Totley Hall College of Housecraft 1953
Totley Hall College of Housecraft 1953

From Tups to Tykes

In 1919 Totley Parish Council was asked to consider joining with Norton Parish Council to become part of Sheffield; but Totley did not wish to do so. The next reference to this item In the Minute book is on 30th July, 1931 when Totley Parish Council renewed their subscription to Derbyshire Rural Community Council for 12 months, the fee a £1.

A justice of the Peace was appointed by Derbyshire County Council on the 21st April, 1932. A letter dated 9th November, 1932 was received by Totley from the Town Clerk of Sheffield informing that Sheffield City Council had given instructions for the promotion of a Bill in Parliament to provide for the extension of the Sheffield City Boundary (Sheffield Corporation Bill 1933). The letter was put on file until all views had been heard.

A resolution was passed stating "That this Council (Totley) views with extreme disfavour any further attempt on the part of Sheffield to include Totley Parish Council within its boundaries and that the District Council be urged to press for the retention of the Parish within the administration of Derbyshire County Council". Five for the motion, one against.


The Ministry of Health wrote on 27th January, 1933 stating an Inspector would hold an inquiry on the proposals of the Derbyshire County Council for the review of their boundaries, but consideration of proposals would be deferred until after the hearing of the Sheffield Corporation Bill.


It was noted on the 11th Jan 1934 that Totley Parish Council ceases to exist on 31st March, 1934 owing to being absorbed by the City of Sheffield on that day. 

Therefore Totleyites (along with other areas from Norton Rural District Council) were forced to change (at least on paper), their birthright of being Derbyshiremen (Tups) to Yorkshiremen (Tykes).


Compiled by M. Coldwell with courtesy permission from Sheffield City Libraries.

80 years in Yorkshire! 

Many of us know that Totley wasn’t always in Yorkshire and in the 19th century had been described as a small Derbyshire village in the parish of Dronfield.


Eighty years ago Derbyshire’s historical border with Sheffield was moved from Limb Brook at the edge of Ecclesall Woods, to a spot near the brickworks on the way to Owler Bar, thus making us Yorkshire folk.


It didn’t happen overnight and local councils were very unhappy at the prospect, putting up a lengthy fight to retain their Derbyshire identity. 


So why the change?

After WW1 Sheffield was expanding and the necessary space within its industrial heartland was becoming difficult to find. Not only did the steel industry need land to develop their foundries and factories but also new housing was desp erately required to im prove living conditions and house the ever growing population.


Some steel manufacturers had already moved out of Sheffield, many favouring the Rother Valley, and the city wanted them back within their boundary to retain the coveted ‘Made in Sheffield’ claim on all things steel.


Clearing the slum backtoback housing and yards would free some space, but sites for an anticipated 15,000 new houses had to be found. The city was bursting at the seams and there were great swathes of suitable land just outside its boundary.


Totley’s situation 

Going back to 1820, the building of the turnpike (Baslow Rd) and then the arrival of the railway in 1872 had made the city accessible, and it was regarded as ‘almost part of Sheffield’ by Sheffield Corporation. However Totley was firmly placed in Derbyshire and was administered by Norton Rural District Council, one of the largest in the country.


Being at the very northernmost tip of Derbyshire and adjacent to Sheffield’s boundary, the improved city access meant Norton Council began to look towards Sheffield for some administrative purposes and services. For example Totley had been annexed to Ecclesall Bierlow since 1837, which was in the West Riding of Yorkshire and was where the villagers registered births, marriages and deaths. Ecclesall Rural Sanitary Authority was responsible for Totley’s water and sewage, and sometimes those unfortunate enough to need care in an asylum or workhouse were sent to Ecclesall Bierlow Union Workhouse at Nether Edge rather than to Derby.


In 1919 Sheffield Corporation published ‘The Sheffield Extension Plan’, detailing the annexation of adjacent urban and rural districts into the city boundaries. These included Handsworth, Brinsworth, Chapeltown, Ecclesfield, Wortley, Norton, Dronfield, Rotherham and Chesterfield, and aimed to increase Sheffield’s boundary by 100,000 acres. The Ministry of Health initially granted them only Handsworth and certain portions of Brinsworth and Ecclesfield. This led in 1920 to ‘The Sheffield Extension Enquiry’ where the city defended its case for accessing more land and so the arguments rumbled on through the 1920’s, the pro’s and the con’s.


