Memories of Totley by Dr. Ian C. Murphy

November 2002

Credentials.
I was born on The Grove. I have always been pleased to tell people that I started life in Totley. I have trafficked in the idea that at that time it was part of Derbyshire. But in a recent issue I've read that that stopped in 1935 and I wasn't born until 1936. I also have said as part of my patter that Totley is mentioned in the Doomsday Book though known then as Totingly: hope I got that bit right. I went to Miss Richardson's school on Totley Brook Road, no, not to Miss Trott's on Grove Road anyway. I think that was for girls only. I went to the Cubs and to Scouts, at first in a downstairs room of Totley Hall and later in the Scout Hut, on the left just before the tar road ended and the track began toward Gillifield Woods. Piano lessons were from Madame (sic) Scaife also on the Grove. They started me very early and it was a big relief to learn that I did not have to take our piano with me. As an adult, for about a decade I was the organist at the church near the end of Totley Brook Road, mostly during the time of Rev. Duckworth. A spin off was that I played for so many funerals that I became a bit desensitised, and attending funerals has not been so hard as I reckon it might otherwise have been.

 

Dark Side
One experience that gave me an early introduction to how nasty humans can be occurred in an area of bushes a little uphill from that end of the Aquaduct, and not far from, I think, Terrey Road. Some big boys had some little boys at their mercy. Thumping and kicking seemed less awful than the following, They picked on one at a time and told him to go home. As this little boy walked away from the group. a big boy went up behind him, put his hands on his shoulders, put his knee in the lower back and pulled. The little boy went down with a thud. This happened repeatedly to each little boy. This next memory is nothing like as bad. I had been 'playing out' with two boys from further up The Grove. That evening Mother had my brother and me in the bath. The water was white with suds. I was supposed to be looking after the soap. At one point, after I'd let it slip under the surface, Mother said, " Where's the soap? " I said "Up pig's arse, on't second shelf ''. She said Ian!! in the most staggered and aghast way. No other punishment was needed. But I was really punished (smacks on bare bum) for being seen to ride my "trike" down The Green, the steep bit, and out into The Grove, with no chance of stopping, had there been anything coming. That learned me.

 

Bit Naughty
Also near the Aqueduct we treated as a tight-rope the wooden housing that was about 3 feet above ground, about 5 inches square in section, and ran at the top of the cutting from the Aquaduct to the tunnel entrance, presumably carrying cables. A sort of tramp was known to live in a shed near one of the first "pepper pots" venting the tunnel, not far from the Crown Inn and the Cricket Inn. We explored. He came out and chased us. Never went back. We boys planned to get some girls from up The Grove, either into an air raid shelter or into one of the dens in the hedgerows around Dore fields. Came to nothing. I'm especially glad we did not enact the fantasy about Laburnum seeds! Over a wall behind some of the odd numbered houses on The Grove was the garden of Totley Grange. In it was a derelict shed that looked as though it had been used as some kind of office. Some boys took some of the stationery. I've always thought I didn't - could be kidding myself.

Bit Altruistic
We invited boys from Totley Orphanage to tea. Escorted them there and back. I think Mother fixed this up with the staff on account of my sympathy. We did a bit of shopping tor Mr Inman. His house was beautifully positioned on a track running from the top of The Grove to the old village. He had worked in the signal box near the footbridge that crossed the cutting between Totley Brook Road and somewhere near the end of Grove Road. In retirement he offered an explanation of the wet summer. When he was working, trains had got up to 60 mph. Now he told us, planes were going at 100 mph (actually, one had just broken the sound barrier). Planes at 100 mph were unnatural and bound to mess up the atmosphere and cause more rain. From time to time we heard squealing and screaming, and oldies told us it was from pigs being killed at a nearby farm (not Mr Bramhall's where we got the straw for the rabbits). This was one of the early influences that led to Vegetarianism. Mother "put something back in". She ran the Cubs for a few years.


