Wednesday 22 September 2021
Through Kirton Tunnel (Part 1)
On Wednesday 22 September, we were delighted to hold our first monthly meeting in Totley Library since measures were introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Our speaker was Stephen Gay with the first of a two-part talk about the railway journey from Sheffield to Cleethorpes.
In his usual fascinating delivery, Stephen’s talk was full of both railway history and the peripheral and social changes that affected the use of the line. The journey now begins at Midland Station (Pond Street), opened in 1870, but the line was built circa 1849 as the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway (MS&LR) and would have begun at the original Midland (Victoria) Station close to the Wicker. Scant evidence remains of original railway buildings, but slides taken by the speaker over a forty year period captured a Goods Office (demolished in 1980s) and many signal boxes that were no longer needed after Powerbox signalling system was installed in 1970s. Slightly strangely, many of the toilets built to serve the needs of the signalmen still survive to this day!
Rolling stock manufacturers such as Cravens, who built both luxury carriages as well as trains for the London Underground, have all left their mark beside the line. Buildings originally used by manufacturing companies that depended on the close proximity of the railway for both supplies and distribution of their goods may still stand, but with the passage of time have been repurposed for 21st century use.
There were a number of once important junctions, e.g. Nunnery Junction near Tinsley where many lines crisscrossed. Small branch lines to serve steel works, coal pits and power stations were shown. Many of these branch lines are now disused, ripped up and overgrown, but others are still plain to see, even if now out of use. Tonnes of coal in snaking trains were delivered daily to power stations via such branch lines, seemingly the most important freight for many years, but now all gone. Fresh fish came from Grimsby through to the Midlands and even had its own loop line built at South Waleswood to hasten its journey, the smell letting everyone know it had passed through!
Stephen’s vast archive of photographs showed very clearly how the use of the line and rolling stock has changed through the decades. Sections that once boasted two lines each way are now reduced to just one, although with the current increase in freight traffic this may change back again. We saw slides of wooden carriages left to decay in sidings, then finally torched to prevent rough sleepers taking advantage of them. Photographs of trains that looked little more than buses on the line, through to the heavy diesels and the cumbersome weedkiller train that made its annual trip along the line.
The railway often runs in close proximity to Chesterfield Canal, the transport means it superseded. Its steepest gradient is near Don Valley (1 in 10) with cuttings and tunnels being created in order to traverse small contours in the land. An accident during the building of the Beighton viaduct resulted in fatalities, when the arches toppled like dominoes. An embankment built to carry the railway at Kiveton Bridge was washed away in the 2007 floods, but this time fatalities were avoided when a vigilant engine driver felt a wobble as he passed over the stretch. He quickly reported it and by the time the engineers reached the spot the lines were hanging in space many feet above the wrecked embankment.
Land once used as part of the railway infrastructure has been repurposed - industrial sites such as those alongside the Parkway, rural areas now being used for recreation e.g. a section of the trans-Pennine trail from Southport to Hull, opening in 2001. Stations have ceased to be staffed since tickets are now bought either from an automatic machine, online or on the train, the deserted buildings sometimes being subject to abuse and vandalism. Station hotels have either been demolished or survived as a B&B, a convenience store - more repurposing. By the time we arrived in Retford we had learnt much about the uses and the changes that have taken place during its 170 year history.
The second part of Stephen's talk, which will take us from Retford to Cleethorpes, will be on Wednesday, 27 October starting at 7.30 pm. Because of the need for social distancing, Totley Library is restricted in the numbers it can accommodate. We hope that all those who want to attend will be able to do so but, in order for us to monitor demand, we are again asking you to tell us you are coming by emailing us at: secretary@totley historygroup.org.uk
Wednesday 28 April 2021
The History of Holidays
Our speaker on Wednesday 28 April was Pauline Burnett who talked to us via Zoom about the history of holidays.
In medieval times holidays didn’t exist and days away from work would be for holy days, random saints days and seasonal markers of the agricultural year, e.g. Harvest Festival. Sundays were observed as a religious day. Workers worked for the Lord of the Manor for around two hundred days of the year as they had their own land and animals to look after. Pilgrimages took place but mostly for the wealthy as people couldn’t afford to leave their land and animals. Travelling was difficult as roads were non-existent, robbery on the roads was quite common and the distances to travel were vast.
After the reformation the Protestant Church decreed holy days remained, Sundays, Christmas Day, the Twelve days of Christmas, Easter Day and Ascension day. Aristocracy went on The Grand Tour, often for two years to visit places such as Spain, France, Greece, places with historical significance. Rome was considered an essential destination. They would learn a language and make contacts with people. A portrait would be made to mark the occasion and sent back home. Tourist artefacts were also sent home.
