Totley History Group
Totley History Group

Meetings in 2015

"If I’d remembered the plumber’s money I wouldn’t be here today”- Totley remembers World War Two

BY FINOLA FITZPATRICK, 29 OCTOBER 2015

Totley residents shared their memories of World War Two in a special open meeting held at Totley library last night.

 

Organised by the Totley History Group, local people came along with World War Two memorabilia and important stories to tell.

 

One such person is 80-year-old Maevis Roadhouse, who would not be here today if she had remembered the plumber’s money..

 

She said: “One day I was being sent up to do the shopping by my mother, and at that point bread wasn’t rationed so if you got up there quick you could get two loaves.

 

“But halfway up the road my mother called out, ‘you haven’t got the money for the plumber.’ So I went back, started going back up the road again towards the shops, when I heard this enormous bang.

 

“And blow me, when I got up to the village there were no shops, and no plumber’s house either. So if I had remembered the plumber’s money, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Silence fell in the room, but didn’t last long as Maevis said, “As they said in the war, should I go and make everyone a cup of tea?”

 

Ann Brown, 79, brought in a photograph close to her heart, and told us the story behind it.

 

She said: “I remember I was four years old when there was an air raid.

 

“Myself and my family had a choice between two shelters, and we were persuaded to go into one.

 

“We went in the shelter at the bottom of the street instead of the top, which was fortunate because the top shelter was a direct hit, and twelve people died.

 

“During the course of the night, my father was an ARP warden and he kept going out to see what was happening, although on the whole he stayed with us.

 

“He saw our row of houses on fire. The main problem with the fires is that they’d been set off by the incendiaries and they couldn’t put them out.

 

“The mains had been hit and there was water everywhere, but it was of no use.

 

“There was no pressure on the fire and we had to let the fires burn out themselves. There was nothing we could do about it.

 

“My father went back into my house and the only thing he rescued was this photo of me taken just months before. Everything else was lost.

 

“At 7am the air raid was over, and we went to the school nearby to be sorted out. We realised that we could go somewhere.

 

“We could go to Totley where Grandma lived. In any crisis she was there, and we walked from the moor in Sheffield through all the damage and everything on fire, along Abbeydale Road carrying this picture and nothing else.”

Dorothy Prosser, Chair of the Totley History Group, said: “We organised this event because it so important that we hear memories of World War Two and share them. By running events like this, we keep these memories alive for many generations to come.

Courtesy of the author, Finola Fitzpatrick, at Ingest South West

Visit to Haddon Hall

24 June 2015

 

On Midsummer's Day a group of 18 people met at the entrance to Haddon Hall for Totley History Group's summer outing - a private guided tour of Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and warm sunshine.

The Courtyard, Haddon Hall The Courtyard, Haddon Hall

Our guide took us into the lovely lower courtyard where she gave us a brief history of Haddon. A house and chapel were built on the site around 1150. It remained in the Vernon family until 1567. It passed into the Manners family when it was inherited by Dorothy Vernon who married Sir John Manners and it remains in the hands of the Manners family to this day.

House and gardens, Haddon Hall House and gardens, Haddon Hall

Over the next four centuries there were additions and alterations but the Hall as we see it today is unaltered since 1703 when Sir John Manners was created 1st Duke of Rutland and the family moved to Belvoir Castle. Haddon remained unoccupied for 200 years although it was never allowed to fall into disrepair. In the early 20th century, the 9th Duke and Duchess began the extensive restoration which still continues. The 9th Duchess was also responsible for the beautiful gardens.

The Chapel, Haddon Hall The Chapel, Haddon Hall

The tour began in the chapel, part of which dates from the 12th century and none of which is later than 1624, the date carved on one of the roof beams. There are traces of medieval frescoes on the walls including one of St. Christopher.

15th century salting trough and oak block, The Butchery, Haddon Hall 15th century salting trough and oak block, The Butchery, Haddon Hall

From there our guide took us into the house and into the wonderful Tudor kitchen which is one of the finest examples in the country. The kitchen is made up of several rooms, in addition to the main kitchen with its two huge fireplaces. There is a room with a bread oven, a butchery with a large salting trough made from a single hollowed out tree trunk, a milk larder and the steward's room among them. The main kitchen also has a stone water trough fed by a spring. It is divided into three to hold water of varying degrees of cleanliness.

