Investigation launched following death in Middlecliffe

A WOMAN has been found dead following a major incident in Middlecliffe yesterday. 

Police were called to Windsor Crescent shortly before 5pm yesterday following reports of a disturbance and concern for safety. 

A spokesman from South Yorkshire Police said: "A woman in her thirties was pronounced dead at the scene.

"A man, also in his thirties, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into police custody. 

"There is now a cordon in place and we will be carrying out enquiries."

Ongoing incident in Middlecliffe

WE are aware of a major incident unfolding in Windsor Crescent, Middlecliffe.

Residents have informed the Chronicle and We Are Barnsley of extensive police presence and a tent has been set up in the middle of the road. 

The Chronicle and We Are Barnsley understands there may be a link between this and an incident in Belmont, Cudworth which required a response from armed police officers. 

As this is a breaking incident, we will update the story as more information becomes available. 

Hand sanitiser stolen

BARNSLEY Hospital has been forced into issuing a reminder to people after reports that hand sanitizer was being stolen from wards.


A statement said: “We would like to remind people that the most effective way of combating coronavirus is through regular and thorough hand-washing which is why it is important for the hospital wards to have easy access to these gels.


“Hand gel in wards is there to protect staff, visitors, patients and are not to be removed for any reason.”

Shed heaven for school pupils

A CLASS in desperate need for outside storage received more than they bargained for when a summerhouse was installed in their playground.


Our Lady and St Joseph’s, Fitzwilliam Street, Wath-upon-Dearne, needed storage for outdoor equipment for their foundation class and looked to get a shed.


With no funding available to purchase one, the pupils wrote a letter to local businesses who supply sheds, asking them if they would be able to donate one to the school.


Gemma Pegg, a foundation one teacher at the school, said: “The children wrote to local businesses asking if they would be willing to donate and Mark’s Sheds and Fencing, based in Swinton, was the only one to respond and instead of a shed, offered to donate a summerhouse free of charge.


“We were overwhelmed by their generosity. The summerhouse is too good to be used as storage it is now a wonderful space where are pupils can go and play.”

Staff club together in the crisis

STAFF from a popular working men’s club have banded together to help their community during the coronavirus outbreak – despite the club being closed due to renovation works.


Staff from Oaks WMC, Doncaster Road, may be out of work due to renovations of the building but that didn’t stop them giving back to their local community this week.


They decided to put together care bags full of necessities which are to be distributed among the vulnerable and elderly within Ardsley, Stairfoot and the surrounding areas.


“We realised that some elderly members who come to the club can’t go to the shops to get what they needed so our bar staff came up with the idea of the care packages,” said club secretary Graham Tate.


The packages will feature a range of supplies from toilet roll, to tea and coffee, and porridge and biscuits.


“It’s basically anything they need to keep going. The people can take whatever they want from the packages – it’s completely up to them.


“I am so proud of the bar staff for thinking of this and for thinking of other people while they aren’t working themselves. It’s great that they are thinking of people worse off than themselves and putting in the effort to help them.”


The club is calling for donations and recommendations of people who could be in use of a care package. To contact them, visit the club's Facebook page

Amelia given new lease of life

THE parents of a toddler who was left in constant pain due to a rare disorder have spoken of how their lives have ‘transformed’ following her life-changing operation.


Amelia Royers, two, of Westfield Crescent, Thurnscoe, was born in April 2018 via emergency Caesarean four weeks early, weighing 2lbs 8oz.


As she grew, it was initially believed she had cerebral palsy, but it became more apparent that this was not the case.


When she tried to bear weight on her legs, she would scream out in pain.


Amelia was sent for an MRI of the brain, spine and pelvis and they found a large cyst on her spinal cord. She was diagnosed with syringomyelia.


Syringomyelia is a rare disorder in which a fluid-filled cyst forms within your spinal cord. It can make it difficult to use your hands, causes problems walking and problems with bladder or bowel control.