Late 18th century, early 19th century: Napoleon’s campaign made it difficult to travel and reduced the number of people going on tour. Other types of holidays began to grow, people visited spa towns like Buxton for the water which was believed to benefit their health also coastal towns for the sea water. People had to travel in their own horse drawn coaches so numbers of people were limited.
The trains made a huge difference in people travelling in the mid 19th century, trains were originally developed for moving of goods but then people realised they could be used for their own travel. Thomas Cook realised the potential of the railways and started to organise leisure trips. He produced guide books, arranged excursion trains and tours e.g. the for The Great Exhibition, it was the beginning of the pre-paid holiday. He invented a holiday coupon which was a way of reducing money to carry so was safer. People were able to go to the Middle East, America, Russia. In 1869 Egyptian tours were popular and he had tours going to Egypt through Europe or cruise to Cairo, these were for the wealthy people.
For the ordinary folk celebrations were still limited to holy days, random saints days and seasonal markers of agricultural year. The people were working hard all year round and the seasonal days for agricultural didn’t apply to all trades.
In 1871 the Bank Holiday Act was introduced with four bank holidays: Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, 26th December and Whit Monday. The railways brought easy access to the coast. Promenades were built on the sea front for people to walk along in their best clothes. People chose holidays on what the resorts had to offer and where the train would take them. Sandy beaches, donkeys, evening entertainment, acts, dancing were all on offer.
Post cards became popular from 1880 as a way to communicate as there were no telephones. The bathing on beaches was segrated until around 1890 and bathing machines were used so that ladies weren’t be seen in their swimsuit. Alternative styles of holiday were developed, camp sites for a more affordable holiday. Thomas A. Leonard founded the Co-operative Holiday Association for men only. These were recreational and educational holidays, cheap for young people. As costs increased due to added services, Thomas Leonard left and founded the Holiday Fellowship.
1890 to 1910: crop picking began to earn extra money and often accommodation was provided. Examples are picking of the summer fruits, potato picking, hop pickers, the tradition kept going for a long time, it was tough, hard work.
1900 onwards: coast towns were building accommodation for all pockets with B and Bs and hotels. Transport made a difference, charabanc trips were popular and caravans were produced from 1919. Owning a car was expensive. The rail companies would advertise with posters showing places in the beautiful countryside and these posters are now iconic and collector items.
1920 to 1930s: winter holidays were advertised, such as skiing holidays, these were an extra to a summer holiday. Swimming became popular after it was included in the 1896 Olympics. Pools and lidos were built, e.g, at Millhouse Park, it is recalled that the water was cold!
1938 was the first time workers got holiday pay, before this time there were holiday saving clubs and these continued to save for spending money. The unions had been campaigning for twenty years for holiday pay. Butlins opened in the 1930s to provide affordable holidays. YHA was founded and open to any person from any background to have rest, often used for people on cycling or walking holidays.
After WW2 holidays became more popular. The aluminum technology gained from plane production in the war was used for building caravans and also static caravan holiday sites opened for people to rent. The east coast resorts continued to be popular, they had entertainment, food and the beach. Coaches were used for UK tours and overseas. National Express took over a lot of the companies in the 1970s.
In the 1950s people starting going overseas, a plane journey to Spain involved refuelling en route. Jet planes changed the industry and no need to refuel en route, UK tourism suffered. In 1970 Thomas Cook acquired the 18-30 holiday company for young people who had lots of spare money and these were very popular.
In the 1980s tent technology progressed, now framed tents with waterproof nylon and bespoke equipment made for camping. There is now a huge amount of self-catering options available. Cruising was expensive but has become cheaper in recent times. The huge ships have food, entertainment, guided tours arranged and cater for all age groups. All holiday businesses have been affected by the pandemic in 2020/2021, it is an important industry and hope it will soon return.
Pauline was thanked for an interesting and informative talk.
Wednesday 22 January 2020
The Shepleys of Woodthorpe Hall
Our speaker on Wednesday 22nd January was Dick Shepley who talked to us about The Shepleys of Woodthorpe Hall.
Dick’s grandparents, George and Emma Shepley, moved to the hall in 1926. They had four sons: Seymour, Rex, Frank and Douglas and a daughter Jeanne. A fifth son Peter had died as a child. They were attracted to the area as George was a co director of 2 companies in Sheffield, one of these still exists today. He also loved cricket and rugby and the hall is close to Abbeydale Sports Club. They paid £3,484 for the hall and Dick still has the receipt!
