Totley History Group
Totley History Group

Welcome to the Totley History Group Website


We hope you enjoy your visit to our site which celebrates the history of Yorkshire's most southerly village. Totley is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a rich and varied past. Its story includes millionaire industrialists, farm labourers, heroes and scoundrels. This website is intended to introduce you to these people and the community's past and hopefully inspire you to look more closely into the history of our village. New material is being added all the time, so to keep up with our research, make your visits frequent! 


Try out our Site Search facility, at the foot of the column on the right. It's the quickest way to locate information that might be buried away in more than 450 web pages and over 500 PDF files. 


Take the Dore & Chinley Railway for example. In various places in the website, we have technical papers on the Totley tunnel construction; biographies of its chief engineer and main contractor; an archaeological search for the tunnel surveyors' lost sighting towers; reports on accidents to the navvies and railwaymen; a discussion on the extent to which Irish navvies were employed; a transcription of the 1891 census taken at the height of the construction; more than fifty contemporary newspaper articles about the tunnel and an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navvies; an 1884 virtual travel guide; a photo album and lots more besides. 


The Site Search is a simple keyword search that works with places or subjects as well as with names of people so you can easily find, for example, "war memorial", Gillfield or even "ivory fluter". Short phrases should be enclosed within double quotation marks. With people's names, it's a good idea to try, for example, "Green Job" as well as "Job Green" since most of our indexes put the surname before the personal name. You may need to download a file or use your browser's find-in-page function (normally Ctrl-F) to move to the precise location.


We would appreciate any comments and queries you have about material on the site.


You can email us at

George Griffiths, Totley Tunneller

Number 3 airshaft, Totley Bents Number 3 airshaft, Totley Bents

When Jack Burrows died in Perth, Western Australia last year at the fine old age of 100 years, a scrap of paper found in his belongings led to his long time neighbour, friend and administrator, Trevor Lawton contacting Totley History Group to try to obtain some information about Jack's family history.


Trevor is no stranger to family history himself having been a member of Saddleworth Historical Society many years ago. That scrap of paper in Jack's own handwriting gave his mother's maiden name as Maud Griffiths and said that her father had been "killed in a tunnel accident in Dore and Totley tunnel". There is no mention of an accident to a miner called Griffiths in Brian Edwards's book Totley and the Tunnel but from online newspaper archives and genealogy databases in England, Scotland and Ireland, we have been able to put together the story behind Jack's note.

Jack Burrows' handwritten note Jack Burrows' handwritten note

On Monday, 18 February 1889 an evening of entertainment took place in the school room, Totley under the patronage of William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall and Joshua Tyzack of Beauchief in aid of the widow and children of the late George Griffiths, a miner who had been killed in the construction of the Totley Tunnel on 13 December the previous year. Nearly three hundred people paid for admission, a large number of whom were navvies and their wives and others who had come from Dore, Beauchief, Norton, Bradway, and Holmesfield. 


Rev. J. T. F. Aldred, vicar of Dore, was chairman and at the opening of the entertainment he welcomed the navvies to Totley and said that the school room would be placed at their disposal any time they would like to put on their own entertainment. The programme commenced with a magic lantern show and was followed by an evening of music and song, featuring amongst others The Dore and Totley Christy Minstrels. At the close of the programme, William Milner proposed a very hearty vote of thanks all those who had come forward to assist in making the evening a success. Thomas Oxenham seconded the vote of thanks on behalf of the navvies on the Dore and Chinley Railway.

Totley Church School Totley Church School

George Griffiths died following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. George was one of two men whose job it was to prepare and set the charges in a series of six holes about an inch and a half in diameter and two and a half feet deep bored in the rock. Each charge was made up of a cartridge of gelignite and a primer, a part cartridge into which was embedded a detonator to which was attached a fuse. When all six charges were in place, the holes were filled with water and sealed with clay and the fuses lit by means of a candle. The shaft was already between 120 and 150 feet deep and the fuses were sufficient to give the men between three and four minutes to be drawn up to the surface and to retire to safety. Three successful blastings had taken place in the morning. 


In the afternoon, James Bembridge was getting the candles ready whilst George was setting the charges. He put cartridges in two of the holes which dropped to the bottom but the third one got stuck in the hole. As was the usual practice, he stood up to press the cartridge down with a long stick when there was an explosion. A team of men was sent down the shaft and both injured miners were speedily brought to the surface and medical attention summoned but George died about an hour later. He had been struck on the forehead by the full force of the flying rock as well as suffering a broken right arm and injuries to his left leg. Although standing only a yard and a half away, James suffered very minor cuts and bruises. 


The inquest opened at the Cricket Inn on 15 September for identification purposes only and was continued at the Crown Inn on 20 December when Major Cundall, one of H.M. Inspectors of explosives was present. It was concluded that the explosion occurred when George was attempting to force a second piece of gelignite side by side with a first piece which had become stuck fast in the hole. The inspector explained that whilst gelignite is malleable under normal temperatures, it becomes quite hard when cold. It was likely that the cartridge had become affected by frost, making it much more sensitive to explosion. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.

Steam rising from number 3 airshaft, Totley Bents. Steam rising from number 3 airshaft, Totley Bents.

George Griffiths was aged 35 and lived in Chapel Street, Whittington, Derbyshire. He was buried on 17 December 1888 at St. John the Evangelist, Newbold. Little has been found out about the man himself. According to his brother James, who was in charge of the airshaft at the time of the accident, George was an experienced miner who had worked in many places across Yorkshire and had been used to similar explosives for about twelve years. George had married Florence Woodward in 1885 at Chesterfield Register Office. Florence was born on 31 August 1861 in Chesterfield, the first of seven children of John Woodward, a furnace labourer, and his wife Ann Hall, who married on 4 March 1861 in North Wingfield, Derbyshire. George and Florence had two daughters: Maud, born on 16 October 1885 in Newbold; and Annie, born on 5 November 1887 in Whittington. 


The year after George was killed, Florence remarried to Frederick Hall at St. Bartholomew, Whittington on 5 August. Frederick was a bachelor and a furnace labourer by trade who was born about 1862 in Derby. The family continued to live in Chapel Street, Whittington and Maud and Annie attended the Whittington Moor Junior School. Sadly, their mother died on 16 October 1892 at the age of 31 and was buried at Newbold three days later. By April 1896 Frederick, Maud and Annie were living at Court 4, House 8, Walker Lane, Derby. Maud and Annie attended the Orchard Street School. 


What became of Frederick Hall we do not know but by the time of next census on 31 March 1901, Maud and Annie were living in Swinton, near Mexborough, having been adopted separately. Maud, aged 15, was the adopted daughter of Susannah and Arthur Earl, a coal miner, of 82 Queen Street. Annie, aged 13, was the adopted daughter of Alice and Charles Oliver, a greengrocer, of 24 Albert Street. 

Bridge Street, Swinton, Yorkshire Bridge Street, Swinton, Yorkshire

Annie Griffiths lived in Swinton for the rest of her life. She gave her address as the Don Hotel, on Bridge Street, when she married Fred Law, a coal miner, at St. Margaret's Church on 3 June 1908. Fred was born about 1880 in Swinton, the son of Alfred Law, a labourer. Annie and Fred lived at 28 Fitzwilliam Street where they had five children; Mary Kate born on 12 December 1908, Walter born 28 September 1910, Ernest born 5 April 1918, Alfred born on 15 December 1924 and Betsy born about 1931. 


As if the mining accident which killed her father were not enough, a second mining accident was to result in the death of Annie's husband. Fred Law was working at the Manvers Main Colliery on 4 April 1932 when he suffered a head injury which resulted in a loss of sight in the left eye and severe pain. During the early hours of 14 April he rose from his bed and left the house. When he didn't return, Annie, together with her son Walter and son-in-law went to search for him but found only his hat and coat on the side of the canal, close to Green Lane Bridge. They went to fetch the police and searched for a while but finding nothing they abandoned their search until daybreak. The next morning, the police began dragging the canal and found Fred's body. 


An open verdict of "Found Drowned" was returned by the coroner who added that there was no evidence to show how the deceased got into the water. At Doncaster County Court, on 31 October 1932, Annie Law was awarded compensation of £600 against Manvers Main Collieries Limited for the death of her husband. After considering all the medical evidence, the colliery company agreed that Fred had taken his own life whilst temporarily insane as a direct result of the injuries he had suffered in the pit. Annie never remarried and died in Montague Hospital, Mexborough in November 1946 at the age of 59.

London Road and Holy Trinity Church, Derby London Road and Holy Trinity Church, Derby

Maud Griffiths was living at Liversage Street, Derby when she married John Burrows, an iron moulder, on 4 June 1906 at Holy Trinity Church, London Road. At the time of his marriage John was living in Bradford, Yorkshire but he had been born in Belfast, Northern Ireland around 1879, the second of six children of Stephen Burrows, an iron moulder, and his wife Margaret Greenlaw who had married on 31 December 1875 in Maryhill, Lanarkshire. Maud and John made their home in Lapage Street, Bradford where their first child, Margaret, was born on 2 April 1907. Their second child, John Burrows junior, known as Jack, was not born until 3 February 1920 when the family were living in Rhyl, Flintshire. 


In 1922 John Burrows accepted a job offer from the Forwood Down Engineering Company in Western Australia and the family emigrated to Perth. John embarked aboard the Commonwealth Government Line steamship Moreton Bay at the Port of London on 29 August 1922 bound for Freemantle. The following year, Maud, Margaret and Jack followed aboard the Hobson's Bay which left London on 13 March and arrived at Freemantle on 13 April 1923.

Murray Street, Perth in the 1920s Murray Street, Perth in the 1920s

For many years the Burrows family lived at 626 Murray Street and later at 149 Cambridge Street in the Leederville district. Jack went to the Thomas Street State School and later Perth Boys School in James Street. His father arranged an apprenticeship at Forwood Downs where he became a fitter and turner. By the time of the Second World War, Jack's engineering skills meant that he was exempt from military service. He was sent to Hendon in South Australia to learn the manufacture of .303 ammunition. He returned to work at a munitions factory that was built at Adams Drive in Welshpool, a southeastern suburb of Perth. The factory expanded to include the manufacture of igniters for the Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft guns. 

