Totley History Group
Totley History Group

Robert H. Carr

Happy Memories of Totley

I was most interested and thoroughly enjoyed the recent articles by John Andrews and Frank Young in which they recall their early days living in Totley. I remember well the people and places mentioned - I too have many happy memories, I know John and Frank, they were around two years younger than myself (quite a gap when schoolboys) so they were closer in age to my brother Brian and he would be one of the boys John mentioned attending High Storrs School with him. Frank lived nearby on Greenoak Road at the same time that I, with my parents and brother and sister lived on Aldam Road. We came to live at Totley in 1932, when I would be about six years of age, and went straight to Totley C of E, my brother Brian and sister Audrey joining the school later. I was there around eight years leaving as a 14 year old to become a student at the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts. The teachers I remember were Miss Marsden (Infants) and the first Headmaster a Mr. Wood, followed a little later by Mr. Woods (an odd coincidence of surnames). Then there was Mr. Shirt, a young very fit sports conscious teacher who cycled from his home in Hunters Bar. Mr. Wylie, a good pianist, who took Music Classes and played at Morning Assembly as well as his other duties, including English.


Frank Young mentioned the Air Raid Shelter. I remember the senior boys were put in charge of a portable lamp each, which was hung up on the Inside wall, I had the enviable job (being a boy) of being in charge of the lamp for the senior girls section, the place being pitch black otherwise. I was told to sit by it making sure it did not go out. I felt quite important at the time. I was at school for only the first year of the War, but in that time I well remember the long slide in winter and Don Dean, one of my classmates, along with George Fisher, Reuben Adlington, and one or two others whose names escape me, looked after the garden at the rear of the school. How we enjoyed those times out in the open air and with a view not many schools could equal overlooking Blackamoor and the surrounding countryside. I have to this day a newspaper cutting, a photograph of the boys tending the garden, taken from the Sheffield Telegraph in 1940. We looked after the garden with loving care, later to be passed on to other boys to do likewise. So began for me a lifelong love of gardening. I wonder what became of that land?       


Mention of Reuben Adlington reminds me that in the late 1950s he became landlord of the Green Dragon in Dronfield (where I have lived for the past 33 years). I saw quite a lot of Reuben in those days as I was working nearby. 


Many will remember the winter days spent sledging, our favourite was 'Wings Hill'. Looking back those days seem to last for ever. The field was near Woodthorpe Hall and had a fearsome centre track and the side track built up like a miniature 'Brooklands'. My word could we fly down there! I recall an Army Searchlight Camp at the bottom of the hill. Nearby, the fields where in the summer we helped Tom Salt of Woodthorpe Hall Farm bring in the hay harvest on his horse-drawn cart (Happy days).       


Being a Church of England school, we had regular visits from the vicar and also periodically we would all go from school to a service at the Church. The Church fetes in the field adjoining the Church were always well supported. The children from the school would take part in Physical Training Displays, Country Dancing etc. The Rev. Hutton I remember as a kindly man and helpful in every way - it was a great shock to all when he died so young (in his forties I believe).       


Along with my brother I joined the choir at an early age and we remained members until our early twenties. In the later years travelling from our home at Beauchief, I could tell many a story of the happy times in the choir, the annual trips to the seaside, the Hope Choir Festival, choir practice in the basement of the church during wartime blackout, with the choirmaster Mr. Linfoot (a very good organist) having to make do with the harmonium for practice. The occasional recitals after Evensong, the vicar playing the cello, all fond memories.


I was in the All Saints Church, Totley Cubs and Scouts (scoutmaster Mr. Leslie Aubrey) many an hour tracking over Blackamoor etc. meetings at the Scout Hut next to the Crown Inn. The lasting memory being the landlady selling 'Palm' toffee to us, breaking with a toffee hammer the big slabs into 2oz or quarter pound bags.       


The days of friendship past but still remembered, days spent playing football and cricket in Greenoak Park. I just had to stroll up our garden, hop over the fence and I was in that field of treasured memories.       


