Thanks to Dr. Marion Jepson, 1 have been able to read and enjoy the 'Totley Independent', in recent months. Reading about all the activities now and, seemingly, a new look in the area, brings back my memories of the Old Days, places, people, and activities. Several articles in which the Cherry Tree Orphanage was mentioned: J. Handley on, '50 Years Ago - Totley at War'; also, mention of earlier days brought back to me a few memories of my schooling in the 1930's, and of my friends throughout that period until I left in December 1941.
Mention was made of Iris Benton, well, I went to school with her and her sister, Edith, along with their brother (he joined the Navy as a cadet at the age of 13, I believe 1938/39); also Cynthia and Sonia Mills, to name a few. The then leader of the Orphanage children took me to school on my first day after the Xmas holiday in 1932 living at 45 Mickley Lane, was easy for her to pick me up. It was a day to remember as the snow was thick on the ground, and heavy snow-drifts created a wearisome trudge to the C of E School.
During my sojourn at school, I cannot recollect any orphanage boy or girl passing examinations for Grammar School - like so many of us. I do recall, however, the Matron allowing each child to invite a friend to tea and evening games. She also 'opened up' the orphanage to the locals to see how the place was I run and the conditions under which they lived. The teachers at the C of E throughout my schooling were, Miss Marsden, Miss Wilson, Miss Benton, Mr. Shirt, Mr. Wylie, Mr. Ramsden and Mrs. Housley.
Perhaps Doug Turner and others will remember some of these names. I do remember Miss Marsden retiring about 2 years after I started school; Mr. Shirt went to the Spanish Civil War in 1938; and Mr. Ramsden was sacked for beating an orphanage boy in 1940. Mr. Wylie went into the Army in 1939.
At this juncture, I would like to mention some of my school mates who maybe will be remembered by some Totleyites. Jean and Sylvia Kirby, George Fisher, the Hassell brothers, the Chapman twins, Eileen Unwin, Alan Firth, Roy Ward, Della Dronfield, Doris Hill, also Kath Pearson, Kath Barrett, Margaret Marsh, Rita Cross, Edith Summerfield, Barbara and Barry Kendal, Jean and Jackie Marshal, Margaret Glossop, Rueben Adlington , . . and so on.
At this juncture and for readers' interest, Margaret Glossop was one of the few who passed for Grammar School - High Storrs; then to Bedford College; eventually a Gym Teacher at Nottingham High School. Late 1940's and early 1950's she played hockey for the English Women's Team and had a great following of pupils from the Sheffield area. I am sure Bill Turner will recall Percy Hassell, Don Chambers and Jim Turkington (my brother). Don Chambers' father had the Fishmongers at Totley Rise. Before 1935 the School Dental Service was performed at the Primary School, Dronfield, travelling by train from Dore & Totley station. After that year, this service was at Lowfields School, Heeley Bottom.
This same year saw the occasion of George V's and Queen Mary's 25 years on the throne. To celebrate, a Sports Day was arranged at the United Football Ground, when children from many schools were invited including C of E, and at which mugs and/or tins of chocolates were handed out to each child. I know that for 2 consecutive years, in the summer school holidays, a Fair came to Totley and Abbeydale Park was the venue (the years possibly 1937 and 1938). This was for one week, possibly two, but 1 know it was a great treat for us, not only for the locals but the buses from Sheffield were packed with eager holiday makers. It was so-well patronised that it was a shoulder-to-shoulder affair.
The wireless was also a pleasure, especially the Children's Hour, each night between 5 & 6 p.m. I know it was a talking point. Can anyone remember Uncle Mac, Romany &. his dog, Larry the Lamb and there was Georgina, Pauline and Pinky, and a pianist. One of these young actresses was Doris Speed, the pianist, Violet Carson (both, of course, latterly of Coronation Street) .
Another talking point was the day off school for a trip to Cheddar Gorge, Somerset on 4th September, 1939, but was cancelled because of the outbreak of war. I cannot seem to remember any previous outing ever having been arranged before this time whilst I was at school. It was not long after this period that home schooling came into being. I know I only did a half-day's schooling for a few months until normal schooling resumed.
