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Dr. Rice K. Evans, the American Vice Consul in Sheffield, lived in Totley from 1909 until 1928 when he returned to America. Our article on the history of the talented Evans Family was based largely on on-line databases and newspaper archives. The Internet helps us discover so much but it cannot tell us what makes a person tick. We are immensely grateful therefore to Otho Eskin who has sent us a number of personal recollections about his grandfather and the family's time in Totley. This final article recalls how, with the war ended and his children safely back home in America, Rice Evans used to visit the Continent to gamble.
The world changed in 1914 with the beginning of World War I. About this time, my grandmother became ill with tuberculosis. I expect she found it increasingly difficult to take care of all her children. In addition, Sheffield was a major steel producing center in England and there was concern that the Germans would bomb the city.
So, in 1915, the Evans children were put on a boat and returned to America with my mother, then aged 14, in charge. (The ship they sailed on was torpedoed by a German submarine on the return trip to England.)
Rice Evans and Louise stayed on in England and she died in Sheffield of tuberculosis. Thus, my mother never saw her again.
During the war my grandfather served as a volunteer night surgeon in a military hospital. A year after his wife’s death (May 24, 1919), Rice Evans married Dorothy Davis who was chief nurse in the army hospital. It does seem as though my grandfather had no interest in returning to America or rejoining his children any time soon.
My grandfather appears to have continued his active life. He used to take long hikes through the moors and did mountain climbing in Wales. After the end of World War I, he traveled to the Continent from time to time to gamble.
He used to tell of playing roulette at the casino at Biarritz and how, one time, he broke the bank. Breaking the bank meant that one of the players won so much on a spin of the wheel that the croupier did not have enough cash (or chips) on the table to cover the bet. At which point all gambling stopped (briefly) and champagne brought out to celebrate the event. According to my grandfather, this was all a bit fraudulent because, at least when he broke the bank, the stakes were not very high. The casino just wanted someone to break the bank every so often to keep other players interested. (Just as modern-day casinos rig a few slot machines to produce jackpots frequently.)
In the early 1920’s the State Department combined the Diplomatic and Consular services and I expect that, as a result, my grandfather was forced to resign his consular position. For whatever reason, in 1928 he and his new wife left Sheffield and sailed to America. They lived in Dayton where he worked as head of personnel in a factory that built electric motors until his retirement. I met him a few times while traveling with Cornelia. He lived a quiet, uneventful life and died in 1957.
Sometime, I don’t recall the exact year, I accompanied my mother on a visit to Totley. (This was a sentimental journey.) We were standing in front of the house where she lived and she spoke briefly to a lady who lived in the village and told her that she had lived on this very street. The lady kindly corrected my mother and explained that they didn’t have streets in Totley: they have lanes.
Wednesday 27 April 2012
The speaker for our April meeting was Janet Ridler who talked to us about the history of Sheffield and its Cathedral: 900 years of history in one building.
The earliest Christian worship in Sheffield was in the early 9th century where the Sheffield Cross dating from Saxon times was on the site of the Sheffield Cathedral. Elizabeth I ordered it to be taken down and it eventually turned up minus the cross in Park Hill and was being used by a cutler as a trough. It is now displayed in the British Museum.
We were told about influential Sheffield people in the stained glass windows of the Cathedral.
Earl Waltheof was the last surviving Saxon lord of the Manor of Hallamshire, an ancient area including Sheffield, parts of Rotherham and North Derbyshire.
William de Lovetot was a Norman Lord of the Manor who created the first Castle with a boundary moat and built the first church on the site around 1101. It was where his great granddaughter married into the Furnival family which then began the Furnival era.
Gerard de Furnival was a Norman knight who inherited the lordship of Hallamshire upon marriage to Maud de Lovetot. He fought in the Crusades and died there in 1219.
In 1266 the castle and church were burnt down and then rebuilt by 1280. In 1386 Sheffield was established as a market town by Royal Charter. Cutlery and blades had already been made here for many years.
At the end of the 1300s the Sheffield population was 2,200. It was the end of the Furnival male line and the estate passed to the Nevil family, Maud Nevil married John Talbot. John was a famous soldier who served under Henry IV, V and VI and who was mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV part I. He had much military success and was given the title of the first Earl of Shrewsbury. He was the person who was in charge in Sheffield and was someone with local significance and nationally known. He did not spend much time in Sheffield.
