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Maya, aged 10, asked us what the old buildings next to the bowling green in Green Oak Park were used for. It is an interesting question and one that we have not been asked before.
Green Oak Park or Totley Recreation Ground, as it was originally called, was opened on 23 March 1929 by Mrs Sarah Milner, who lived at Totley Hall. There is a photograph of the opening day ceremony below. The park was on land that had been bought by the local Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder who lived at Mona Villas. In those days, of course, Totley was in Derbyshire and was part of Norton Rural District Council, along with places like Bradway, Greenhill and Beauchief.
The Council bought over 8 acres of land made up of two large fields which were called Red Wells and Gilling Storth, together with a 285 square yard plot of land which provided access to the park for vehicles and equipment from Lemont Road. The bowling green was not built until Spring 1956 although other sports like football and cricket took place in the park from soon after it was opened.
The simple answer to Maya's question is that the buildings were used by the members of the Green Oak Bowling Club. We have some floor plans which show us what they were used for. The main building had ladies' and gentlemen's changing rooms and toilets, an office and a "mess room" with a kitchen sink, where drinks would be made and food prepared. The smaller building was used as an office and a store for equipment. It would have had filing cabinets to keep club records and accounts. There was also a third building which was used partly as an office and storeroom and partly as a garage. No doubt they kept their mowing machine and other gardening equipment in there. That has now been demolished.
Why were there three offices? One of them is in the demolished building and would have originally been a garage. Another would have been for the park keeper. Most public parks had a keeper and published opening times which changed with the season. The park keeper would have locked the park gates at dusk and opened them again in the morning. The park keeper would also have been responsible for the maintenance of the park and for scheduling bookings for the football and cricket pitches. Harry Bellamy was appointed park keeper at Green Oak Park in 1951 and he and his family lived at first in a prefab before moving into a permanent home on Aldam Road. Harry remained in post until his death in 1970 at the early age of 52. His son, Clive, has been searching for a photograph of Harry, in his park keeper's uniform for many years. If you have any old photos of the park that might show Harry in his uniform, please get in touch with us.
However, if that is the simple answer, there is also a more complicated answer and one that we have not yet fully investigated. There is a lot of interest at the moment in the early days of Lemont Road. Tracing "the history of my house through time" has become a popular topic for research. We know from maps drawn by the Ordnance Survey and from land ownership records that the whole of this area was known as Green Oak and was pasture land until the 1870s. Mickley Lane had existed for a long time but Lemont Road had not yet been built. It was just a track across the fields.
The first houses on the road were probably Hawthorn Cottages, on the corner of Lemont Road and Mickley Lane (numbers 2, 4 and 6) which are dated with a plaque showing the year 1876. The three houses on the opposite corner, numbered 1 Lemont Road and 18 and 20 Mickley Lane, were built at much the same time. By the time the Ordnance Survey got around to mapping the area in 1896 most of the houses on the south (now park) side of the road had been built except for two gaps where numbers 19-25 (Moorland View) and 37-39 (Mona Villas) would later fit. However, the 1896 map shows some buildings next to number 33, in plot number 35, where the entrance to the park would be later.
If we move on to the next map we have, made in 1915, all the houses on the south side of the road have been built but there is a gap where number 35 would be and there are some buildings away from the roadside jutting into the field and a smaller separate building roughly where our small building would be. So could it be that they enlarged the older building (built before 1897) and built a second smaller building before 1915? We have one extra piece of evidence - a photograph.
Few people before the 1930s would have had their own camera and so picture postcards became a cheap and popular way of showing others where you lived or were visiting. We have a picture postcard taken from high up on Bradway Bank looking down across the fields towards the back of Lemont Road. Main Avenue can be seen in the distance at the top left. The houses in the bottom right corner (Brook Terrace and Glover House) were at the junction of Glover Road and Mickley Lane and have now been demolished.
Below is an enlargement of the area where our two buildings now stand. It is quite hard to see as the picture is rather blurred but there are buildings jutting out into the field. The trouble is they don't look much like the ones that are there today or even like the ones in the old maps. We can also see perhaps hen-houses or pig styes in the field near our buildings. The postcard was not sent, so we don't have a precise date for it but from the surrounding buildings and other postcards produced by the same company, it could be taken around 1926-28. It must be before 1929 as the park has not been created but after the Green Oak Labour Hall (now Heatherfield Hall) was built on Baslow Road in 1925.
So we are beginning to form a picture where the original building (perhaps erected in the 1890s) has been modified not once but possibly several times over the years.
What do we see if we look at the back of the building? We have a photograph from the Lemont Road entrance taken in 2013. It appears to show that all the brickwork is not the same. It looks older on the left, the bricks are darker and the mortar is more worn, newer on the section behind the sign for gentlemen and more modern still in the section between the two. That might tie in with our floor plan. There could have been two buildings that were later connected together. It is beginning to look like the ladies changing room and toilets were added later and, finally, walls built around the entrances to the toilets to provide more privacy.
The older, darker, part of the building, nearest Lemont Road has an entrance door with letter box, a wider cart door and a hatch above a modern window. Before the window was added, the cart door would have been higher. If this block had been built when the fields were being used for grazing, it would probably have been built to stable animals, or garage farm carts, with a hay loft above.
The old Totley Police Station stands at number 331 Baslow Road in the row of properties known as Grange Terrace. The top building, the old Post Office, at number 337, carries the datestone of 1882 and the lower terrace, from 313 to 329, a plaque bearing the initials of Thomas Earnshaw (the owner of Totley Grange) and the date 1889. We think that number 331 was built around 1882 as the keystones and continuous banding above the doorway and windows are similar to number 337 and it would appear that the two buildings bookended a much older, lower structure, now designated numbers 333-335. This used to be a farmhouse and is said to have been built around 1773 and the Police House was actually built in the farm's courtyard. It is unlikely to have been purpose built as the lock-up cells appear to have been added in 1890. Before the new Police Station was built, a Constable was stationed at Lemont Road, Henry Topley being there from around 1881 until 1886.
Police Constable Burford was probably the first policeman at number 331 as he was stationed at Totley Police Station from 1886 to 1890. John Burford was born in 1858 in Whiteladies Aston, Worcestershire. When John married Martha Heath at Norbury, Derbyshire on 29 August 1876, he gave his occupation as police officer. A first child Mary was born when they were living at nearby Roston. By 1878 John had been had moved to Parwich where three more children were born, Deliah Harriett, John William and Ellinor Maria. A fifth child, Adelaide Hannah, was born in 1885 when he was stationed at Grassmoor.
When he arrived in Totley John would have had at least ten years experience which was just as well because this period was perhaps the most difficult for policing. The construction of the Totley Tunnel had brought many navvies into the district and crime increased with this huge rise in the population. He was involved in many, often violent, incidents which won him praise from the townsfolk. A son, James Alfred Heath Burford was born in Totley, presumably at the Police Station, in spring 1888 and baptised at Dore Christ Church on 10 April.
In 1889, frequent disturbances amongst the navvies - there were rarely any issues between the navvies and the townsfolk - required additional police resources and Constable Smith was transferred from Ashbourne to be responsible for policing the operations on the Dore and Chinley Railway. Constables Walker and Maltby were transferred from Chesterfield to be based at Totley.
On the night of 17 January 1890 a burglar was spotted in bushes in the garden of George Slater at Wood Lea, Dore Road and was tackled by Constable Burford who received two crashing blows to the head after his helmet had been knocked off. Despite being stunned, he fought vigorously and Mr. Slater, hearing the commotion, threw open the window, at which the burglar pulled out a gun and fired two shots at John. Fortunately both the bullets narrowly missed their target but he became faint from the loss of blood and his assailant escaped. John Burford was off work afterwards with his injuries. The time was approaching for him to leave Totley. A group of prominent citizens petitioned the Chief Constable of Derbyshire for his retention but it was to no avail; he was transferred to Quarndon, near Derby as soon as he was fit to return to work. As a mark of their appreciation, Dore and Totley residents presented him with a testimonial comprising an illuminated address, silver watch and chain and a "purse of gold".
An intriguing advertisement appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on three successive days during June 1890. It read: WANTED, LABOURERS (used to Excavating) at New Police Station, Totley. - C. Grayson, Builder. We believe that the purpose was to excavate two lock-up cells that were built just below ground floor level and had an iron grill and door.
In the 1891 Census there was a Police Constable William Jones, aged 26, from Powick, Worcestershire living at what was described as the County Police Office, Totley. William was with his wife Charlotte Badham, aged 30, from Shrawley, Worcestershire and their son William Spencer, aged 3, born in Brampton, Derbyshire and daughter Amelia Ann, aged 1, born in Old Normanton. There were police stations in Brampton and Normanton and like Constable Burford, Constable Jones would have been moved between stations every few years. A third child, Sydney James Jones, was born in Totley in 1893. The Jones Family left Totley in September 1896 when William was transferred to Chunal Police Station, near Glossop.
