Totley History Group
Totley History Group

It's History Jim, But Not As We Know It.

by Rony Robinson, June 2008

 

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.

 

Lemont Road inspection cover by W W Marrison Lemont Road inspection cover by W W Marrison

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?
No idea.

 


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.

 

We stroke Ossy the Octopus, found off Aldam Road. We keep taking out our Brian Edwardses.

 

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?

 

 

What about the lizards, and the rhubarb?
And the crocodiles of Mickley? And Samuel Hill? And Miss Page?

 


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?
£1600.

 

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...

 


In Totley!
Oh Totley's had its troubles.

 

What about the Communists growing apples and making boots at St George's farm off Mickley, by the Cheshire Home?

 

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?
No

 

 

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? 

 


History should be about Kings and Queens. 
Well, Mr King had a shop next to where the Catholic church is, where the pump  used to be and may still be and we're going to see if is, on Jim's walk. 

 

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? 

Yes.

 

  
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? 

Keep collecting it. Interviewing people.  Probably putting it on DVDs and websites and books, and doing exhibitions and performances and all sorts. No rush. History can take a long  time. 

 

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. 

 

 

Rony Robinson

June 2008

 

 

 

¹ now £2 for members, £3 for non-members

 

Return to The Chemical Yard

June 2009


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'll reveal again the evidence of a ford there was once upon a time by the chemical yard, and we will remind ourselves why there was a chemical yard in Totley anyway.

 

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?
Oh yes.


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 –

 

 

When?
Wednesday 22nd July, 7.30pm

 

 

Where?
Walk starts at Totley Library, cost £1

 

 

Who is invited?
You are!.

Latest News

The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday, 27th September when we present an illustrated talk by David Templeman called Mary, Queen of Scots: The Final Journey - From Sheffield to Fotheringhay (1584-1587). This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tutbury Castle, Chartley Manor, Texall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason. But was she guilty? That is the question this talk addresses. The meeting is in Totley Library, starting at 7.30 p.m. 

Then on Wednesday, 25th October we will be holding another in our popular series of themed Open Meetings, when you will be invited to share memories of Totley Then and Now. There will be over a hundred pairs of photographs showing how Totley's buildings, lanes, and open spaces looked in the past compared with the same scene today. The meeting will be held in Totley Library beginning as usual at 7.30 p.m.

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.

Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination  This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections. 

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

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 the steel industry.

 

 

Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.

 

 

The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.

 

 

Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 

 

 

We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale and Norton.

 

 

Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

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

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about John Roberts and the building of St. John's Church. There are several about the history of Brinkburn Grange and its first occupier, John Unwin Wing, an accountant who later lived at Totley Hall before being convicted of forgery and fraud and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in Pentonville gaol. There are more than 50 articles from the 1880s and 1890s about Joseph Mountain and the Victoria Gardens, and twenty on the construction of the Totley Tunnel and the Dore and Chinley Railway.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 600 gravestones in  the churchyard.

 

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