The eastern part of the Cathedral is the oldest part of the building where the medieval church was rebuilt and materials reused from Norman masonry. In 1468 the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury was born and called George. He made his home at Sheffield Castle, but it was not grand enough for him so he decided to build a new manor house on the land above where the railway station now stands. At the time this land was one of the largest deer parks in the country. This became Manor Lodge. It was high standard accommodation, top people stayed here including Cardinal Wolsey. He also built his family a private chapel at the Cathedral with a burial vault underneath. He died in 1538 and was buried in the vault.
The 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot, was the most powerful of the Talbots; he was a member of Elizabeth I’s court. His first wife had 7 children and, after her death, he married again to Bess of Hardwick. He was Bess’s 4th husband and she became the Countess of Shrewsbury, a very rich lady. Her eldest son married George’s daughter and his daughter married one of her sons. A year later George and Bess were asked by Elizabeth I to look after Mary Queen of Scots who was under house arrest. This lasted for 18 years, 14 of them in Sheffield in both the castle and the Manor Lodge.
George spent a lot of time with Mary, and Bess was unhappy about this. By the time of Mary’s death he was a broken man and after this time up to his death in 1590 he lived his last few years in Handsworth with his housekeeper. There is a monument dedicated to him in the cathedral.
The 17th century was the time of the civil war and in 1644 there was a siege at the castle and the castle was destroyed.
In the 18th century housing started to increase and the population grew. This also brought filthy living conditions and disease. In just over 50 years the population had tripled. Sheffield was known nationally as a producer of steel, people lived amongst the factories. Workhouses were built to look after the destitute; children as young as 5 were working in the steel factories and a grinder’s life expectancy was 27 years. The church was finding it hard to cater for these people so major work was planned to enlarge the church with existing galleries and pews being removed.
On the western side of Sheffield, houses were built for the middle class and the factory owners; there are memorials to some of these in the cathedral.
In 1893 Sheffield was granted City status and a new diocese was created. In 1914 the Parish Church became the Sheffield Cathedral and architects were invited to put forward plans to make it more imposing. Funds were raised and work began in 1930s. The north side was completed in 1939 and was officially opened by Princess Mary. However, no further work took place due to the start of World War II. The stained glass was hidden down a mineshaft and windows were boarded up.
By the end of the war there was no appetite to continue with the project.
During the 1950s and 1960s the slum clearances took place and again the question of what to do about the Cathedral was raised and work was completed to allow more light in the west end. The Cathedral now comprised of 15th , 19th and 20th century work. Work has been completed in the last few years to improve the accessibility of the entrance and there is also now a shop.
Janet was thanked for a very fascinating talk.
We would like to thank our many readers for their correspondence in recent times.
We have been surprised and delighted to receive correspondence from members of the family of Dr. Rice K. Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 to 1928. Our article on the Evans Family was one of the earliest to appear on our website in the spring of 2013. Brian Duckworth, from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, wrote to say how much he enjoyed reading the article. Brian married Rice's great granddaughter Katherine Evans Eskin. Katherine's sister, Cornelia (Neal), who lives in Munich, had come across the article and mentioned it to other members of the family. Brian's email was followed shortly afterwards by one from the sisters' father, Otho Evans Eskin. Otho has sent us extracts from his memoirs and given us permission to publish them together with several family photographs.
Mark Day wrote to us to see whether it was still possible to purchase a copy of Edward Mayor's fine historical map of Totley. We have none left ourselves but we were able to put Mark in touch with Edward who was able to send him a copy. Arrangements are being made with Edward to undertake a small reprint and offer the maps for sale through the Totley History Group website.
Over the years there has been a good deal of debate in the pages of Totley Independent about the origins and history of Scouting in our area. Andrew Jones has pointed out an error in the article A Little Scouting History which we have now amended. Andrew also told us about the excellent website at www.sheffieldscoutarchives.org.uk which tells the history of Scouting in the City of Sheffield from 1909 until the mid-1990s when the City Association was discontinued and Sheffield Districts were absorbed into the County.
Wylma Stevenson has read the first instalment of Anne White's article in issue 379 of Totley Independent and asks where the Chemical Yard was located. We have been able to send her a map of the Totley Rise area in 1898 with Totley Chemical Works clearly marked between the Totley Brook and Queen Victoria Road. The yard was where Tinker & Siddall first manufactured chemicals in the 1840s. By 1857 Tinker & Co. had extensive chemical works there and, by 1889, Thomas Kilner was manufacturing pyroliginous acid, naptha and charcoal. The area was later used for various purposes including a blacksmiths, the Brookvale Laundry and C. J. Marcroft's builders yard. The structures that remain from those early days are Back Lane, Brookvale Cottage, Ford Cottage and the cobbles from the old ford across the brook that was later replaced by a footbridge. We have also provided Wylma with links to Anne's earlier articles and the Oral History she kindly recorded for us.