Constable Jones was replaced by Constable Miles from Heage Police Station, near Ambergate. Charles Miles was born in St. Cross, South Elmham, Suffolk in 1861. His younger brother Robert was also in the Derbyshire Constabulary. Charles married Mary Rodgers at the Parish Church, Milford near Belper on 24 September 1890. They came to Totley with three children: Samuel John born in Milford in 1891, Isabel Sarah born in Heage in 1893 and Alfred born in Heage in 1896. Another daughter Emily had been born in 1894 but she died aged just 14 months. From newspaper reports we know that Constable Miles was still in Totley in April 1898 but was transferred to North Wingfield, near Chesterfield shortly afterwards.
He was succeeded by Constable Hallam from Shardlow Police Station. John William Hallam was born in Sandiacre, Derbyshire in 1853. He arrived in Totley with his second wife, Elizabeth Kirby. They had married at Ashover Parish Church on 5 February 1896. Their first child, Elizabeth, had died in infancy. Another daughter, Eleanor Mary, was born in Totley in the summer of 1898 and baptised at Dore Christ Church on 2 October. Their third child, Elsie, was also baptised at Dore on 15 December 1901.
The next occupant of the Police House was Sergeant Cutts. Francis Cutts was born in Danesmoor, North Wingfield, Derbyshire in 1873. He married Edith Barnes in 1896 at Derby Register Office. Although born in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany Edith was a British national. They had one son, Leslie, who was born in Whittington, Derbyshire in 1897. In October 1907 Sergeant Cutts was sued at Sheffield County Court for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment by Thomas Marshall, a labourer from Sheffield. Sergeant Cutts, accompanied by two police constables from Dore, had watched the man loitering in the hayloft behind Thornfield House in Totley Brook Road and believed him to be responsible for, or connected with, a spate of burglaries in the area. The householder, Charles Haywood Hoyland, had no complaint to make and fully encouraged Mr. Marshall to pursue his claim in court. After due deliberation His Honour Judge Benson decided he must support Sergeant Cutts' version of events. Sergeant Cutts was transferred to Halfway Police Station in August 1908.
His successor at Totley Police Station was Sergeant Burchby. Arthur Burchby was born in Letwell, near Maltby in 1870. He married Mary Alice Lumby at St. John the Evangelist, Carlton in Lindrick, Nottinghamshire on 7 December 1898. They had two children, Marjorie Alice born in 1890 in Radbourne and George Rollitt born in 1905 in Spondon, both on the outskirts of Derby. Sergeant Burchby was still at Totley Police Station in the 1911 Census. On 13 February 1913 it was announced that he had been promoted to Inspector but would remain at Totley for the time being.
On 20 October 1913 it was reported that Sergeant Hall would transfer to Totley from Stoney Middleton. Frederick Hall was born in Billingborough, Lincolnshire in 1875. He had married Jane Oliver on 4 August 1902 at Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire. They arrived in Totley with five children born in Burbage, Derbyshire: Ernest in 1903, Leonard in 1904, Arthur Henry in 1906, Mabel in 1908 and Nellie in 1911. Their sixth child, Stanley, had been born in Stoney Middleton earlier in 1913. The Halls stayed at Totley Police Station until about 1923 and had three more children in Totley, all girls: Elsie in 1914, Ethel in 1916 and finally Florence in 1917.
The next and we think last incumbent at the Police Station was Sergeant Wood. George Thomas Wood was born on 30 July 1889 in Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire. He joined the Derbyshire Constabulary in May 1911 and was stationed at Matlock Bath before being transferred to the Acting Chief Constable's Office in Chesterfield in October 1914. He joined the army in May the following year as a Private in the North Staffordshire Regiment and rose to the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant before receiving his commission on 27 June 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Regiment. Like so many, his military service record has not survived but we know that he saw a good deal of action with the enemy.
After the war George returned to his civilian occupation and was stationed at Bakewell. It was there at the Mill Street Congregational Chapel that he married Harriet Ann Newton on 16 June 1920. On 1 August 1921 he was promoted to Sergeant and stationed at Chesterfield. He was transferred to Totley Police Station in late 1922 or early 1923 and remained there for there for the next ten years. During their time in Totley, George and Harriet had two daughters, Mona born on 12 January 1926 and Betty on 7 August 1930.
By 1933 the complement at Totley police station had risen to one Police Sergeant and four Police Constables, two of whom Constables Bagshaw and Brindley lived in houses in lower Grange Terrace. Constables William Paskin and Sydney Andrew made up the quartet. Sergeant Wood was now responsible not just for the police station at Totley but also for those at Holmesfield and Dore. It was a common sight to see him on his motor cycle and sidecar driving between the three villages. He left it to his Constables to walk the beat, Paskin around the old village and Andrews around the Laverdene and New Totley estates. Both men were popular and highly regarded; the beat policeman was still a respected figure in the community.
There was hardly any serious crime in Totley but enough petty theft, illegal drinking and gambling, assaults and traffic accidents to keep the men busy, especially being located adjacent to the Cross Scythes and Fleur de Lys pubs which attracted many visitors from the city at weekends. Perhaps the most serious crime was poaching. The policemen knew to distinguish between those who poached for the family pot and those who poached to make a living and who could be armed and dangerous when approached. The police station closed in 1934 when Totley was absorbed, against the will of the parish council, into Sheffield and Yorkshire.
The first family to move into the newly privatised number 331 were the Wortleys. John William Wortley was born in Sheffield in 1888. He had married Mary Ann Burgess at Dore Christ Church on 27 January 1912. They had moved to Grange Terrace from Chapel Walk together with their three children all of whom were born in Totley: Clifford Stanley (known as Stanley) in 1912, Leslie in 1914, and Winifred in 1916. They were all still at number 331 in 1936 but Stanley left the following year when he got married. In the National Register compiled on 29 September 1939, John Willie, Mary Ann, Leslie and Winnie were still at the old Police House. John Willie was working as a labourer for the city Cleansing Department, Leslie was a plumber and Winnie a paid domestic help. In a letter to the Totley Independent in September 2009, Joseph W. Abson said he remembered Mrs. Wortley showing children the cells accompanied by cautionary words that they could end up there if they misbehaved. The Wortley family were still at number 331 at the time of John Willie's death in 1943. He was buried at Dore Christ Church on 9 October.
Mr. Abson said that after the Wortleys left number 331, the next occupant was a gentleman called Percy Crossland. Under the floor of one of the cells was a well supplied by springs situated in what were the farm fields behind the Fleur de Lys, now the Stocks Green Estate. Mr. Crossland had a small generator to work a pump to drain the water when the well overflowed and flooded the cells.
We are grateful to Colin Beal for sending us these two images of a postcard he came across. It is postmarked Rotherham 9.45pm, 10 December 1907 and addressed to:
Miss Abell, "Holly Dene", Totley Brook Rd, Near Sheffield.
The message reads:
Dear E. Kindly excuse this P.C. instead of promised letter. Father very poorly & myself bad with neuralgia, tell you all on Thursday, excuse ?. Yours in haste. With Best Wishes etc. Harry.
Thanks for your P.C.
The recipient was Edith Annie Abell who was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield to parents William Penty Abell, a butcher, and his wife Mary Ann Pridmore who married at St. Simon, Eyre Street, Sheffield on 28 April 1884. William was from Selby, Yorkshire and Mary Ann from Luffenham, Rutland.
The Abells had a son, William, who was born on 30 June 1885 when the family were living at Matilda Street in central Sheffield. Both children were baptised at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. By 1901 the Abell Family had moved to 25 Wadborough Road, Ecclesall, near the Botanical Gardens.
They moved to our area in the 1900s, presumably after father William retired. It would appear they initially lived at Grange Farm, at the village end of Dore Road, where they had a substantial amount of land including a plot facing on to The Green. The farm was offered for sale at auction in May 1906. The Abells moved to Holly Dene, now 104, Totley Brook Road until around 1910 when they moved into a new detached house called Melrose built next door at number 106. We know this from advertisements that they placed in local newspapers for the sale of eggs and pigs.
Son William was not with them in 1911. He had become an engineer and was living in lodgings at 14 Bawtry Road, Tinsley. He appears to have been living in Morecambe when he married Lizzie Taylor at All Saints, Ecclesall, Sheffield on 16 November 1916. We haven't been able to find a military service record for him but that doesn't mean he did not serve during the war. Certainly his name is not on any of the rolls of honour in our local churches. William lived at 28 Woodholm Road, Ecclesall in 1939 when he was an engineer in a steel works.
Edith and her parents continued to live at Melrose at least until 1917 but later moved to nearby 17 Chatsworth Road where they stayed for the rest of their lives. Father William died on 26 January 1935 aged 73. Mother Mary Ann died on 12 January 1951 aged 91 and finally Edith died on 3 December 1964 aged 77. Edith Abell never married. She was buried in the same grave as her parents at Dore Christ Church on 10 December 1964.
It seems most unlikely that we will ever know who wrote the postcard. If it was a sweetheart, they didn't marry. There's a possibility it might have been a cousin. There were Abells and Pridmores in Rotherham in the 1911 census but no obvious candidates.
We have added the postcard to our Virtual Museum. Postcards addressed to Totley residents do come up for sale on eBay from time to time and we hope to bring you more in the future.
