Lynsey Slater, 25, studied History at the University of Leicester. She is currently work on the Doncaster 1914-18 First World War commemoration project based out of Doncaster Museum. Here are her favourite things about Doncaster.
It was really hard to only include one pub on this list, as it could easily have just been my 5 favourite watering holes. However, the Salutation takes the top spot. It’s a great historic pub with a fantastic selection of drinks and the added bonus of an excellent Thai restaurant upstairs. Warm, welcoming and friendly, the Salutation represents everything I love about a Yorkshire pub. The recent addition of the Thai at the Sal restaurant upstairs is a major added bonus for me. I’m very happy to have somewhere I can get a pint of Old Rosie and a Pad Thai in the same place! It’s a welcome addition to the Doncaster restaurant scene, which is continually growing and expanding and is one of my favourite things about the town.
Obviously I am biased because I am lucky enough to get to work at Cusworth Hall, but the hall and grounds are a massive asset to the town. I fondly remember egg rolling as a child and visiting the grounds for a stroll around the lakes. The Hall was also home to one of my favourite women from Doncaster’s history, Lady Isabella Battie-Wrightson. She oversaw the dramatic changes and modernisation of the hall and park and various items relating to the Battie-Wrightson’s are on display within the hall. One of my favourites is the Battie-Wrightson livery uniform, which is currently on display in the First World War exhibition. This was worn by one of the family’s servants, a footman, when out with the family’s coach and horses. I also really enjoy the items relating to Robert’s lavish ‘coming of age party’ in 1909, and how they represent the old-fashioned pecking order and inheritance of the country estate. There are also excellent items relating to life and death in Doncaster, mining, sports in the town and a great collection of historic clothing, as well amazing family paintings.
Hyde Park Cemetery
I’m what is called a ‘taphophile’. This is the name for someone with an interest in cemeteries. There are lots of great cemeteries in Doncaster, but my favourite is Hyde Park Cemetery, and I’m a member of the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery. The Friends is a group made up entirely of passionate volunteers that supports the restoration and conservation of the cemetery as an environmental and historic location. The cemetery opened in 1856 after the graveyards of St George’s (now the Minster) and other local churches became full. There were regular burials at the cemetery until the 1960-70’s, so the cemetery documents the growth of Doncaster from a thriving market town to an industrial powerhouse, and tells the personal stories of those involved in the transformation. The Friends run regular free guided walks during the spring and summer months, covering the whole spectrum of personal stories from the cemetery including mayors, religious figures, local businessmen, railway workers, singers, soldiers, sportsmen and women’s rights activists! The cemetery is always looking for green fingered volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty for our monthly work mornings at which we improve and enhance the cemetery through litter picking, tidying and weeding. You can find out more at www.fohpc.org.uk or by searching ‘Hyde Park Cemetery’ on Facebook and Twitter.
Rewind Vintage & Modern Day Collectables
I’m really enjoying the rejuvenation of Waterdale, and one of my favourite shops there is Rewind. The shop is jam packed with oddities, collectables and the kind of stuff you just can’t get anywhere else! It’s run by a lovely couple who are extremely knowledgeable about their stock and will go the extra mile to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. A highlight gift bought for me from Rewind was a set of nesting dolls of Russian political leaders, so their stock is definitely unusual! I love having somewhere local where I can satisfy my love for bizarre collectables at great prices. I think it is really important to support local small businesses in Doncaster and at Rewind there really is something for everyone.
Doncaster is one of a kind
From pubs to restaurants, heritage sites, shops, history and people, Doncaster is totally a breed of its own! Doncaster is full of eclectic, eccentric and definitely unique people and the various people I’ve met from other towns and cities never quite compare. Donny folk can sometimes have a tendency to be negative about our town, but how difficult it was to only pick 5 favourite things for this list shows how much the town has to offer. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Are we perfect? Definitely not, but being from Doncaster means we’re pretty close!