The Minstrels' Gallery, The Banqueting Hall, Haddon Hall The Minstrels' Gallery, The Banqueting Hall, Haddon Hall

Our next stop was the Great Hall with its Minstrels' Gallery. In the 14th century this would have been the main living space and both family and servants would have eaten and slept there. From the 15th century, the family had more privacy and ate their meals in the Great Chamber and used the Parlour as a sitting room. The Great Hall then became a place for entertaining guests and became known as the Banqueting Hall.

17th century tapestries, The Great Chamber, Haddon Hall 17th century tapestries, The Great Chamber, Haddon Hall

The Parlour has some wonderful carving on the wood panelling  and a lovely plaster ceiling decorated with the Tudor rose and Talbot dog. The Talbot dog is the symbol of the Earls of Shrewsbury and is there in recognition of the marriage of Sir Henry Vernon to Anne Talbot, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury, around 1465. The family still use the Parlour as a dining room. Above the Parlour is the Great Chamber which has some fine 17th century tapestries hanging on the walls.

The Long Gallery, Haddon Hall The Long Gallery, Haddon Hall

After visiting the Earl's Apartment we went into the lovely Long Gallery. This was used for indoor exercise when the weather was too cold or wet to go outside. It was used for balls and also by the ladies of the house to sit and do needlework.

River Wye and the Haddon Estate River Wye, Dorothy Vernon's bridge and the Haddon Estate

The tour ended here and we were then free to explore the house and gardens at our leisure and also to have some lunch. Many of us chose to eat outside before continuing to look round at our own pace. The gardens are lovely at this time of year and apart from all the roses and flower beds there are some superb views over the surrounding countryside which is all part of the Haddon Estate. It was a most enjoyable and successful day out.

Mary Queen of Scots, the captive years 1568-1584

22 April 2015

 

We had a very interesting talk about "Mary Queen of Scots, the captive years 1568 to 1584", by David Templeman. 

 

Mary arrived in England in May 1568 from Scotland; she had fled in fear of her life as she had just lost the battle for Scotland. It was a dangerous option for her to come to England as England was a Protestant country, however, Queen Elizabeth I had promised to help her. Mary went to Carlisle Castle and shortly after to Bolton Castle where she was confined as a house guest. 

 

Mary had arrived in England to enlist Elizabeth’s help to regain Scotland. Mary was the lead suspect in the murder of Lord Darnley, however, Elizabeth advised that she could not help her but she could arrange for a court to hear her case. This was arranged in York in September, however, Mary couldn’t attend. On the first day the protestant lawyer produced some letters purporting to be love letters from her third husband who she had married three months after Lord Darnley’s murder, there were no dates on them, they were copies, if they were genuine Mary would be found guilty. The court case dragged on and moved to several other courts, Elizabeth asked for it to be wound up and so Mary’s name was not cleared. 

 

Mary loved sport, like horse riding, the first lady recorded to play golf, played crochet, long bow. She was the cousin of Queen Elizabeth, so they were rivals and also related. 

 

Elizabeth had to consider what to do with Mary long term, to help her to regain Scotland was a non-starter and to send her to France or Spain which were Catholic empires was not an option as they may help her so it was decided to keep her in England and appoint a custodian for her, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. 

 

Mary’s imprisonment commenced on 4 February 1569, aged 27, at Tutbury Castle, she was kept a prisoner but as a queen with a working court. However, Mary was used to the lovely palaces such as Versaille, and Tutbury was part derelict, surrounded by bogs and smelly marshs and within three weeks she became ill. 

 

She was therefore moved to Wingfield Manor in April 1569 and within two months of her arrival here both Mary and her custodian George Talbot nearly died, there was a large number of people living here (around 240) in a confined space, therefore lots of disease. She often went to Chatsworth from here whilst her apartments were cleansed and in May 1570 Mary arrived in Chatsworth to stay and then later that year in November went to Sheffield Castle the fourth largest medieval castle in England, she stayed here for 14 years. 

 

Mary was involved in plots with the Northern Earls and with Spain, this latest plot led to Mary being arrested for high treason but Elizabeth refused to have her sent to London Tower so instead she was sent to Sheffield Castle. Mary had had a lovely time at Chatsworth with its surroundings but now at Sheffield her staff were reduced from 50 people to 16 and the only outdoor exercise was walking in the courtyard, this  went on for years and had repercussions on Mary’s health. Mary had several escape attempts at Wingfield, Tutbury and Chatsworth, they were well planned, however, Mary refused them as she wanted the throne of England. She was taken to Sheffield as she was guaranteed more security here. Whilst staying at Sheffield Castle she frequently went to Sheffield Manor Lodge whilst the Castle was cleansed, the lodge was in the middle of a large deer park where deer were hunted.  