In my early teens I was an errand boy at the Co-op Butchers on Baslow Road, covering many miles on the shop bike (a fully laden basket of   weekend joints, sausages etc.) to local customers. A true door-to-door service, every Saturday in all weathers. Later I was errand boy to Mrs. Bargh, a charming lady who ran a grocery shop on Totley Rise, and where occasionally I helped the driver at Wints Grocery Shop with his van loads (no pay for this - I think the ride in the van was the attraction) or indeed was there for helping a certain Mr. Fish deliver fresh bread from the Dore Bakery of TURVESOWN, loading bread out of the ovens and into the van and off we would go around Totley, Bradway, Dronfield etc. - what a character he was, a laugh a minute. 


It was on Totley Rise some of the lads would help 'rumble' and chip potatoes down in the cellar for Mr. and Mrs. Shaw who ran the excellent Fish and Chip shop for many years. Looking back one has so many memories - Greenoak Hall was for many years the centre of activities: socials, dances, whist drives, etc. and I particularly remember the Boxing Matches put on there. Who remembers 'Curly' Gill, the local hero who pitted his skill of the noble art against opponents from in and outside the village.       


Certain shops stand out in the memory, Wesley’s on Baslow Road with their halfpenny and penny trays (containing liquorice and sherbet etc.) each item priced accordingly. There was also a two penny tray, you were really in the money if you could afford that one! Mr. Perkington’s shop at the corner of Totley Hall Lane, and Evans near the school - two more friendly 'tuck' shops. In the early days I remember an old fashioned shop kept by an elderly lady on the end of Summer Lane off Hillfoot Road - there was always the smell of paraffin lamps in the air, and she came down a creaking flight of stairs to serve us at a small counter with sweets. Also one must not forget 'Monty' Scott’s Barber Shop on Baslow Road - the venue for 'short back and sides'.     


The Abbeydale Cinema was the local -just a bus ride away and nearby the Heeley Coliseum and the Heeley Palace for the occasional visit. But want about Totley’s own little cinemas? It was for the younger end of the population, I cannot remember who put these shows on once a week in the Old Chapel near the school (Saturday nights I think). The place was packed - it was the chance to see films without having to travel out of the village, that was the attraction, that and meeting the girls!!       


As soon as I was sixteen I joined the ARP, later Civil Defence, as a cycle messenger based at Abbeydale Hall, our family by that time living on Abbeydale Road South. There were around six messengers turning out during Air Raid Alerts and also doing duties several nights a week. Ralph Gill from Totley village was one I remember. We cycled between Posts at Totley, Dore, Bradway, Parkhead and the Southern Division Headquarters on Chelsea Road at Nether Edge. Being in the Civil Defence I remember taking part in a Pageant at the City Hall and marching in the Victory Parade.       


The end of the war was celebrated with street parties and the one held on Totley Rise I remember well. Everyone seemed to be there and a good time was had by all. The war had brought folks together: Air Raid Alerts, Fire Watch, Dig for Victory - on the allotments, Civil Defence, Home Guard etc. all helped people through those times and although we had months of austerity and rationing still to go, things gradually got back to normal.       


In 1947 the Totley Community Association was formed, its home at Abbeydale Hall. It served the needs of people of all ages with dances, whist drives, snooker, table tennis and football etc.       


Reading the September issue of Totley Independent I see there is an article 'The End of an Era' referring to the 50th Anniversary of the Association. I was surprised there was no mention of the Football Club which took the Association’s name all over Sheffield and District, later playing in the Sheffield Friendlies League. I was Hon. Sec. For a while. We began in 1948 playing friendly matches, joining the League in 1950. I have records up to the 1953-54 Season during which time we won the 'Green Un' Merit Ball (an award given for the week's best performance) also winning once the 'Second Ball'. Cyril Hughes was our star performer, scoring 50 goals one season, and Mr. Joe Wilson who lived on Green Oak Road was our Trainer - home and away in all weathers. His son Raymond played for the team and at home games in Greenoak Park, Mrs Wilson kindly supplied the tea. Several stalwart players spring to mind, although we recruited from outside Totley, the majority were local lads, such as Ron Jackson, Sid Gauwood, Brian Gowers, Harold Booth and later his son Roy, Brian Turner, Bob Cowperthwaite, Ray Wilson, Peter Wilkin and my brother Brian, along with myself. If I have missed anyone, please forgive me.       


I must also mention Mr. Robinson, who was the Chairman of the Association at that time (his son Rony becoming famous in later years on Radio Sheffield). He gave us full support throughout. A most charming man I recall. Also about that time we formed a Table Tennis Team which played in the local Sheffield League, again taking the Community name all over the area.       