Jack and Mary Burrows Jack and Mary Burrows, Perth 11 March 1950

During this time Jack met his future wife, Mary Henderson Boyack Ritchie, who also worked at the factories in Hendon and Welshpool. Mary had been born in Grants Place, Kennoway Road, Windygates, Fife on 21 September 1917, the daughter of William Ritchie, a coal miner, and his wife Agnes Boyack who married on 31 December 1910 in Dundee. The Ritchies had emigrated to Western Australia aboard the Hobson's Bay in January 1927. Jack and Mary married in 1944. They had no children but enjoyed 71 years of marriage before Mary died on 28 July 2015 aged 97. Jack Burrows, grandson of Totley tunneller George Griffiths, died on 20 November 2020.


January 2021 

George Wainwright - Father of Totley Methodism

Many of the early Methodists in the Sheffield district reached an exceptional old age. William Woodhouse of Hallam was 94 years old when he was buried at All Saints, Ecclesall on 25 May 1821. Samuel Birks of Thorpe Hesley attained the age of 99 years before he was buried at Wentworth Chapelry on 15 August 1825. But the "king" of them all was George Wainwright, who lived in Totley for almost fifty years and who was buried at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield on 18 April 1821 at the reputed age of 107.


It is quite remarkable that so much information has survived for almost two hundred years about an ordinary person. He was born on the last day that Queen Anne was on the throne and lived through the entire reigns of the first three Georges. Rev. William R. Gibson, vicar of Dore, devotes a few pages of his History of Dore (1927) to George Wainwright but his observations, like most later accounts, rely heavily on Rev. James Everett's book Sketches of Wesleyan Methodists in Sheffield (1823) for George's basic biographical details. 

It was said he was born in Bamford, Derbyshire on 28 January 1714 to parents who themselves lived to a very great age. He learned the trade of linen weaving from a brother and lived in Dronfield from 1739 to 1743. After his marriage in 1744 he moved to Totley which he left after his wife died in 1791 to live at Whiteley Wood, Ecclesall. He was still working and very active in 1805 and, finally, when he was becoming infirm, he moved to Dore around 1815 to live with the family of a married daughter.


Rev. Everett visited George at his home on 11 April 1821 and found the old man sitting amongst his descendants, "like a connecting link between the living and the dead; a being in whom the light of existence has already been partially obscured by the encroaching shadows of death." During this visit Everett made a pencil sketch of George, a copy of which appears on the front cover of John Dunstan's book The Story of Methodism in Totley (1968). Four days after the visit, George died.


It was whilst living in Totley that George became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley on his way from Derbyshire. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors under trees close to the centre of the village but the Methodists would come in for abuse and sometimes physical violence from local roughs who would attempt to pull the preacher down from his stand. On one occasion, Sarah Green, one of the early followers, had a clod of earth thrown at the side of her face. She turned her head around and another clod hit her. "There," said she, "you have taken me on both sides." 


It was around 1760 that George Wainwright offered the Methodists the safety of his own home and let them preach there. Rev. Everett says that "Few places, for the size had greater disturbances in them than Totley. The people were determinately opposed to everything in the form of religion; which reflects the greater honour on the man who opened his door for the truth." The violence evidently stopped when a young man who had been one of the worst perpetrators met with a sudden and untimely death. His accomplices interpreted it as a judgment. George remained a Methodist for all of his long life and it is assumed that he led the small group of Methodists in Totley for a number of years.

Totley Roughs (from "History of Dore") Totley Roughs (from "History of Dore")

King George III ascended to the throne on 25 October 1760 and in 1809, when aged 71, he celebrated his Jubilee. On 24 October 1809, an announcement appeared in the Sheffield Iris seeking 71 poor men, of the age of His Majesty or upwards, who would be invited to the Cutlers' Hall where they would be given great coats and hats and provided with a dinner. Of approximately 250 old men who applied, 161 were found to qualify from which 71 were chosen including George Wainwright who would then have been aged 95 and the oldest of them all. 


He must have been held in high regard because a subscription was raised to pay to have his portrait painted. The celebrated Leeds-born artist, Charles Henry Schwanfelder was commissioned to paint the picture which was to be presented to the Cutlers' Company and hung in the Cutler's Hall. However, so many of the guarantors had died before the picture was completed that instead of it being paid for by subscription it was bought by Robert Brightmore, the Master Cutler, for the sum of 200 guineas (around £25,000 in today's terms). It remained in his family until 1926 when it was finally presented to the Cutlers' Company.


In reporting the history of the portrait, the Sheffield Daily Telegraph said that George had been employed by the grandfather of Robert Brightmore's nephew, Samuel Mitchell of The Mount, who owned the picture at one time. Samuel Mitchell was a grandson of Thomas Boulsover, who invented the process of silver plating about 1742, and who lived at Whiteley Wood Hall. Thomas was also a supporter of the early Methodists and, thanks to his legacy, a chapel was built at Whiteley Wood in 1789. Presumably this accounts for George's move there from Totley.


During the later years of his life, it became customary for some Sheffield gentlemen to pay for a dinner for George and his descendants on the anniversary of his birthday. For the last of these annual events, on Sunday 28 January 1821, a service was held at Dore when a hymn, specially composed for the event by John Holland, was sung (the words are in our Newspaper Archive). George and 53 of his descendants sat down to the meal that followed. George retained his full faculties during the last years of his life and he died peacefully, his body being quite free from disease but simply "worn out". 

St. Michael and All Angels, Hathersage St. Michael and All Angels, Hathersage

In a letter to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, signed S.O.A. [Sidney Oldall Addy], and published on 1 August 1911, the comment was made that there was considerable doubt as to the exact age at which George Wainwright died, and reference should be made to the parish registers to confirm it. It appears that no one took up the challenge. About his death there can be little doubt. The entry in the register at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield says that George Wainwright of Dore was buried on 18 April 1821 at the age of 107 years. Rev. Everett wrote that George died four days after his visit on 11 April 1821 which seems entirely plausible. 


So far, however, we have been unable to trace a baptism record for George. St. John the Baptist, Bamford was not founded until 1859, so if George was born at Bamford in 1714, as stated, he would probably have been baptised three miles away at St. Michael and All Angels, Hathersage which dates from the 14th century. There are several baptisms of Wainwrights, variously spelled, around this time: Joseph (1704), Mary (1706), Elizabeth (1709), John (1712), Henry (1719) and Thomas (1724), all the sons and daughters of one John Wainwright. As was customary in those times, the mother's name was not recorded in the parish register. But there is no baptism of a George. There was a George Wainwright that was baptised at Norton in 1719 but he died the following year. 


We have found no mention of the names of George's parents in the books and newspapers but it was said that both his father and mother lived to a very great age. John Dunstan gives the ages of 95 for George's father and 96 for his mother but does not say where they come from. The burial of Hannah Wainwright at Hathersage on 17 December 1769 would seem to be the only one that fits that description. There is a marriage of a John Wainwright to a Hannah Seel at Hathersage on 7 May 1702 and a baptism of Hannah Seele, daughter of John, at Hathersage on 29 April 1677. So it is tempting to think that these might be George's parents and siblings but we have not been able to find a burial for John Wainwright that might fit the age of 96.


We have also checked the parish registers for details of George's wife and children. There is a marriage by banns of George Wainwright to Hannah Camm on 22 October 1744 at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield and the baptism of ten children all born in Totley: Thomas (1745), Hannah (1746), Micah (1851), Lois (1754), John (1757), Elizabeth (1758), Martha (1760), George (1763), an unnamed daughter (1766) and finally Sarah (1769). St. John's parish register also shows that Hannah, the wife of George Wainwright of Totley, was buried in Dronfield on 4 February 1791. No age is given. 


It was said that at the time of George's death, his direct descendants numbered five children, twenty-eight grandchildren, seventy-eight great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren - a total of a hundred and thirteen living descendants!


December 2020

Oakwood Collegiate School

Oakwood Collegiate School, class photograph 1967 Oakwood Collegiate School, class photograph 1967

Michael Lightowler has been in touch with us from Essex about Oakwood Collegiate School, having seen references to it on our website from former pupils Howard Adams and Michael Moore who went there after Norwood School. Michael says:


I saw some shots of Sheffield on the TV the other night and started thinking about my school days. I attended Oakwood School, Pitsmoor between 1960 and 1963. Does anyone have any recollections of the School or the people who were there at that time including the headmistress Mrs Phoebe Holroyd? I lived in Millhouses and I remember it was long way there and back. My parents were next door neighbours of the Holroyds and that is why I came to the school aged 9 I think. It was without doubt a huge benefit and got me into the Grammar School which must have helped me in my career. I remember my days at Oakwood with affection. The discipline was quite tough and the teaching intense but the pupils seemed happy.


Michael Lightowler


Mrs Phoebe Kay Holroyd started the school in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Born in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire on 27 January 1888, Phoebe was the eldest of five children of Frederick Hall, a builder and house decorator, and his wife Kate Smith who married in Northampton in 1885. 


Phoebe attended schools in Northampton and Blackpool and was then prepared for a teaching career at Blackpool Pupil Teachers Centre and  Sheffield Training College. After the deaths of her parents, she married Corporal William Holroyd, a soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery, at St. Paul's Church, Pinstone Street on 7 April 1917. William became an incorporated insurance broker after the war. They had one son, Bill, on 24 July 1920.


During the 1930s Oakwood Collegiate School was geared mainly towards preparing pupils for examinations to gain entry to public schools and to secondary technical schools in Sheffield, Derbyshire and the West Riding. It had special classes for those pupils working to gain scholarships and was justifiably proud of its results in that regard. 

Advertisement 24 April 1937 Advertisement 24 April 1937

The 11-Plus exam was introduced in 1944, when under the Butler Education Act the schooling system in the United Kingdom was rearranged. All children aged between 5 and 15 were entitled to free education, attending Primary School up to the age of 11 and then moving on to Secondary school.


Oakwood seems to have been at its busiest in the Fifties and early Sixties when Michael was there. Some teachers names we have seen include Mrs Cope, Mrs Swift, Mrs Fretwell, Mrs Skelton, Mrs Wilde and Mr Beal. Although it gained a reputation for being a bit of "a crammer", it was nevertheless well thought of by its former pupils judging from the comments we have seen. 


The infants were taught at 22 Devon Road before moving up to the main building at 74 Norwood Road. It was quite a journey from our side of Sheffield for those that had to make their way by public transport although the school staff met buses which passed their way and at times even escorted pupils from the City Centre.


Phoebe was still at Oakwood School when well into her seventies. In later life she lived at 98 Whirlowdale Road, Millhouses. After her death on 9 March 1973 at the age of 85, there was no one in her family with an interest to carry on the school and it appears to have closed soon afterwards.


We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school and, of course, we are always keen to see class photographs which we know were professionally taken. 


