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A poem called The Angels of Mons made its first appearance in the magazine Punch on 6 October 1915. In his book, The Strange Case of 'The Angels of Mons' published 100 years later, Richard Bleiler says that the poem "was published anonymously, but Punch published its own indexes, and these reveal that its author was C. Conway Plumbe, but thereafter, the trail becomes faint and confusing. The C. is probably Charles. He contributed verse to Punch indicating that he might have been Canadian, but other verse indicates he may have been English. He was probably the artist of this name whose paintings were displayed at the Royal Academy in 1927, but might he also have been the civil engineer who in 1949 published Factory Well-Being and in 1953 the Factory Health Safety and Welfare Encyclopaedia? Was this also the person who in 1950 published the philosophical treatise Release from Time? It is not inconceivable that a poet painted and earned a living as a civil engineer, but this can be neither proved nor disproved, and these may all be different men having the same name."
Well actually, Richard, it can and has been proved that these were all the works of the same brilliant man. He was Charles Conway Plumbe, the elder son of William Alvey Plumbe and his wife Kate (nee Stidston), whose family had connections with Totley Rise between 1912 and 1966 (see Plumbe Family). We mentioned Conway Plumbe only in passing, partly because we were still researching him and partly because he deserves his own special place in the history of our area.
Conway Plumbe was born on 18 April 1881 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and named after his maternal grandmother, Catherine Munford Conway (1825-1873). He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Mansfield and was successful in the University of London Matriculation Examinations in June 1898. The 1901 Census records that he became an apprentice electrical engineer and was still living with his parents at Linden House, Mansfield. In 1904 Conway graduated from the University of London with an B.Sc. Eng. Honours degree.
Conway joined the Civil Service working for the Home Office. We believe his first position as a factory inspector was in Galway, where he was still training with examinations still to take. After qualifying, he was appointed an H.M. Inspector of Factories on 23 July 1908. On 21 October the same year Conway married Lilian Emily Mary Lynham (known as Queenie), in Galway, Ireland. Queenie had been born at Wood Quay, County Galway on 16 May 1884, the daughter of John Isaac Lynham, an M.D. and Professor of Medicine and his wife Rebecca Margaret (nee Reed). From the 1901 Ireland Census it appears that Queenie was educated at a boarding school in Carrickfergus in Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is possible that the couple met through their mothers' shared interest in the Women's Temperance movement. On behalf of the English Women's Total Abstinence Society, Kate Plumbe gave an address to the Irish Women's Temperance Union annual conference in Athlone in May 1907 at which both Rebecca Lynham and her daughter were delegates.
The couple made their home in Hendon, Middlesex, and their first child, William John Conway Plumbe (known as John or Jack), was born on 17 March 1910. Soon after, however, the family were to move to Sheffield as the local newspapers report a number of court cases and inquests that Conway attended in his capacity as a factory inspector during the summer of 1912. A daughter, Therle Marguerite Conway Plumbe was born on 3 July 1913 at Airlie, 22 Busheywood Road where the family lived until at least 1923 but they had moved to Barna, 2 Brinkburn Vale Road by 1925.
It was whilst living in Totley Rise that many of Conway's creative works were undertaken. As we have noted already he had verses published anonymously in Punch, including The Sherwood Foresters which was used in 1917 as the introduction of a bound collection of paintings of Old Mansfield by Albert Sorby Buxton (1867-1932) that was presented to the Duchess of Portland.
In May 1926 Conway Plumbe had a painting called The Broad West Riding accepted by the Royal Acadamy. It was of rolling country near Doncaster in which the huge steel masts of an aerial travelling railway feature in the foreground. Later that year, at the Derby Autumn Exhibition, Conway's painting titled Sherwood Birklands was described as a "pleasing landscape of young birches in Sherwood Forest on a day of grey delicate mist"
In May 1927 Conway had two further paintings accepted by the Royal Academy, although in reporting Conway's success the art critic of the Sheffield Daily Telegraph said that they were not as good as the painting he submitted the previous year. These paintings were called A West Riding Valley and The Coming and the Going. The Yorkshire Post described the latter as "ghostly and chilly in effect, perhaps intentionally". Nature Magazine described it as "a fine picture of crepuscular rays with layers of cloud... quite a good subject for a meteorological lecture."
The same work also appeared at The Sheffield Society of Arts Exhibition in November 1927 and was described thus: "It is a country scene; a receding flood stream occupies the centre of the canvas; apple-blossom is seen in the foreground; trees with leaves turning brown are at the side; and the sun, apparently setting, is in the background. A charming study but what is Coming and what is Going?" Another of Conway's paintings, Yorkshire Clay Pit was described as "a bizarre picture, the colouring being open to criticism from several points of view." The same exhibition had a painting by Queenie Plumbe, described as "undoubtedly one of the most striking on view. It shows a girl standing by a pool in the moonlight. Above her is a planet which is so reflected into the cool water, that the girl appears to be grasping it in her hand."
By the end of 1928 the Plumbe Family had moved home to Sevenoaks in Kent, presumably as a result of an advancement in Conway's career. He had been born a Congregationalist and he became closely associated with the local Congregational Church and with the Fellowship of Youth for whom he contributed talks and even wrote a mock trial called No Gratuities, the performance of which was very well received. At one talk to the Fellowship in November 1936 he warned his audience about Communism and Fascism which, he said, had inflamed the youth of Germany and Italy to the point of becoming religions though not as we understood the meaning of the word in Christian Britain. Conway and Queenie also supported the Sevenoaks Arts and Crafts Society, exhibiting their paintings at its annual exhibitions.
They were still living at Windy Ways, Grassy Lane, Sevenoaks by the time of the 1939 National Register when Conway's occupation was described as Deputy Superintending Inspector of Factories. Their daughter Therle was still living with her parents having become a freelance journalist.