Inside Dore and Totley United Reformed Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their King and Country during the Great War. With so much time on our hands during the coronavirus lockdown, we are working our way through the list to find out more about who these men were. For some their war service record has survived, for others there are just the briefest details. Here is the story for Sydney Barker Townsend and below for William Ongley Miller.
Sydney Barker Townsend was born in Sheffield in 1880. His father was William Henry Townsend who was born in Sheffield in 1857, the eldest of three children of William Townsend, a comb maker, and his wife Martha Ann Mathews who married at Kings Norton, Worcestershire in 1854. His mother was Emma Townsend, who was born in Kenilworth, Warwickshire in 1856, the seventh of eleven children of William Townsend, a stone mason, and his wife Charlotte Matthews who married at at Leamington Priory on 16 July 1843. Sydney's parents were first cousins, their fathers being sons of James Townsend, a comb maker from Kenilworth, and his wife Sarah Barker. Although their wives were called Matthews and were both born in Warwickshire, they were not closely related.
Sydney's father William Henry Townsend died in Broadmoor Criminal Asylum on 22 August 1930, aged 73, having been an inmate there for most of the previous 37 years. He had been a gunsmith in Sheffield when his mind became unhinged in 1893. He became obsessed with the idea that by murdering the then Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, he would be rendering a service to the nation by denying Ireland Home Rule. He wrote a threatening letter to Mr. Gladstone and followed this up by journeying to London with a loaded revolver to carry out his threat. He stood about in Downing Street until the Prime Minister appeared from number 10, stepped forward to shoot, but at the vital moment lost heart and momentarily let go of the revolver which he later fired at nothing in particular when approached by a policeman at the rear of number 10. He was arrested and tried at the Central Criminal Court in May 1893 on charges of sending the threatening letter and for discharging a firearm to the common danger. He pleaded innocent but, without leaving the court, the jury found him guilty though not responsible for his actions due to insanity. He was sentenced to be detained at the Queen's pleasure.
In 1903 he had recovered and was discharged but had to be re-admitted later the same year having relapsed. In 1927 he was again released but had to be taken back in 1929. During a period of sanity, he told a friend that "Mr. Gladstone's back was turned to me and I was just going to fire when he turned and smiled at me. His smile was so charming that I had not the heart to shoot him." The detention order was signed on 1 June 1893 by the then Home Secretary, Herbert Henry Asquith, who would himself become Prime Minister in 1908. There was a history of insanity in the family and William Henry's grandmother, Sarah Barker, and an uncle had died in Hatton Lunatic Asylum, near Warwick.
William Henry left school at 16 and was apprenticed as a commercial clerk to Messrs Turner, Naylor & Co., edge tool manufacturers, a job which he undertook perfectly satisfactorily until in 1877 he suddenly and without explanation enlisted as a soldier. The military life soon proved to be not of his liking and he was bought out of the army by his father with the help of a Sheffield M.P. His old employers accepted him back and he became a commercial traveller for them. On 30 May 1878 William Henry married his cousin Emma Townsend at All Saints, Ecclesall. Three children were born in Sharrow: Annie in 1879, Sydney in 1880 and Winifred in 1882. Then quite suddenly William Henry left home telling Emma that he was going to South Africa whilst sending a letter to his father saying he was going to America.
Several weeks passed without a word until a cablegram arrived from Sydney, New South Wales, with the single word "HOPE". If it was an acronym it was not understood. A letter followed stating that he had obtained a good position working for an ironmonger. He undertook this work entirely satisfactorily for a period of a year during which he begged his wife to join him in Australia. In December 1882 William Henry returned to England with the intention of fetching his family and, in February the following year, the Townsend family sailed together aboard the SS Glenogil arriving in Sydney on 29 April.
They lived happily in Balmain, New South Wales for almost five years during which William Henry's behaviour both at work and home was exemplary despite the setback of Winifred's death in 1884. However, in March 1888, just as suddenly as before, William Henry left home. Nothing was heard of him but he later said that he had travelled around New South Wales, Queensland and even Tasmania following Lord Carrington, the governor of New South Wales, with the intention of murdering him. With no means of support, Emma, Annie and Sydney returned to England and went to live with family in Kenilworth. William Henry eventually turned up in Sheffield at his father's house the following year in a distressed condition. Again his father helped him, providing him with money and having him examined by doctors including a Dr. Barber who concluded that he was a man whose brain could be easily exhausted during which time he would be insane.
William Townsend also found his son a position as an assistant to William George Liversidge in his gunshop in Sheffield Haymarket. William Henry stayed in Mr Liversidge's employment for more than three years during which he had at least one further relapse when he took one of his employer's guns and went to Ireland with the intention of punishing a cousin who, he thought, had done his father an injury. Fortunately William Henry managed to recover his sanity before any harm was done and he returned to his employer a few days later.
Another daughter Charlotte Jessie was baptised at Heeley Parish Church on 4 May 1892 but she died after only five months and was buried on 5 September. Emma said that as a husband and a father, William Henry was a kind and caring man. Quiet and sober, he would spend hours devouring books and newspapers. He had become intensely interested in politics and especially the Irish Home Rule question. On Friday 21 April, the second reading of the Government of Ireland Bill 1893 (better known as the Second Home Rule Bill) was approved by a majority of 347 to 304. The following day William Henry did not return after work to his home at 17 Hyde Road. Emma became worried but could not find him. William Henry had taken a train firstly to Brighton where he hoped to confront Mr. Gladstone on the Sunday but instead it was in London on Wednesday 26 April that he finally met up with his intended victim. After William Henry's incarceration, a son Lawrence John was born. He was baptised at Heeley Parish Church on 15 September 1893.
In the 1901 Census Emma, Annie, Sydney, Margaret and Lawrence were living at Sheaf House, Abbeydale Road South, the building which housed the Beauchief telephone exchange. Emma was an operator for the National Telephone Company. Sydney, aged 20, had become an electrical engineer for the same organisation. Soon after the children began to leave home. On 7 September 1912, Annie married Walter Talbot Wingfield, an electroplate cutler, at All Saints Parish Church, Ecclesall. In 1904 Sydney married Miriam Liller. She was born in Attercliffe in 1875, the second of six children of Henry Liller, a manager with Cammell Laird & Co., and his wife Miriam Marsh who had married in 1870 at East Retford, Nottinghamshire. Lawrence joined the Royal Navy at Devonport in April 1909.
By the time of the 1911 Census, Emma was alone at Sheaf House except for a live-in domestic servant. Margaret was a governess living with Annie and Walter and their two children at 95 Marshall Road, Woodseats. Lawrence was at Portland aboard the battleship Bellerophon. Sydney and Miriam lived at 28 Broom Grove, Rotherham with their three children: Cyril Liller born in Sheffield in 1905, Eric Henry born in Dore in 1907 and Marjorie born in Rotherham in 1910. Sydney was a manager for the National Telephone Company whose operating licence ran out on 31 December 1911 and whose business was transferred to the General Post Office. Sydney and his family soon moved back to Sheffield to live at 43 Roach Road, Sharrow. Cyril and Eric were admitted to Hunters Bar School on 10 February 1913 and were still in the same school when war broke out.
Sydney's war service record has not survived but we know that he joined the Royal Engineers as Sapper number 192153 and was sent to Mesopotamia on 4 August 1916. There was an urgent need to improve the infrastructure there including the building of roads, bridges, hospitals and communications lines. He received a commission as Second Lieutenant on 11 October 1918 and was later awarded the Victory Medal and British War medal.
In 1922 Sydney and the family were living at 25 Deakins Walk, Ranmoor but they were living in Middlesbrough when their eldest son Cyril married Kathleen Muxlow at Dore and Totley Union Church on 27 December 1929. Cyril had become an electrical engineer. Kathleen was the second of four children of Edgar Muxlow, a crucible steel manufacturer, and his wife Margaret Annie Havenhand. Kathleen's elder brother, Joseph Wharton Muxlow, also served in the war and his story appears elsewhere on our website.
Eric Townsend married Florence Genevieve Pullen on 16 September 1933 in the Roman Catholic Church at Hassop, Derbyshire. Florence was the youngest of six children of George Edward James Pullen, a Regimental Sergeant Major with the Notts and Derby Regiment, and his wife Ellen Margaret Fane. Eric was an engineer with Ericsson Telephones when he and Florence emigrated to South Africa in 1947.
Sydney Townsend died on 7 September 1937 in Leeds Infirmary. He was aged 57 and had been living at 11 Red Hall Avenue, Shadwell. The service was at Dore and Totley Union Church, three days later. Miriam moved back to our area after Sydney's death and was living at 33 Marstone Crescent when the 1939 National Register was compiled. She never remarried and died at 10 Dudley Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey on 6 December 1957, aged 83.
William Ongley Miller was born in Haywards Heath, Sussex in 1883. His father was Frederick Miller, who was born in 1850 in Hailsham, Sussex, the fifth of eight children of Edward Miller, a chemist and later photographer, and his wife Susannah Doubell who had married at Trinity Church, Maidstone, Kent on 23 August 1843. William's mother was Matilda Goldsmith who was born in Newenden, Kent in 1848, the fifth of seven children of William Goldsmith, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Sarah Manser who had married in Rye, Sussex in 1838.