We had two enquires from New Zealand within 24 hours of each other. Jenny Roberts is putting together a family history and is interested in finding out more about her husband's second great uncle, John Roberts, the silversmith and benefactor who lived at Abbeydale Hall from 1851 until his death in 1888 and who paid for the building of St. John's Church. In particular, Jenny would love to find a portrait or photograph of her ancestor. So far we have been unable to help so if you know of one we would be delighted to hear from you. Murray Bardsley, who lives in Hamilton, will be visiting our area and hopes to find the grave of Robert Bardsley, his grandfather's brother, who died in infancy and was buried at Christ Church, Dore in 1902. It seems probable that there is no gravestone. We have contacted the Parish Office who inform us that there is a plan to the location of burials but, as the graveyard is full, responsibility now rests with Sheffield City Council and they have kindly agreed to pursue the enquiry on our behalf.
John Johnson has sent us two more photographs of his father Maurice Johnson. One photograph shows Maurice in his WW1 uniform and we have added it to the short biography that we compiled after our exhibition at the United Reformed Church. The other photograph shows Maurice together with other members of the Cross Scythes Bowling Club, and is the second of such photographs that John has sent us. We would like to know when these two photographs were taken and the names of other people in them.
Jerry Wilkes wrote in appreciation of Ted Hancock's latest talk and of our website as an information source for the family history that he and his cousin Brian Ward are undertaking. Jerry was born in Totley, the son of Bertha and Ted Wilkes who had a painter and decorator's business at 329 Baslow Road. For a few years after leaving school, Jerry worked on Totley Hall and Moneybrook Farms before a career change in 1959 took him into Sheffield City Police. For a time he worked on the Dore and Totley motorcycle beats where his local knowledge was put to good use. In 1965 he transferred to the police force in Somerset, where he now lives.
Paul Hibberd was a schoolmate of Clive Bellamy between 1953 and 1959 and was delighted to see the Totley County School class photographs that Clive and wife Sue have sent in. Paul reckons that between them they could probably name around 90 per cent of the children.
Jonathan Nicholas has read Christine Weaving's article on our website about George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor grinder and friend of Edward Carpenter, the academic, poet, writer and free-thinker. Jonathan has traced The Hukin Family history back to the early 1800s when the family first arrived in England.
Clive and Sue Bellamy sent us two wonderful pictures of a May Queen ceremony and a puzzle. The event took place around 1953 and Sue knew the identity of three of the five girls in the pictures but couldn't name the other two. With the help of Peter Swift we now think we have found the answer to this particular puzzle. Clive went on to tell us that his father was Harry Bellamy who was park keeper in Greenoak Park for several years until he died in 1970 at the early age of 51. Clive would love to have a picture of his dad in his uniform, but unfortunately he hasn't been able to find one. Can anyone help please?
Annie Bradford has been looking for images of Totley Grange, the big house that she lived in as child from around 1954 to 1960. Annie remembers an elderly lady called Mrs Flowerday who was a trustee of the Earnshaw Trust which owned the property. The house had been divided into flats and Annie remembers the grounds included a sunken garden, a semi-circular paddock, woods which were home to a large rookery, and a huge monkey puzzle tree. She also remembers the long sweeping drive with a lodge house at the entrance on Baslow Road. Picture Sheffield has a photo of this lodge house (ref S05413) but we have never seen a photo of the Grange itself other than in the background of a photograph that appeared in Totley Independent Issue 352, when it was being used by J G Graves Ltd. as a wireless depot. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has, or who knows of, any photos of Totley Grange which was demolished in 1964-65 to make way for the Wimpey estate.
Phil Kelly has seen our article on the Evans Family of Ohio. Dr. Rice Kemper Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 until 1928 when he returned to the United States. He was an acclaimed rock climber and Phil has located several photographs of Evans, three of which are included in the book Peak Rock which Phil co-authored.
Robert Lunn, from Melton Mowbray, was one of many railway enthusiasts who came to listen to Ted Hancock's excellent talk about the Dore and Chinley Railway. Both of Robert's maternal great grandfathers worked on this railway line; one was a stone mason who lived in Hathersage and the other, Duncan Macfarlane, who lived on Totley Rise, was the cashier for Thomas Oliver & Sons, the contractors who built the section of line between Dore & Totley and Hope stations.
