If the Monkees had grown up in Rotherham then Last Trolleybus to Conisbrough would have surely been their renamed first single. And the winsome quartet would have spent two tv series working underground at Manvers Main Colliery.
Trolleybuses – electric buses powered by overhead lines – are still a common sight in many cities, especially in Eastern Europe. In the UK the first trolleybus ran in Bradford in 1911, where the last closed in 1972. The Mexborough and Swinton Traction Company ran them through Conisbrough between 1915 and 1961. The Terminus pub there is so-named because it was the site of a terminus on the route.
There is a neat connection here, explained by owner Steve on our recent visit. His great-great-uncle drove the last tram there, accompanied by the local brass band. He told us this whilst pouring a delicious Liquorice Lads Stout from Great Newsome Brewery. Meanwhile partner Denise plied us with pieces of proper Yorkshire parkin.
Steve also told us of a very recent royal visitor, Good Beer Guide completist Martin, who he said had a half before going to the White Lady in the town. This is a great place. He recommended the Gorilla Beer Hall and Taproom in Mexborough so we called in there for a quick half.
Open since 2020, it’s on a small industrial estate beside the Doncaster Navigational Canal. They call it the Meccie Riviera. We found the beers too cold to our taste but it’s obviously a popular venue with frequent live music.
Our final stop was the Coach and Horses in nearby Barnburgh. Built in 1937 by Whitworth’s brewery of Wath-upon-Dearne, it’s a magnificent multi-roomed pub that’s on the CAMRA National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. After a period of closure it’s been bought and refurbished to a very high standard by the owners of Don Valley Brewery.
Three varied and interesting places where the Monkees could have washed the coal dust off their faces and slaked their thirst. Instead the poor things had to settle for the wine bars of LA.