What do you do at this history group then?
We pay a pound¹ and sit in a circle.
We talk about what we remember. Then we try to remember what our mums remembered. And we try to remember what we've looked up in books and archives ourselves.
And then you remember it afterwards?
We try. Oh and it's all about Totley, forgot to say that.
Where do you do it?
Where Pearson's greenhouses were, where Totley Library is, at the top of Lemont Road.
And in the Second World War, the people who lived on Lemont Road included the Roes and Miss Hodgkin at number 1, and they were chauffeur and dressmaker, then there were Princes at 3, 11 and 26, and Cooks at 9 and 23. There were gardeners, railway workers, lorry drivers, butchers, brick moulderers, and Joseph Mather the dairyman who was at number 34.
And there's something funny about the grates on Lemont, and Chas E Turner at number 33 was an ivory fluter.
What's one of those when he's at home?
And this is history?
It is now.
And you just sit and remember, in your history group?
No. We touch things as well.
Tiny little books of walks and poems and old adverts in the Clarion Ramblers handbooks of the great Totley rambler Bert Ward.
And all the censuses from 1841 to 1901, and fading press cuttings, and a fat geographical study of Dore and Totley done by a student in Totley when there used to be students in Totley, and pictures of our end of Mickley Lane in 195-
What you talking about, octopuses in Totley?
He's 300 million years old.
A 300 million year old octopus in Totley and you touched him? Pull the other one.
We did. Only he's not an octopus really. He's a 40 feet fern uncovered in 2004 when they were mucking about with the drains on Totley brook, off Aldam Rd.
People who're not in the History Group think the Totley Brook is on Totley Brook, but it's not.
And Tinkers Corner isn't where the tinkers used to gather, either, while we're at it...
That helps. But what was it like at our end of Mickley Lane in 195-?
It was like- King, Ellis, Tym, Warburton, Ellis, Wilkinson, Hargreaves then Dr McCormack at 134.
Thought there was reckoned to be a pub?
There was, in the ironing parlour, and Rosie's, but in 1839. You could get beer on draught at Marrisons before Grattons, though. And at the hotel where Dr Igoe now flosses your teeth on Baslow Road.
There were shackle yards down at the Crown, whatever they were. Probably so you could have a sleep while John pulled you a pint.
And there were Americans recuperating in the Cross 60 years ago, just like now, when they should have been recuperating in Fairthorn.
And Joe Cocker sang in the Fleur before he was Joe Cocker.
Any news of Nanny Jessop the midwife of Lemont who delivered everybody?
She didn't live on Lemont.
But she did deliver Vic Martin's little boy Jim, above the Spar shop at the end of Bushey Wood, only it isn't because it's bushy that it's Bushey.
Jim's leading the History Walk #1. He's a Wint as well and the Wints had shops all over including next door to Nanny Jessop's opposite Hawthorn Cottages, and in the Chip Shop on the Rise before it was, and even before it was Davey's.
But why haven't you asked about the lizards and the rhubarb?
And them too?
There were lizards everywhere in the hot sun when little Avril came out to Totley from the smoggy city and wanted to live happily here ever after when she wasn't so little. And did.
There's a rhubarb triangle on the Laverdene.
The crocodile was the shaven orphans going back to Cherrytree every school dinner time, from All Saints, because Miss Clareborough of the County School wouldn't have them And Samuel Hill's time is probably up, because he was making his famous Totley Clocks, in 1770.
If you're getting so clever with your history, answer me this. If you wanted to buy a new house on Stonecroft in 1952, how much would you pay?
You could have wooden floors for that and sliding doors and a Rayburn, and a coal man with sacks on his back. The street names there came from Mr Marcroft and Mr Stone who built them, or so someone's mother says.
There were humps to run up and down round the big trees opposite Jim Thompson's Marstone Garage, which was the Animal Hospital, then wasn't, and which was a village green where the Methodists used to be primitive until a thunderstorm drove them into Back Lane. Back Lane itself does some funny things, too, if you know where to look.
And what's this about the trains not tooting when they go into Totley tunnel any more?
It's because of the terrorist threat...
Oh Totley's had its troubles.
