Totley History Group
Totley History Group

James Gledhill and The Rhubarb Triangle

James Gledhill in 1928 James Gledhill in 1928

James Gledhill was born in Rishworth in 1867. He was the youngest of six sons and four daughters born to Richard Gledhill (bc. 1823), a gardener and coachman from Skircoat and his wife Margaret (nee Parr, bc. 1825) of Greetland, all districts of Halifax.

 

James was educated at Rishworth Grammar School and then he went to work for the wealthy Wheelright family of Rishworth. The Wheelwrights were farmers and landowners and it is probable that James worked at James Wheelwright's cotton spinning mill as several of his older siblings already worked there as cotton operatives.

 

By the time of the 1891 Census, James had moved to Castleton, Rochdale, where he was employed in neighbouring Suddon as a police constable. Having been invalided out of the police force he came to live in Sheffield where he married Ada Lee (bc. 1865) in 1889. A son, James Eric was born c.1897 and a daughter Constance in 1900.

 

James set up a retail shop at 150 Eccleshall Road, opposite Wards Brewery, to sell flowers, bulbs, seeds, fruit and vegetables from his own gardens on land acquired at The Manor Farm. By 1908 he was renting ten acres and had a substantial range of stabling, greenhouses, potting sheds and a heated shed for forcing rhubarb. As many as half a million plants were sent to market in a single week. 

 

James Gledhill's poultry farm with the Brookvale Laundry in the background James Gledhill's poultry farm with the Brookvale Laundry in the background, 1921
In 1906 James Gledhill bought, from Michael Joseph Hunter, land and property in Totley that had belonged to the Victoria Gardens including the former Abbeydale Club on Baslow Road which was converted into two houses, Little Haven (85) and Moorlands (87), and rented out.
 
In the 1911 Census, the Gledhills were living at Glover House, an old house on the south east corner of Mickley Lane and Glover Road. On a triangle of land between Mickley Lane, Glover Road and Baslow Road they grew rhubarb and mushrooms. They also had a poultry farm on land between Glover Road and Back Lane and a shop at Sheffield Castlefield Market.
 
In 1926 when Glover House and the adjacent Brook Terrace were demolished, presumably to make way for the Laverdene Estate, the Gledhills moved into Little Haven. 
James Gledhill in later life James Gledhill in later life

James Gledhill held a number of public offices. He was the Chairman of Totley Parish Council for many years, and following the retirement of William Aldam Milner, Totley's respresentative on the Norton Rural District Council. He was also on the Sheffield Poor Law Union Board of Guardians until it was superseded in 1930.

 

An election address from the 1930s survives recording his opposition to the attempts by the City of Sheffield to include Totley within the city boundaries. 

TO THE ELECTORS OF THE

 

PARISH OF TOTLEY.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I have been invited by a representative body of Ratepayers in the Parish to stand as your Candidate for the Norton Rural District Council, to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement, after 44 years of faithful service, of W. A. Milner, Esq., M.A., J.P., D.L., during the last 22 years of which period he was Chairman of the Norton Rural District Council. We must all feel deep regret that indifferent health has caused Mr. Milner to take this step. I have pleasure in accepting this invitation and offer my best services as your candidate.

 

I find myself in perfect agreement with the Policy of the Norton Rural District Council in resisting the repeated attempts of the City of Sheffield to include this District within the City boundaries. I consider that these attempts are not for the benefit of this district, but for the benefit of the City of Sheffield.

 

Desiring to represent no particular party but the whole body of ratepayers, I offer my services with an open mind and a free hand, therefore I should be better able to face and deal with the needs of the Norton Rural District at the present time.

 

Commencing life as a Charity School Boy my progress in life has been made through the school of hard experience. I feel that my business experience will be of benefit and use to the Council in matters where wise spending and wise control are called for. By wise spending I mean expenditure which produces results of service to the majority of the residents. In regard to the dedication of new roads, I should oppose extravagance and high cost, supporting the provision of roads suitable and adequate for the needs of the neighbourhood.

 

Improvement schemes and public work which may be necessary will have my support, so long as they are not a burden on the Ratepayers. I am strongly in favour of the employment of British Labour and British Materials for all Public Works.