Kevin Randell has recently moved into a house on Abbeydale Road South and is interested in learning more about the history of the area, being fascinated by the old carved gateposts that stand close to his house. These belonged to Brinkburn Grange which was demolished around 1938. The history of the Grange has appeared in several of the books written by Brian Edwards and in articles he wrote for Totley Independent and Dore to Door. At first Brian believed that the Grange had been built in the late 1880s but he later revised this date to 1882-83, saying that it had been built by Thomas B. Matthews, head of Turton Brothers and Matthews, the Sheffield steel, file and spring manufacturers, who lived there until 1892. On looking at newspaper articles and advertisements, however, we now believe that Brinkburn Grange was built in 1873, around the same time as St. John's Church, Abbeydale, and probably by the same person, John Roberts of Abbeydale Hall. The crenellated styles of the two buildings are similar and it was John Roberts who in March 1872 sold off the fixtures and fittings of the old Bradway Mill which stood nearby. When Roberts sold the Abbeydale Park estate to Ebenezer Hall in 1880 it would have included Brinkburn Grange and West View Cottage. Certainly by March 1884, Hall owned the whole of this estate as witnessed by his protracted dispute with the promoters of the Dore and Chinley Railway. Brinkburn Grange was offered to let in September 1873. The first occupant appears to have been John Unwin Wing, a chartered accountant, who lived there from 1874 until he moved to Totley Hall in 1881. After Thomas Matthews, Brinkburn Grange was occupied by Douglas Vickers, director of Vickers, Sons & Co., engineers, until 1897, then James William Elliot, a cutlery manufacturer, until 1904. By the time of the 1911 Census, Dr. John Henry Wales Laverick, the managing directory of Tinsley Park Colliery Co. Ltd, was living at Brinkburn Grange, and the Lavericks were still living there after the war. Our research continues.
Fred Row has written to us to see whether we know anything about the old stone ruins by the side of the railway line at the foot of Poynton Wood, where Fred played as a youth in the 1950s. We strongly suspect that Fred is referring to the remains of the grotto (or folly) belonging to Ebenezer Hall of Abbeydale Hall whose grounds were cut in two by the building of the railway line in the latter part of the 19th century. The grotto was built against a spring at the foot of the wooded Bradway Bank and Ebenezer would take his guests across a now lost footbridge over the River Sheaf to have afternoon tea in this shady spot. The remains including two large stone pillars can still be found amongst the undergrowth.
Clive and Sue Bellamy (nee Beatson) have sent us six class photographs dating from the 1950s which we have added to our Totley County School photo gallery. Sue seems to remember that the teacher in this June 1956 photograph was not at the school for very long before moving to Hong Kong but she cannot remember her name. Perhaps you can assist?
Paul Gardner has alerted us to the death in Totley of his great grandmother's brother, Frederick Charles Bell, a 24 year old engine tenter who died on 17 July 1891. The death certificate shows the place of death as "Totley Bents" and the cause of death as "accidentally crushed between the cogwheels of a winding engine". Paul had assumed that Frederick was working on the construction of Totley Tunnel and he wanted to know more about the accident. We have been able to trace a newspaper account (now added to our Newspaper Archive) which says that Frederick was employed by the Totley Moor Fire Brick Company to operate a stationary engine used to haul heavy waggons up a steep slope out of the brickyard. We know that in response to numerous fines for conveying heavily laded waggons along the public highway, a light tramway had been built from the brickyard running about half a mile over Totley Moor to number 4 airshaft where the bricks could be lowered down the shaft. It would appear that Frederick died when he was attempting to lift the engine and his clothes became trapped in the machinery. His body was taken to the Cricket Inn which in those days was used both as a temporary mortuary and as a place for holding inquests.
Vicky Marsh has written to us about her grandmother, Mary Shaw, who was brought up in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1919 and 1930 and who went on to marry a bank manager, settle in the south-east and retire to a lovely thatched farmhouse cottage in Cornwall. With three children and five grandchildren of her own, Mary gave the appearance of having a completely conventional background, only revealing her upbringing in an orphanage later in her life. We were delighted to be able to give Vicky copies of the Cherrytree records that we hold and identify her grandmother in a 1927 All Saints' School photograph. It was the first time the family had seen a photo of Mary as a child.
Richard Verrill has told us the story of how, in 1940, his father came to buy and rebuild a wrecked MG P-type car, registration MG 3880, that previously belonged to Pilot Officer Douglas Shepley of Woodthorpe Hall. The car had been borrowed by another RAF pilot who had unfortunately driven it into the back of a tramcar during the blackout. Richard hopes to trace any early photographs or recollections of the vehicle, and also to find out what became of the car after it was sold by his father. We have been able to put him in touch with Dick Shepley, himself an MG enthusiast, who has old photographs of the car and the log book dating from when it belonged to his uncle.