Son John, however, was living in Chellaston, Derbyshire, having followed his father's line of work. Having graduated from Imperial College, London, he became a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering on 17 February 1933 and was appointed an H.M. Inspector of Factories on 21 December 1934. John had married Margaret Irene Louise Paine, the youngest daughter of Arthur Edward Paine, a master tailor and his wife Myra (nee Young) at St. Nicholas Parish Church, Sevenoaks, on 23 April 1938 and they had one infant child, Ann. A second daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1942.
During peace-time, the Factory Department had been under the jurisdiction of the Home Office but at the start of the war it was brought under the Ministry of Labour and Conway Plumbe was attached to the Central Office of the Ministry. He began a series of lectures around the country on aspects of working conditions in factories. At a talk given to the Industrial Welfare Society's course in Nottingham in May 1942, Conway revealed that since his daughter had become a welfare superintendent at a large Lancashire factory, he had learned far more than he had been able to discover for himself. Conditions had changed enormously since he joined the Factory Department and the aim now, he said, was to get factories not far removed from the home in matters of heating, lighting, ventilation, sanitation and general comfort. Stating that the Factories Acts required a minimum of 400 cubic feet of space per person, he added, amid laughter, that according to their standards the ordinary railway compartment was overcrowded with one person it in. Clearly, Conway had learned a thing or two since his early days as a factory inspector in Yorkshire when he had been criticised on several occasions by magistrates for pursuing cases where there was purely a technical breach of the regulations.
In 1944 Conway Plumbe gave three talks that were broadcast by the BBC Home Service on successive Sunday evenings under the series title of Our Concern. Unfortunately the broadcasts are thought to no longer exist but the Radio Times entries do. We believe that the first talk on 27 February, which was called Your Obedient Servant, was about the work of H.M. Factory Inspectors. The second talk broadcast on 5 March was called Out of Shadow and it dealt with lighting and colour in factories. There was no reason, Conway said, why a factory should be a dull place and intelligent use of colour had been proven to reduce accidents. The third talk was on 12 March and was called The Machine is the Slave. In it Conway reminded his audience that too many factories had been built merely to house machines, their owners being forgetful of the fact that humans had to operate those machines.
In January 1946, in one of the last talks he gave before his retirement, Conway Plumbe told an audience in Bristol that factory accidents occurred at the rate of one every one and a half minutes and that out of a total of 280,000 accidents a year, one thousand were fatal. "Only about 15 per cent of these accidents happen at machines," he said. "The remaining 85 per cent happen because someone does any one of a thousand foolish things." It was these "non-machine accidents" that he thought could be significantly reduced. The attitude of many people that "accidents will happen" was a very wrong one and they must endeavour to be more alert and imaginative in accident prevention.
Factory Well-Being was published by Seven Oaks Press Ltd. in 1949. It contained 126 pages, with illustrations, and was sufficiently short and simply written to be read by foremen and shop stewards as well as by factory owners and those who needed to know about the Factories Acts. The book surveys all the influences that go to make the factory a place for human occupation. Conway had learned that as well as adhering to the requirements of the Factories Acts and their regulations, there were other intangible elements that were very important for the well-being of factory workers. He referred to the "works atmosphere" and believed that sound technical experts - safety officers and medical officers - were more effective when there was also a driving force from the whole community of workers, managers and owners operating through a democratically organised health and safety committee. Democracy in industry he thought was the key to good human relations. A second book aimed at professionals, Factory Health, Safety and Welfare Encyclopaedia was published by The National Trade Press Ltd. in 1953 containing 328 pages. Many of Conway Plumbe's ideas found their way immediately into the publications of the Institute of Personnel Management.
With his place in the annals of workplace health and safety assured, perhaps Conway now felt he could turn his literary skills to other matters closer to his heart. In June 1950 Release From Time, a philosophical-spiritual work was published by Hodder & Stoughton. The book was dedicated to Queenie and any royalties were to be divided equally between the London Missionary Society and the Student Christian Movement.
Time was beginning to be studied by mathematicians but Conway's work was intended for the layman and based upon ordinary experiences. He described a universe in which all matter, "natural laws", the three conventional dimensions (length, breadth and height), space and time itself had to have been created by a godlike intelligence. He concluded that the creator must exist outside of time and space and not be bound within them. This creator sees the past, present and future all in one and not as an ongoing sequence of events.
Conway did not try to further justify the existence of the creator but instead he attempted to explain how time-bound events like life, suffering, death, evolution, fate, prayer, miracle and prophecy all fit within this universe. Once the time element is disregarded, the three phases of a man's life (before birth, visible life on earth and after death) are part of a whole, a life immortal. Memories are carried forward from visible life into spiritual life after death. Eternity becomes a state without time, rather than time moving on forever in chronological progression. Conway considers evil and gives an analogy with disease. Coming so soon after WW2 he uses the example of Nazism which he describes as "the symptom of a communicable soul disease."
Release From Time appears to have been well received by reviewers, being mentioned in connection with two books by the mathematician and industrialist, John Godolphin Bennett, that had been published a few years earlier. The two men may well have known each other; Bennett was chairman of the British Standards Institute at the time and they shared the same publishers.
Queenie Plumbe died on 8 December 1960, at the age of 76, in Hythe Nursing Home, Kent. The Probate Register shows that she had been living at Crossways, Littlestone-on-Sea beforehand. Charles Conway Plumbe died on 16 April 1962, then aged 80, at the same nursing home. He had previously been living at Fairlight House, 27 Fairlight Road, Hythe.