 

I am opposed to all Insanitary Conditions. Of the Essential Services I place Health and Education first; a healthy Parish is well worth striving for, bringing happiness and contentment in its train. Education must by all means be kept at a high standard. I am strongly in favour of every opportunity being given to girls and boys having ability, to rise from the bottom to the top of the Educational Ladder whatever the means of their parents may.be.

 

Especially will I strive to keep the Rates within reasonable limits. High Rates produce unemployment. They also make it harder for those who have their livings to earn.

 

I have been a Ratepayer in the District nearly forty years, resident in the Parish over twenty years of that period, and have always taken an active interest in everything of benefit to the district. On three successive occasions I have had the honour of being elected on the Council. I shall always be accessible to all Residents at my address.

 

Assuring you that at all times, if elected, I shall be happy to render every service within my power, WITHOUT PARTY or CLASS DISTINCTION. I solicit the honour and favour of your early votes on the 2nd of April.

 

I have the honour to be Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yours faithfully,

JAMES GLEDHILL,

Victoria Gardens.

Glover Road.

Totley Rise.

However, with the absorbtion of Norton in Sheffield in 1934, James Gledhill became a city councillor and served with distiction as a member of the Markets Committee and Social Services Committee. 

From Armistice Day 1937, there survives these handwritten notes that formed the basis of a talk he gave to schoolchildren at Totley All Saints School.

James Gledhill's Armistice Day talk. 1937 James Gledhill's Armistice Day talk, 1937

James Gledhill died aged 75 and was buried in Abbey Lane Cemetery on 5 January 1943. 

James Gledhill in Public Records

Births, Marriages and Deaths

Name Event Place

Date

Age

James

Gledhill 

birth

 

Rishworth

Halifax 

1867

0

Ada Lee 

birth

Sheffield

c. 1865

 

James Gledhill

and Ada Lee

marriage

Sheffield

Apr-Jun

1889

22

James Eric

Gledhill (son)

born

Sheffield

c. 1897  

Constance

Gledhill (daug.)

born

Sheffield

1900  

James

Gledhill

died

85 Baslow Road

Totley

  75

James

Gledhill

burial

Abbey Lane

Cemetery

Beauchief

5 Jan 1943 

 

Ada

Gledhill

died

Beauchief

Nursing Home

240 Abbey Lane

Beauchief

  95

Ada

Gledhill

burial

Abbey Lane

Cemetery

Beauchief

Sheffield 

12 May 1959   

1851 Census, Lower Godley, Rishworth, Halifax, Yorkshire (West Riding)

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

Rich

Gledhill

 

Head  

 

Married  

 

29

c. 1822

gardener

Yorkshire,

Skircoat

Margaret

Gledhill

Wife 

 

Married 

 

26

c. 1825

 

 

Yorkshire,

Greetland

Thomas

Gledhill [1]

Son

 

2

c. 1849

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Jane Ann

Gledhill [2]

Daug. 

 

1

c. 1850

 

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth 

1861 Census, Little Heaven, Rishworth, Halifax, Yorkshire (West Riding)

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

Richard

Gledhill

 

Head  

 

Married  

 

39

c. 1822

gardener and

coachman

Yorkshire,

Skircoat

Margaret

Gledhill

Wife 

 

Married 

 

36

c. 1825

housekeeper

 

Yorkshire,

Greetland

John W.

Gledhill [3]

Son

 

9

c. 1852

short time

scholar, 

piecer

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Mary E.

Gledhill [4]

Daug. 

 

7

c. 1854

school girl 

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth 

Margaret

Gledhill [5]

Daug.

 

4

c. 1857

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Martha

Gledhill [6]

Daug.

 

1

c. 1860

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

1871 Census, Little Heaven, Rishworth, Halifax, Yorkshire (West Riding)

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

Richard

Gledhill

 

Head  

 

Married  

 

48

c. 1823

gardener and

coachman

Yorkshire,

Skircoat

Margaret

Gledhill

Wife 

 

Married 

 

46

c. 1825

housekeeper

 

Yorkshire,

Greetland

Mary Ellen

Gledhill [4]

Daug. 