November 2020 

James Curtis - Waterloo Veteran

James Curtis first came to our attention eight years ago when we transcribed an entry for our newspaper archive. Our attempts to find out more about him were frustrated until very recently when Ada Eckersley wrote to us from Queensland about her grandmother, more of which later.   
James Curtis was born at sea on 25 April 1790. His father was a soldier stationed in Jamaica and James was born aboard the HMS Chichester during his parents' return voyage to Britain. His father does not appear in the military section of Jamaica Almanacs for the late 1780s but they show only the names of officers and we have been unable thus far to confirm who he was. All indications are that the family came from Sheffield.

Wellington's Foot Guards at Waterloo Wellington's Foot Guards at Waterloo

James enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield on 14 September 1812 according to a surviving muster roll although James believed it was the previous year. He joined for an unlimited period and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 with Lieutenant Colonel H. P. Townshend's Company, 3rd Battalion for which he was awarded, and subsequently lost, the Waterloo Medal. James said was never wounded during the whole of his military service. He was discharged from the army in London on 16 March 1822 and was paid marching money from London to Sheffield; a journey of 162 miles which took 17 days.


James married Alethea Naisbitt on 22 August 1823 at Sheffield Parish Church (now the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul). Alethea was born in Sheffield in 1797, the daughter of William Naisbitt, a hairdresser, and his wife Winifred Howson who had married at the same church on 10 January earlier that year. It was Alethea's first marriage but the parish register shows that James was a widower. James and Alethea went on to have twelve children, nine of them girls, all born in Sheffield: Jane (1823), Theresa (1826), Clarissa (1827), William (1830), Lucy (1831), Harriett (1833), Mary (1834), Alethea (1837), Hannah (1839), George (1840), Sarah (1841) and John (1842). 


The family were living in Silver Street Head, near Paradise Square, in the 1841 Census. James had gone into partnership with Henry Ibbotson in the firm of Ibbotson and Curtis, joiner's tool and brace bit makers with workshops in nearby Lee Croft. The partnership was dissolved on 18 December 1841 but James continued to be a joiner's tool maker for the rest of his working life. Alethea died on 18 May 1849 in Harvest Lane, Neepsend aged 52. James never remarried. 


In the Census on 30 April 1851, James was living at Wood Side, Pitsmoor with four of his daughters: Clarissa, Harriett, Mary and Hannah. Theresa and Lucy were married and Jane, William, George and Sarah had all died. Clarissa married William Linton at Sheffield Parish Church on Christmas Day 1851. William was a joiner's tool maker and may have been working for James whose business remained at Harvest Lane.


In the next census in 1861, James, aged 70, was living at Oxford Road, Ecclesall with William and Clarissa and their two young children, Alethea and William Herbert Linton. Another son, Arthur, was born the following year and when the three Linton children were baptised together at St. Mary's, Bramall Lane on 17 August 1861, the family had moved to nearby George Street and William had become a porter. Sadly he died before the next census in 1871 when James, Clarissa and the two younger Linton children were living at 28 Sheldon Street, off Bramall Lane. 


By November 1874 James was too old and frail to work and was living on a small income from an old soldiers contributory savings club and from assistance from his family. He applied for a pension to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and his case was supported by his regimental pensioners welfare officer. A medical report said he  was suffering from chronic rheumatism and incapable of work. 


On Christmas Day 1874 Clarissa married William Anthony at St. Simon, Eyre Street, Sheffield. William was a bricklayer and a widower living on Arundel Street. By 1879, however, White's Trade Directory records that he had taken over from William Barker as the licensed victualler at the Cricket Inn, Totley Bents.               

The Cricket Inn, Totley Bents The Cricket Inn, Totley Bents

This entry appeared in the Derbyshire Times on Saturday 21 February 1880.

A Waterloo veteran

We are told there now resides at Totley Bents, a man named James Chichester Curtis who was born on H.M.S. Chichester when that vessel was on a voyage to Jamaica in 1788 - so that he is now 92 years of age. As a soldier he served in the 1st Foot Guards, and at Waterloo and in Pennsylvania. He is now in good health and is residing at the Cricketers Inn, Totley Bents where he passes away his time by chatting with the company.


William Anthony's daughter Sarah, from his second marriage to Emma Green, gave birth to Ada Eckersley's grandmother on 4 March 1880. The baby was named Ada Emma Anthony but later became known as Ada Emma Elliott after her mother's marriage to James Elliott on 15 August 1880 at St. Matthew, Carver Street. Her birth certificate shows that her step-mother Clarissa Anthony was present at the birth and it was she who reported the birth to the registrar on 14 April.


William Anthony had died before the census was taken on 3 April 1881 and was replaced as the licensee of the Cricket Inn by his brother-in-law Samuel Duncan who had married Lucy Curtis at Christ Church, Pitsmoor on 30 March 1851. James Curtis was living in Sheffield at Court 4 House 3, Trafalgar Street with Clarissa and the family of her daughter Alethea Linton. He died at that address on 20 January 1882 and was buried at Christ Church, Heeley four days later. 


On Saturday 4 February the Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported: 

Home Notes

The last of our Sheffield veterans who fought at Waterloo died at No. 3 Court, Trafalgar street, on the 20th inst., at the advanced age of 92. His name was James Curtis and he was born on board the Chichester, when his parents were on their homeward voyage from Jamaica, where his father, who was a soldier, had been serving. Of late years Curtis has suffered greatly from gangrene of both feet. He served during the whole of the Peninsular war, and took part in the battle of Waterloo, where he was fortunate enough to escape without a single hurt.    


November 2020

Your Correspondence

We would like to thank our many readers for their correspondence in recent times. Our email address for queries, comments and contributions is:

Bob Brown asked for our help in locating a house named Morrena on Victoria Road (renamed Queen Victoria Road in 1935). Bob's grandparents William and Alice Temporal were living there when his mother, Betty, was born in 1927. The family lived there only a short while before moving to Millthorpe where Betty's brother was born in March 1931. Morrena is not a name that we recognised but we have found a reference to it in 1923 when Frederick George Phipps was living there. He was the company secretary of the newly formed Victoria (Totley) Lawn Tennis Club Limited and Morrena was the company's registered address. The tennis courts themselves were near the southern end of the road, opposite the top of Back Lane. We know Morrena was a single storey property because a newspaper announcement in December 1931 referred to a Frederick William James of Morrena Bungalow. Using an aide memoire that belonged to Ernest Jackson of Totley Rise Post Office, we have been able to trace the route that the postman took to deliver to this area. It would seem that Morrena was at the Prospect Place end of the Victoria Road, probably very close to number 131. If anyone has any further information we would love to hear from you. 


Robin Weare wrote to us about George Wainwright, the Totley weaver who, around 1760, offered John Wesley's Methodists the safety of his own home and let them preach there. Robin believes he may be a descendant through George's daughter Elizabeth if she is the same Elizabeth Wainwright who married William Mounsey in Sheffield Cathedral on 31 January 1779. Robin was also interested to discover more about George's parents and siblings. We have found out a limited amount of information which does suggest a connection is possible but that would be confirmed if George had left a will mentioning his daughter in her married name.

Mike Stirgess enjoyed reading about Norwood School and the two elderly Misses Crossland who were still teaching at the school they had started around 1893. Annie Elizabeth Crossland was born on 28 November 1866 and Ethel Maud on 10 July 1879, both in Sheffield. When Mike left Norwood School, "Miss Crossland" would have been aged 77 and "Miss Ethel" would have been aged 63. There was a third sister, Lucy, who doesn't seem to have been involved in teaching but who may have helped with the school administration prior to her marriage. Readers may remember Mike who lived on Meadow Grove Road for about twenty years until his marriage to the daughter of Doris and Percy Wilkinson who had the hardware business in the middle shop of the three facing the top of Mickley Lane. 


Michael Lightowler has been in touch with us about Oakwood Collegiate School, Pitsmoor, which he attended between 1960 and 1963. He wondered if anyone had any recollections of the school or the people who were there at that time. The headmistress was Mrs Phoebe Holroyd who started the school in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was in her seventies when Michael was there and after she died in 1973 at the age of 85 there was no one in her family with an interest to carry on the school and it appears to have closed soon afterwards. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school and, of course, we are always keen to see class photographs which we know were professionally taken. 


Amanda Burridge, nee Dawson, contacted us about Charles Cartwright, who was killed in WW1 and whose life story is one of many that we have recently researched. Charles was born on 25 November 1882, one of twin boys born to Rev. George Dawson Cartwright and his wife Maria, nee Root who had fourteen children in all. We have looked further into Rev. Cartwright's ancestry, family and career which took him as far north as York and far south as St. Enoder in Cornwall. Charles's twin brother Edward, who had emigrated to British Columbia in 1906, joined the 7th Battalion Canadian Infantry and died from wounds at 2nd Northern General Hospital, Leeds on 10 October 1916 and was buried at St. Andrew's Church, Wimpole where his father was the Rector.   


Robert Lancaster asked us if we had any photographs of All Saints' Church which might show the original iron railings that were fitted at the east end of the Church to protect the public from the drop down to the access passage to the crypt. There is a wooden railing and wire fence there now which is not is not in the best of repair. Sadly we have precious few photographs of the church and none of the east end old enough to show the original railings which could have been removed for reuse during WW2.    

Inspection cover, Furniss Avenue Inspection cover, Furniss Avenue

Ada Eckersley wrote to us from Australia to ask a number of questions about her great grandfather James Elliott and his younger brother Ernest who for many years was the superintendent and main lay preacher at Totley Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Chapel Lane. The Chapel closed in 1967 and after being empty for several years it was bought by Brian Edwards and converted into a domestic property. From Brian's files we were able to supply photographs of the Chapel before its conversion and a copy of John Dunstan's  The Story of Methodism in Totley which mentions Ernest and his wife Lily (nee Tyson). Ernest Elliott was a master builder who built five bungalows on Baslow Road and lived in one of them, number 182. He also built semi-detached houses on Chatsworth Road and Furniss Avenue, at least two of which still have in their drives their original inspection covers bearing his name.  


The Charge of the Light Brigade on 25 October 1854 at Balaklava has long since passed from history into folklore, stimulated in no small measure by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's stirring poem which was itself inspired by William Russell's report in The Times, written on the very day of the Charge. Every schoolchild was taught the poem by rote and their parents probably already knew it. Few people who were literate and who could afford a newspaper bothered to read the subsequent official reports. Consequently, the numbers of combatants and casualties have been widely misrepresented ever since, including those which we re-quoted in our article about David Stanley of the 17th Hussars. We would like to thank Stephen Acaster for pointing this error out to us. We have now completely revised and expanded the article and added, in full, David's own account of the Charge which he gave to a reporter from the Buxton Herald in 1875.   


Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens at Totley Hall taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War. They belonged to Miss Mary Milner who was the granddaughter of William Aldam Milner.  The transparencies were rediscovered recently when Mrs. Charlesworth was turning out drawers during the lockdown. Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. William Milner was a keen gardener and horticulturalist with a particular love of daffodils, over 250 varieties of which were grown at Totley Hall. By 1896 he had raised a dwarf form suitable for his rock garden which he named W.P. Milner after his father.  


A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The Morrocco case contained an envelope addressed to Maurice Housley and a note dated 2 July 1889 and signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a gift to Maurice and his bride upon their forthcoming marriage. The spoons are hallmarked Sheffield 1888 by Martin Hall & Co. Ltd., Ebenezer's own silverware company. Maurice married Fanny Ada Pennington on 3 September 1889 at St. George's Church, Brook Hill, Sheffield. We think they were taken to Canada by their younger son Eric who emigrated to British Columbia in 1924 and that they have remained in the family for the majority of the time since.  


Whilst on the subject of Ebenezer HallAnton Rodgers, who went to Abbeydale Grammar School for Boys and still has family in our area, send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson, whom we have been unable to trace. The second picture was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy. His paintings of landscapes and lake scenes were exhibited at several London galleries and for a time he became quite well known. The third picture of a seated child with a dog was called Cherries and is believed to be by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). From a very early age Juliana showed a talent for art, drawing religious subjects. Later her compositions were largely scenes from prose, poems and songs. She exhibited regularly at the Dudley Gallery in London and at the Royal Academy.

"Artists Corner", Penny Lane "Artists Corner", Penny Lane

Rev. Stewart Rayner, who many of you will remember, has passed on a number of items from his days as vicar of All Saints Church and chairman of the governors of All Saints School. Included is the original of this pen and ink sketch by Bill Carter-Wigg whose articles and drawings frequently appeared in Totley Independent from around 1979 until his death on 14 May 1990. It is of "Artists Corner", Penny Lane and shows a building at the bottom of Chapel Fields about a hundred yards up the lane from The Crown. The sketch originally appeared on page 4 of Issue 51 of the Independent for November 1981 and is unusual in that there was no accompanying text. The building is now almost completely hidden behind trees, ivy, and undergrowth, but the sketch appears to show that it is windowless on at least two sides and was presumably used as a stable or barn. 


Chris Tombs saw our short piece about Charles Edward Liddell Norris, one of the WW1 soldiers whose name appears on the Roll of Honour at Dore and Totley United Reformed Church. Chris was interested in the partnership between Charles's father, Charles Guest Norris and Joseph Elton Bott to invent, design and build machinery at the Cornwall Steel Works, in Openshaw, Manchester. It seems an unlikely partnership because hitherto Norris had been an agent for "domestic specialities" whereas Bott was a mechanical engineer whose inventions included a circular saw and a pneumatic shell firing gun. Perhaps the arrangement was necessitated by Bott's frequent absence from the country and financial ups and downs. Chris is working on a biography of J. E. Bott and has shared some of his research notes with us.


Stephanie Preston-Hall contacted us about Douglas Henry Loukes, another WW1 soldier named on the Dore and Totley United Reformed Church Roll of Honour. Douglas lived at 40 Main Avenue and was one of three brothers whose families came to live in Totley. Sidney lived at 48 Laverdene Avenue and Charles at 11 Green Oak Road. Charles's son, another Charles, later lived at 22 Milldale Road. Purely by co-incidence, Ian Winter also contacted us about the same family. Ian is related through his wife Marilyn, nee Nelson, who is descended from a fourth Loukes brother, Frederick. Ian was kind enough to let us have some family photographs one of which now accompanies our article on Douglas.


Morag Barker is married to a second generation Australian, whose great grandfather George Albert Barker lived at 16 Richards Road, Heeley before emigrating to Victoria, Australia. We were able to trace the family back to George Barker, a weaver born in Baslow about 1782. A number of George's sons emigrated to Australia in the 1880s. Perhaps the most interesting relation we came across was John "Jack" Hunter (1852-1903), the brother of George Albert's wife Ellen Hunter. Jack Hunter was a footballer who played for Heeley before being poached by Blackburn Olympic with whom he won the F.A. Cup in 1883. Jack played for England seven times and went on to became a professional football coach, whose innovative tactics and revolutionary pre-match preparation have resulted in him being described as "the Pep Guardiola of his day".


Stewart Taylor has written to tell us he has now built a website to display the Taylor Family history in Dore and Totley. You may remember that Stewart has been researching his family history for some time. His grandfather, Shirley Taylor, was well-known in the area from his days as bandleader of the Dore Brass Band and later as steward of the Dore Club. Many of the family worked as scythe smiths for Tyzacks at Abbeydale Works and Little London or as brickmakers for Pickford Holland. Stewart's great-uncle Farewell Taylor was a stone mason who worked on several of the gravestones in Dore churchyard. The website is still in its infancy and Stewart would welcome any relevant photographs and other material that you may have.


Noel Lees came across our website when searching for Frederick Kenneth Arthur Seals, one of the thirteen Second World War servicemen and women who are commemorated on Totley War Memorial. Noel had a relative, John Henry Stirk, who was a crew member of a Lancaster bomber in 1942 that was shot down and all the crew killed. Ken Seals was also a member of that crew and Noel is trying to trace any living descendants of all the crew members. Ken was unmarried when he died but he did have a sister, Elsa Doreen, who was born in Sheffield in 1931 and who married Zygmunt Mazur in Totley All Saints Church on 29 March 1952. Zygmunt was born in Poland in 1925 and became a naturalised British citizen in Sheffield in 1959. What became of Elsa afterwards we do not know. We have not found a death for her but we have found a death for Zygmunt Mazur in Sheffield in 1997. Ken Seals also had a cousin, Alice E. Pulford, who married Robin George Winstone in 1940. Alice and Robin lived in Surrey where they had a daughter, Elise, born in 1953. Elise Pulford married Rodney S. Brown in Kingston Upon Thames district in 1971. Robin Winstone died in 2006. From online electoral rolls we have found Alice Winstone, Rodney and Elise Brown living together at 361 Malden Road, Worcester Park, Surrey in 2008 and it looks as though Alice was still there in 2012. If anyone can tell us any more about Elsa Doreen Mazur or Alice E. Winstone we would be very pleased to hear from you.

The Rutland Arms Hotel, Rutland Square, Bakewell The Rutland Arms Hotel, Rutland Square, Bakewell

Will Swales is researching the history of the Rutland Arms, Bakewell, on behalf of its new owners. One of his tasks is to work out the sequence of Derbyshire land agents for the Duke of Rutland and in that regard he came across Josie Dunsmore's article on the Coke Family of Totley HallD’Ewes Coke (1774-1856) became agent for the Derbyshire estates in 1811 and, after his retirement, may have been succeeded temporarily by John Fletcher who signed himself the Duke's agent at Belvoir Castle in 1840 before Captain William Underwood became the Duke's permanent agent in Castle Hill, Bakewell in 1841.


Maya, aged 10, asked us what the old buildings next to the bowling green in Green Oak Park were used for. Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 by Mrs Sarah Milner, of Totley Hall. The park was on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder who lived at Mona Villas, 37 Lemont Road. As well as 8 acres of land made up of two large fields, the Council also bought a 285 square yard plot of land which provided access to the park for vehicles and equipment. In later years, the buildings would have been used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture. It would probably have been used to stable animals, or garage farm carts, with a hay loft above. 


Colin Beal came across a picture postcard of the Rockingham Mausoleum in Wentworth Park, Rotherham that he thought might be of interest to us. It was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and postmarked Rotherham, 9.45pm, 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield to parents William Penty Abell, a butcher, and his wife Mary Ann Pridmore. Together with their son William, the Abells relocated to our area in the 1900s living initially at Grange Farm, Dore before moving to Holly Dene and then Melrose on Totley Brook Road. Edith's parents stayed there until at least 1917 but then moved to 17 Chatsworth Road where they stayed for the rest of their lives. 


Kenneth Covell wondered if there was a connection between William Henry Theaker of Leadenham, Lincolnshire who married his ancestor Jane Covel in 1860 and Ethelbert Theaker, the newsagent of Totley Rise. We have traced Ethelbert's ancestry back four generations. He was born in Sheffield like his father, Henry Theaker, a general dealer, who married Ruth Jones at St Paul, Sheffield on 6 August 1867. Ethelbert's grandfather was Benjamin Theaker, a joiner, who was born in Retford, Nottinghamshire in 1812, the son of Thomas Theaker, also a joiner, who lived in Clarborough, near Retford. There appears to be no connection with Lincolnshire in Ethelbert's family tree but we know from other studies that many Sheffield families have their roots there. It would not be at all surprising if both families were connected if only they could be traced back far enough.


Rina Pacitti is moving home and wrote to ask about the history of both her old house at number 331 Baslow Road and her new one at number 85b. The former property is the old Totley Police Station which we believe was built around the same time as the corner Post Office which carries a datestone of 1882. It is unlikely to have been purpose-built as it would appear that two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934. Rina's new property is a converted outbuilding at the rear of 85-87 Baslow Road, the former Abbeydale Club and later Queen's Social Club. It may have been built around the same time as the main building, circa 1879, and used orginally as a coach-house. The chamfered corner of the building would have been to protect horses from injury as they rounded the tight driveway. 


Grace Darney got in touch with us from Canada having read the correspondence from Stephen Acaster regarding photos of unnamed soldiers of WW1. Stephen thought one of the soldiers was wearing the uniform of the Durham Light Infantry and he wondered if men from Totley would join that unit. Grace assured us that they did as her great uncle Alfred Riley had served in that regiment, attesting in Sheffield on 11 October 1905. The family lived for a while in Green Oak and Alfred and his half-brother Robert Riley Lenthall both attended Totley Church School. Whilst Robert survived the war, Alfred was killed in action on 7 December 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. He is not commemorated on any local war memorial.


James N. Gill contacted us seeking to be put in touch with others who might share an interest in the family history of the Hukin family who feature in a  number of articles on our website. George Edward Hukin was a friend of the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter. Many of the Hukins were razor grinders and Jonathan Nicholas sent us some wonderful photographs of his early ancestors and their dangerous occupation. We have now extended our research into this family and it would appear that Jonathan and George Edward are third cousins, twice removed, both being descended from Joshua Hukin (1743-1816), basketmaker of Sheffield and his wife Hannah Glossop (1742-1813). A summary of our research is now published in PDF format at the foot of Jonathan's article.