 

Whilst being held capture Mary read and produced embroidery, a lot has survived. Mary liked Buxton for its waters that eased her ailments. She also went to Worksop Manor twice, this had 550 rooms and was a leading manor house, unfortunately, due to a candle fire it was later destroyed.

 

Mary’s health deteriorated at Sheffield Castle, she fell off a horse and damaged her back and developed a stoop. She also contracted rheumatic fever and was then hardly able to walk at the age of 42 years old.  

 

Her final journey after the Throckmorton plot in 1583 and the break up of the Shrewsbury marriage was to Chortley Manor in Staffordshire. She then became involved in the Babington Plot where she was tried and executed. 

The Story of the Snake Road

25 March 2015

Howard Smith's new book "The Story of the Snake Road & Sheffield to Glossop Turnpike Trail"

On the evening of Wednesday 25 March, Howard Smith gave us a great talk on the making of the Snake Road, the A57 from Sheffield to Glossop.

 

Before the 1850s goods were transported on the back of horses. There were lots of benefits of moving goods via waggons and wheels which required turnpike roads to be built. In 1756 the first one was built from Sheffield, Chesterfield to Derby and then a network of roads began to be built. There were two routes to Manchester, one from Barnsley which later became the A61, and the southerly Hope Valley route. This kept being modified with the Winnatts Pass being opened via Mam Tor which is now closed.

 

Why was a third route needed? Around 1812 the American markets for Sheffield cutlery were affected by the war between America and Britain and there was an embargo on buying products. 6,000 people were employed in Sheffield for the supply of the American markets for edge tools, knives, nails etc. The war ended and there was a backlog of orders, Sheffield was desperate to cash in on this and it was decided to have a new road to speed up the journey times for getting goods to Liverpool via Manchester to be shipped to the United States. The area from Sheffield to Glossop had no setttlements and unusually the road was completely new and designed on paper rather than being an upgrade of an existing trackway. This is why we see some long straight stretches which is unusual for a road layout. £2,500 was required to fund its building and this was  provided by the Dukes of Devonshire and Norfolk who owned the majority of the land. The surveyor was William Fairbank.

 

In 1821 the new turnpike was opened, it had taken 3 years to build. Normally by law the width of the actual road was 18 feet but it was 60 feet wide in total to provide grass verges on either side for people with horses, these verges were kept clear of obstructions so there were no hiding places for the highwaymen. However, in the case of the Snake Road this wasn’t possible due to the steep terrain. The road was cut into the hillside like a terrace.

 

Steep gradients were avoided because if the gradient was over 1 in 9 an extra horse had to be provided with a lad until the road levelled out, this was extra expense. There is one steep part near the summit and this is 1 in 10!

   

Gangs of men from Sheffield and Glossop were employed and they met at the River Derwent, they used picks, spades and wheelbarrows, it must have been very remote and hard work for them.

 

Toll charges were collected at the toll cottages where the charges had to be displayed outside on a board, these included the costs for moving the various types of animals and the numbers of them. At the end of the hill before Glossop the toll house still exists though it is now privately owned. The windows often had a slant to them so that the tollkeeper could see the traffic approaching from either direction.

Coaches at the Snake Inn, 1890 Coaches at the Snake Inn, 1890

The inns on the road provided food, drink and accommodation and the innkeepers also ran the stage coaches and provided stabling for the horses. The Norfolk Arms, Surrey Inn and Ashopton Inn are now gone but The Snake Pass Inn is still in existence.

 

There was great excitement when the Snake Road opened and the local press said it had cut down journey times and was a fine levelled road. The freight wagons travelled at 2.5 miles per hour and these replaced the packhorses and therefore reduced costs. A journey that once took 3 days now only took one day.

