cricket and Bowls' Club look amazing.Sadly, there is no possibility of matches at the moment. 02/05/20

THE STORY of last autumn's flood in the village is being told by Neil West in the form of articles and interviews with residents. Already 118 people are following the group on facebook. Neil urges residents to write their own experiences or to be interviewed via Zoom by contacting It is hoped to publish the experiences in a book in as comprehensive a form as possible.

Adoptions of man's best friend have soared during lockdown. It seems that we would rather spend our isolation with a dog at our side.

Complaints that the weather has been too dry are already being made by gardeners and farmers. What a contrast with November. Lilac, horse chestnut flowers and swathes of oil-seed rape already adorn the village and its approaches.

Mick Ryan, Fishlake's flagmaster, has raised a banner for the NHS on the Landing to show the village's support for the Health Service and particularly for the dedication of its workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Ideas mooted by the Community Group, which was formed to deal with flooding and its consequences, include a siren to warn residents about future high water in the River Don or the use of facebook to inform villagers.

Congratulations to Brenda Grafton on the birth of her great grandson. A cause for celebration during the lockdown.

One resident of the village has caught and recovered from coronavirus. The virus is present in Stainforth and has caused two deaths in Thorne.

Ask where Fishlakians were at eight o'clock on Thursday evening and you will get the answer that for the fifth week running they were standing on their doorsteps clapping for the heroes of our generation who are the workers of the NHS and other key workers. 25/04/20


THE FIRST swallow of the summer was spotted in the village on Good Friday sitting on a wire above Pinfold Lane. Lockdown is making us appreciate the spring blossom more than usual. The National Trust is running #BlossomWatch to emulate Hanami, the Japanese spring custom of relishing the sight and scent of blossom. Mother nature has done the village proud this year and local beekeepers are benefiting.

One casualty of lockdown has been the disappearance of 'planes flying over the village to Doncaster Airport. The vary rare sightings has been cargo planes or part of the RAF. Gardens in the village are being lovingly cared for and bluebells and violets are in bloom. 

One activity which could flourish during lockdown is ancestor hunting. Until 30 April members of Doncaster Library Service are offered access to ancestry from their own homes by visiting

After the events of last autumn DEFRA has launched a review into the provision of flood insurance to better understand why so many houseowners and businesses  had no cover  when their life's work was left in ruins. It will centre on the Don Valley.

Village social life is continuing in spite of the lockdown. People walking dogs do chat, as they do across garden walls, whilst maintaining social distancing.

Workers from the Almerico company returned to work in the village on 15 April. This will be balm to the soul of exiles from the village who are still waiting for their homes to be repaired. Contractors with the Environment Agency have also been spotted in the village judging work to be undertaken.

Traffic through the village now consists of an equal number of cars and bicycles making the village ever more tranquil.

We are fortunate to have the Hare and Hounds providing takeaway meals and parcels of meat and vegetables.

For the fourth week in succession Fishlake folk stood at their doorways at eight o'clock on Thursday evening and clapped for the work of the NHS staff and all other key workers who are helping us come through this crisis. 18/04/20


NATURE has been crying out that Easter is here. Any day now birds will arrive from their long flight from Africa. Flowers are everywhere. Normally Good Friday and Easter Day would be marked in the parish church, families would meet up for Easter and some would set off on holiday. None of this is possible under the present circumstances. Instead the parish church is asking you to visit to see what services are online and how church wardens can help you.

A supermoon could be seen on 7 and 8 April when it was closest to the Earth.

Interviewed by The Independent for an article on 6 April about Fishlake were Kath Smith, Mick Ryan and Pam Webb. They described the flood,Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge and now the coronavirus pandemic which have all hit the village.

One contribution to the season from the avian world is to be found on where birds from across the globe are singing their utmost. It should cheer us up in the present situation.

Air pollution has fallen by half as motor traffic is severely restricted. Meanwhile nature is claiming back some of the areas taken by humans.

Local MP, Ed. Miliband, was appointed shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Secretary in Keith Starmer's shadow cabinet on Monday.

According to Melvin Wake there will be no May edition of the Thorne Times. Instead he urges us to log on to the newspaper's website which has extra local news.

Doncaster  Council's Community Hub's phone number is 01302 430300. During the emergency it can offer help with picking up shopping and supplies,getting connected with people, picking up medicine, providing meals and posting mail.