Following her diagnosis, Amelia’s parents, Nicole, 23, and husband Sander, 43, were told Amelia would need to have an urgent operation to remove the cyst, as leaving it would leave her potentially being unable to walk.


The procedure however was only available in Barcelona and would cost £20,000.


Following months of fundraising, raising £4000, model and social media star Maya Henry donated the remainder of the money to allow Amelia to have the procedure, which took place in August.


Following her procedure, Nicole said that Amelia is a completely different little girl.


“She’s been doing amazingly well since her surgery,” said Nicole.


“We’ve seen a massive change in her. You can now converse with her, she’s no longer in pain and cries when she wants sweets. She’s just a normal toddler.


“She runs around and loves to play with other children. She’s just a happy little girl. She has also grown a little taller and we’re planning our first family holiday together.


“She has been diagnosed with epilepsy so she does suffer with seizures and she will be undergoing brain surgery at some point as the doctors have discovered that part of her brain didn’t develop when she was growing in the womb.”


Amelia has been nominated for a Young Champions award in the ‘Young Conquerer’ category.


“It’s put a smile on my face to hear that Amelia has been nominated,” Nicole added. “People have only really heard that she was born poorly and now she’s better but our lives have really transformed.


“Small things like going to the supermarket to do the weekly food shop is something we could have never done before.


“I’m now back working full time and Amelia goes to a childminder. Things that we never thought would have been possible to do is now a reality for us. Our lives really have transformed and we can’t thank everyone enough who donated.


“Amelia has come a long way and she has some more battles ahead, but she’s thriving and she’s happy.”

The show might not go on

A BARNSLEY theatre group has been left ‘heartbroken’ as the cancellation of two of its shows have left the group struggling to survive.


LS Theatre Productions, a group made up of Barnsley residents and performers, was due to perform at The Lamproom later this month and in April.


Both Ireland’s Call and Avenue Q have been cancelled due to coronavirus fears, after the government agreed to close down theatres for the foreseeable future.


Lee Semley, director of LS Theatre Productions, said: “This decision was taken out of our hands due to the government advising people to not attend theatres.


“In our 12 years, we have never had to cancel a production and we are all extremely heartbroken to have had to do this, however everyone’s health must come first.


“But sadly, the theatre saying ‘the show must go on’ is not the case at this time.


“Our performers are very upset having rehearsed tirelessly for months to be ready to bring these shows to our loyal audiences.”


Lee is now concerned that without additional financial support, the future of the group is now uncertain.


“We survive from show to show and each must be a success and sell tickets so that we can invest in the next show,” he added.


“An average cost to produce a musical can be anything from £7,000 to £10,000 and without our shows going ahead we can not guarantee our future and worry that we will not able to move forward and put on another show.


“We have shows scheduled for June and October that may now also be cancelled, and even if they did not get cancelled, without ticket sales these shows will sadly not go ahead.


“The closure will hit us hard.”


Lee has now started an online campaign that aims to raise £5,000 for the group.


The money raised will be used to reimburse the damages left by the cancelled shows.


“The donations will help us pay the production bills and give us much-needed funds,” he told the Chronicle.


“This will help us continue, when we are allowed to, to bring live theatre to local audiences and give our members the opportunity to perform.”


To donate, visit the team's Go Fund Me page. 

Cawthorne teen given farm backing

A CAWTHORNE teenager has proven that she really hits the right note with her neighbours – after a local farm agreed to sponsor her to take part in an international singing competition.


Lottie Dry, 13, of Oaklea, Cawthorne, has been a member of Barnsley Youth Choir for four years.


The Penistone Grammar School student began in the children’s choir, before becoming part of the senior choir.


After auditioning to be part of the World Choir Games which will take place in Flanders, Belgium, in July, Lottie’s mum Libby began contacting businesses to sponsor her trip.


She said: “I contacted Cannon Hall Farm and explained that Lottie was the only Cawthorne member attending the competition, and I was delighted when they responded to say that would sponsor her. We’re grateful for their support.


“It’s not the first time she’s been away with the choir as she’s been to South Africa and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, but this is the first competition she will be part of.”


