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Senior Dating Doncaster
Doncaster is a large town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is located about 20 miles (32 km) from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny". Doncaster has an international airport, and in recent years its centre has undergone regeneration including the development of an Education City campus, currently the largest education investment of its kind in the UK. Doncaster has also recently extended the Frenchgate Centre, a shopping centre and transport interchange.
According to the 2001 census, the urban sub-area of Doncaster had a population of 67,977 — together with Bentley and Armthorpe it forms an urban area with a population of 127,851. The wider metropolitan borough has a population of around 286,866.
The late 18th century to 20th century saw Doncaster emerge as an industrial centre. Its communication links, particularly its waterways, meant that Doncaster became extremely busy and saw vast migration to its centre. Underneath Doncaster lies huge natural resource by way of deep seam coal.
Due to its proximity to major urban centres and motorway/rail infrastructure, Doncaster is home to a number of major distribution centres. These include an International Rail Freight Centre at Black Bank from where goods are transported to Europe by rail. Huge warehousing and logistic capabilities for retailers such as Next, Tesco, Ikea, Exel and Faberge also exist. One location in particular is the B&Q Distribution Centre next to the dfs UK headquarters at Redhouse A1(M) Junction 38 which was the largest freestanding warehouse in the UK. A significant proportion of fresh and frozen goods for Northern Supermarkets is dispatched by road from Doncaster.
On 5 March 2004, Doncaster was granted Fairtrade Town status.
During the 19th and 20th century a number of confectioners were based in Doncaster including Parkinson's the Butterscotch inventors, Nuttalls Mintoes and Murray Mints.
]Coal and industrial expansion
It was coal that prompted Doncaster's exponential population growth. The waterways, River Don and Don Navigation were used to transport coal from Doncaster to the steel production centres at Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Sheffield.
With coal mining came secondary and tertiary industries:
Large scale glass production soon followed using coal to fire the furnaces. Several high-quality specialist glass manufacturers remain to this day, firms such as Rockware Glass
A production facility for chemical polymers — hydrocarbon compounds produced from coal and oil — was built on Wheatley Hall Road and was the largest production facility of its type in Europe. It changed hands numerous times during its existence until closure (by DuPont) in the mid-1990s.
Steel foundries, rolling mills and wire mills were built close to the railways that brought steel from Rotherham and Sheffield.
British Ropes (now Bridon) produce wire rope, including the ropes used at coal mines to haul coal and miners, this is claimed to be the largest wire rope manufacturing plant in Europe.
The Railways & Locomotive Works
Continuing the Industrial Revolution, the railway came to Doncaster, and the Great Northern Railway Locomotive and Carriage Building Works was established there. The reasons for this were due to Doncaster's communication links, the necessity to transport coal quickly and efficiently and Doncaster's expertise in specialist metal products. An extensive housing programme was undertaken to cater for the increase in the population. The Chairman of the Great Northern, anxious about their spiritual welfare, persuaded the directors to contribute towards the building of St. James' Church, which became known as the "Plant Church". The railway also built St. James' School. The Doncaster Plant became famous for building LNER 4-6-2 locomotives Mallard and the Flying Scotsman, as well as many thousands more locomotives.
The Flying Scotsman - An example of the many LNER A Class locomotives built in Doncaster - Seen here at Doncaster Plant.
Today, Doncaster railway station, on the East Coast Line, is linked to many towns and cities across the UK such as Wakefield, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, London, York, Newcastle upon Tyne, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Lincoln.
Doncaster railway station is served by the largest number of train operators in the UK and Doncaster PSB is one of the largest signalling centres on the UK network, controlling hundreds of route miles of railway.
During World War I and World War II, the rail industry gave way to munitions building. In the early part of the 20th century Doncaster became one of the largest coal mining areas in the country, with the industry employing more people in the area than anything else. However, along with many other areas, a large number of mining jobs were lost in the late 1980s, and several pits closed. Today, coal mining has been all but eliminated from the area, with only a handful of collieries surviving. The demise of coal saw a cascade effect which saw the removal of many other tertiary industries. However, several companies diversified and can still be seen today.