The BBC, meanwhile, is to unveil the "biggest push on education in its history" to support every child in the UK. BBC Bitesize will will deliver online lessons for all age groups,while daily programmes will help guide parents and children.

The Scouts have launched 100 activities for children entitled 'The Great Indoors'  which may be found on This could be a life saver for parents.

For the third week in succession, Fishlake folk stood and clapped at their front doors at 8 pm on Thursday to applaud the National Health, and other key, workers who are active in the present crisis. 11/04/20

TESTING  their courage and having an experience to tell their grandchildren, Katie Blogg and her friend Ellie Stevenson raised £1,061 from a parachute jump in Lincolnshire on 11 March.The sum raised will go to Weston Park Cancer Hospital in Sheffield which has helped many residents of Fishlake.

Farming families in the village will have been disappointed but not surprised that this year's Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate has been cancelled owing to coronavirus. The event has been a firm favourite on the calendar for many years with its huge variety of exhibits.

There is an eerie feeling to the streets during the present lockdown as villagers practise social isolation. The very occasional dog walker or runner may be seen but most people, apart from key workers, are staying at home. Many are gardening, others are going in for DIY for those jobs which they had always meant to do.Reading, watching a film or playing board games can help stave off cabin fever. Modern technology such as e-mail, Skype, texting, facebook and that Victorian invention the telephone help us keep in touch with family and friends scattered across the country and overseas.

Obviously, not everyone is keeping to the government regulations as part of the chain on the Landing has been vandalised recently.

The village has given a subdued ( present circumstances do not allow gatherings) welcome to the return of the Williamsons to Fishlake after their absence since the November flood.Older residents will remember when Tony Williamson's father ran the village shop.

DMBC is pausing the collection of green bins to concentrate on the collection of its other waste disposal services during the present crisis.

As a final kick of winter the village had a hail storm on 29 March. 

Some time ago Fishlake Parish Council raised the issue of raised kerbs with DMBC. They can make a huge difference to the disabled. Tuesday, 31 March saw Westmorelands start work on providing them in the village.

Residents stood outside their front doors again at 8 pm on Thursday, 2 April to applaud the work of NHS staff and also the other key workers who are enabling our society  to continue. The difference this week was that owing to the change in the hour it was still light. 03/04/20


ONLY TWO years ago the parish church was celebrating with an exhibition about Saint Cuthbert and the peregrinations made by his followers fleeing the Vikings. The display helped put the village on the map with visitors travelling miles to see it. Exhibits were brought down from Durham and the North East to illustrate the story. We now live in a very different world where the village is known for the wrong reason i.e. as ' the village that flooded'. In addition, the village is on lockdown with social isolation in an attempt to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Farmers are concerned about the lack of staff to help with this year's harvest and there is talk of a Land Army. 

Schools are closed except for the children of key workers. Pupils are receiving lessons online from their schools and are watching Joe Wicks for exercise tips.

The parish church wants to bring information to your attention at this time when the Archbishop of Canterbury has closed down services because of coronavirus. Please visit and see community support . Saint Cuthbert's closed on 23 March under government revised controls. If you need food, medicines or emergency cleaning materials contact the churchwardens, who by prior arrangement will leave what you need at your door. Their contact numbers are : Wendy Brownbridge 01302 842450 or e-mail: and Peter Pridham on 01302 840218 or e-mail:

Pussy willow ( or 'palm'  as we called it because it was often in bloom at Palm Sunday) is in abundance, the days are lengthening with frosty starts but sunny, blue skies and birds are migrating from southern climes to Fishlake. This can only mean one thing: We are to change the clocks to move on 29 March forward by one hour to start British Summer Time.

The good news is that over 600,000 people across Britain have volunteered to help the National Health Service deliver prescriptions and food to the elderly and isolated and to transport medicine and essential supplies. Unfortunately, the bad news is that there was an attempted break-in and damage done to the gates and roller shuttle door at the garage score-board at Fishlake's Cricket and Bowls' Club in the hours of darkness on 24 March.

Applause broke out at 8 pm on 26 March stood at their front doors and clapped to thank the NHS for the selfless work being undertaken by its workers during the crisis.