With the coming of the 1939/1940 winter, came the heavy snowfalls and bitter, cold days resulting in Beauchief Dam freezing over. I can remember several locals hurrying down for a chance of skating, and one or two of us were lucky enough to get steel blades put on our boots for the event. Though not lasting long, though, yet a time to remember the excitement it caused.
When gas masks were handed out to us at school it was practise time, and I like a few more, did not like them one bit breathing was difficult. The Public Shelter adjacent to the C of E school was used plenty of times when the sirens went off officially or for a practice run, when huddled together, gas masks on, feeling trapped, we could not wait for the All-Clear.
The Home Guard was mentioned in an article, but there was eventually an A.R.P. Contingent. I never knew what they did, nothing happened in Totley needing their services that I can remember, other than the Blitz on Sheffield. One thing I do know, their Headquarters was the Cross Scythes Pub, possibly for discussing their defence strategy. With rationing came queues. Queuing was a way of life and always the ration and clothing coupon books at the ready. Everything was rationed, including linenware, clothes, shoes; this was the time of conserving, patching, darning, alterations etc.
Eventually, the war time rations read:
Allowance, per person, per week:
Bacon and ham 4 ozs
Tea 2 ozs
Meat 10s 2d worth
Cheese 2 ozs
Butter 2 ozs
Margarine 4 ozs
Cooking Fat 2 ozs
Liquid Milk 2 X 1 pints
Shell Eggs 1 egg per 2 weeks
Dried Eggs 1 packet per 4 weeks
Sweets 12 ozs per 4 weeks
Anything else was a bonus, having to keep an I ear to the ground for extras, such as oranges and bananas, which were a luxury. Mentioning oranges reminds me of a time when my cousin was told to go and queue for them but, there being two queues he got into the wrong one and came out of the place inoculated for Diphtheria. I also remember there being a shortage of pipe cleaners for the smokers. These had been snatched by the women as hair curlers.
Social activities in Totley were minimal. The then Methodist Chapel had a Friday Night Club, and in 1942 a Youth Club was formed there, which eventually went from strength to strength after the war. I read that there is a Dramatic Society at the United Reformed Church. Well, in the early forties, the Minister at the time of the then known Congregational Church allowed this activity - a great success and well patronised. There was also Badminton and Dances were held fortnightly on a Saturday night. For how long a period I cannot remember, Eventually, the C of E church at Dore and Totley station opened its doors to a monthly musical evening. Anything apart was socialising in homes, sports or rambles; although I seem to recollect the Hall on the Main Road, just up from Mickley Lane being opened up once or twice for film shows, but this stopped suddenly.
The detachment of the Airborne Division at Totley Bents has been mentioned, and at this point I would like to recall Mac, the Officer-in-Charge, who eventually returned to Totley after the war, married a local girl and worked at Cherry Tree Orphanage. It seems to me that Totley has become a self~contained area, more of everything needed for a good community, and these jottings are just a few of my remembrances of the old Totley 50 and 60 years ago. May you go from strength to strength.
Jess Sowman (Mrs), (nee TURKINGTON)
17, Bathgate Street,
P.S. I notice two correspondents, namely, J. Handley and D. MerrilL I wonder if J. Handley had, or has, a sister Dorothy; if so, I knew her very well. If D. Merrill is Duncan, well we were neighbours when I lived at Mickley Lane.
Like me, I think a lot of your readers would have been interested in the letter from New Zealand in which J. Sowman recalled her childhood in Totley.
As I had arranged a holiday which included a tour of New Zealand with an overnight stop in Dunedin and having lived in Totley for 35 years and knowing some of the people mentioned, I immediately wrote and broached the possibility of a meeting. The suggestion was greeted with enthusiasm (a phone call at 12.30 a.m.) and we duly met up at my hotel.
Jess is happily settled in New Zealand but remembers Totley with great affection and sends greetings to all who remember her. The meeting was all too brief, but was another highlight in what was a wonderful trip.
Because of the continuing need for measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the monthly meetings of Totley History Group have been suspended until further notice.
Please continue to support your history group by sending us your questions, comments and contributions.
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.
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.
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 would 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.
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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