In 1909 Doncaster Racecourse was chosen as the venue for an airshow, after the world's first air display in Rheims, France in 1908. All the world's leading aviators were present. Samuel F. Cody (no relation to William F.Cody) in an attempt to win a prize offered by the Daily Mail for the first British pilot in a British aeroplane to fly a circular mile signed British naturalisation papers in front of the crowd with the band playing both God Save the King and the Star Spangled Banner. Unfortunately, he crashed his British Army Aeroplane No.1 whilst taxiing.
During World War I fighters based first from the racecourse, then a temporary airstrip near Finningley (later RAF Finningley and now Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield International Airport) and finally, in 1916, from a newly built airfield alongside the racecourse, were deployed to defend the east coast against Zeppelins. On a number of occasions fighters took off to search for the intruders but none were ever seen. The Royal Flying Corps station trained pilots for the war in France. Within months of the war ending the entire station was put up for sale and two of its three Belfast hangars, the same type of hangar that now forms the basis for the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, were sold to a Sheffield motor manufacturing company for storage and assembly at Finningley. The third of the hangars stayed in place, mainly housing buses, until the 1970s when it was knocked down and replaced with modern buildings.
In 1920 the Government asked local authorities to assist in the formation of a chain of airfields so the country would not lag behind other nations in the provision of civil air services. Doncaster took heed and, with expert advice from Alan Cobham, on 26 May 1934, opened a grandly called 'aviation centre'. Development of the airfield continued and on 1 July 1936 an international service was opened to Amsterdam. On 1 November 1938, after long discussions with the Air Ministry, 616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force was formed. Shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939 the squadron went to its battle station and played an honourable part in the Battle of Britain. After the departure of 616 squadron its place was taken by the formation of 271 (Transport) Squadron composed mainly of requisitioned civilian aircraft and obsolescent twin engined bombers. 616 squadron should be noted as the first Allied jet fighter squadron, who were equipped with the Gloster Meteor, famed for using their wingtips for throwing German V-1 Flying Bombs off course. In 1944, after being re-equipped with American-made Douglas DC-3 "Dakotas", the squadron moved south to take part in Operation 'Overlord' and later in the airborne invasion at Arnhem where Flight Lieutenant David Lord was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
After the war the airfield reverted to civilian flying and finally closed in 1992.
In 1930 International Harvester (IH) started the production of agricultural implements at a factory on Wheatley Hall Road and later at another in the Carr Hill area of Doncaster. The first tractor built at the factory was a Farmall M, which came off the production line on 13 September 1949. Initially tractors were built from parts shipped from the USA. The Wheatley Hall Road factory was extended after the war with a new foundry to make the heavy castings. The factory started Crawler tractor production in 1953. By 1960 the factory was making a range of tractors from scratch, designed specifically for British and European markets, and sold under the 'McCormick International' name. Assembly moved in 1965 to the Carr Hill plant. In 1983 tractor production was moved to IH's other Doncaster factory at Wheatley Hall. In 1985 International Harvester sold its agricultural division to Tenneco, Inc. which then merged the operation with its subsidiary J.I. Case to form Case IH, who continued to design and build its European tractor range in Doncaster, shutting the David Brown Ltd. tractor factory near Huddersfield. The 350,000th tractor came off the production line in 1999.
In 2000, the factory was purchased by ARGO SpA, an Italian-based agricultural equipment builder. Doncaster was the sole production site of the McCormick Tractors brand, and the factory employed around 380 people (although approximately 1,100 people are employed in the worldwide McCormick group). In December 2006, the parent company ARGO Spa, announced that the Doncaster facility was to close in mid-2007 with the loss of around 325 jobs. Much to the dismay of trade union officials and local news, the announcement was made only one week before Christmas. When the factory closed, 61 years of tractor production in Doncaster came to an end as the production of the tractors is moved to Italy. The factory closed in late 2007.
In 2009 there was the first and very successful Doncaster Rocks festival, with Jethro Tull headlining the event. Allan Wilkinson reviewed the event for digyorkshire.com, describing how "the Dome filled with hundreds of enthusiastic fans, enjoying solid sets from Julie Felix and from The Popes before we got well into the seventies elements of the day"