Doncaster Voices: “What are Doncaster’s hidden gems we should shout about?”

Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to - Your views may appear here next week when subject is ”What ​parking plan would best serve Doncaster residents & visitors?”


It’s not particularly hidden as such but Doncaster Market is most definitely one of the town’s gems. My first visit to the market came about shortly after I’d arrived in Doncaster from my hometown of Benfleet in Essex. I wanted to buy some fresh fish and found the fish market and left with two bags full of rock eel, jellied eels and winkles! I’ve since visited the market almost every week and never cease to find pretty much everything I need from locally grown fruit & vegetables and fresh bread to washing-up liquid, cooking utensils, clothes and treats for my family and friends. I love chatting with the stallholders – they’ve got some real stories to tell – and the atmosphere is so friendly and welcoming, it’s a great place to be. A team of learners and volunteers from The Cascade Foundation even have a regular stall now on Doncaster Market – need I say more!


‘Doncaster has its fair share of special places. The tea rooms, the pubs, the special shops, parks, historic houses and heritage. We have so much in our history that has left us with a legacy that’s more than a familiar street plan.

People and communities have shaped our town and any hidden gems within it are tied to those folk - past, present and future. So, on a wintry day it’s a joy to seek out a traditional pub - or a new one that brings back the old style ales and ambience. There are Dickensian firesides aplenty across our Borough, with the current added joy of real trees and and festive decorations. Some hostelries are set in beautiful countryside or by a river - which can also mean access to a good walk on a crisp, cold day. Even if you’re exploring a new part of the Borough to find the that perfect place to rest and relax - or on home ground - don’t forget to do one very important thing. Look up. Many of Doncaster’s hidden gems are above eye level - whether that’s a tree, a church spire or an ornate glass window. It’s all here we just have to look a little closer.”


How lucky we are to have a Grade I listed building as our Mansion House. This beautiful building is used for meetings of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, and by the civic mayor of the town for official receptions. I have held dinners and reception events there for visitors from all over the globe who have come to Doncaster as part of our international sign language programme. I was also very honoured to be made a Freeman of the borough at the Mansion House, and of course I exercised my right to have livestock in the town centre (a couple of sheep joined us at the reception – much to the amusement of my guests). The Mansion House is open for afternoon teas and weddings. It is a great space and I’m not sure that people know that they can use it.


What hidden gems has Doncaster got. Well we do have few, we have an award winning market but I am sorry to say it doesn’t have the atmosphere and colour that it once enjoyed. We should encourage more characters to revert to old style market trading no doubt there will some reason why we can’t do it. Other little gems are Brodsworth and Cusworth House. Joined up thinking here with National Trust would be a positive step alongside Conisbrough Castle which has great historical value, remember Ivanhoe? The Race Course home to one of the finest classics is another venue that could and should be promoted more than it is. We have strong connections with the military and the railway industry so we should make more of these. York has a Railway Museum why is Doncaster lagging behind? We built the best but we don’t sing about it loud enough.

* If you would like your voice heard, get in touch, email with 150 words, name and title and a photograph of yourself. Next week’s subject is: “What ​parking plan would best serve Doncaster residents & visitors?”

* 21/12 Does ​Doncaster’s night time economy ​receive undeserved​ bad press?

* 28/12 How can we market Doncaster ​area attractions better ​for touris​m?

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