Service commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the Pogmoor plane crash

6 01 2014
Message from Simon Hollingworth
Sgt Alex Hollingworth RAAF

Sgt Alex Hollingworth RAAF

The following message was received on 6th January, 2014, from Simon Hollingworth, a close relative of Alex Hollingworth, the RAAF pilot who stayed with his plane to steer it clear of housing and was killed as it crashed in Pogmoor

“Dear Marlene, Barry, Tom, Annabell, Brenda, David, Pauline and all the kind people at Pogmoor Road, thank you so much for the honour you bestow upon the young airmen of Pogmoor.

I really can’t thank you with any words sufficient to express our gratitude. Your efforts every year to honour the fallen airmen of Pogmoor is amazing. I will contact Alex Hollingworth’s surving brother today and read him the service. He is so touched by your ongoing tributes each year. I have no words to explain our feelings. You are the most wonderful people.

As I mentioned to Marlene in a past email. Alex’s death at Pogmoor has a spooky twist. A branch of our family appears to have lived at Old Barnsley circa 1620. Later in 1660, a direct relative, John Hollingworth owned the lands at Pogmoor along with an ancestor to William Wordsworth the poet. So in a strange way, Alex died at a place that has significant meaning to our family.

Again, thank you. We will be with in you in spirit today.
Simon Hollingworth”

Pictures from the service


Dan Jarvis, MP, pays tribute to the young pilot

Dan Jarvis, MP, pays tribute to the young pilot

The Mayor, Coun Ken Richardson addresses the service

The Mayor, Coun Ken Richardson addresses the service

Coun Penny Lofts congratulates the Residents' Association and the Royal British Legion for organising the srvice

Coun Penny Lofts congratulates the Residents’ Association and the Royal British Legion for organising the service

Tom Parnham, Pogmoor Residents' vice-chair, remembers the loss of life in WW1 in its centenary year
Tom Parnham, Pogmoor Residents’ vice-chair, remembers the loss of life in WW1 in its centenary year




£10k bid for phase two development of Pogmoor’s park

26 11 2013

On 15th September, 2011, local residents identified a series of environmental improvements that were needed in the area around Cresswell Street. In response to this, the residents’ association sought funding for a multi-year project to make these much-needed  improvements by transforming the field behind Cresswell Street into a park.

Our wild flower meadow in full bloom

Our wild flower meadow in full bloom

Last October, with funding from Old Town Community First panel, we were able to complete phase 1 of the project.  Thirty three mature trees were planted, mostly along the West Road boundary of the field. Adjacent to these, seeds were sown for a small wild flower meadow. The final tree in phase 1 was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee oak tree, which was planted by our MP, Dan Jarvis in a short ceremony to celebrate the completion of this stage of the project.

Dan Jarvis MP plants the Jubilee Tree

Dan Jarvis MP plants the Jubilee Tree

We have now submitted a bid for £10,000 to Wren (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited) to fund the second phase of the project.  This will provide  an avenue of 60 mature trees along the boundary with Royston Lead.  Four thousand bulbs will planted among the trees. In addition, a small people’s orchard will be planted between the avenue of trees and the allotments. We will hear whether we have been successful in March, 2014.

Planning is already underway for the third and final phase of the project. This will be a memorial garden adjacent to Cresswell Street.  We hope this garden will be a fitting reminder of the sacrifice made by the crew of the RAF bomber that crashed on this site on 6th January, 1942.  A service of remembrance is held each year on 6th January to commemorate the crew’s heroic deeds.

Memorial service commemorating the 71st anniversary of the RAF bomber crash

7 01 2013

Dan Jarvis MP paying tribute at the memorial serviceLast year, on 6th January, 2012, approximately 100 people gathered in Cresswell Street to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bravery of a young RAF crew who sought to steer their ailing Whitley bomber to avoid the houses in Pogmoor.  The plane crashed in the quarry behind Cresswell Street and the pilot, Sgt Alex Hollingworth, stayed with the aircraft and was killed on impact.  One of his colleagues, Sgt Alex Buchanan, bailed out on the south side of West Road and died as his parachute became entangled with the distructor tower on the Corporation tip.

Following the ceremony, the Residents’ Association decided to commemorate this event every year from now on.  Consequently, we will meet again on Cresswell Street on Sunday 6th January at 12.30 to remember their bravery again.  This is the Order of service. Please join us if you can. You will be most welcome.

alex hollingworth RAAFThis week we received a tribute to Alex (Lex) Hollingworth from his sister-in-law.  Her husband, Jack, is his last surviving brother. This is the text of her email:

“I never met this young man. He was my brother in-law, but I only
know him from photographs.

I felt the pain of his family – his two remaining brothers and

I never met my father in-law who died of a stroke soon after his
sons’ deaths. His grief was too much to bear.

Lex’s mother went to a séance with other grieving mothers in
a vain, ridiculous hope with contact with her sons. After that,
nothing but acceptance.

I am writing this beside a heated pool where Lex’s last remaining
immediate family member, Jack, who is 91, is exercising. He
was disabled in an accident with a gun issued by the Bank over
60 years ago. He is a very stoic man who looked after his mother
with great care.