Therle Plumbe had married George Bernard Hughes at Grappenhall, Cheshire in 1941. Bernard was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire on 30 August 1895, the son of Charles Bernard Hughes, a ship's tackle manufacturer and his wife Lydia (nee Shepherd). Bernard had volunteered for active service in World War I, enlisting in Manchester on 18 February 1916. He served with 1st Royal Marine Battalion at Arras, Paschendaele and Cambrai in 1916–1919 and suffered a gassing injury on 17 March 1918. He was demobilized on 23 February 1919 and initially returned to his former occupation as an electrical battery maker. He became a journalist in London by 1930 and was Editor-in-Chief of The Queen magazine. With the shortage of newsprint during the war, Bernard became involved in factory inspection being appointed an H.M. Inspector of Factories on 4 October 1940. His book Dry Batteries was published in 1940 and Modern Industrial Lighting in 1941. He had also become an expert in antiques and after the Second World War, Therle and Bernard went on to write and illustrate dozens of books on the subject and contribute to magazines like The Connoisseur and Country Life. They had two sons, Bernard born in 1951 and Clive born the following year. G. Bernard Hughes died in Shepway, Kent in 1975, aged 79. Therle Marguerite Conway Hughes died in Folkestone, Kent in 2005 at the age of 92.
During the Second World War, John Plumbe went into the army where he became a Major with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in India. After the war, the army wanted him to stay but he opted to return home to resume his peacetime career. A third daughter, Kate, was born in West Yorkshire in 1951. In 1967 John Plumbe was promoted to H.M. Chief Inspector of Factories and following his retirement he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1971. William John Conway Plumbe died at home in Fishpond, Bridport, Dorset on 9 November 1979 aged 69. His wife Margaret died in Exeter on 31 August 2002 at the age of 87.They are buried in Whitchurch Canonicorum, West Dorset.
We are very grateful to the Plumbe Family for the use of family photographs and for their help and encouragement in researching this article. Any mistakes are entirely our own.
Copies of the following books are available to borrow for members of Totley History Group:
- Release from Time by C. Conway Plumbe, Hodder & Stoughton, London. 1950. Hardback, 206 pages.
- Factory Well-being by C. Conway Plumbe, Seven Oaks Press Ltd., London. 1949. Hardback, 126 pages plus advertisements including one for Antiques Review by G. Bernard Hughes, Conway's son-in-law whose book Modern Industrial Lighting appears in the Bibliography.
- Voices of Silence: The Alternative Book of First World War Poetry by Vivien Noakes, Sutton Publishing Limited, Stroud, Gloucestershire. 2006. Hardback, 454 pages. Contains two of Conway's poems, A Canadian to his Parents first published in Punch, vol 149, 1 September 1915; and My American Cousins first published in Punch, vol 152, 23 May 1917. Four other poems attributed to Conway in the Acknowledgements are or appear to be by Owen Seaman, who was the editor of Punch from 1906 until 1932.
We also have typed transcriptions of 12 of Conway's poems that were first published in Punch during the war years but as they may be subject to copyright we are unable to reproduce them here. The poems include The Angels of Mons and The Sherwood Foresters. Please ask for a copy if you would like to read them.
The writing on this small headstone in Dore churchyard is only visible when the grass has been recently cut. It reads:
In Loving Memory/of/FREDERICK WALTER SPAFFORD,/WAS KILLED IN (TOTLEY TUNNEL)/JUNE 17TH 1892. AGED 30 YEARS/HIS DEATH WAS SUDDEN MAY HIS END BE PEACE/
There is no mention of Frederick in Brian Edwards's book Totley and the Tunnel (1985, reprinted November 1989), so we thought we would try to find out who he was and how he came to die.
Frederick Walter Spafford was born on 1 January 1862 in Lincoln, the son of William Spafford, a wheelwright and threshing machine maker from Beckingham, Lincolnshire and his second wife Ann (nee Whyley).
William Spafford had six children with his first wife, Anne Swain: Arthur (born 1848), Alfred (1850), Selina (1852), Emily (1855), Horace (1857) and William Swain, born in 1859, the same year as his mother died, quite possibly in childbirth. William Spafford married again in 1860 and had five more children: Walter (born in 1860), Frederick Walter (1862), George Andrew (1863), Mary Alice (1865) and Bernard (1876). Walter and George Andrew died in infancy.
The Spafford family had moved to Newport, Shropshire by 1865 and in the 1871 Census Frederick is shown as a scholar living in Old Workhouse Lane, Newport with his parents, Selina, Horace, William Swain and Mary Alice. The family had returned to Lincolnshire by 1877 because on 8 July Frederick was baptized at Bracebridge, just south of Lincoln, along with his younger siblings Mary Alice and Bernard. In the 1881 Census, Frederick, Mary Alice, Bernard and their parents were living at Newark Road, Bracebridge and Frederick was shown as a general labourer. He seems to be missing from the 1891 Census and when he came to Totley is not known. He was living at the navvy huts on Totley Moor at the time of his accident.
Frederick died on 17 June 1892, four months before the tunnel finally pierced through Totley Moor. The Sheffield Independent reported his death and the inquest which followed.
Monday 20th June 1892 Sheffield Independent (page 7)
Shocking Death At Totley Tunnel
A fatal accident occurred on Friday morning in the tunnel in course of construction on the Dore and Chinley Railway at Totley. A miners' labourer named Frederick Walter Spafford, of Lincoln, was engaged with another man taking down the centres on which the arch of the tunnel is built, when, without any warning, one of the heavy ribs fell over, striking the deceased on the back of the head, smashing in the skull and jamming the poor fellow against a heavy cross beam, where he hung suspended by the head until liberated by a number of men who were summoned to extricate him. He was removed to the surface as soon as possible, but expired in a very short time. The body was removed to the Cricketers' Arms, Totley Bents.
Wednesday, 22nd June 1892 Sheffield Independent (page 5)
Fatal Accident At Totley
An inquest was held yesterday at the Cricket Inn, Totley Bents, concerning the death of Frederick Walter Spafford. - Verdict, "Accidentally killed by a rib accidentally falling on the deceased's head whilst following his employment in the tunnel on the Dore and Chinley Railway."
Frederick was buried at Dore Christ Church on 20 June 1892.
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 either the recipient or the writer but simply recalled how much she had enjoyed an English pen-pal friendship of her own for more than fifty years.