In the 1871 Census, Fred Miller was in service as a footman in the household of William Brodie in Devonshire Place, Eastbourne, Sussex. Matilda Goldsmith was working as a parlourmaid for James Van Sommer in nearby Burlington Place. It would seem that they met through Esther Goldsmith, possibly Matlida's aunt, who was the Brodie's cook. After their marriage in Eastbourne on 4 March 1874 Fred and Matilda went to live in Brede, near Rye, Sussex where their first child Frederick Douglas was born on 6 December 1874. Their next child, Florence Matilda, was born in Brighton in 1879 but when the next census was taken, on 3 April 1881, the Millers had moved to 2 Vaudois, South Road, Haywards Heath and Fred had become an artist in watercolours.
Daughter Elsie Louisa was born on 2 June 1881 and William Ongley on 21 October 1883. William's unusual middle name had been passed down from Fanny Ongley who married his great grandfather Thomas Miller at St. George, Hanover Square, Westminster on 18 October 1814. Another son, Malcolm Doubell, was seven weeks old when the 1891 census was taken. The Miller family was recorded living at Gordon Villa, South Road, Haywards Heath. Fred was working as a school drawing master and eldest son Douglas had become an apprentice photographer, following his grandfather's trade.
In 1896 Douglas opened the Mid-Sussex Photographic Studio at 16 Boltro Road, Haywards Heath. The studio was spacious with reception rooms and Douglas was able to defray his costs by renting out part of his premises to an ophthalmic optician. He still lived with his parents, however, who by 1901 were at Laurel Villa, Sydney Road, Haywards Heath. On 18 February 1905, Douglas married Kate Elizabeth, the elder daughter of David Peerless, a timber merchant, at the Countess of Huntingdon's Church, North Street, Brighton.
By 1911 only daughter Elsie was left at home with Fred and Matilda at Laurel Villa. Douglas and his family were living at 9 Boltro Road, across the road from his original studio. Malcolm was at 12 Prince Albert Street, Brighton where he worked for and lodged with Stewart Acton who dealt in and restored antique pottery and porcelain. William who had earlier studied at the Brighton School of Art was now lodging at 36 Danvers Street, Chelsea and studying at the Royal College of Art. He was awarded their diploma later that year.
On 31 December 1912 William married Eva Worsley, a school teacher, at Tilston, near Malpas, Cheshire. Eva was born in Cheadle, Cheshire on 30 May 1888, the second of five children of Samuel Worsley, a joiner, and his wife Martha Ann Catterall who were married at St. Chad's, Prees, Shropshire on 9 March 1886. After their marriage they moved to our area where William took up a teaching role at Sheffield School of Art. They lived at Mooredge, (6) Leyfield Road, Dore. A daughter Winifred Elsie was born on 11 October 1913.
William was aged 31 when war broke out. He attested on 9 December 1915 in Sheffield and was mobilised on 24 June 1916. Two days later he was posted to the 3rd Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment (the Sherwood Foresters) as Private number 49226. William qualified on a rifle training course on 22 September 1916 at Tyne Garrison, East Boldon, near Sunderland but on 21 October he suffered an injury to his knee whilst on ordinary military duties at nearby Cleaden Hutments. It was thought to be a temporary injury and he was promoted to acting corporal on 28 October. However, the injury proved to be more serious than at first thought and he was transferred to army reserve on 3 April 1917 and finally discharged on 25 October 1917 no longer fit for war service.
William's younger brother Malcolm also served in the war, attesting in Brighton on 4 September 1914. He was posted to the Royal Army Medical Corps as Private number 40841. Malcolm's war lasted only 175 days before he too was discharged no longer fit for war service on 25 February 1915. His medical condition is not stated on the surviving pages of his war service record.
William's older brother Douglas had become very well known in mid Sussex. As well as studio photographs he also published postcards of scenes around Sussex that he and perhaps others had photographed. He also encouraged his wife, a pianoforte teacher, in her many activities including musical concerts and support for the Women's Total Abstinence Union and women's suffrage. Douglas became the secretary of the Haywards Heath Liberal club but he gave that up in June 1915 when the club premises were occupied by the army. In February 1916 he sold his photographic studios in Boltro Road to a competitor, Ebenezer William Pannell (1886-1951), and moved to 4 Westbourne Terrace, Worthing.
Douglas Miller had been granted exemption from combatant services as a conscientious objector. When he subsequently ignored his calling-up papers he was arrested as an absentee under the Military Services Act. He was brought up before the Mayor at the police station on 13 September 1918 and fined £2 and told that he had forfeited the protection he had received from combatant service by failing to answer his call-up notice. So far as we know that was the end of the matter. Douglas continued to make a living from selling picture postcards. The excellent Sussex Postcards website says that he published well over 1,500 different cards and with minor variations possibly as many as 2,500. Kate Miller died in Hove on 19 March 1959, aged 83. Douglas died on 7 June 1961 at the Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea, aged 96.
Fred Miller died on 26 June 1917 at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton following a bowel operation. He was buried at the Extra Mural Cemetery, Brighton three days later. Fred had specialised in marine painting, working in both oils and watercolours, but he also painted landscapes particularly of scenes in the Cuckfield and Haywards Heath area. His works were exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Society of British Artists. His widow Matilda continued to live at Laurel Villa until around 1930 but later moved to 124 Waldegrave Road, Brighton where in 1939 she was living with her daughter Elsie and sister-in-law Flora. She died in Brighton in 1947, aged 99. Elsie died in Brighton in 1973. She was aged 92 and unmarried.
After leaving the army William resumed his role at the Sheffield School of Art until around 1920 when he took a post at the Manchester School of Art for several years before moving back south to become the Headmaster of Gravesend School of Art, Kent. In September 1928 he was short-listed for the post of Principal of the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts, as it had become known, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In the 1939 Register William was the Head of the renamed Gravesend School of Arts and Crafts and was living at The Heights, 44 Pine Avenue, Gravesend together with wife Eva and daughter Winifred who had become an assistant mistress at a secondary school. Winifred married Gerard Henry Tallack, a journalist with the Financial Times, in 1941.
After William retired, he and Eva continued to live at The Heights until her death on 11 February 1957, aged 68. William later lived with his daughter and son-in-law at 38 Canonbury Park South, Islington. Middlesex. He died on 10 May 1960 at St. Joseph's Hospice, Mare Street, South Hackney. He was aged 76. His works were exhibited at the Royal Academy, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery which still holds a rather unflattering portrait of his daughter which he painted in 1929.
We would like to thank our many readers for their correspondence in recent times.
Stewart Taylor has written to tell us he has now built a website to display the Taylor Family history in Dore and Totley. You may remember that Stewart has been researching his family history for some time. His grandfather, Shirley Taylor, was well-known in the area from his days as bandleader of the Dore Brass Band and later as steward of the Dore Club. Many of the family worked as scythe smiths for Tyzacks at Abbeydale Works and Little London or as brickmakers for Pickford Holland. Stewart's great-uncle Farewell Taylor was a stone mason who worked on several of the gravestones in Dore churchyard. The website is still in its infancy and Stewart would welcome any relevant photographs and other material that you may have.
Noel Lees came across our website when searching for Frederick Kenneth Arthur Seals, one of the thirteen Second World War servicemen and women who are commemorated on Totley War Memorial. Noel had a relative, John Henry Stirk, who was a crew member of a Lancaster bomber in 1942 that was shot down and all the crew killed. Ken Seals was also a member of that crew and Noel is trying to trace any living descendants of all the crew members. Ken was unmarried when he died but he did have a sister, Elsa Doreen, who was born in Sheffield in 1931 and who married Zygmunt Mazur in Totley All Saints Church on 29 March 1952. Zygmunt was born in Poland in 1925 and became a naturalised British citizen in Sheffield in 1959. What became of Elsa afterwards we do not know. We have not found a death for her but we have found a death for Zygmunt Mazur in Sheffield in 1997. Ken Seals also had a cousin, Alice E. Pulford, who married Robin George Winstone in 1940. Alice and Robin lived in Surrey where they had a daughter, Elise, born in 1953. Elise Pulford married Rodney S. Brown in Kingston Upon Thames district in 1971. Robin Winstone died in 2006. From online electoral rolls we have found Alice Winstone, Rodney and Elise Brown living together at 361 Malden Road, Worcester Park, Surrey in 2008 and it looks as though Alice was still there in 2012. If anyone can tell us any more about Elsa Doreen Mazur or Alice E. Winstone we would be very pleased to hear from you.
Will Swales is researching the history of the Rutland Arms, Bakewell, on behalf of its new owners. One of his tasks is to work out the sequence of Derbyshire land agents for the Duke of Rutland and in that regard he came across Josie Dunsmore's article on the Coke Family of Totley Hall. D’Ewes Coke (1774-1856) became agent for the Derbyshire estates in 1811 and, after his retirement, may have been succeeded temporarily by John Fletcher who signed himself the Duke's agent at Belvoir Castle in 1840 before Captain William Underwood became the Duke's permanent agent in Castle Hill, Bakewell in 1841.