David Bindley tells us that his father Lawrence Ernald Bindley was born in 1899 and lived at Rose Villa, Totley Brook Road. He was called up to serve in WW1 and was listed as a schoolboy; subsquently he was called up again in 1939 for WW2 and was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force, lucky to return to Britain through Dunkirk. David has more family history information which he has kindly offered to send us.
Ted Jones has been in touch with us regarding the family of Ethelbert Theaker who, with his wife Helena, ran a newsagent and tobacconist shop at the bottom of Totley Rise in the early part of the 20th century. Ted is the great grandson of Ethelbert's sister, Harriet Maud Theaker. We are very grateful to Ted for the information he has supplied including a family tree and this delightful photo card of Ethelbert's mother, Ruth, which dates from 1904 when she ran the Britannia Acadamy at Old Havelock House, 2 Myrtle Street, Heeley. She styled herself Mme. Theaker M.B.A.T.D., (Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and later U.K.A (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance). She advertised her Adult Learners' and Improvers Classes regularly in the Sheffield newspapers teaching "Waltz, Schottische, Lancers and Veleta" in one term.
Chris Hobbs has sent us a cutting from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Monday, 23rd February 1920 which we have transcribed and added to our Newspaper Archive. The cutting relates to the death and funeral of Jack Slack, a well-known and much loved local man who received a very favourable mention in part five of the memoirs of Dan Reynolds. Dore Christ Church parish records show the burial of John Hollely Slack, aged 58, of Croft House Farm on 21st February 1920.
Eric Renshaw has been in touch with us from South Staffordshire. Eric grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960 and he remembers many of the people and places mentioned in articles that feature on our website. Eric has very kindly written down his memories, many of which are of a sporting nature, and supplied us with a lot of photographs.
The photograph below is of Dore and Totley High School in May 1933. It was given to us by Gordon Grayson of Brook Hall. Gordon, who is in his nineties, cannot now remember any of the names of the students other than his own. Perhaps there is someone on the photograph that you can recognize?
When our website was created in September 2012, one of the first items it carried was a request for information about Eileen Keatley from her daughter Vita (or Vida?) Anderson. Whilst our own research uncovered a few facts about Eileen's family links in Totley, that's as far as it went. Recently, however, Chris Foster and Gladys Smith have separately been in touch with us to say they think they may be able to help. Unfortunately with the passing of time and changes in our administration, we have lost the enquirer's address. If you are out there Mrs Anderson, can you please get it touch with us?
Linda Roberts contacted us asking for help in tracing her great grandfather, James Hunter Smith. who had married Maria Sutherland at Dore, Christ Church in 1886. We were able to tell Linda that James came to Totley as head gardener to William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, probably in 1884. James and Maria Smith had two sons. William James was baptized in March 1889 and Albert in July 1890, both at Dore, Christ Church but by 1891 the family had moved to Attercliffe, where James and Maria remained for the rest of their lives.
Mark Richards spotted on Facebook a Memorial in Crookes Cemetery "to commemorate the unknown Irish navvies who died building the Totley Tunnel circa 1880 R.I.P." and wanted to know who placed it there and why. The question of whether significant numbers of Irish navvies were involved in building the Totley Tunnel has long been debated. Official records say not but stories passed down through generations say that scores of Irish navvies may have died from accidents and disease but, being immigrants, their deaths were never recorded.
John Skelton wonders whether anyone can shed any light on the origin of Sarah Booker, who was born in Totley around 1783. Sarah married John's great great grandfather, James Skelton, at Handsworth in September 1811 and was a farmer and widow by the time of the 1851 census when she was living at Hollins End, Handsworth with her four children, John (bc. 1815), Elizabeth (bc. 1823) James (bc 1828) and Sophia (bc. 1831). She died in 1867 aged 84 and is buried at Christ Church, Gleadless. At the time of Sarah's birth, Totley was part of Dronfield Parish, of course, and many baptisms would have taken place there or at Holmesfield. The Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910 Transcription indeed shows a baptism at Holmesfield on 19 July 1782 of a Sarah Booker, daughter of Rebeckah Booker; the father's name is not recorded. Could this be John's great great grandmother?
Although no longer living in our area, Marlene Marshall continues to follow the progress of the history group and to send us items from time to time, the latest being a photograph of the grave of David Stanley, who fought with the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava and who later lived at the top of Queen Victoria Road where the block of flats named Balaclava House now stands.