She found it fascinating that these letters could have been written by her own pen-pal as it would seem that the concerns and interests of teenage girls didn't change much over the years, even though the letters she had bought were from the late 1940s and her own pen-pal correspondence didn't begin until 1961. "Blood donors are still urgently needed" was stamped on the outside of several of the envelopes, a reminder that England was still in the early stages of recovery from the Second World War.
The letters that Katherine bought were written to Betty Allen of Oklahoma City by Margaret Howe who lived in Audrey Road, Gainsford Park, Sheffield. Margaret mentions that she was May Queen and that her school participated in the Sheffield Schools' Swimming Association meeting on May 25 1949. Katherine asked for our help to return the letters to members of Margaret's family.
We were able to find Margaret living with her parents at the same Sheffield address in the 1939 Register which not only gave us her birthdate but fortunately the register entry had been later amended to show her married name. From there it was relatively straightforward for us to trace Margaret's marriage, the birth of her son Russell and the family's address from online electoral registers right up to present day.
Russell was very surprised and delighted to hear about the discovery of his mother's letters which have now been returned safely to Sheffield. Margaret passed away in 2006 and, as Russell said in his thank you letter to Katherine, it is really touching to know that someone had such kindness to return the letters to the family after so many years. Well done, Katherine!
Wednesday 25th July 2018
The August meeting of the Totley History Group took the form of a walk in Gillfield Wood, exploring the history of this ancient woodland. The well-attended walk was led by Paul Hancock and Kevin Walker of the Friends of Gillfield Wood.
Paul began by giving us a a brief outline of the documented history of the wood which was named as far back as 1086 in the Domesday Book. It was described as "wood pasturable, one mile in length and half a mile in breadth". In 1561 Cameron's Placenames of Derbyshire referred to it as "a springe wood called Jyll Felde." A "spring wood" meant that it was coppiced for timber. Paul then explained that the hedgerow surveys that have been done in the nearby area suggest that the fields around the wood are at least medieval and this indicates that areas were being cleared for agriculture by this time.
We were taken to see some of the sites on the Totley Brook where there are groups of three standing stones whose purpose remains a mystery. The most likely explanation is that they were used to reduce the silt and debris from reaching the mill dam at Totley Rise.
Gillfield Wood was a working environment until well into the 19th century and we were shown "Q-pits" where "white coal" was made. This was a form of dried wood which burned at a lower temperature than charcoal and was perfect for smelting lead. There are a number of small quarries in the area also where the local rock known as Greenmoor Stone was extracted and used for building field and riverbank walls. From the late 19th century the wood became more of a pleasure ground for the families who owned it - the D'Ewes Coke family and then from 1884 the Milners.
In 1945 the wood was sold to Sheffield City Council. The wood had been felled during the Second World War but in the 1960s the Estates Department of the City Council replanted it with American oak and larch.
This was a most interesting and enjoyable walk in spite of the heat and we are grateful to Paul and Kevin for taking us to areas that we wouldn't normally see and for explaining their historical importance to us.
Below is a handout that was given to us, courtesy of the Friends of Gillfield Wood, whose website is at: https://www.friendsofgillfieldwood.com
We would like to thank our many readers for their correspondence in recent times.
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.
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 late sixties or early seventies to make way for a southerly extension to Sunnyvale Road. Does anyone have any further information about the house or about what the structure in the field might have been?
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.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 www.sheffieldscoutarchives.org.uk which tells the history of Scouting in the City of Sheffield from 1909 until the mid-1990s when the City Association was discontinued and Sheffield Districts were absorbed into the County.
Wylma Stevenson has read the first instalment of Anne White's article in issue 379 of Totley Independent and asks where the Chemical Yard was located. We have been able to send her a map of the Totley Rise area in 1898 with Totley Chemical Works clearly marked between the Totley Brook and Queen Victoria Road. The yard was where Tinker & Siddall first manufactured chemicals in the 1840s. By 1857 Tinker & Co. had extensive chemical works there and, by 1889, Thomas Kilner was manufacturing pyroliginous acid, naptha and charcoal. The area was later used for various purposes including a blacksmiths, the Brookvale Laundry and C. J. Marcroft's builders yard. The structures that remain from those early days are Back Lane, Brookvale Cottage, Ford Cottage and the cobbles from the old ford across the brook that was later replaced by a footbridge. We have also provided Wylma with links to Anne's earlier articles and the Oral History she kindly recorded for us.
We had two enquires from New Zealand within 24 hours of each other. Jenny Roberts is putting together a family history and is interested in finding out more about her husband's second great uncle, John Roberts, the silversmith and benefactor who lived at Abbeydale Hall from 1851 until his death in 1888 and who paid for the building of St. John's Church. In particular, Jenny would love to find a portrait or photograph of her ancestor. So far we have been unable to help so if you know of one we would be delighted to hear from you. Murray Bardsley, who lives in Hamilton, will be visiting our area and hopes to find the grave of Robert Bardsley, his grandfather's brother, who died in infancy and was buried at Christ Church, Dore in 1902. It seems probable that there is no gravestone. We have contacted the Parish Office who inform us that there is a plan to the location of burials but, as the graveyard is full, responsibility now rests with Sheffield City Council and they have kindly agreed to pursue the enquiry on our behalf.
John Johnson has sent us two more photographs of his father Maurice Johnson. One photograph shows Maurice in his WW1 uniform and we have added it to the short biography that we compiled after our exhibition at the United Reformed Church. The other photograph shows Maurice together with other members of the Cross Scythes Bowling Club, and is the second of such photographs that John has sent us. We would like to know when these two photographs were taken and the names of other people in them.
Jerry Wilkes wrote in appreciation of Ted Hancock's latest talk and of our website as an information source for the family history that he and his cousin Brian Ward are undertaking. Jerry was born in Totley, the son of Bertha and Ted Wilkes who had a painter and decorator's business at 329 Baslow Road. For a few years after leaving school, Jerry worked on Totley Hall and Moneybrook Farms before a career change in 1959 took him into Sheffield City Police. For a time he worked on the Dore and Totley motorcycle beats where his local knowledge was put to good use. In 1965 he transferred to the police force in Somerset, where he now lives.