I remember too a Mr. Hawksworth, who was an active member, his son Johnny became an outstanding double bass player with the famous Ted Heath Orchestra, whose concerts after the war I and many others never missed at the Sheffield City Hall.       


I have so many memories, and like John and Frank I am sure many more remembers those days long ago with fond affection. Happy memories are so much a part of life, and I must thank you for your excellent magazine, which gives people a chance to read and write about life in a very choice part of Sheffield, an area of outstanding rural beauty, your publication highlighting any threat to spoil it and thereby giving every chance or continuing in the future what we have enjoyed in the past. Although it is a long time since I lived in Totley, it still has happy memories for me, I was so very pleased to live there and to be a part of it.


November 1997


Our Bygone World On Wheels

Do the young boys of today pass some of their time 'spotting' vehicles as I with my playmates used to do in pre-war Totley? Nowadays cars are very much alike in shape and design and you have to be within a yard or two to tell one from another. Commercial vehicles are little different, only a handful of makers names to note. 


In our young days we had a variety of vehicles to 'spot' at the various viewing points along Baslow Road. The skill or knack was being able to identify as soon as it came into view (and the further away the better!). Of course the number of vehicles on the road was far less than now, but it was still a worthwhile pastime, and kept us out of mischief! We did the usual boyish things, playing down by the river and climbing trees etc. We also cycled and played football and cricket. All good outdoor activities which kept us fit and I am sure we benefited in later life from it. Occasionally we enjoyed sitting on a wall or fence watching the world pass by.       


To name the makes of private cars no longer with us will I am sure bring back memories to many readers: Armstrong Slddeley (The Rev. Hutton of All Saints Totley owned one when I was a boy). The Alvis, Humber, Singer, Brough Superior, BSA Coupe, Crossley, Jowett, Hillman Minx, Lagonda, Lanchester, Wolsley, Riley, Talbot, Flying Standard, S.S.Jaguar, Triumph Gloria etc. What a list! I am sure many of you could add to it - and what a variety. Mention must be made of the Ford Popular (Yours brand new for £100). I believe the cheapest car ever made in this country. All the cars of that time had a distinctive appearance - not like today. Modern streamlining having lost the 'individual' look of the pre-war car. A fact that gave so much interest to our pastime. 


We also noted the names of the lorry and van owners, and could 'spot' many of those from afar. Firms such as Jas Shimwell from Youlgreave, whose lorries carried milk in churns collected from the farms around Derbyshire and taken to the Dairy Factories in Sheffield. They made little noise going in, but what a rattle and clang when they returned with the empties! Pickford Holland (with bricks from the kilns below Owler Bar), Toft Bros. & Tomlinson (Darley Dale), Arthur Davy (Provisions), Earls Cement (now Blue Circle), Cooper & Hart (Woodseats), Bradshaw & Bly, etc. - names no longer seen plying their trade through the area.       


At Totley Bents we had local Haulage firm of Slater's whose smart red lorries were a common sight around. A pal of mine, Douglas Turner had an elder brother Ken, who drove for them and years later owned his own Haulage business at Totley. Pre-war there were a number of locally owned lorries. Some of my school pals at that time had fathers driving their own lorries for hire or coal delivery. You were often more aware then of what vehicles were carrying. I remember the aroma of tar from asphalt carried by the lorries of Derbyshire Stone Ltd. and of 'spent' hops being taken from the Sheffield Breweries to the farms for fertiliser. Another but not so pleasant aroma was the wet fish in open boxes on the back of Frederick Pell's lorries being delivered to the fish shops etc. Another sight I recall was the large blocks of ice on the open backs of lorries (before the days of mass refrigeration). 


Sometimes we heard the sound of the fire bell, faintly at first then as it grew louder, our young hearts would pound with excitement at the sight and sound of the magnificent fire engine as it came into view, bright red and gleaming with brass work etc. The firemen wearing their brass helmets, standing on the back alongside the turntable ladder. It would race past us, followed by the fire car, probably, going to a chimney fire, commonplace in those days, the large majority of households having coal fires. These incidents were sometimes serious enough to call out the Fire Brigade. I remember a few haystacks catching fire but thankfully only one house completely destroyed by fire. So much for the motor vehicle.       