Doncaster Community Hub has been set up offering meals, picking up shopping or medicine, helping to keep you active or to post letters or parcels.To contact them please 'phone 01302 430300. 28/03/20


CANCELLATIONS have come in thick and fast this week. The Ladies' Group cancelled its outing to the Old Butcher's for a meal on Thursday evening, The Old Butcher's has shut its doors and the parish church has abandoned its Saturday Coffee Mornings during the peak of the coronavirus crisis. Quizzes have ceased in the Hare and Hounds and Fishlake Village Choir has announced the cancellation of its concert in Saint Cuthbert's on Saturday, 21 March. The Community Hub staffed by DMBC in the Village Hall closed down on 19 March as a precautionary measure and may now be reached by telephone on 01302 735989. The multi-agency drop in meeting ( regarding flooding) planned for 19 March in the Village Hall is now deferred but the group may be contacted on 01302 611877. Meetings of Fishlake Coffee Club have been suspended. After consultation Fishlake Drama Group postponed the pantomime, Camelot, from 25-28 March to Christmas. Ticket money spent may be claimed back from Joy Chaffer. The Village Quiz  scheduled for 3 April will now not take place  (quizzers may seek a refund from Pam Pyatt) and 8 April's History Society meeting has been postponed until further notice. There will be no parish magazine in April.

The good news is that Scott and Angie from the Hare and Hounds are stepping into the breach as they did during the flood and are providing meals for delivery or collection. All meals cost £5.50 and may be collected after 4 pm but orders must be placed before 2 pm on Wednesdays,Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Family sized pies costing £6 are available every day and vegetable boxes costing £6.50 and containing carrots, cabbage, cauliflower,broccoli, sprouts, potatoes and green beans which will feed four people are available after 5 pm on Saturdays. It is also possible to order sausages,bacon,minced beef,chicken breast,beef, pork and gammon and turkey joints. Depending on stock levels the pub will try to obtain essentials such as bread,milk,tinned products and toiletries.

Oblivious to health problems in the human world the natural world is preparing for spring. Daffodils are in bloom across the village, hedges are turning green and trees are in bud.

The precept this year for Fishlake Parish Council will be £26,520. 21/03/20


FISHLAKE VILLAGE CHOIR will present a concert on Saturday, 21 March at 7 pm in Saint Cuthbert's. Afterwards there will be refreshments and a chance to catch up with our now scattered population.

The village's Neighbourhood Watch has sent out advice to residents as a precaution against coronavirus.

Have you ever wondered what life in Fishlake was like during the Second World War? We heard a first hand account from Brenda Grafton at the History Society on 11 March. She described what happened on the home front in Fishlake. Children's gas masks were tested in a lorry which visited Fishlake Endowed School. Two bombs dropped, creating a crater at Weathercock Farm and rationing started in January 1940 with bacon,butter and sugar before spreading to many other items. Dried eggs and milk entered people's diets after the Americans entered the war. Oranges, pomegranates and bananas were never seen and petrol ( for the only two cars in the village) rose in price from sixpence a gallon in 1939 to one and eightpence by the end of 1940. To give us a better idea, Mrs Grafton laid out a week's rations of butter, margarine and other basic commodities. Houses were often cold because of poor insulation and a lack of fuel.There was no rubber for hot water bottles and so bricks were warmed in ovens and placed in blankets in beds. There was no piped water in the village ( every house had a well) and only electricity in the centre of Fishlake.                                                                                                                                                                                                               'Make Do And Mend!' was the slogan for repairing clothes and shoes during the six years of warfare as factories were turned over to make munitions. Men were in the armed forces or in reserved occupations such as mining or farming whilst unmarried women would cycle to Pilkington's for work or join the Women's Land Army. Potatoes, grown here in Britain, were used to replace wheat in flour and were never rationed. In some ways the village was fortunate as Fishlakers had access to blackberries, mushrooms, crab apples and plums.Many villagers had a fruit tree and kept a few hens for eggs. Some shared a pig which was supposed to be registered with the Ministry of Food in Thorne. Italian prisoners of war came to the village to help clear branches from paths and to dig out ditches and trim hedges. Meanwhile, evacuees arrived from much bombed Hull , and were handed out to families through the school. Some remained lifelong friends with their foster families. The Home Guard met in the old smithy on Pinfold Lane and fought mock battles with Thorne and Stainforth!

Mrs Grafton pointed out that VE Day did not bring freedom from rationing. Owing to the economic situation, it became more stringent and bread was rationed for the first time.

The history society will next meet on Wednesday, 8 April at 7 pm in the Village Hall to hear Dr. Tim Cockerill present a journey through time from the Mesolithic Age to the Iron age on the Humberhead Levels focusing on the south side of the River Went at Sykehouse.