Or the rampaging girls from Dame Trott's school on Grove Road tipping their boaters at the wrinkled retainer in the signal box, and then going off on nature walks up to the aqueduct? And the Battle of Bonfire Night? And that trouble down Totley Bents?
If you know so much, to you know where Doctor Pressley is now, and what was there before he was, and if he is related to Elvis Presley?
There were the Harpers, man and wife, doing hair in the doctor's waiting room. Then Daveys, Evans the Greengrocer, Purdy's and Griffiths the fishmonger.
And no Peter Casson?
You mean there was a time before this time when there wasn't a Peter Casson?
Unbelievable isn't it? But history is.
No, history's 1066 and all that
It can be. We've looked at Domesday Book ourselves, and got perplexed by 4 bovates to the guld
Bet you didn't know Totley was worth 10 shillings in 1086, and the Dore nobs were worth a pound?
And there's Queen Victoria of course.
What about her?
Funny things have always happened up Queen Victoria. They had an allotment society there, and were all set out in plots, in 1873 odd, and it was to do with Tedbar Tinker, who owned the brickworks on Mickley.
Tedbar Tinker? What kind of name's that? And I bet you're going to tell me he's why Tinker's Corner was called Tinker's Corner, even if it isn't any more?
It all seems a bit of a muddle
History is. Come on the walk on June 11th and get into a bit of a muddle yourself.
What are you going to do with all this stuff anyway?
So, you coming on the walk?
Drinks on Jim after?
Oh, cheers! And what happened to Miss Page?
Suspicious circumstances did. Tell you on the walk, if we remember.
¹ now £2 for members, £3 for non-members
By popular request Totley History Group have organised a walk around part of historic Totley.
Didn't you do this same walk last year?
Probably. We don't always remember. That's why we have history.
Where will you walk?
All over our pasts. Over all our pasts. All over all our pasts -
Cut the poetry! What will you see?
Clutching our Brian Edwardses, we will see ancient Lemont Road, pass number 11 where Princes lived for a hundred and one years. We will hear of the soft safe hands of Nanny Jessop just round the corner.
We will see what is left of the Wint retail empire, and the nothing that is left of the pleasure gardens and rhubarb fields under the cul-de-sacked Laverdene Estate.
We will examine where Mickley meets Green Oak where the writing is still on the wall for GR.
We will find two lanes with the same name within yards of each other, and an abattoir on top of a lake, behind the Rise.
And then -
Is Jimmy Martin still up to all this, though?
Jimmy is Totley history, specially his half of Totley. Peer again into his secret electricity garden! Hear again about his United Reformers! See the bedroom of his childhood!
As the sun goes down over Totley Moss, tickle his whiskers on the railway bridge just before the naughty girls' school. Watch -
Frankly, the best part of the first historic Totley Walk last time was the beer after. What about this time?
We'll have a glass after in one of Totley's historic pubs, and remember all those who have drunk there before us, including Ozzie, Joe Cocker, two Gethin Robinsons, Harvey Teasdale, Bob Warburton, Dave Berry, Marriott Fox, Frank Taylor, Marjorie Otter, Selby Wostenholme, Penny Lane, Neal and Lawrence, the Marrisons, the Duke of Rutland, the Duke of Darnall, that funny bloke who was always at the bar, Harry Revill, Rod Andrew, George Greaves, Job Green, Hannah Wild, John -
What if it rains though?
We will have the virtual walk in the Library, and in one of Totley's historic pub after. And –
Wednesday 22nd July, 7.30pm
Walk starts at Totley Library, cost £1
Who is invited?
Because of the continuing need for measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the monthly meetings of Totley History Group have been suspended until further notice.
Please continue to support your history group by sending us your questions, comments and contributions.
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.
This picture postcard was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and posted in Rotherham on 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield and her family came to live in our area in the 1900s, staying for the rest of their lives.
Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal.
This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.
In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.
Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.
Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.
John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.
Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.
Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.
As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.
Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.
Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.
Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.
Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success
The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us?
The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.
Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.
Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.
We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.
Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road.
On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.
John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.
We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now.
We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.
We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search.
Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road.
John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.
The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure.
When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.
Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.
Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.
Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.
We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore.
Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.
When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.
Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status.
What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine.
We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.
On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.
Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.
Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.
Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.
Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation in the steel industry.
Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.
The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.
Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives.
We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.
Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.
This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"
We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.
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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