Frank Young

Schooldays in Totley

I started Totley C of E Infants in January 1936. Miss Marsden was the teacher — a very OLD lady!!. She came from Dore. In the classroom was a big coal-fired stove with a guard round it. Miss Marsden heated up my bottle of miik in a little saucepan on the stove, but I still didn’t like it. Coronation year was 1937 and I received a pen-knife and a tin of chocolate. The girls had scissors and chocolate, this was in the next class, but I can’t remember the teacher’s name.


I was in a class in the hall when the Second World War started. I can’t remember this teacher's name either, but I remember she wore glasses. The reason I remember the glasses is because the blackboard fell from the easel and knocked the glasses off her nose. Peter Hills - who came from Cherry Tree orphanage, and was a big pal of mine - and I laughed and were given the stick. In that same, year the Class performed a play. called ’The Highway Man’. Michael Cowley played the lead; Bob Johnson was 'Tim the Ostler' with, 'hair like mouldy hay' or something like that.


The air-raid shelters were up the field adjoining the school. We had to go in occasionally to practice, in case there was a raid. I remember one day Mr. Shirt, who was in the Forces, turning up on his bicycle with his saddle bag full of conkers, which he dished out to all the children. In the winter when it was icy, we made a long slide from the gate on Hillfoot right down the yard, Don Dean was the best 'Little Man'. That means sliding crouched down. I then went into Mr. Ramsden's class in the new building. We had to dig for victory in the school garden, where we grew carrots and other vegetables. Peter Mills and I would sneak off to Evans's bakery for a still-warm loaf when we should have been gardening. At dinner times we would go to play down Penny Lane, or on the tip - usually we were in trouble when we got back!


Trouble meaning the stick. I remember Mr. Ramsden stewing senna pods in the classroom (I wonder why?); also Charlie Atkinson brought      his baby rabbits from home and put them in his desk. About this time, the air-raid supplies of chocolate, sweets and biscuits went missing from our classroom cupboard. The culprits were found and whacked with the board compasses. 


Rita Evans, Doreen Pitt and Muriel Short passed the 11 plus and were in tears when they left school. Doreen lived in the house on the moors above the Rifle Range. At some point schools were closed and we had to do what was called 'Home Service'. This meant lessons in someone's house. In my case, Mick Sharman's house on Laverdene, next door to Eric Taylor on one side and Charlie Higginbottom on the other. I also   remember going to the Old School house at the top of All Saints Church drive for lessons. As well as the 3 Rs etc. we had to do country dancing in the yard. I was supposed to dance with Margaret Marsh {Boggy Marsh’s sister). Ugh:! Not my scene, at 9 or 10 but I soon changed say ideas about girls. 


Going home from school down Mickley Lane, Peter Hills would use his gas mask plus case as a football. Another good pal was Brian Pearson whose father ran Heatherfield Nursery. We used to play in the greenhouses full of tomatoes or up in the loft above bales of peat. Brian lived on 'The Green' with his sister, mother and father in a posh bungalow. They must have been very rich because they had a 'WASHING MACHINE', not like our boiler, tub and pusher. To make the machine work you turned a handle on top which turned a paddle inside the drum.


Another pal was John Skinner from Main Avenue, who knew all there was to know about galleons and ships of that era and was good at poetry as well. I failed the 11 plus so had to go to the Old Chapel down Chapel Walk until I left to go to Abbeydale Council School, about 1942. 


I joined the Cubs in 1940. The Scout hut was in betwween Rose Cottage and the Crown Inn. It was it an old tea-room but that is is another story.


September 1997

More Totley Memories

We moved to Totley in 1933. The houses on Green Oak Road and Aldam Road had just been built. The roads round there were all right, but Glover Road was a cart track. 


Green Oak Road houses finished at Ray Wilson's house, No. 41, I think. Opposite was Mr, Webb's house, he was the railway signal man at the signal box at the end of Grove Road. Beyond their houses were fields, but through the fields went an unmade road, and parked on the road was a big steam engine, used for flattening the new roads. During the 1939-45 War, we made allotments in those fields. There was a barn in between Green Oak Park and the allotments. Then came the prefabs, and all the fields that we played in were built on. The Lamp man Bob Carr refers to was Sid Shaw's father, they lived at 29 Green Oak Road.      


On Milldale Road, before the houses on the left going down were built, I remember going to a fairground. The roundabouts must have been powered by Steam Engines. I must have been taken by my mother. Unfortunately she fell off the roundabout and broke her watch, but luckily she wasn't hurt.      


I wonder if Bob Carr went potato or gooseberry picking? We were paid for doing this, and money earned from singing in the All Saints' choir came in handy as well. We made use of wheels in the All Saints' Scouts, as it was then called. The first Scout camp I went to, in 1942, was at Hathersage. To get there, we pushed and pulled the 'Trek Cart' full of tents, blankets, food etc. all the way from Totley up to Owler Bar, on to Fox House, the Surprise and down to Hathersage, then up the road towards Abney (opposite the Plough Inn) to Dungworth’s Farm. I also went in 1943 and 1944, but I can't remember how we travelled then. I remember someone telling us of the D-Day Landings.      


We also camped at Sheldon's farm fields on the edge Of Gillifield. Does anyone remember the Whitsun holiday camp? There was a violent storm, the stream where we kept the milk cool (no cool bags then!) flooded, and we lost the milk. Also, a tent was ripped by hailstones. Those were the GOOD DAYS!      


On 17th September 1945,at the age of 14, I started work at Hadfield East Hecla, which is now under Meadowhall.


July 1998

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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