Paul Hibberd was a schoolmate of Clive Bellamy between 1953 and 1959 and was delighted to see the Totley County School class photographs that Clive and wife Sue have sent in. Paul reckons that between them they could probably name around 90 per cent of the children.
Jonathan Nicholas has read Christine Weaving's article on our website about George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor grinder and friend of Edward Carpenter, the academic, poet, writer and free-thinker. Jonathan has traced The Hukin Family history back to the early 1800s when the family first arrived in England.
Clive and Sue Bellamy sent us two wonderful pictures of a May Queen ceremony and a puzzle. The event took place around 1953 and Sue knew the identity of three of the five girls in the pictures but couldn't name the other two. With the help of Peter Swift we now think we have found the answer to this particular puzzle. Clive went on to tell us that his father was Harry Bellamy who was park keeper in Greenoak Park for several years until he died in 1970 at the early age of 51. Clive would love to have a picture of his dad in his uniform, but unfortunately he hasn't been able to find one. Can anyone help please?
Annie Bradford has been looking for images of Totley Grange, the big house that she lived in as child from around 1954 to 1960. Annie remembers an elderly lady called Mrs Flowerday who was a trustee of the Earnshaw Trust which owned the property. The house had been divided into flats and Annie remembers the grounds included a sunken garden, a semi-circular paddock, woods which were home to a large rookery, and a huge monkey puzzle tree. She also remembers the long sweeping drive with a lodge house at the entrance on Baslow Road. Picture Sheffield has a photo of this lodge house (ref S05413) but we have never seen a photo of the Grange itself other than in the background of a photograph that appeared in Totley Independent Issue 352, when it was being used by J G Graves Ltd. as a wireless depot. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has, or who knows of, any photos of Totley Grange which was demolished in 1964-65 to make way for the Wimpey estate.
Phil Kelly has seen our article on the Evans Family of Ohio. Dr. Rice Kemper Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 until 1928 when he returned to the United States. He was an acclaimed rock climber and Phil has located several photographs of Evans, three of which are included in the book Peak Rock which Phil co-authored.
Robert Lunn, from Melton Mowbray, was one of many railway enthusiasts who came to listen to Ted Hancock's excellent talk about the Dore and Chinley Railway. Both of Robert's maternal great grandfathers worked on this railway line; one was a stone mason who lived in Hathersage and the other, Duncan Macfarlane, who lived on Totley Rise, was the cashier for Thomas Oliver & Sons, the contractors who built the section of line between Dore & Totley and Hope stations.
Kevin Randell has recently moved into a house on Abbeydale Road South and is interested in learning more about the history of the area, being fascinated by the old carved gateposts that stand close to his house. These belonged to Brinkburn Grange which was demolished around 1938. The history of the Grange has appeared in several of the books written by Brian Edwards and in articles he wrote for Totley Independent and Dore to Door. At first Brian believed that the Grange had been built in the late 1880s but he later revised this date to 1882-83, saying that it had been built by Thomas B. Matthews, head of Turton Brothers and Matthews, the Sheffield steel, file and spring manufacturers, who lived there until 1892. On looking at newspaper articles and advertisements, however, we now believe that Brinkburn Grange was built in 1873, around the same time as St. John's Church, Abbeydale, and probably by the same person, John Roberts of Abbeydale Hall. The crenellated styles of the two buildings are similar and it was John Roberts who in March 1872 sold off the fixtures and fittings of the old Bradway Mill which stood nearby. When Roberts sold the Abbeydale Park estate to Ebenezer Hall in 1880 it would have included Brinkburn Grange and West View Cottage. Certainly by March 1884, Hall owned the whole of this estate as witnessed by his protracted dispute with the promoters of the Dore and Chinley Railway. Brinkburn Grange was offered to let in September 1873. The first occupant appears to have been John Unwin Wing, a chartered accountant, who lived there from 1874 until he moved to Totley Hall in 1881. After Thomas Matthews, Brinkburn Grange was occupied by Douglas Vickers, director of Vickers, Sons & Co., engineers, until 1897, then James William Elliot, a cutlery manufacturer, until 1904. By the time of the 1911 Census, Dr. John Henry Wales Laverick, the managing directory of Tinsley Park Colliery Co. Ltd, was living at Brinkburn Grange, and the Lavericks were still living there after the war. Our research continues.
Fred Row has written to us to see whether we know anything about the old stone ruins by the side of the railway line at the foot of Poynton Wood, where Fred played as a youth in the 1950s. We strongly suspect that Fred is referring to the remains of the grotto (or folly) belonging to Ebenezer Hall of Abbeydale Hall whose grounds were cut in two by the building of the railway line in the latter part of the 19th century. The grotto was built against a spring at the foot of the wooded Bradway Bank and Ebenezer would take his guests across a now lost footbridge over the River Sheaf to have afternoon tea in this shady spot. The remains including two large stone pillars can still be found amongst the undergrowth.
Paul Gardner has alerted us to the death in Totley of his great grandmother's brother, Frederick Charles Bell, a 24 year old engine tenter who died on 17 July 1891. The death certificate shows the place of death as "Totley Bents" and the cause of death as "accidentally crushed between the cogwheels of a winding engine". Paul had assumed that Frederick was working on the construction of Totley Tunnel and he wanted to know more about the accident. We have been able to trace a newspaper account (now added to our Newspaper Archive) which says that Frederick was employed by the Totley Moor Fire Brick Company to operate a stationary engine used to haul heavy waggons up a steep slope out of the brickyard. We know that in response to numerous fines for conveying heavily laded waggons along the public highway, a light tramway had been built from the brickyard running about half a mile over Totley Moor to number 4 airshaft where the bricks could be lowered down the shaft. It would appear that Frederick died when he was attempting to lift the engine and his clothes became trapped in the machinery. His body was taken to the Cricket Inn which in those days was used both as a temporary mortuary and as a place for holding inquests.