The house at this time was a farmyard and was a tenanted farm. Before the Shepleys arrived the ground floor was where the cattle lived, some windows were blocked up and only part of it was habitable. The Shepleys restored it to be all habitable and put in central heating that is still used to this day. The Holmesfield Park Wood belonged to the Duke of Rutland and in 1920 there was a big sale and it was sold to a timber merchant who wanted to cut the trees down. His grandfather complained to the authorities and he purchased it and planted it up, this wood is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Tragedy first struck the Shepley family in the early months of the war. Early in 1939 Jeanne had set off on an adventurous journey travelling by land and sea to India. On the outbreak of war Jeanne was determined to return home as soon as possible and she sailed on the SS Yorkshire from Rangoon. The ship arrived safely in Gibraltar and on 13 October 1939 it sailed for England as part of an unescorted merchant convoy. On 17 October the ship was off the coast of France when it was struck by a torpedo and sank with the loss of 25 crew and 33 passengers, one of whom was Jeanne Shepley who was last seen helping other passengers to the lifeboats.
On 31 May 1940 the Shepley family sustained a second loss when Rex was shot down and killed whilst flying his Westland Lysander. He had been undertaking a series of missions to drop essential supplies to the troops who were grimly defending the port of Calais as the British Expeditionary Force were being rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk.
In the early summer of 1940 Douglas Shepley had married Frances "Bidy" Linscott, a young nurse from Sidcup in Kent. Douglas was a Spitfire pilot in 152 Squadron stationed at Warmwell in Dorset and was one of "The Few" who fought in the Battle of Britain. On 12 August the squadron was scrambled to defend Ventnor radar station on the Isle of Wight. Pilot Officer Douglas Shepley was last seen pursuing enemy raiders and was shot down over the English Channel, south of the island. His body was never recovered.
Devastated as the family were after losing three of their children, in the first year of the war they decided to do something positive. Emily and her daughter-in-law Bidy set about raising £5,700 (over £300,000 in today's terms) to buy a new Spitfire. The people of north Derbyshire and south Yorkshire rallied round magnificently organising whist drives, concerts, dances and various other events. There were collections in local cinemas, pubs, theatres and shops and within 15 weeks the money had been raised.
The Shepley was first flown on 1 August 1941 and was issued to 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron on 16 August. Shepley moved on to a Polish squadron and then to a New Zealand squadron before eventually becoming the personal aircraft of Group Captain Victor Beamish DSO DFC AFC, the Station Commander at RAF Kenley in Surrey in 1941. Sadly he too was shot down over the English Channel on 28 March 1942.
Dick’s parents moved to the hall in 1963 on the death of Dick’s grandparents, his parents had 5 children. Seymour was his father. Seymour had five children, Dick moved to Woodthorpe in 1987 as the eldest living son and began to look after the hall, the first job was re-roofing the hall.
In 1978 a Nottinghamshire brewery, Hardys and Hansons, built a new public house on Mickley Lane. A competition was held to find a suitable name and the brewery chose that suggested by Seymour Shepley of Woodthorpe Hall, which lies a few hundred yards away in the parish of Holmesfield.
Bidy Shepley married a Canadian soldier at the end of the war and went to live in Canada. Dick kept in touch with her and received a telephone message in early 2019 saying it was her 100th birthday and had he any memorabilia he could send. Dick was so delighted about this he went to Canada and attended the party and reminisced with Bidy about all the family which she could still recall.
Woodthorpe Hall today hosts up to 8 weddings a year and produces cider, which can be found for sale at The Chatsworth Shop. Dick was thanked for a very enjoyable and interesting talk.
On Wednesday 27th October you are invited to join Stephen Gay for the second part of a virtual railway journey which starts at Retford, stopping at Gainsborough and Kirton Lindsey before passing through the 1,334 yard Kirton Tunnel and then on via Brigg and Grimsby to the east coast holiday resort of Cleethorpes. There may be time to enjoy a side trip up the scenic North Lincolnshire branch line to Barton-on-Humber. Stephen will explore the history of the line and its surrounding countryside in his usual fascinating way in a talk that is not just for railway enthusiasts. The talk will be in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m. To maintain social distancing, numbers may have to be restricted, so if you wish to attend would you please advise us by emailing secretary @totley historygroup.org.uk
On Wednesday 24th November Rod Amos will talk to us about The Bodysnatchers of Yorkshire. Bodysnatching is said to have begun after a surge in numbers of pupils studying medicine in the early part of the 19th century. Up to then medical students had relied on the dead bodies of hanged prisoners for dissection, allowed under an old statute dating from Henry VIII. When that supply became insufficient, the practice of digging up graves to steal corpses became a profitable business for gangs of so-called Resurrectionists. In Sheffield, anger about the lack of respect for the dead led to an angry mob burning down the city's School of Anatomy in 1835. The talk will begin at 7.30 p.m. in Totley Library. To maintain social distancing, numbers may have to be restricted, so if you wish to attend would you please advise us by emailing secretary @totley historygroup.org.uk
Pauline Burnett's book The Rise of Totley Rise has been revised and updated. It tells the story of this small piece of land from 1875 when there was only a rolling mill and chemical yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, through Victorian and Edwardian times, two world wars and up to the present day. It has 94 pages including a useful index and many illustrations from private collections. The book is available now from Totley Rise Post Office priced at £5, or through our website when an additional charge will be made to cover packing and postage.