Peter Wilson had seen our article about Guy Mitchell's Brook House model railway and the accompanying extract from Model Railways and Locomotives magazine for November 1910. Peter asked us a number of technical questions about the railway's construction which we were unable to answer. We are very grateful to Mick Savage, of Sheffield Model Engineers, who supplied us with many photographs of the railway for offering to answer Peter's queries.


Margaret Pepall lives on Queen Victoria Road in a property that stands on the site of an older house that had been demolished. She was keen to learn about the old house and its occupants. In the course of our research we uncovered that living there in 1939 were Jack Vickers-Edwards and his wife Ida. Yet neither were who they said they were. Jack was born Edward Alfred Edwards in Wakefield, the son of Edward Joseph Vickers Edwards, an architect, and his first wife Sara Turner. Jack was a WW1 veteran and his war service record survives naming Ida as his wife. In fact her name was Adelina Clara Greenwood and she was born in Bermondsey, London, the daughter of Thomas Greenwood, a police detective. Jack and Ida finally married in Derbyshire in 1962. He appears to have died the following year in Pontefract. Ida died in Spen Valley in 1973. 


Beth Guiver was helping to write a school workshop on WW2 at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and wondered if we might be willing to share the memories of  local people who were children in the war years. We were very happy to send her some links to items on our website about the air raid shelters, air raid wardens, home service schooling, the temporary fire station, German PoWs, shopping and rationing, and more besides. Beth really enjoyed reading and listening to the stories and, as she says, personal accounts really help us to understand the impact on people's daily lives as seen through the eyes of children.


Lisa Green saw the correspondence on our website about John Thomas Osborne. Lisa is the great granddaughter of Albert Green who married John Thomas's daughter Ada Beatrice. The Green and Osborne families were close neighbours in Summer Lane in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. Lisa is hoping to visit our area and was keen to know more about the place they lived, the school they attended and the church where they worshipped.  


Alison Boneham (nee Douglas) had been sorting out her late mother's papers and came across reference to Norwood High School. She was delighted to find our website which brought back many memories. Everyone remembers different things. It was good to get the memories of a girl about the school - the uniform, the illnesses and the lunches. All the earlier contributions we have had were from boys and yet the school photographs show an almost equal number of boys and girls arranged alternately.

Chris Emsley collects the war medals of men from Sheffield and north Derbyshire. One of these soldiers was Charles Herbert Nunn of Green Oak who enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad and saw action which earned him the Military Medal.


Pauline Memmott found a certificate awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Totley, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. As there was no connection with her own family, Pauline sought our help having found several mentions of Isaac on our website. We discovered that Isaac was a signalman at Dore & Totley Station and he and his wife Ellen lived for many years at 13 Lemont Road. As they had no children, we researched the lives of Isaac's seven brothers and sisters but so far we have been unable to trace a living relative.


Sarah Dean has written to us from Australia about her 4x great grandfather Samuel Dean having seen a small report in our Newspaper Archive. In 1832 Samuel pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from George Bustard Greaves's Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation. Upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English soldier, explorer, road builder and pioneer. Samuel married Catherine Hanlon Mary Kinsella in 1838 and, after receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, he and Catherine went on to have at least fourteen children together. Samuel Dean died in 1899 and his death certificate reveals he was born in Whitechapel in 1811 to parents Samuel Dean, a butcher, and Susanna Duck but so far we have been unable to find any records of his parents or any explanation of how he came to be in Totley.

Graham Wood wrote to us to see whether we could help him locate a copy of a photograph which he remembered seeing, possibly in the Old Nag's Head in Edale, dating from the time of the building of Cowburn Tunnel, the second longest tunnel on the Dore & Chinley Railway. The photo was of a locomotive being hauled down the windy road from Stanage Edge towards Barber Booth. We found from newspaper archives that a trackway had been laid across the moors and that by June 1889 a locomotive was working in Edale, taking spoil away from the eastern portal of Cowburn Tunnel to a tip at Barber Booth and probably bringing bricks and other materials towards the tunnel. As the Cowburn tunnel was not pierced until July 1891, improbable though it seems, there is every chance the locomotive was brought there by this route but so far we haven't been able to obtain a copy of the photograph.  


Ellie Phillips got in touch with us about former occupants of her house on Lemont Road. Ellie allowed us access to her deeds including an 1879 indenture which contained a number of familiar names including Thomas Bown (publican at The Cross Scythes), William Robert Poole (farmer and contractor of Brook Hall), Tedbar Tinker and Thomas Kilner (respectively owner and manager of Totley Chemical Works) and Robert Ramsey Poole (headmaster and son-in-law of John Cockerton, Headmaster of Dronfield Grammar School and incumbent of the Abbey Church at Beauchief). In more recent times the house was occupied by a dairyman who use the outbuildings used to make butter.


Barbara Green contacted us having read on our website about the railway contractor, Thomas Oliver, who built the Totley Tunnel. Although Thomas was raised in Chesterfield, for much of his later life he lived in Horsham, Sussex. Barbara wondered whether he was the same Thomas Oliver who was a member of the Mid Sussex Lodge as she has a lodge brooch dated June 16, 1873 that was given to Bro. Tho. Oliver PM in acknowledgement of his service as Worshipful Master, WM 1872 3. Barbara had no idea how it came into her family's possession in Australia and wanted to forward the brooch onto an organization that collects such memorabilia. With help from members of The Horsham Society we were able to tell Barbara that we were 99 per cent sure the two men were one and the same.


Professor Mick Wallis asked us if we knew anything about the present whereabouts of Dr. Frederick Charles Tring, who used to live on Queen Victoria Road. In 1972 Dr. Tring wrote an article about Theodore W. Grubb, a pioneer of adult education. Prof. Wallis was writing about Grubb in a study about the promotion of amateur drama in English villages in interwar England and was trying to locate Grubb's posthumous papers which Dr. Tring had access to in writing his article. Unfortunately we have been unable to help.  


James Farrimond has been researching convoy HG.3 which sailed between Gibraltar and Liverpool in October 1939. Unfortunately during the voyage a number of vessels including the SS Yorkshire were torpedoed and sunk. One of the civilian passengers on this vessel was Jeanne Shepley, the only daughter of Jack and Emily Shepley who came to Woodthorpe Hall in 1926. James had seen in our article on the Shepley Family that a book of Jeanne's letters home had been been privately published. He wondered whether he could be given access to the letters to assist him in writing a book on the loss of the convoy. We are pleased that Dick Shepley has kindly offered to contact James. 

You may remember that David Hebblethwaite contacted us in seeking anyone who could help him in his quest to investigate the history of his maternal ancestors, the Coates Family of Totley and Dore. David's grandfather Frederick Stanley Coates (1886-1938) was a third generation Totley scythe grinder who, like his father and grandfather, died at a young age as a consequence of his hazardous occupation. We would like to thank David for sending us a complimentary copy of his recently published family history titled Working People and their Northern Roots. It contains an account of David's research into his family since the early 19th century and is set in the wider context of the changing social, cultural and political landscape of the time. Privately published by the author, the book has 105 pages and many family photographs and is available for members of Totley History Group to borrow on request.

Sue Hedges got in touch to see whether we could help her trace Furnace Farm, mentioned in he history of Barberfields Mine and Copperas Works where a light railway was said to operate. We have traced mentions of both the farm and railway in a 1987 Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society and on Wikipedia. The farm may have been known locally as Furness Farm, after an occupant with that name, but its location remains unproven. The railway, however, was thought to run from the Barberfields mine, through Copperas to Smeltings Farm on Ringinglow Road.


Ian Clark asked us if we knew anything about a robbery of the 'newspaper train' of luggage vans which took place as it stood at a signal having exited Totley Tunnel. The train would be stopped before the Dore triangle each evening, waiting clearance to take the Dore South Curve en route to Chesterfield. The robbery was evidently reported on television. So far we have been unable to trace any reference to the robbery which may have been in the mid 1980s. Perhaps one of our many readers might know more? 


Paul Burniston sent us this photograph of a framed sketch that had belonged to his late aunt who collected art especially scenes from her home town of Sheffield. Paul asked whether we recognised it and could tell him anything about the scene and the artist. The sketch was of course of The Cricket Inn at Totley by Brian Edwards, dated 1978. It was first published on the front page of issue 14 of Totley Independent, which Brian co-founded and helped to write. It later appeared in Brian's first collection of his sketches Brian Edwards Drawings of Historic Totley, published in 1979. In both cases, the sketch was cut down in width to suit the format of the media but it later appeared in full, just as in Paul's original, on page 40 of Totley and The Tunnel, 1985 where Brian's own house, a former Methodist Chapel, could be see in the background.

Peter Cameron who is an antiques dealer and author contacted us having read the short article by Jon Nicholas on the Hukin family. Jon mentions a Jonathan Hukin born in 1811 and Peter was  trying to establish whether he was the same man as Jonathan Wilson Hukin who was a partner in the firm of Hukin and Heath, silversmiths and silver platers of Birmingham and London. We have now put Peter in contact with Jon but from our own research it seems clear that the two men are one and the same as we have traced a marriage of William Hukin, a silver plater, to Hannah Wilson at Sheffield Parish Church in 1805 and the baptisms of nine of their children at the same church with dates corresponding to those in Jon's article. Jonathan Wilson Hukin was born on 30 May 1811 in Sheffield. He too became a silver plater and silversmith, marrying Juliana Chivers at St. Martin, Birmingham on 16 May 1837. The couple had one daughter, Maria, who was born in Sheffield in 1840. There are references in the newspapers to Jonathan Wilson Hukin's partnership with George Hawksley and Charles Haslam ending in 1852 after which it would appear that the Hukins left Sheffield for Birmingham. In later life Jonathan Wilson Hukin retired to Olton, Warwickshire and he died there on 14 August 1891, aged 80.


Sally Knights, from Bristol, got in touch with us having found a record on our website of her grandmother's time in Cherrytree Orphanage. Her name was Mabel Grace Gertrude Wilkes and she was resident in Cherrytree between 22 July 1897 and 30 November 1905. Sally sent us two images of the front cover and the inside plate of a book presented to Mabel in May 1900 as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains photographs of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale, thought to have been taken shortly after their marriage in 1910.