THE BICYCLE was much used in many jobs. The local 'bobby' could often be seen on his bike around Totley and the Telegram boy in uniform on his red bike (my brother Brian began his career in the Post Office as a Messenger). They were stationed at many local Post Offices, as well as in the Sheffield City Centre. The 'Lampman' came round on his bike (with ladder attached) to check the gas lamps which lit many of our roads in those days. One chap I fondly remember was the 'Knife and Scissors Sharpener'. He came round on his 'special bike' knocking on door to door. He had fixed to his bike a grinding wheel, this he turned from the rear wheel of the bike when elevated on a stand. We would watch enthralled as he peddled away sharpening carving knives etc., the sparks flying off all around him - what a sight.       


Many shops had their own delivery bikes, the goods carried in large wicker baskets on the front. One man we were always pleased to see was riding the Walls Ice Cream Tricycle - with his motto STOP ME AND BUY ONE on the front, and we did, eager to spend our pocket money before he ran out of supplies. A Mr. Kettley I remember calling at our house, he had an enclosed box cart on wheels, this he pushed around Totley selling bread and cakes door to door. Many fresh goods were delivered to your door in those days. 


HORSE DRAWN VEHICLES were around too. Mr. Taylor who owned the Grocery and Off Licence at the top of Totley Rise delivered all his goods by horse drawn dray. Mr. Windle being the man in charge of the dray. Many will remember the very distinctive two-wheeled horse drawn vans owned by Ringtons Tea. Mr. Chapman who lived at Totley Bents sold fresh fish from his horse and trap to homes in the area (a service which was very much appreciated). Mr. Kirby who farmed the land behind the 'Fleur de Lys'  helped to keep the roads clean and tidy with the use of his horse and cart. A common sight in winter was the horse drawn snow plough, the winter time reminding me of the days as young boys when we helped to dig out the buses stuck in the snow on Baslow Road, heavy snow being quite common in those days (fun for us, but not if you were driving!) 


THE STEAM ROLLER. Pre-war many estate roads were laid out in Totley, and a sight to behold was the steam roller. Small boys were drawn to them as if by a magnet! The noise, fire, steam and smoke, what majestic beasts they were. Later came the motor roller, but they were never the same (like the steam and diesel engine on the railway I suppose). Mention of steam, you could still see the occasional steam lorry trundling about. One or two Breweries used them as did the Gas and Electric companies. Running these would be a bonus in the later war years, no problem need I say with petrol! Speaking of war time, in the early years we heard much grinding of gears from the 'L' plated army lorries going up and down Baslow Road, their drivers being trained for service world wide. I would be in my early teens then and saw many army convoys, most of the lorries being 'flat front' Bedfords. These Bedford lorries gave many years yeoman service to the private hauliers who used them after the War, most being ex-army.       


Life in our young days had not the frantic pace of today - thank goodness, and also none of the distractions i.e. television, videos, computer games etc. - we were free indeed to enjoy OUR BYGONE WORLD ON WHEELS. I wonder how the young boys of today will view the World on Wheels in fifty or sixty years time - Now there's a thought!


April 1998

See also Bob Carr's article on Totley Co-op. and photograph with Eric Renshaw

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Future Meetings



Unless stated otherwise our meetings are held in Totley Library on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Pauline Burnett's book The Rise of Totley Rise has been revised and updated. It tells the story of this small piece of land from 1875 when there was only a rolling mill and chemical yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, through Victorian and Edwardian times, two world wars and up to the present day. It has 94 pages including a useful index and many illustrations from private collections. The book is available now from Totley Rise Post Office priced at £5, or through our website when an additional charge will be made to cover packing and postage.

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.  Further information about the correspondence is in this inside page of our website: Dore & Totley Minesweeping Trawlers Comforts Fund

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.

Totley All Saints' Church Parish Magazines for the years 1985-2006 with notices of baptisms, marriages and funerals and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. Scanned in full, including advertisements from local traders.

In 1893 during the building of the Totley Tunnel there was an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navvies which spread to some of the local population. 17 people were buried in communal graves in Dore Churchyard, 6 from "Green Oak" (Lemont Road). The severity of the outbreak was principally caused by overcrowding and insanitary conditions in lodging houses .