David Baldwin is helping to set up an archive of items of historical interest relating to the former Sheffield Hospitals including a collection of brass and stainless steel plaques which were once affixed to the walls of wards at the former Royal Hospital and Royal Infirmary to commemorate the generosity of donors in giving funds for the endowment of beds. David recently came across a plaque saying "This Cot was Endowed by the "Dots and Tots" Concert Party from the Proceeds of Concerts Given Between the Years 1922-1929" and believes this could refer to the Totley Rise Dots and Tots group of Pierrots which, according to a brief report in the Sheffield Telegraph, comprised Miss Muriel Gummer, Miss Lorna Skill, Miss Muriel Dyson together with Messrs Gilbert Smith, F. Chambers and J. Kay plus accompanist. David would like to know more about the troupe. Lorna Skill is mentioned as a soprano in the All Saints' Parish Magazine in 1923 and again in 1924. She also performed with the Croft House Settlement Operatic Society. She was "Susan" in their 1927 production of The Toreador. The Sheffield Star of 21 February 1928 reports their production of The Arcadians at the Lyseum and mentions "Lorna Skill has some difficulty with the Irish brogue, but otherwise on the whole is satisfactory as Eileen Cavanagh."
Heather Rotherham has written to us concerning her great grandfather, John Thomas Osborne, who was a general labourer and who came to live in Totley around the time of the building of the Totley tunnel and remained until his death in 1936. He married twice, firstly to Ada Eliza Dalton in 1893, and then to Mary Jackson in 1903, both times at Christ Church, Dore. Follow the link to an inside page for more information on the children of the two marriages and a connection with the family of Albert Green. Heather believes that she has traced John's birth in Downham Market, on 29 March 1871 but she would love to know more about his earlier life and would also like to contact any of his descendants.
Anthony Cosgrove has written to us asking about a property in our area known as The Dingle, Totley Bank, designed by the arts and crafts movement architect Edgar Wood. Anthony had spotted a newspaper advertisement for the auction of the property in the 1920s. The first appearance in our records of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, is in White's Trade Directory for 1904 when the property was inhabited by Rev. William Blackshaw, a Congregational Minister for the Croft House Settlement. In 1922 it was bought at auction by Bill Carter's father, Walter Carter, a steel worker with Armstrong Whitworth.
Val Brodie has sent us memories of Cherry Tree where her mother Barbara Spring worked from about 1935 until she left to marry in June 1940, when she was termed assistant matron. Val's letter and a lovely photograph of her mum are reproduced in full in this inside page about Cherry Tree Orphanage in the 1930s.
Stephen Acaster, a local military historian, has responded to our request for help in identifying two unknown WW1 soldiers from our area. From elements of their uniforms, Stephen has been able to positively identify their regiments.
We are delighted to hear again from Stella McGuire who has sent us a copy of the January 2015 edition of ACID (Archaeology and Conservation in Derbyshire). The magazine contains a fascinating article which Stella has written with colleague Stuart Nunn of the Eastern Moors Partnership on The Search for the Totley Towers: the missing sighting towers used in connection with the construction of the Totley Tunnel. The article includes a spectacular photograph of a similar surving observation tower at Carlesmoor, North Yorkshire.
Sandra Woods is helping a friend to research the family of Charles Smith, who lived at the Old School House in Totley Hall Lane. Although there were several similarly named men in Totley in the early part of the 20th century, we have been able to confirm we have the correct one from the 1936-37 Register of Electors. We have then been able to trace his wife, Lucy Isabella Hill, and their children and several of Lucy's ancestors from transcriptions of Dore Christ Church Parish Registers. Before moving to the Old School House, the Smiths were neighbours of Jo Rundle at Lane Head and she mentions them several times in her autobiography and in the articles she wrote for Totley Independent.
Jacqueline A. Gibbons has written to us from Toronto, Canada about her father, John Humphrey Gibbons, who went into WW1 as a Royal Naval mechanic, then a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and later RAF. John had two brothers, Tom and George. The family lived at Inglewood, Totley Brook Road in 1916. She would like more information about her family and the house they lived in. After some investigation, we believe the house to be number 24, one of the pair of Victorian semis next to the new URC church hall. We have been able to trace Jacqueline's father in census and military records, of which more later. Jacqueline's email has stimulated us into making faster progress with a gazetteer of street and house names which we hope will be useful; a first step has been to catalogue all of the 1900 or so current Totley addresses and postcodes.
Andrew Russell, who now lives in Hertfordshire, has told us about an article he is writing on the way the railway coming to Totley from Sheffield had an impact on the village and over time changed the area. Part of the article looks at John Ruskin's St. George's Farm. Andrew's article is to be published in The Companion, the journal of the Guild of St. George.