Jill Wild remembers that her father Arthur Tickner was involved with a local history group in Totley and typed up a newsletter which she thought was called The Totley Pump. Does anyone remember it? Arthur Cecil Tickner lived at 42 The Grove in the the early 1980s and was the Treasurer of TADES, Totley and District Environment Society. We suspect that The Totley Pump was a magazine that he produced for that group, probably before the Totley Independent was started up on 4th July 1977. TADES was certainly around in 1975 when it initiated a project to reclaim the old Pinfold at the top of Chapel Walk. There is a reference in Totley Independent that says that TADES later merged with the Totley Residents Association. Arthur died in 1984.


We are grateful to Sandra Ford for spotting a mistake in the article about Totley Hall Training College written by Anna E. Baldry. Anna had stated that the Principal, Miss Metcalf, had retired in 1972 and the college had then merged with Thornbridge College under Dr. Banfield. Sandra was herself a student at the college from September 1971 until 1974 and she remembers that Dr. Banfield was definitely in post when she went for interview some months before. We have amended the date to 1971 but hope to find Dr. Banfield's precise date of appointment when we visit Sheffield Archives which holds many of the college's records, including full admissions registers from 1948 onwards. 


Scott Hump(hries?) asked is if we knew the whereabouts of the former Moss Colliery. Thanks to The A-W of Dore: The Story of the Village's Road Names by John Dunstan and Roger Millican (2002), we were able to tell Scott that the colliery closed in 1941 and the site now forms the Limb Lane picnic area. The mine appears on the OS 6 inch map surveyed in 1935-36 but on earlier maps the same area is marked as a quarry.


Drew Easton, who lives near Edinburgh, was trying to trace the house where his grandparents lived and where his mother, Valerie Joyce Crowther, was born in 1927. Her birth certificate records the address only Abbeydale Park, Dore R.D. although Drew's grandfather Stuart E. Crowther, a representative for Post Toasties (a rival of Kelloggs' Corn Flakes) always referred to the property as being in Totley Rise. The Crowthers were in our area for only a few years having moved here from Bolton around 1926 before moving to Southport by 1930. So far we have been unable to identify their house but have been able to help Drew with information about the accidental death of his grandmother.


Wendy Mustill contacted us having found some hard-to-read handwriting on the plaster that was exposed when she redecorated her home in Woodseats. We were able to identify that it said "C. Keatley, Totley Rise". Cecil Ezekiel Keatley (1871-1935) was a house painter and decorator from Littlehay, Warwickshire, who was shown as living at Brookvale Cottage on Back Lane in the 1911 census and in trade directories until 1925. He later lived at 8 Main Avenue with his wife Sarah Ann (nee Bishop) and two children, Jessie and Cecil Frederick who became an orchestral violinist and music teacher.

Bob Morgan, who lives in Victoria, Australia was doing some family history when he came across our article about Maurice Johnson who, during his time with the Yorkshire Dragoons, served as batman to Capt. Matt Sheppard. Capt. Sheppard was the subject of J.P. Craddock's book Sheffield Hero. Capt. Sheppard's father had been the proprietor of the Cross Scythes around 1895. Bob is related through his maternal great grandmother, Alice Sheppard, who was Capt. Sheppard's sister. Alice spent some of her childhood years in Tsarist St. Petersburg where her father was on loan to Russia Government as a consultant on the development of the Russian railway system. She married a Mr Ellison who was a railway agent and they had four children: Alec, Corby, Patricia and Margaret, Bob's grandmother, who married an Australian WW1 RFC Airman, Herbert Freeman, and emigrated to Australia in 1919.

John Sharp got in touch with us about Glossop Gill, one of the 31 soldiers commemorated on Dore village War Memorial. John wondered whether there was a family connection with his great grandmother Christiana Gill. Glossop Gill was born in Dore and baptized at Christ Church on 14 July 1878. He appears to have been named after his paternal grandmother Ann Glossop (1822-1906), who married John Gill Snr. (1822-1892) in 1846. John and Ann had at least eight children and Glossop was the son of John Gill Jnr. (1853-1915) and his wife Susan(nah), nee Taylor (1858-1928). Christiana Gill was the daughter of Cassandra Fearnehough (1845-1921) who married another of John and Ann's sons, Thomas Gill (1849-1915), in 1870. Glossop and Christiana were therefore first cousins. Like many of his family Glossop Gill became a stone mason. He married Elizabeth Ann Hasman, of Brampton, on 22 May 1905 and the couple had two daughters, Ida and Gladys. In the 1911 Census the family were living at Rose Cottage, Dore. Glossop's army service record has not survived but it is recorded that he was a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps. Glossop died on 15 March 1917 at the Camp Hospital in Romsey, Hampshire and is buried in Dore churchyard. Thomas and Cassandra Gill lived at Oldhay Forge, Totley from around 1901 and the family were still living there there after WW2.


Gaynor Wilkinson wrote to us about the age of her house at the city end of Green Oak Road. We were able to confirm that it was built in the early 1930s, shortly after the completion of the first phase of the Laverdene Estate. Planning permission was given in 1931-32 and building commenced shortly after. We think that by the end of 1933 numbers 1-41 and 2-38 Green Oak Road had been completed together with numbers 1-49 and 2-52 Aldam Road. Picture Sheffield has some aerial photographs of the area during the period of construction. 


Katherine Myers couldn't resist buying a few letters at a Flea Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma once she saw the English postage stamps and realized they were pen-pal correspondence. Katherine had no connection with the writer, Margaret Howe, but simply recalled how much she had enjoyed an English pen-pal friendship of her own for more than fifty years. Katherine got in touch with us to see whether we could help her return the letters to Margaret's family who came from Sheffield. We were able to trace Margaret's son Russell who was very surprised and delighted to hear about the discovery of his mother's letters which have now been returned safely to Sheffield. 

Adele Earnshaw wrote to us from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to tell us that she was happy to find records for her ancestors on our website. Adele's great great grandparents Thomas Earnshaw and his wife Elizabeth (nee Thorpe) and five of their children left Dore for New Zealand in 1863, sailing aboard the clipper Mermaid from East India Docks, London on November 12th and arriving in Lyttelton, New Zealand on 16 February 1864. A young man, Henry Schofield of Long Line, Dore, who was a friend of young Thomas Earnshaw, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, travelled to New Zealand with the Earnshaw family. During the voyage Henry kept a diary which is now in the collection of the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Adele, who is a professional artist, has had a painting project in mind for the past few years connecting the Schofield diary, her family history and New Zealand's history which could take her 18 months to complete. We have been helping Adele and also descendants of Henry Schofield with the British element of their family histories and hope to bring you more of their stories later.


Glynis Haynes wrote to tell us that she had enjoyed reading our article on the Totley Tunnel Memorial: The Irish Question as her great grandfather James Toon had worked on Totley Tunnel, possibly as a bricklayer or navvy and that his son Albert was born on Totley Moor in 1895 according to the 1911 Census. We have found James, wife Agnes and their six children William (born circa 1874), Elizabeth (1877), Lydia (1880), James (1883), Agnes (1886) and Charles (1889) living in Staffordshire in the 1891 Census. They appear to have moved to Totley by the following year, when there is a record of James and young Agnes being admitted to Totley Church School on 22 August. Their address was given as No 4. Shaft, the navvy accommodation on Totley Moor. Another daughter, Nellie, was born in 1892. We have also found a marriage at Dore Christ Church on 23 January 1893 between their eldest son William Toon and Ellen Thornton. Interestingly both William and his father are shown to be brickyard labourers. The main brickworks that supplied bricks for Totley Tunnel was at Moor Edge and there was a light tramway that connected the works with No. 4 shaft, which was used to lower materials and men down to the tunnel below.


Neill James asked us if we could help him find where his great grandparents William and Jenny Cockshott were buried. The family had moved to Brook Lynn, Grove Road, Totley Rise shortly before 1900. Sadly William and Jennie died within a few weeks of each other both aged just 44, Jennie on Christmas Eve 1904 and William on 9 February 1905. The parish registers for Dore Christ Church show that they were both buried there although no headstone can be found. Their four children were aged between 5 and 17 at the time they became orphaned. Younger son James Percy Cockshott went to live with his uncle Samuel in Eaglescliffe, Durham. He enlisted in the King's Own Hussars in London before being transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. James was killed on 11 September 1918, during the 'Advance to Victory', a series of battles fought in Picardy and Artois during the last few months of the war. James's body was never recovered. He is incorrectly remembered as 'David Cockshott' on the Roll of Honour inside Totley Rise Methodist Church. James is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial along with 9,846 other officers and men who were killed in the period from 8th August 1918 to 11th November 1918 and also on the parish war memorial at Eaglescliffe & Preston on Tees and at the Friends School at Great Ayton, where he was educated.


Carol Beadle has sent us some details of her family tree and would like to know more about her ancestor Mark Green who was was born in Totley in about 1775. He married Helen Linney at St. Peter's Church, Old Brampton on 16 February 1802 and went to live in the Brampton area for the rest of his life. Carol is descended from Mark Green through his eldest daughter Charlotte (1806-1880) who married Thomas White at Old Brampton on 1 January 1829. From fragmentary accounts of the Totley Overseers of the Poor, it appears that Mark Green received an allowance of 2 shillings per week from 1832, a sum that was increased by 6d. following a visit to him by the Overseers in February 1836. The accounts for 1842 mention that this was because he was disabled and no longer able to work as an ironstone miner. Mark Green died at Red Row, Brampton of "gradual decay" on 22 February 1853, aged 77, and was buried on 24 February. Carol would love to hear from anyone who may be researching the same family. If you write to us at our usual email address, we would be delighted to put you in touch.

Amanda Hodgkinson is researching her husband's family tree and asked if we held any information about Sampson Hodgkinson who appears in five censuses for Totley from 1841 to 1881. In particular Amanda was keen to know where exactly in Totley Bents it was that Sampson lived and worked. Sampson was the eldest son of Joshua Hodgkinson from Great Longstone and his Totley born wife Maria (nee Green). He was baptized at St Mary's Parish Church, Stockport in 1802 and came to live in Sheffield, marrying Mary Gregory at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1830. The couple had five sons and four daughters between 1831 and 1845 and appear to have moved to Totley Bents around 1838. The Tithe Map for the following year shows that Sampson was occupying a small cottage next to his father who lived at Turner Croft, a property which included just over an acre of arable land. Both properties were rented from the Rt. Hon. Digby, Lord Middleton. Sampson and his father were millwrights, and in addition to their properties at Totley Bents, Joshua also rented more than 18 acres of land from the Waterfall Brothers, John Gray and Henry, at what is now Totley Grove including Totley Scythe Mill, together with its associated dam, mill pond and fields. Joshua died in 1853 but Sampson continued in his trade at Totley Bents for the rest of his life. He died on 17 February 1884 at the age of 80 and was buried at Dore Christ Church in the same grave as his wife Mary who had died before him on 21 August 1882.