Kathleen Grayson was a 39 year old housewife when WW2 broke out. She volunteered for the ARP and became an ambulance driver. During an air raid on Sheffield in July 1941, and despite her own injuries, she managed to get a seriously injured casualty to hospital. For this she was awarded a commendation from King George VI. Together with her friend Hilda Duffy, Kathleen also assembled a team of knitters to provide essential warm clothing for the men serving on the minesweepers patrolling the North Sea.

We have recently bought at auction the WW2 memorabilia of Douglas Platts whose family home was at Hillside, 98 Queen Victoria Road. After the war Douglas returned to his civilian occupation working in the family scissors manufacturing business. He lived in our area for the rest of his life.

We are very grateful to Mrs Valerie Taylor of Dore for lending us the title deeds to Lower Bents Farmhouse which is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the area with a proven history back to 1621. We have now scanned and transcribed the deeds which could be particularly interesting to anyone with a connection to the local Fisher, Dalton and Marshall Families. 

Until 1844, when Dore Christ Church parish was created, Totley township was part of Dronfield parish. We have now transcribed the burial records for former Totley residents at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield for the period 1678-1870 and at St. Swithin, Holmesfield for the period 1766-1901.

Whilst researching the history of the Dalton Family we found it useful to transcribe a number of early Wills and Inventories. These and those of many other Totley, Dore and Holmesfield people dating from between 1594 and 1856 have now been added to our website.

St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield pre-dates Dore Christ Church and was the place where many of the people from Totley worshipped and were baptised, married and buried. Read the inscriptions on more than 750 gravestones in the churchyard including those of Mr. and Mrs. William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, Jessie Matilda Tyzack (nee Fisher) of Avenue Farm, and Rev. J. A. Kerfoot of St. John's, Abbeydale.

Thomas Youdan was a music hall proprietor and benefactor who was living at Grove House, Totley in 1867 when he sponsored the first football knockout competition in the world for The Youdan Cup.

The words Millhouses Cricket Club can be seen in the background of team photos which are likely to date from between 1905 and the early 1920s, very probably pre-war. They were lent to us by Garth Inman who can identify his great uncle, Cecil Inman, in some of the photos and would like to know when they were taken and, if possible, the names of others present. Please take a look to see whether you can put names to any of the faces. 

Josiah Hibberd was seriously injured whilst working on the construction of the Totley Tunnel in 1892. He died on 9 May 1897 at the age of 38 having apparently spent most of previous five years in hospital.

Bradway House was built around 1832 by Henry Greaves, a farmer, together with two adjacent cottages. We have traced most of the occupants of the property from these early days up to the start of World War Two.

We have transcribed the baptisms records at St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale from when the church was consecrated in 1876 until just after the start of World War 1. The records are arranged in alphabetical order based upon the child's name and show the date of baptism, the names of the parents, their home location and occupation.

Nick Kuhn bought an original 1920s poster which had this owners' blind stamp in one corner. The stamp almost certainly refers to a house named Wigmore that was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The first occupiers that we can trace are John Howarth Caine, a district mineral agent for the LNER, his wife Florence Jane (nee Prince) and daughter Doris Mary. The Caine family lived at Wigmore until 1936 by which time the house would have been known simply as 12 The Quandrant.

George Griffiths died on 13 December 1888 following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. His widow Florence died shortly afterwards and his two daughters Maud and Annie were adopted separately. Whilst Annie lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, Maud emigrated to Australia in 1923 with her husband, John Burrows, daughter Margaret and son Jack, pictured above.

George Wainwright was said to have been born in Bamford, Derbyshire in 1714. He learned the trade of linen weaving and moved to Totley after his marriage on 1744. He became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors and when Wesley's preachers became harassed by a mob of Totley ruffians in 1760, George offered them safety of his own home. He remained a Methodist for all of his long life, dying in Dore in 1821 at the reputed age of 107.

Oakwood School was started by Mrs Phoebe Holroyd in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was still working at the school almost fifty years later when she was well into her seventies. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school. 

James Curtis was born at sea aboard HMS Chichester in 1790. He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield in 1812 and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo. In later life James lived at the Cricket Inn where his son-in-law William Anthony was the licensed victualler. He died in Heeley in 1882 aged about 91. 

Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.

Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.

Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.

A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.

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 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.

David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.

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.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 700 gravestones in  the churchyard.


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