Maya, aged 10, asked us what the old buildings next to the bowling green in Green Oak Park were used for. Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 by Mrs Sarah Milner, of Totley Hall. The park was on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder who lived at Mona Villas, 37 Lemont Road. As well as 8 acres of land made up of two large fields, the Council also bought a 285 square yard plot of land which provided access to the park for vehicles and equipment. In later years, the buildings would have been used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture. It would probably have been used to stable animals, or garage farm carts, with a hay loft above.
Colin Beal came across a picture postcard of the Rockingham Mausoleum in Wentworth Park, Rotherham that he thought might be of interest to us. It was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and postmarked Rotherham, 9.45pm, 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield to parents William Penty Abell, a butcher, and his wife Mary Ann Pridmore. Together with their son William, the Abells relocated to our area in the 1900s living initially at Grange Farm, Dore before moving to Holly Dene and then Melrose on Totley Brook Road. Edith's parents stayed there until at least 1917 but then moved to 17 Chatsworth Road where they stayed for the rest of their lives.
Kenneth Covell wondered if there was a connection between William Henry Theaker of Leadenham, Lincolnshire who married his ancestor Jane Covel in 1860 and Ethelbert Theaker, the newsagent of Totley Rise. We have traced Ethelbert's ancestry back four generations. He was born in Sheffield like his father, Henry Theaker, a general dealer, who married Ruth Jones at St Paul, Sheffield on 6 August 1867. Ethelbert's grandfather was Benjamin Theaker, a joiner, who was born in Retford, Nottinghamshire in 1812, the son of Thomas Theaker, also a joiner, who lived in Clarborough, near Retford. There appears to be no connection with Lincolnshire in Ethelbert's family tree but we know from other studies that many Sheffield families have their roots there. It would not be at all surprising if both families were connected if only they could be traced back far enough.
Rina Pacitti is moving home and wrote to ask about the history of both her old house at number 331 Baslow Road and her new one at number 85b. The former property is the old Totley Police Station which we believe was built around the same time as the corner Post Office which carries a datestone of 1882. It is unlikely to have been purpose-built as it would appear that two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934. Rina's new property is a converted outbuilding at the rear of 85-87 Baslow Road, the former Abbeydale Club and later Queen's Social Club. It may have been built around the same time as the main building, circa 1879, and used orginally as a coach-house. The chamfered corner of the building would have been to protect horses from injury as they rounded the tight driveway.
Grace Darney got in touch with us from Canada having read the correspondence from Stephen Acaster regarding photos of unnamed soldiers of WW1. Stephen thought one of the soldiers was wearing the uniform of the Durham Light Infantry and he wondered if men from Totley would join that unit. Grace assured us that they did as her great uncle Alfred Riley had served in that regiment, attesting in Sheffield on 11 October 1905. The family lived for a while in Green Oak and Alfred and his half-brother Robert Riley Lenthall both attended Totley Church School. Whilst Robert survived the war, Alfred was killed in action on 7 December 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. He is not commemorated on any local war memorial.
James N. Gill contacted us seeking to be put in touch with others who might share an interest in the family history of the Hukin family who feature in a number of articles on our website. George Edward Hukin was a friend of the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter. Many of the Hukins were razor grinders and Jonathan Nicholas sent us some wonderful photographs of his early ancestors and their dangerous occupation. We have now extended our research into this family and it would appear that Jonathan and George Edward are third cousins, twice removed, both being descended from Joshua Hukin (1743-1816), basketmaker of Sheffield and his wife Hannah Glossop (1742-1813). A summary of our research is now published in PDF format at the foot of Jonathan's article.
Peter Wilson had seen our article about Guy Mitchell's Brook House model railway and the accompanying extract from Model Railways and Locomotives magazine for November 1910. Peter asked us a number of technical questions about the railway's construction which we were unable to answer. We are very grateful to Mick Savage, of Sheffield Model Engineers, who supplied us with many photographs of the railway for offering to answer Peter's queries.
Margaret Pepall lives on Queen Victoria Road in a property that stands on the site of an older house that had been demolished. She was keen to learn about the old house and its occupants. In the course of our research we uncovered that living there in 1939 were Jack Vickers-Edwards and his wife Ida. Yet neither were who they said they were. Jack was born Edward Alfred Edwards in Wakefield, the son of Edward Joseph Vickers Edwards, an architect, and his first wife Sara Turner. Jack was a WW1 veteran and his war service record survives naming Ida as his wife. In fact her name was Adelina Clara Greenwood and she was born in Bermondsey, London, the daughter of Thomas Greenwood, a police detective. Jack and Ida finally married in Derbyshire in 1962. He appears to have died the following year in Pontefract. Ida died in Spen Valley in 1973.
Beth Guiver was helping to write a school workshop on WW2 at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and wondered if we might be willing to share the memories of local people who were children in the war years. We were very happy to send her some links to items on our website about the air raid shelters, air raid wardens, home service schooling, the temporary fire station, German PoWs, shopping and rationing, and more besides. Beth really enjoyed reading and listening to the stories and, as she says, personal accounts really help us to understand the impact on people's daily lives as seen through the eyes of children.
Lisa Green saw the correspondence on our website about John Thomas Osborne. Lisa is the great granddaughter of Albert Green who married John Thomas's daughter Ada Beatrice. The Green and Osborne families were close neighbours in Summer Lane in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. Lisa is hoping to visit our area and was keen to know more about the place they lived, the school they attended and the church where they worshipped.
Alison Boneham (nee Douglas) had been sorting out her late mother's papers and came across reference to Norwood High School. She was delighted to find our website which brought back many memories. Everyone remembers different things. It was good to get the memories of a girl about the school - the uniform, the illnesses and the lunches. All the earlier contributions we have had were from boys and yet the school photographs show an almost equal number of boys and girls arranged alternately.
Chris Emsley collects the war medals of men from Sheffield and north Derbyshire. One of these soldiers was Charles Herbert Nunn of Green Oak who enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad and saw action which earned him the Military Medal.
Pauline Memmott found a certificate awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Totley, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. As there was no connection with her own family, Pauline sought our help having found several mentions of Isaac on our website. We discovered that Isaac was a signalman at Dore & Totley Station and he and his wife Ellen lived for many years at 13 Lemont Road. As they had no children, we researched the lives of Isaac's seven brothers and sisters but so far we have been unable to trace a living relative.
2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned spacecraft landing on the moon. Neil Armstrong (commander), Buzz Aldrin ("Eagle" lunar module pilot) and Michael Collins ("Columbia" command module pilot) were the crew of Apollo 11 which landed on the moon on 20 July. Ian Clark drew our attention to this article about its predecessor, Apollo 10, which flew in May 1969 and was the dress rehearsal for the first landing. Follow this link It Came From Outer Space... to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet! to read how the Apollo 10 command module "Charlie Brown" made an appearance at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in 1971 as part of a European tour.
Sarah Dean has written to us from Australia about her 4x great grandfather Samuel Dean having seen a small report in our Newspaper Archive. In 1832 Samuel pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from George Bustard Greaves's Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation. Upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English soldier, explorer, road builder and pioneer. Samuel married Catherine Hanlon Mary Kinsella in 1838 and, after receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, he and Catherine went on to have at least fourteen children together. Samuel Dean died in 1899 and his death certificate reveals he was born in Whitechapel in 1811 to parents Samuel Dean, a butcher, and Susanna Duck but so far we have been unable to find any records of his parents or any explanation of how he came to be in Totley.
Graham Wood wrote to us to see whether we could help him locate a copy of a photograph which he remembered seeing, possibly in the Old Nag's Head in Edale, dating from the time of the building of Cowburn Tunnel, the second longest tunnel on the Dore & Chinley Railway. The photo was of a locomotive being hauled down the windy road from Stanage Edge towards Barber Booth. We found from newspaper archives that a trackway had been laid across the moors and that by June 1889 a locomotive was working in Edale, taking spoil away from the eastern portal of Cowburn Tunnel to a tip at Barber Booth and probably bringing bricks and other materials towards the tunnel. As the Cowburn tunnel was not pierced until July 1891, improbable though it seems, there is every chance the locomotive was brought there by this route but so far we haven't been able to obtain a copy of the photograph.
Sarah Dean has written to us from Australia about her 4x great grandfather Samuel Dean having seen a small report in our Newspaper Archive. In 1832 Samuel pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from George Bustard Greaves's Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation. Upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English soldier, explorer, road builder and pioneer. Samuel married Catherine Hanlon Mary Kinsella in 1838 and, after receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, he and Catherine went on to have at least fourteen children together. Samuel Dean died in 1899 and his death certificate reveals he was born in Whitechapel in 1811 to parents Samuel Dean, a butcher, and Susanna Duck but so far we have been unable to find any records of his parents or any explanation of how he came to be in Totley.
