THE children of a well-known historian who wrote about many of Barnsley’s communities have donated his precious works to Barnsley Archives.

John Charles Hardy was born 102 years ago in Elsecar to a family of miners, both paternal and maternal.

He was extremely interested in his roots, both ancestral and the Barnsley area.

For his own interest, John - who married Edith Firth - researched and wrote histories of the parishes of Darfield, Tankersley and Wath-upon-Dearne and also collected cuttings about the township of Elsecar and Hoyland.

To mark what would have been their father’s 102nd birthday which would have been on Tuesday, Jane Ainsworth - who followed in her father’s footsteps and became a historian - and her siblings Ruth, Paul and Kathryn decided to donate his work to Barnsley Archives to enable other people to enjoy his efforts.

His legacy includes the four original history notebooks, with transcriptions and scans, as well as the transcription of his CV to 1960.

Jane said: “Mum and dad instilled in us an appreciation of culture and heritage.

“From a young age they showed us round Roman sites, castles and cathedrals and we have all continued to develop our related interests.

“I miss them both enormously - my biggest regret is that they died before any of my books were published and that I could not share with them the success of various heritage projects, such as framing the Barnsley Pals’ Colours.

“Dad especially would appreciate the huge amount of additional research I’ve carried out into his Hardy, Bailey and Ostcliffe family trees.

“Although he did not write them for public consumption, I feel that dad would be flattered to have his collection in Barnsley Archives for others to make use of.”