Celebrating 50 years of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

On 1 April 2024, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council will celebrate its Golden Anniversary. That’s 50 years of public service within our local communities and creating the wonderful borough we live in today.

The council was formally established on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. This abolished previous local government structures and created a whole new local government system. It included redefining geographies of councils across England, with:

  • some new counties established
  • some merged
  • the introduction of metropolitan counties and boroughs.

It was at this time that the County Borough of Barnsley was abolished and the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, as we know it today, was established.

We share this milestone with many other borough councils. It's a great chance to celebrate:

  • 50 years of our borough
  • our communities
  • the fabulous things we’ve achieved and look forward to during the next 50 years.

We’ll be celebrating all through the month of April, with plenty of ways to get involved and join in.

Art competition – poster to celebrate 50 years of our borough 

Get creative and enter our special art competition open to four to 16 year olds. Design a poster to celebrate our 50 year anniversary. Find out how to enter.

Barnsley Libraries

There’s lots going on in our libraries through the month. Here’s what they have on offer:

  • Pop into your local branch and take a look at their dedicated book displays.  They showcase a range of local history books. This gives you the chance to gain insight to our borough and your local area over the last 50 years.
  • They’re also putting together a special collection of eBooks on the Libby app. Keep an eye out for this coming soon.
  • Barnsley Libraries will also be hosting some art and craft sessions during the Easter holidays. The theme for these is 'celebrating 50 years of the borough and the next 50 years'. So be sure to check out the activities and events taking place in your local library.
  • Do you have any old photos of your local library through the years? If so, please dig them out and share them with us at communications@barnsley.gov.uk.

Barnsley Museums

What better way to find out about the history of our borough than with Barnsley Museums and Barnsley Archives?

  • Visit our special display of documents relating to the history of our borough. These will be on show in the reception area of Barnsley Archives and Local Studies. You'll find them in the Discovery Centre at Barnsley Town Hall from Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 April.
  • You can arrange a visit to Barnsley Archives any time, to explore the many records they look after. Before visiting, please take a look at their guidelines to get the most from your visit.
  • Take a trip down memory lane at Experience Barnsley. You’ll find civic cases displaying objects used in meetings and ceremonies. You can also see our fascinating collections showcasing life in the borough over the years.
  • Make sure you’re following our Archives and Local Studies social media pages. They’ll be sharing lots of old photos of council buildings across the borough.
  • Keep an eye out for their blog to share historical photos and stories of times gone by.

Barnsley Town Hall

Keep an eye out at the town hall’s flower bed which will feature a special flower arrangement. Can you guess what it will look like? 

Share your memories and photographs

To help with our celebrations we also need our communities, who lie at the heart of our borough. Please share memories and photos. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Share with us your memories of Barnsley in times gone by. It doesn’t need to be as long as 50 years ago! We’d love to get a glimpse of Barnsley through the years in your community. We’d also love to see any old photos to see how much it’s changed.
  • We’d like to put together a commemorative collection of photographs of places, landmarks or landscapes taken across the borough. These can be from anytime in the last 50 years. We'd also like quotes from local people about what they love about the borough. The top 50 entries will be made into a celebration slide show to showcase our remarkable borough.

Please send memories, photographs and quotes to communications@barnsley.gov.uk. We'll share them on our social media channels during the month of celebrations.