Barnsley Youth Choir currently stand at an astonishing number three in the world rankings and will compete against around 600 choirs with a total of over 20,000 singers from more than 100 nations.


The choir are still looking for sponsors for the upcoming competition.


Richard Nicholson, a director at Cannon Hall Farm, said: “We’re really delighted to be helping to support these talented kids in putting our home town of Barnsley on the map.


“The choir is a registered charity, run by volunteers which seeks to provide outstanding opportunities for young people who live in Barnsley.


“If local businesses and individuals can help out I’d suggest it’s a very worthwhile cause to support. We wish Lottie and all her friends in the choir lots of luck in the competition.”

Diamond duo to spend day in isolation

A COUPLE who met on the dance floor will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary – despite being in isolation.


Gladys and Steven Aranyi met at the former George’s Dance Hall – where The Lamproom now stands – and were married on April 2, 1960, at St Mary Magdelene’s Church, Lundwood. 

The couple met after Steven left Hungary after the 1956 uprising where people fought to remove the Soviet Union from power. 


“He moved to Bradford initially, but then moved in with my mum while she was living at her parents’ house when they first got engaged,” said the couple’s daughter, Andrea Whitman, 55. “My grandma really liked him so I think that’s why he was allowed to stay despite them not being married.”


Steven, whose Hungarian name is Istvan, worked as a glass worker at Beatson Clark at Stairfoot, and Gladys worked in the cafeteria at Barnsley College for more than 20 years. 


In their spare time, they love to travel and have been to Spain, Florida and went on a cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. 


The couple, of Elm Court, Worsbrough Bridge, originally planned to have a party with their two children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren but the recent outbreak of coronavirus has stalled their plans. 


“They are the hub of the family,” added Andrea. “We were going to have a big party for them for their wedding anniversary but we have decided to hold off on celebrations until they can really enjoy it. 


“They will still get a card from the Queen and a cake, but they can celebrate with the family later in the year.”


Despite the setbacks, Gladys and Steven, now 84 and 85 respectively, are looking forward to their anniversary celebrations. 


“They are young at heart and they join in with everything,” said Andrea. “I think that's what keeps them going and keeps their bond strong.”

Extra time for Robledo plaque

THE unveiling of a plaque on the childhood home of two successful footballers has had to be postponed.


The blue plaque had been set to be fixed to the house on Doncaster Road, West Melton, on Tuesday April 14 but will now be rescheduled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and because of suggested travel restrictions which meant George’s daughter Liz Robledo would not have been able to fly in for the ceremony from Chile.


The brothers, who died in 1970 and 1989, had incredibly successful careers in the beautiful game.


Both won the FA Cup in their spells with Newcastle United and both represented Chile, the country of their birth, with George playing in the 1950 World Cup.


He was also a well regarded figure on Tyneside after forming a partnership with club legend Jackie Milburn as the Geordies won back-to-back FA Cups.


It is a blow for organiser Chris Brook who had launched the campaign last year after researching the brother’s time spent playing junior football locally and feeling like more recognition was needed for their careers.


He is now looking at alternate dates.


Chris told the Chronicle: “As soon as it was confirmed that the flight would be cancelled then with everything else going on it seemed the right decision.

“The Chilean ambassador had been involved and was due to come but he is in his 70s.


“It is a little bit frustrating but it doesn’t take long to realise that there are so many worse stories out there. Everyone has organised things that have had to be cancelled.”

The date of the unveiling had been significant as it would have been George’s birthday.


Chris is now looking at potential dates in September but had hoped to squeeze trips to watch Barnsley FC and Newcastle United (the brother’s former clubs in England) as well as a visit to Wembley into the itinerary for Liz.


With little clarity as to when football will restart that is proving difficult.


“I don’t really want to do it in the depths of winter,” he added.


“But everything is still up in the air really.


“It had been set up for Liz to meet Bobby Moncur up at Newcastle and a trip to see Barnsley play Wigan as well.”