Nigel Cheetham asked us for information about the wartime anti-aircraft/searchlight position on Wing Hill, just off White Lane. Nigel has permission to use a metal detector in the area and says he has already discovered a number of small finds. Over the years, several correspondents have made reference to the site in the pages of Totley Independent including Jean Smithson, Jack Abson, Bob Carr, Jack Hedley and Mike Roberts but so far we have been unable to find any further information. Can anyone help? 


Whilst sorting through some of his late father's possessions, Craig Newbould came across an old grocery account book which must have belonged to a previous owner of the house at Summerville, 21 The Quadrant, Totley. The account book was issued to a Mrs. Dye by Walter Evans, the grocer who had a shop on Hillfoot Lane and later at the top of Main Avenue. Craig very kindly scanned images of the pages which make fascinating reading, showing the day to day purchases of an ordinary family and the costs of those goods in 1929 and 1930. We have been able to find out a small amount of information about Fred and Elsie Dye who lived in the house from around 1926 until their deaths in 1952 and 1979 respectively.


Basil Abbott sent us his memories of working in C.L. Marcoft's garage in the Chemical Yard during the 1950s. Jack Clarke was in charge and the garage got to deal with some really top class cars like Jaguar, Lagonda, Aston Martin, Armstrong Siddeley and Alvis. Between them Jack and Basil built a two-seater sports car which was raced at Snetterton track in Norfolk.

Oliver Miller asked us whether we had any information about the history of the stone-built house on Main Avenue that he and his family will be moving into as the estate agents were unsure of the its date and thought that it might have originally been an old Totley farmhouse. This seems unlikely to us as the house does not appear on OS 1:1,250 maps before the mid 1930s when it is shown at the east end of a large field lying between the long back gardens of houses on the north side of Green Oak Road and the public footpath between Main Avenue and Totley Hall Lane. The house seems to have been variously numbered 52 or 54. Adjacent to the house was a curved drive or track leading from Main Avenue to a large structure in the centre of the field, which might possibly have been a barn or workshop and which seems to have existed until being demolished in the 1960s to make way for a southerly extension to Sunnyvale Road. In 1936 the house was occupied by Edith and Frank Parker, a master dairyman, and may have been known as Meadow ViewPeter Battle remembers that the Parkers kept chickens and sold eggs but this ended with the road extension. Does anyone have any further information about the house or about what the structure in the field might have been? 


Margaret Page found her ancestors Mary and Sarah Cockcroft in our transcription of the Cherrytree Orphanage admissions book and wrote to express her thanks. The sisters had been admitted in 1868 following the deaths of their parents from typhoid. We were able to supply Margaret with a small amount of additional information that we held on the sisters and were interested to learn that Sarah went to live in Halifax where she married Walter Wade and had seven children. Mary went to live with an uncle in Lancashire before marrying William Rose and having a daughter Annie. After the death of her husband, Mary emigrated to Canada with her daughter and son-in-law, Jack Sharples. We are keen to follow up the story of the sisters in more detail for an article for our website.


Sue Kruk (nee Lamb) wrote to thank us for our website having found a couple of school photos of her late cousin's wife, and her sister. After Sue's father Dennis Lamb died in 1978 she contacted her uncle John "Jack" Cantrell Lamb, who lived in Dore Road, and found a shared enthusiasm for family history which was continued with her cousin Richard and his wife. When time permits Sue hopes to fill in gaps in the history of the Lamb/Cantrell families which were well established in Sheffield and before that at West Markham, Nottinghamshire for centuries. Sue now lives in Hampshire and we are always particularly happy to help anyone living at a distance who has "S17" family history connections. 


We have been contacted by Sue Adam who is a volunteer at the Minster Church of St George in Doncaster. Inside the church is a memorial dedicated to the men of the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons who died during the First World War. The memorial has recently been restored and research is being carried out on the men named on the memorial and also the men who attended a service in 1921 when it was dedicated. The team of volunteers intend to have a service of re-dedication in the autumn of 2018 and they would like to contact relatives of the men in order to invite them to the service. Sue had read our article on Maurice Johnson, who had fought with the Yorkshire Dragoons on the Somme (1916), Ancre (1916), the Somme again (1917) and Ypres (1917). We were delighted to put Sue in touch with John Johnson, Maurice's son, who has expressed his interest in supporting the event. As a tribute to his father, John has sent us a lovely family photograph taken at his brother Maurice Junior's wedding in 1951.


Gordon Wainwright has been in touch with us about a newspaper cutting he found about his great grandfather Thomas Glossop, a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. We have pieced together a biography of Thomas from newspaper articles and have received further help from Thomas's great granddaughter Anne Rafferty who has been researching the family history for many years. Gordon also supplied us with two class photographs from the 1960s which we have added to our photo album for Totley County School and also two photographs of the Totley Union Cycling Society fete held on 18 July 1914. We would love to hear from anyone who can name any of the people in the photographs.


Our article on John Edward Greenwood Pinder's early life of misfortune and petty crime reached the attention of Eric Black who is a direct descendant of John's grandfather Robert Pinder (1789-1866), a farmer at Totley Bents. Eric has provided us with a wealth of information about what happened to the family after John's release from prison in 1911. John Pinder appears to have decided that the future for his family lay in America, eldest son Robert having already emigrated there in 1909. Unfortunately John was refused entry and sent back to England and he and his wife Jane eventually settled in Manchester. However, all of John and Jane's nine children were to emigrate to the United States by 1923 with the sole exception of their eldest daughter Louisa who died in England in 1913 at the age of 21.

Paul Whitaker has written to us about Samuel Hill, the clockmaker who worked in Totley in the 1770s before moving to Sheffield. Paul recently inherited one of Samuel Hill's long case clocks from his cousin Rhys D. Whatmore. The clock has a brief history of its maker pasted inside which was written by Henry Meades, watch and clockmaker of London Road Sheffield. Paul wondered if we had any more information. Not much is known about Samuel Hill's life but have now traced some further newspaper accounts referring to his business in Broad Lane, Sheffield which you can read by following the link above.


David Norris, a lecturer in Serbian Studies at Nottingham University, has written to us in connection with an article on our website about Frank Storm Mottershaw who visited Serbia in 1904 to film the crowning of King Peter. David wanted to know if we had any further information about the visit or about the film-maker after his return to England. We are delighted to have been able to put David in touch with John Mottershaw who provided us with the original material and who has very kindly agreed to help David with his research.


Sue Orme asked us who built the houses on Meadow Grove, one of the smaller roads on the New Totley estate which was originally conceived around 1908 by the Sheffield restaurateur, John Richard Hudson (known as "J.R."). The first property on Meadow Grove (or Princess Street as it was originally called) appears to have been "The Bungalow" which was advertised for sale in 1913. Building of the estate was curtailed by the war but by 1925 Meadow Grove had at least five properties: The Bungalow, Glenaire, Fairhaven, Silsoe, and The Newlands. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to match up these names with current house numbers. Most of the remainder of the New Totley estate was built in the 1930s by local builder Charles Linley Marcroft. However, at least some of the older houses on Meadow Grove were built by Rowland Edward Sheard (1900-1991) who was J. R. Hudson's grandson, his father Rowland Adamson Sheard having married J. R.'s daughter Nellie in 1899. In the mid-1930s when the Meadow Grove houses were being constructed, Rowland Edward and Nellie Sheard were living with J.R.'s widow, Eliza Ann Hudson (nee Barker) at 9 Main Avenue. The distinction between Meadow Grove and Meadow Grove Road appears to have been made in modern times, the house numbers being continuous. 


We have had a very interesting enquiry from Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands. Ron sent us images of two drawings made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck, simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations. Ron is an admirer and collector of the artist's work and he has followed his journeys and photographed the places he pictured. One of the drawings is of "The Cottage" which is now part of a larger house know as Old Orchard, Hillfoot Road. The second drawing is of Green's Draper's Shop and attached house, which used to stand next to the Old Post Office at the top of Hillfoot Road, opposite Cross Grove House. We think we have found out why Anton Pieck visited our village. His eldest daughter, Elsa, married an Englishman named Charles Bambery and from Sheffield telephone directories we can see that the Bambery family were living at 20 Main Avenue in the early 1960s.


John Timperley is the latest person to write to us with memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. John attended the school from 1945 until 1949 when he went up into King Edward's'. As an unaccompanied seven year old, John had a ¾ mile walk from home to the bottom of Bocking Lane to catch a tram to Beauchief corner and then a bus to school. John remembers among his teachers. Miss Ford, Mrs. Atkinson and Miss Duckworth, and a number of the pupils from his final year: David Crawley, Peter Morton, Dorothy Sawyer, Toni Pollard, Rachel Leah, and Brenda Bennett. If there is anyone amongst our readers who was at Norwood School at the same time as John, he would very much like to hear from you. We can put you in touch if you write to: 


The Marstone Grange Estate from Bradway Bank , early 1940s The Marstone Grange Estate from Bradway Bank , early 1940s

Stretton Smith, who moved to Totley a few years ago, asked us about the history of Marstone Crescent as there was nothing about it on our website. The estate was originally called Marstone Grange Estate and was built by Charles Lindley "Len" Marcroft between 1936 and 1945. Len Marcroft was a well known local builder who had earlier built The Quadrant and who had a builder's yard in the old Chemical Yard. After The Quadrant was built he moved into number 14. The land that the Marstone Grange Estate is built on belonged to butcher and farmer Colin Thompson. Local legend has it that Len Marcroft went into partnership with a certain Mr. Stone to build the new estate, hence the portmanteau names given to the two new roads: Marstone Crescent and Stonecroft Avenue. This may well be true but we have no knowledge of Mr. Stone and only in 1936 Len had set up a Private Limited Company with his son Donald. Aerial photographs from the early 1930s show fields where the Marstone Grange was later to be built but the OS map, surveyed in 1935-36, shows that building had commenced at the out-of-town end of Marstone Crescent. By May of 1937, Len Marcroft was beginning to advertise his houses in the Sheffield press, eliciting the help of bandleader Roy Fox to publicize them. The Electoral Register for 1936-37 appears to show four families living on Marstone Crescent but none yet on Stonecroft Avenue. The photograph above is the only one we have seen showing the estate during its construction and was taken from high up on Bradway Bank. Most of Marstone Crescent has been built and a start has been made to building the high levels shops on Totley Rise but there is no sign yet of building on Stonecroft Avenue which we think was only completed around 1945. The photograph, therefore, probably dates from the early 1940s.