One of the awful ripples in the pond that occurred from her losing
two boys in the war, was the dreadful debt that family paid.

As her daughter in-law I had to bite my tongue because the scar
from her past had moderated all our relationships with her.

If I did not know this boy Lex, why have I wept years of tears
for him? I read his glowing school report cards and his excellent
results from Sunday school exams. I see the photographs of a
family together, of his treasured girlfriend and of his school, work
and leisure days. I glean from them the lost promise of a life
largely unlived and in 70 years, the hurt never leaves us.

I wish Jack could be there for the service, he would really
appreciate it. When we visited Britain in 1965 there was no
knowledge of the facts surrounding Lex’s death. We send our
best wishes and our profound gratitude for your care.”

In The Press [14 September 2012]

9 10 2012

Barnsley Chronicle (14 September 2012): Funding for park at plane crash site.


In The Press [19 October 2012]

9 10 2012

Barnsley Chronicle (19 October 2012): Trees will mark plane crash site at Pogmoor.


In The Press [March 2012]

31 03 2012

2 March, 2012

Barnsley Chronicle      New park to honour 1942 Bomber pilot who crashed there

13 January, 2012

Barnsley Chronicle      Crowd gathers in Pogmoor to mark brave air crew killed in plane crash

30 December, 2011

Barnsley Chronicle       Ceremony to mark military plane crash

23 September, 2011

Barnsley Chronicle       Housing plan for lead factory site is resubmitted

Barnsley Chronicle       No democracy – Councillor Bill Gaunt to stand down at the next local election in May

19 September, 2011

Barnsley Chronicle       Appeal launched over blocked Pogmoor plan

19 July, 2011

Barnsley Chronicle     Pogmoor plans take priority over phone hacking scandal

15 July, 2011

Barnsley Chronicle     Fears Pogmoor land may be turned into a tip

Our proposed West Road project

25 02 2012


At a meeting with residents on 15 September, 2011, a list of suggested improvements to the local environment around West Road were identified.  This topic was then discussed regularly at Pogmoor Residents’ Association committee meetings. As a result, a plan was drawn up to address many of the suggested improvements by converting the field behind Cresswell Street, the site of the former quarry where the RAF bomber crashed in World War Two, into a park, with trees screening many of the unsightly features round the perimeter of the field.  This plan was produced in partnership with the landowner, Barnsley Council.

Our proposal

The proposal was presented to local residents at a public meeting on Thursday 23rd February, 2012.  The main features are:

1. A 2 metre-long hedge at the entrance to the field on West Road, moving the ‘pathway’ into the field from being adjacent to the back gardens of the houses in Cresswell Street to a point further from the housing.  This is marked in blue on the map above.

2. The remainder of the boundary of the field on West Road features a mound to prevent vehicular access.  The mound will be transformed into a wild flower meadow. Examples of wild flower meadows planted in other urban areas can be found here. The meadow will provide spectacular colours throughout the summer.  In addition, 4000 bulbs will planted in this area.  This will be a mixture of snowdrops, bluebells, crocuses and daffodils, ensuring that area will be in colour from February until the Autumn.  The wild flower meadow is marked in blue on the map.

3. A line of 13 mature, indigenous trees will be planted just behid the wildflower meadow to obscure some of the ‘unsightly’ industrial units on the south side of West Road.

4. A community orchard,  initially containing 12 fruit trees, will be planted in front of the allotments’ fence.

5. A line of 15 mature trees will be planted parallel to the Royston Lead fence.  These trees will be a few metres away from the fence and should improve the appearance of the boundary of the park.  (Note that the trees are not shown to scale on the map!)

6. Finally, close to the point at which the warplane crashed into the former quarry, a hard-standing area in the shape of a Whitley bomber will be formed in recycled material. It is possible that this could become the de-facto place in Pogmoor to remember those who lost their lives in times of war.  We had proposed to place twp memorial benches at this site but have been persuaded by Cresswell Street residents to remove these from the plan.

We have been advised to include a contingency amount to cover any trees vandalised in the first year.  This amount is sufficient to purchase 12 extra trees.  If there are fewer acts of vandalism than this, these trees will be planted towards the end of the first year.

Funding the project

Thetotal  cost of this scheme is  approximately £16,000.  A bid is being prepared for submission to to Wren for approximately £13,000.  We are shortly going to submit a bid to Old Town Community First panel for a £2,500 contribution to the total.  Finally, we have submitted an application to the Woodland Trust for  a free community tree pack in celebration of the Queen’s jubilee. This pack contains 20 of each silver birch, rowan, wild cherry plus a royal oak sapling.

Planting the flowers and trees

Most of the activity on the park will take place in the Autumn, as we are advised that this is the best time to plant the trees.  We are in discussion with the Council’s Youth Offending Team to seek help from them to prepare the land and plant trees.  It is also likely that local schools will be invited to help plant the bulbs in the wild flower meadow. However, there will still be a need to further volunteers from with the community as we attempt to plant 40 trees over a weekend.  Anyone wishing to volunteer to be involved, please email us at

Letters of supoport received

Barnsley District General Hospital




Please leave your comments on the scheme on this page.  We would be grateful for any words of support as this page will be sent as evidence in our bid for funding.