The plaque, which has been paid for entirely by Barnsley FC, has already been made and Chris had worked on a programme for the event.





Motorcyclist dies in collision

A MOTORCYCLIST has died after being involved in a collision with a car.


On Sunday at 4.50pm, a white Renault Megane and a white off-road motorcycle were involved in a collision on Cemetery Road, at the junction with Lady Croft Lane, in Hemingfield.


A 25-year-old man riding the motorcycle suffered fatal injuries and died. His family has been notified and is receiving support from specially trained officers.


The driver of the Renault, a 27-year-old man, was not injured.



Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision or anyone with any dashcam footage to contact the 101 quoting reference incident number 495 of March 22.

Carl's tips to make food last

A CHEF from Barnsley is using his culinary skills and expertise to make sure people can still eat well in spite of being stuck in the house and, when they do go shopping, finding bare shelves.


When 31-year-old Carl Barma heard stories of supermarkets being stripped by people panic buying, the experienced chef thought he might be able to offer his help.


He posts regular videos on his Facebook page – ‘Cooking with Carl’ – demonstrating recipes that people can recreate at home.


But his last few videos have been aimed at helping people who might not have much left in their cupboards.


Carl, of Honeywell Street, said: “I did a question-and-answer session and one person brought up the problem of panic buying.


“That’s more frustrating for me than the virus itself – the idea that people can’t get what they need while other people are buying 12 packs of toilet roll.


“There are some things people might not have thought of – like if there isn’t any meat left, look at using frozen burgers.


“You can also bulk out meals with vegetables, or put breadcrumbs or stuffing mix into your meat to make it last longer.


“It’s important to keep an eye on getting enough protein and vitamin D, which you might not if you’re stuck in the house.”


Carl, who has worked at Ardsley House Hotel and a number of care homes in the borough, was diagnosed with autism four years ago and also has issues with anxiety.


He said he hoped his videos might help others suffering with their mental health, as they have helped him.


“I like making films, so it’s a bit of fun,” he said. “It’s more for my own benefit, it keeps me occupied – especially now – but I’m also trying to help people.


“The mental health aspect is a big one. It’s a very hard time for people, even those without diagnosed problems might have a lot of anxiety.”

Family scared with skater Evie stranded in Ecuador

A MUM whose daughter is stuck in South America due to the coronavirus crisis has made an impassioned plea to bring her home safe.


Ice skater Evie Cook, 20, was scheduled to take part in a show in Ecuador, flying out last month.


She wasn’t to know that a few weeks later, the country would be on almost complete lockdown, with few flights allowed in or out.


And with the show on hold, Evie’s mum Emma Field said her daughter has been left in limbo – with the family feverishly trying to get her home.


“She’s trying to stay strong, but as I’ve been talking to her she’s starting to show more and more signs of distress,” said Emma, 39, from Carlton.


“It’s really scary.


“She could be out there for months, and if she does catch the virus, their health service is nothing like ours.”



Emma said there were no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, with one German flight – which the family had hoped to bring Evie back on – suddenly becoming unavailable due to the airline prioritising German citizens.


Another route back, through the United States, has been cut off due to that country’s increased border controls.


Emma said the one positive was that Evie wasn’t on her own in the hotel in the city of Cuenca.


“There are a few hundred people involved in the show,” she said.


“They’re under the impression they will be able to start the show again, and at the minute they’re paying for her accommodation and food.


“It’s been her dream to skate all over the world since she was six years old.


“She was hoping to get out to see places she never thought of seeing, it was a fantastic opportunity. But it’s escalated so quickly.


“We will pay thousands to get her home.”

Government told to 'step up' and help couple in Australia

A COUPLE stranded in Australia are desperate for answers on how to get home after the country closed its borders.


Chloe Keleman, 30, and Rebecca Barnes, 29, of Cudworth, travelled to Australia on February 28 for a tour from Cairns to Sydney.


After three weeks, the couple found out their flight that was due to leave on Saturday had been cancelled and the borders had been closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leaving the couple stranded.


