Megan Wallace explores the Barnsley Chronicle archives - 1986.

THE familiar click of the bus ticket machine and the cries of “fares please” will be lost from Barnsley buses forever.

Because today the last 17 conductors employed by Yorkshire Traction swap their badges for redundancy payments.

And two of the longest-serving members of the Yorkshire Traction team are Anne Whitehead and Jean Allen, both from Kingstone, who have clipped thousands of tickets and met hundreds of people.

Jean and Anne have each been on the buses for over 30 years.

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They have seen many changes but consider the loss of the conductor service a disaster.

“The personal touch will be lost forever,” said Jean.

“It’s a very sad day.”

THE building of a 21st century technology planetarium and the roofing over of the town’s pedestrianised shopping area have been floated as ways of boosting trade in the town.

Both ideas were this week put to the Barnsley Council working party set up to improve the town’s image.

The suggestion to build a planetarium has been made by Barnsley Junior Chamber of Commerce who see it as rivalling York’s Jorvik Centre and Alton Towers as a major attraction.

Barnsley Chamber of Trade have suggested a roof be put over Cheapside and Queen Street as a way of competing with Wakefield’s Ridings Centre and Doncaster’s refurbished Frenchgate shopping area.

A SCHEME to help the elderly and one-parent families, to be launched in the Darfield and Dearne areas, will provide work for more than 60 people.

It is hoped that there will be 66 places open for the unemployed on the Little Dearne Link community scheme which will operate in Darfield, Little Houghton, Great Houghton, Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-on-Dearne.

More than 30 unemployed teenagers will be involved in doing gardening tasks for old people

There will also be a group of youngsters helping elderly people with removals.

The organisers of the scheme also want two qualified nursery nurses and six assistants to run a creche for one-parent families in the area who want to go out to work.

BARNSLEY single parents who are bringing up young children now have somewhere to turn when the stress and frustration gets too much.

For Barnsley has its first Gingerbread group - an organisation which offers support to single parents with young children.

And organisers are hoping that this will stop the horrific acts of baby battering reaching the area.

Said Gingerbread secretary, Ann Walker: “We were conscious of the sad rise in baby-battering and were concerned that it may be because single parents often have nowhere to turn for help and the support.

“Sometimes the frustration of brining up a child alone builds up to such a pitch that some people may be tempted to take it out on the children

“If the Gingerbread group is there, then there will be somewhere to turn and people in similar circumstances to talk to.”

THIRTEEN-year-old Helen Keegan, of Ardsley, wrote her own page of ski-ing history in the Yorkshire and Humberside Snow Championships at Glenshee, Scotland, last weekend.

For Ackworth School pupil produced a quite remarkable performance to become the first girl to win the overall title.

In doing so she beat rivals up to seven years her senior, thus emphasising once again the rich potential which she hopes will earn a place in the British team for the 1992 Winter Olympics.

She held off the challenge of 40 competitors, including 19-year-old Pierre Mahon, from Ilkley, who was second overall, two seconds behind the Ardsley girl.

A LIFE-SIZE statue of Bob Geldof - who organised the spectacular Live Aid concert that raised millions of pounds for the the starving in Africa - has just been completed by Barnsley sculptor Roger Pearson.

The statue, made out of plaster and fibre-glass, has been commissioned by the Beatles Appreciation Society as a tribute to Geldof and the Band Aid organisation.

And it is hoped that two or three bronze casts can be made to be sited in London, Dublin and New York to honour Bob Geldof and the millions of people who contributed to the Band Aid Appeal.