Air Raid Shelters
Father taught us our nightly prayers, which started with, "God bless Mummy and Daddy", and ended with "God bless all the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, and make sure we win the war". Our air raid shelter was made of "reinforced concrete". Father was a Metallurgist and got us to respect rods of steel embedded in slabs of concrete. Ordinary folk had corrugated iron shelters, and I felt a bit twee over ours, not that the word twee had come out at the time. When the air raid warning sounded, I made sure I took my Dinky car with me down the garden to the shelter, in case the house was hit. One night, after the All Clear had sounded, we were going back to the house. I was gazing ahead and for the first time that I can remember, marvelling at the stars. Father, who ran the lab at a steel works in Ecclesfield, nudged me. I turned round. The sky was orange. He said with a catch in his voice, " hat's Sheffield burning". I cried and still do. The next day or it may have been a day or two rater, he came back with silver salt and pepper pots, which he had rescued from the shattered Directors' Dining Room of the Attercliffe branch. I think this was one of the many times when he said things to Mother that we were not supposed to hear. I surely learnt how awful humans can be to humans. On a nicer note. I think it was after the war, but it could have been during the war, that we started to receive food parcels from relatives in Australia.

 

German Prisoners of War.
Gillifield Woods were being cut down. This was either during or after the war. German POW's did the sawing and chopping. They were guarded by a few of our soldiers. There must have been a lot of trust because the soldiers' rifles were lying in the grass or tree stumps. Once, we kids were picking blackberries. Two Germans left their work and picked loads of blackberries quickly and teamed them into our hands. Because there were leaves and stalks and bits of twig mixed in with the berries, I assumed the National view of Germans must be right. Years later I realised the decency in those chaps. We went to the Baptist Church on Cemetery Road in Sheffield. In those days the 45 bus did not start until late morning on Sundays. So we walked to Beauchief to get the tram to get to the morning service. The bus was OK for coming back and for Sunday school in the afternoon and for evening services. I think it must have been after the war that Baptist Germans were allowed to come from the Lodge Moor camp to that church for morning services. Sometimes, some of them and my family went for lunch to the house of a lady on Oakbrook Road, with whom my Father had "digs" when he was a student. Even though these Germans spoke a bit funny, I remember being pleased that they seemed to be quite nice. In a recent issue of Totley Independent a writer refers to the Flying Fortress that crashed in Endcliffe Park. This was close to where the digs lady lived. The story was that some children went up to the crashed plane. Before it went up in flames, an American airman broke same glass with his fist and asked the children to go to their homes and come back with an axe.

Petrol
During the war men came to the door-asking Dad to sell his car to them. He wouldn't. He kept it in a garage in a row of garages (3rd from the last) off The Green, just after the houses stopped and the road went narrow, down to Bastow Road (not far from the first stop from the Terminus at the Cross Scythes, and about opposite the top of Main Avenue, and not far from the Prefabs, though they weren't there then!). After the War there were a few black cars about, and we tried to believe the claim that they were all "official cars". Then came the day when petrol coupons came out. Dad had been doing things to the Singer Nine, including pumping up the tyres, and letting the whole car down off the blocks. There came the day when he came home with a can of petrol. Mum stayed at home with our Sister, the youngest. My brother and I went with Dad to the garage, he put in the petrol, pushed out the car, put in the crank handle, turned it, and the engine sprang into life. I could hardly believe it! I sure was impressed. Among the trips in the next few years were runs out into Derbyshire. We kids used to try to be the first to say, "Look there's another", meaning another car. It was a big total if it was three or four between Totley and The Surprise, and back!

 

Dr. Ian C. Murphy

Latest News

Our first meeting in the new year will be on Wednesday 24th January when we welcome back Chris Corker whose talk is called The Shell, Armaments and Munitions Production Crisis, 1915-1916. The wartime demand for armaments lead to the Shell Crisis of May 1915. Chris examines the effect that the formation of the Ministry of Munitions, under the guidance of David Lloyd-George, had on Sheffield's armament companies and its industry as a whole.

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.

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"

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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