We have exchanged several emails with John Johnson, the youngest of Maurice and Annie Johnson's six sons, about his parents who lived at Lane Head, Baslow Road. Maurice was another of Totley's young men who fought in and survived the First World War and later played an active role in the community.
Paul Wise has written to us to clarify some of the detail in Bill Glossop's article about Harry Brearley. Paul's mother was Barbara Brearley Wise, the daughter of George Henry (Harry) and Nellie Bull who are mentioned in the article. We have appended Paul's letter in full at the foot of Bill's article for you to read.
We have heard from Reg Stones who was an under gardener at Beauchief Hall in the early 1950s, although for the last fifty years has lived in Dorset. Reg has been recounting his memories of the house and work at that time. There are connections with the Milner and Wilson families of course.
Chris Fletcher has written to us about a possible family history connection with Samuel Hopkinson, the local farmer and scythe maker who in or around 1818 opened the Cross Scythes Inn.
Howard Clay is another correspondent with an interest in family history. Howard noticed an article on our website about Charles and Elsie Coates, who were children of Charles and Elizabeth Coates, living at Oldway (Oldhay) Forge at the time of the 1901 census. Elsie Coates was Howard's grandmother.
Professor Martin Jones has written to us to try to obtain information about the history of his new home, Cotsford, Totley Brook Road. The house is built on the plot previously occupied by Rose Bank, which itself was the subject of a recent enquiry by Maggie O'Keefe.
We are delighted to hear from Paul Bennett who is a new resident to Totley and who works at the Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Paul has sent us a video clip of the demolition of the Totley Hall College tower which took place on Thursday, 12 August 1999. Tap or click on the photograph above to see the video and read about the demolition.
Chris Pearson, who lives in Somerset, has written to us to see whether we can help him find out more about a railway accident in Totley Tunnel in which his wife's grandfather was killed. We have been able to trace a report of the accident in the Derbyshire Times for 18 August 1944. A Hathersage man, Oscar Andrews was a platelayer working in the tunnel when he was struck by a passing light engine.
Whilst mentioning the tunnel, Ted Hancock - who gave us a fascinating and well-attended talk on the Railway Navvies - has been in touch about material he has spotted on our website. We are very grateful to Ted for his expertise in putting us right on a couple of matters and look forward to seeing his forthcoming book on the whole of the Dore & Chinley Railway.
Roy Ward, whose mother Nora Green lived on Chapel Walk, contacted us with the offer of material from the period of the Great War. Roy has now sent us a number of photographs that belonged to his parents. In some cases the subject of the photograph is known, in other cases not. The photograph above is of Roy's grandfather, Maurice Ward Senior who lived at 1 Grange Terrace. Maurice worked for the Derbyshire County Council as a road foreman.
Maggie O'Keefe has been in touch with us regarding her great grandfather's sister, Elizabeth Peel, who lived at Rose Bank on Totley Brook Road in the 1900s and who is buried in Dore churchyard.
Helen Thorne has written to us about her grandfather Frank Clarke and his sister Lucy Clarke who were at Cherrytree in the 1920s. We have been able to provide Helen with some additional information about what happened to her relatives after they left the orphanage.
Vince Bodsworth, who now lives in Wiltshire, has contacted us with the offer of a comprehensive history of the Ellison Family going back to around 1500. Vince is a grandson of Cymbert Edward Ellison, the younger son of the barrister Thomas Edward Ellison who lived at Totley Grove from the late 1890s until his death in 1920.
We have heard from George Howard Waterfall, great great grandson of John Waterfall, the landowner and businessman who is thought to have built Totley Grove. He has given us some further information about descendants of his great grandfather and his namesake and also pointed out an erroneous date in our article on the Waterfall Brothers which has now been corrected.
Frank Lawson has an interest in old South Yorkshire bricks and recently came across one with C B & Co impressed in the frog on one side of the brick and Totley impressed on the reverse side. Totley has a long history of brickmaking at Moor Edge. Around 1877 George Chadwick began brick and terra cotta manufacture there. Chadwick later entered a partnership with a Mr. Barker, and Frank's brick is likely to have been made by Chadwick, Barker & Co. which in 1881 became the Totley Terra Cotta & Fire Brick Company Limited although the old partnership name was still in use for trading purposes in 1883-84.
Tim Mole, The Editor of The New Mosquito, The Journal of the Salonika Campaign Society, 1915-1918, was kind enough to send us a copy of the issue containing an article by Norman Briffa on Early Heart Surgery on Salonika Casualty. The article tells the remarkable story of Robert Hugh Martin and makes use of a photograph and some material from our booklet Totley War Memorial WW1, 1914-1918.