The winner of the quiz in the Hare and Hounds on Tuesday was Margaret Shepherd with Howard Mason victorious on Thursday.

Coming up we have the spring equinox on 20 March, Mother's Day on 22nd and, after an awful winter,  British Summer Time beckons on 29 March. 15/03/20


FISHLAKE Mill Restaurant is set to open in March. It will serve Mediterranean cuisine, including tapas, and homemade desserts on Thursday to Saturday evenings and traditional Sunday lunch from 12 noon till 6 pm.Tel. 01302 841 486. The village is becoming quite a culinary destination.

Storm Jorge hit the village on 29 February.

It is confirmed that South Yorkshire had the wettest month in Britain in autumn 2019.

Fishlake History Society will meet at 7 pm on Wednesday, 11 March in the Village Hall to hear Brenda Grafton describe life in Fishlake during the Second World War.

Fishlake Drama Group will present 'Camelot-the pantomime' from Wednesday, 25 to Saturday, 28 March. Tickets are still available from Joy Chaffer on 01302 351218.

The winners of the Fishlake 100 Club in February were 1) Richard Holgate, 2) Muriel Benford and 3) Ian Knott.

Fishlake Ladies' Group will next meet on the fourth Thursday of March in the Village Hall at 7 pm.

Tickets for the next village quiz on 3 April are available from Pam Pyatt.

WaterAid is to receive £215 from Saint Cuthbert's Coffee and Crêpes Morning on 29 February. Could people with jars of pennies for WaterAid please leave them in church or with Rev. Eve Atherfold before 30 March?

Kirsty Evans, Clerk to the parish council, has sent the following information:

Fishlake Parish Council has met representatives of the Environment Agency to seek answers to its questions about flooding : 1) An explanation of the circumstances leading to over 160 houses flooding on 8 and 9 November 2019. 2)  Details of the actions taken by the Environment Agency, in the short term, to protect the village from possible flooding. 3) Future plans to protect the village once heavy machinery can gain access to the land and suitable funding has been allocated.

The Environment Agency is keen to attend to a second public event  to address concerns from residents, answer questions and share their plans  going forward . The date and format of this event is to be arranged as soon as possible with DMBC.

A documentary on ITV was shown on 3 March. The subject was this winter's flooding in Fishlake, the Calder Valley and Worcestershire. Local residents, David and Sandra Liddle, flood warden, John Deeney and local farmer John Duckitt, were interviewed.

A national conference on flooding was held in York on 5 March.

Fishlake Village Choir will present a concert in St. Cuthbert's at 7 pm on Saturday, 21 March. Refreshments will be served afterwards so that villagers can catch up with 'scattered' members of the community. 

The winner of the quiz on Tuesday was Yvette Hodges with Margaret Shepherd victorious on Thursday. 07/03/20


MEMBERS of the History Society were delighted with the turnout of over forty villagers and friends  for the society's exhibition on 20 February. Carole Smith led the commentary on a series of photographs of Old Fishlake projected across the hall.

This year's Snowdrop Festival in Kirk Bramwith was cancelled owing to Storms Ciara and Dennis which hit the two weekends. Meanwhile, houses in Little Fishlake, at the bottom of Stainforth Bridge, are still sandbagged after the two storms.

Churchwarden, Peter Pridham, has driven two loads of goods for flood victims to Calderdale, scene of recent flooding. When Fishlake flooded in November residents of Calderdale  sent goods to Fishlake as they knew from experience what was needed. Now, it is Fishlake's turn to return the favour.

A bollard is now in place in the gateway to Saint Cuthbert's as a precautionary measure to discourage thieves who target the church's lead.

The Yorkshire Post reported on 27 February that £27 million was needed from the government for a world-leading flood resilience centre in Scunthorpe. A joint bid from Hull University's Energy and Environment Institute, the fire service and North Lincolnshire County Council is asking for £13 million in funding from the the government in this year's budget. Andrew Percy, the MP for Brigg and Goole, raised the issue with the new Environment Secretary , George Eustice, in the House of Commons on Monday.

Rowland Sheppard won the quiz in the Hare and Hounds on Tuesday with Margaret Shepherd victorious on Thursday. 01/03/20


JUBILEE Bridge and for a time Stainforth Bridge closed on 16 February when Storm Dennis brought extra water down the river Don. Water even overbanked onto the Nab and its surrounding fields. Fortunately, the village stayed dry. Environment Agency and DMBC staff continued to monitor the river on Monday. Meanwhile there were 594 flood warnings across the country.