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. Further information about the correspondence is in this inside page of our website: Dore & Totley Minesweeping Trawlers Comforts Fund.
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.
We are very grateful to Mrs Valerie Taylor of Dore for lending us the title deeds to Lower Bents Farmhouse which is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the area with a proven history back to 1621. We have now scanned and transcribed the deeds which could be particularly interesting to anyone with a connection to the local Fisher, Dalton and Marshall Families.
Until 1844, when Dore Christ Church parish was created, Totley township was part of Dronfield parish. We have now transcribed the burial records for former Totley residents at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield for the period 1678-1870 and at St. Swithin, Holmesfield for the period 1766-1901.
Whilst researching the history of the Dalton Family we found it useful to transcribe a number of early Wills and Inventories. These and those of many other Totley, Dore and Holmesfield people dating from between 1594 and 1856 have now been added to our website.
St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield pre-dates Dore Christ Church and was the place where many of the people from Totley worshipped and were baptised, married and buried. Read the inscriptions on more than 750 gravestones in the churchyard including those of Mr. and Mrs. William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, Jessie Matilda Tyzack (nee Fisher) of Avenue Farm, and Rev. J. A. Kerfoot of St. John's, Abbeydale.
Thomas Youdan was a music hall proprietor and benefactor who was living at Grove House, Totley in 1867 when he sponsored the first football knockout competition in the world for The Youdan Cup.
The words Millhouses Cricket Club can be seen in the background of team photos which are likely to date from between 1905 and the early 1920s, very probably pre-war. They were lent to us by Garth Inman who can identify his great uncle, Cecil Inman, in some of the photos and would like to know when they were taken and, if possible, the names of others present. Please take a look to see whether you can put names to any of the faces.
Josiah Hibberd was seriously injured whilst working on the construction of the Totley Tunnel in 1892. He died on 9 May 1897 at the age of 38 having apparently spent most of previous five years in hospital.
Bradway House was built around 1832 by Henry Greaves, a farmer, together with two adjacent cottages. We have traced most of the occupants of the property from these early days up to the start of World War Two.
We have transcribed the baptisms records at St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale from when the church was consecrated in 1876 until just after the start of World War 1. The records are arranged in alphabetical order based upon the child's name and show the date of baptism, the names of the parents, their home location and occupation.
Nick Kuhn bought an original 1920s poster which had this owners' blind stamp in one corner. The stamp almost certainly refers to a house named Wigmore that was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The first occupiers that we can trace are John Howarth Caine, a district mineral agent for the LNER, his wife Florence Jane (nee Prince) and daughter Doris Mary. The Caine family lived at Wigmore until 1936 by which time the house would have been known simply as 12 The Quandrant.
George Griffiths died on 13 December 1888 following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. His widow Florence died shortly afterwards and his two daughters Maud and Annie were adopted separately. Whilst Annie lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, Maud emigrated to Australia in 1923 with her husband, John Burrows, daughter Margaret and son Jack, pictured above.
George Wainwright was said to have been born in Bamford, Derbyshire in 1714. He learned the trade of linen weaving and moved to Totley after his marriage on 1744. He became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors and when Wesley's preachers became harassed by a mob of Totley ruffians in 1760, George offered them safety of his own home. He remained a Methodist for all of his long life, dying in Dore in 1821 at the reputed age of 107.
Oakwood School was started by Mrs Phoebe Holroyd in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was still working at the school almost fifty years later when she was well into her seventies. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school.
James Curtis was born at sea aboard HMS Chichester in 1790. He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield in 1812 and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo. In later life James lived at the Cricket Inn where his son-in-law William Anthony was the licensed victualler. He died in Heeley in 1882 aged about 91.
Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.
Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.
Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.
A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.
Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder of Mona Villas. In later years, the buildings were used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture.
We believe the old Totley Police Station at 331 Baslow Road was built around 1882. Two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934.
David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.
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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