Vicky Marsh has written to us about her grandmother, Mary Shaw, who was brought up in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1919 and 1930 and who went on to marry a bank manager, settle in the south-east and retire to a lovely thatched farmhouse cottage in Cornwall. With three children and five grandchildren of her own, Mary gave the appearance of having a completely conventional background, only revealing her upbringing in an orphanage later in her life. We were delighted to be able to give Vicky copies of the Cherrytree records that we hold and identify her grandmother in a 1927 All Saints' School photograph. It was the first time the family had seen a photo of Mary as a child.
Richard Verrill has told us the story of how, in 1940, his father came to buy and rebuild a wrecked MG P-type car, registration MG 3880, that previously belonged to Pilot Officer Douglas Shepley of Woodthorpe Hall. The car had been borrowed by another RAF pilot who had unfortunately driven it into the back of a tramcar during the blackout. Richard hopes to trace any early photographs or recollections of the vehicle, and also to find out what became of the car after it was sold by his father. We have been able to put him in touch with Dick Shepley, himself an MG enthusiast, who has old photographs of the car and the log book dating from when it belonged to his uncle.
David Bindley tells us that his father Lawrence Ernald Bindley was born in 1899 and lived at Rose Villa, Totley Brook Road. He was called up to serve in WW1 and was listed as a schoolboy; subsquently he was called up again in 1939 for WW2 and was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force, lucky to return to Britain through Dunkirk. David has more family history information which he has kindly offered to send us.
Ted Jones has been in touch with us regarding the family of Ethelbert Theaker who, with his wife Helena, ran a newsagent and tobacconist shop at the bottom of Totley Rise in the early part of the 20th century. Ted is the great grandson of Ethelbert's sister, Harriet Maud Theaker. We are very grateful to Ted for the information he has supplied including a family tree and this delightful photo card of Ethelbert's mother, Ruth, which dates from 1904 when she ran the Britannia Acadamy at Old Havelock House, 2 Myrtle Street, Heeley. She styled herself Mme. Theaker M.B.A.T.D., (Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and later U.K.A (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance). She advertised her Adult Learners' and Improvers Classes regularly in the Sheffield newspapers teaching "Waltz, Schottische, Lancers and Veleta" in one term.
Chris Hobbs has sent us a cutting from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Monday, 23rd February 1920 which we have transcribed and added to our Newspaper Archive. The cutting relates to the death and funeral of Jack Slack, a well-known and much loved local man who received a very favourable mention in part five of the memoirs of Dan Reynolds. Dore Christ Church parish records show the burial of John Hollely Slack, aged 58, of Croft House Farm on 21st February 1920.
Eric Renshaw has been in touch with us from South Staffordshire. Eric grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960 and he remembers many of the people and places mentioned in articles that feature on our website. Eric has very kindly written down his memories, many of which are of a sporting nature, and supplied us with a lot of photographs.
The photograph below is of Dore and Totley High School in May 1933. It was given to us by Gordon Grayson of Brook Hall. Gordon, who is in his nineties, cannot now remember any of the names of the students other than his own. Perhaps there is someone on the photograph that you can recognize?
When our website was created in September 2012, one of the first items it carried was a request for information about Eileen Keatley from her daughter Vita (or Vida?) Anderson. Whilst our own research uncovered a few facts about Eileen's family links in Totley, that's as far as it went. Recently, however, Chris Foster and Gladys Smith have separately been in touch with us to say they think they may be able to help. Unfortunately with the passing of time and changes in our administration, we have lost the enquirer's address. If you are out there Mrs Anderson, can you please get it touch with us?
Linda Roberts contacted us asking for help in tracing her great grandfather, James Hunter Smith. who had married Maria Sutherland at Dore, Christ Church in 1886. We were able to tell Linda that James came to Totley as head gardener to William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, probably in 1884. James and Maria Smith had two sons. William James was baptized in March 1889 and Albert in July 1890, both at Dore, Christ Church but by 1891 the family had moved to Attercliffe, where James and Maria remained for the rest of their lives.
Mark Richards spotted on Facebook a Memorial in Crookes Cemetery "to commemorate the unknown Irish navvies who died building the Totley Tunnel circa 1880 R.I.P." and wanted to know who placed it there and why. The question of whether significant numbers of Irish navvies were involved in building the Totley Tunnel has long been debated. Official records say not but stories passed down through generations say that scores of Irish navvies may have died from accidents and disease but, being immigrants, their deaths were never recorded.
John Skelton wonders whether anyone can shed any light on the origin of Sarah Booker, who was born in Totley around 1783. Sarah married John's great great grandfather, James Skelton, at Handsworth in September 1811 and was a farmer and widow by the time of the 1851 census when she was living at Hollins End, Handsworth with her four children, John (bc. 1815), Elizabeth (bc. 1823) James (bc 1828) and Sophia (bc. 1831). She died in 1867 aged 84 and is buried at Christ Church, Gleadless. At the time of Sarah's birth, Totley was part of Dronfield Parish, of course, and many baptisms would have taken place there or at Holmesfield. The Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910 Transcription indeed shows a baptism at Holmesfield on 19 July 1782 of a Sarah Booker, daughter of Rebeckah Booker; the father's name is not recorded. Could this be John's great great grandmother?
Although no longer living in our area, Marlene Marshall continues to follow the progress of the history group and to send us items from time to time, the latest being a photograph of the grave of David Stanley, who fought with the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava and who later lived at the top of Queen Victoria Road where the block of flats named Balaclava House now stands.