Following the announcement, Chloe, who works as an events co-ordinator for the Metrodome and Rebecca, who is a social worker, have been relentlessly trying to find a way home, but have so far had no luck.


Chloe’s mum, Karen Hines, contacted the Chronicle to explain the turmoil her family is going through and to appeal to the government to do more to help being stranded Brits home.


“Chloe and Rebecca have been trying for five days to get a flight and the way airlines are treating their customers at this desperate time is horrific,” said Karen.


“The girls were warned they should come home but the borders shut the same night and airlines would advertise flights and then cancel them. Chloe and Rebecca have lost money on three separate occasions.


“A lot of flights from Australia travel through Singapore to refuel and that seems to be where the issue lies. The British consulate are not helping or offering any advice on how to get home.


“The girls have contacted their insurance company and Etihad, who they flew with, but they are receiving no help at all and now some airlines are charging as much as £24,000 to fly back to the UK. No-one has that amount of money and it’s scandalous that airlines are trying to make a profit out of people’s misery.


“The girls have been dumped – they’ve had no correspondence from anyone and they have had no help. They’ve managed to secure accommodation for the next two weeks but we’re not sure what will happen after that. 


“I just want the government to step up and help bring them home. They’ve been left in limbo and it’s breaking my heart.”


Karen has contacted Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock who said: "We have been contacted by many distressed family members who, like Karen, have loved ones stranded abroad. We have been in constant contact with the Foreign Office to try and find a way to bring people home quickly and safely and without having to pay extortionate, inflated airline prices that many simply can’t afford.


“I have asked the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, what steps his department is taking and what support he is providing to people who are stranded. I sincerely hope that the Government act quickly to step up their actions, to ensure the repatriation of Chloe, Rebecca and all others in the same position, before the situation worsens and borders start to close.


“Myself and my staff will continue to work closely with Chole and Rebecca’s parents and I would urge anyone else in a similar situation to contact me at stephanie.peacock.mp@parliament.uk“


Shoplifter stole boxer shorts

A WOMAN who pleaded guilty to stealing goods from a Hoyland shop has been ordered to pay costs of £150 and handed a conditional discharge.


Kerry Fletcher, 44, from High Green, Sheffield, stole boxer shorts, toiletries and gift sets from Boyes on High Croft on December 1 and 2.


She was ordered to pay £150 at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court, the full cost of the items.

'Motorists do not seem to care'

A CONCERNED resident is considering selling his home over fears his family may be seriously injured or killed due to speeding motorists at an accident blackspot.


David Connors, who lives on Common Road, Brierley, contacted the Chronicle after he caught two accidents on CCTV on the stretch of road, which is used regularly to travel to Grimethorpe or Great Houghton, and expressed his concern at how often motorists speed down the road.


“It doesn’t matter whether motorists are travelling towards Grimethorpe or Great Houghton, people are flying up and down the road at 60mph and they get caught out by the bend,” said David.


“There have been at least two accidents this month. One car hit a tree and snapped it and another car slid into a lamp post and flipped on its back.


“Motorists are not patient and overtake on the bend which is dangerous because you can’t see. Also, a little further up the road the speed limit jumps from 30mph to 60mph, so people speed up after the bend or if they’re coming into the village they don’t slow down in time.


“We’ve already had a fatality in recent years and I don’t know why more is not being done to slow motorists down on this road.”


In September 2018, 58-year-old mum-of-two Jacqueline Wileman was killed as she was walking on Common Road after a stolen HGV, travelling at its top speed, failed to negotiate a left-hand bend and careered into her.


Following her death, Brierley residents began calling for an anti-speeding campaign to be carried out at the scene and highlighted the history of collisions on that stretch of road.


In March last year, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership rejected the bid for a camera van, saying the road didn’t lend itself to having one parked on its route.


In July, a project dubbed Operation Slowdown was carried out on Common Road by South Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group to address local concerns of speeding vehicles at a neighbourhood level. A speed indicator device was also fitted on a lamp post,

however David said this is having very little impact.