 

At this time flying wagons were used which went at 3 miles per hour, this was possible as the horses were changed and rested at the various inns on the road, using these people could now get to London in 4 days rather than a week. Stage coaches travelled at 8-9 miles per an hour and these also changed their horses at regular intervals. The Royal Mail coaches were the finest transport and fast, they had armed guards and travelled at night when there were no animals being transported on the roads.  By law everyone had to move out of their way and tollkeepers had to have their  gate open ready for them to pass through. A horn was used to notify of their arrival, they travelled at 12 miles per hour. Passenger coaches were also used, these had a crew of two and carried 15 passengers both inside  and up on top in the open.

 

However, the road was financially a failure. Many of the people were put off using it as the moors were a threatening environment and a lot of people stuck to the route they knew where they had existing arrangements with innkeepers. The sailing ships took weeks to get the United States so a few hours saving did not make much difference to them.  The bad weather during winter and frequent landslips also contributed to its lack of use. Also, not many people needed to get to Glossop, therefore, all these factors meant that not enough money was taken in tolls. It only survived as the two Dukes kept providing the money.

Sheffield Motor Club at Ashopton Inn, 1905 Sheffield Motor Club at Ashopton Inn, 1905
In 1875 the tollgates were removed and the trust was wound up, it owed £7,000.  The road reverted to the parishes where the only people that mainly used it were shooting parties, later in the 1890s cyclists used it and then once the motor car was introduced it was used again.    
The Thompson Postcard Collection

25 February 2015

On the evening of 25 February, Christine Shimell facilitated a computer slideshow of postcards from the Thompson Postcard Collection of Old Totley, augmented by additional photographs lent by the Thompson family. 

 

Highlights of the photographs shown were:

  • Back Lane – Colin Thompson pictured with horses and cattle, he bred high class animals, also pictured is his slaughter house where he killed  the animals at the back of number 69 on Totley Rise, now the pet shop. 
  • Vernon Mather, a butcher at Thompsons, pictured on Back Lane. 
  • Highland Cattle grazing on Totley Rise in the area which is now the dual carriageway. 
  • Meat hanging outside Thompsons butchers shop. 
  • J W Marrison – A grocers shop, with a horse and cart outside on Totley Rise. 
  • A postcard of the part of Bricky Row which is now the fish and chip shop.  It shows the buildings before the flat roof extension was built on the front.  It was then the Post Office and a sweet shop, the sweet shop has a sign for Fry’s Chocolate outside. 
  • Lots of shops had bicycles outside, these would be for the deliveries. 
  • A postcard dated around 1914, shows the change over from horses to cars for transport.  And a later postcard where there are more shops visible which would be during the time of the Totley Tunnel being built, once the tunnel was completed some of these shops closed down. 
  • 1950 postcard on Totley Rise shows an increase in cars, Grattons and Damms the cobblers can be seen. 
  • Aerial postcard showing Totley Rise and Back Lane and another lane called Thompson Lane.  A field owned by Thompson is shown where they used to grow peas.
  • Bradway Bank and the Chemical Yard and also shows a building with a sign for Brookvale Laundry on it. 
  • View from Abbeydale, Dore now where the Westfield flats are built.  The path to Prospect Place is clearly visible as there is little housing at this time. 
  • Baslow Road with an old bus and motor cars on it, shows how narrow it was before it was made into a dual carriageway. 
  • Buildings which are now the Totley Dentist, it looks very rural with fields across the road 
  • Green Oak Totley with fields, now where the Laverdene estate is Cross Scythes old frontage, people sat outside very dressed up, some with top hats, there was a weighing machine outside and adverts on the side of the building for the bowling green, stout and ales and cycles.  It shows a police box across the road near the old police house. 
  • Early picture of Butts Hill, all the washing hung out can be seen with Cannon Hall in the background. 
  • Hillfoot Road and Avalon cottage before it was demolished. 
  • Totley Hall Lane with Bramalls Farm and South Cottage which was 3 cottages, now rebuilt with the existing stone and is one dwelling.  This is opposite Totley All Saints Church. 
  • Totley All Saints Church, built on land donated by the Milners in memory of their son who was the first Totley soldier to die in the war. 
  • Totley Hall on Totley Hall Lane covered in ivy. 
  • View of the Totley Rifle Range around the time of the 1 st  World War and Lane Head Road can be seen. 
  • The Totley Moors and rifle range and the cobble path on Chapel Fields all very open, no shrubs or trees like today. 
  • Monny Brook possibly showing where the poor house building was Baslow Road leading to Owler Bar, narrow road, no traffic, the road was quite barren, called a turnpike. 
  • Hay cutting in the fields by Totley, with a horse and cart for transporting the harvest. 
  • Totley College high rise building and accommodation blocks at Highfield all long demolished. 

