Barnsley is a town in South Yorkshire, England, located between Leeds and Sheffield. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town centre lies on the west bank of the Dearne Valley. Barnsley is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the largest and its administrative centre. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297.
A former industrial town, Barnsley is notable for its glass making and coal mining heritage and the National Union of Mineworkers still has its HQ in Barnsley. Although there were once 70 collieries within a 15-mile radius of Barnsley town centre, the last of these closed in 1994. Barnsley is home to a tradition of brass bands, which were originally created as social clubs for the mining communities. One of these, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, is perhaps the best-known brass band in Britain. Other landmarks include the Alhambra Shopping Centre, Oakwell Football Stadium and The Civic, a multi-purpose performance venue. The town is also known as the home of the Barnsley Chop.
In 2002, Barnsley Council began a programme of regeneration centred on the town centre, "Rethinking Barnsley", which is still underway. The main transport hub in Barnsley Interchange, a combined rail and bus station that was opened in 2007 and was the first project in the remaking Barnsley scheme to be completed.
Role in Coronation Street
Jack Walker's mother Joan was a resident of the town, having moved there from Accrington after the death of her husband. By 1962, the 87-year-old had become increasingly frail and Jack had to visit to nurse her through her final battle with bronchitis, which lead to her death on 1st April. Jack returned to Barnsley that June to sort out his mother's estate.
In the same year, performing trio, The Blue Streak Rockets, were banned from the town among other places, owing to the "dubious morality" of their act.