Unmarried

17

c. 1854

cotton

operative 

 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth 

Margaret E.

Gledhill [5]

Daug.

Unmarried

14

c. 1857

cotton

operative

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Martha

Gledhill [6]

Daug.

Unmarried

11

c. 1860

cotton

operative

& scholar 

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Walter

Gledhill [7]

Son

Unmarried

8

c. 1863

cotton

operative

& scholar

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Richard

Gledhill [8]

Son

Unmarried

7

c. 1864

scholar

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Eli

Gledhill [9]

Son

Unmarried

4

c. 1867

scholar

Yorkshire

Rishworth

James

Gledhill [10]

Son

Unmarried

3

c, 1868

scholar

Yorkshire

Rishworth

1881 Census, Lower Godley, Rishworth, Halifax, Yorkshire (West Riding)

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

Richard

Gledhill

 

Head  

 

Married  

 

60

c. 1821

coachman

and gardener

Yorkshire,

Skircoat

Margaret

Gledhill

Wife 

 

Married 

 

56

c. 1825

 

 

Yorkshire,

Greetland

Martha

Gledhill [6]

Daug.

Unmarried

21

c. 1860

mill hand

Yorkshire,

Rishworth

Walter

Gledhill [7]

Son

Unmarried

18

c. 1863

mill hand

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Richard

Gledhill [8]

Son

Unmarried

17

c. 1864

mill hand

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Eli

Gledhill [9]

Son

Unmarried

14

c. 1867

mill hand

Yorkshire

Rishworth

1881 Census, Rishworth Grammar School, Rishworth, Halifax, Yorkshire

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

Richard

H. Elliott

 

Head  

 

Married  

 

49

c. 1832

schoolmaster,

M.A.

Yorkshire,

Sheffield

Elizabeth

Gledhill

Servant

Single

19

c. 1862

general

servant

Yorkshire

Peak Pits

James

Gledhill

Scholar

-

13

c. 1868

scholar

Yorkshire

Rishworth

plus 3 members of Mr. Elliott's family, 9 other staff and 56 other scholars

         

1891 Census, 284 Manchester Road, Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

James

Gledhill

Head

Married

23

c. 1868

police

constable

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Ada

Gledhill


Wife  Married 

26 

c. 1865

 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

1901 Census, 150 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, Yorkshire

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

James

Gledhill

Head

Married

33

c. 1868

seedsman, florist

& fruiterer

Yorkshire

Rishworth

Ada

Gledhill


Wife  Married 

36 

c. 1865

 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

James E.

Gledhill

Son  

4

c. 1897

 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

Constance

Gledhill

Daug.  

8 months

b. 1900

 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

Charlotte

Hadfield

Servant Single

17

c. 1884

general

domestic

Yorkshire

Brampton

1911 Census, Glover House, Totley, Derbyshire

Name Relation Condition Age/Born Occupation Birthplace

James

Gledhill

Head

Married

42

c. 1869

market

gardener

Yorkshire

Halifax

Ada

Gledhill


Wife  Married 

45 

c. 1866

asisting 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

James Eric

Gledhill

Son  

14

c. 1897

son working

in garden

Yorkshire

Sheffield

Constance

Gledhill

Daug.  

10

b. 1901

school 

Yorkshire

Sheffield

Latest News

The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday, 27th September when we present an illustrated talk by David Templeman called Mary, Queen of Scots: The Final Journey - From Sheffield to Fotheringhay (1584-1587). This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tutbury Castle, Chartley Manor, Texall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason. But was she guilty? That is the question this talk addresses. The meeting is in Totley Library, starting at 7.30 p.m. 

Then on Wednesday, 25th October we will be holding another in our popular series of themed Open Meetings, when you will be invited to share memories of Totley Then and Now. There will be over a hundred pairs of photographs showing how Totley's buildings, lanes, and open spaces looked in the past compared with the same scene today. The meeting will be held in Totley Library beginning as usual at 7.30 p.m.

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.

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 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 and Norton.

 

 

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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