Everyone agreed it was a very interesting viewing by Christine and all were thanked for joining in and making it so enjoyable.

The Rise and Fall of the Workhouses

28 January 2015

Suzanne Bingham Suzanne Bingham

On the evening of Wednesday 28 January, Suzanne Bingham gave a fascinating talk about the workhouses to a sizeable audience who had braved the snow and wind to attend.

 

It was in the 18th century when many of the workhouses were built.  In 1834 there was a Poor Law Amendment Act to ensure the workhouse conditions were made so that people would only go there if they were desperate, this was because workhouses were funded by a parish “poor  rate” similar to the present day council tax and local ratepayers didn’t want to pay any more than absolutely necessary. Unions of parishes  came together to have one large workhouse. By 1880 50% of the  inhabitants were the elderly, 30% were children.

 

Later in the 19th century legislation was passed requiring that every workhouse should have a  separate hospital building. This was the first time that proper medical care was available.The workhouse hospitals were open to anyone not  just workhouse inmates. At the start of the 20th century there was the introduction of women and  working class people as poor law guardians and this called for a review of  the workhouses.

 

The end of the workhouses came on 1 April 1930 and  the poor law guardians were abolished and workhouses were renamed Public Assistance Institutions and were run by local councils, it was not  until the introduction of the NHS when these ended. 

Fir Vale Workshouse, Sheffield Fir Vale Workshouse, Sheffield

The Sheffield area had its first poor house at West Bar Green in 1628. As Sheffield expanded there was a new alm house built at West Bar. In 1829, when larger premises were needed, an abandoned cotton mill at Kelham Island was used. The Ecclesall area had some small workhouses.

 

In the 1834 Amendment Act workhouses were made larger, examples were at Nether Edge (later became the hospital) and at Grenoside. There was a workhouse at Hollow Meadows on the Snake Pass for the able bodied poor where they worked the land. In the 1870s these workhouses were getting too small so a site was found at Fir Vale.

 

In the 1930s when the workhouses were abolished, Fir Vale became the Fir Vale Infirmary and the hospital was ran alongside this until it amalgamated to become the  Northern General Hospital. 

Fir Vale inmates, 1910 Fir Vale inmates, 1910

How did people end up in a workhouse?  It was because they were poor, ill, couldn’t look after themselves, had no family to help them, they had  no work, unmarried pregnant women, mentally ill. They were  interviewed on arrival by the housemaster to establish their circumstances.

 

Upon recommendation their possessions were taken away  and they were given a bath not in warm or clean water, they had a haircut, a thorough medical examination and issued with a workhouse uniform.

 

There were 7 classes of pauper and you would stay with the same class, segregated from other classes. There was a daily routine, the diet was  poor and described as a diet of starvation. Work would be stone breaking, oakum picking (picking old rope) and domestic cleaning.

 

Vagrants were admitted at 6pm, given a hammock and then at 10am on the 2nd day discharged, if they had nowhere else to go they rejoined the  queue to be readmitted at 6pm again!

 

In later years there were improvements for the deserving poor, with better uniforms, more rest and refreshments.  In the 20th century the high walls segregating the various classes of pauper were demolished and the classification system was ended. There were improvements for the children in Sheffield where there were scattered homes that were leased  out houses and looked after by a housemother. They were part of the local community and by 1930 there were 30 of these around the Sheffield area.

 

At Ecclesall there were cottage homes, a self-sufficient village built for  the children. They had a strict routine for education every day. When the children were 15 years old they would leave and go to work.  

Latest News

On Wednesday 28th June, we welcome back Ann Beedham whose talk is called Days of Sunshine and Rain: Peak District Rambling in the 1920s, with words and photographs from the life of George Willis Marshall who was a keen walker and who took lots of photos in the 1920s and 1930s as he wandered the hills of Derbyshire with his friends. They were pioneers of the ‘right to roam’ and took part in the famous Kinder Trespass of 1932. The meeting is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m.

 

On Wednesday 26th July Alan Powell will tells us about The History of Newspapers in Sheffield. Alan is a former Editor of the Sheffield Telegraph and The Star newspapers and had a career of more than 44 years in journalism in Sheffield. The meeting as usual is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m. Non-members are welcome.

 

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. 

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.

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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