Diane Neal has written to us from Leicestershire. Diane is researching the Hopkinson family in our area and believes she may be related to the farmer and scythe maker Samuel Hopkinson, who in about 1818 took the opportunity to open the Cross Scythes pub when the new turnpike road was built past his farm.
Peter Oates asked for our help to find the grave of Thomas Biggin of Dore Fields who died in 1861 and is buried in Christ Church graveyard. The gravestone inscription is rather memorable and it was mentioned in Dore to Door Issue 69. Although not among the photographs of gravestones that we had previously uploaded to the website, we have been able to find a copy in our image archive.
Richard Isaac of Brisbane, Queensland, is researching the history of his great grandfather Charles Isaac and his son Arthur Isaac who worked on the Totley Tunnel and were recorded in the 1891 Census at No. 4 Shaft. Charles was an experienced tunnelling worker and had previously worked for Thomas Andrew Walker, the contractor on the Severn tunnel (constructed between 1873 and 1886) and who went with Walker to start work on the Manchester Ship Canal in 1887 before moving to Totley.
John Mottershaw, grandson of the local film producer Frank Mottershaw, has given us a considerable amount of information on the Mottershaw family history and the development of the Sheffield Photo Company which we shall be writing up for the website shortly. John has also very kindly given us permission to publish a photograph taken during the filming of Robbery of the Mailcoach in 1903.
We have also heard from Fiona Lloyd, a great granddaughter of Frank Mottershaw and the granddaughter of Mrs. Spring, who for more than 50 years ran a sweet shop at 51 Baslow Road. Fiona is helping us with her memories of Totley Rise shops and with the Mottershaw family history.
Finally, sisters Jane Wright and Lisa Brassey who run the Rendezvous Cafe are tracing the history of the shops at the top of Mickley Lane and Main Avenue. Any old photographs of the shops that you may have would be of particular interest. If you are able to help, please contact us at our usual email address:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Edwards' archive of historical material on Totley is now kept in Totley Library and is usually accessible by appointment only. However, Totley History Group is holding an Open Morning on Saturday, 9th July, between 10 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. Please come to see the fascinating research Brian undertook over many years. We look forward to seeing you.
We would like to remind you that Totley Open Gardens takes place during the weekend of 16th and 17th July between 1pm and 5pm on both days. Admission is by programme which can be obtained in advance from The Ironing Parlour, Mand Made and Totley Library from two weeks before the event or from outside The Ironing Parlour and the Cross Scythes on the weekend of the event. The price is £4 per person for admission to all the gardens. All proceeds are for the benefit of local charities and organisations, which in past years has included Totley History Group.
Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, 20th July, when John B. Taylor will be giving a talk called Curiosities of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. You are invited to travel on a serendipitous journey around both counties enjoying the strange, happy and tragic coincidences of history and circumstance. In Totley Library, beginning at 7.30 p.m.
Our first meeting after the summer break will be on Wednesday, 28th September when Mike Spick will give a talk on A-Z of Sheffield. Mike presents a potted history of the city in 26 alphabetically arranged snippets that includes queens, philanthropists and railways. This event has been rearranged from February. It begins at 7.30 p.m. in Totley Library.
A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.
Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections.
John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.
The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure.
Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Abbeydale Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.
Like many of his family, George Edward Hukin was a razor grinder. Jonathan Nicholas traces the family history back to his great great grandmother, Jane Maria Hukin, pictured above.
Clive and Sue Bellamy gave us two marvelous pictures of a May Queen ceremony taken around 1953. They could remember some of the names but couldn't name the two elder girls holding the train. Now with the help of Peter Swift, we think we have identified everyone in the pictures.
When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.
Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.
Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.
We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore.
Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.
When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.
Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built around 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. Perhaps you can you help us discover more about this property or you know of other buildings in our area designed by this leading arts and crafts movement architect?
What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine.
We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.
On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.
Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.
Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.
Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.
Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation the steel industry.
Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.
The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.
Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives.
We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale and Norton.
Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.
This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"
As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.
We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.
Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.
We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about John Roberts and the building of St. John's Church. There are several about the history of Brinkburn Grange and its first occupier, John Unwin Wing, an accountant who later lived at Totley Hall before being convicted of forgery and fraud and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in Pentonville gaol. There are more than 50 articles from the 1880s and 1890s about Joseph Mountain and the Victoria Gardens, and twenty on the construction of the Totley Tunnel and the Dore and Chinley Railway.
Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village.
Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!
Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.
Read the inscriptions on more than 600 gravestones in the churchyard.
Find your ancestors in our transcription of the 1911 Census which has been extended to cover the whole of Dore and Totley.
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