A report published by the University of Aberdeen on flooding in Ballater Garioch in North East Scotland in late December 2015 and early January 2016 makes interesting reading. Residents describe the lasting impacts on their physical and mental health.. As well as persistent coughs and throat infections people reported weight loss,high blood pressure,insomnia and heavy drinking which they attributed to their experience of flooding. Women told researchers that they had very low energy levels after the flood. Does any of this seem familiar?

Have you ever considered a parachute drop over Lincolnshire? Katie Blogg, from the Fishlake Blogg family, has. She and her friend Ellie Stevenson, from Sykehouse, are fundraising for Weston Park Cancer  Charity. They will be taking part in the Big Jump Sky Dive on 11 March. It is possible to support this excellent cause by visiting or by taking part in the charity raffle on 

Householders have received a letter this week from local MP, Ed. Miliband, outlining his contribution to the flooding debate in parliament and raising issues such as a lack of insurance ,high excesses,targeted payments and grants,bad practices among some insurance companies and future plans for flood prevention. He is raising the issue of re-insurance where the government works with insurers to ensure that they continue to insure people , with some of the costs underwritten by government. A list of Flood-Re insurers may be found at can-flood-re-help-me

Saturday, 22 February will see Fishlake History Society present an exhibition of Fishlake's history  with new information in the Village Hall from 2 till 4 pm. Do support the history society by attending or inviting visitors.A donation of two pounds is asked for. The villages of Moorland and Fordgate in Somerset, which were flooded in 2014, have paid for a new projector for the society.

The latest information on Doncaster House ( formerly known as Fishlake Vicarage) is that it will continue to be the office of the new Bishop of Doncaster  and will not be sold.

       Tuesday,25 February is Shrove Tuesday so be prepared with the ingredients for those pancakes. Children will not allow adults to forget the date.The following day is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent will be marked by Holy Communion at 7.30 pm in Saint Cuthbert's.

Fishlake Cricket Club is appealing for boys and girls to join ( aged 7 to 13) the under 13 team. Practice in indoor nets will take place at Trinity Academy in Thorne from 6.15 to 7.45 pm until Easter when it is hoped to return to Fishlake Cricket Club , newly refurbished after the floods of November 2019.

The parish church is raising funds for WaterAid by serving coffee and crêpes from 11.30 am on Saturday, 29 February ( Yes, 2020 is a Leap Year). 21/02/2020


ACCORDING to the Environment Agency's latest newsletter.the total cost of repairs is £30 million across South Yorkshire for the floods on 8 and 9 November 2019. They have addressed the West Nab low spot with a temporary defence until they can raise the ground in spring or summer when ground conditions will be drier for making permanent repairs. The government has extended its Farming Recovery Fund for South Yorkshire which provides money in emergency situations to help farmers whose agricultural land has been affected by flooding. The closing date has been moved to 31 July 2020.

The Environment Agency is investigating the effectiveness of obstruction to flow by  Stainforth Bridge, the effectiveness of dredging and an analysis of any effects from upstream defences. This will take up to summer to complete. Doncaster Council will undertake a Section 19 investigation into the flooding. 

Storm Ciara hit the village on 9 and 10 February leaving high water in the River Don. Jubilee Bridge's floodgates were closed on Monday and we experienced the worst gales of the century.

Flooded residents are finding that new Building Regulations mean that builders are offering warmer and greener repairs in flooded houses. Underfloor insulation is now on offer and sockets and boilers may be raised away from future flooding. DMBC has a list of greener ideas. 

Cllr. John Waite informs me that this year's trip to the sea for the over sixties organised for 1 July by the parish council is to Whitby. Trippers are asked to gather at the Village Hall at 8.30 am.

Barry Hill and his son-in-law, Mark Sengelow, appeared on BBC1's 'One Show' on 12 February and were interviewed about dealing with insurance companies.

DMBC has granted planning permission to divide the Old Anchor Inn into eight flats.

Saturday, 29 February will see coffee and crepes on offer in Saint Cuthbert's from 11.30 am in support of Water Aid.

The winner of the Hare and Hounds quiz on Tuesday was Margaret Shepherd with Sheila Hill victorious on Thursday.