Ellie Phillips got in touch with us about former occupants of her house on Lemont Road. Ellie allowed us access to her deeds including an 1879 indenture which contained a number of familiar names including Thomas Bown (publican at The Cross Scythes), William Robert Poole (farmer and contractor of Brook Hall), Tedbar Tinker and Thomas Kilner (respectively owner and manager of Totley Chemical Works) and Robert Ramsey Poole (headmaster and son-in-law of John Cockerton, Headmaster of Dronfield Grammar School and incumbent of the Abbey Church at Beauchief). In more recent times the house was occupied by a dairyman who use the outbuildings used to make butter.
Barbara Green contacted us having read on our website about the railway contractor, Thomas Oliver, who built the Totley Tunnel. Although Thomas was raised in Chesterfield, for much of his later life he lived in Horsham, Sussex. Barbara wondered whether he was the same Thomas Oliver who was a member of the Mid Sussex Lodge as she has a lodge brooch dated June 16, 1873 that was given to Bro. Tho. Oliver PM in acknowledgement of his service as Worshipful Master, WM 1872 3. Barbara had no idea how it came into her family's possession in Australia and wanted to forward the brooch onto an organization that collects such memorabilia. With help from members of The Horsham Society we were able to tell Barbara that we were 99 per cent sure the two men were one and the same.
Professor Mick Wallis asked us if we knew anything about the present whereabouts of Dr. Frederick Charles Tring, who used to live on Queen Victoria Road. In 1972 Dr. Tring wrote an article about Theodore W. Grubb, a pioneer of adult education. Prof. Wallis was writing about Grubb in a study about the promotion of amateur drama in English villages in interwar England and was trying to locate Grubb's posthumous papers which Dr. Tring had access to in writing his article. Unfortunately we have been unable to help.
James Farrimond has been researching convoy HG.3 which sailed between Gibraltar and Liverpool in October 1939. Unfortunately during the voyage a number of vessels including the SS Yorkshire were torpedoed and sunk. One of the civilian passengers on this vessel was Jeanne Shepley, the only daughter of Jack and Emily Shepley who came to Woodthorpe Hall in 1926. James had seen in our article on the Shepley Family that a book of Jeanne's letters home had been been privately published. He wondered whether he could be given access to the letters to assist him in writing a book on the loss of the convoy. We are pleased that Dick Shepley has kindly offered to contact James.
You may remember that David Hebblethwaite contacted us in seeking anyone who could help him in his quest to investigate the history of his maternal ancestors, the Coates Family of Totley and Dore. David's grandfather Frederick Stanley Coates (1886-1938) was a third generation Totley scythe grinder who, like his father and grandfather, died at a young age as a consequence of his hazardous occupation. We would like to thank David for sending us a complimentary copy of his recently published family history titled Working People and their Northern Roots. It contains an account of David's research into his family since the early 19th century and is set in the wider context of the changing social, cultural and political landscape of the time. Privately published by the author, the book has 105 pages and many family photographs and is available for members of Totley History Group to borrow on request.
Sue Hedges got in touch to see whether we could help her trace Furnace Farm, mentioned in he history of Barberfields Mine and Copperas Works where a light railway was said to operate. We have traced mentions of both the farm and railway in a 1987 Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society and on Wikipedia. The farm may have been known locally as Furness Farm, after an occupant with that name, but its location remains unproven. The railway, however, was thought to run from the Barberfields mine, through Copperas to Smeltings Farm on Ringinglow Road.
Ian Clark asked us if we knew anything about a robbery of the 'newspaper train' of luggage vans which took place as it stood at a signal having exited Totley Tunnel. The train would be stopped before the Dore triangle each evening, waiting clearance to take the Dore South Curve en route to Chesterfield. The robbery was evidently reported on television. So far we have been unable to trace any reference to the robbery which may have been in the mid 1980s. Perhaps one of our many readers might know more?
Paul Burniston sent us this photograph of a framed sketch that had belonged to his late aunt who collected art especially scenes from her home town of Sheffield. Paul asked whether we recognised it and could tell him anything about the scene and the artist. The sketch was of course of The Cricket Inn at Totley by Brian Edwards, dated 1978. It was first published on the front page of issue 14 of Totley Independent, which Brian co-founded and helped to write. It later appeared in Brian's first collection of his sketches Brian Edwards Drawings of Historic Totley, published in 1979. In both cases, the sketch was cut down in width to suit the format of the media but it later appeared in full, just as in Paul's original, on page 40 of Totley and The Tunnel, 1985 where Brian's own house, a former Methodist Chapel, could be see in the background.
Peter Cameron who is an antiques dealer and author contacted us having read the short article by Jon Nicholas on the Hukin family. Jon mentions a Jonathan Hukin born in 1811 and Peter was trying to establish whether he was the same man as Jonathan Wilson Hukin who was a partner in the firm of Hukin and Heath, silversmiths and silver platers of Birmingham and London. We have now put Peter in contact with Jon but from our own research it seems clear that the two men are one and the same as we have traced a marriage of William Hukin, a silver plater, to Hannah Wilson at Sheffield Parish Church in 1805 and the baptisms of nine of their children at the same church with dates corresponding to those in Jon's article. Jonathan Wilson Hukin was born on 30 May 1811 in Sheffield. He too became a silver plater and silversmith, marrying Juliana Chivers at St. Martin, Birmingham on 16 May 1837. The couple had one daughter, Maria, who was born in Sheffield in 1840. There are references in the newspapers to Jonathan Wilson Hukin's partnership with George Hawksley and Charles Haslam ending in 1852 after which it would appear that the Hukins left Sheffield for Birmingham. In later life Jonathan Wilson Hukin retired to Olton, Warwickshire and he died there on 14 August 1891, aged 80.
Sally Knights, from Bristol, got in touch with us having found a record on our website of her grandmother's time in Cherrytree Orphanage. Her name was Mabel Grace Gertrude Wilkes and she was resident in Cherrytree between 22 July 1897 and 30 November 1905. Sally sent us two images of the front cover and the inside plate of a book presented to Mabel in May 1900 as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains photographs of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale, thought to have been taken shortly after their marriage in 1910.
Jill Wild remembers that her father Arthur Tickner was involved with a local history group in Totley and typed up a newsletter which she thought was called The Totley Pump. Does anyone remember it? Arthur Cecil Tickner lived at 42 The Grove in the the early 1980s and was the Treasurer of TADES, Totley and District Environment Society. We suspect that The Totley Pump was a magazine that he produced for that group, probably before the Totley Independent was started up on 4th July 1977. TADES was certainly around in 1975 when it initiated a project to reclaim the old Pinfold at the top of Chapel Walk. There is a reference in Totley Independent that says that TADES later merged with the Totley Residents Association. Arthur died in 1984.
We are grateful to Sandra Ford for spotting a mistake in the article about Totley Hall Training College written by Anna E. Baldry. Anna had stated that the Principal, Miss Metcalf, had retired in 1972 and the college had then merged with Thornbridge College under Dr. Banfield. Sandra was herself a student at the college from September 1971 until 1974 and she remembers that Dr. Banfield was definitely in post when she went for interview some months before. We have amended the date to 1971 but hope to find Dr. Banfield's precise date of appointment when we visit Sheffield Archives which holds many of the college's records, including full admissions registers from 1948 onwards.
Scott Hump(hries?) asked is if we knew the whereabouts of the former Moss Colliery. Thanks to The A-W of Dore: The Story of the Village's Road Names by John Dunstan and Roger Millican (2002), we were able to tell Scott that the colliery closed in 1941 and the site now forms the Limb Lane picnic area. The mine appears on the OS 6 inch map surveyed in 1935-36 but on earlier maps the same area is marked as a quarry.
Drew Easton, who lives near Edinburgh, was trying to trace the house where his grandparents lived and where his mother, Valerie Joyce Crowther, was born in 1927. Her birth certificate records the address only Abbeydale Park, Dore R.D. although Drew's grandfather Stuart E. Crowther, a representative for Post Toasties (a rival of Kelloggs' Corn Flakes) always referred to the property as being in Totley Rise. The Crowthers were in our area for only a few years having moved here from Bolton around 1926 before moving to Southport by 1930. So far we have been unable to identify their house but have been able to help Drew with information about the accidental death of his grandmother.
Wendy Mustill contacted us having found some hard-to-read handwriting on the plaster that was exposed when she redecorated her home in Woodseats. We were able to identify that it said "C. Keatley, Totley Rise". Cecil Ezekiel Keatley (1871-1935) was a house painter and decorator from Littlehay, Warwickshire, who was shown as living at Brookvale Cottage on Back Lane in the 1911 census and in trade directories until 1925. He later lived at 8 Main Avenue with his wife Sarah Ann (nee Bishop) and two children, Jessie and Cecil Frederick who became an orchestral violinist and music teacher.
