THIS time of year is when many of us venture to the theatre to enjoy a pantomime (oh no it’s not).

But exactly 40 years ago this week more than 40 excited theatregoers found themselves in their own drama when flooding saw them stranded in floods between Stairfoot and Cundy Cross (oh yes they did).

A party of 22 children and 21 adults set out on a coach for Barnsley’s Civic Hall to enjoy the annual show.

But their journey ended up with them having to be ferried to safety by means of a small boat sailing along the main road between Stairfoot and Cundy Cross.

“What a performance,” said one of the party, “Without even reaching our seats at the Civic.”

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They were trapped in their coach by rising flood waters in Grange Lane.

Continuous rain through the day had resulted in the River Dearne bursting its bank and flooding the area to a level which meant residents of old people’s bungalows had to be evacuated.

Panto trip organiser Joan Lewis, of Scawsby, near Doncaster, told the Chronicle at the time: “When it was realised that we were trapped by the flood waters there was a certain amount of panic among some of the children, but after a while they began to treat the whole affair as an adventure.

“We shall certainly remember the day we went to the Barnsley panto because we never got there. By the time the rescue had taken place and duplicate transport arranged it was already time to go back home.”

The pictures show the ’lifeboat’ in action, and a group of the happy trippers after the event.