David Baldwin is helping to set up an archive of items of historical interest relating to the former Sheffield Hospitals including a collection of brass and stainless steel plaques which were once affixed to the walls of wards at the former Royal Hospital and Royal Infirmary to commemorate the generosity of donors in giving funds for the endowment of beds. David recently came across a plaque saying "This Cot was Endowed by the "Dots and Tots" Concert Party from the Proceeds of Concerts Given Between the Years 1922-1929" and believes this could refer to the Totley Rise Dots and Tots group of Pierrots which, according to a brief report in the Sheffield Telegraph, comprised Miss Muriel Gummer, Miss Lorna Skill, Miss Muriel Dyson together with Messrs Gilbert Smith, F. Chambers and J. Kay plus accompanist. David would like to know more about the troupe. Lorna Skill is mentioned as a soprano in the All Saints' Parish Magazine in 1923 and again in 1924. She also performed with the Croft House Settlement Operatic Society. She was "Susan" in their 1927 production of The Toreador. The Sheffield Star of 21 February 1928 reports their production of The Arcadians at the Lyseum and mentions "Lorna Skill has some difficulty with the Irish brogue, but otherwise on the whole is satisfactory as Eileen Cavanagh."
Heather Rotherham has written to us concerning her great grandfather, John Thomas Osborne, who was a general labourer and who came to live in Totley around the time of the building of the Totley tunnel and remained until his death in 1936. He married twice, firstly to Ada Eliza Dalton in 1893, and then to Mary Jackson in 1903, both times at Christ Church, Dore. Follow the link to an inside page for more information on the children of the two marriages and a connection with the family of Albert Green. Heather believes that she has traced John's birth in Downham Market, on 29 March 1871 but she would love to know more about his earlier life and would also like to contact any of his descendants.
Anthony Cosgrove has written to us asking about a property in our area known as The Dingle, Totley Bank, designed by the arts and crafts movement architect Edgar Wood. Anthony had spotted a newspaper advertisement for the auction of the property in the 1920s. The first appearance in our records of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, is in White's Trade Directory for 1904 when the property was inhabited by Rev. William Blackshaw, a Congregational Minister for the Croft House Settlement. In 1922 it was bought at auction by Bill Carter's father, Walter Carter, a steel worker with Armstrong Whitworth.
Val Brodie has sent us memories of Cherry Tree where her mother Barbara Spring worked from about 1935 until she left to marry in June 1940, when she was termed assistant matron. Val's letter and a lovely photograph of her mum are reproduced in full in this inside page about Cherry Tree Orphanage in the 1930s.
Stephen Acaster, a local military historian, has responded to our request for help in identifying two unknown WW1 soldiers from our area. From elements of their uniforms, Stephen has been able to positively identify their regiments.
We are delighted to hear again from Stella McGuire who has sent us a copy of the January 2015 edition of ACID (Archaeology and Conservation in Derbyshire). The magazine contains a fascinating article which Stella has written with colleague Stuart Nunn of the Eastern Moors Partnership on The Search for the Totley Towers: the missing sighting towers used in connection with the construction of the Totley Tunnel. The article includes a spectacular photograph of a similar surving observation tower at Carlesmoor, North Yorkshire.
Sandra Woods is helping a friend to research the family of Charles Smith, who lived at the Old School House in Totley Hall Lane. Although there were several similarly named men in Totley in the early part of the 20th century, we have been able to confirm we have the correct one from the 1936-37 Register of Electors. We have then been able to trace his wife, Lucy Isabella Hill, and their children and several of Lucy's ancestors from transcriptions of Dore Christ Church Parish Registers. Before moving to the Old School House, the Smiths were neighbours of Jo Rundle at Lane Head and she mentions them several times in her autobiography and in the articles she wrote for Totley Independent.
Jacqueline A. Gibbons has written to us from Toronto, Canada about her father, John Humphrey Gibbons, who went into WW1 as a Royal Naval mechanic, then a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and later RAF. John had two brothers, Tom and George. The family lived at Inglewood, Totley Brook Road in 1916. She would like more information about her family and the house they lived in. After some investigation, we believe the house to be number 24, one of the pair of Victorian semis next to the new URC church hall. We have been able to trace Jacqueline's father in census and military records, of which more later. Jacqueline's email has stimulated us into making faster progress with a gazetteer of street and house names which we hope will be useful; a first step has been to catalogue all of the 1900 or so current Totley addresses and postcodes.
Andrew Russell, who now lives in Hertfordshire, has told us about an article he is writing on the way the railway coming to Totley from Sheffield had an impact on the village and over time changed the area. Part of the article looks at John Ruskin's St. George's Farm. Andrew's article is to be published in The Companion, the journal of the Guild of St. George.
We have exchanged several emails with John Johnson, the youngest of Maurice and Annie Johnson's six sons, about his parents who lived at Lane Head, Baslow Road. Maurice was another of Totley's young men who fought in and survived the First World War and later played an active role in the community.
Paul Wise has written to us to clarify some of the detail in Bill Glossop's article about Harry Brearley. Paul's mother was Barbara Brearley Wise, the daughter of George Henry (Harry) and Nellie Bull who are mentioned in the article. We have appended Paul's letter in full at the foot of Bill's article for you to read.
We have heard from Reg Stones who was an under gardener at Beauchief Hall in the early 1950s, although for the last fifty years has lived in Dorset. Reg has been recounting his memories of the house and work at that time. There are connections with the Milner and Wilson families of course.
Chris Fletcher has written to us about a possible family history connection with Samuel Hopkinson, the local farmer and scythe maker who in or around 1818 opened the Cross Scythes Inn.
Howard Clay is another correspondent with an interest in family history. Howard noticed an article on our website about Charles and Elsie Coates, who were children of Charles and Elizabeth Coates, living at Oldway (Oldhay) Forge at the time of the 1901 census. Elsie Coates was Howard's grandmother.
Professor Martin Jones has written to us to try to obtain information about the history of his new home, Cotsford, Totley Brook Road. The house is built on the plot previously occupied by Rose Bank, which itself was the subject of a recent enquiry by Maggie O'Keefe.
We are delighted to hear from Paul Bennett who is a new resident to Totley and who works at the Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Paul has sent us a video clip of the demolition of the Totley Hall College tower which took place on Thursday, 12 August 1999. Tap or click on the photograph above to see the video and read about the demolition.