Bob Morgan, who lives in Victoria, Australia was doing some family history when he came across our article about Maurice Johnson who, during his time with the Yorkshire Dragoons, served as batman to Capt. Matt Sheppard. Capt. Sheppard was the subject of J.P. Craddock's book Sheffield Hero. Capt. Sheppard's father had been the proprietor of the Cross Scythes around 1895. Bob is related through his maternal great grandmother, Alice Sheppard, who was Capt. Sheppard's sister. Alice spent some of her childhood years in Tsarist St Petersburg where her father was on loan to Russia Government as a consultant on the development of the Russian railway system. She married a Mr Ellison who was a railway agent and they had four children: Alec, Corby, Patricia and Margaret, Bob's grandmother, who married an Australian WW1 RFC Airman, Herbert Freeman, and emigrated to Australia in 1919.
John Sharp got in touch with us about Glossop Gill, one of the 31 soldiers commemorated on Dore village War Memorial. John wondered whether there was a family connection with his great grandmother Christiana Gill. Glossop Gill was born in Dore and baptized at Christ Church on 14 July 1878. He appears to have been named after his paternal grandmother Ann Glossop (1822-1906), who married John Gill Snr. (1822-1892) in 1846. John and Ann had at least eight children and Glossop was the son of John Gill Jnr. (1853-1915) and his wife Susan(nah), nee Taylor (1858-1928). Christiana Gill was the daughter of Cassandra Fearnehough (1845-1921) who married another of John and Ann's sons, Thomas Gill (1849-1915), in 1870. T Glossop and Christiana were therefore first cousins. Like many of his family Glossop Gill became a stone mason. He married Elizabeth Ann Hasman, of Brampton, on 22 May 1905 and the couple had two daughters, Ida and Gladys. In the 1911 Census the family were living at Rose Cottage, Dore. Glossop's army service record has not survived but it is recorded that he was a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps. Glossop died on 15 March 1917 at the Camp Hospital in Romsey, Hampshire and is buried in Dore churchyard. Thomas and Cassandra Gill lived at Oldhay Forge, Totley from around 1901 and the family were still living there there after WW2.
Gaynor Wilkinson wrote to us about the age of her house at the city end of Green Oak Road. We were able to confirm that it was built in the early 1930s, shortly after the completion of the first phase of the Laverdene Estate. Planning permission was given in 1931-32 and building commenced shortly after. We think that by the end of 1933 numbers 1-41 and 2-38 Green Oak Road had been completed together with numbers 1-49 and 2-52 Aldam Road. Picture Sheffield has some aerial photographs of the area during the period of construction.
Katherine Myers couldn't resist buying a few letters at a Flea Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma once she saw the English postage stamps and realized they were pen-pal correspondence. Katherine had no connection with the writer, Margaret Howe, but simply recalled how much she had enjoyed an English pen-pal friendship of her own for more than fifty years. Katherine got in touch with us to see whether we could help her return the letters to Margaret's family who came from Sheffield. We were able to trace Margaret's son Russell who was very surprised and delighted to hear about the discovery of his mother's letters which have now been returned safely to Sheffield.
Adele Earnshaw wrote to us from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to tell us that she was happy to find records for her ancestors on our website. Adele's great great grandparents Thomas Earnshaw and his wife Elizabeth (nee Thorpe) and five of their children left Dore for New Zealand in 1863, sailing aboard the clipper Mermaid from East India Docks, London on November 12th and arriving in Lyttelton, New Zealand on 16 February 1864. A young man, Henry Schofield of Long Line, Dore, who was a friend of young Thomas Earnshaw, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, travelled to New Zealand with the Earnshaw family. During the voyage Henry kept a diary which is now in the collection of the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Adele, who is a professional artist, has had a painting project in mind for the past few years connecting the Schofield diary, her family history and New Zealand's history which could take her 18 months to complete. We have been helping Adele and also descendants of Henry Schofield with the British element of their family histories and hope to bring you more of their stories later.
Glynis Haynes wrote to tell us that she had enjoyed reading our article on the Totley Tunnel Memorial: The Irish Question as her great grandfather James Toon had worked on Totley Tunnel, possibly as a bricklayer or navvy and that his son Albert was born on Totley Moor in 1895 according to the 1911 Census. We have found James, wife Agnes and their six children William (born circa 1874), Elizabeth (1877), Lydia (1880), James (1883), Agnes (1886) and Charles (1889) living in Staffordshire in the 1891 Census. They appear to have moved to Totley by the following year, when there is a record of James and young Agnes being admitted to Totley Church School on 22 August. Their address was given as No 4. Shaft, the navvy accommodation on Totley Moor. Another daughter, Nellie, was born in 1892. We have also found a marriage at Dore Christ Church on 23 January 1893 between their eldest son William Toon and Ellen Thornton. Interestingly both William and his father are shown to be brickyard labourers. The main brickworks that supplied bricks for Totley Tunnel was at Moor Edge and there was a light tramway that connected the works with No. 4 shaft, which was used to lower materials and men down to the tunnel below.
Neill James asked us if we could help him find where his great grandparents William and Jenny Cockshott were buried. The family had moved to Brook Lynn, Grove Road, Totley Rise shortly before 1900. Sadly William and Jennie died within a few weeks of each other both aged just 44, Jennie on Christmas Eve 1904 and William on 9 February 1905. The parish registers for Dore Christ Church show that they were both buried there although no headstone can be found. Their four children were aged between 5 and 17 at the time they became orphaned. Younger son James Percy Cockshott went to live with his uncle Samuel in Eaglescliffe, Durham. He enlisted in the King's Own Hussars in London before being transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. James was killed on 11 September 1918, during the 'Advance to Victory', a series of battles fought in Picardy and Artois during the last few months of the war. James's body was never recovered. He is incorrectly remembered as 'David Cockshott' on the Roll of Honour inside Totley Rise Methodist Church. James is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial along with 9,846 other officers and men who were killed in the period from 8th August 1918 to 11th November 1918 and also on the parish war memorial at Eaglescliffe & Preston on Tees and at the Friends School at Great Ayton, where he was educated.
Carol Beadle has sent us some details of her family tree and would like to know more about her ancestor Mark Green who was was born in Totley in about 1775. He married Helen Linney at St. Peter's Church, Old Brampton on 16 February 1802 and went to live in the Brampton area for the rest of his life. Carol is descended from Mark Green through his eldest daughter Charlotte (1806-1880) who married Thomas White at Old Brampton on 1 January 1829. From fragmentary accounts of the Totley Overseers of the Poor, it appears that Mark Green received an allowance of 2 shillings per week from 1832, a sum that was increased by 6d. following a visit to him by the Overseers in February 1836. The accounts for 1842 mention that this was because he was disabled and no longer able to work as an ironstone miner. Mark Green died at Red Row, Brampton of "gradual decay" on 22 February 1853, aged 77, and was buried on 24 February. Carol would love to hear from anyone who may be researching the same family. If you write to us at our usual email address, we would be delighted to put you in touch.
Amanda Hodgkinson is researching her husband's family tree and asked if we held any information about Sampson Hodgkinson who appears in five censuses for Totley from 1841 to 1881. In particular Amanda was keen to know where exactly in Totley Bents it was that Sampson lived and worked. Sampson was the eldest son of Joshua Hodgkinson from Great Longstone and his Totley born wife Maria (nee Green). He was baptized at St Mary's Parish Church, Stockport in 1802 and came to live in Sheffield, marrying Mary Gregory at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1830. The couple had five sons and four daughters between 1831 and 1845 and appear to have moved to Totley Bents around 1838. The Tithe Map for the following year shows that Sampson was occupying a small cottage next to his father who lived at Turner Croft, a property which included just over an acre of arable land. Both properties were rented from the Rt. Hon. Digby, Lord Middleton. Sampson and his father were millwrights, and in addition to their properties at Totley Bents, Joshua also rented more than 18 acres of land from the Waterfall Brothers, John Gray and Henry, at what is now Totley Grove including Totley Scythe Mill, together with its associated dam, mill pond and fields. Joshua died in 1853 but Sampson continued in his trade at Totley Bents for the rest of his life. He died on 17 February 1884 at the age of 80 and was buried at Dore Christ Church in the same grave as his wife Mary who had died before him on 21 August 1882.
Nigel Cheetham asked us for information about the wartime anti-aircraft/searchlight position on Wing Hill, just off White Lane. Nigel has permission to use a metal detector in the area and says he has already discovered a number of small finds. Over the years, several correspondents have made reference to the site in the pages of Totley Independent including Jean Smithson, Jack Abson, Bob Carr, Jack Hedley and Mike Roberts but so far we have been unable to find any further information. Can anyone help?
Whilst sorting through some of his late father's possessions, Craig Newbould came across an old grocery account book which must have belonged to a previous owner of the house at Summerville, 21 The Quadrant, Totley. The account book was issued to a Mrs. Dye by Walter Evans, the grocer who had a shop on Hillfoot Lane and later at the top of Main Avenue. Craig very kindly scanned images of the pages which make fascinating reading, showing the day to day purchases of an ordinary family and the costs of those goods in 1929 and 1930. We have been able to find out a small amount of information about Fred and Elsie Dye who lived in the house from around 1926 until their deaths in 1952 and 1979 respectively.
Basil Abbott sent us his memories of working in C.L. Marcoft's garage in the Chemical Yard during the 1950s. Jack Clarke was in charge and the garage got to deal with some really top class cars like Jaguar, Lagonda, Aston Martin, Armstrong Siddeley and Alvis. Between them Jack and Basil built a two-seater sports car which was raced at Snetterton track in Norfolk.