A glowing review of the Hare and Hounds  is featured in the new edition of the 'Donny Drinker' . It is written by Dave Bartley and includes a description of the pub's role in the community and through the floods. 17/02/2020


SIX members of the new community group attended the parish council meeting  to ask questions about plans to prevent further flooding, to ask for a permanent telephone mast and to make contact with the parish council. The new Fishlake Community Group has been founded by local man, Dean Edwards, who can be contacted on 07802684681. The group's chairman is Dr. Carol Sharpe. The parish council has contacted DMBC and the Environment Agency requesting assurances for flood prevention schemes.

The Rotary Organisation is offering help with flooded gardens. A site visit is offered to assess potential help. Forms may be obtained from the parish church. Copies of Fishlake Community Hub News are also on offer in Saint Cuthbert's or the Village Hall. They describe DMBC's actions with waste, recycling and help with insurance.

The winners of the Fishlake 100 Club for January 2020 were : 1) Frank Gillespie, 2) Helen Jackson and 3) Ann Fogg.

Catkins in the hedgerows and flags flying on the Landing for the Six Nations' Rugby Cup can only mean one thing; spring is on its way! Meanwhile, the village is battening down the hatches for Storm Ciara.

The winners of the quiz in the Hare and Hounds last week were Yvette Hodges and Marylyn Fox.

Villagers are discussing how to celebrate the end of repairs and the return of the exiles whose lives have been on hold for months. 10/02/2020


A PLEASANT winter outing is coming up this weekend when Kirk Bramwith holds its annual Snowdrop Festival in the mediaeval church of Saint Mary's on Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 9 February. Winding roads lead you to the tiny village and its churchyard full of snowdrops. Stalls offering plants, books and light refreshments will be available as adults chat and children hunt Robert Thompson's wooden mice along the pews between the daylight hours of ten till three. Lovers of history will enjoy examining the changing royal arms which decorate the windows and ceilings. The church will also be open for visitors on 15 and 16 February for those unable to visit this weekend.

Don, Mary, Gary, Pamela, Charlotte,Mitch and Sophie Sylvester wish to thank Janet's many, many friends and colleagues who attended her funeral in Saint Cuthbert's on 7 January to celebrate her life. The buffet afterwards, which was prepared by her colleagues in her honour, was truly magnificent. There are so many to thank but  especially Eleanor for her service, Darren and Jo for their tributes, the Hare and Hounds for its hospitality and Richard Wright for his help and kindness.

Thank you all for the flowers, donations, cards and wonderful written tributes from so many people.

Yvette Hodges won the quiz on Tuesday in the Hare and Hounds with Margaret Shepherd victorious on Thursday. 02/02/2020

FROZEN puddles and windscreens stayed all day in shaded places on 19 January. Winter's grip proved to be real that day.

A well attended meeting took place in the Village Hall on 17 January to make plans for a book about the recent flood.

Fishlake History Society has released its programme of events for 2020. It starts with an exhibition in the Village Hall from 2 till 4 pm on 22 February and then continues on 11 March with a talk by Brenda Grafton on Life in Fishlake during the Second World War.  8  April will see Tim Cockrell address the meeting  on the topic ' Rivers Run Through It' and Peter Pridham will describe ' Hidden Treasures of Fishlake Church ' on 13 May. The postponed talk on 'The Sand House' will take place on 10 June when Richard Bell  will talk to the gathering. Viv. Cheetham will describe Kirk Bramwith and Braithwaite's history on 8 July .The group will hold its annual general meeting on 9 September  and Elizabeth Reeve will share her history of Sprotbrough on 14 October. The meetings from March will take place at 7 pm.

Tuesday, 21 January saw another programme about Fishlake on Radio 4 at 8 pm when 'File On Four' was broadcast. Entitled 'What happens after the cameras have gone?' it  interviewed residents on the after-effects of the flood in our village. I recognised the voices of Chris. Parkinson, Justin Smith, Peter Pridham, Jo, Andy and Dylan Smith.  Residents talked about problems with insurance companies  and described Prince Charles' visit two days before Christmas. We were told that at the peak of the disaster fifty-five pumps were operating in the village according to the Environment Agency which said we were learning to live in a changing climate.

Pam Jones won the quiz in the Hare and Hounds on 21 January with Hilary Simpson victorious on 23 January. 

Sadly, the village has lost Pearl Duckitt at the age of 77. Pearl was the daughter of Olga Slingsby and the sister of Roland and Jamie. She married Tom Duckitt and removed to a farm in Bramwith Woodhouse. She was a mother and grandmother and will be sorely missed. She passed away on 1st January.