Chris Pearson, who lives in Somerset, has written to us to see whether we can help him find out more about a railway accident in Totley Tunnel in which his wife's grandfather was killed. We have been able to trace a report of the accident in the Derbyshire Times for 18 August 1944. A Hathersage man, Oscar Andrews was a platelayer working in the tunnel when he was struck by a passing light engine.
Whilst mentioning the tunnel, Ted Hancock - who gave us a fascinating and well-attended talk on the Railway Navvies - has been in touch about material he has spotted on our website. We are very grateful to Ted for his expertise in putting us right on a couple of matters and look forward to seeing his forthcoming book on the whole of the Dore & Chinley Railway.
Roy Ward, whose mother Nora Green lived on Chapel Walk, contacted us with the offer of material from the period of the Great War. Roy has now sent us a number of photographs that belonged to his parents. In some cases the subject of the photograph is known, in other cases not. The photograph above is of Roy's grandfather, Maurice Ward Senior who lived at 1 Grange Terrace. Maurice worked for the Derbyshire County Council as a road foreman.
Maggie O'Keefe has been in touch with us regarding her great grandfather's sister, Elizabeth Peel, who lived at Rose Bank on Totley Brook Road in the 1900s and who is buried in Dore churchyard.
Helen Thorne has written to us about her grandfather Frank Clarke and his sister Lucy Clarke who were at Cherrytree in the 1920s. We have been able to provide Helen with some additional information about what happened to her relatives after they left the orphanage.
Vince Bodsworth, who now lives in Wiltshire, has contacted us with the offer of a comprehensive history of the Ellison Family going back to around 1500. Vince is a grandson of Cymbert Edward Ellison, the younger son of the barrister Thomas Edward Ellison who lived at Totley Grove from the late 1890s until his death in 1920.
We have heard from George Howard Waterfall, great great grandson of John Waterfall, the landowner and businessman who is thought to have built Totley Grove. He has given us some further information about descendants of his great grandfather and his namesake and also pointed out an erroneous date in our article on the Waterfall Brothers which has now been corrected.
Frank Lawson has an interest in old South Yorkshire bricks and recently came across one with C B & Co impressed in the frog on one side of the brick and Totley impressed on the reverse side. Totley has a long history of brickmaking at Moor Edge. Around 1877 George Chadwick began brick and terra cotta manufacture there. Chadwick later entered a partnership with a Mr. Barker, and Frank's brick is likely to have been made by Chadwick, Barker & Co. which in 1881 became the Totley Terra Cotta & Fire Brick Company Limited although the old partnership name was still in use for trading purposes in 1883-84.
Tim Mole, The Editor of The New Mosquito, The Journal of the Salonika Campaign Society, 1915-1918, was kind enough to send us a copy of the issue containing an article by Norman Briffa on Early Heart Surgery on Salonika Casualty. The article tells the remarkable story of Robert Hugh Martin and makes use of a photograph and some material from our booklet Totley War Memorial WW1, 1914-1918.
Diane Neal has written to us from Leicestershire. Diane is researching the Hopkinson family in our area and believes she may be related to the farmer and scythe maker Samuel Hopkinson, who in about 1818 took the opportunity to open the Cross Scythes pub when the new turnpike road was built past his farm.
Peter Oates asked for our help to find the grave of Thomas Biggin of Dore Fields who died in 1861 and is buried in Christ Church graveyard. The gravestone inscription is rather memorable and it was mentioned in Dore to Door Issue 69. Although not among the photographs of gravestones that we had previously uploaded to the website, we have been able to find a copy in our image archive.
Richard Isaac of Brisbane, Queensland, is researching the history of his great grandfather Charles Isaac and his son Arthur Isaac who worked on the Totley Tunnel and were recorded in the 1891 Census at No. 4 Shaft. Charles was an experienced tunnelling worker and had previously worked for Thomas Andrew Walker, the contractor on the Severn tunnel (constructed between 1873 and 1886) and who went with Walker to start work on the Manchester Ship Canal in 1887 before moving to Totley.
John Mottershaw, grandson of the local film producer Frank Mottershaw, has given us a considerable amount of information on the Mottershaw family history and the development of the Sheffield Photo Company which we shall be writing up for the website shortly. John has also very kindly given us permission to publish a photograph taken during the filming of Robbery of the Mailcoach in 1903.
We have also heard from Fiona Lloyd, a great granddaughter of Frank Mottershaw and the granddaughter of Mrs. Spring, who for more than 50 years ran a sweet shop at 51 Baslow Road. Fiona is helping us with her memories of Totley Rise shops and with the Mottershaw family history.
Finally, sisters Jane Wright and Lisa Brassey who run the Rendezvous Cafe are tracing the history of the shops at the top of Mickley Lane and Main Avenue. Any old photographs of the shops that you may have would be of particular interest. If you are able to help, please contact us at our usual email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first event after the summer break will be on Wednesday 26th September when we welcome back Ted Hancock with a talk called An Exploration of the Life of Ebenezer Hall of Abbeydale Hall. Ebenezer Hall was a silversmith, magistrate and benefactor but is often best remembered for his objections to the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway which cut through his estate. The meeting is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30pm.
On Wednesday 24th October Thelma Griffiths will be giving us a talk called A Harvest of Healing; Historical and Medical Use of Sphagnum
Sphagnum moss has remarkable properties to hold liquid and to cure or stop infection. In a medical era before antibiotics the combination of the power to mop up copious quantities of blood and staunch open wounds, along with its healing powers, made sphagnum invaluable for helping the terrible injuries of war. The meeting begins at 7.30pm and is likely to be held in Totley Rise Methodist Church but please note that this venue is to be confirmed.
On Wednesday 28th November there will be an Open Meeting when everyone is invited to share memories of local Sports, Social and Community Groups. You may remember that this meeting was postponed in February because of snow. Please bring along any photographs or memorabilia that you may have. It starts at 7.30 p.m. in Totley Library.
A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.
Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections.
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.
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"
As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.
We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.
Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.
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 650 gravestones in the churchyard.
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