Oliver Miller asked us whether we had any information about the history of the stone-built house on Main Avenue that he and his family will be moving into as the estate agents were unsure of the its date and thought that it might have originally been an old Totley farmhouse. This seems unlikely to us as the house does not appear on OS 1:1,250 maps before the mid 1930s when it is shown at the east end of a large field lying between the long back gardens of houses on the north side of Green Oak Road and the public footpath between Main Avenue and Totley Hall Lane. The house seems to have been variously numbered 52 or 54. Adjacent to the house was a curved drive or track leading from Main Avenue to a large structure in the centre of the field, which might possibly have been a barn or workshop and which seems to have existed until being demolished in the 1960s to make way for a southerly extension to Sunnyvale Road. In 1936 the house was occupied by Edith and Frank Parker, a master dairyman, and may have been known as Meadow View. Peter Battle remembers that the Parkers kept chickens and sold eggs but this ended with the road extension. Does anyone have any further information about the house or about what the structure in the field might have been?
Margaret Page found her ancestors Mary and Sarah Cockcroft in our transcription of the Cherrytree Orphanage admissions book and wrote to express her thanks. The sisters had been admitted in 1868 following the deaths of their parents from typhoid. We were able to supply Margaret with a small amount of additional information that we held on the sisters and were interested to learn that Sarah went to live in Halifax where she married Walter Wade and had seven children. Mary went to live with an uncle in Lancashire before marrying William Rose and having a daughter Annie. After the death of her husband, Mary emigrated to Canada with her daughter and son-in-law, Jack Sharples. We are keen to follow up the story of the sisters in more detail for an article for our website.
Sue Kruk (nee Lamb) wrote to thank us for our website having found a couple of school photos of her late cousin's wife, and her sister. After Sue's father Dennis Lamb died in 1978 she contacted her uncle John "Jack" Cantrell Lamb, who lived in Dore Road, and found a shared enthusiasm for family history which was continued with her cousin Richard and his wife. When time permits Sue hopes to fill in gaps in the history of the Lamb/Cantrell families which were well established in Sheffield and before that at West Markham, Nottinghamshire for centuries. Sue now lives in Hampshire and we are always particularly happy to help anyone living at a distance who has "S17" family history connections.
We have been contacted by Sue Adam who is a volunteer at the Minster Church of St George in Doncaster. Inside the church is a memorial dedicated to the men of the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons who died during the First World War. The memorial has recently been restored and research is being carried out on the men named on the memorial and also the men who attended a service in 1921 when it was dedicated. The team of volunteers intend to have a service of re-dedication in the autumn of 2018 and they would like to contact relatives of the men in order to invite them to the service. Sue had read our article on Maurice Johnson, who had fought with the Yorkshire Dragoons on the Somme (1916), Ancre (1916), the Somme again (1917) and Ypres (1917). We were delighted to put Sue in touch with John Johnson, Maurice's son, who has expressed his interest in supporting the event. As a tribute to his father, John has sent us a lovely family photograph taken at his brother Maurice Junior's wedding in 1951.
Gordon Wainwright has been in touch with us about a newspaper cutting he found about his great grandfather Thomas Glossop, a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. We have pieced together a biography of Thomas from newspaper articles and have received further help from Thomas's great granddaughter Anne Rafferty who has been researching the family history for many years. Gordon also supplied us with two class photographs from the 1960s which we have added to our photo album for Totley County School and also two photographs of the Totley Union Cycling Society fete held on 18 July 1914. We would love to hear from anyone who can name any of the people in the photographs.
Our article on John Edward Greenwood Pinder's early life of misfortune and petty crime reached the attention of Eric Black who is a direct descendant of John's grandfather Robert Pinder (1789-1866), a farmer at Totley Bents. Eric has provided us with a wealth of information about what happened to the family after John's release from prison in 1911. John Pinder appears to have decided that the future for his family lay in America, eldest son Robert having already emigrated there in 1909. Unfortunately John was refused entry and sent back to England and he and his wife Jane eventually settled in Manchester. However, all of John and Jane's nine children were to emigrate to the United States by 1923 with the sole exception of their eldest daughter Louisa who died in England in 1913 at the age of 21.
Paul Whitaker has written to us about Samuel Hill, the clockmaker who worked in Totley in the 1770s before moving to Sheffield. Paul recently inherited one of Samuel Hill's long case clocks from his cousin Rhys D. Whatmore. The clock has a brief history of its maker pasted inside which was written by Henry Meades, watch and clockmaker of London Road Sheffield. Paul wondered if we had any more information. Not much is known about Samuel Hill's life but have now traced some further newspaper accounts referring to his business in Broad Lane, Sheffield which you can read by following the link above.
David Norris, a lecturer in Serbian Studies at Nottingham University, has written to us in connection with an article on our website about Frank Storm Mottershaw who visited Serbia in 1904 to film the crowning of King Peter. David wanted to know if we had any further information about the visit or about the film-maker after his return to England. We are delighted to have been able to put David in touch with John Mottershaw who provided us with the original material and who has very kindly agreed to help David with his research.
Sue Orme asked us who built the houses on Meadow Grove, one of the smaller roads on the New Totley estate which was originally conceived around 1908 by the Sheffield restaurateur, John Richard Hudson (known as "J.R."). The first property on Meadow Grove (or Princess Street as it was originally called) appears to have been "The Bungalow" which was advertised for sale in 1913. Building of the estate was curtailed by the war but by 1925 Meadow Grove had at least five properties: The Bungalow, Glenaire, Fairhaven, Silsoe, and The Newlands. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to match up these names with current house numbers. Most of the remainder of the New Totley estate was built in the 1930s by local builder Charles Linley Marcroft. However, at least some of the older houses on Meadow Grove were built by Rowland Edward Sheard (1900-1991) who was J. R. Hudson's grandson, his father Rowland Adamson Sheard having married J. R.'s daughter Nellie in 1899. In the mid-1930s when the Meadow Grove houses were being constructed, Rowland Edward and Nellie Sheard were living with J.R.'s widow, Eliza Ann Hudson (nee Barker) at 9 Main Avenue. The distinction between Meadow Grove and Meadow Grove Road appears to have been made in modern times, the house numbers being continuous.
We have had a very interesting enquiry from Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands. Ron sent us images of two drawings made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck, simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations. Ron is an admirer and collector of the artist's work and he has followed his journeys and photographed the places he pictured. One of the drawings is of "The Cottage" which is now part of a larger house know as Old Orchard, Hillfoot Road. The second drawing is of Green's Draper's Shop and attached house, which used to stand next to the Old Post Office at the top of Hillfoot Road, opposite Cross Grove House. We think we have found out why Anton Pieck visited our village. His eldest daughter, Elsa, married an Englishman named Charles Bambery and from Sheffield telephone directories we can see that the Bambery family were living at 20 Main Avenue in the early 1960s.
John Timperley is the latest person to write to us with memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. John attended the school from 1945 until 1949 when he went up into King Edward's'. As an unaccompanied seven year old, John had a ¾ mile walk from home to the bottom of Bocking Lane to catch a tram to Beauchief corner and then a bus to school. John remembers among his teachers. Miss Ford, Mrs. Atkinson and Miss Duckworth, and a number of the pupils from his final year: David Crawley, Peter Morton, Dorothy Sawyer, Toni Pollard, Rachel Leah, and Brenda Bennett. If there is anyone amongst our readers who was at Norwood School at the same time as John, he would very much like to hear from you. We can put you in touch if you write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
July Meeting Cancelled
Whilst precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are in place, the monthly meetings of Totley History Group have been cancelled.
In the meantime, please continue to support your history group by sending us your queries, contributions and comments.
On Wednesday 22nd July, there will be a visit to Stoney Middleston to see how their Well Dressings are made. This is a private visit ahead of the public event which runs from Saturday 25th July to Sunday 2nd August. Car parking is available on the roadside. Meet at 1.30pm in the Moon Inn car park.
A few copies are still available of Sally Goldsmith's book Thirteen Acres: John Ruskin and the Totley Communists. Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. In 1877 he bought 13-acre St. George’s Farm so that nine Sheffield working men and their families could work the land and, to keep themselves busy, make boots and shoes. Sally tells an engaging story from our history with a quirky cast of characters including Ruskin himself, the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter and Henry Swan, a cycling, vegetarian artist and Quaker. The book is available to order online from the The Guild of St. George by following this link.
A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in local shops and via our website.
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.
Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal.
This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.
In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.
Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.
Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.
John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.
Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.
Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.
As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.
Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.
Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.
Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.
Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success
The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us?
The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.
Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.
Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.
We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.
Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road.
On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.
John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.
We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now.
We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.
We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search.
Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road.
John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.
The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure.
When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.
Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.
Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.
Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.
We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore.
Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.
When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.
Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status.
What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine.
We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.
On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.
Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.
Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.
Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.
Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation in the steel industry.
Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.
The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.
Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives.
We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.
Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.
This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"
We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.
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 700 gravestones in the churchyard.
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