Sheffield said it wanted to retain its monopoly in the steel industry for which it had earned worldwide recognition, and for that the city felt it must grow.


Derbyshire County Council brought in representatives to back their opposition....


....An insurance company that covered medical bills saying care in Sheffield would be no better than that already provided in Derbyshire.

....Parents who felt standards of education available at the schools in Derbyshire were superior to those provided by Sheffield, despite Sheffield being the first place to provide free secondary educ ation.

.…Concerns exp ressed by residents that the Sheffield slums would creep into what was still a beautiful rural area.

....The important anomaly that rates in Sheffield were higher than in Derbyshire, and handouts in Sheffield lower....


And what about the Cricket League! Teams would have to move! 


In 1930 the arguments were still in progress.

'Three parishes in Derbyshire, Dore, Totley and Norton appear to be the sport of neighbouring authorities which happen to be more populous. They have successfully resisted an attempt to include them within Sheffield’s city boundary. Now the Chesterfield Rural District Council is seeking to annex them. They are likely to show fight in this case too. Where Sheffield failed I cannot believe that Chesterfield will succeed. Sheffield, indeed, could make out the stronger claim since all three places look in that direction for their business interests. A good many anomalies exist in this part of the county, so far as local administration is concerned. If the Chesterfield Rural District Council is merely trying to remedy this it might be able to establish a good case, but selfinterest, in the matter of rating, is sure to be suspected’ (Derbyshire Daily Telegraph 31 Oct 1930) 


Three years later, as it was finally being announced that Sheffield’s boundary would move to enclose these parishes, Chesterfield countered by saying a lower rate was being offered by Sheffield to the Derbyshire districts concerned in order to induce them to accept the change, and was this legal?


Norton RDC still remained firm in their resolve to stay in Derbyshire and took their objection to the House of Lords, only to fail in their appeal.


Totley officially became part of Sheffield Parish the following year in April 1934, and final ties with the past were severed when Ecclesall Bierlow Registration District was abolished in 1935.


Pauline Burnett

August 2015 


Sheffield City boundary stone, Baslow Road Sheffield City boundary stone, Baslow Road (photos: Chris Measures)

It seems to have been forgotten that only 60 percent of Totley was transferred into Yorkshire.  Forty percent of Totley stayed in Derbyshire and was amalgamated into Holmesfield. As GENUKI notes:


In 1835 the township and parish of Totley occupied 1,811 acres. In 1934, 751 acres were amalgamated into the Holmesfield Civil Parish. The remaining 1,100 acres became part of the Hallam Ward of the City of Sheffield and became part of the West Rding of Yorkshire.

Totley boundary map pre 1934 Totley boundary map pre 1934
Totley boundary map post 1934 Totley boundary map post 1934

Latest News

Coming Soon

On Wednesday 24th October Thelma Griffiths will be giving us a talk called A Harvest of Healing; Historical and Medical Use of Sphagnum Moss.
Sphagnum moss has remarkable properties to hold liquid and to cure or stop infection. In a medical era before antibiotics the combination of the power to mop up copious quantities of blood and staunch open wounds, along with its healing powers, made sphagnum invaluable for helping the terrible injuries of war. The meeting begins at 7.30pm in Dore & Totley United Reformed Church, 28 Totley Brook Road, S17 3QS. Please note this change of venue.


On Wednesday 28th November there will be an Open Meeting when everyone is invited to share memories of local Sports, Social and Community Groups. You may remember that this meeting was postponed in February because of snow. Please bring along any photographs or memorabilia that you may have. The meeting begins at 7.30pm in Dore & Totley United Reformed Church, 28 Totley Brook Road, S17 3QS. Please note this change of venue.


Once again Totley History Group is supporting the popular annual Spitewinter Concert at Ecclesall Parish Church, Ringinglow Road. Joining the Sheffield Folk Chorale are special guests Beshazzar's Feast and Ciaran Boyle. The concert is on Wednesday, 12th December starting at 7.30 p.m., price £10. For tickets and further information, please contact Pauline Burnett by email at: 

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.

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.

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 The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

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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