“I have four children and I’m worried about letting them play outside because of how fast these cars go. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, they just don’t seem to care. As soon as they hit the bend they’re off and it’s near a children’s play park which is even more alarming.


“Pedestrians also regularly walk along Common Road whether it’s walking their dogs, going to the park or up to Burntwood Court Hotel and if a motorist lost control of their car and hit a pedestrian, they don’t stand a chance, just like Jackie didn’t.


“It’s a huge hindrance deciding what to do for the best because the road is, quite frankly, beyond a joke.”


Mrs Wileman’s family – spearheaded by her brother Johnny Wood – are campaigning for the current death by dangerous driving sentence of 14 years to be lifted in order to allow judges to treat instances in the same way as murder or manslaughter.


They are being backed by Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock, but so far the issue has been put on the back-burner as a result of the recent general election and now concerns over a full-on coronavirus lockdown.


Coun Jeff Ennis, who represents the North East ward, said: “Barnsley Council has no control over the speed limit on Common Road its highways. We did have a speed indicator placed on Common Road and we are looking to have it reinstated as it is not working at the moment and I will be speaking with Sergeant Richard Wilson about it.


“It is a continuing concern for residents and myself as a ward councillor and I won’t be happy until something is done about the speeding on this road.


“People regularly walk along the road and there is a nursery in the park so there are young children about. Our ultimate goal is to have a 20mph limit implemented across the village, but it’s difficult to have this passed.”

MP raises concern over ASOS

BARNSLEY East MP Stephanie Peacock has criticised retail giant ASOS for keeping its Barnsley distribution centre open – despite the company’s Camden-based employees being allowed to work from home.


Stephanie said the conditions at the Park Spring Road warehouse between Grimethorpe and Great Houghton – which employs thousands of people, many of them from the local area – also flouted government guidelines on social distancing.


“I have spoken to a number of concerned workers employed at the ASOS warehouse who feel their health is being put before profit in this national crisis,” she said.


“ASOS employs more than 4,000 workers in the UK. They shouldn't have to put theirs and their family’s wellbeing on the line for a paycheck.


 “I have written to the chief executive expressing my concerns and will do all I can to make sure workers across Barnsley East are able to do their jobs in safe conditions. 


“We should treat workers in London and the north the same.”


The Chronicle has contacted site manager XPO Logistics for a comment.

Disruption to bin collections

BARNSLEY Council has advised residents to await further information after it was unable to collect any blue bins in the borough on Tuesday or Wednesday due to staffing levels.

Residents have been advised to put them away, but not to call council staff due to high levels of emergency calls.

The council was also unable to collect some brown and grey bins this week, but additional collections will take place tomorrow.

For a full schedule of these, visit the council’s website here

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, Downing Street has confirmed.


The 55-year-old is now self-isolating at No 10.


In a video on his Twitter account, he said: “I have developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus that’s a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I’ve taken a test and that has come out positive.


“I am working from home, I’m self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.



“Be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fight back against coronavirus.”

Barnsley Hospice visits suspended

BARNSLEY Hospice has announced that visitors are no longer able to visit patients.


The hospice, which provides palliative care and supports people with active and progressive life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart disease or Parkinson’s.


Following the announcement from the government regarding social distancing and urging people to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the hospice has announced that visitors are no longer able to go to the hospice.

Its statement said: “We will be asking for a designated person from each family to contact the hospice who can then communicate with their family members.


“Some exceptions will be made for patients at the very last stages of life or who are deemed very vulnerable - we will allow one family member to stay with them at the hospice, but they will not be permitted to come and go. 


“We continue to provide exceptional care and support to all of our inpatients throughout these unprecedented times and have made available Skype/Facetime facilities to allow patients to keep in touch with family and friends.


“Thank you for your understanding in these challenging times.”


The hospice’s charity shops and Dodworth donation centre is also closed until further notice.



The public are asked not to leave any bags of donated items outside the shops as no one will be there to bring them inside.

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