It is proposed to hold a village quiz in the Village Hall on 3 April. Tickets would cost £5 and the rules would be the same as in the past. Please give your views on this suggestion to Pam Pyatt on 01302 842043.

News has reached the village that Liz Jeffress has passed away. She was a retired teacher and used to represent us on DMBC when we were part of the Stainforth, Barnby-Dun and Kirk Sandall Ward and was very active helping the village during the threatened floods and evacuation in 2000. One of her last actions was to make a donation to  Fishlake's flood relief fund before Christmas. 27/01/2020


STORM Brendan lashed the village with rain and high winds on Monday and Tuesday. It was our first storm of the decade. Caitlin Croucher won the first quiz of the decade in the Hare and Hounds on 2 January. The winner on 9 January was Jan Threadgold with Joy Chaffer victorious on 16 January.

Invitations are arriving for people who went above and beyond in helping flood victims in Fishlake or in coordinating the relief effort from Stainforth. The recipients will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace this summer.

In spite of the flood snowdrops are flowering in gardens across the village. Hope of better days has arrived.

Fishlake Drama Group has announced that 'Camelot' the pantomime will be re-arranged for Wednesday, 25 March to Saturday, 28 March. Tickets purchased before Christmas are still valid for the new dates. Seats are still available. Please contact Joy Chaffer on 01302 351218.

An extremely rare winter visitor has been spotted within the parish of Fishlake. It is a rough-legged buzzard and is normally found in Scandinavia or in the Arctic Circle.

A meeting was called by Neil West in the Village Hall on Friday, 17 January to discuss producing a book about the flood which struck Fishlake in November.

Doncaster House, formerly Fishlake Vicarage, is to be up for sale by the Church of England as it is no longer required for the Bishop of Doncaster.

Sadly, the village has lost Janet Sylvester, who partially grew up in the village and attended Thorne Grammar School. She had moved back to the village to care for her parents Don and Mary Sylvester. She lost her life in a road accident. Mr and Mrs Sylvester have had to go through every parent's dread of burying a son or daughter. 18/02/2020


PAM WEBB'S Truffle Lodge re-opened on 6 January for the first time since the flood. The event was televised on 'Look North' last Monday.

It has been decided that the next Bishop of Doncaster will be a woman.  Rev. Canon Sophie Jelley will take up the post to replace the recently retired Rt. Rev. Peter Burrows, who lived in Doncaster House( Fishlake's Vicarage). It has not yet been decided where the new bishop will live. She  is to be the seventh Bishop of Doncaster and the first woman bishop of the town.

Tuesday saw 'Look North' coming partially from Fishlake again with farmers, Stephen Gilleard and Chris Parkinson, from opposite ends of the village being interviewed about the experiences of farmers during the flood. The water lingered longer at Thorninghurst and at Fosterhouses than it did in the village itself. Meanwhile, Monday also saw an interview in BBC Radio 4's programme 'My Name Is.." with an explanation by Cllr. Peter Trimingham about his actions as a flood warden for the village. Fishlake folk are becoming quite media savvy.

Next time you visit Stainforth library look up before you go in. A large banner has been placed outside the building to thank the people of Stainforth for their help for Fishlake during the flood.

The next meeting of Fishlake Ladies' Group will take place at 7 pm in the Village Hall on Thursday, 23 January. 10/01/2020


GOOD NEWS came in the shape of a telephone mast at the Cricket Club ending years of difficult mobile phone communications in the village.. Sadly, the improvement is only temporary and may only last for a year. Villagers were making wishes for a better new year after the flood in 2019. 

The three winners of the Fishlake 100 Club for December were Sheila Greenhall, Julie Latto and Harry Fogg.

Fishlake's Jam Fairy has raised £1,000 from the sale of jam in 2019. She is presenting a cheque to Saint Cuthbert's for its work in the village. Mrs Fogg regularly raises large sums for the parish church. Talking of the parish church, during his visit, Prince Charles asked churchwarden Wendy Brownbridge how Fishlake was managing without a vicar. She told the future head of the Church of England that weekly services continued and that special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday had also taken place with the use of worship leaders and 'locum' vicars. 

Fishlake's Keep Fitters will meet at 10 am on Tuesday, 7 January in the Village Hall to start the new year and Fishlake Coffee Club's will start 2020 at 2 pm on 9 January in the Village Hall. 03/01/2020