Vivienne Graham has written to us from Devon about her three great-great-great-great-great uncles, William, John and Charles Jones, master-cutlers of Bradway, who were leasing a converted lead smelting mill at "Hay House" on the Sheaf in 1751. Vivienne would like to visit Totley and see where her ancestors were working. With the help of Brian Edwards's Totley Transcripts and Margaret Oversby's paper "The Water Mills of Dore & Totley", published in 1977, we have been able to confirm that the Jones brothers were renting part of the smelting mill at what later became Totley Rolling Mill, located at the confluence of the Oldhay and the Totley Brooks. The Rolling Mill mill manager's and labourers' cottages still stand, of course, even though the dam, mill pond and high weir on Oldhay Brook have long since disappeared.


John Andrews is researching the history of tennis in Sheffield and is interested in knowing more about the tennis courts that used to exist at The Grove end of The Green. From old estate plans it would appear that these courts were on land purchased by Herbert Melling in 1924 and built three or four years later. How long they survived is not known. We would like to hear from anyone who has more information about these courts and also the tennis courts that used to exist at the Mickley Lane end of Queen Victoria Road around 1920. 


Kim Lindsay wrote to us from Germany having found a brief reference on our website to Norman Arthur Denson. Norman Denson was born in London in 1894 and baptized later that year in Crich, Derbyshire. He came to live with his uncle, Arthur Leonard, at Brinkley, 4 Dore Road, sometime before the 1911 census and attended King Edward VII School in Sheffield. He served in the Great War (A/Capt) and afterwards became a partner in the accountancy firm of Poppleton & Appleby, moving to Harbourne near Birmingham in the early 1920s. He was a keen cricketer and Territorial (Lt-Col) but died young at age 41 on Las Palmas where he had gone shortly before his death. We have been able to provide Kim with a few snippets of extra information about Norman Denson but what he wants most, and what we don't have, is a photograph. Can you help, please?


Howard Adams has been in touch with us having read Roger Hart's account of Norwood School in the early 1950s. Howard has remembered many of the people and found a couple of photographs from those days, one a class photograph taken around 1959 and the other a photograph of himself with two other boys dressed in football kit which included boots with nailed-on studs that proved to be very painful on the long walk to and from the playing field at Greenoak Park. Christopher Rodgers has sent us two more photographs from his days at Totley County School but is unable to give precise dates or name all but a few of the people pictured. One is a photograph of Mr Courage's class and the other a photograph of a music lesson where the children are playing instruments including triangles, cymbals, tambourines, drums, and rhythm sticks. 

Smith and Rose Jackson, in the early years of their marriage and in later life. Smith and Rose Jackson, in the early years of their marriage and in later life.

Jo Baker has written to us from the Midlands to see whether we knew of two properties on Main Avenue that were lived in by her grandparents in the 1910s. Jo's grandfather, Smith Jackson, was a wholesale draper who had a business at 61 Norfolk Street, Sheffield. The family had moved to our area from Oldham, Lancashire. We can see that by the time of the 1911 Census, Smith Jackson, his wife Rose (nee Chadwick), and three children were living at "Rosedene". They must have been one of the earliest families to live in the New Totley estate that had been conceived in 1908 on garden city lines by John Richard Hudson, a well known Sheffield restauranteur. From Kelly's directories we can see that the Jackson family were still living at Rosedene in 1912 but by 1917 they had moved into the larger, detached "Osborne House" and remained there at least until 1922. The two properties were designed and built by Sydney Lawson Chipling, the architect, surveyor and contractor for the estate who lived at Moorhayes, Bushey Wood Road. The houses still stand and appear to have altered little since the days when the Jackson family lived there.


Our open meeting on School Days has led to a number of interesting contributions. David Hope and Nicholas Botterill remember their time at Totley County School. David attended the school between 1952 and 1958 and then moved on to King Edward VII School. As well as his memories, he has provided us with a number of photographs and done really well to remember most of the names of his classmates but there are some faces that we would like your help with to identify. Nicholas was at the County School between 1967 and 1974 and the two articles when taken together make interesting reading about what had, and what hadn't changed over the years. Roger Hart's school days were at the time when the County School was being built and All Saints School was almost full and so he went to Norwood School which was located in the church hall and rooms at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. Again there is a photograph with faces you may well remember. Finally, we are very grateful to Karole Sargent, the headteacher at Totley All Saints School, for allowing us access to an archive of school material including the 1909 School Pageant.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to Baptismal and Kindergarten Birthday Rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. We have also been given a large number of parish magazines dating from the 1980s which we will be scanning in due course.


Gillian Walker brought us a document folder full of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group which we have now digitized. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and the archive has many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. They came into the hands of Derek Maltby, Gillian's father, following Arthur's death in 1991. The 1st Totley Scout Group was formed in 1944 and was located in Totley Hall which at the time was in private ownership. When the hall was sold to Sheffield Corporation the Scout Group had to urgently find alternative headquarters. The archive details how this was achieved. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.


Helen Matthews is researching the history of her house on Abbeydale Park Crescent and the people who lived in it after receiving the deeds and being fascinated by the information included in the beautifully written old legal documents. We have been able to help Helen with the early history of the Abbeydale Park Estate but seek the help of our readers for information about one of the former owners of her property. Oswald Tyler lived there between 1969 and 1977. Ozzie Tyler was, of course, the well known landlord of the Fleur de Lys during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Alan Dale wrote an appreciation of Ozzie in Totley Independent, issue 275, shortly after his death in 2004. If you have any photographs or stories about Ozzie, we would love to hear from you.

Totley County School, June 1956 Totley County School, June 1956

Eric Renshaw has been able to identify the teacher in this photograph of Totley County School in June 1956, sent to us by Clive and Sue Bellamy (nee Beatson). Her maiden name at the time the photo was taken was Miss Sheila Brown. She was at the County school for about four years before going to Hong Kong around 1959 to take up a position teaching the children of members of HM forces stationed there. After her tour of duty, Sheila came back to the UK and then went abroad again taking up a similar position as before in Malaya, as it was then called. 


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. Subsequently arrangements have been made with Edward to undertake a small reprint and offer the maps for sale through the Totley History Group website price £5.


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 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.

The Chemical Yard in 1972 The Chemical Yard in 1972


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. 


Brinkburn Grange Brinkburn Grange

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.

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.


Madame Ruth Theaker, Ethelbert's Mother, in 1904 Madame Ruth Theaker, Ethelbert's Mother, in 1904

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 TheakerWe 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?

Dore and Totley High School, May 1933 Dore and Totley High School, May 1933

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.

Margaret Bailey has written to us from New Zealand enquiring about her mother's cousin, Samuel Wright. Cpl. Samuel Wright, 26/950, served with 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade during WW1 and died on the Somme on 15 September 1916. He is buried at Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers in France and is commemorated on the Auckland Museum Memorial. Margaret would like to know more about Samuel, especially when and why he went to live in New Zealand and whether he is  commemorated on any war memorial in our area (no, he isn't).  Samuel was born in Dore in 1883, the son of Levi Wright and Ann Elizabeth Pickering, who lived at Oldhay Forge for most of their married lives. Samuel is shown as living there in the 1891 and 1901 censuses but we are unable to trace him in the 1911 census which suggests he may well have emigrated by then. Are there any descendants of the large Wright family who can add to what we have discovered? 
Martin Dykes, the Vice Captain of Abbeydale Golf Club has written to us recently. Martin is trying to locate photographs of several past Captains for inclusion in club archives and wonders whether anyone has a photograph of Maurice Henry Grayson who was Club Captain in 1917. The Grayson family were solicitors and it is thought that there was a connection with All Saints' Church. If you can help, please contact us through our usual email address at the top of this page.


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.

Sheffield Harriers outside The Stanhope Arms at Dunford, c.1900–1910 Sheffield Harriers outside The Stanhope Arms at Dunford, c.1900–1910
Michael Hardy of Dronfield has sent us a number of stories about hunting in in our area. One of them refers to the discovery of a naked Totley man, Edward Vaughan on the Moors; the others you can read by following this link to the Sheffield Harriers Hunt page. Michael has also sent us the background to a newpaper report on the death of Thomas Chapman who was killed by an express train in Totley Tunnel in 1906. 

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. 


The Old School House, Totley Hall Lane The Old School House, Totley Hall Lane, built in 1827

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.


The tower on the day before its demolition.


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.


Ian Denney has written to us about Tom Salt, who farmed at Woodthorpe Hall Farm. Ian had spotted the article written by Tom's daughter Carmen Salt, which was one of about fifty items from back issues of Totley Independent that we have added recently to our Life in Totley pages. Ian wonders whether anyone has footage from David Bellamy's television programme mentioned in the article or knows Carmen's email address. If you can help, please contact us through the email address at the foot of this column.
Maurice Ward Senior (1867-1916) taken on Penny Lane

Roy Wardwhose 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.


Totley brick by "C B & Co" being used to secure a gate on West View Close.

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.  

Midland Railway Company directors train, 1893

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:

Latest News


Because of the continuing need for measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the monthly meetings of Totley History Group have been suspended until further notice. 


Please continue to support your history group by sending your questions, comments and contributions to: contactus@

A few copies are still available of Sally Goldsmith's book Thirteen Acres: John Ruskin and the Totley Communists. Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. In 1877 he bought 13-acre St. George’s Farm so that nine Sheffield working men and their families could work the land and, to keep themselves busy, make boots and shoes. Sally tells an engaging story from our history with a quirky cast of characters including Ruskin himself, the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter and Henry Swan, a cycling, vegetarian artist and Quaker. The book is available to order online from the The Guild of St. George by following this link.

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 local shops and via our website.

The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.

Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.

Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.

Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.

A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.

Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder of Mona Villas. In later years, the buildings were used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture.

We believe the old Totley Police Station at 331 Baslow Road was built around 1882. Two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934.

David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.

This picture postcard was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and posted in Rotherham on 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield and her family came to live in our area in the 1900s, staying for the rest of their lives.

Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal. 

This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.

In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.

Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.

Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.

John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.

Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.

Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.

Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.

Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.

Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success

The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us? 

The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.  

Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.   

Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.

We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.

Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. 

On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.

We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now. 

We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. 

Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road

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. 

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.

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield 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.

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 in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status. 

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 in 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, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.


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"

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.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

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 The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

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 700 gravestones in  the churchyard.


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